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Squirrels, viewed by many as destructive pests (they’re just trying to get by!), have many amazing talents. One of the more obscure is that they can purr just like cats. Via The Awl, here’s proof that they can get their little happy motors running with the best of ’em. I’d hoped to embed the video here, but I can’t figure out MSNBC’s code, so please follow the link. It’s adorable.

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I meant to post this as a Squirrel Wednesday, but got sidetracked until this morning. As many readers undoubtedly know, the offices of the Discovery Channel were stormed by an “ecoterrorist” yesterday (who did not hurt any of his hostages and has since been taken into custody). He presented the station staff with a list of demands, which, if you can stomach a whole buffet of crazy (with some good points for garnish), you can read here. I skimmed it, and toward the end this caught my eye:

Saving the environment and the remaning species diversity of the planet is now your mindset. Nothing is more important than saving them. The Lions, Tigers, Giraffes, Elephants, Froggies, Turtles, Apes, Raccoons, Beetles, Ants, Sharks, Bears, and, of course, the Squirrels.

OF COURSE, the squirrels!

Update: I’m sorry to say that I was wrong—the eco-warrior was shot and killed by authorities, not taken into custody. He was carrying explosives, so I guess they had to do what they had to do, but still. Sad.

So maybe it will be Squirrel Friday? Or just Friday the 13th. It’s been an eventful year so far, though the demon Facebook has siphoned my sharing away, with pithy thrice-weekly updates on weirdness and fun. The past several weeks have seen what I thought were the beginnings of something new and good, but turned out to be an unrequited situation. (I feel I can share it now because almost nobody who knows me will check this space anymore.) It’s a painful situation, though I think it will pass fairly soon; the party in question delivered the blow as kindly and honorably as possible, and sad feelings pass a lot sooner than hard feelings, of which there really are none, even in my habitually pessimistic view. Strangely, and oddly comfortingly, as I was receiving the speech while sitting on a park bench, a fat, fluffy squirrel inched over and sniffed cautiously at my bare toe, staring up at us as I was trying to hold my feelings together. He knew it’s a hard world out there for squirrels.

I can’t figure out how to get this little guy into my sidebar since I can’t link to it—why do you make simple things difficult, WordPress?—but here is my official winner’s badge from NaNoWriMo. I clocked in at 50,323, thank you very much. And into the vault it goes. No, I will not share it; it’s really bad, sort of like getting trapped in a long, boring conversation at a party. But now I know I can do it, even with a busy work, freelance, and, despite my complaints, social life. I will muse on ideas throughout the upcoming year and maybe take another stab at it next year if I come up with a concept that actually interests me.

Well, I’ve almost done it…as of this writing my unreadable novella has reached 43,100 words. This means that I need to get another 6,900 words written by midnight on Monday. I’m aiming to hit 45,000 before going to bed, which is ambitious, seeing as it’s nearly 10:00 now. But I’ll say one thing—at the beginning of the month, the thought of cranking out nearly 7,000 words in two days would have seemed impossible. Now, anything less than 10,000 words seems, if not exactly a breeze, at least reasonably doable. And I’ll be so, so glad to get back to a normal social life. Why do I do these things to myself?

UPDATE: Woo, just hit 48K, and the night is young. If I’m very, very good, I may actually finish tonight! Stay tuned…

Today is the halfway point to my NaNoWriMo deadline of November 30. Unfortunately, I’m still behind in my target word count—today should be 25,000 words. Still, though, I got a little jolt of happy to see my total creep past the 20,000-word mark. At 1.5 spacing, that’s nearly 60 pages of not very good prose! Way more than I’ve ever committed to a single document, fiction or otherwise. So I’m going to give myself a little pat for that and try to get up to at least 22,000 by bedtime tonight. I’m also hoping to finish this gigantic editing project I’ve been laboring on for the past several weeks. Only 1 1/2 chapters to go on that, which I should be able to knock out by the end of today. Once that’s off my plate I can really pick up the pace with my writing.

But I’m making progress. I’m very, very close to 14,000 words, having managed about 2,000 words this evening. A few more sessions like this ought to bring be up to speed by the end of the week, and I hope to create a little surplus this weekend so that next week will go a little smoother. I’m starting to have anxiety dreams about making my word quota.

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