Pictured: 1 Lt. Governor, 0.75 Chinese people. Chicago's Chinatown near W. Cermak and S. Wentworth, Sept. 30, 2014 | Marilú Yee

Pictured: 1 Lt. Governor, 0.75 Chinese people. Chicago’s Chinatown near W. Cermak and S. Wentworth, 65th Anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China | Marilú Yee

I have for the past several months been working for Lt. Governor Sheila Simon here in Illinois. Yesterday was the big mid-term election rigmarole. It was strange because of all the elections I have witnessed since becoming a professional, I have functionally had the least involvement in this one despite actually working in government. The tangle of explanation is long, but simply put: Lt. Governor Simon ran for a different position (which she did not get despite a hardfought campaign – she ended up with 45% to her opponent’s 50%), and I had absolutely nothing to do with the campaign. This was out of a personal ethical stance and not at all out of a lack of respect for her as a candidate; I voted for her proudly. I mention the whole thing here only because it’s the culmination of so much stress, worry, and hard work on the part of so many of my friends and colleagues, so I feel if I’m taking a daily note of things as I Wri this NaNo, it has to include a mention of this, for it is surely in my brainspace today. I’m interested how that kind of thing affects a writer’s process.

National Novel Writing Month, I should note, invariably falls on an election, because despite people’s stubborn insistence on only noticing elections every fourth year, they do actually happen each year. I told a friend earlier today that I’m “disappointed” in today’s results, but I realize now that disappointment requires expectations, and I had very low ones to begin with. I am chiefly saddened by the almost complete lack of good choices. If you want a perfect example of that, well may I invite you to get a load of this, courtesy of the Daily Herald.

That was the Republican candidate for Congress in the Arlington Heights district where I voted yesterday, because that’s where I was still registered. She believes we are “provoking God” with abortions and same-sex marriage, and that this is leading to the weather going crazy and, and I am quoting her directly here, macular degeneration.

I know a lot of people who will just laugh and tell me “What is your problem, Ken? They’re ALL ridiculous people and crooks,” and I’m tired of hearing it because it’s the most defeatist attitude imaginable. People dismiss it without understanding it, and the result is a woman like Susanne Atanus running for Congress in a district where there are plenty of people who I am sure are Republican and aren’t of the opinion that the almighty is causing droughts and earthquakes over something as petty as gay men getting a piece of paper from the state saying they’re allowed to own a house together and see each other in the fucking hospital.

Voter turnout was, again, pathetic. If you are reading this, please read some damn newspapers and yell at your state representatives to overhaul the system. It’s good for the country and it’ll get some pent-up feelings off your chest, I guarantee it.

And yes, I am going to write a bit about my writing today at this late hour. If you insist. Today’s chief victory was in getting to the end of the cross-cutting, multi-perspective scene that has been my bane for this entire process. It was a big revelatory part, and it is now behind me. I’ll check in on the villains tomorrow and then put the chapter to bed, and that will be one big accomplishment. This whole thing is, I am pleased to say, getting me moving forward again. I don’t think I’ve ever done this and remained successful this many days in a row out of the gate.

Let’s have a look at the day’s stats:

NaNoWriMo Day 5
START: 147,229
END: 149,304
GOAL: 9,796/50,000

Not bad, right? Another day over goal. Too bad my sleep schedule is getting ripped apart and I have a serious, juvenile urge to order pizza right now and just say fuck you adulthood, I STAY UP AS LATE AS I WANT!