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Posts Tagged ‘NaNoWriMo’

nanowrimo

yep, I’m in.  And you know what that means.  Either I will drop off the face of the earth for a month or I will be posting here more often just to get away from the agony of 1667 words per day without feeling guilty.  Great program, by the way – check it out:  www.nanowrimo.org 

So yes, if I don’t write again soon, I’m thinking of you, but I haven’t made my word count, so I can’t come out to play 🙂

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You know, I think that NaNoWriMo has changed me in a significant way. Not that by itself , but participating while I am in this place of self-evaluation – this act of making over my outside life to match my inside beliefs. I have found that I look at stuff differently. As a participant and voyeur. I take stuff and store it for stories. And I’ve found that I like the stuff that’s inside my head. I want to write it down. I want to share some with others, but mainly I just want to put it out there. I think that real authorship may become part of my future. Or at least the sincere attempts at it. I don’t think I can kid myself that this is mere dalliance on my part any more. It’s scary to think it’s serious. I’ve successfully avoided it for years. Hmmm. What kinds of scary desires are you avoiding?

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I talked to my father the other day.  We don’t talk often, don’t really have that much in common.  Usually its a holiday-type connection.  I don’t celebrate most of them, but he doesn’t know that.  Like I said, we don’t talk that much.  But for whatever reason, this conversation was different.  My dad was telling me how boring his life is.  How he just doesn’t have that many interests.  Except one.  Every year, for a week in April, my father goes down South for a week of golf.  My father loves golf.  And he lives for this week.  He was telling me how he looks forward to this week all year long.  He goes on the internet and looks up the golf courses he’s going to play.  He even looks up the virtual holes and plans out how he’s going to play each one.  His desktop weather is set to the town the golf course is in, so he can feel closer to it and keep track of what’s happening there.  He does this for fifty-one weeks a year.  And on the fifty second, he lives.

I was thinking about this.  Thinking how tragic it is that his life has come down to one week per year that he really lives.  And as I checked the weather conditions (on my desktop) for Hart, Michigan, I realized that my life has come to this, too.  Except that I get to live for four weeks per year.  The rest is all just preparation.  Not for nothin’, but how worth it is that?  I guess I should consider myself lucky that I’ve found a real meaning for that long out of the year and I know how to get it.  Many people never even get that. 

But for the rest of my year, the other times in my life, I could just be done.  If the Goddess said, “Okay, you’ve put in your time.”  I think I’d be good with that.

Oh, I won NaNoWriMo today.  That was hard.  And I did it.

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It’s like being back in college. With a paper due. Tomorrow. And I’m way, way, way behind. Except that I’m not in college. There is no paper due. And I’m behind, but in a very manageable way. I’ve done this to myself. NaNoWriMo. I started it on a whim. The closest thing to fifty thousand words I’d ever written was my Master’s Thesis and it was only seventy-five pages. That’s roughly 18,750 words, although, since it was a giant Web site, most of it was hand-coded html, so I get a little more cred than the average bear.

So I’ve got 12,000 words more to write. The beginning of my story is funny, fast paced, on track and fun. The middle, oh my Goddess, the middle – it’s gone somewhere that it will take months to recover from. Now I’m headed toward the end, and you know what? I think it’s going to be longer than 50,000 words. But I know how it will end, and hopefully it will be good.

About the process. Some days I didn’t write. Most days I did. I started behind and never caught up, but never really fell too far, either. I’m feeling grateful for that. I set a hard goal, and I’m meeting it. And I’m meeting the other goal – it’s stress free. I’ve been able to knit (I actually made a pair of socks this month, and a pair of handwarmers) I’ve gone away twice. It’s been good. The only thing that has fallen behind is housework, and that is not really a function of my writing, but I’m using it as an excuse.

On a day when others are celebrating the European Invasion of North America, anhialating several cultures that existed here before they did, I am quietly celebrating my ability to realize a hard goal, without obsessing on it.

My other piece of gratitude will be toward my friends, those who are here and those who are not. For what they bring to me and most especially for what they allow me to bring to them. It’s all about the service, folks!

Today’s reading: The Road from Coorain by Conway

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Kinney

Today’s Music: Savage Garden, Tracy Chapman, Bonnie Raitt, and Diana Krall

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Channeling

I spent the weekend in NYC. Much of it was spent writing. My novel is taking some interesting twists and my characters have much more to say than I expected. Turns out that they are actually three dimensional and they want everyone to know it. Sometimes I feel like some sort of conduit – like one of those psychics who channel spirits. Except I’m channeling for my characters. And there are others in there. Others who are starting to push insistently to be heard. My life is not my own. I hardly have time to knit and the only reading I can do is research in style or content to satisfy my character’s needs. Am I the puppet or the puppeteer?

I wrote in two charming little coffee shops in Brooklyn. The first was Bread Stuy. Nice place, but way too crowded. My characters embarrassed me by making me laugh out loud and then cry in the middle of the shop. The second was Food for Thought. I love this place! Great vegetarian food, ample space, wonderful ambiance. Everyone is friendly and strangers all talk to each other. From now on, whenever I write in Brooklyn, I will be there. My characters didn’t embarrass me there, even though they did the same things to me. There, they invited new friends and garnered sympathy for their sadness.

I took my car to the city this weekend, although I usually take public transportation. But I had to take some tools to my friend’s apartment and they tend to frown upon loaded reciprocating saws on the subway. (Although you are pretty much guaranteed a seat!) We had fun remodeling the view in her apartment.

You know, every time I go to the city, almost everyone I pass speaks to me. This doesn’t happen to my friend when she goes out. We’re doing little experiments to see what the difference is. Sadly, we are coming to the conclusion that the only difference is skin color. What’s up with that?

It was a good weekend. Not what I had originally planned, but productive and soul-satisfying nonetheless.

Today’s reading: Run by Ann Patchett Read this – it works!

The Hoboken Chicken Emergency by Daniel Pinkwater I read this kid’s book every Thanksgiving

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold My characters for my next book are demanding this re-read

Today’s Music: Tori Amos, Melissa Etheridge, Tuck and Patti (If you’ve never heard Love Warriors, then you should go now and download it!)

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Being a writer

So I’m feeling a little childish today. I’ve vowed not to write one word in my novel. I’m not stuck, I know what’s going to happen next (but not the next after that), I just want to take a day off. So I’m going to sit and watch some TV. But I know what’s going to happen. My laptop will start crooning to me. “You know you want me. Just open me up. C’mon, just fifty words, a sentence, one thought. It won’t hurt. You know you’ve got something you want to give me.” Pretty soon, Buffy will just be some cute, dead vampire slayer that can’t seem to get her love life together whining in the background, while my laptop and I get closer and closer. First it will sit on the table. Next, it will be on my lap – just to save my back, and then, then all pretense will be lost and I will be laying back with the laptop resting against my breasts, and I’ll be caressing the keypad, touching it and pouring all sorts of private, between just us thoughts into it. That seductive bitch.

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Stuff and NaNoWriMo

I have had seven things that have been hanging over my head for over a month to take care of. Things that involve other people. Today, I took care of four of them and it feels great. Hopefully, I can take care of two more today, and the last will be gravy. Problem is, I can’t seem to get to sleep. I hate that.

I’m having trouble navigating a stretch of friendship with someone. She’s going through some stuff and being newish friends, I want to be supportive and yet not overwhelming with the support. Not sure how to do that. I tend to be rather enthusiastic in my interactions with people. Added in that this is a long distance friend who is really, really private. I’m thinking I will simply do what I would do with any other person I care about and if it’s not the support she needs or wants, she’ll let me know. And I will tone down my caregiving enthusiasm if need be.

I have decided to participate in NaNoWriMo this year. Hopefully I will come out on November 30 with a completed novel and my sanity. I have no story to tell, but I write well and I’m sure something will come of this. Maybe I’ll find out that I really have something to say after all.

Reading for today: Mousetraps by Schmatz, The Arsonist’s Guide to Writer’s Homes in New England by Clarke

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