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Day 3 of NaNoWriMo

Tuesday, 03 November 2009

My official word count is 7001, and today I was able to knock out nearly 3000 words in about two hours.  That first 2000 word exercise was a killer - taking nearly 6 hours to compose and began with far more perspiration than inspiration.  I'm so glad I pushed through that first day because the story is becoming much easier to write.

The characters are leading the way as they tell me who they are and what makes them tick.  I'm learning to trust the process.  When I started this project on Monday, I had no real clue how to stretch the simple bones of a story idea from my imagination to the page, nor how those bones could possibly develop into more than a blurb.  The flesh of the story is in the development of the characters.  They are the story.  Just as the presumed coincidences of real life culminate to an event intersection point of two or more people, so will this story develop.

Make no mistake - what I've written so far is far from great - even good - writing.  NaNo has handed me a pass to write a sh*tty first draft and I'm claiming it.  November is for brain dumping; revisions will come later.

It's exciting; even exhilarating.  What took me so long?


NaNoWriMo: This Time is Going to be Different!

Monday, 02 November 2009

Two days and 4612 words into NaNoWriMo.  This time, I’m doing it. 


November snuck up on me this year.  A couple of weeks ago, while staring in disbelief at a calendar that indicated October was half over, it hit me that it was nearly NaNo time.  Was I going to make excuses for not participating, as I have for the past three years – toying with the idea then watching November pass with no effort on a novel?  Or, was I going to stop talking about wanting to be a writer and actually, you know, write something?


I primed the pump by registering at NaNoWriMo.org.  I set up a profile with a picture (gooblink) and a brief, poorly written bio.  Then I started “following” Twitterers who referenced #NaNo or #NaNoWriMo.  Some even followed me back.  I announced to my friends on Facebook – “Hey, I’m gonna write a NaNo novel.”


I set the alarm to get up early on November 1.  Even had an extra hour to play with due to the time change.  But, as luck and habit would have it, I squandered my extra time the night before, staying up way too late, and hit the snooze button multiple times before I finally climbed out of bed at 8:00 and had to shower and dress for church.


So, no writing in the morning.  Harbinger of another failed attempt?


Church.  Lunch.  We got back home at 1:00 PM or so and the weather was looking beautiful!  Too nice to stay inside.   I started to feel sick –headache, sinus pressure, achy.  That’s a good excuse to not write, right?  Maybe Chuck would take the boys out somewhere so I could take a nap.


Yes.  And no.  Chuck rallied the troops and said, “C’mon fellas.  We’re gonna give Mom three hours of writing time.”  He looked at me, “Can you do 2000 words in three hours?”


I had no clue.  Never really tried it before.


So, the guys leave me with an empty house, except for Pumpkin, whose paws really stink.  She needs a bath. 


No!  I have to write.  Chuck gifted me with three hours of uninterrupted quiet. 


I need inspiration…maybe if I play the piano my creative juices will start to flow.  I play for 15 minutes.  No juice.    


What do I usually do when I have no idea how to start?  I head to the bookcases and pull out several books I like and read the opening paragraph of a few.  Now, things are starting to simmer.  Ideas starting to gel. 


My notes.  Get my journal and pull out more ideas.  Yes!  Yes!


Next - Butt In Chair.  Fingers warming up the keyboard.  Don’t think.  Write.  Don’t stop, don’t question, don’t listen to the inner critic, whatever you do, don’t revise.  Just.  Write.


Chuck and the boys return, has it really been three hours? 


“What’s your word-count?”


I check, “1030.”


“Hmmm, so now we know it takes about 6 hours to write 2000 words,” says Chuck.


“I had a slow start, and my head is pounding.  I’m on a roll, though, I think I can get the next 1000 out faster,” I continue to work.


A couple of hours later I come to a line that makes a great cliff-hanger for an end of chapter.  I check my word count:  2010!  Yay!  I did it.  I save the file (Chuck already lambasted me for not saving my work at 1000 words) and update my NaNo profile (their word counter actually registers a few more words than mine), brag to my Tweeps and FB friends and call it a night.  I’m in.


This morning, I get up at 5:30 AM, full of rest, no headache, no aches, no pains and pound out the next 2000 + words in three hours.  Cha Ching!


My story is taking shape.  My characters are revealing themselves to me; they have stories to tell.  I’ve got a lot of work to do, but I am stoked.


This time, I’m gonna do it.


Helpful Hints from Anti-June

Friday, 16 October 2009

Have you ever known anyone who lives up to the housewife image of June Cleaver?  Perfect make-up?  Always smiling and calm?  Impeccably dressed from pearls to pumps?  Dinner on the dining table - table with a cloth, mind you - by 5:30 PM; dessert and coffee to follow?  Spotless house?  Made beds? 

I've never met her, either.

As I sit here in my fuzzy slippers, gazing upon a stack of paper and junk mail, watching my son write his name in the dust on the table, I realize that, I might not be June Cleaver, but I have a few helpful hints to share with some of you just starting out on the glamorous path of housewivery.

Here you go:

  1. If it might be a couple days before you "get" to the dinner dishes, keep the lids on your cookware so you won't have to soak pots and pans as long when you're ready to wash them.
  2. You can leave your dirty laundry piled in a heap for 5 - 7 days, in average humidity, before it will mildew.
  3. You can leave your wet clothes in the washer for about 3 days before the load starts to mildew.
  4. Don't bother composting all those spoiled vegetables you cleaned out of the crisper after your new monthly healthy-meal plan fell apart.  You'll never plant the garden.  Cut your losses, toss 'em and buy frozen next time.
  5. Not only is Avon Skin-So-Soft an insect repellent, it makes a great rust remover for the Weber grill.  SSS is also an herbicide.  Do not use it to clean your rusty grill on the front lawn.
  6. Do not buy what the dryer will not de-wrinkle.  If you are under the delusion that you will press those pretty linen pants on sale for 75% off, may I direct your attention to points 2 and 3.
  7. Two words:  Artificial houseplants.
  8. Toss the old magazines, dear.  Yes, you paid a lot for the subscription, but if you haven't read the article in 3 years, you ain't gonna.
  9. Chances are, if you regularly experience any of the above then you’ve married someone just like you.  Hire a lawn guy.
  10. If you can relate to any of this, do not attempt to fry fish at home.

Feel free to add your own helpful hints in the comments.  Maybe together we can craft the next self-help best seller!

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