If you’re still out there, thank you. It’s been a longer than expected hiatus from posting here and for that, I apologize. There’s a great quote from Hemingway that goes “In order to write about life first you must live it.” My only excuse is that I have been far too busy living to post here. Of course, there is also the fact that I am a hopeless procrastinator and have been putting off any attempts to post here.
Since I last wrote, I’ve completed two NaNoWriMo challenges, neither of which were particularly pleasing to me. Saligia, Inc was finished by the end of November 2012 and unless I can come up with some brilliant ideas for a rewrite, is destined for the rubbish bin. Last November’s work, The Island of Evernow, was slightly more coherent, but still rambling enough that I haven’t had the heart to revisit it. I may take up the challenge again this year, but only on the condition that I have a well thought out plot and characters long before the starting gun sounds on November 1st. I should start now if I’m going to have any hope of making that happen.
My writing plans for 2014 are simply to write and to do so on a regular basis… daily when possible, no less frequently than weekly. Two weeks into the new year, I’m happy to report that I have worked daily on a fiction piece, produced a poem, and have managed a few thousand words of non-fiction in the form of blog and journal posts. I plan to continue that pace for the entire year and yes, I will endeavor to shorten the gap between posts here by at least twelve months.
Write to you soon (really! I mean it.),
I do believe that in my last post I was bemoaning my NaNo progress and citing all of the non-writing activities happening this month. With both Thanksgiving and a road trip to Savannah out of the way, it is time again to focus on that soul-devouring event known as NaNoWriMo. This year’s novel is being written in waves, going a few days without writing and then attempting to catch up in a single sitting. As of this moment, my word count is hoovering somewhere around the 42,000 mark. I may actually make it this year.
The mid-point of November has come and gone without so much as a “Hi, how y’all doin’?” and my NaNo novel for this year is progressing in much the same way. I woke up this morning and realized that my word count is hovering just around 19,000. That’s just a bit shy of the 26,666 that would have had me on par through yesterday. For those of you who are not mathematically inclined, this means I am roughly 8000 words behind. Excuse me while I go have a scream followed by a little lie-down.
It is not a hopeless situation, at least not yet. I am happy to say that after a productive morning, the word count is now a bit over 24,000, which puts me only 2666 words behind where I should have ended yesterday.
Of course, we are not going to mention the additional 1667 words that will need to be written today just to stay on par. Nor will we mention that there is a major holiday coming up that will eat way not only a few pounds of turkey and dressing, but a good size chunk of writing time. I’m also due to make a trip to Savannah before the end of the month. While the city inspires me immensely, I find writing on the road next to impossible, particularly when I’ve been officially designated as the official chauffeur and tour guide. I also won’t mention that the character I’d intended to be the main antagonist has done a complete 360 and turns out not only to be batting for the other side, but is apparently managing the entire damn team. This could get complicated, I think.
In short, that glimmer at the end of the tunnel may be the oncoming train of a November 30th deadline, rather than the gleam of a shiny new novel. I’m not giving up yet, though. In the words of Frost, I have ‘miles to go before I sleep’, not to mention many pages and several chapters and most of a whole damned novel.
Less than three weeks remain until this year’s NaNoWriMo kick-off. I’ve spent a little time over there updating my profile, changing my picture, and dusting off the cobwebs. I’ve explained again to all of my non-writers in my life that I will not be available for the month of November. The family has been advised that, yes indeed, I will again be making a sandwich out of Thanksgiving dinner so that I can keep a hand free for writing. Since I tend to eat terribly during NaNo, I’ve planned ahead this year and am stocking the freezer with homemade foods that actually have more nutritional content than my writing notebooks (although probably not as much fiber!). The tea cabinet is already stocked full of Earl Grey, lavender, and chamomile. The notebooks are laid aside with a pile of pens on top. In short, I’m taking a page from the Boy Scouts and being prepared this year.
Just one wee little thing is missing. I still don’t know what I’m going to write. In a dream world, I’d already have a detailed outline written, characters sketches created, and at least one chapter fully formed in my brain. Instead, I have this:
Yes, that is one big blank and that’s exactly what I have a the moment. In a burst of forced enthusiasm, I dug up the outline and notes for a previous year’s NaNo that never actually came to fruition, a little gem was to be titled Saligia, Inc. For those of you who don’t have heads full of weird and obscure trivia, Saligia is a mnemonic device used to remember the Latin names of the seven deadly sins. I’ll leave the meat and bones of the novel to your imagination for now, as I’m still not convinced that the novel is this year’s novel.
My enthusiasm for that story was usurped by two small pages of writing that I found tucked in among my notes. It’s a first draft of the beginning of a scene in which the narrator is watching an approaching storm. It’s a scene without a story, without a novel, without even a complete sentence at the end. In spite of its brevity, I was entranced and sucked into the scene, which usually only happens when I read the work of others. To turn it into a NaNo novel would be- what’s the word I’m looking for? Interesting? Challenging? Wait, I know – Really Bloody Difficult. It’s one scene, for goodness’ sake, and an incomplete one at that. Yet, the narrator hasn’t stopped talking in my head since I picked up those pages. There’s nothing quite like having your characters go rogue and deciding that they are going to tell you their stories, whether you like it or not. Unfortunately, sticking my fingers in my ears and chanting “Lalalala” has not worked so far. I may have a novel to write after all.