Not done!

In fact, Barely Even Started! As November nears its end, my friends and family who legitimately undertook NaNoWriMo are starting to post their triumphant entries about finishing their novels. I'm here to admit that I didn't even break 5 digits--not even close. I guess I picked a bad month... with all the house buying and paper signing and getting horrendously sick. But congratulations to TuTu and Mary for finishing their books and best of luck on getting them published someday!


A Pleasant Side Effect of Consumerism

Now that we're moving, I joined two local branches of Freecycle and am stunned to have found, within 12 hours, not only that there are a tremendous number of moving boxes and packing supplies being shuffled around these parts, but that there are both people looking to get rid of exactly the things I want to get rid of and people seeking out precisely some of the things that had been on their way to achieving JUNK status in my household.

I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if I were trying to get rid of an old computer monitor or a desk; these oft-upgraded and typically underused items always seem to be in overabundance on the thrift store circuit, as any Salvation Army pickup guy will tell you (right before he refuses to load your stuff into his truck). But no, instead Freecycle has given me the startling awareness that, apparently, I'm not the only person in San Francisco who woke up this morning thinking it was time to rid myself of my charming old vintage suitcases. It's also shown me that, surprisingly, someone out there might need a hat box quite like one I have in my possession. Coincidence? Probably not, considering how much stuff we have in our lives, but it still seemed a bit unexpected. I'll chalk it up to the power of the Internets!


On NaNoWriMo

This odd activity has the majority of my blogging friends and family writing 50,000-word novels this month, and, swept up in the wave of creativity energy, I signed up too. The first week of this month has had me on a tough deadline and buying a house (color added for enthusiasm and glee) and it’s already clear to me that writing 50,000 words in these particular 30 days of November is a totally unrealistic goal.

This doesn’t mean I’m giving it up. That just wouldn’t be me, now, would it? Instead, I’ll probably flog and flagellate myself continually whilst churning out hideous and disjointed prose in insufficient quantities. I've already written enough to determine that, no, NaNoWriMo is not a magical activity that mysteriously elicits The Great American Novel That Resides in All of Us. I’ve written other fiction that I know was better simply because I actually had a story I cared about and characters that, even at the worst of times, remotely interested me. No, NaNoWriMo is about the creative process, dispelling self-judgment, discipline, community, and, perhaps, pirates. (Get to know a few NaNoWriMoans and you’ll soon discover they use a lot of additional words and throw in many additional details (plus plenty of peripherally related parenthetical comments), often completely out of context and simply added for volume. But no, this isn’t part of my NoNo (November Novel) so, no, I probably shouldn’t be doing that here. It’s fun, though, isn’t it, to see how far you can take it?)

But back to the point—I’ve also written enough to determine that the most painful aspect of writing is its very solitary nature. So, in order to make the process more fun for myself, I’ll occasionally post some of my more hideous excerpts. (And no, I don’t secretly think these are good.)

Here’s the first:

She fumbled with the tea bag trying to get it out of its box. When she poured the boiling water over the bag into the cup, she forgot and filled it too full. How was it that she could be thinking to herself that she had to leave some room for the milk, and then in that very split second, forget to leave room for the milk? Perhaps it was their influence, all the lurkers in her head. They weren’t supposed to jump in there, were they. They were supposed to stay where they’d started out, harmless and pathetic in their utter voyeurism and vicariousness. But she felt their presence at the oddest times, and before she knew it, five minutes had passed and the tea was steeped.

I'm really sad to say that I already loathe this character, and I’m only 1000 words in. My mom said I should kill her off, and I just might.

And by the way, have I mentioned that we bought a house?! (NaNoWriMoans are also fans of repetition. It helps the word count AND makes sure your readers don't forget the pertinent details whilst wading through all that wordy crap.)