Tuesday, November 19, 2013

My NaNoWriMo Update

How did it get to be November 19th? What just happened? Where have the weeks gone? And what happened to my NaNoWriMo aspirations? Well, I took a little toodle on down to the low country of South Carolina, first to Charleston,  and then to Beaufort and St. Helena Island, where I hung out with my sister and her husband. I had a great time, but it did make it hard to meet my daily goal of writing 1666 words a day.

While attending the library conference in Charleston, I would return to my room at night, mindful that I should be cracking my knuckles and preparing to furiously type my 1666 words. Instead, I made a trip down the hall to the vending machine for a soda, settted in with some chips, and watched trash TV. I watched a really trashy cable show called Miami Monkey. I was intrigued by it since I used to live in Miami, and I would see these young women on South Beach who were lean, tanned, and fierce-looking, who would eat my mid-western ass alive if I ventured too close. At least that's the way it seemed.

So I watched this show where this particularly fierce young woman was having it out with a another woman, occasionally breaking away to the camera to say,

"I swear to god I've had just about as much as I can take of that bitch-- so help me I am gonna kick her ass!"

Then the shot would return to the two of them sitting outside at some South Beach establishment throwing daggers at each other with their eyes, and then the fierce one breaking away once again to tell the camera,

"She doesn't realize who she's dealing with, she better cut it out right now or I am going to take her down so hard, I am not kidding!!!"

Both girls worked at this bar that was run by a person whom I thought was a man who had had boob implants, whose boobs are in fact mammoth in a circus-sideshow kind of way, and whose lips have been injected so much they resemble not lips but puffer fish, but who still has the deep, raspy voice of a former wrestler who smokes.**  

I could never figure out why these people were on my TV, but I watched them, instead of writing my words for NaNoWriMo.

After the library conference was over, I visited my sister on St. Helena Island, and gave in to the abandon of nightly fires and wine-fests, of sumptuous eats and dips into the hot tub. Who could be expected to write under such conditions?

So I returned from South Carolina horribly behind in my word count, having accumulated about 370 words, in a race to accumulate 50,000.

It's not too late, I rationalized. We were halfway through the month, which just meant I'd have to write 3200 and some words a day, instead of 1666. It wasn't insurmountable. It could be done. To prove this to myself, I sat down this past weekend and hit the computer keyboard, my fingers flying. I typed rapid-fire, forcing myself to make nano-second choices about what words to put down. Doing that, I hit the 1000 word mark in no time. Do that three more times, and I'd have my three thousand words.

What came out wasn't publishable. But neither is the drivel that I eke out at a painstaking pace when I'm being more thoughtful about my writing. Even then, I still face hours and hours of re-write and revision. But at least with the manic method, where I'm loping ahead, writing faster than I can think, I'm covering more territory, and stirring things up in my wake, which I can always return to for deeper examination.

So this is something that could work for me, I think. With a week and a half left of November, I don't have even the germ of a novel. But maybe I have a new writing method.

** I later found out this person is actually a woman, known as "Big Ang" and that she had formerly appeared on the show "Mob Wives."  Big Ang is a member of the Genovese crime family, and ran a bar called the Drunken Monkey on Staten Island, and was such a hit on "Mob Wives" she got her own show, now called Miami Monkey. Being someone who lives in a cave, I didn't know this.

Friday, November 1, 2013

It's November, so why not just go insane and sign up for NaNoWriMo?

Just like that, October is over, and here we are in November, the calendar's gateway to winter. It's about to get really dark, earlier in the evening, and really cold. I don't think I have enough sweaters yet. I don't have enough coal or wood socked away. I haven't weather-proofed my car. There is a sense that I'm about to lose all control over my environment.So why not just go insane and do nutty things, like sign up for NaNoWriMo?

Writing a 50,000 novel in a month would mean I'd have to write about 1666 words a day. Some days that's no big whoop. Most days, that's a big whoop. But I'm going to sign up anyway,because I just think November is so insane, I might as well say, "what the hell?"

November isn't October. No use pretending that it is. Why not lock oneself in a room and hammer out 1666 words a day?