NaNoWriMo 2012 – Check!

NaNoWonMo

NaNoWonMo

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) ended yesterday, and I am so pleased to have “won” it again!  I finished my 50,000 word novel in time, hitting 50,288 words at about 2:30 p.m. November 30th – with hours to spare.  HOURS!

I am really pleased.  And this one is flippin’ scary!!  It freaked me out the whole time I was writing it… or maybe that’s the current state of the house, after 30 days of NaNoWriMo-ing… gotta go!  🙂

Advertisements

Balance, Schmalance

I so admire the traits of moderation and balance.   I aim for them constantly.  I plan, schedule, research, limit, design, check and re-check my life and activities with those ideals held firmly in my mind.  “All things in moderation.”  And, “Balance.  Ba-lance.  Baaaaaa-lance.”

For most of the year, I diligently aim for balance and moderation.  For example, balancing work and health (or, at least, attempting to) is the only way I can manage several projects at once.  I take time to exercise, etc, giving myself energy to work fast enough to have time left over for exercising, thereby giving myself energy to work… it’s a nice cycle.

However, half-way through the month of November (otherwise known as “National Novel Writing Month”), I start to change my tune.  As the days dwindle and the EXPECTED word count outdistances my ACTUAL word count, I start to not even care about balance.  Let alone, moderation.

In fact, by now, November 20th, I am figuratively wadding up my revered ideals and tossing them out the window, because I’ve arrived at my favourite part of NaNoWriMo.  Now, eyes fixed on my word count and deadline, I am allowed, encouraged, even expected to forget about balance for a bit.  For the last 10 days of this wonderful, flat-out busy, tumultuously creative, “no, I can’t do the dishes, I’m writing” month, I get to tip the scales towards an excess of two of my favourite things:  writing and coffee.

So, until December 1st, I take time to drink coffee, giving myself energy to work fast enough to have time left over to drink coffee, thereby giving myself energy to work… it’s a nice NaNoWriMo cycle.  As Mark Twain said, “All things in moderation… including moderation.”

Stubborn as the Day is Long

A 2012 Participant, R.D. Girvan hopes to bat 1000, earning her 4th NaNoWriMo win.

My friend Natasha Deen is a terrific writer who is also participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  This is an annual contest where over 300,000 writers from around the World must write a 50,000 words novel within the 30 days of November.  It’s like a marathon:  cross the 50,000 word finish line and you win.

This morning, Natasha posted:   Day seven of NaNoWriMo and in order to reach my 1667 words/day, I’m tempted to start writing sentences like: She was sad, depressed really. Actually, she was despondent, very, very, very, very, very, very, very despondent…

I replied:  That’s a really, really, really, really, good idea. In fact, I am tempted to say that again… that’s a really, really, really… 🙂

Holy Hannah, is 50,000 words in 30 days ever a LOT!  I am so behind…

If you’ve experienced me NaNoWriMo-ing before, this will sound familiar.  Even the kids have heard this so often about NaNo that when I say, “I am so behind…” they are not alarmed or distressed.  They just smile and nod.

One year, I still had about 10,000 words to go and only 2 days left to do it.  That’s the year I got my scar:  I slipped on a front walk and cracked my chin open on a concrete step.  In the process, I sprained both wrists while trying to break my fall.   After returning home from the hospital (6 surface stitches and 2 deep tissue), I noticed that my wrists were starting to stiffen up.   I figured that if I went to bed, they would seize up entirely and I wouldn’t be able to type the next day.  So I stayed up until I was done, hitting 50,002 words at about noon on the 30th.

This is a good indicator of how determined/persistent (perhaps “stubborn”) I am, but it’s still no guarantee, so I repeat:  I’m so behind…really, really, really behind.  🙂 Rd

Fingers Crossed…

Philippine Tarsier (NOT a self-portrait, LOL)
subject of one of my kids’ non-fiction books

One of my favorite parts of writing adult suspense novels is, well, the suspense part. I get to keep people guessing about what’s going to happen next. I can’t help it, I just find that fun.

For example, my 2012 NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month competition) novel features a man named Leon who has taken to saying ominous things to rationalize some highly inappropriate behaviour.  He’s been a very bad man.

When asked, I like to give friends little snippets of what Leon has been working on lately.  I tell them breathlessly, my eyes wide, with a “can you believe THAT?” expression on my face, and I end it with an enraptured, “Isn’t that just aw…”  I want to say ‘awesome’ but they look both hooked AND horrified, so I quickly amend it.  Instead, I finish with, “…aw…ful?!”  Then when they want to know what happens next, I thwart them.  I leave and dash off to write some more.  Usually giggling.  Gleefully.

Recently, though, I took a fun and satisfying break from my usual pursuit of the unusual.  I used it to work on a great idea I had for a neat series of kids’ non-fiction books.   Mailing the query letter was very exciting.  I dropped the envelope in the post box, thinking, “Bye…  Hope to see you again…fingers crossed…”  The publisher’s website says they will respond in about six months.  That gives me plenty of time to wonder what will come next.  Talk about being kept in suspense!  Serves me right, I guess.  Payback:  isn’t it just awe…SOME?!  🙂  Rd