Thankful Thursday #81

This week I’m thankful for…

  • NaNoWriMo even though my friend, Ed, beat me to 50k words.  Good job, Ed.  Sorry, did my begrudging tone come through there?  Seriously, Ed, congrats.  Darn, there’s that tone again.
  • the smell of rain
  • morning snuggles with my littlest nephews
  • sweet time spent with friends doing absolutely nothing
  • travel
  • the joy of coming back home
  • my umbrella
  • my Little One who wrote a love song to the whole class
  • Jack the dog
  • my husband’s laugh

NoIdWhToWriAb

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) stands tiptoe at my door.  It’s a wild month of writing 50,000 words in 30 days and hoping at least 25,000 250 25 of them are good words.

Usually a plot idea strikes me or comes to me in a dream a couple of days before November 1st arrives.  This year?

Nada.

No ideas.

No dreams.

Nothing.

So I’m affectionately calling this year NoIdWhToWriAb.  Rolls right off the tongue, right?  It stands for No Idea What To Write About and I’m fully embracing the sheer terror of just sitting down at my computer come November 1st and starting to type, hoping that my fingers will transcribe an idea to my brain.

Questions are jostling around in my brain.  There’s the big one.  What on earth am I going to write about?  Insert your suggestions here: _______________________________________________________________________________

Perhaps I could cobble together a novel sort of Mad Libs style wherein you give me stuff and I mash it all together into sentences that kind of make sense.

Will I finally be able to kill off a character this year?  Probably not.  I like them all too much.  Even the jerks.

Will I actually write the ending to the book within those 50,000 words?  Probably not.  Let’s face it, there are times when somebody just has to die and I just can’t seem to make it happen.  Thus I have an unhealthy stack of unfinished novels and undead characters.

Will I ever develop a taste for adverbs?  No.  Meaty verbs always clobber them and I like it that way.

With 1,666 words a day vying for my time, will the laundry get done?  That’s a good one.  Does it ever?  I may be venturing into an unhealthy definition of ‘clean clothes’.

Will I beat my friend Ed?  Yes, my word count will make his word count weep.  Sure he’s already got an idea and everything, but what I lack in ideas, I make up for in blind confidence.  Sorry, Ed, but you’re going down.

And finally, what songs should I add to my writing playlist this year?  Tell me your favorites.  Maybe your song will be just the thing that inspires my magnum opus.  No pressure or anything.

To my fellow Wrimos, happy writing!  And yes, that shirt’s clean enough.  Set down the laundry basket and pick up your pen.

Thankful Thursday #46

This week I’m thankful for…

  • the awesome birthday present I received, especially surprising being that my birthday is in July
  • the pumpkin one of my little ones sewed for me in his sewing class
  • the Cake Pops that same little one brought me.  Come to think of it, I received the Cake Pops and the birthday present on the same day.  Did someone switch my birthday without telling me?
  • the fresh smell of clean sheets as I slip into bed
  • steel-cut oatmeal
  • pedicures
  • driving with the top with the seat warmer on.  Hello, Fall!
  • waking to the sound of wind chimes
  • Terry, who took care of me while I was sick all weekend.  That guy did the laundry, changed the sheets, did the dishes, rented me a movie, rubbed my back and asked hundreds of times if I needed anything.  It’s so lovely to be taken care of.
  • Designer Bruce Mau’s Incomplete Manifesto for Growth.  So much of it applies to my writerly life.  Shoot, so much of it applies to my regular life, too.
  • Another year of NaNoWriMo madness!

Ready for 30 Days of Literary Abandon

Happy Halloween Day Before NaNoWriMo!  It’s mere hours until the festivities begin and I’m all ready for 30 days of literary abandon.  Well, except for the fact that I have no idea what I’m going to write about.  Minor detail.

But I’ve taken care of the important stuff like:

  • report cards-they’re all finished printed and ready to roll for parent teacher conferences.
  • the all important writing playlist including some gems from Adele, INXS, U2, Polar Boy, Matthew Perryman Jones, Ingrid Michaleson, Bruce Springsteen and, of course, Stevie Wonder.
  • laundry, done and all tucked away
  • a freezer stocked with quick dinner options
  • the car charger for my laptop is on its way to my doorstep as I type.  We’ll be spending lots of time in the car and while Terry fills his brain with ESPN radio, I’m going to be dominating my daily word count.

NaNoWriMo: Here I Go!

NaNoWriMo is a few sacred days away.  November 1st is fast becoming one of my favorite days of the year, excitement bubbling up in my stomach with such fervor that I inevitably wake from sleep in the wee hours of the morning and can’t resist typing the first few hundred words before falling back to sleep.

Not that 50,000 words in a month isn’t daunting.  It is.  It really is.  It’s lump of nerves in my throat kind of daunting.

For the past 2 Novembers I’ve set out to write 50k words while I play at being a novelist.  Both times I’ve succeeded, or in NaNo speak, I’ve won.  I loved both of my stories, but what I love more is who I am when I’m writing 1,667 words a day.  I love being in the practice of writing.  I love how quickly I’m able to drop back into my story each day because my writing muscles are strong and limber.

Creating characters makes me happy.  Seeing where these characters take me is thrilling and often times surprising.  The first year I’ll never forget when one of my characters opened a drawer and removed a baby onesie.  And a gun.  Trust me, I was as shocked as you are.  I mean, come on, I’m the biggest anti-gun person I know.  Having never touched a gun in my life, I had no idea how to write about guns.  To the delight of my lone gun-enthusiast friend, I made him take me shooting.  For better or for worse, I can now say I’ve fired a gun.  Exactly once.

Both years have led me to research a variety of things including:

    • the history of LEGO
    • rare children’s diseases
    • handguns and penetration abilities of different bullets
    • Biblical references to angels
    • POW camps
    • the history of high heels
    • hospital procedures and policies
    • famous libraries

The first year, I dreamed a strange snapshot of a scene and my novel sprang to life from there.  Last year, discovering an unknown safe deposit box that belonged to my deceased father was the thing that birthed my idea.  It was a story just begging to be written.

So, today on October 28th, I’m waiting for my idea to peek out.  Maybe in a dream.  Or a snippet of conversation.  Or a newspaper article.  Who knows where it might appear.  I wait with anticipation, with a pattering heart eager to know where NaNoWriMo will take me this year.

A teensy part of me hopes that on November 1st, my idea will not have shown her face yet.  There’s something exciting about sitting down at the computer and beginning to type, implicitly trusting that my writerly brain will follow my furious fingers as they tap out words becoming sentences becoming a story.

NaNoWriMo, here I go!