The baby keeps bringing me markers to open. I don't connect that the eighteen month old is asking me to open markers and then running away into another room. I am writing, dammit. I can't be distracted. Stare at the screen. Peck at the keyboard. Open a marker. I crouch, peering into my post-apocalyptic world. I don't know what genre this novel is. I lead a Girl Army. I have dreams. Except it is not me. It is the me of novel world. A better me. I tick off words. 739, 928, 1125, 1667 words to write today, leading into 50,000 this month on the same story. Must. Not. Divert. Focus.
My couch is beautifully decorated with little marker scratches. My writing for today is done and the marks are easily erased. The baby dances when I find his artwork. It seems a small price to pay for fifteen minutes of uninterrupted writing time in the morning. It is November again. I am writing a novel. In a month. NaNoWriMo. AND I am doing a piece of Art Every Day. I do post about each day's drawing at still life every day.
This year, my sister is writing her incredible book idea, which is so exciting to me because that means one day I get to read it. I actually finished my book last year. (It surprises me as much as you.) I am picking up where the story left off and writing the second part of the book. Or I am writing a new book all together. I never quite finished the book I started last year. I had intended on writing a memoir about my weird life, but the truth is, I want to get out of my head. I want to write about someone else all together. So it is the me after the apocalypse, if I don't die.
Last year, if I am being honest, writing a novel in a month and painting one watercolor a day for a month for AEDM helped me understand myself more than accomplish anything concrete. I barely revisited the 50,330 words I wrote last year. And yet, every day, those words impacted my life. It is strange revisiting those emotions that come with the chill of autumn settling in. The crisp air blows into our lives and the late night writing jaunts settle onto my bones. Lucy's birthday steps into the background of the opening scene of my novel, stands still and staunch, waiting to be recognized. I am ignoring the imposing figure right now. I have a novel to write. On the other side of November is December. There are many emotions that comes with writing--elation, earnestness, feelings of inadequacy, strength, fears of failure. Last year, I pushed through those feelings with the false bravado of bourbon behind me. This year, it is just me and a novel without a plot quite yet developed. If I fail, at least I have some writing to mine later on. But I don't think I will fail. I am just crossing off another year of firsts. First novel without bourbon.
One part of NaNoWriMo that I love is the social aspect of it. I connect with writers, and we do sprints. We go into chat rooms, or chat via gmail, and use an online stopwatch. We write for ten minutes, the timer goes off. We compare word counts, and plot points, and then go back for another sprint. We do this until we hit our word count, and it is much easier to write when I am accountable to someone other than myself, the Dictator of Distraction, the Princess of Preoccupation, the Viscount of Work Avoidance. If you are taking on this fool task, write with me. Comment here, and let's connect that way.
In other news, my head is about to explode because tomorrow Jess from after iris and Glow in the Woods is coming for the weekend. TO MY HOUSE! I can't stop bouncing. I will get to hug her in real life. Walk around the city. Just hold onto her arm and say, "You are a real person. Not just the voice in my head who makes me laugh and echos my darkest thoughts." I think what I am looking forward to most is just being normal with her. A weekend gives you the freedom to have a long cup of coffee and chitchat like it happens everyday. We will talk of Iris and Lucy and art and work and marriage and just love her. Every bit of her.