For those of us who may not be aware, it is now October. It is also October 3, a day that will live in infamy for me, the day my life took that turn to marital piss..er.. I mean ‘bliss”. October 3 is also a friend of mine’s birthday, the guy who just happens to own the company I work for. That holds no special significance for me except he also is a biking friend whose birthday shares my wedding anniversary date. I also have known him for 24 years — longer than I have known Miriam.
Last year October also took on a new meaning for me. October became the month of preparation for November writing frenzy. November is National Novel Writing month or NaNoWriMo to those familiar with the craziness of that exercise. NaNo is a free write where thousands of people band together with the common goal of writing an unedited 50,000 word novel in thirty days. Sound easy? For some it is, but for the average non-super human, writing close to 1700 words a day can be a daunting challenge, especially if the writer misses a day of writing or just plain falls behind. Each NaNo author logs in to the National Novel Writing website, is part of a regional group that offers motivational meetings and “Write Ins” at coffee shops and libraries, tracks their progress at the NaNo site, and can employ writing buddies at the website who offer additional encouragement.
During the entire month of October 2012, I prepared for the November write by putting together a summary of the story I was going to write, developed my characters, put together several versions of an outline, wrote stories for each of my characters (I posted one or two here). A writing website that my daughter, Alyssa, frequents had an exercise a day during the month of October just to help NaNoers prepare. It helped. Of the four attempts I have made at writing a NaNo novel, 2012 was the best I have done. I reached the 50K word goal by November 29. The previous year was a nail biter until midnight on the 30th, with a lot of nonsense thrown in just to make the word count. The other two attempts were just attempts.
Alyssa became a NaNo addict as soon as I told her about the site. She joined the young writers section of the NaNo site, completed her NaNo the first year she tried. My daughter has been my biggest supporter and cheerleader during the month. Some day she will be a published author, one of her goals, and she loves that I dabble in creativity. Now she is an adult NaNo member and became one of my writing buddies at the NaNo site. Alyssa’s friends thought it was cool that her dad is a NaNo nerd, also became my writing buddies. She has several friends that also write and they get together now and then to write together. Two are in a creative writing class with her at school this semester.
That also means that this year I have been invited to be part of their group! Yes, this year I will be getting together at coffee shops now and then to write with Alyssa and her friends. How often that will be is uncertain. I don’t want to write with them all of the time — after all it’s going to be a bunch of high school girls with one dad as far as I know. But I look forward to what I hope is going to be perhaps that one last big opportunity I am going to have to share the NaNo experience with my daughter first hand. Let me reword that. I do not hope it’s the last opportunity, but I know that since this is her senior year in high school, it’s likely that this is the last November she will be living under my roof.
Oh, dang it, I’m in public and I can feel the tears starting to well up!
Now to come up with an idea for my NaNo novel. It has to be something I can share with my daughter and her friends. Last year was one I could share, a fantasy action adventure that was a bit out of my comfort zone. I have ideas, but none that I want to write with someone looking over my shoulder. It’s probably a good thing that my daughter is sharing this write with me.
So, here we go. Yeah!