Nanowrimo 2009 largeYes, I’m doing National Novel Writing Month, otherwise known as NaNoWriMo, or NaNo for short, again this year. This marks my 5th year. The first three years I succeeded and hit 50,000 words. Last year, I failed miserably. But all things considered, the fact that I even ventured to try to do it last year was an accomplishment.

Day 1 is off to a good start. Met up with a group of NaNo-ers this morning & spent 4 hours writing. Got just over 1,800 words–making the daily word count goal of 1667 words. Admittedly, my writing was a little slower going than a usual NaNo as I am being a bit of a NaNo rebel this year. Instead of adhering to the original NaNo principle of starting a novel from scratch on Day 1, I am doing this 50K as part of my WIP. So, I’m reluctant to just spew words out in the hope of making my word count every day. I’m trying to make them quality words in the hope that upon revision few will need to be hacked away. The goal is to work forward on the WIP and be closer to being finished on December 1 than I was when I started.

In the midst of all this, my next submission for my class is due November 10. I’ll be submitting the next 30-pages. Some of them are already written, some need to be heavily revised, & others need to be written from scratch. And I’ll be doing all this while working on NaNo.

So, if you hear from me even less than usual this month that will be why. But you can always find me wasting time on Twitter.

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Image: Leo Reynolds via flickr

Yeah, still counting.

Managing the crutches much better. Discovered yesterday that my kitchen is ideally laid out for them. I can pretty much reach all surfaces when standing in the middle, which is ideal for moving pots from the stove to the counter to the sink. I made oatmeal yesterday morning with no problems, & will venture to cook for myself tonight as I’m on my own.

I’ve taken to carrying around a backpack when I move from room to room. That way I can carry my own stuff around & not have to constantly ask someone to get me or bring me something. I look like I’m running away from home. It amuses me. (more…)

Today I was productive. I did the work I needed to get done. Although, I just realized I forgot to make a call to set up an interview. Crappy. Anyways, I got most of what I needed to get done today done.

While there were plenty of other things I could have done as well, around 3 this afternoon I didn’t know what to do with myself. I was going to write, work on my NaNoWriMo word count, but my head just wasn’t there. Maybe it was the weather. It was cloudy, gray, & cold. Not the kind of weather that makes you want to go outside & at least sit to get some fresh air. Maybe that’s what put me into a funk. Just started feeling really lost, lonely, & scattered. No crying for a change. I’ve lived on my own before, not for very long periods. It’s weird to have this house to myself all the time. Definitely feels like too much space. And I’m just not used to being in it alone. The dogs help, but still it’s not the same. I suppose I could consider moving, but the weird thing is when I do, I can’t imagine living anywhere else right now. Maybe sometime in the future, but for now this is home. So, I guess I’m still adjusting. I guess I’m still working on that new routine all these weeks later. This is going to take awhile I guess.

Image: Scarleth White* via flickr

As the day dragged on, my anxiety level has definitely amped up. I’m completely positive that Leo’s surgery is going to go fine tomorrow, but still…. It’s surgery & it’s not like I can really explain to him that I’m doing this to help him & that he’ll be fine–even though I keep doing exactly that. I just want tomorrow to go as quickly as possible & get him home.

I’m coming to terms with the fact that my chances of winning NaNoWriMo this year are quickly dwindling. And I’m okay with it. I thought doing NaNo would be a great distraction & return to normalcy, but I don’t think I’m ready. Throw in everything that’s been going on with Leo & I’m amazed I’ve even gotten 7,500 words in. I’m happy with the direction I’ve taken with the rewrite, but the reality is I can’t rush it if I want to do it right; & doing it right is going to take vast amounts of focus & concentration that I just don’t have right now. So, I’m letting myself off the hook. I will keep working on it. I still want to get draft #2 done (hopefully by the end of the year) and will continue to work on it. But, I’m going to be a little more lenient with myself & be ok with not being ready to dive in completely.

Image: Magitisa via flickr

8 weeks.

Yes, I’m still counting. I can’t not.

Started the day at my writing group. Got in a 1000 words. Tiny tiny dent. Still woefully behind. Today is the half-way mark for NaNoWriMo. Um, I should be at 25,000. Let’s just say I’m a tad bit behind.

After had lunch with a friend. Chinese. Very good.

Then, came home to clean up in preparation for the write-out at my house this evening. The dogs ran around making a mess in every spot I’d just cleaned. Typical. Then ran to the market to get food & wine to keep us writing.

Made it home just in time for people to start arriving. The write-out was good. For the most part we hung out, talked, & ate; but we did get a little writing in. I got in another 1,000 words. Finally broke 7,500 words. It was kind of fun to hang out with them & write at home. The dogs were well behaved. All their quirks were on full display. They entertained as usual.

The vet called with results from Leo’s blood tests. All normal. Another hurdle passed successfully. Two more to go: surgery & results.

(It’s benign.

It’s benign.

It’s benign.)

A busy enough day to keep me from obsessing over the fact that it’s been 8 weeks. But did find myself noting the time when I came home that day & found her. I realize I do that every Saturday. I wonder when that will stop. Probably the same time I stop counting the weeks. In other words, no time soon.

Image: tanakawho via flickr

Currently listening to: Long Division by Death Cab for Cutie

Well, got 2,344 words today. So, I’m just over 5,500 words. Still woefully behind, but at least I did a good chunk of writing this weekend. The nice thing about this NaNoWriMo is that there are a total of 5 weeks this year. One more than usual. Weekends are the best time for marathon writing sessions to catch up, or at least make some headway.

The day started decently enough. Slept in for the first time in weeks. It feels like months since I last had nothing to do on a Sunday. While I have moments where I hate being alone, I find myself needing it nonetheless. I did catch up on some phone calls. Talked to my brother’s girlfriend. She brought up Christmas and an open invitation for us to spend Christmas with her family. That effectively brought my decent day to a crashing halt.

I spent the rest of the evening trying not to think about Christmas: the fact that my mother won’t be here, & the fact that I don’t have a clue what we are going to do. My family is very small. For the most part, Christmas was my mother, me, and my brother with her family thrown in for a couple hours, and my dad. I only ever missed one Christmas with my mother. I was 22 and I was studying for the year in Italy. I was ok with it. This is different. Then, I naively believed there would be a next Christmas. And at least there were 10 more. But now…. I’m trying not to think about it right now. But my mind wanders. I’ve had to yell at myself a couple times this evening, telling myself that I’m not going to cry. I’m not going to worry about this now. But of course, I still do. While my brother always spends sometime with his girlfriend’s family, the primary focus has always been our family. But now…. I appreciate the invitation, but I can’t fathom spending Christmas with her family. They’re nice people, but her parents are so different from my parents. Her mother is the antithesis of my mother. Her mother is politically conservative (Yes, a McCain supporter, complete with a framed & signed 8×10.), and a slightly fanatical Christian. My mother was incredibly liberal (She spent many years registered with the Peace & Freedom Party.), into New Age thinking, and followed Native American traditions. I know what’s really bothering me. The invitation reminded me that if/when my brother & his girlfriend get married & have children, her mother will be the only grandmother their children will ever know. That kills me. I hate that.

I can’t see my brother, my father, and me celebrating Christmas with them. Maybe we’ll stop by, but that can’t be the primary way we celebrate this Christmas. This is the first time I’ve thought, “I just want to skip the holidays, pretend they don’t exist.” I made it 7 weeks and 1 day before I thought that. I know we’re going to need to find some way to celebrate that feels right for us, for me. But I hate thinking about it. There’s plenty of time for me to obsess about it. I didn’t need to start today.

Image: mrlerone via flickr

Currently listening to: Angel by Sarah McLachlan & Josh Groban

Today was ok, despite the 7 week mark. I hate to use the word anniversary. An anniversary is something that should be celebrated. I will never feel like celebrating this. Instead, I’m marking time. Time since.

I went to my writing group this morning & got the kick in the butt I needed. The nice thing is we’re all behind on NaNoWriMo, although, I’m the most behind. Hey, I’m competitive. If I’m going to be behind, than I’m going to be the most behind. Only got about 400 words in during our session. Yes, we got distracted talking about life & writing. Still, it got me in the mood.

I came home, pulled back the curtains, opened up the windows and front door, burned some sage (An obsession these days. My mother used to burn it, thus it reminds me of her.), put some music on the stereo system, curled up in the leather chair in the living room, propped my feet up on the ottoman, and wrote all afternoon. It was a beautiful day. I didn’t mind being cooped-up since everything was open & I could see outside.

Overall, I did 2518 words today. Not bad. I went with the new direction I mentioned earlier this week. So far it’s working. And I think I can see it continuing to work down the line. I’m hoping it does because it’s feeling really comfortable. It feels like it’s allowing me to finally get everything I want into the story, and all where I need it all to be. Good thoughts that it will continue to work & that this is the answer I’ve been looking for.  But still aware that it could all prove to be quite a disaster.

The plan tomorrow is to try & get at least 3000 words. I’ll be nowhere near caught up, but at least I’ll be making a tiny dent.

I know I usually buy flowers on Saturdays, but instead wound up buying some yesterday. A little pot of yellow roses that are currently sitting on the kitchen counter. I decided to go with something that will last a little longer than cut flowers.

Today still felt heavy despite it being ok. It still doesn’t feel anymore real. I caught myself thinking I needed to ask her if I should put a rug down next to the sofa in the spot where Teddy, our other dog, likes to sleep. The idea of making changes to the house still feels weird. Admittedly I’ve rearranged things. But, the only real addition are the pictures on the shelf. (I need them to remember her another way.) I haven’t brought anything new into the house. Her things are still all around. Her books on the bookshelves, her computer on the desk, her cellphone & glasses on the counter, her purse and jacket on the coatrack, and all her things in her room. Having her stuff around doesn’t bother me. Admittedly, maybe it should. Maybe it’s holding me back, but right now it’s keeping me together. And, right now, that’s the most important thing.

7 weeks. The day could have been worse. I’m glad it wasn’t. But I still hate this.

Image: Claudecf via flickr