I woke up this morning with so many thoughts in my head. The first was…its NaNoWriMo Day! I got out of bed, took the dog out, and made breakfast. During the course of those tasks I found myself straightening every item in sight, looking at things critically and moving them, discarding them, rearranging them etc. Dang it my OCD was coming for a visit. I got a mental image of being back in the dorm freshman year of college. My roommate, who is still my very dearest friend would secretly laugh back then (she was too kind to laugh out loud), watching me get ready to start homework. I would first prepare a cup of tea, always using a cup and saucer my brother had given to me. It was sky blue, and had a design in dark blue of clusters of cherries and a checkerboard pattern. After making the tea I would take out three Nilla Wafer cookies and arrange them on the saucer. Then I’d lay out my homework in front of me. I’d sit back and look at my desk, turn the tea cup slightly or adjust a Nilla Wafer. Then I’d survey it all again before starting on my homework.
Full disclosure: I don’t have tea today, I have coffee. Cappuccino to be exact. This is because I have a deadline and deadlines require coffee. It’s T minus five days until NaNoWriMo. I’m not sure what the T in that equation stands for. Time maybe? Someone Google that please and get back to me.
I’m a little bit terrified. Okay, not really. Not much scares me these days. Maybe the wasp that’s been clinging to the curtain in the front room, periodically flying up to the ceiling then back to the curtain. But not much else. I know who I am. I know who drives my bus and fear doesn’t generally play a part in my life. But that said, I’m a little terrified. It’s now October 16th. This means that NaNoWriMo starts in just over two weeks. I’m not ready. I’m not prepared. I don’t have an outline. And those 3 x 5 index cards I started at the workshop I attended last Friday? I don’t have a full set yet!
I have my cup of tea. I have ideas. And I have an apology. Well, more an explanation as I doubt any of you have been spending time thinking, “Wonder how’s Sue getting on with that writing thing?” and “I’ll be so ticked off if she’s not doing what she said she would, even if she’s not blogging about it.” Anyway, I haven’t been writing. I haven’t even been…gasp…reading for over a week.
Over the coming weeks you’re going to see a lot less of me here. Now don’t think for a moment that means I’m not continuing on this path towards my goal. I will continue to spend approximately one hour a day, five days a week preparing for NaNoWriMo. But I anticipate that will look different that it has these past 28 days. Well frankly, I don’t actually know what that’s going to look like. But rather than working on a piece and telling you in these posts how it’s going, I’ll need to be getting on with the work of preparing for November.
So yesterday I shared some kind comments about my story from a coworker. Today yet another coworker gave me some really positive feedback I was grateful to receive. And then I had an email from my brother, Matt. Have I told you about Matt? He’s four years older than me, and two years younger than our eldest brother, Jim. Both are very intelligent and creative, as well as being thoughtful and kind. Both have several more degrees than I do (Matt is a PhD). Matt has a clever way with words. And he’s very good at providing constructive criticism. Just ask my daughter. He offered to give her resume advice and prompted it by telling her he’d be brutally honest, if she wanted. She did and he was. But his advice was spot on and was helpful to her in ways others hadn’t provided.
I did it. I really did it. As most of you probably already know, I listened to you and today I submitted my short story, “Where There’s a Will” to a literary competition. Given the odds, it’s highly unlikely anything will come of this. But I’m glad I did it. To me, it’s a demonstration that I created something that I want to share. I’ll keep you posted, though I don’t think I’ll hear anything before May, 2015 so it’s a bit of a wait.