I am waiting to have some blood drawn. No worries peeps, this is all just routine. I can’t get any novel writing done when all I can think about are gargantuan sized waffles and bacon strips the size of oars. I’m fasting. Can you tell?
As I waited, I thought I would give you a NaNoWriMo update (in case you didn’t notice that cool widget at the top left that syncs my word count). So far I have written 12,083 words! I push myself to write at least 3,000 words a day – because Thanksgiving. I want to get my eat on, and my sleep on. I’m not cooking this year, but heading out to my in-laws where they will be serving all the delicious, traditional Puerto Rican food (and drink) that I love to eat (and guzzle), and sort of hack-make. I am front loading my words, so I don’t feel compelled to race at the end of the month.
The writing isn’t easy, and it isn’t hard. I think, that’s the point. It’s almost both, if that makes sense. I don’t have the luxury of habit when I write because I have a “take it where I can get it” approach. There’s no special place for tea, or a must have tea cozy before I spin around in a chair three times and am ready to write. Nope, none of that luxury.
As a full time working mama, trying to squeeze in 3,000 words a day means that the only control over my environment that I have is what I hear. Pandora to the rescue! At first, I was listening to the soundtrack to the movie Solaris. It’s truly one of my favorite movies. The concept? Love! Being confronted with your past, humans that are not humans but manifestations of beings based on your memory of them, and all the science-y stuff? Yes, please!
As I crawled into the beast of my story, that music didn’t work. What did? Byzantine Chant. Go figure. I found that if the music was loud enough, I couldn’t hear my inner editor! Isn’t that awesome? I think so, because that inner editor has the quickest, sharpest tongue and not in a “wow she’s funny” kind of way.
As I am typing, I know there are areas that I should have fleshed out more, parts that needed reworking, better words I could have used or character details that would have made the scene more WOW, but I won’t go back. I never go back. I take a peek at the last paragraph or two maybe so I can remember where I left off and I keep going. This novel is a train, an express train. Ever been on the 7 express in NYC? That train stops for no man! I mean it does, but when it does stop, it’s a quick exchange of people, and the platform blurs behind you as you look out the window and the train speeds down the track (I always liked the last car, I would look out the very back window to see the buildings). Kind of exhilarating actually because all choice is removed. Sorry 69th Street, we ain’t stoppin’! (Can someone tell me why the stop at Vernon Jackson is necessary?)
At home, it’s a little different, my husband has been overwhelmingly supportive. I would just look at him and say, “Gotta write” and he would say, “OK babe, see ya!” (In my house, I’m a babe) and then I would head upstairs, to my writing corner and my must have books:
- Katie Cross’ Antebellum Awakening – to show me that I can do it
- C.S. Lewis Signature Classics. I only read the latter at night, with a little Game of Thrones reading before passing out.
BUT, always, I wing up some prayers, for my friends, my family and my husband, of course – early in the morning before I do anything else. I make sure to listen to my Divine Office too. So, all the prayers, then tap, tap, tap on the keys until I hit the 3,000 word mark.
I also find that I need to get away from my story after I hit my mark. My brain needs erasing, shaking and renewing, you know? I watch basketball, and scream bloody murder for the Knicks (who lost last night, boo!), watch a movie, or cook my face off. Something about the stirring and mixing of things, that keeps me at arms length from my characters, just enough to keep my mind lucid for the ideas.
The characters and places come by way of art inspiration too, like these (one of them is a little off-putting so I’ll link it here, sorry about that, but my story isn’t candy canes and unicorns).
And now I’m off. I need to hit that 3,000 mark today. Headphones? Check! Styrofoam cup of hot water for teabags? Check! Catch ya on the other side of my words!