I’ve decided to take on the National November Writing Month challenge. The goal: write 50,000 words toward a novel in one month. Want to join me? Go to http://nanowrimo.org/about
Okay, I already concede to losing the challenge. Fifty thousand words? One month? Not the way I labor from sentence to sentence. But I love challenges! Consequently I have set aside both November and December to meet the goal.
My decision generated a slew of conflicting emotions. The first, publicly defining myself as a writer. How presumptuous. Next, admitting that I am actually writing a novel. Really, and why? I mean you can say you are a mother, or a wife, or a quilter or a whatever, but a writer? Suddenly a minefield of judgment presents itself and, damn if maneuvering through it isn’t scary. So, first landmine, my public admission; beyond the purpose of postings, I write.
As a child she escaped first into Little Women and The Little Peppers, graduating to Jane Eyre and The Last of the Mohicans. Through the years she scoured museums, dyed silk, raised goats, brewed herbal concoctions, and collected vintage clothing. Now she immerses herself in American history, reading historical fact and fiction, researching genealogy, listening to bluegrass, traveling to historic places. She is, perhaps, a little obsessive in her interest. Her husband thinks so. But she shrugs it off to retirement. Everyone, after all, finds a way to fill up time.
Now she opens a box of pictures, organized but unlabeled, a project started a few years back and needing more effort. She plans to label the “who, when, where” information on the back. In her hand she holds the new “archival quality” pen she purchased for the project. She picks up the photo of her father and drifts off into his half-smiling eyes. Every nuance calls her to the past and nothing more than her father’s face. She traces his crooked smile with her finger, his dark curls. She reimagines his nature-loving spirit, his wanderlust. Could it be genetic? Is it transferred through time? She has traced him back through a grandfather she never knew to her great grandfather, and then on, back and back through time. She drifts in and out of…she doesn’t know; which reality, which ephemeral whisper on the wind of time? This drifting dream world seems more real at times than the dimension in which she stands. She could be there now; if she only knew where.
And now, for the next two months, I confront this challenge quietly. I have a few words ahead of me. Wish me confidence, and I’ll see you in 2015!