NaNoWriMo fever evokes bad dreams, waves of nausea (especially when you’re behind in your word count), menopause and frenzied last-minute Thanksgiving grocery shopping.*
* Results not typical.
NaNoWriMo, for the uninitiated, is National Novel Writing Month, held each November during which aspiring authors attempt to pump out a 50,000-word work of genius in 30 days. The fever comes about now — Day 19.
I am attempting to write my second book, a novel about the meaning of like. In 1982. It’s based on my diaries from ninth grade when I learned to French kiss. Scintillating stuff. Even without the vampires. Seriously.
I attended my first Write-In yesterday. This is where normally introverted and solitary NaNoWriMos gather together, usually in a Starbucks or Panera where the wifi is free, to write. Word wars ensue (timed events where the winner is the writer who wrote the most words, sensible or not). This Write-In reminded me a little of a “Star Trek” convention (yes, I’ve attended more than one of those in my long history of nerdiness — more on those here).
During the Write-In, I came to the point in my story where I French kissed for the first time. I could have been writing “50 Shades of Grey” minus the implements, sadism and intercourse. My first French kiss was tender and delicious so reliving it was, well, could you bring me a glass of ice water?
I sat among nine or so other writers, all but one decades younger than me, writing their novels. Only one had a character who was a vampire (yes, I asked; call me a cynic). Could be the vampire fans were at the movies this weekend. Another one of them consistently wrote 800 to 1,100 words during every 20-minute word war. I really, really wanted to peek at her computer screen and see if she was writing complete sentences, but I resisted.
Overall, I would call the Write-In a success. For me anyway. I’m about 6,000 words behind my daily goal right now, but I accomplished more than 3,000 words in three hours yesterday.
I only hope the waves of nausea will pass before I pass the turkey. It would be such a shame to waste.