I should go to bed. I have to get up in the morning and wash my jeans and make a caramel apple cheesecake pie because I made one for the work potluck lunch and now my Mother will kill me if she doesn’t get any. Instead, I’m writing up a Thanksgiving post. (I should be asleep. Or trying to reach today’s word goal for NaNo.) A lot of things have happened in the past year. Some good. Some bad. But here are the things I’m most thankful for.
1) My family is all still alive and in relative good health. This includes my cat, Boots, who decided it would be fun to get pancreatitis last week but is now on the mend and doing fine.
2) I was able to finally move out of my parent’s house after waiting longer than anticipated for an apartment in my chosen complex to become available. Hallelujah! Freedom.
3) I still have a job and while it still has its moments, I am happy to be there.
4) I have made wonderful friends through my book blog, which is only a few months old. I’m having so much fun, even if I am sometimes tearing my hair out over WordPress.
5) I am thankful for all those little occasions of good luck, even those I don’t know about. The time I caught myself before I could fall down the stairs. The raccoon I missed hitting on highway 94 by pure luck. All the times I haven’t dropped, hit, or otherwise done something stupid just because that’s life and those things happen sometimes. I’m thankful for the times those little moments didn’t happen to me.
Tomorrow, I’ll head over to my parents’ house and have turkey and pie and I’ll be bored after a few hours and wish I had brought my laptop so I could write. Because that is what happens every year. But that’s okay. I’m thankful for that too.
I am about to lose a month of my life. If you are a book lover, chances are you are also a writer. November is National Novel Writing Month, affectionately nicknamed NaNoWriMo. During NaNo, participants attempt to write a small novel in 30 days. The word count goal? You must write 50,000 words in one month.
Doing the NaNo challenge is a breakneck race to the finish line and you can’t stop for anything. You can’t stop to edit. You can’t even stop to think. If you stop, you’ll lose. You’ll fall behind on your word count and it is murder to catch up. NaNo is nothing more than word diarrhea. It gets you writing; and as long as you are writing, you are producing something. Even if what you are producing is complete utter crap. But NaNo gives you free license to produce complete utter crap. It’s about volume. You can edit later. Just don’t stop writing!
Large cities have their own region forums. Saint Louis, Missouri is mine but there are also region forums for Columbia and Kansas City. Each region has their own municipal liaison, or ML. They organize kick-off parties, official write-ins, and any after parties. Our region’s ML, Jen, organized the kick-off party for Saint Louis a few weekends ago. It was great. It’s always wonderful to see fellow NaNo’ers and reconnect with people who are just as crazy as you are.
A write-in is a gathering where NaNo participants huddle in coffee houses, furiously typing and guzzling caffeine in liquid form. Or not. Not much writing actually goes on during a write-in, I’ve found. But it’s great fun meeting with other writers and making friends. You get to tell everyone your novel idea and grouch with everyone over your sore fingers. And drink coffee. Lots of lovely, lovely coffee. Did I mention the coffee? My town’s write-in is every Saturday morning in November. I can’t wait.
But the fact of the matter is that I won’t have as much time to read while doing NaNo. During the month of November children get shoved out the door to “play”. Pets go unloved. (Not my cat though. She knows perfectly well that if she wants attention while Mommy is on the computer all she has to do is park her furry butt across the keyboard. Mommy can’t ignore 9 pounds of fluff sitting on her hands.) But if you don’t see as much activity on Lady with Books, it’s because I’m having a small freak out over my word count and have forgotten the world exists. I’ll be back in December.