Tuesday, November 10, 2015

NaNoWriMo Rhymes with Oh No! Now What Do I Do

It’s November. Do you know what that means?
No, it doesn’t mean too much leftover candy from Halloween.
It doesn’t mean colorful leaves floating down
It doesn’t mean Thanksgiving turkey
Okay, it does mean all these, BUT it also means, NaNoWriMo!

That’s right – National Novel Writing Month is here!  What the heck is that, you say. I say it’s where participants commit to writing a novel in a month, from November 1 to November 30. For a 50,000 word novel, that means writing 1667 words a day. Every day. For thirty days.
I’d heard about this in past years and brushed off the idea as being way too far-fetched. But when my girlfriend suggested we do it this year, and considering I’d already started on a new novel, I said, “Sure, why not.” She and I are writing buddies in this project, meaning we hold each other accountable and encourage each other’s progress. Here we are, ten days into the month and as of yesterday I’ve written 18,549 words.

I just may make it!!
I need you to also be my accountable person and my encourager. I’d love to know you’re on my side, pushing me to accomplish this goal. Granted, I’m not out there running a marathon, or swimming the English Channel, but for a writer, the accomplishment is just as awesome.

Here’s a quick excerpt of my as yet untitled work in progress. It’s 1961 and thirteen-year-old Gary Haywood is in the hospital after slitting his wrist.
    The man came closer to Gary and scowled. “I hope you’re happy, boy. We’ve had the police at our house investigating us. Us! You go do some dumb thing like that and we’re the ones they come pester. If you thought you had it hard before, boy, you ain’t seen nothing yet.”
   Marty stepped closer to Mr. Haywood. “Sir, your son is hurting and . . . .”
    “Who the hell are you and what business is this of yours? This is a family matter.”
    “I am well aware of that, sir. My name is Marty Collins and I’ve been appointed by the court to be Gary’s counselor. I’m here to help him, as well as the family, heal.”
    Mr. Haywood jabbed a fat nicotine-stained finger at Marty’s chest. “Well, we don’t need you, we can handle this ourselves. Can’t we boy?”
    Gary stammered, “I think . . . I . . . I’d like to have Mr. Collins help us . . . uh, me.”
    “Boy, you bring the world into our private family matters and you’re gonna need a whole lotta help, y’hear me?”
    Marty walked over to Mrs. Haywood. “Ma’am, what your son did Sunday night was a cry for help and the court has appointed me help him. No matter what your husband says, I’m going to see Gary every day and be available to him day and night. The next time he tries this, he might not be so lucky. Now, will you allow me to see him, without interference” Marty glanced over at her husband, “or would you rather go to your son’s funeral one of these days?”
    Mrs. Haywood grabbed a tissue from a box beside the bed and wiped her eyes. Lowering her voice and looking away from her husband, she said, “You won’t have any problem with me.”
    “Thank you,” said Marty. “Gary is being released tomorrow morning in your care,” he looked at Mr. Haywood, “and I’ll be by at two to visit with him. And, if there are any marks on this young man that aren’t there now, the court will know about it and if you thought the police were pestering you before, Mr. Haywood, you ain’t seen nothing yet!”

  Quote of the Day: No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. Robert Frost