I forgot! It's NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month. It's the month in which all the wannabe writers and some actualbe writers crank out 50, 000 words in a cohesive storyline. It's a challenge! It is exciting! It's frustrating! It's a chance to prove to yourself that you can or cannot write a short novel in a month.
About 5 years ago I steadfastly clicked away on my keyboard every night to accomplish 50,000 words. Pounding away I pictured myself as a starving writer with a pot of coffee and a full ash tray just within reach. I'd sit back and push the worn brown fedora back on my forehead, then pick it up off the floor since my forehead recedes to the back of my pointy head. Looking back at the screen I'd grasp my chin between thumb and fore finger, slip my elbow to the desk and frown into hard thought as to how to go forward with the action swimming in front of my eyes. A moment would pass after which I'd stop rubbing my bearded face and reach for a Camel. Rotating my chair and fumbling with my Zippo I'd snap a flame alive and pull fire into the tobacco, click it shut, toss it onto the desktop and lean back exhaling a blue cloud overhead.
What would my character do now? I'd placed him in an alley with a palooka with a cauliflower
ear who was sent to collect the money owed on a bet. Another drag on the Camel as I brought my cup of piping hot joe to my mouth. I skirted a blue cloud across the top of the brown liquid then sucked in the scalding brew. Whoa! That hot brew spewed from my burning mouth, the cup dropped into my lap. I bounded from the swivel chair crashing it into the wall behind while screaming obscenities and slapping my lap saturated with boiling hot coffee.
After a cold compress and a change of clothes I returned to my typing without the answer. The palooka with the cauliflower ear was slowly approaching my hero. "Where's the money, Garth?" he asked pounding his fist into his left hand.
Well, hell! I'm worried about his predicament when I gave him a name like Garth. There would have to be a better name. OK. I have it.
The palooka with the cauliflower ear was menacing in his approach to the hero. "Where's the money Joe?"
No, no, no. It can't be Joe. Joe's so common and besides It's the menacing hulk who is already named Joe Palooka. Sheesh. Ok
Palooka who brandished a cauliflower ear was approaching Gabe menacingly. "Where's the money Gabe?"
Fooey. Let's start over. Can't have his name in the same sentence twice. Well technically it's two sentences but...
His fedora rested heavily on his cauliflower ear. His bulk bore down on Gabe. He blocked out the street light backing him into the brick wall wet with that night's rainfall. His fist pounded his open left hand. "Where's the money, Gabriel?" His speech was slurred due to too many rights to the brain box.
So where is the money? I wondered. How the hell should I know? I thought. Another pot of coffee? No I don't think so. I learned my lesson. Another butt from the pack? I reached for the Zippo. No. It's time to think.
And this was my first night to write. Where would I go from there? I hadn't a clue. I still had 49, 432 words to go. Maybe I was rushing the story? If I were a real writer I'd probably know the answer.
So the month of November went. Each night, well almost every night, I would make a pot of coffee and sit myself in front of the computer without the first clue what I would add to the continuing story. Some nights 10 words would come. Others 8, 000 words would machine gun across the screen.
Did my story make sense? Not so much. Was it fun? I'll say. It was a terrific month, though no publisher saw fit to give me an advance on my next project. Aaah, so what...
It's NaNoWriMo this month. Enjoy.