November first, the beginning of National Novel Writing Month, affectionately known as NaNoWriMo. Or just NaNo, for those of us stressing to get those few extra words in.
This is the month when seemingly normal people commit to writing 50,000 words in 30 days. That works out to 1,667 words a day, if you take Thanksgiving off. Which I do.
Different people prepare for the month in different ways. I like to get all possible laundry done. Some stock up on coffee or other caffeinated beverages. I already have more kinds of tea in my house than some grocery stores, so I think I’m set on that front. I’ve also been preparing extra meals and putting them in the freezer, so I won’t have to think too hard about dinner when the hours weigh heavily and the words won’t come.
Some folks disconnect the internet and don’t answer the phone for the month. Wow. I don’t have that much willpower. Some people have character sketches and detailed outlines ready to go. I have a title and a vague idea of some scenes with no clear idea of how I’m going to stitch them together.
My family and friends have been warned. I may be unavailable or cranky or overhyped on caffeine at any given moment. If I’m pacing and gnashing my teeth, they tend to avoid me. Although I’m pretty sure my children tend to avoid me on general principles, regardless of the date.
Can’t forget about the Write-Ins. This is a bunch of writers all getting together in one place to ignore each other and write. Pikes Peak Writers is hosting them every Tuesday evening this month, with one long one on a Saturday. The local NaNo chapter is also hosting a variety of write-ins around town. This means that occasionally this month, I will have to shower and put on pants that aren’t sweats and leave the house. Trust me, this is a good thing for everyone who lives here. I could hunker down in the basement (or elsewhere in the house, with the laptop burning my thighs) and write for days. This leads to bad smells, bad attitudes and funny looks from the cats.
This year’s effort is supposed to be a funny urban fantasy/quasi horror novel. It’s called Hot Flashes From Hell, and a freshly divorced and newly unemployed soccer mom finds her hot flashes opening portals to hell in her kitchen appliances. And that’s all I’m going to say about it for now.
Wish me luck. Feed me. Ignore my larger-than-normal eccentricities. And remember, I will be checking email when I’m stuck on impossible plot points.