Tuesday, November 22, 2011

No Go on the NaNo

There is an old saying that life is what happens while you’re making other plans. This is unfortunately true.

I took on the challenge of NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, with a plan and a schedule for writing. I had everything ready to go, complete with a semi-autobiographical account of my family dramas told with a touch of humor. Just as I was getting into the swing of things and two days ahead of schedule, two family tragedies hit within days of each other, and just as my husband learned he’d won the election to City Council. Our excitement about his election faded quickly in the loss of the newborn child of one of my nieces. Two days later, my daughter’s world fell apart. One by one, my young children still living at home came down with a terrible flu-like virus going around. By the time I was able to think, let alone write, I found myself hopelessly behind schedule with NaNoWriMo.

In this season of being thankful for what you have, it has been challenging to find reasons to be grateful, given the tragedies facing my loved ones. It seems trivial in the face of the losses suffered by both my daughter and my niece for me to whine and moan about not being able to finish a speculative novel that’s been percolating in my subconscious from the time I was eight-years-old. It’s just fiction. It can and will wait. People take precedence over projects. At somewhere around 25,000 words in two weeks, I can forgive myself for being human.

As my writer friends have reminded me, there’s always next year! That is something I am thankful for.

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