Determined to make some friends, and possibly something of myself, I decided to join the NaNoWriMo movement this year.
I didn’t know you were a dog person.
I know, it sounds like a high-strung dog thing. NaNoWriMo, (National Novel Writing Month), is a challenge set in November (so ready, set .. GO!), for all those aspiring to write a novel (everyone I’ve ever met, I think?) to produce it. This month.
You sign up. You produce 2,000 words (three pages) each day. And by the end of the month? Viola! You have 50,000 words. No one cares if they are coherent. And you can call yourself a novelist!
A novelist. A writer. An author. An artist. Who me? Just everything I’ve ever wanted to be.
Throughout the month NaNoWriMo sends you strategies, tips, encouragement, and virtual Kleenex from actual published authors and seasoned NaNoWriMo veterans. Plus, with the whole goal being quantity, not quality, they continually tell you, “Just write. Who cares if it’s crap? So is mine!” To someone who’s been tweaking and re-tweaking crap on-and-off for the past 15 years, this Kamikaze call sounds like a liberation cry.
NaNoWriMo also organizes local chapter groups everywhere from New York City to … you guessed it, Fairbanks, Alaska! Most chapters, I noticed as I excitedly googled my fingerprints off, have regular meet ups featuring write-ins and word-warm-up exercises at charming local bookstores with wifi internet and cafes.
I pictured meeting people wearing Tina Fey smart glasses and scarves. While drinking Carmel Macchiatos, eating Lucy’s Glutton Free cookies, and giggling about our upcoming best sellers we would be tap, tap, tapping across the dance floors of our Mac Keyboards.
Maybe I’d meet someone just like Chelsea Handler? David Sedaris, is that you?!
A novelist? An author? An artist? A writer. An author with a new friend who lives within this arctic jurisdiction. Could it be possible?
With visions of book tours taking me far, far, from here (and a friend to pick me up at the airport upon my return); I signed up!
Hold the lithium. My delusions of grandeur were sufficiently smashed by the Fairbanks NaMoWriMo Kick-Off party. It happened last night. At Hot Licks.
Hot Licks? Not a charming local bookstore. The palest, starkest, ice cream place ever. Set in a strip mall.
Tina Fey smart glasses? One skinny worm attending was wearing a cheap tuxedo. Another donned a tie-dye tee shirt that hugged her fat rolls way to intimately and said, “Ride It.” across the undulating waves of her bosom.
Wi-Fi internet? I must have forgotten everything I’ve been struggling with since September 9, 2010.
Mac Notebooks? One writer brought a trapper keeper.
Laughing about our upcoming best sellers? As we went round the circle introducing ourselves each writer offered a brief plot synopsis: zombies taking over the city; a war between the planets; brain draining dream eaters (?), a baby that is actually a bird monster and pecks out the eyes of it’s care takers (that one is part two of a trilogy). One writer noted, “Looks like we’re all writing Sci –Fi, except that girl.” To which another added, “Well, we are in Fairbanks.” Everyone in attendance, save “that girl,” giggled and smirked at that last insight. WTF is wrong with these people?
Try saying, “Hi. I’m Katie. I was thinking Chick Lit.” To a circle of open- mouth breathers as two of them literally tongue each other.
“Me and Her?” Said one of the tonguers, “We love to write.”
“Boris is SO talented,” slobber, slobber, kiss, kiss.
When I got home I had to take a shower.
And then, I consulted my “real” friends, you know, the ones on the internet.
And, guess what? The subject of my best friend’s daily blog post? NaNoWriMo!! And why I should do it! I balked. And then I started daydreaming about the solo tap dance I’m going to start composing on November 1st. I guess it really is a high-strung dog kinda thing.
Delusions of grandeur > reality,