There is something about Thanksgiving that seems to confirm the season’s turning. Perhaps it’s because I live in Houston in a wet, tropical-like climate rather than in a place where the leaves turning signifies the change in landscape, both inner and outer. Coming out of the Thanksgiving, my thoughts turn to the holidays and, of course, the impending new year. With that comes reflection and an accompanying jockeying for position by all the projects and to-dos that inhabit my mind and demand attention. Have I mentioned that I’m way behind on a couple of important projects? Where’s the new website, my internal critic asks? What about the promotional copy for the various outlets? How about the indexing for travel book? (Not to worry, that one’s held up by the production editor, I say.) Well, then, there’s the final revision for the new teen book that’s due in January…and a little matter of its cover. And aren’t we working on something called NaNoWriMo? he asks. And don’t forget those fifty pages to be ready by mid-January for the week-long conference in February with that agent-fella. Yes, yes, yes, I say with a deep sigh.
I do hate those pesky internal censors. Life would be so much easier if they weren’t worrying me with constant irritations. But I guess they serve their purpose. They do get me moving. Like today, when I had to finish up the answers to the copy editor’s questions and fax them back to the production editor. One more to-do crossed off the ever-lengthening list. And before I had to make a mad dash to the ER with my dad in tow Wednesday, I was able to get a rough blog version of the TeensTakeAction.com created and the copy for my page at allstarscribes.com started. And then there’s NaNoWriMo.
There’s one more day left in this year’s NaNoWriMo and I can tell you I won’t have that novel finished. But that’s okay because the contest served its purpose anyway. I did find a novel to work on and I did use that novel when I attended Donald Maass’s workshop earlier this month. I returned with a much larger book in concept and the realization that the pages I had written would now serve as background for me and not for the book. The story is larger, grander, and certainly not on the same scale as I had originally envisioned. So, rule #1 in doing the NaNoWriMo is that you don’t also attend any writing workshops that may change your novel’s path. I suppose I could have continued on and incorporated some of the changes or simply restart the story, but I also came back totally exhausted mentally and creatively from the workshop. It took a bit to get back in gear. With the crush of deadlines and the second run to ER in a month, my hopes dwindled over the weekend and I just let this year’s idea of accomplishing the 50,000 words die. I have too many other deadlines crushing forward and demanding my attention to really give the kind of attention needed to finish the contest with a good run. My meager wordcount will have to prevail this year.