I meant to post a nanowrimo wrap up post dec 1st, but got whammed by a bunch of stuff both personal and school-related and kind of haven’t come up for air since. But I am surfacing for a bit to say what an awesome experience it was this year, and it also happened to the the first year I WON! And I won three days early, which was awesome. But I have to give credit. There’s only one reason I won. This was the first year NaNo was a communal experience, so a big shout-out to unfocusedme, John Mierau, and Carre Gardner, my old college friend who managed to win NaNo while also studying Russian as a missionary in Krasnodar.
The other wonderfulness was the Night of Writing Dangerously, held at the Julia Morgan ballroom in San Francisco on Nov. 22nd. This was an amazing night. Gorgeous setting, incredible company, and a massive community spirit that actually spurred most of us on to produce a LOT of work. I wrote 5300 words just that night.
This whole experience has made me a bit wistful, as I remember my own younger years, both as a teenager and a young adult. I was writing. I loved it. My parents were supportive (even buying me my first subscription to Writer’s Digest, which left me with no rainbow-tainted illusions about how hard this was going to be). But I felt pretty much alone all the time. I didn’t fit in, I hated my hometown, I felt like a total freak 24/7. I know this feels like this to everyone, but I can only imagine how comforted I would have been if I’d been able to reach out across geographic regions and find out I wasn’t the only person in the world like this. Being in a room with hundred of people just like me, with the same weird compulsion … it was awesome, and just a little scary.
All of that creative energy, imagination, and, yes, delusion in one room … it’s either the best thing that could ever happen, or extremely dangerous to the world. And the fact that it was all to benefit a program that reaches out to kids like I was … it was a pretty moving thought.
I also managed not to get mugged and knifed while walking through downtown San Francisco back to my hotel while carting a laptop, so I’m counting that one as a win as well.
So, I would like to take this time to thank Valerie and John, Lisa and Rodney, Kim and Jake, Lisa, unfocusedme, Larissa, Lisa (a different Lisa), Alex, and, of course, my Mom and Dad, the people who sponsored me for this event. It meant a lot on a lot of different levels.
The novel still isn’t finished, but it’s within spitting distance. And so far I still like it. It’s surprising me in all the right ways, and I feel the narrative is still pretty strong and hasn’t gone pear-shaped. Yet.
So, onward? I guess? Yes … onward.