NaNoWriMo: Day 14

Monday, November 14th, 2011 by Rachel

I’m behind. I’m a lot behind. November has taken over, as it always does, and knocked me off my feet. I got blood drawn. I got sick. I got the results of my best blood work in four years, and all of my cholesterol levels are FINALLY in the normal range. I/We did a lot of celebrating. In a completely random and awesome act of perfect timing, I got to see The Foo Fighters with Phillip and Tammy. This is the first concert I’ve been to since before I even met Derrick. Dave Grohl (or as I typo-texted mid-show to Derrick, Dave Growl) rocked it. I’ve gotten student research paper topics approved and rough drafts graded and returned. Those comparison/contrast essays were put on the backburner, but I hope to catch up on those later this week. We had a fantastic visit from MOH Katie and her boyfriend (an artist! Woo!) this past weekend. I need to start packing for our move. I need to work on all this grading. I need to focus on finding jobs, on resubmitting rejected poems, on making Christmas presents, and most importantly writing this novel!


It’s not impossible. I think that with the right motivation (i.e. no more papers to grade!) I might be able to knock out a lot of this thing in binges and spurts. I don’t want to reveal my word count at this point. But I have a LOT outlined. I have a whole structure in place. I have chunks written at the beginning, middle, and end. I need to build characters and establish relationships. I need to figure out how to set up memories and dream sequences. But the plot is there. With this in mind, I feel already like NaNoWriMo has been a success for me. This will get written sometime. But the more I get done this month the better. I still want to reach my original 50,000 word goal. Send me positive thoughts. I don’t seem to have any NaNoWriMo buddies out there…

NaNoWriMo: Day 1

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011 by Rachel

I began this day hungry. Today was the day of my fasting blood work, and I hadn’t had anything to eat for 12 +hours. As I waited for Derrick to wake up and shower (he was my chauffeur to the doctor’s office), I decided, “what the heck! Why not start writing?” It was magic. I already had my first 400 words down by the time he got out of the shower.


I didn’t feel so great after the blood was taken out of me. Even after our celebratory Chili’s dinner, I want to get into bed. I probably will once I post this. I’m nauseous, cold, and thirsty. My arm still hurts. Typing stinks. This afternoon I wrote my remaining 1200 words in spurts, when I felt a moment of nausea reprieve, when I got on the computer to check my email, when Derrick was working on some projects of his own. Today didn’t really work to get me set in a routine of any kind, but I am very proud of myself for making it through the first day. I hope, like a teeny tiny snowball tossed down a mountain, that I continue to gain momentum from here.


Monday, October 31st, 2011 by Rachel

For those of you who don’t know, Nanowrimo is National Novel Writing Month. It always takes place in November. The goal is to write 50,000 words during the month of November, about 1,666 a day. I first learned about Nanowrimo two years ago when an Engl. 1101 student named Sarah asked me if I was doing it. I’d never heard about it or noticed it. I guess, as a poet, I sometimes block out that strange fiction animal. Sarah had been involved with Nanowrimo throughout high school, thanks to an inspirational teacher, and I really appreciate that she made the effort of trying to inspire me. That semester, I “didn’t have the time,” with the chaos of finishing up my first MFA semester, as well as dealing with the unexpected news of Uncle TJ’s death.


I’ve never written a novel. During my time at NAU, I planned, outlined, and began a campus novel. This is a project that I hope to continue at some point, perhaps when we return to Asheville and I am able to spend some time around the campus that inspired my story.


This month seems like the perfect month to try Nanowrimo for the first time. I’ll NEVER “have the time” to try something like this, especially in November. I can’t make excuses, despite that pile of comparison/contrast essays that need to be graded, the jobs that need to be applied for, the house that needs cleaning, the poems that need submitting, the packing up of stuff that will be soon moved to a new location, the planning of a first pescetarian Thanksgiving, the making and buying of Christmas gifts, etc, etc, etc. Everything always gets done. This will be the ultimate exercise in time management.


Nanowrimo says to start from scratch. So I will. I’m not worried about those supposedly important writing devices like plot or setting or dialogue. I’m just going to make sure to write every day. I can always rearrange or revise later. And on top of that, I hope to post regular progress on here. I want this to work out. I want to make it through the 30 days of writing, not just for me as a wannabe fiction writer, but for me as a person and a poet. Wish me luck.