10.30.2012

Brace Yourself. NaNoWriMo Time.

Last year, I told myself I wouldn't do another NaNoWriMo, but then September rolled back around, like the start of an enormous eclipse. When that happens, the shadows change in your brain and you start thinking of "The November Project." You initially tell yourself it isn't going to be "NaNo-style," (which is far less glamorous than Gangnam Style, as my grubby sweats and caffeine and Ramen-heavy diet can attest this time of year), in that mad dash to complete the first 50,000 words in thirty days.

But then you realize a lot of your friends are doing it. Some for the first time, and you start to yearn for that annual writerly solidarity, that special magic that happens in the collective unconscious when the air is cold and winter is in the air, and more people than usual are throwing their creative sparks into the universe. And even if you only just finished a novel four days ago (a novel that nearly drove you insane to write), you say to yourself, OF COURSE I'm doing NaNoWriMo! Duh! 

Besides, this year marks my fifth consecutive year of doing it. Of the four previous works, one (The Stargazers) is currently completed and on sale. Two of them (The Kingmaker and Archer's Velvet) will likely never see the light of day. Last year's (The Shiva Paradox) is still in my "to finish" pile, which I plan to attack sometime in the doldrums of January-February--you will be able to read a prequel short story for it (The Shiva Apparatus) in The Endlands Vol 2 anthology releasing on 11/13 from Hobbes End Publishing, so my incentive to get it done is high.

So my success rate with this yearly ritual isn't great. I do make the 50K, but I don't always finish the books themselves. However, it doesn't dampen my enthusiasm much. It's all about creative abandon for me. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but in the end it's really all about the experience. NaNoWriMo is like a month-long tit-baring Mardis Gras for writers who are otherwise spending the previous 11 months of the year doing "real work" and just want to forget about that shit for a little while. They'll use the month to maybe write out of their comfort zones, try a new genre, explore new creative ground. Some of us will be writing sequels to books that may or may not sell, not because we think it's great advice financially, but because this is the one month where such considerations get chucked out the window, and we just write for the love first. Pragmatic considerations of the directions of our writing careers can just take a 30-day breather. 

Others see it differently, of course, but that's how I do things. And anyone who follows this blog or my Facebook page at all knows I will be tackling the sequel to my humorous vampire novel, Scarlet Letters: The Tale of the Vampire Mailman. After finishing the intensely dark Strings, I am very much looking forward to the change in pace and mood. With any luck, once I step back into the shoes of Louis and Stan, the book should write itself. After it's finished and to my liking, I plan to release it myself. I imagine that will happen sometime in late winter (it would be nice to release something during that time, because The Last Supper preparations/release/marketing may be taking up more of my time in 2013), but I'll hold off on making predictions at the moment. 

The cover was a lot of fun to make, mostly because I only needed to do the text. My daughter, Natalie, drew the mouth. I love making use of the family talent. I imagine that one of these days, I'll be begging her to help me with a book cover, and she'll be all like, "Mom, I have to finish this commissioned work I'm doing for Richard Branson and/or Pixar. Can't you just hire someone?" 

And then I'll say, "Yeah, I guess you're excused. Can I borrow some money?" 

At any rate, between all of the writing and the Creative Commoners podcast (we have a lot of exciting things planned there too!) it's going to be a roaring finish to the end of the year, with a pretty jamming 2013 in store. I may release a short story sometime in December to hold folks over while these bigger projects come more into focus. I can only say to those patiently waiting for more that I think it'll be worth it when it's all said and done! 

See you all on the flipside of November!