Just a few hours until the start of National Novel Writing Month kicks off.
As you can see by the fancy new graphic, both my Bride and I are participating again this year. The atmosphere in the 'Groove household has been more tense than the North Korea/South Korea Easter dinner. The Bride has been lording her certificate of completion from last year around the house, claiming superiority in a pitifully transparent attempt to win a psychological battle and undermine my confidence. I have seen through this sad Machiavellian maneuver and recognize it for an attempt to deflect her own worries about trite story lines and characters with less well-developed personalities than my new cheese. With this newly founded 'Groove family tradition, November has become such a special time in our house now: the continuous banter of cheap shots and insults. What better motivation to voluntarily abuse ourselves into writing 50,000 words in 30 days than a seeing who gets to hold bragging rights for the coming year.
I will call her bluff, and rise to the challenge of 1,667 words a day for 30 days. Now ask me what it's about. Hmm. There's a guy in it. And some stuff happens to him. And to this other guy that he lives with. And then he is forced to deal with some things. And he has to take his cup with him. That's about as far as I've gotten. Remember the mantra: Quantity, not quality is the name of the game (thank God). If all else fails, there's always room in the story for ninjas. Ninjas are cool.
For one month out of the year, we can stew and storm, and make a huge mess of our apartments and drink lots of coffee at odd hours. And we can do all of these things loudly, in front of people. As satisfying as it is to reach deep within yourself and pull out an unexpectedly passable work of art, it is equally (if not more) satisfying to be able to dramatize the process at social gatherings.
But that artsy drama window is woefully short. The other reason we do NaNoWriMo is because the glow from making big, messy art, and watching others make big, messy art, lasts for a long, long time. The act of sustained creation does bizarre, wonderful things to you. It changes the way you read. And changes, a little bit, your sense of self. We like that.