For those of you who aren't my Englishy friends pretentiously posting about NaNoWriMo on your Facebook wall, it's National Novel Writing Month, and you try to write a novel in November (aka, you try to write 50,000 words).
So I sat down at my computer, I opened a Word document (I literally don't think I've opened that program since I converted my masters thesis to a PDF for final submission), and I started writing words.
And I'm not going to lie, as I was typing my first words, it felt crazy easy. 1,600ish words a day? No problem. I figured a wave of inspiration would fall upon me, and I would type furiously through some mess of a story. And within an hour I could get caught up on my writing for the entire first week of November.
I mean, it's just words and stories and typing. And it was probably going to be a masterpiece, and I would get randomly discovered and fulfill my dream of becoming an author that scholarly critics write papers about, and I could scorn them for being critics rather than creators (was I really an English major?).
But by sentence two I was so exhausted. Words? Stories? Typing? So much work. I was able to muster 177 words in 45 minutes. And then gap.com was calling my name. Sorry, brain.
NaNoWriMo, we might just have to chalk this up to an epic fail.
But, at least we now have the below amusing comparison between the start of my NaNoWriMo novel in 2007(!) and my measly opening paragraphs in 2012. (Side note: should I be concerned that the first thing that came to me in 2012 was the image of an old woman sitting in a hoarder's house?)
Kerrie slapped the jam side of the sandwich down and sliced the knife through the center before sealing the halves into a plastic bag. It had come again—the first day of school. Grabbing the rest of her lunch and her backpack, Kerrie rushed out to the bus stop. She always felt silly with her packed lunch; after all, she was in middle school now, but her mom insisted that cafeteria food is the root of all evils in America, and the ritual had become habit. So Kerrie was still eating peanut butter and jelly in the eighth grade. She was known for it, in fact.
The blinds were cracked slightly, letting the cold light glow the specks of dust in the air. The large piles of stuff grew the edges of the room into amorphous shapes, disrupting the smooth symmetry of corners and floors and ceilings. Patches of color revealed distinct objects in the wallpaper of stuff lining the room: yellow spines of National Geographics, blue opaque plastic bins, the stale form of crushed cardboard boxes shoved between an armoir and a rocking chair, a large bolt of brown fabric with tiny polka dots and frayed edging weaving its way between a crushed Monopoly box and a backgammon board with a large crack down the center.
A little lamp with an orange and blue plaid shade propped up on an ironing board glows warmly in the middle of the room, and a small lady sits in the rocking chair, slowly oscillating back and forth as the sides of the rocking chair brush against the cardboard boxes wedged beside. Swish. Swoosh.
This is the night that the world is going to end.