Here I am, about to embark on the fourth and final week of National Novel Writing Month, and I’m experiencing this overwhelming urge to go clean out the deep, dark reaches of our under-the-stairs storage. I don’t even like doing this job. It is cramped and I am in constant danger of banging my head or breaking the single lightbulb that would illuminate the space better if it wasn’t six inches behind my back. There is also considerable evidence of spiders. I know this because I was actually hiding out there yesterday, under the guise of freeing a few items from perpetual darkness and sending them along to charity. Or the garbage. I make drastic attempts not to become a hoarder. Still, it’s amazing what things get stuffed into a box (which may or may not be labeled, and if labeled, not necessarily with accuracy) and saved to be dealt with “later.”
Mmhmm. Deep in the corner, a box marked “Plant Stuff.” It wasn’t in my handwriting, so I am clearly not to blame, right? And inside? Well… some old t-shirts, an extension cord, a filter for a fish tank we haven’t had in over a decade, an antique plastic cap for covering an outlet (?), and assorted plant containers. With dirt still in them. There was even a bag of dirt. I vaguely recognized one of the pots as having once belonged to my mother. The rest were foreign. I figure they heard there was a “Plant Stuff Place” and snuck in when I wasn’t looking. Aliens.
As another, better alternative to avoidance, I am daydreaming about taking up residence in my favorite rocking chair and reading until my eyes are completely crossed. I have a huge list of Books To Read. I sometimes contemplate counting them, but I’m not sure if that would evoke squeals of delight or tremors of terror. Better, I think, to remain in ignorance. Another problem confronting me is Where To Start. I have shelves of books here in my office, another in the living room, and e-books in three different formats/applications right here on my computer. I could organize those! Put them all in once place so I can cruise up and down the whole long list admiring all the intriguing titles and authors to be discovered.
Or… I could hold the idea of reading out in front of me like a carrot and get back to my manuscript. Reconsidering how things were going, I’ve gone back and added new chapters at the beginning. No, I didn’t rewrite anything. Aren’t you proud? I am also loving Scrivener and how easy it is to move scenes around and keep track of the story line. Doubt is a frequent companion, but thankfully, my dear friend Kristie is reading as I write (while she’s working on her own manuscript!), saying things like, “I *know* he gets caught eventually, but I read and think ‘not now, not now!’” and “I’m enjoying this very much! A couple rough sentences at the start which you can fix later, but I love this … !” and “this [line] is very funny – made me laugh out loud.“
Along with the encouraging kudos, she’s also quick to offer simple (and usually brilliant) solutions to things I’m struggling with. She makes me laugh – often – and bonks me on the head when I need it (also often). I am grateful to her for making this year’s NaNo journey easier than ever before, and I am very much looking forward to seeing our interwoven, overlapping, wonderful collaboration(s) making their public appearances in the near future.
They’re gonna be awesome. 🙂