Famous last words to break the silence

I’ve been thinking about trying National Novel Writing Month again.

Last year I had moved to a new city a week before November started. The previous year was my final quarter of graduate school. The year before that, I was in no shape to do much more than survival stuff. But this year, this could be a thing. I’m looking for ways to write without shame again. I have this novel that I ought to just — write, rather than endlessly fret about whether I can make it perfect the first time around. I’ve got a 30-minute commute each way, and a nice new little Moleskine that could do the trick. (I’m easily bribed into doing things by rewards, including stuff and social encouragement.)

It also helps that I’m reading for pleasure again. This was a thing that felt lost to me for a really, really long time, but I’ve become one of those people who keeps finding reasons to go back to the Strand, and it’s given me some great, great things. H Is for Hawk was the grief memoir I knew I needed; Station Eleven made me want to do better; The Orchid Thief reminded me of how great nonfiction could be; I’ve discovered the amazing Jo Walton, whose Farthing ignited me and put my heart in my throat, and whose My Real Children I just finished tonight, which fascinated me until — tragedy! — it fumbled the very last chapter.

I logged into my NaNoWriMo account over the weekend and saw that I’d been a member of the site for “over 10 years.” That’s bonkers. But I can feel myself preparing for NaNo again. I’ve got these books to read for research (thank goodness for Sherrie Tucker!), and I’m collecting images for inspiration, and I’m wrestling with the basics of the story itself — is it during or immediately after the war? Is it all in Europe or is it sometimes in the U.S. first? Is it chronological, or do I do my weird time games with the story? Should I try NaNo as the social thing it’s designed to be, or just keep to myself like I usually do? I think I know the names of my three main protagonists, and I have to keep myself from worrying whether I should be writing more X or a different Y. I just have to write it first.

This is accountability, this kind of announcement. This site was always meant to be an author blog. We’ll see what happens. Hey, friends. Nice to feel like I’m back.

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3 thoughts on “Famous last words to break the silence”

  1. I felt like writing again after reading a gifted writers imagination of Hemingway’s love life. It brought back memories of tantalizing embraces. I remember your description of how Hotspur’s wife leaned against her horse for support when faced with news of his death.
    I have stories with parts spread across disparate places. Maybe I’ll set out to retrieve them instead of waiting for them to surrender.

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