The autumn wind is whipping across the battlefield as I pull my too-think jacket tight across my shoulders. It was a hard day in the trenches, and I look toward the morning with a sense of resigned duty, knowing that earning tomorrow’s respite will be no easier than gaining today’s. But that’s the struggle once the comfort of October’s ghosts and ghouls return to the dark corners after All Hallows’.
That’s the life when November comes. That’s the insatiable demon that must be fed when one volunteers for NaMoWriMo.
If you’re not familiar, “NaNoWriMo” is a a strange abbreviation for National Novel Writing Month. It’s a time when hopeful writers from all the corners of the world and 16 of the 19 civilized Outer Regions commit themselves to churning out a novel before Thanksgiving lays waste to everyone’s best laid plans, which typically means either triggering a complete mental breakdown, or collapsing in a heap from the strain of attempting to finger vomit 50,000 or more words into a manuscript.
Of course, I’m an author, which also means I’m a professional liar, i.e., a tricksy writer type, so even as I write about the perils of this particular month, I must admit to having a deep and abiding love for NaNoWriMo. If you search back into the archives here for that particular tag, you’ll see I’ve both written about and participated in the endeavor several times. In fact, the middle grade novel I wrote during NaNo in 2011, shortly after my then-nine-year-old oldest son (who will be 20 before this NaNoWriMo ends!!) asked me to write a book for the family was the novel that got me signed with an agent. And even if that foray into traditional publishing didn’t exactly have a happy ending, the experience did teach me what I really wanted to achieve as an author, and connected me to many publishing-adjacent people that I still consider friends to this day.
That trip down memory lane aside, the key thing to note is that I have friends participating in NaNoWriMo this year, some for the first time ever. And while I’ll always wonder why in the name of the Old Gods, the Beggars, and New a month with a mere 30 days and a major, four-day North American holiday was chosen as the month for NaNoWriMo, I stand with my fellow writers and cannot wait to find what delightful tomes are drafted between now and the first of December.
All that said, I suppose it wouldn’t kill me to be honest with you all, just this once. In full transparency, I will not only be supporting my friends amongst the word wreckers this NaNo. Nope, since it’s become plain to me that I’ve run out of excuses for not having sequels to Famine and Goldenshield ready to meet the world, I’ll be pushing myself hard this NaNoWriMo along with all my friends. It is past time for Fury to have a publication date, and come hell or high water, I will announce that date before New Year’s Eve.
Plus also, I intend to have a surprise or two in store before then.
So keep the faith, friends, and stayed tuned. And if you’re one of the legion of WriMos toiling among us in the word mines this month, godspeed, fellow writer, and good luck getting those words out!
I look forward to having a beer and a chat come December.