I'm so far behind on NaNoWriMo, for exactly 4 reasons, I don't know if I can succeed this year. They aren't quite good enough reasons not to, is the thing. And so, today, I will push harder than before. If I feel I've made real progress by the end of the day, I will continue toward the win. If I don't, I will continue to write without winning. But that will be difficult.
What it will actually be is sad.
I'm not naturally a fiction writer. I'm naturally a fiction reader. And as a good writer, I know that there is a huge difference between the two things. But I still need this challenge each year, and I know that each year there is growth, even if it is not growth in my ability to make up and tell a convincing story.
This week I discovered a great blog written by someone who jabs her pain onto the screen with words that seem sharp-edged at first, but actually have all the corners rounded, like the people who walk barefoot on jagged glass. They trick their audience by making it appear all the broken glass is sharp, but actually the glass in the middle has been smoothed over.
In her case, the trick is not in order to cheat her readers. She is just both jagged and worn down.
Then I revisited a couple of my favorite ephemera blogs to bathe myself in the wonders of vintage advertising. It's all so appalling and so beautiful, each in turn, sometimes occupying the same space.
And I started thinking, and writing a little, about how I got to this strange point in my life at which there seems to be nothing but chaos in reasoning, chaos in emotion, chaos even in the way my precious books are organized on my shelves. Nothing fits right, everything feels stagnant, and yet not all the leaves have even fallen from the trees yet, so I can't blame it on the usual hibernation blues. It's sort of as though all my life has been one long February, and I can see March on the next page, but never quite get to turn to it. I don't want turn to it, anyway, knowing it's just actually going to be February all over again. I would like to skip ahead to May, but am not allowed.
So, making up stories about a milkman who steals cats and a town founder who created an entire community from his secret harem seems a little, well, inadequate as escapism.
I have written 50,000 words already this month. But not nearly enough of them were for that book effort, and while you might say it's good I was able to express so much, the fact is that it's very easy for me to blather on and on about myself or nothing, yet what I want to do is tell a story about something, something entirely else, just for a little while, before it's time to make another attempt at reorganizing too many books in too small a space.
(That last bit was both literal and a metaphor, in case you were not sure.)
I decided to take a lot of photos in black and white this week. I guess it would make sense to do color ones on Thanksgiving. Otherwise, this week, perhaps this whole season, will be a life shot in black and white.