Thursday, November 15, 2012

Writing Hell week 2

The Kahunas of Lobster Cove
So today is the end of the second week of Nanowritmo 2012.
What pray tell is nanowritmo? It is Nation Novel Writing Month.
In November.
Turkey time.

During the past decade I had found myself in the wonderful world of retail which, by definition, requests that you surrender all other aspects of your life to your job. In most business environments near 60% of annual profits occur in just five short weeks. To succeed it demands sacrifice. As much as I think opening during the holidays, the dreaded Black Friday and elongated hours are a blight on humanity, from a business perspective, I understand the desperation in the retail establishment's hellbent efforts.

It always seemed an impossible task, to write, to work, to fit living a life between the two.
But here I am unemployed with a manuscript in need of completion. What excuse could I possibly have not to embrace this crazy proposition. I should feel liberated and free to write with abandon, shouldn't I? But no. I know this sounds like the crazed words of a syphilitic mind but I miss it all, so much. The team leading, the feverish multi-tasking, the communing with shoppers like an elf with the perfect gift for everyone on their list. Unemployment wears on you. It slowly eats away at your self-worth while the financial crisis that grows with each passing week gnaws at your innards each sleepless night.

A lot of noise to cut through when you want to concentrate on story and character.Still, I made a commitment to myself, daunting as it may be, 100K or whatever it takes to finish a draft by December 1st.
What could go wrong?

For no reason it starts dripping, tap, tap, tap as I try to tap, tap, tap on my keyboard. Then it starts to trickle just as my words cease to flow, then a stream, in the bathroom, not from my imagination. No funds for a new toilet or, god forbid, a plumber (you are such the joker!) so I spend the next two days, dissembling, replacing piece by piece to no avail. Once, Twice, thrice. Tap, tap, tap now only on the bathroom floor. In a last ditch effort I reassemble it once again, this time reenforced with silicone throughout, even on the inner porcelain walls where I suspect a hairline crack. Finally dry on the outside. It grumbles every now and again just to remind me that I have just put the beast to sleep. Before bedtime I threaten it with a roll of Duct tape like a priest with holy water. "The spirit of Christ compels you, out demon!!"

If that wasn't enough madness to keep me from the keyboard, my car, or as I have come to name her, Beelzebub, decides to have a conniption, its idiot lights blinking a cartoon engine while the motor shakes in fits and starts. As I accelerate it sounds like a prop engine on a dingy. I make it to the repair station and leave it, heading home to wait the prognosis. The bathroom goes tap, tap, tap. I try to mimic it with keystrokes. The car will cost over a quarter of my monthly income so I have to figure that out alongside automatic payments, a mortgage payment and holidays looming. With a lot of penny pinching I might be able to swing the car in time to dash through the woods to the new grandmother's house. I'm told that I can drive the car at my peril without any more damage to the engine (save for it stalling and not being able to be restarted.) Driving now is like sitting in front of a Jack in the box as someone slowly turns the crank. You drive forward, not unlike the country, hands clenched to the wheel waiting for Chuckles to burst forth as soon as you let your guard down.

Still, the story waits for me.

Enough bitching. It could be deadlines, papers that need to be graded, lives that need to be saved, bones needing to be mended, babies that need to be burped. Its always going to be something. It's called life. The key is to persevere. Success never comes to those who don't try. 

Nanowritmo is a marathon. You just don't quit the race because to get a stitch or run out of metaphors 
(that, perhaps, could be a good thing -wink-)

Tap, tap, tap... (this time not coming from the bathroom.)

Week Two: 
44948 words in 14 days
GOAL: 100,000 words (or the finish line, whichever comes first.)

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