Go ahead. Call me an idiot. Label this as another failure of a 12-step Addiction Cure. Call it a prime example of "drinking the Kool-Ade." I know I swore I would never do another one of these masochistic, self-hate inducing writing marathons. But here I am again, needing something -- anything -- to push me over the final hurdles to the end of Yankee Reconstructed.
My goal for the book has always been to finish it at approximately 100,000 words. At the moment, I have written 78, 704 words, which puts me at the 79% finished mark. Only 21,296 to go, although you know (particularly if you're a writer) that I'll need more than that when I get to the editing and pruning stage of the manuscript. The usual goal for a NaNoWriMo participant is 50,000 words, so I'm setting my own personal goals much lower than normal. If I manage to write 800 words a day for the month of July, the book will be "finished."
Can I do 800 words a day? Sure! Easy, provided I manage to get seat of pants into seat of chair every day. But that's the problem, of course. It's summer and my office is hot and stuffy. There are other things I'd rather be doing. I'm treading some unfamiliar territory by the time I reach 1876, so I need research breaks. I promised to work the Lions Fishing Rodeo on the 4th of July. A friend wants to meet for lunch. You've heard the excuses before and you'll hear them again. But somehow, I'm going to make myself do this. And if all the silliness and hype of NaNoWriMo helps me do it, GREAT!
Today and tomorrow will be preparation days. I've already been to the grocery store to stock up on Hershey's kisses, which will become my rewards. I've laid in a supply of frozen lunch entrees so that I won't be tempted to go off on some wild cooking spree in the middle of my writing day. I've gone through the house and replenished supplies of toilet paper, kleenex, bottled water, toothpaste, cat food, stamps, printer cartridges, sticky notes, and colored pens. (Not taking any chances on being lured away by a desperate need for one of life's essential elements.)
I've cleaned the house (well, most of it!), tossed out some penicillin-producing left-overs, paid all the bills, pulled the weeds and dead blossoms off my little row of front porch planters, and poured this month's supply of baking soda, vinegar, and boiling water down the drains to make sure they don't clog up on me.
Tomorrow I'll tackle my writing office, blowing away the month's accumulation of cat fur, emptying the trash, picking up cat toys, finding all my vital reference books, and bringing my new July calendar up to date with the deadlines I've set myself.
What else do I need before the marathon starts? Well the NaNoWriMo camp counselors will be assigning me to my writers' cabin sometime in the next 16 hours, and I'll learn who my cabin mates (competitors) will be. These are the people I will report to each day as we strive to see who can get the most done. The last time I did this, I ended up in a cabin full of silly teenagers writing werewolf fantasies, and they all got homesick and went home after the first week. This year I've asked to be assigned to a cabin of either people my own age or other writers of historical fiction. We'll see what happens!
And you, dear readers, will also have a role too play. Feel free to cheer me on or nag me when I need it. Blog posts will keep you up to date on successes and failures. Off we go!