NaNoWriMo Coming On Strong

So, where do you get your ideas?

I’m all tuned up like an old, acoustic guitar for NaNoWriMo (yes, in the good ole days I strummed the strings and warbled in South Philly bars). I have only a foggy notion of a plot in mind for my novel; the “genre,” if you will; a main character; a cast of colored shadows; a quest; a background score of trills and trembles. But then I’ve never liked working from more than a scribbled set of wobbly notes; formal outlines drag me backward toward university days, trailing blood all the way from here to then and there.

Inside the wooden file cabinet that stands stiff as a constipated soldier beside my desk, I’ve stored a vial filled with an odorless liquid, a compound of potions from the past that when applied to the keyboards of cowards erases punctuation marks for a “period” of thirty days or 50,000 words, whichever comes first.

Today I prayed to the unsuspecting spirits of several friends. I begged each one of them not to give up. I insisted that if they abandon me by way of backing out of this commitment, I’ll haunt them till they shiver and shake with more violence than Poe’s raven might have inspired. Yes, that means *you*; no hyperlink necessary; you know who you are, and we’re in this one together. Back out now, my friend, and the cacti that surround you on your daily walk will shoot espinas aimed directly at your arse.

After all, they’re only words. One word follows the one before.

Possible roadblocks for me:

1. The aforementioned, keen attention that I usually pay to periods. Solved. The vial of potions bubbles.

2. Losing my already lost plot. Solved. I’m good with dialogue.

3. My writer’s tendency to avoid conflict on the page. Solved. Whenever narrative description takes command, I’ll shove the lot into the same room and watch as they fight each other.

4. Fatigue. Solved. I donated my bed to a charitable organization — The Tired Journalists Association — and stuffed my pillowcases with gravel.

5. Overeating. Solved. I wrote a memo and tacked it to the board that hangs behind my computer monitor: Dear AVT, You’re old, wrinkled, and gray enough that no one any longer stares at the pudgy gut that once made way for your weapon of love.

6. A sense of frustration when the novel seems to go nowhere. Solved. I lined up the last ten novels I read, placed them between cheap, metal bookends that I purchased at a local drug store — the same super-pharmacy where I always buy my anti-senility medication and hemorrhoid salve — and realized that none of them goes anywhere either.

7. My desire to hear my own music when I write. Solved. This morning, I sang Fly Me To The Moon into my digital recorder. Next, I tapped the button labeled “Just Listen To Yourself, Fool,” and although my rendition is better than Sinatra’s, it still ain’t all that good.

8. Loneliness. Solved. I wrote to a friend and asked her to to set up a forum on NaNoWriMo‘s site for members of our online writers group. Kind lady said she would do so. Thanks. Hubba hubba.

9. Lack of time for writing. Solved. I harped on this one for many years, but I’m retired from the workaday world now.

10. There isn’t really any number ten, but as we self-isolated Americans live in a base-ten society, I figure that I should make this article seem even to my many fans and check #10 off as solved.

One last item:

Just for sake of staying honest and courageous, I plan to post sections of my bad NaNoWriMo novel here. Good for the soul, in that the effort should serve to eliminate pride.