And the final word count, one might ask:
My NaNoWriMo novel is about a couple separated by so many things it seems like they might never come together. Yet they are blessed with one wonderful and frightening gift. I call it Heart-Speak. They can communicate with their minds over time and space in order to find each other, love each other and change the world they live in forever.
I love the idea of it. It's special. It is something I have always hoped for because relationships can be crazy and there are times when it is useful to have someone who can just read your mind. But I've found something else in the midst of this search. Not someone who can read my mind but rather something that speaks to my heart.
I just finished watching Julie & Julia  and while I love both Meryl Streep and Amy Adams, the story they told as these two women was far greater than I expected. It is a call to all women – perhaps even all people – to connect, to love freely, to laugh, to cry, to cook…and yes, to eat. To take up insane challenges and meet them even when we want to throw in the towel…and the kitchen sink. Blogs, books, poetry, notes and memos are useful to communicate but I don't think I have ever felt that it was magical too…until now. I write stories because I love to. Who knows what else they can do?
I have a NaNoWriMo motto that reads, "I write because I love it, the insanity is extra free." Perhaps I should change that to, "…the magic is extra free." Because there can be no writing that isn't an investment of ourselves into something…more! We are putting a little mark on the world even when the world doesn't know it. There are people out there who have something to say…something to share. Perhaps there are too many voices and it becomes hard to hear a single song amongst them but I hope I do. I hope I can find that voice that speaks to me across time and space just because it was written down.
I hope I can open my heart to every song that resonates with something inside me. Julia Powell found it in a cookbook by Julie Child, a one year challenge and a friendship separated by an ocean and more than 50 years. I hope I can find it a little closer to home with hands across the ocean and words on this screen. I want to open my heart to this practice of singing my song clear and listening to what others have to say. It is a gift as wonderful and frightening as reading people's minds yet I cannot back down from the challenge. So I guess that leaves taking it on.
In my five-year history of doing NaNoWriMo this is the first time I have failed to post a fantastic first-day word count. In fact, other than opening a document with the title of my novel The Darlings, and getting the basics of who wrote it and for what reason (NaNoWriMo 2009 Novel), I haven' don't much of anything. The two blog posts are already far ahead of whatever I have on my novel and posting a pathetic count of only 68 words (mainly because I threw in my address) didn't seem worth it.
I have every hope that I will do a better job with day two. Even though I am only just getting down to writing, I have the advantage of a real outline; something I didn't have yesterday. I had tried to procrastinate it away but it wasn't happening. A nation wide power black-out yesterday night might have contributed to my miniscule word count but it also had the amazing advantage of getting me to consider what I wanted to do and how it was going to look in glorious chapter form. For that, I am eternally grateful to the unreliability of our current power supply. I just hope this is a one time thing and I don't have to deal with it later in the month.
I think with what I've managed to do so far, I'll be able to design a cover that really speaks to the rest of the story while getting my synopsis done. The wonderful people at FWIS.com are also having a challenge that involves creating covers for 30 NaNoWriMo books during the 30-day challenge period. With a clear synopsis I would qualify for the competition but I also like the idea that they will give someone like me – a cover layout novice – a very good idea of what goes into making a winning cover especially when the information available is as little as a blurb.
I find it interesting that my year is no longer determined by the New Year. Instead I am very aware that another year has gone by when NaNoWriMo comes along. This is the fifth year I am participating in this High Octane Novel Writing Extravaganza and I love it. But this year is already proving to have some unusual problems. For starters, my idea is not very clear and while I usually hit the ground running, I'm not even done clarifying what my novel is going to be about exactly.
Lucky for me, NaNoWriMo highly encourages this 'off the sit of your pants' kind of writing and thinking and acting so I'm not too afraid. I would like to have a complete panic fit and run screaming from my computer but I know the pounding in my chest, the constriction in my airways, the blurry vision and loss of consciousness is part of the wonderful madness that goes with writing a 50,000 word novella in a month.
So here we go again! Deep breath. Full body sigh. And…ACTION!