I fear I shall never win the right to wear my NaNo Winner badge. Or even the Rally badge for 5,000 words in a day.
I feel bad about this.
First of all, I am still just in LOVE with the idea of the thing. The idea of almost a billion and a half words in half of a month. Ordinary words like "duck" and "book" and extraordinary words like "perspicacious" and "fey." Unleashed upon the world. Wielded. Set free by us writers to do their best and worst.
It plum makes me want to cry.
I have adored being an inadequate, limping member of such a magnificent crazy band of devil-may-care devils. I already feel as though my cold little nose is pressed against the bakery window of camaraderie. (I am just about one step from lighting matches, here in the snowy night, to keep myself warm. Oh, piteous. I am.)
I hate The Quitter in me. I know her so well. She marshals excuses. Identifies the nearest exit. Tries to look brave and well-groomed instead of sneaky and churlish. She sneaks and churls all over the place. And then she tries to be cute about it. Give her no quarter. Let her have another box of matches and turn her back out into the snow. The loser.
I also feel guilty as hell about Agatha Jane Porter and her cat named Hastings. And Jack her deadbeat dad, the newspaper editor. And Virgil her handyguy who doesn't want to fix the things she wants to have fixed. And not the way she wants them fixed, neither. And the doc. They're all right there on the very eve of their big adventure: Knee surgery and murder. Murder committed. Murder revealed.
I already know who done it. And I'm as amazed as anybody. Wow. Perfidy, most rank and vile.
But here's "the problem." When I sit anywhere long enough to write anything, it hurts. It's not agony or anything, but, for example, my hip, which does not have permission to throb under the current administration, throbs. And other stuff, too. It just doesn't feel like a smart thing to do for long stretches right now. And let's face it. I'll never make it without some very, very long stretches. I had high hopes yesterday for manageable bites, but it got bad before I got very far. And I quit. Loser.
Here's something I don't feel bad about. My fellow travelers. Viv. Maura. Marilyn. Viv is plain insane. I believe she will make it, not because she loves it but because, by gum, she said she was gonna and she's gonna. She's already poured too much aggravation on the altar of NaNo to back off now. You go, Viv. And do not be dragged down by trollish behavior on my part. Maura and Marilyn, I salute your path. I hear considerable doubt, but I also know this was a strong and positive step for you. Keep going. Everybody keep going.
Because that's what I'm going to do. Not at the driven, must ... have ... 50.... thousand ... words pace. Must wear the badge, come hell or high water. But as much as I can and keep the peace with the hip bone which is connected to the the thigh bone which is glued to the new knee, God bless it.
I have said that I don't see a future for this novel after November. I have three others that I still have a lot of confidence in and they're done. They need support and promotion and, yes, dang it, an agent. But I'll give Agatha Jane all the space I can make for her in November. Then we'll see.
Want to know what she's like -- without revision or aforethought; all wacky the way characters are when nobody's looking? Here she is.