NaNoWriMo, continued

So, when I last updated, I was sitting in the library about to begin my NaNoWriMo adventure surrounded by children and hobos.

Only a few minutes later, things changed pretty drastically.  But to explain why I was totally bewildered, you have to understand some things about me.  One is that I usually have no idea what’s going on or where I am at any given moment.  Two is that I did not in fact understand the realities of the library in the 21st century — I assumed that, being a homeowner and contributing several thousands of dollars per year to the City, that my tax dollars would somehow magically make the computers free for everyone’s use, the way they were at the Beamsville Public Library back in the good ol’ days of 1998 before I had the internet at home or knew what a furry was.  So the plan was to use the library’s computers to write the first 1667 words, then email them to myself or something, and continue like that each day until my own computer was working again.  But no, you have to actually PAY for each use of the library’s computers, for everything beyond the first half hour of use.  And this includes access to the word processing programs, not just the internet.  And of course I didn’t bring any money.

Third, I had brought a huge and conspicuous 1L bottle of diet Coke to the library for some reason, despite the fact that libraries are pretty much known for being places where food and drink are definitely not allowed.  After writing the last entry and also doing some quality creeping around the ‘new releases’ section, I became really thirsty.  It’s just that I was too ashamed to take a sip from my pop, which I was sure would make an embarrassingly loud HISS noise as soon as I opened it, and draw everyone’s attention to where I was sitting at the now useless computer desk (since I had exhausted my free half an hour) which just happened to be situated smack in the middle of the library.  Right in line with everyone’s disapproving stares.

I decided the best course of action would be to leave the items I wouldn’t mind being stolen (including the pop bottle) on my chair to save my seat while I wandered into the library hall to see if there was a water fountain.  What I found was both water and AN ACTUAL SIGN pointing to the NaNoWriMo write-in that was actually happening in a separate room.  This sign was huge and obvious and would have been immediately noticed by anyone entering the library except… well, me, apparently.  This whole time I had assumed that the copious NaNoWriMo stickers and posters all over the place meant that the library was just encouraging people to generally show up to write novels there, not realizing that an actual event was planned out in its own designated space.

I used my best sneaking skills, snuck over to the special conference room, and poked my head it.  I saw three writers sitting at a long table with their backs to me.  Two of them were equipped with laptops and one was writing on note paper.

More importantly, I saw snacks.

I went back and gathered my random shit that I had sloppily left all over the library.  I tried to shake off my crippling fear of social interactions by mustering as much bravery as I could and holding the promise of homemade Rice Krispies squares and Halloween candy firmly in my mind.  I then marched into the room, where I was then accosted by a lady in a tiara who informed me that in order to participate in the write-in I must read aloud, and then sign, a contract stating that I would write 50 000 words in 30 days.

I was terrified.

But I signed it, and I did so witnessed by four people who now know how to harass me on the internet if I don’t keep my word.  I also mentioned it to my husband who makes sure to remind me daily that “YOU SIGNED A CONTRACT” if I don’t feel like writing or if I decide I’d rather just my free time looking at gifs of Kim Kardashian crying or kittens toppling over or something.

(And I also got my hands on some sweet, sweet delicious snacks.)

Tiara Lady turned out to be a lovely person who also lent me a few sheets of paper so I could get off to a good start (remember, at this point my netbook, Craptop AND desktop computers were all broken, and I had brought no paper to the library).  She also lent me the official NaNoWriMo rules book, where I learned that my whole premise for this month’s novel was completely invalid since you have to start a new manuscript, and the wizard one was something I’d already put a few thousand words into over the past year.  I had to come up with a brand new idea, right there, on the spot, at 3:30 pm on November 1.  And I did.  The new idea shall be a secret until it is completed, and I guess I will be saving Billy Bob’s Magical Gangrenous Space Odyssey for December 1 (or never, at the current rate that I’ve been working on it).

Anyway, NaNoWriMo is going well.  I’m ahead of my word count, and my story is hopping along — I still have no idea what I’m actually doing, but I have new ideas every day, and kind of have a general idea of what the middle of the story is going to look like, which is pretty legit.  I also have a character who gets more “real” by the day, and supporting characters that just keep growing in complexity.  I don’t even know what the story’s ABOUT yet, but I feel like I’m off to a strong start for my first NaNoWriMo.  And it turns out I ended up meeting other local writers, people I never would have known existed if I hadn’t walked into that room.  So I am pleased, and things are going well.

Now… back to the story.


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