Sunday, November 20, 2016

NaNoWritMo -- National Novel Writing Month

I started out so strong in November with National Novel Writing Month.
The goal is to write a novel in one month. Well, 50,000 words, which doesn't quite reach novel length, but it's a sprint and a marathon to get the bones of a story done in such a quick amount of time. I've written parts of other novels during November, and I've even succeed in getting to 50,000 words a couple of times.
This year, I was determined to succeed. The first week, I was ahead of the daily word count.
I'm working on a novel that I'm calling The Wedding-Dress Theory.
Because I'm unsure how much of the plot I'll share when the book is published, I'll just give you the general idea that this is the story of a mother and adult daughter who have a tenuous relationship, and a tragedy prompts them to attempt to visit all 50 states in three months.
My successful writing paused on November 8. I was anxious about the election and couldn't seem to sit down and write. I assured myself that it would be better the next day. But the next day came and it was worse. I woke up to a new reality.
I spent time soothing my children, soothing my students, pretending that everything would be okay.
Part of the difficulty though, is that this wasn't a normal election with a candidate from the other side. This was a candidate who threatened people of color, people of other religions, women, -- pretty much the majority of the country has something to fear from his election.
People who voted for him claim that it wasn't racism; it was about jobs or the economy. Well, if they looked at the economy compared to eight years ago, they'd realize that wasn't true. In the U.S., we have 4.9 percent unemployment. During the recession, it reached 9.8 percent. Nearly half of those looking for jobs, have found them. No economy is perfect, and I realize that I live in a city with even lower unemployment, but I don't believe the economy claim.
In addition to Trump appealing to racists, I think a lot of people were afraid to have a woman president.
The past, nearly, two weeks have been depressing, like a death -- a death of the country we thought we lived in.
I unfollowed people on Facebook -- cousins who posted things like "protestors are paid" or "Suck it up Buttercup" bill.
This morning I cancelled brunch with a high school friend. We meet halfway between her house and my house. We've been friends more than 30 years. She's not political, but she is conservative. We don't talk politics, but so much of my life has revolved around the election, that I can't imagine talking to her about my life without referencing the despair I've felt, and that would be dipping into politics.
I still have a chance to finish NaNoWriMo. I'm only working one day this week, so I can write and write and write. (Plus also run and swim and lift weights, my way of dealing with the extra stress.)
Our family is having Thanksgiving with just us -- me, Earl and my three children. Not even significant others will be present, since Grace's live-in boyfriend is flying to New Jersey to be with his grandparents. I don't feel too stressed about cooking for just us, so even on Thanksgiving, I'll be able to work on NaNoWriMo.
Right now, I'm at 22,000 words. Only 28,000 to go.
I'll try to update you next Sunday to let  you know if I've been able to shake off my feelings of doom and dig into writing again.


jlphil said...

Paulita, Your thoughts on the election, and the gut-punch many Americans have received with the result, are spot-on. I've resolved to act locally to try to help counter the ill-effects this incoming administration will visit on the most vulnerable of us. Hope I can do something positive amidst all this horror.

Temporary remedy for post-election fear and sorrow, as well as pressure from that insane writing competition you're engaged in:
THE GRAND TOUR!!! It's (finally) streaming on Amazon, and is a triumphant return to TV of the Top Gear trio we have all missed... We watched the first episode last night, and much of what we loved from the show is still intact. Check it out, even though no French locations or cars are featured!

grammajudyb said...

Thanks for putting my feelings into words. I read but am not must of a writer. I too have unfriended several on facebook and have worried about normal gatherings of friends. My community is very conservative and even though I live in the Equality State, there is much conversation that is not about equality. I am in the "dumps" too and looking forward to this next week as a way of remembering the people and the parts of my life that I am thankful for. Thanks again for the words.

Paulita said...

John, Thanks for the election encouragement. You're right that we need to make a difference locally. That is great to know about The Grand Tour. I'll look for it, since House Hunters International goes to the Bahamas way too often.

Just Me said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings about the election Paulita. I count on you to put words to feelings and in this case fears. I feel grateful to have listened to ( interviews, pod casts, call in shows, tv, etc...) many personal stories over the past week describing the past year, followed by election night and then finally dealing with the reality of the results. Each very moving. Good Luck writing this week and enjoying your family.

Paulita said...

Judy and Just Me, It helps to know we're not alone, doesn't it.
I might get better, it might get worse, but we're still connected to those who agree with us. Thanks for commenting.
P.S. John, Earl and I are watching the Grand Tour now.

Linda said...

It was depressing. I'm hoping that the protections first set up in the US government can control him.

Paulita said...

Linda, It seems that he knows how to confuse everyone and get away with whatever he wants. So sad.

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