Pumpkin pie, Vegas, rock stars — yes, it’s almost NaNo time!

NaNoWriMo 09Oh, November — full of delicious turkey, hot apple cider, stuffing, pumpkin pie and . . . wait, why am I only talking about food?

Because what else comes sailing in come November? Why, National Novel Writing Month, of course! Fresh off the heels of last year’s victory, I’m culling together characters, possible plotlines and awesome settings for the book I will complete in 30 days or less. The rules? We have to write at least 50,000 words to “win,” meaning you get an awesome badge to stick on your own blog and, you know, bragging rights. Because you wrote a book, gosh darnit! And then you can proceed onward with your — er — masterpiece as you see fit.

This is my third year participating — and I’m sure 2009 is going to be the most challenging session to date. First and foremost, I’m going to California the first week of November! Three friends and I will be partying in San Diego and Los Angeles because . . . well, just because. Because it’s fall, it’s getting colder and we had a strong urge to get away from it all — for a few days, at least! Sounds nice, right? And I’m sure it will be — in fact, I’m stoked and get nervous jitters every time I think about it! But what does my excursion mean? Five days of no noveling. Chris Baty, NaNo founder, recommends not going more than 24 hours without writing something; it’s so easy to get thrown off course or to lose your momentum. I’m certainly no seasoned author, but I think I’ve written enough — and for long enough — to know I’ll finish the project even with my vacation thrown in there. Still, I’m a bit nervous to leave my book for so long!

And beyond that? I’m not totally sure what I’m going to write about. I have a vague idea, sure — mostly just the setting (Vegas) and the characters (rock star, his first love, aging parents, new wife, little kids, probably a cute dog or something). Yeah, I know — making progress. None of my novels have ever been planned out ahead of time, so I’m hoping that my characters will just walk straight up, flash their devilishly white smiles and give me a series of hearty handshakes.

“Meg!” they’ll shout in unison. “We’re here — the population of your Pulitzer Prize-winning novel! Nice to finally meetcha!”

And I’ll push my hair over my shoulders, draw myself up to my full height and call back, “Yeah — and where the heck have you been?”


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If you’re participating in this year’s NaNoWriMo, be sure to add me as a NaNo buddy. We can bolster each other up when even the caffeine and chocolate aren’t enough to keep our little fingers tapping and even work out some plot-related kinks together. If you’re in the Maryland/D.C./Virginia area, I’ll be on the look-out for some write-ins, too — with the shiny pink laptop, no less. Here’s to our next great literary adventure!