50,000 Words

OK, it’s actually 50,023 words, and the novel is NOT done!  I am celebrating, though I don’t have a pie.  It was going to be a cherry-peach pie from my favorite pie shop in Estes Park, but it’s too cold and too windy to trek up there, whine whine whine . . . .  Luckily, I am apparently part Scottish, so I am “making do” with a drop of The Macallan, cask strength (59.3% alcohol), with just a hint of water.  Water of life, right?

What I learned this month:

1.  The New York Times is right — the English language is hard to destroy.  But then again, I may have to change my mind if, say, Sarah Palin were actually to write her own book …

2.  You can’t write if you don’t show up for work.  I am perhaps most proud of the fact that I did not miss a writing day — although it is also true that some of those writing days were spent in bed, with sustenance brought to me at appropriate intervals by my loving family :-))

3.  A little single malt Scotch helps make new neuronal pathways — trust me, I’m a doctor.  A trained professional.

4.  Write in a style with which you are most comfortable.  I tend not to be interested in fiction written less than a hundred years ago — show me a book from the high Victorian era and I am a happy camper.

5.  But because of (4) above, this novel is anything but tightly plotted (oh, wait, the motto was “No plot, no problem,” right?) or tightly written.  Fortunately, it is also true that you cannot revise what you have not written.

Is it happy hour yet?

Opie the Winter Guinea Pig

“I Am Not Deserving”

Word Count, NaNoWriMo 2010,Day 3: 5,156

I have just spewed out 500 words describing the governess finding a letter, taking it over to the window, and daydreaming about the writer of this letter.  No plot no problem, quantity not quality: it’s good to know I am taking all that to heart 🙂

The Chinese have a wonderful saying, used primarily by an older person to a younger person, which loosely translates to: “I am not worthy of ___.”  Its purpose, of course, is to shame the younger person, though I am not sure of its effect given that these days, the sense of entitlement seems to be built into the human genome.

So, I present a classic example.  My nephew, when he graduated from high school, managed to get into only one college (out of 20 or so) — and though it was his last choice (a state school), he only got in after a suspenseful 3 months of sitting on the waiting list.   Which of course ought to have told him something about the disparity between his opinion of himself and the reality.  But, his parents had promised him a new car, and the choice was between a sporty little black BMW or a sporty little black Infiniti.  Not that it matters which he chose, but he ended up with the little black Infiniti.

My father, who never had a handout (he grew up during the Depression) and worked hard all his life, saw the sparkling new car when his grandson drove it home from the dealership.   “I am not worthy of such a car,” my father said, when my nephew offered to take him for a spin.  It has been six years, and I don’t think he has ever ridden in that car.