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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

NaNoWriMo Begins

It was a day designed to ignore NaNoWriMo. Work crept up and stuck its nose in my crotch. The dog ripped a claw half-off. The kid turned into Lestat, further proving Anne Rice hasn't found God, but rather has turned her wicked ways toward my child. The wife rushed home from work early, puked in her car, then spent the next eight hours puking in the upstairs bathroom. The rumor is she's pregnant again. I doubt it for several reasons, chief among them: I've seen morning sickness, and that, sir, was not morning sickness. Still, 17 hours later, she's upstairs with a trash can at the ready. If she is pregnant, I think Anne Rice has something to do with it.

So, I could've blown off this as-yet untitled project on the first day and had a couple good excuses. Worse excuses included that ESPN's coverage of the World Series of Poker Main Event was on. As I spent several weeks covering the WSOP, it was like looking at a scrapbook. I saw new and old friends on the video and it distracted me all the way until 10pm. Another bad excuse was the 11pm dial-a-shot from Al Can't Hang. He was calling to tell me the infamous Lewey will be making the December Blogger trip.

So, I had my list of excuses ready for why I blew off NaNoWriMo on the first day. No one was going to care much anyway. Except me, of course. I would've hated myself. What's more, Pauly called from a Las Vegas Target just before I finally sat down to write.

"I'm buying Tupperware," he said, which if you know the guy, is about as funny as it comes.

After he offered an explanation for why a traveling writer would need Tupperware, I heard him mutter, "Fuck. This shit is only $2.69. I don't know shit about this kind of stuff."

Official NaNoWriMo 2005 Participant
And then he told me the real reason he was calling. He phoned to wish me good luck on NaNoWriMo. He offered some advice and support, which I happily took.

And then I sat down to do it. I have budgeted two to four hours per night for the project, aiming at 1600-2500 words per session. While NaNoWriMo is all about a final word count, I decided for Night #1 that I would write until I felt like I'd come to a decent stopping point. And that's what I did, about 1675 words into it.

And the neat part...I didn't really want to stop.

As yet, this piece of silliness is still untitled. I don't plan to offer daily updates, but I thought since I leaked my intention to do it that I should at least let it be known I actually started (which is no small accomplishment for me itself).

Here's the excerpt I posted on my NaNoWriMo profile page.

Sanchez was wrapped around the street sign like a performance artist in a climactic finale of “Man Loves Pole.” His black hair had fallen out of his hair net and was slicked against the sweat on his face. The tendons in his neck were taut. His eyes were shut tight. His knuckles were white. Every few seconds, as Reek stood watching in the street, Sanchez grunted a simple “Unnngh,” and started over. Reek had learned not to interfere.

After five minutes of pushing, yanking, twisting, and grunting, the street sign’s pole shifted against Sanchez’s small frame. With the care of a painter adding the final highlight to his portrait’s eyes, Sanchez turned the street sign 90 degrees, then stood back to admire his work for a second. He took off his hair net, slicked his hair back against his head, and then turned to see Reek watching.

“Bastards cemented the thing in again,” Sanchez said. “Okay, let’s go.”

Now, back to real life for 12 hours or so.


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