Monday, November 3, 2008

The fine line between "kick-starting my writing" and "preparing for the loony bin"

Brace yourself. I'm going to give you information that you may not know about me.


Here goes.

I'm nuts. I'm not all there. My mother would say I'm not playing with a full deck. My father would say I'm a few fries short of a Happy Meal. My husband just rolls his eyes.

So even though I know I've lost it, it doesn't stop me. I still sign up for voluntary torture every November.

For those who may not know, November is National Novel Writing Month. Here's how it works.  

Take 30 days, continue to work your day job and spend some time with your family (at least enough so they don't stage a mutiny).  

Add a major national holiday that requires a LOT of cooking.

Throw in Black Friday and the Holiday shopping sales that represents.    

Just for good measure, let's add at least one member of the family with some type of flu-bug and your choice of either a power outage or a major computer problem.

Now write.

Not just a little, but a lot.

Like 50,000 words!

And I'm crazy enough to sign up EVERY SINGLE YEAR!

So here I am, ready to go again.  A mere 1,667 words a day.


This year, though, I plan to use more of the tools at my disposal. In addition to the dictionary and thesaurus and dozens of specialized writing books that adorn my desk, I plan to use my cards. I've used tarot cards for more years than I care to remember. I've used them for life decisions. I've used them to "kill time." I've used them to impress my friends with my "cool skills." I don't usually use them for writing, though.

Yet I should. Think of the insight the cards could give me about my murder's motive. Or my victim's past. Or my heroine's options. NaNoWriMo is about quantity, not quality. It's not like I don't have the stories floating around in my head, right? So putting them on paper shouldn't be an issue.

Or at least it shouldn't be.

I also have my candles. To be more accurate, I suppose, it's just one candle. It's a tall, dark blue one that was charged with Reiki energy to facilitate creative writing. It has some essential oils in it as well, but I don't remember which ones.  Sadly, I don't remember where I got it or what the exact name of it is, so I'm not sure what I'll do when it finally burns so far down it won't light anymore.  I'm not sure if it's the scents released into the air, the miniscule amount of heat from the candle, or a purely psychological placebo effect, but for some reason that candle makes me write. I end up on a roll, in the zone, whatever other cliche you want to pick. For me, it works. It's another tool I can use to write. Not just for the crazy month of NaNoWriMo, but anytime.

Oh, and let's not forget caffeine.  Lots of caffeine.  And very often.  It may not do more then keep me awake, but I'll need it if I'm to make the 50,000 word goal.

So here I am gathering my tools and preparing my coffee maker.

On my way to 50,000 words this month.

On my way to book two in my series.

On my way to the straight jacket.



J.K. Mahal said...

I use my cards to help me through rough patches in writing too. They're a pretty good tool.

Anonymous said...

I got spooked away from as a kid. I read them for my cousin and everything(yes the bad stuff too) came true. If it works for you guys, Great! I'm a scaredy cat!