NANOWRIMO Week Two: Here Comes a Writer With a Baby Carriage

Hello!, and thanks for taking the time to catch up with the blog in the middle of one of your (hopefully) busiest writing months. At this point your mind set is probably so swayed to creating that reading outside of your work in progress is a lot like talking to another adult after being seeped in toddler-speak non-stop all week.

I know that your time is precious so I’ll keep it short and sweet. (Like me, ya’ll)

The second week of NANOWRIMO is all about elaborating on, fleshing out, and developing your baby. Last week we talked about the excitement of new love, the honeymoon stage of writing, if you will. This week is about the baby you’ve made and what that means for not just your writing but your life for the next seven to ten days.

I know a lot of you are parents, and though it may have been awhile since you’ve spent the midnight hours rocking teary-eyed cherub back to sleep, chances are you remember the sacrifice of time and autonomy for the good of the future. This week is not much different for the NANOWRIMO process. You are starting to see the commitment involved and how the expectations you may have had in the beginning are often dashed by the realities.

Because children don’t always behave the way you think they will. Characters show unexpected traits and say things that throw your dynamic out of whack like dropping the f-bomb at Christmas dinner with Grandma, or asking you for “boob!” loudly in a store.

Settings and plot lines stall with the same debilitating frustration as trying to get a two-year-old into shoes because you’re late for the doctor appointment and you haven’t showered in three days, and you ate cold, leftover mac n cheese for breakfast and you’re not sure if that’s their diaper that smells or the dog…

Keeping on top of the little fires that come up isn’t easy but I encourage you to set a flexible schedule (it works with kids; it works with writing). Give yourself two hours ideally but really whatever you have is fine. Leave half for just writing. Leave the other half to fix plot holes, develop your character’s personalities and backgrounds, build on your story arc, and brainstorm solutions for things that are cropping up as you pour ever more work into the novel. Look at it like doing the groundwork of, feeding, changing, and burping for half of it, and the other half cuddling, coloring, singing, and playing.

A well rounded “story” is equal parts meeting the basic needs and getting to play in the creation of it.

Good luck out there. Nap when it naps, grab a shower while your computer backs up. Drink some coffee and prep for the long nights. Remember the bigger picture. Novels and babies are investments in the future. The work, and love, and committed care you invest now will lead to rewarding results in both your story, your characters, and your craft.

Oh…and get a decent meal. You can’t run on PB&J crusts and half eaten apples forever.

 

VerseDay 3-7-19

Before I wow you with my versatile verses here are a couple of quick announcements:

 

Send me your poetry for consideration in the The Beautiful Stuff 2019 Poetry Anthology. If you don’t write poetry, but know someone who does, encourage them. Contributors will get two free copies of the anthology and bragging rights. And we all know bragging rights are way better than a cash payout…um…ahem…(*nervous throat clearing).

You can send entries via the contact page on this website or simply by emailing it to me at sereichert@comcast.net with “2019 Beautiful Stuff Poetry Submission” as the subject line.

Also, The Beautiful Stuff’s weekly blog post will now be moved to Tuesdays of every week, as I want to spread out all the thought. I will be looking for guest bloggers at the beginning of April so keep your eyes open for that announcement.

And now…a little scuttle into Sarah’s latent memories.

 

Recollection

 

Remember days, sunlit and spread

Tentacles of diving suns and

Russian thistles, green teeth bared,

Before winter tumbled them dry.

The sand blasted faces, relentless wind,

Grit swallowed with water from the hose.

 

Remember the stolen boards,

The battle of nail and hammer; an engineering feat.

The tree house mansion at the end of the road

That dropped my brother from leafy heights

And gave him the best scar of the summer.

 

Remember the joyful toil

Sticky hands and brown feet

Mosquito bites torn into angry holes,

Captured horny toads, succumbing to belly rubs

Such degradation of the regal king of sagebrush.

Awe filled fascination, as blood fired from their eyes

A defense of true dragonry.

 

Remember settling into M*A*S*H with dad,

Never noticing the sting of war around the click of Klinger’s heels.

Or the soft, seeking peace of Radar’s eyes.

The MacNeil Newshour always put me to sleep on the floor.

A sleep that never paused for the bustle of adult worry, or nuclear meltdowns.

 

Remember toe-headed boys and dirty-dishwater blondes,

Running naked round houses on dares,

Unfathomable speed of youthful freedom

Still not faster than motherly wrath.

When laughter tickled like a persistent cough

And sadness reserved itself for opened knees and epic bike wrecks.

Wounds that healed far faster than the heart.

And left scars you bragged about, not buried.

When life was immortal and endless,

Possibilities not yet limited by the bottleneck of time.

 

Remember the stolen, joyful days

Dragonry and castles in trees

The naked hearts, and pauseless sleep.

Before we settled into toil?

You toe-headed boys and dirty-dishwater blondes.

What memories lay, grit covered, on your shelves?