I am participating in the National November Writers Month, and I have a goal to write just under 1,700 words daily. The word goal is to help me write my first novel and the guidelines are to write anything -even if I don’t have an outline or specific idea. Something good is supposed to come out of all this.
And the other thing? I’m not supposed to edit. Forget the number count; not editing as I write will be the bigger act of discipline.
Several of the people that I know who are participating in NaNoWriMo, as it’s fondly referred to - have a seed of an idea for a book; a general outline or a theme. I got nothin’.
It made me want to qualify somehow – why would I do this? The answer is simple: I’m an only child and I grew up without a television. So, if I have anything going for me - it’s scads of creativity, patience and determination. I like to spend a lot of time alone, and most importantly… I love to read. My best friend was also an only child, although she had a TV. She also had a great number of things that I never had: a lava lamp, a four-bedroom house with spiraling staircase and a dachshund.
We spent an enormous amount of our time together reading. Beginning with the horse books: Billy & Blaze in the various hardcover adventures… I especially loved CW Anderson’s illustrations, Misty of Chincoteague, The Black Stallion series. We loved comics: Richy Rich and Archie were favorites, but we also read Ranger Rick and Mad Magazine. Much of the Mad Magazine humor was lost on me – too many references to stuff I didn’t understand. We moved onto the pre-teen and teen stories: Nancy Drew (we didn’t ready Hardy Boys, however – we saved that strictly for the TV show we watched at my friend’s house, so we could fawn over Shawn Cassidy and Parker Stevenson), Paula Danziger and Judy Blume. We read all of the VC Andrew Flowers in the Attic series, which was just brilliant and pure trash.
If I really wanted to split hairs, I’d say that my mom is partly to blame for any qualifications that I may have to write a book. She is the most well-read person I know, literally – she is reading constantly always. Her home is filled with books, and her Kindle discovery was like giving the gift of sight to the blind, or in this case – the gift of the bookless a book. She instilled the love of reading in me and it is a tradition that continues with her appreciative and adoring grandchildren. Every visit, she takes them to the local bookstore and they each get to pick two – just two! books. It’s a wonderful tradition and a whole lot like heaven for them.