At this time last year, I was unemployed and loving it. In an effort to maintain my unemployment without raising the ire of my wife, I decided to take part in National Novel Writing Month. It was the perfect plan because I just “couldn’t” get a job until the task was done (and it was a task I decided to do in early September, securing my three guaranteed months of hassle-free joblessness).
Okay, that’s not quite how it went down, but I had always wanted to say “I wrote a novel” and my lack of a job coupled with a 30-day novel writing event seemed like the perfect opportunity to do it. (Granted, that whole “I wrote a novel” thing would have played a lot better back when I was 20 and trying to convince girls to have sex with me, as opposed to when I was 31 and had a girl that was legally obligated to have sex with me, but I’ve always embraced a better-late-than-never philosophy. Plus, maybe writing a novel would cause my wife to have more sex with me. This is what people mean when they talk about a “no-lose situation.)
Then some stuff happened. I won’t go into the specifics, but I was too busy lounging in Vegas with my father to get a start on my novel on November 1. In fact, I didn’t actually start until November 17, which, for all you people who aren’t math wizards, gave me 13 days to write 50,000 words. That’s about 3,800 words per day.
And I did it. (Not having a job helped.)
The result, Searching for Terry Punchout, was more of a 57,000 word (yay, overachieving!) outline than a novel, but still, having completed it gave me a tremendous sense of accomplishment, if not any directly attributable sex.
I worked on a second draft of that book for another few weeks, but put it away early in the new year and haven’t looked at it since. But I have been making notes on how to fix a few of its problems and turn it into a legitimate manuscript that I know at least three people will read (only one of whom is legally obligated to have sex with me).
Some day that novel will be finished.
In the meantime, I will be taking part in NaNoWriMo 2010 starting one week from today. I thought of a new story while writing Punchout last year, and I’ve kept a notebook for it ever since, jotting down ideas on how it should be told. (This is not cheating under NaNoWriMo rules, as I haven’t written any of the actual 50,000 words required to declare yourself a “winner.”)
Hopefully in about 36 days I can say “I have written two novels.” (Or at least “two mostly terrible first drafts of novels.”) Imagine how much sex that will get me.
In all seriousness, I can’t wait to get started. “Winning” last year was one of the most satisfying things I’ve ever done. I can see why NaNoWriMo has grown into such a large event. I’ve also drafted at least two people to join me this year, and have started recommending it to pretty much everyone I know.
Are you participating this year? Add me.
This was our yesterday.
Deep Fried Oreos
Deep Fried Cheddar
Deep Fried Jelly Beans
Pulled Pork Parfait
Deep Fried Mac N Cheese Wedges