National Novel Writing Month is again upon us! My most favoritest month of the year is only a week away. Where once boring old November heralded little more than grocery store pyramids of canned pumpkin and the beginning of Holiday travel mayhem, since my introduction to NaNoWriMo it has been reborn as thirty coffee-soaked days of work shirking, writing like mad, and Art for Art’s Sake. This year will see the production of my eighth NaNo masterpiece, so I sort of have my pacing down, and I take a lot of vacation from my airplane gig, so I have more time in my month than most people, but 50,000 words in 30 days is still a challenge. An ambitious yet achievable goal which every November 3rd I know for a fact I will trounce, and every November 17th seems impossibly, sadistically unreachable. The hilarious highs, the finger-paralyzing lows, the character whose name you keep changing — it’s all part of the process, and the need to push, pull, or drag a story across the 50K finish line before midnight on the 30th smashes the limits of my creativity like nothing I’ve tried before or since. Because they’re 50,000 words of Awesome? No. In many cases, quite the contrary. But they’re 50,000 words I didn’t have on October 31st. They’re words I can render into beauty or comedy or bird cage liner, and they breathe life into characters whose stories no one else was going to tell — whether anyone else reads them or not.
I’m already in love with this year’s characters, who I hope will love each other; if nothing else, we’ll have a Vespa-riding grandma to fall back on. My blurb on the NaNo website reads thusly:
Santa Fe attorney Danny Hanrahan is the King of the Easy and Obvious Choice, and falling for sexy Ashok Rai is a no-brainer. Embracing Ashok’s alter ego, drag diva Raima Reason, is more challenging; Danny divorced his wife for a reason, and it wasn’t so he could go out and find someone who takes even longer than she did to put on make-up. When Raima’s career looks set to take off, Danny has to decide if he’s along for the ride, or if a boyfriend who’s sometimes a girl is more than he can handle.
This year I revisited a Year One trick of inspiration and designed a cover for my book. I’ve put pictures of guys that look like my characters around my desk, and I’ve been watching drag shows with a more critical eye of late, figuring if I can’t get a book out of what my husband’s intro to the drag scene has brought into our lives in the last year, then I might as well skip it. And in case I’m not geeked up enough the night before National Novel Writing Month starts, this year my latest novel, Crazy Like Fox, which itself began life in November, is celebrating its print release. Watching a NaNo novel make good (such as I did last year when Kiss Me, Straight was released in November, too) is sure-fire inspiration to write to the finish, whatever the cost to logic and grammar, and it is my hope that this year’s novel will one day have a crack at the world, too. But first I have to stay home from work, slip into my jammies, put Sheena Easton on Pandora, and write like no one is watching, because the one book you can be sure no one will ever read is the one you don’t get around to writing.
Want to write a novel of your very own? You’ve even got a week to plan! Sign up at nanowrimo.org
Want a print copy of Crazy Like Fox? Get it at JMS Books for the introductory price of $12.00 starting October 31st!