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Probably Not The Last

I think I might have hinted (or said outright) on Facebook earlier tonight that there are probably a couple of more posts left in me about my experiences this year participating in the National Novel Writing Month.

Feel free to tune out now if you must. I won't take it personally. I know that I tend to geek out about things. And when I really get in to something, it's hard for me to dial back the filter from fire-hose to kitchen sink.  I've never been very good at regulating that kind of thing.

Today was the TGIO party with the North Central Ohio Writers (Wrimos) group I am part of. It's a final hurrah to say 'way to go people who bleed out on to the page for other people to read and do so in a concerted effort during the month of November.'  Or, you know, a thank god it's over party.

There are raffles and prizes. A secret santa gift exchange.

In short, it was a blast. 5 or so hours of  joy spent with my family.

Family.

It's funny. That word gets used a lot. And barring any deep philosophical discussions (that frankly I'm kind of too tired to go in to at the moment), I must say that I use it here with no careless disregard. It's not some superfluous modifier. It's truly how I feel about the people in the group.

That's one of the things that made today a little bittersweet for me.  During the month of November, there was an event, or write-in, or something going on for NaNo almost every day of the month.  Several times a week at least.  Starting with the middle of October, my Saturdays were crafted around the fact that I would be driving up to Mansfield, or Lucas, or Ashland, or some other place that I prayed Google knew the best way to get there.  Today that ends.

I mean, I know there will still be the regular NCOW meetings and I will do what I can to make the during the week ones and definitely hit the Saturday workshops. But, it'll be...different.

There is a camaraderie with writers who are doing NaNo.  The late nights. The normally overdose levels of caffeine consumed that for some reason, during November, do NOT send the author's heart in to overdrive. The cheers for hitting word-counts. All of these things are part and parcel with making the public declaration that yes, I am doing NaNo.

It's a race. Sometimes consisting of word sprints (which may or may not be repackaged in to a tiny slice of Satan's Nutsac called the "Box of Doom"), sometimes its marathon writing sessions. Some finish. Some are better writers for having made the attempt, falling short of the mythical 50, 000 word count goal. Last year, I was in the second group. This year, I finished not only the first draft of my novel, but I was able to hit the word goal for NaNo.

So...we'll see where this goes.

I can say with a high degree of certainty and accuracy that I would have neither finished my novel nor won NaNo, if it hadn't been for NCOW-its amazing ML (municipal liaison), and its awesome people. Some would argue that I would have finished sooner or stronger if I didn't take the time away from my writing to drive to and from the events up north. And, sure, 140 minutes is a lot of time to write.

But I went to the events to write. They were on my calendar. I knew I was going up there to write. So...when I got there, when I wasn't being blamed for stealing cookies or being dubbed the King of All Fuckery, I was writing.

Had I stayed home during those times, I would have filled that extra drive time with something that I am almost positive would not have resembled writing in any form. So...the miles and time on the road were part of the equation. The beautiful equation that resolves itself to being NaNo.

I'm tired, and the extra caffeine in my system from last month, is starting to fade like me.

I had more to say on family and now it feels great to have a writing family, but I'm tired. So, as promised, this probably won't be the last post like this.

Until then, buy a book from a local author. If you don't know one, ask me. I know many, hitting multiple genres, and they are all talented as balls.

I need to head to Dreamland now to restock on words.

Goodnight my friends,
-A.T.



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