NaNoWriMo – Halfway mark

I mentioned before that taking part in NaNoWriMo was perhaps a ludicrous idea on my part. I am, at best, an amateur writer. The possible completion a work in 30 days, let alone writing 50,000 words seemed well outside my skill level. As I sit here tonight I am hovering below 10,000 words when the target is north of 25,000 if I were  on pace. I have not been on pace once throughout this experience. But, that hasn’t lessened it for me. Of course I would like to achieve victory and write the 50,000 words before midnight on November 30th, but there are more victories than just that.

I have a definite story arc that I am aiming for. I know (vaguely) where my characters are headed. I have committed more words to electronic ink in just over two weeks than I have previously committed in two months.  My own creative process is engaging me. I want to write more. These are all victories for me. A year ago I did not dream to call myself a writer, now I am comfortable inside that dream.

Here’s hoping your NaNoWriMo goes they way you hope!

Chapter 6: Reappearances


Sunday found Jerome nursing what others would call a hangover and what he simply thought of as a migraine. While a bright mind he did own, it did not always put together facts he did not wish it to, and realizing that his drinking did in fact lead to hangovers would make him think less of himself. To his own mind, Jerome was invincible.


Handy around the kitchen, Jerome prepared himself his Sunday special of eggs and pancakes, a habit picked up from his time studying in the States. It was while he was eating his small feast at 11 am that the phone rang. Not thinking much of it Jerome reached for his mobile.


“’ello” was his muffled greeting.


“Mr. Davies, this is Ms. Griffiths from Friday afternoon. I was wondering if you had time just now to continue our previous conversation?”


“I felt we had reached the end of our conversation Ms. Griffiths.” Jerome replied while pushing away his plate and the remaining breakfast it contained. His appetite had left him.


“You walked away from our conversation as it turned to topic you’d rather not discuss. However, I need to discuss certain aspects of your past and personal habits if I am going to be able to decide if you are as suited to the type of work that my employers are looking to hire you for.”


“As previously discussed Ms. Griffiths, I already have a contract with a firm and have signed a non-compete clause so your employers can stop trying to lure me away.” Jerome had spent months deciding which firm to sign on with and was not about to jump ship now.


“I do not represent a Marketing firm, international or otherwise, Mr. Davies. My employers are interested in offering you work along another avenue.”


Jerome cut her off before she could continue “What makes you, or your employers, think that I would be interested in another avenue of work?” The disruption of his routine and the all-knowing air employed by Ms. Griffiths was more than Jerome could stand to be polite to.


“As you know Mr. Davies we are quite familiar with your academic and career pursuits and feel that you’re postponing your start date as evidence of continued unhappiness with the fields you choose. Not that they are not suited to you, simply that you have not found the position which best suits your self. My employers believe that we may have such a position for you.”


This caught Jerome completely off guard. He had felt for two days, and had been reassured by his friends just the night before, that this was simply some company’s tactic to approach him with an offer to leave his current job. A sleazy tactic surely, but nothing out of the ordinary in a competitive job market in a growing field. Plenty of agencies were looking to hire the best and the brightest coming out of the premiere programs, why shouldn’t Jerome have assumed as much? Now it appeared that Ms. Griffiths and her bosses were approaching him for different reasons and with a different end game in mind.



“And what is it that you would like to offer me Ms. Griffiths? What type of work do your employers’ feel that I am better suited for? Rubbish collecting?”


“You greatly undersell yourself and the people I represent with the idea of rubbish collecting. There is an opportunity within the organization which we feel would combine your degrees and years of experience, as well as your personality, in a way that you would find fulfilling. Would you be interested in meeting to discuss this further?”


“Honestly, I would prefer you simply told me what it is you’re after so we can wrap up this charade of a conversation and I can decide whether or not to alert my mobile phone service to block your number. What type of work do your employers suggest, Ms. Griffiths?”


“They are in the international information collecting business Mr. Davies, and you are well-suited for the task. Perhaps you would prefer to meet with them directly? I can arrange that for Wednesday so as not to interfere with your prized commencement ceremonies.” It was Ms. Griffiths turn to be snide.


“That will have to do, Ms. Griffiths. It seems as though you will not rest until you bludgeon me into accepting a meeting, so yes, let’s go ahead and set up said meeting so that I may get off the line with you and go about my life which you seem so determined to interrupt.”

a writer you say?

I have never thought of myself as a writer. Seriously. I have written a lot in my academic career, and should in fact be working on my thesis for my Master’s degree so that I can graduate in May. I know many of my friends in my program were absolutely petrified about writing the thesis, which must be at least 40-60 pages of original research. I was never concerned about the writing; I have always been concerned about the research. And that also feels silly. I’ve been writing in-depth and intense research papers for over a decade.

But even though I have always enjoyed the feeling of sitting down to write or type and the sort of bliss feeling that accompanies it, I have never thought to prescribe the term ‘writer’ to myself. I’m a student, a teacher, a friend, an elder sister, a reader,  a goofball, a history lover, a social liberal, a caffeine junkie, a semi-practicing Catholic, an aunt…

But never a writer, until now.

Approximately eight months ago I joined an incredibly informal writing/critiquing group with two friends from work. One of whom is absolutely committed to becoming a published writer and has many projects under way at any given time. The other has two bachelor degrees; one in English and one in Art. She has been writing as part of her profession and studies for nearly a decade and does partly define herself as such. Artist first, writer second. And then there was me. I honestly joined the group in order to spend more time with two ladies I quite enjoy, and partly because I thought it would provide the appropriate peer pressure to write the damned thesis (you can gather that has not happened).

Within a few weeks I was bringing original fiction to the table every two weeks when we met. Admittedly I only have forty or so pages written at the moment but this is the first time in over a decade that I have written for fun. For me.

I love it.

Since my conversion to blossoming writer I have also started commenting more frequently on the websites I browse, use my twitter feed more often, started reading more for fun, started this blog, and joined up with that crazy Cannonball Read 4.

So what does all of this mean? I don’t know. But I can’t stop thinking about something my Psychology teacher in High School told me just before I graduated. He told me that he always thought I’d be a writer. Perhaps a teacher, or a professor, certainly a lover of history, but definitely someone who chronicled and wrote.

So, here we are.