Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Gas of Milk Revisited

 Last November 8, I wrote this post at the one week mark of NaNoWriMo, the writing competition I am competing (against the clock, not anyone in particular) in again this year.

Strange how last year's fictional memoir turned into a mental health project. I suspect my "real" memoir is going to turn into one too.

The more things change...

Since I am hard at work on my fourth day of NaNoWriMo, please enjoy this post from November 8, 2012.

Pouring a Gas of Milk

NaNoWriMo Weekly check in #1.  The total word count as of bedtime last night is 13,728.  A whole lot to go.

I hope most of those sentences are more coherent than my "gas of water" gem.

One of the biggest challenges of the National Novel Writing Month (writing a 50,000 word novel in the 30 days of November) is keeping your ideas flowing.  It's supposed to be all about turning off your inner editor- you know, the inner editor that all bloggers have.  Write now, edit after November ends.

The second biggest challenge is staying coherent.  Hence the "gas of milk".

I meant to say "glass of milk".  To the NaNoWriMo word count, it doesn't matter. But to me, it does.

My third biggest challenge is shutting up the inner voice that keeps saying "no one is going to care about what you write. Boorrrrrrring! "

After reviewing the NaNoWriMo rules, I decided to turn this novel into a mental health project.  The flood our area survive last year has now been dwafted, big time, by Sandy.  I have friends and family on Long Island, New Jersey, and in NYC.  I'm not even sure all of them have power back. Did I happen to mention that, as I pre-write this post, it is snowing heavily down there? 

But there is something I have to get out of my system.

And so, I am writing the fictional memoir of someone who could be me in an alternate universe. In that universe, my Mom didn't die when I was 12.  She is alive, and 90 years old.  (I have a feeling I am channeling a friend and loyal Ramblin with AM blog reader.  Fear not, friend, she is not your Mom. She is my Mom, if she had lived to 90.).  In that universe, I have the daughter who, in this universe, I never had. (not that I have ever not loved my son.)  In that universe, I am working in a career I changed in "real life" years ago.  In that universe, I am a writer.  Come to think of it, I am one in this universe, too.

I'm working on a book, about something that happened in Binghamton in 1962.

There's one other thing.  In this universe, I was not here when the flood happened, when my neighborhood was evacuated.  My spouse and I were 7 hours away, on vacation.  You can check my blog, posts of September 7-September 11 to see what "really" happened. In this universe, anyway.

About three weeks after the flood, a neighbor offhandedly said to me, "but you weren't here"  I don't think he meant anything by it, but it plunged me into a big bout of Survivors Guilt I've never mentioned in this blog until just now.

I have spent the last 14 months wondering what would have happened if we had been home when the flood came.  And now I know, because I am writing about it.

Fiction with a dash or two of fact. And a project that will put mental demons to rest, at last.  Liberation.  Freedom.

Free at last.

Thank you, NaNoWriMo.


  1. When the milk boils down to a sticky mess, we must write for ourselves. Nobody can guarantee a reading audience. Nowadays so many people write. Even if you produce a good book by anyone's standards, you have to bring it to the attention of others. The way I see it, a memoir has a certain ready audience. In that, you're one step ahead. Best of luck with your writing. May the words flow.

  2. I often worry that no-one would want to read my work/ people don't read it properly. I write for pleasure :)


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