Tuesday, October 26, 2010

NaNo for Two or Three

My seventh graders and I are going to novel together through National Novel Writing Month. I teach English at a small international school, so when I say 'my seventh graders,' I mean both of them. :)

I've registered all three of us on the NaNoWriMo site under Team Dracula. We've been reading Dracula this month, and they're learning how to craft a really killer horror story. They're both prepping characters: good ones, bad ones, expendable ones. They're describing monsters, devising brutal murders and impossible supernatural powers. They're facing the reality that I'm actually going to ask them to write every day next month.

They both looked at me today. One said, "This will be hard." The other immediately said, "This will be fun." I smiled and said, "It will be both."

Their stories will be between 2000-5000 words. With just the two of them for company, I don't know that we'll be able to sludge our way through the murky sloughs of writer's block. It will absolutely be hard, and I'm worried I won't have the skill to quietly encourage them through.

But, oh, if they make it---and if they learn how to work through a tough scene, and if they feel a character pull them in a whole new direction, and if they hear dialogue faster than they can record it---what fun it will be! And what an honor it will be to join them on their journey.

And I? Am I ready to write 50,000 words? Oh, man. I don't know that I am. Life and sickness and then more sickness knocked me out of the writing scene this summer, and I got all cramped and un-muscle-y and resigned. Can I really jump into this ridiculously challenging marathon? This is going to be hard. ;)

What's your plan? How many words a day? How many weekend retreats from family and laundry? And what is the treat you will give yourself at the end?

I'll keep you posted on our class progress. I believe I will find tremendous inspiration in the efforts of my two sweet girls. Learning from them, expanding my own heart and mind as they open themselves to a new challenge--that is going to be the most fun.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Birthday Wishes

I recently had a birthday. Though I packed my tiara away the second I turned 30, and I've inexplicably soured toward streamers, I found myself celebrating richly.

So much can be accounted for among those flickering candles; so much can be hoped for in their wisps of smoke. I held so many wishes in my heart for this new year that I heard them tumble over themselves as I blew. Who knows what the universe heard. Who knows what may be granted, what may be denied, what may be a surprise to me, a bungling of my heart cry or a wry game of the Fates. Who knows.

But I know I wish for more writing. For more friendships with writers. For more risk and strength and barbaric-yawp bravery. And I wish for health for my loved ones. And I wish for calm. And I wish, and I wish, and I wish . . .
And I wish to hear from you. :)

On my birthday, with my Snow child, looking forward to all good things together.