Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Day Three - Whoopee! (and Shazam!)

And now for something completely different.  I've had quite an interesting day.

2,071 words today/ 7,250 words to date

First of all, I went for a walk. That was a good thing altogether, because it gave me time to think. Among other things, I thought about some of the advice I had been reading on the blogs. I think it was Jodi Cleghorn (Writing in Black and White) who was talking about creative head space. That reminded me that one of my best thinking activities (besides walking) is knitting, and somehow I'm just not doing that. Before I even start to write, tomorrow, I shall pull out my bamboo sock needles and start a new pair of socks. I think what has been holding me back is that I was 2/3 of the way through a lovely blue-grey sock in a wool/silk blend, and I can't remember what the pattern was all about - not the basic sock pattern, but the decorative stitch pattern. It has just been too long since I started the project. Either I have to find the tiny notebook on which I wrote down the pattern as I started knitting, or I have to unknit the sock and start again, with some new pattern. I'm hesitant to do that, as I've already turned the heel, and I'm halfway down the foot. It's sort of like having to do a massive rewrite.

And speaking of writing, and thinking, I was also thinking, as I walked, about the problems I was having with Fly Away Home. I figured out, in a flash of insight, that the voice in my head isn't Charlie's (that's the brother I chose to do the narrating) and it isn't even Bridget's. It's Marie's voice I hear. Marie is Bridget's daughter, and she is a woman close to my own age. Her life experiences are different from mine, but I think I understand her. In the weeks leading up to NaNoWriMo, I've been writing Marie's blog, so we've become very close. I wasn't planning on Marie's narrating Bridget's story, because she was only two years old at its end, but suddenly, today, I realized that of course she could tell the story. She could tell the story that her Uncle Charlie has told her - and her Uncle Eddie, and her Aunt Maggie, and her dad  -  because they all knew her mother, and they would all want to pass on the story of Bridget to her daughter.

So I came home and started writing in Marie's voice, and as I wrote, I started to smile, because this was natural; this was right; this was the story as I had been hearing it in my head. Hallelujah!

But I couldn't write for long, because there was a flu clinic being held at one of the local secondary schools, and it started at noon. I grabbed a bit of lunch and drove up to the clinic. I got in line behind several hundred other people. It was cold outside, but fortunately I had thought to wear a sweater under my jacket. The line moved slowly along, and after an hour and a half we got to the place where a spokeswoman for the health unit announced that if we weren't on the list of people who were considered especially vulnerable, we should just go home, because we weren't going to be getting our needles today. Fortunately (?) I have asthma and I'm under 65, so I qualified, but the woman beside me, who had been moving her walker along for that hour and a half, bringing out snacks from time to time and passing them out to all the children within reach, was in her seventies, and thus she was out of luck. She was also really annoyed. Really. Why couldn't they have sent their spokeswoman back to the end of the line to make her speech, thus saving people from the discomfort of standing in line for an hour or two before being rejected? On the bright side, this lady's daughter spent a lot of the waiting time telling me about her mother, about what sort of woman she is, and what life was like for her when she was growing up in Ontario - and the fourteen-year-old grandson of that same woman was making comments like "What if somebody suddenly started shooting? I mean like a sniper." It was altogether an interesting afternoon.

Anyway, I got back into my car two hours after I had got out of it. I had whizzed right through the procedure, once I was indoors, because they had a special line designated "Adults Only" where those of us who didn't have to wrestle recalcitrant children into having needles jabbed into their arms could go right through. It was like the Express Lane at the supermarket, except it actually worked. Shortly after I arrived, I was sent to Table 8, where there sat two nurses. I removed my sweater to expose my arms. The nurses raised their needles, counted 1-2-3 and jabbed me simultaneously. My left arm got the H1N1 jab, and my right arm got the seasonal flu jab (or vice versa - I hope it isn't important that I remember). Wham-bam-thank-you-ma-am. Then I went over to the row of chairs by the wall and sat for a few minutes, to make sure I didn't go all anaphylactic on them. When I got bored with that, I left.

After a stop at the supermarket, I went home, took a couple of Tylenol just in case, made a pot of tea, and sat down to write. I had a small window of opportunity again, because I had made an appointment to meet a young lady at four o'clock. I found her through the NaNoWriMo website. She had said she would be up at the university, in one of their coffee shops, at four - so off I went. I found her. I hope she wasn't too shocked. I knew how old she was, because she had listed her age (22, if I remember correctly) at the site. I'm not sure she expected to meet somebody who could be her grandmother. She was gracious about it, though. We chatted for a few minutes, then had a Word War (a competition to see who could write the most words in ten minutes. I won. Hee.) After that, we just sat and wrote, each of us intent on her own work. I couldn't get on line there, so I wrote in Word, which was just as well. Now that I'm at home, I am having trouble saving my work to My Writing Nook for some reason*, so I've just left it on Word. I had added a few words to yesterday's and Sunday's posts - just chapter titles, mostly - so my count as of this morning was 5,179. That, plus 2,071 today, makes 7,250 words to date.

I am a very happy writer today. I must come back and look at this page when I have another day like yesterday.

*I figured it out. My Writing Nook doesn't like working with stuff that's been typed in Word and then transferred. I can edit my previous work, and it saves just fine, but the stuff that I transferred from Word just keeps bouncing. Hmmmm. I guess I have to choose my poison. (p.s. Or - I've written an e-mail to the site, asking for advice. I hope they can help me resolve this, because otherwise my arithmetic skills are going to be challenged).

p..s.  Woo-hoo! I got a very prompt reply from Peter, the developer of My Writing Nook, who advised me to save my Word (Open Office, actually) document with a .txt extension, rather than whatever it had before, so I did that, then copied it into MWN, and it worked perfectly. Thank you, Peter.

Note: Photo from Google Images


Mairi said...

Voice is everything. With a clear voice and over 7,000 words done you've got it beat. The rest is just plain old stamina.

Sandra Leigh said...

Ah, there's the rub. Right now, I feel as if nothing can stop me. It must be my immune system going into overdrive. ;>)

Karen said...

A profitable day, all round! I find it interesting that Marie wanted to tell the story and wouldn't be silenced. Sometimes, we just have to go with it.

John Hayes said...

Good job on figuring out the narration!

AngelMay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AngelMay said...

Told you you could do it.
You got an H1N1 injection? No one here is getting them yet. And I'm off the list anyway. It's ok if older people die. Hooray for the USA - It's the best healthcare system in the whole world :Þ ~~~~~~~

Totalfeckineejit said...

You're going at a cracking rate-Incredble! And blogging too?Glad that you got jabbed but feel so sorry for the lady that wasturned away after an hour and a half.that was cruel on two counts,being made wait and being refused.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Energy energy energy - that's what is in this post! *smiling*

And isn't it wonderful when the voice clicks - now what is to stop you?

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