Léna is also a Regional Manager for Writopia Lab whose mission is to foster joy, literacy, and critical thinking in kids and teens from all backgrounds through creative writing.

"Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?" Cin, Edges.

Monday, October 29, 2012

How Frankenstorm is Preparing me for NaNoWriMo

When Dorothy was swept up into the sky during the tornado, she was terrified. Little did she know that she would land in Oz, a world of mystery and color.

Sounds like the creative process, yes? I don't know about you, but with every new project I start, I have a certain amount of trepidation. What demons are going to come up? What talismans (like Toto) do I need to keep me going, to keep up my courage while I'm fighting for my life on the page?

November first is officially the beginning of National Novel Writing Month, and is a tornado of creativity, fear and excitement for many-a-writer, myself included.

Then there's the real tornado of frankenstorm proportions innocuously named Sandy. Sigh. Ah, Sandy you sweet thing!

At this point, we still have electricity, but the kids don't have school and the roads are closed as the wind is starting to pick up here in Bedford County, NY. Chances are, that on Thursday, we won't have any power at all, and won't know when we will get it back, but that can't stop us East Coast writers from . . . well, writing.

Back to some old-school tricks folks, by the names of pen and paper. And our creativity will SURGE when we get our electricity back.

My plan is to go to the gym from 8 - 9 every morning, and then write from 9:30 - 12:30. Three hours a day, and it needs to be focused solid writing. And it doesn't have to be good. I've been working on a synopsis*, so I can sit down on Thursday with my butt firmly in my chair and write.

I haven't made it to 50k yet, but the past two years I've participated in NaNo, I've written more than I would have; I've relished the collective mojo of the community. My first year was 2010, and Edges was just about to be born and I was FREAKING OUT. NaNo had me write 30k of something else that turned into a novel. Last year, I wrote 40k, and rewrote that into a novel too. (I don't have contracts yet for either of them, so make of that what you will. For me, writing is practice and process.)

This year I hope to write 40k too, even though I will be leading some day long workshops and there is the whole issue of THANKSGIVING, but I need help pushing through my new project. I have a couple of scenes written, but I've been dancing around plot points and using that to procrastinate.

I have to get in the eye of the storm, and NaNo will be my Dorothy. And I won't surrender, I won't give up. I'll face the witch and her monkeys in my own writing.

As for this actual Frankenstorm, we're still waiting. Maybe it will miss us, but if it doesn't, we have games, books, flashlights at the ready, and have prepared in all of the ways that a family without a house generator can. Let the chips fall where they may, and in the meantime, stay safe everyone.

Read and Write on!

PS the power just flickered off - this may be it folks!

*CRUISING: 18 year old Harper shocks her parents by taking a job on a cruise ship instead of going to college. She wants to separate herself from her boy-crazy twin sister, Bianca. But when Bianca shows up as a guest on the cruise with their dying grandmother, Harper gets more than she bargained for.


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