By the time you read this, I will have decided absolutely, categorically, whether or not I will be doing NaNoWriMo this year. I’ve been umming and ahhing for the last three weeks, veering crazily between bring it on, and hell no.
The last time I did it was November 2011, an important transitional month, in which I turned 40, went to Paris in the middle, and fell down the rabbit hole of depression. Turning 40 was actually pretty good, and I fell in love with Paris. But I’m still somewhere down that rabbit hole. And a lot has changed very recently, that means LIFE is just too big and complicated, and important to put to one side right now, in favour of churning out 50000 words. Besides, I still haven’t got to where I want to be with the stories – and the WIP – that I already have in progress. (And the same can be said of Life, right now, too.)
But, on the other hand, there is something rather seductive about the madness that can set in, with that need to find at least 1667 words each day. Some days the words will come, will flow, will flood, a racing spate of inspiration. And some days the words will hide, just out of view, out of reach, and the overload of caffeine does nothing more than jangle the nerves, makes me hideously irritable, and sets tremors in my hands.
12.04 a.m. What will it be? Yes? Or no?
Eeny meeny miney mo…
It’s Wednesday. Not only is it Wednesday, but it is the second day of November (All Souls’) which means that NaNoWriMo is once more under way. Yes, I am in its caffeine-kicked, sleep depriving thrall. And loving it, as always.
The other significance of this particular Wednesday, is that it means there are only sixteen days to go until I go to Paris. Having never been before, I must confess to being beyond excited. I’ve been planning what to do, where to go, what to see. I’ve been trying to remember the little French still left in my brain – which considering I haven’t had to speak the language since I was 16, isn’t very much. At all. (Don’t worry, I have a cd and book to remind me.) I have a fabulously dramatic pair of new shoes, new clothes, and a new haircut. The new haircut feels particularly good, because I hadn’t got around to having it done for 2 years. In fact the last time I felt so sleekly chic was for a wedding (my husband’s cousin’s) at Bovey Castle. It was an entirely splendid affair, where the champagne did not stop flowing. Every time I turned around, there was an attentive sommelier refilling my glass. Consequently I have no idea how much I drank. Then of course, there was a fine Barolo with dinner, then more champagne for the toasts. And then, during the lull between dinner and the dancing, I made my way to the bar and asked for a Cosmopolitan, and a cigar. The Cosmo was delicious, the cigar was decadent fun, and I loved every minute of it.The next morning I had acquired a vicious bitch of a hangover (vodka cocktails are very heaven; vodka hangovers are vile) and a series of bruises at mid-thigh level – at occasional table height. Clearly, I had been caroming into furniture. Suffice to say, I shall (mostly) be behaving myself in Paris …
I’m not one of Nature’s natural early birds. Mornings, early mornings, though beautiful, are not my preferred diurnal habitat. Hitherto in the normal way of things, I only saw early mornings if I’d stayed up through the night – a not unusual occurrance if I had an essay deadline, or when muse-ridden. But now twice a week (at least during term-time) I’m at work by 8 in the a.m. Big deal you might think. But the Bookshop doesn’t open until 9.30. So it’s a big deal to me. There is a certain glow of virtuous satisfaction to be had, and it’s certainly useful to be able to get ahead of the working day before the doors open to the general public. But the night owl , dominant for so long since my daughter stopped requiring my presence before a reasonable hour, is suffering. The more so since my recent bout of unwellness which has made coffee anathema to my body – though not my mind. Caffeine is still available to prop me up, in the oh so retro form of ProPlus tablets (staple of my student days during A’Levels), but they just don’t compare to the leisurely, hand warming comfort of sipping a latte, contemplating the waking world through its aromatic fumes. The lattes will return soon (a week without them and counting), but this early morning malarkey is here to stay.