I’m sure you’re all wondering why I didn’t post a blog entry last week? What do you mean you weren’t!? Well you better start wondering becuase I’m judging my self-worth based on my traffic figures here people, get with it! Are you wondering now? Good.
My excuse? I thought I’d written one last week, no really I did. In my defense my little literary fingers have been worn down to the bone the last couple of weeks. Yes, for the first time in recent memory, I’m actually busy! I have better things to be doing than sitting around at my computer all day. First of all, my main job with Ara’Kus Productions is going well, and while I can’t talk specifics, I’ve been given the opportunity to help them work on their script for Aeterno Elementum. In addition I’ve been press-ganged into becoming their new stagehand, meaning that I’ll be the one pulling the curtain at their November performances. I’m also continuing to engage in metaphoric self-flagellation by going to the gym three times a week. And through it all, I’ve been writing my own stories, and I’ve been busily preparing myself for National Novel Writing month, which is only a week away! Yes, this November I’ll be dedicating as much time as a I can to writing 50,000 words and trying smash them together to form a semi-coherent novel.
I’ve had this idea for a book rattling around inside my head for the longest time. It started out as a simple idea for a short article, for a magazine or a Chicken Soup book (do they still publish those anymore?), and it mostly centered around my friend Bobby. I realized as I started writing it, however, that it quickly became a story about myself as well. I didn’t realize it at the time, but my life was about to change radically.
When I first met Bobby I was failing high school, and I mean failing. Not the wimpy version of failing, the Hollywood version where the kid is “technically” failing but it’s just because he’s too smart for the class and after a series of heartwarming antics between student and teacher will he pull his grade up. No no, I had an F in all my classes, and was doing so badly in Math that I still don’t quite comprehend anything beyond long division. It wasn’t just a bad freshman year either, I was about to start my junior year, and my GPA was so bad you had to go through four zeroes before you found a whole number. I was also in the deepest depths of soul crushing hopelessness my depression had ever taken me, and I had been suffering from depression all my life. At that point in my life I was thinking about suicide like most teenage boys think about having sex, and I looked at suicide with the exact same longing and desire as well. For me there was no hope. I had no plans, no friends (well I did have friends, I just didn’t realize it), and absolutely no goals for the future aside from ending my life. Worst of all, I felt like I was wasting the best years of my life (thankfully I found out later, High school sucks for most everyone).
So along comes Bobby, or rather I came to him. My mother had volunteered to house sit for a friend, who just so happened to live in the Hamptons, and how we’re we going to turn that down. Originally the owners weren’t even going to be there, hence the house sitting part, but at the last minute Bobby’s surgery had to be rescheduled and we ended up just staying with them at the house. I’ve often thought of finding the doctor responsible for rescheduling that surgery and thanking him, because if he hadn’t I would never have met Bobby.
And then that all went right out the window, right now as I’m writing this. It sounded like a good idea in my head, but now seeing it written here on this website I realize its a horrible idea. I’ve already been writing this book on and off for years now, and it’s been difficult because of all the emotions that it dredges up. The last thing I need to do is compound that stress with trying to write the whole damn thing in a month. Plus, unlike fiction, there’s a bunch of stuff I need to remember, I can’t just make stuff up on the fly. I also want this book to the best it can possibly be, and I can’t do that in a month.
NaNoWriMo is supposed to be a fun exercise, to teach me how to manage my time effectively to write a novel. It’s an opportunity to not have to worry about making everything perfect, or even halfway perfect. The idea, at least for me, is to simply get 50,000 words down on paper (computer hard-drive, whatever). So next month look for more updates on my progress, which may or may not include a 50,000 word treatise on why I can’t write 50,000 words.
But before I leave you for another week alone in the wilds of the internet, one last thing.
That’s right, next week ladies and gents! Come see me pull that curtain like no one’s pulled a curtain before! Also, come for the awesome show. But mostly for me, and the curtain.