I’ve been neglecting this blog and for that I apologize. I’ve been having a hard time thinking of things to write, or write about. I’ve neglected most of my creative pursuits so I hope you don’t feel slighted.
I was inspired by this video by Ze Frank. I encourage you to go watch it for some context. (It should open in a separate window/tab.)
Okay, are you back? The basic premise was to make up a memory and share it with everyone. So, I wrote two memories. To make it interesting, I wrote one real and one fake memory. Can you figure out which one is real?
Do you remember the day we first met? It was Sunday. It was a bright, sunny day; the perfect day for first meetings and last goodbyes. There was chalk out on the sidewalk in support of some charity that I’m sure you’d remember but I don’t. We paid a dollar for the opportunity to colour the pavement with our ideas. We played hopscotch for the first time since I was in primary school. I drew pictures of rainbows and unicorns. You drew pictures of people in awkward positions to make me laugh. Finally, I wrote my phone number on the pavement. Thunder cracked in the sky and we ran under the overhang to stay dry. Our imaginings washed away with the rain.
Do you remember the day you wouldn’t let me play skip rope? The day was humid and there weren’t a lot of people playing. Most were seeking shade in the vast expanse of the playground where there was only one tree on the top of a huge hill. Generations of children had played there, shifting the soil and exposing the tree roots, perfect for sitting on imagining the tree as a sort of house with rooms and furniture. Of course, kids our age weren’t allowed on the hill; the playground rules dictated only those who’d reached grade eight could sit with the tree. The rest of the kids were left to find shade where they could, like under the plastic slide that was newly replaced after the high school kids burned down our bigger one of mostly wood and steel. So, there was only you and Greg playing jump rope, tying one end to the drain pipe so one of you could turn and the other could jump, except it wasn’t working very well. I wandered by and agreed to be the other turner. When it was my turn to jump, I wasn’t allowed and was sent away; replaced by the inadequate drain pipe that was still preferable to playing with me.
It was raining; not hard, just enough. It was a warning that a storm was coming. Jake tried to ease me into his car to take me home but I didn’t want to leave. The rain was beautiful, the air was cold, and I didn’t want this moment to end. That’s when he kissed me. I didn’t kiss him back at first. It was like I was half dreaming and I woke up when his lips met mine. He kissed me again, and this time I kissed him back. He was my first kiss and it was amazing. Experiencing it is so much better than reading about it in all those books I have my nose in all the time. The real thing was more passionate, more intimate, and certainly more satisfying. All those things girls who have never kissed a guy worry about, like where to put your hands, if you close your eyes, what you’re supposed to do with your tongue, it all just comes naturally. It’s like kissing is the most natural thing in the world and you’re just supposed to do it all the time. I wouldn’t have believed anyone if they told me that.
So, it’s the end and I made it!
I just submitted my completed novel to the contest website. I’m stoked that I finished. I have no illusions about winning; I’m sure there are 3-Day novels being submitted as we speak that are leaps and bounds better than mine. But I didn’t do this to win, I did it for the experience.
I know yesterday I was all about quitting. I’m glad I didn’t. I almost wrote more today than I did in the other two days combined! It was a great experience. I wrote more this weekend than I ever did before. This is the longest piece I’ve ever written. Granted, in the grand scheme of things, it isn’t very long but I’m still proud of myself.
Here’s the statistics, as usual:
- 15,944 words
- 13 chapters
- 50 pages (double spaced)
I can’t say I’m already planning for next year. I don’t think this is how my creative process works. I didn’t mind doing so much writing, where my downside was that I was working on the same thing so furiously. Many times throughout the contest, I came up with ideas about other projects that I’m working on. I had to note them and turn back to my “novel”. I didn’t like that. I enjoy bouncing between projects.
All in all, I don’t regret it and I’m thankful I finished but I think this will be my first and final year.
End of day two. I guess that means I owe you a blog post!
Day two was not my best day. I gave up fairly early in the day considering I didn’t start until 10am and took a two hour nap after lunch. I just couldn’t write this story anymore. I don’t want to say for sure that I’ve quit the contest – I may wake up wondrous tomorrow – but I quit today. Mentally, I’m not there. It’s t the stress of the move, I know. Change is harder on me than it is for most folks. It was really poor planning on my part.
But I did write some so as promised, the statistics:
– 8,915 words
– 23 pages
– 8 chapters
It’s the furthest I’ve ever gotten in writing a novel. The novel I’ve worked on the most (which admittedly wasn’t much) has just a hair over 8,000 words, half of which I’m planning to scrap. So, all in all, I say this was a success for me whether I do anything tomorrow or not.
But seriously, don’t expect me to do this next year.
Well, it’s the end of day one and I’m still alive!
How? I’m not exactly sure. Lots of breaks (too many breaks) and junk food would be my guess. I’ve reached the point in the story that I wanted to get to by the end of today (plus some) so, overall I am satisfied.
I found the real key to surviving this contest, especially day one, is to ignore the word count! Especially ignore everyone else’s word counts! The organizers of the 3-Day Novel Writing Contest encourage participants to stay away from social media and I can understand why. It’s easy to get lost in other people’s progress: Some people are in the tens of thousands of words already! That’s pretty intimidating. However, I am enjoying the social aspect of the contest now that I’ve learned to stop stressing about how many words I’ve got down.
But for posterity, here are my stats:
- 6,274 words
- 5 chapters
- 16 pages (1.5 spacing)
I would have said that I needed to get to 10,000 words a day to really be “in” the contest, but this is easily the most I’ve ever written in one day, ever! So, I have to be happy with that. And I am. I’m hoping to learn from today: take maybe more breaks, but shorter; not eat so much junk food; and drink more water.
How about all the rest of you 3-day novelists?