All the same we take our chances
Laughed at by time
Tricked by circumstances
Plus ca change
Plus c’est la meme chose
~ Rush ~
In my last dispatch, I mentioned I was immersed in apartment hunting. It would seem that the issue has been addressed, although i won’t be moving until the beginning of December. Given the light sparsity of my possessions, however, the moving thang is not an onerous undertaking.
So it would appear I am returning Bellingham, WA. I lived there from 1991 to 1995 while attending Western Washington University, first as a graduate student in Education working on my teacher’s certification, and then as undergrad working on my creative writing degree. All I basically had to do was my student teaching stint to get the Master’s, but at the last moment I realized (rightfully) the last thing I should be trying to do is to teach secondary education. This had a lot to do with the fact that my Bipolar and Anxiety Disorders (neither diagnosed at the time) were coming into full bloom for the first time.
There are both good and bad ghosts in these old stomping grounds. And returning to a place after two decades makes one realize that although change is the only constant is life, the more things change the more they stay the same.
So, anyhow, November appears to be a kind of benign limbo for me. Not much on plate. Time enough to write and read.
But why keep things simple when you can complicate them?
A few days ago I came across Al’s post “Haiku Shift” over at A Certain Point of View in which he mentions he will be participating in this year’s NaNoWriMo. Joining in on NaNoWriMo is translated as the commitment to write at least 50,000 words towards a novel during the month of November, or nearly 1,700 words a day.
The notion of writing a novel has been lurking somewhere in my brain since I was about the time I was seven years old. Yet I can say I haven’t even come close to writing one. I was one of those writers who came across Raymond Carver, embraced the short story form, and didn’t really look back for the most part.
When I started my studies in creative writing, I went down the path of poetry and the novel became even a most distant likelihood. Writing a novel became as much a reality for me as writing and directing my own film. After graduation, work, life and those pesky mood disorders took over, sending creative writing to the back burner for quite some time.
Fast forward to the present moment. For a couple of days the pondering about a potential novel bounced around. I came across the splendid post by K.L. over at A Thousand Finds in “The Calendar” regarding one’s attitude towards the project. I came to the conclusion I could produce the 1,700 words a day while at the same time continuing with my poetry and photography, as well as keeping up with other people’s blogs.
The “what’s it about” I will save for another time. For the moment I will just say that the only way I imagined hitting that 1,700 mark on daily basis for thirty days was if I for all intents and purposes wrote in a stream of consciousness, not looking back, allowing for skips and zig-zags in the narrative arc. When it goes off the rails…just keep plugging forward.
I will start with little organized in way of the basics: plot, characters, etc. From my current vantage point, the whole endeavor appears to be more like mesh of a flash fiction collage and improv theater than anything else. [On a side note: my personal belief is a great exercise for any writer is taking some form of improv theater class.] If nothing else, I assume there will be plenty of spindrift that can be used as fodder for other creative writings.
In the end, I suppose, when the oracles are telling you to take the plunge, you just go ahead and plunge.