NaNoWriMo, GollanczFest, writing, writing, writing

How does it always arrive so quickly? Every year, at the end of November, we think, wow, that’s it for another year. A year! And then December arrives, with all that comes with it, and then it’s new year and all that comes with that, and then we’re into February. By which time, one quarter of that twelve-month wait for the next NaNoWriMo is already over.

It’s October, already. How did that happen? This weekend, me, webmaster (SO) and some other members of Brighton Plot Bunnies will be heading off to London for GollanczFest. It was such fun last year that I suggested taking money from the kitty to pay for tickets for whoever of us wanted to go. That’s fair. Members contribute. Members benefit. It’s not a lot, and the kitty doesn’t stretch so far as to pay for train fares for everyone, but it helps that the entry price has already been covered by a couple of years of voluntary contributions. For that money, we’ll each get a free glass of wine, a goody bag and we’ll get to chat to and mingle with authors (one of whom happens to be a friend). Amateur writers talking to professional writers, all of us having access to wine. What could possibly go wrong?

Hm. I see your point.

Anyway, after that, we again have only a couple more weeks before NaNoWriMo starts again. One of our members was Municipal Liaison last year and has taken up the reins again, this year. Charlie will be co-organising events for the local community of Brighton and Hove and generally making sure all those shy, introverted, socially awkward writer types feel comfortable, and like they belong. Because however introverted we may be as writers (and it does kind of go with the territory), we still need each other. Even writers need a community, like-minded people to remind them that they’re not weird or mad or completely bat-shit insane (well, maybe some of us are heading that way, but the less said about that, the better). Seriously, though, only another writer will really understand all those frustrations, when characters won’t behave, when they surprise you, when the plot takes an odd turn that you weren’t expecting, when you make yourself laugh or cry and when the writing takes over your whole fucking life. Because it really, really does. I haven’t decided whether to participate or not, this year, as I’m already writing like a demon to finish this work-in-progress, and I’ve asked my kung fu instructor to keep me honest by telling him that I intend to have it finished by the end of this month. I did that so that I had absolutely zero excuses not to do it, and often, I need a deadline, whether or not it’s self-imposed, so that I get the bloody thing written. Because no one, no matter how good they are, can edit a blank page.

In other news: I’m almost finished learning 6th pattern, called Shaolin Dong Zi Gun (or Shaolin Perfect Staff – I’m not sure I’ve quite got the ‘perfect’ bit down pat, yet). I don’t know when I’ll be good enough and confident enough to grade, but the sooner I’m done learning it, the better. For a few months, I’ve been using kettlebells and weights to bulk up a bit and to increase my core strength. I don’t do this every day (sorry, Dave, I know I need to do better), but it’s coming. It’s certainly more than I would have done a little while ago, but now I have a goal (which I’m keeping to myself), however distant that goal may be, so I have something to work towards. Besides, it’s always a good idea to try to impress Dennis, especially as he’s not an easy man to impress.

So, that’s where I am, right now. I’m ignoring the fact that the middle of November is not only the middle of NaNoWriMo, it’s also when I’ll officially be ‘in my early 40s’ (gulp). A grown-up who’s never really grown up. And that’s as it should be. Don’t grow up. Boring.

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