Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My First NaNoWriMo: Day One... 2,000 Done!

Two thousand words!

I wrote two thousand words today!


Image credit: Hyperbole and a Half

(I seem to be using this particular image more often lately.  What does that say about me, I wonder?)

Anyway, today is November 1st, also known as... my father-in-law's birthday!

Also known as.... my uncle's birthday!

Seriously, they have the same birthday.

And their DAUGHTERS have the same birthday!  WEIRD, right?!



TODAY is November 1st, also known as...

The Start of NaNoWriMo 2011!!!

I have been so excited (like, totally psyched out of my mind about it, Miles Finch-style) to get this imaginary friend idea off the ground.  I've been planning, writing notes, making lots of new (imaginary) friends, and basically being a high-functioning schizophrenic for the month of October.  But today, I booted a few of those voices out of my head for the first time, and onto the computer screen!

And it felt GREAT!!!

Anyway -- quick review for you lazy-bones who followed neither the link above nor the links I've posted recently -- National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is an online initiative to encourage writers old and new to crank out their first drafts of 50,000 words or more during the thirty days of November.  It's really more like 27 days when you allow for the post-turkey-catatonia wearing off over Thanksgiving weekend.  Writing just south of 1,700 words a day will get you there.

But today, I got 2,000 in!  I'm chugging along now, net-friends, and this story-train's not going to stop until it gets over that 50,000-word mountain!

Over the next month, I DO intend to post about things other than NaNo, but I'll also do my best to keep you informed of my progress.  And if you're participating too, that's AWESOME and you should definitely keep ME updated via blog comments, Twitter, or Facebook (or all three, if you're saucy)!

Here's a taste of the (ROUGH) draft... I invite your critiquing, and it will seriously help me out as I keep going this month.  Also, if you have any old imaginary friends you're not using anymore, a la THIS POST, it's not too late to send them to me and get them included in the book!


The Real Friend

            The day I was illuminated was a cold, rainy day, and Ricky was sick in bed.  I later learned that he was three years old at the time, but when he imagined me I had no thoughts other than the shape of his pink face and his big wondrous eyes staring at me.  Ricky imagined me with mossy green hair and fuzzy blue skin, wrapped up in a fiery red tunic, and there I was.  I had twice as many toes as him and half as many teeth.
            The moment Ricky illuminated me, he spoke my name: “Samby.”  I think now that he was trying to say “Sammy,” but he had a cold and a stuffy nose.  I pointed at myself, and he nodded.
Ricky wiggled his hand at me. I raised my own hand and wiggled it back. He clapped his hands gleefully. I clapped mine. He waved for me to come closer. I took my first few steps, but my feet weren't used to the slick wooden floor. I slipped and knocked into a cup of juice on the night table.
The plastic cup clattered to the floor as purple juice splattered everywhere. Ricky's eyes got big, and I heard footsteps for the first time.
"Ricky," a pretty woman scolded as she hurried into the room, "didn't Mommy say to be careful with your juice?" She scowled and pulled a towel off the dresser.
"Sorry, Mommy," Ricky said. "It wasn't me... it was Samby."
"Samby?" Mommy repeated. She looked around.
I thought she might like me better if I helped to clean up, so I dropped to my knees and tried to lap up the juice. It didn't work, though -- my tongue slid through the juice like it was nothing more than mist on the floor.
Ricky giggled again, and Mommy stared hard for a minute.
"Is Samby a new friend?" she asked.
Ricky nodded, bouncing in his bed.
Mommy's face changed into a smile, and she set down the towel. "I'm glad you made a new friend, Ricky," she said. "Samby can stay as long as she likes."
"He, Mommy. Samby's a he."
"Of course," Mommy said quickly. "As long as he likes. And as long as he doesn't spill any more juice, okay?"
Ricky and I nodded together, and Mommy finished cleaning up the mess. I haven't spilled a drop of juice since that day.
I often think about that very first day. I wonder what life was like before it -- pretty much the same, I expect -- and I occasionally ask myself what would have happened if Ricky hadn't caught that particular cold. I'm glad he did, though. Whatever happened afterwards, I am very glad he did. 


  1. Thanks, Karen! :) I see on your site that you're chugging right along too! Good luck, and keep me posted!

  2. Nice work--don't lose momentum! :D

  3. LOVE this, Ms. Joy! Samby is already endearing... on page 1! I like that he's awkward and vulnerable, and I love the last sentence.

  4. Thanks, Devin and Sam! I'm really connecting with this main character, and it's (marginally) easier than I expected to write quickly. Only about 40,000 words to go! ;)