I've known about NaNoWriMo, the popular writing project that encourages you to write a fiction story of at least 50,000 words each November, for a few years now. It is completely informal, with no entry fee or prizes -- other than the satisfaction of a job well done. The contest seems particularly centred around the website, which features a lively forum, a regularly-updated blog, and other goofy things. The chatter has branched off extensively onto personal blogs and social networks too, and I imagine most people reasonably familiar with the Internet know about NaNoWriMo. I hear there are also a lot of in-person groups and meet-ups around the US -- my local library is hosting on several occasions though I think I'll pass.
Last year I made a very lame, abortive attempt at competing, getting no further than a thousand words and giving it up in a day or two. But now, well I guess I feel more prepared and less intimated by the high word count. Around about the last week of October I decided, definitively, that I would give it another go. So I started outlining, working on an idea, called Henry's Fear, I've had rattling around up there for well over a year.
Sparing the details, two days in and I have around 6,600 words, a good start by any account. Now twenty-eight days and 43,400 words stand before me, and I feel ready to go. Writing a novel: I suppose I can put it on a list of things I've done, to comfort myself on my deathbed, but mostly I just want to write it so I can read it. And maybe I can con one or two people into doing the same.
At any rate, my participation in this event may cut into my posting a little, but never fear! I will definitely write on my progress, and I plan for one or two book reviews. As for The Aeneid, I don't feel quite qualified to write a review of this foundation stone of Western literature but I'll have to write something about it. And lastly, I hope to write about our August visit to Gary Dumm's house, the cartoonist who produced much of the artwork for Harvey Pekar's comic books.
If all else fails I'll be back to my regular posting schedule -- if I ever had such a thing -- by December 1. Now I charge back onto the NaNo battlefield, so wish me luck and may finger cramps stay the hell away from me!