Two days into NaNoWriMo with the goal of 50,000 words -- I've done over 5,000, more than 10%. But this weekend will be a blank so I'm hoping to get ahead. And I'm asking myself -- so what? This a purely voluntary writing exercise. I can tell myself it's important to reach the goal but I know it doesn't make a bit of difference in the long run, not to the world [most certainly!] and not really to my ego. It's a game and I am usually a bad game player because winning is never very important to me. The "Competitive" screw in my personality is loose, maybe got lost along life's way.
Anyway, I'm discovering things as I write -- various unexpected facts about the characters as I first describe them. Some people do all that in advance. I like to surprise myself, which pieces of my own background/reading/experience I can draw on. It's fun. My main character has taught school in Mongolia. This sets her apart from the potentially insipid person I originally had in mind. Her aunt is a retired school teacher who likes the "warhorses of middle school poetry" -- that offers some potential for dialog. These little bits are fun.
The big discovery is that I'm not writing the genre piece I said to myself I would write. Currently there is a minor genre of books that feature quilts or quilters, sweet stories, some of them historical, mostly, I take it [not having read any] well plotted and well researched. My research, from immersion in the subject, is pretty solid, but I'm not writing an easy-to-read genre piece. I don't think I can do that for any genre. I have never in my life wanted to write what people want -- thus I refused to study journalism in college. The questions looming in my mind are already bigger -- art questions, art versus craft questions, intention of folk artists. And then there's a trio of old ladies -- two among the old-old, over 85, one hearty seeming and the other frail. I don't know yet, but one or maybe both will die. My young character will have to deal with that, too.
The photo is a quilt of mine that is not quite the kind of wild, mostly unlovely -- or so the locals think -- quilts that feature in the story. But this one is on the "wild" side -- too much so for me to want to live with, so I gave it to Leslie who liked it. But then she lives in California and the sensibility is a bit different out on the Left Coast. Time to go back to my NaNo work.
ELDER MUSIC: Drinking Songs 3 - This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge an...
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