Monday, November 01, 2010

NaNoWriMo, Day 1

This NaNoWriMo stuff is fun, folks. Crazy fun. I wrote 1824 words tonight.

Here's an excerpt from chapter 1 of what I'm terming my shitty first draft*:
She never expected to find herself here. Raised in an unfashionable part of Long Beach—and, really, wasn’t that most of the city? she asked herself now—she was the first person in her family to go to college, and she surprised everyone by moving across the country to write a dissertation on federal America. She had interned at Colonial Williamsburg and regularly played the part of a Spanish visitor to Virginia’s first capital. Her first book, on the intersection of race and gender at Jefferson’s Monticello, had been published only a year ago, but Dr. Bryant had called her two days after Amazon began shipping the text. A fellowship, Bryant promised. A year or two in California, near Jane’s aging parents and her darling nieces and nephews—most importantly, a year or two away from Pocatello, where the roulette wheel of the tenure-track job market had landed Jane seven years earlier. Jane thought of the job market as more like the Peace Corps, really—you go where you’re needed, even if that’s Tulsa or Vermillion or Fresno or Pocatello.

Again her poorly metered limerick ran through her head:
There once was a prof from Pocatello
Who had to subsist on orange Jell-O.
She had to slim down
to fit in that gown
to meet the sage of. . .
Ugh, the rhythm was terrible. She had been an English major before veering into the even less employable field of history, so when the anapests didn’t scan, she felt as if she had just raked her teeth across the dry skin of a pear—it set her teeth on edge and sent pins and needles down her spine.

And now she was headed toward that final rhyme. . . or so she hoped. Sort of. How could she know, really? She had make the mistake of recently watching Galaxy Quest, and so had seen the space pig teleported to the ship inside out, a steaming pile of quivering ribs. Eliza had assured her that with Bryant’s funding and her team’s brilliance, their journey would be completely safe. But still. . .

Jane shoved her hands in her pockets. The clonozepam jiggled reassuringly in its smooth plastic bottle.

* Many participants in NaNoWriMo recommend not doing any editing at all. I'm taking their advice to heart, so please excuse the mess.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

Oh, this is going to be a lot of fun!

BTW, I'm totally with you. The most important thing is to get the ideas out of your head and into words on paper/computer... no matter how allegedly shitty they may be.