Taking the Mic: Thoughts on NaBloPoMo (Part 1)

on the air

Rachelle (not Rochelle) over at A Rich, Full Life In Spite of It has referred to posting on a blog as “taking the mic.”  I hadn’t thought of blogging in quite that way, but she’s right, you know?

Among the things I’ve wanted to do for years but have been too afraid to try is standing up in front of total strangers and taking the mic, either for karaoke (and I don’t even drink) or to perform an original comedy routine (à la Jerry Seinfeld).  But I am a lily-livered chicken-coward and I doubt that I will ever have the guts to fulfill either of these.

I actually got close once.  I did stand and take the mic to sing a Toby Keith song at a company Christmas party a few years back.  But the folks in attendance were far from strangers.  I knew everyone and kind of wanted to show off.  Which is laughable, as my singing is of the quality that causes the neighbor dogs to howl in pain.  Hmm, what did they put in that egg nog?

The idea of taking the mic also reminds me of my years working for a major phone company.  At the start of my shift, I’d sit down at the console, adjust my chair and don my headphones.  As I entered my code to log into the workstation and receive my first call of the day, I felt like a conductor at Carnegie Hall when he steps up to the orchestra, taps his music stand and raises his baton.  It’s show time, ladies and gentlemen!

Which is exactly what we do, fellow bloggers.  We take the mic.

And during the month of November, our crazy NaBloPoMo posse do this every day for thirty days.  We take the mic because we have something to say.  Even on those days when we don’t think we do.

Talk About Yourself

I know how this song goes.  We sit down at our keyboards with heavy hearts, clueless about what on earth we can say that we haven’t already said.  The empty page mocks us, as it does all writers.

When I was a child and the family was preparing to have dinner guests whom I had not met, I would ask my mother:  What should I talk about?  I was afraid of sitting at the dinner table like a silent lump while my parents had to embarrassedly apologize that I was shy.

But I didn’t want that to happen!  My parents always had the same answer:  Talk about yourself.  And that, dear bloggers, is the advice I have to offer for NaBloPoMo.  Talk about yourself.

What’s that you say?  Your life is boring and no one would be interested?  You’d be surprised to learn otherwise.

Here are just a few ideas for talking (blogging) about yourself:

Tell us about your favorite uncle when you were growing up.  What did he do to make you feel special?  Tell us about your most embarrassing moment as a kid and your most embarrassing moment as an adult.  Compare and contrast, as all those tests back in school used to say.  Tell us about the thing you hated most in junior high.  And the one food you would never eat no matter how many times your mother tried to force it on you.  Was it liver?  Spinach?  Brussels sprouts?  Tell us about it.

As you can see, your formative years are a gold mine of ideas.

Or, look out your window.  Describe what you see and what you would really rather be seeing.  What would you like to have across the street?  Your favorite department store?  A field of golden daffodils?  A casino?  Your BFF’s house?

I think about kids a lot, as I have been spending a considerable amount of time with my one year old grandniece lately.  So:  Tell us about the day one of your children (or a nephew/niece) was born.  Or your kid’s first day of school.  Or the time your kid did something really stupid that frightened the bejabbers out of you.

Tell us about the hobby you’ve never pursued but would like to try.  What is it about rock climbing or skydiving or stamp collecting or gourmet cooking that sounds exciting?  What has kept you from trying it?  What would convince you to give it a chance?

Tell us about the furniture in your house or apartment.  Yes, the furniture.  Where did you get each piece?  Is anything an heirloom?  Tell about how it was passed down to you.  Where did you purchase your chairs and beds and sofas?  At a discount store?  From an ad in the newspaper?  From an eBay auction?  Did you get a real bargain?  Did you pay too much and then your dog/cat/kid barfed all over it?

Don’t Be Afraid to “Tell On Yourself”

Or tell us about your first car.  Did you name it?  Was it a real hoopty?  Did it ever leave you on the side of the road in the middle of the night?  Did anything memorable happen in that hunk o’ junk?  Here’s a link to my favorite Dan Seals song to get you started:  My Old Yellow Car  (If you’d like to make fun of my love of all things from the ‘70s, by all means, blog about that.  You have my permission.)

Okay, now you’re making me reminisce about my first car.  When I took ownership of that eleven year old bright blue Plymouth, it already had about a zillion miles on it.  One of my friends named it “the mouth” because the PLY had fallen off its rear end sometime in its checkered past.  I went crying to my dad when it broke down a few days after I got it.  It was then that I learned my first lesson about automobile maintenance:  The owner does have to feed it gasoline every now and then.  Oh, and I almost forgot!  Tell us about how you got rid of that car when its days with you were done.  In my case, The Mouth met its demise at the hands of an elderly gentleman driving up a blind hill on the wrong side of the road.  Now that I had learned all about gasoline, it was time for a lesson in insurance claims.  Vocabulary word of the day is “totaled.”

See?  I’m not afraid to make fun of myself.  Of course, this isn’t my current self, this is my past self.  A little humor goes a long way.  Don’t be afraid to “tell on yourself.”

Still not enough inspiration?  Check out your daily prompt on the WordPress Daily Post or the DP Challenge (weekly writing challenges).

I will do my best to come up with some more ideas for you next week.  In the meantime, keep plugging away.  Together, we can do it!

 

NaBloPoMo November 2013

On Being a Bum

will write for food

Everyone in my family is sick.  My wife, my sister-in-law, two of my nieces, my little grandniece.  And I fear Pastor Mom may be coming down with it now.

It’s been a regular barf fest around here and our best friend is the big can of citrus-scented Lysol.  My poor wife was moaning all through the night because every bone in her body ached.  When she finally felt she might be able to hold something in her stomach, I made her a slice of peanut butter toast and read part of a novel aloud to her.  Honestly, I feel helpless.  There’s really nothing I can do other than dispense ibuprofen and sympathy.

Before I end up violently ill myself and blow this whole NaBloPoMo thing, I need to get something off my chest.  Something that’s been bothering me.

You see, I was flipping through Freshly Pressed when I had the misfortune of coming across Suzie81’s post Professional or Hobbyist? about who is entitled to call himself or herself a writer.  Apparently, Suzie, along with Caitlin Kelly of Broadside Blog, believe that the title “writer” rightfully belongs only to those “professionals” who are paid for their writing.

I am very pleased that I live in an age where the marketplace of ideas is on display daily in the blogosphere.  However, the idea expressed in Suzie’s post is one with which I must respectfully disagree.

Reading the comments to Suzi’s post, I see that I am in good company.  If the fact that I am not financially compensated for my writing disqualifies me from being a professional, then by all means, call me an unprofessional writer or a nonprofessional writer or some such drivel.  Calling me a “hobbyist” would be inaccurate, as this would imply that my primary occupation is something else.  But such is not the case.  This, my friends, is my primary occupation.  Is the fact that I don’t happen to get paid for it due cause for me to be drummed out of the writers’ corps?

This blog isn’t the only writing I do.  I’ve also been tap-tapping away at my childhood memoirs and I’ve been writing more than a few job application essays.  Checks, not so much.   (Unemployment will do that to you).

I realize that every blogger has his or her own way of approaching things.  As for myself, I spend four to seven hours a day reading, researching, writing drafts and editing before I hit the “publish” button.  Please don’t dismiss these efforts as “not work” or “a hobby.”  (Applying for jobs is my hobby.  I don’t get paid for that either.)

It isn’t as if I’ve always written for free.  I spent four years as a well-paid legal writer before being laid off and working for three years as a middle manager in government service and then being laid off again.  So feel free to call me a legal writer or a middle manager (or a typesetter or a telephone operator or any of a dozen other things I’ve done over the years) or whatever floats your boat.  I’m not doing any of those things now, so you may as well call me a pirate or a sculptor or a rock star, since I’m not currently doing any of those things either.

Suzi relates that she was nonplussed by the acquaintance who introduced himself as a photographer, a field he pursued with passion, when his paycheck was the result of his work as a bartender.  Suzi feels that he not only misrepresented himself, but also shortchanged the value of bartending by being too embarrassed to admit to it as his vocation.  As the old Burt Bacharach/Hal David song “Do You Know the Way to San José” reminds us, “all the stars that never were are parking cars and pumping gas.”  And as every New Yorker knows, the friendly server at your favorite restaurant is really an actor or actress.

So I hear you, Suzi, but where I think your argument falls short is in failing to recognize that each of us is endowed with the inalienable right to self-identify in any way we please.

Now, I recognize that this is a double-edged sword.  I can call myself a two-toed tree sloth, but that doesn’t make me one (I just smell like one).  On the other hand, a photographer is one who takes photographs and a writer is one who writes.  As all the self-motivation seminars will tell you, you have to “see it to be it.”  I have experienced this phenomenon personally.  Back in the eighties, I was the only employee in our print shop who came to work in a jacket and tie.  I saw myself as a manager, and within two years I was one.  You have to believe in yourself!

As I wrote in a post earlier this week, I do what I do because I enjoy the process and take pride in the product.  Money has nothing to do with it.  Yes, it would be lovely to have someone value my work enough to pay me for it, but I don’t expect this to happen.  No matter.  I will keep at it for as long as I am able to compose a coherent argument and pound this keyboard.  When a reader clicks the “like” button, I feel that I have been richly rewarded for my efforts.

Oh, and what is this bullshit about being a “professional?”  As a teenager, my parents taught me that a professional is one who makes his or her own hours.  My mother and father were both teachers; they insisted that, no matter what anyone says, they are not professionals because they are required to work set hours.  By this definition, they should be proud of their son, the (unemployed) professional.  As a veteran of graveyard shifts, I mostly work in the middle of the night, but ultimately I can work whenever and wherever I feel so inclined.  The internet rocks!

And if you reject my parents’ definition and insist that a professional is one who is paid for his or her work, then I humbly submit that you have in a single stroke dismissed the value of the work of the unpaid homemaker, housewife, domestic goddess (gotta love Roseanne Barr) or whatever term you use for those women (and more than a few men) who, like my wife, engage in work more valuable than all the gold in Fort Knox.

Many of the commenters on Suzi’s post pointed out (correctly, in my opinion) that this whole labeling thing, determining who is and who is not a writer, is a fool’s errand.  Due to a combination of the way our brains work and the culture in which we live, we have a tendency to pigeonhole individuals into little boxes based on the type of work we do.  While this type of blatant stereotyping may be convenient for the snobs among us, it really tells us very little about a person’s hopes, dreams, experiences and the values he or she cherishes.

So if you choose not to call me a writer because I am not being paid for writing, be my guest.  In fact, you can just call me a bum, since no one is paying me to do anything at the moment.

To be more accurate, call me a professional bum, as State Unemployment is currently paying me to do nothing.

Unless, of course, you count blogging.

NaBloPoMo November 2013

Ars Gratia Artis

art for art's sake

My father called this week to ask why I’m not spending every minute of every day pursuing job leads, sending out résumés and going on interviews.  He expressed concern that a fiftysomething middle manager could become unemployable and impoverished if he stays out of the workforce too long.  I could tell that he was following up on my mother’s call of last week (she was of the opinion that my ambivalence toward writing job applications must indicate that I am depressed over having been recently laid off).

This doesn’t take into account the fact that I knew about the layoff two months in advance and that I’ve applied for more than 25 positions to no avail.  That I am not applying for dozens of jobs right now appears to be the issue.

“You have to have somewhere to go in the morning,” was my father’s advice.  I responded that it’s also nice not to have to go anywhere in the morning.  I omitted mention of the fact that he has been retired for twenty years and doesn’t have to go anywhere to go in the morning other than outside to mow the lawn or into town to a doctor appointment or the grocery store.  I also thought it circumspect to skip the part about how the only thing this night owl wants to see in the morning is the back of his eyelids.

Dad pointed out that there is a difference between not working because you’ve been thrust out of the workforce due to the economy and not working because you’ve decided to retire and have a nice pension from the state retirement system.

It’s not as if I haven’t thought long and hard about whether to keep working or to throw in the towel.  I tried to explain that I’ve had enough of the cubicle life and that I would like to work in a results-oriented environment in which I can exercise my nighttime creativity rather than being stuck in the 9-to-5 routine.  I fear I was not very successful in my efforts to relate how much I love blogging every day and, hopefully, finally finishing the last part of my memoirs.

“And what will you do then?” he asked.  I offered that I hope to market my manuscript around and hopefully attract the attention of a publisher who can afford me the services of a professional editor.  I’m realistic, I told him; I don’t expect to earn a penny from this endeavor, although I won’t be self-publishing the book either.  Why, then, would I waste my time?  Good question.  My answer:  To satisfy myself that I can do it.

This got me to thinking about how, along with my fellow writers, I am a member of a society of professionals who work without compensation.  In a capitalist economy, this sounds crazy.  Who would work for free?  Plenty of us, apparently.

In a recent New York Times opinion piece (“Slaves of the Internet, Unite!,” Oct. 26, 2013), author Tim Kreider observes that those who wouldn’t think of giving away a haircut or a can of soda for free think nothing of asking writers to compose work for publication for no pay.  The applicable currency, the theory goes, is not money, but “exposure.”  In other words, no compensation is really needed because the public gets to see what great writers we are so that they can ask us to write more stories, poems and articles for free.

The whole idea of us creative types pouring out our blood, sweat and tears for love (not money) struck a chord.  Kreider’s article took me back to my “volunteer” work for America Online in 1995, 1996 and 1997.  I worked as a message board monitor, a content provider, a leader of virtual “tours” through AOL’s Entertainment Channel and a “love doctor” (facilitator in a love, sex and relationships chat room called The Hot Bed).

I’ve heard anecdotally that several of my fellow chat hosts and content providers have unsuccessfully attempted to sue AOL for back wages.  I am told that AOL’s legal people took the position that all of us willingly and eagerly volunteered our time in order to be a part of the excitement of the early days of the Internet.

I believe it is true that we agreed to work for free, but not necessarily for the “coolness” factor. Like myself, many of us were addicted to the friendships and connections we had made online back in the days before Internet access was essentially free. 

In the mid-nineties, AOL was behind a firewall and the charge to use its services was three dollars per hour.  Quite a few of the volunteers were students, unemployed or just too poor to be able to pay the huge bills that we tended to rack up.  I recall working 20 hours per week as a combination desktop publisher and technical writer for a tiny Silicon Valley startup, getting paid ten dollars an hour, crashing with my sister and sending almost all of my paycheck to AOL.  I just had to get my chat fix at any cost.  See?  Addicted.

When I ended up unemployed and broke, I found out a way I could stay online.  Those who were willing to perform tasks such as hosting chat rooms and message boards would be “compensated” by being credited with an hour of online time for every hour worked.  In some of AOL’s channels, it was possible to earn two or even three hours of online time for each hour worked.

And then there was Nirvana, the Holy Grail, the mysterious “overhead account” that was only whispered about and was rumored to be a myth.  It wasn’t a myth, however.  Some of us managed to cadge content wrangling volunteer positions that required many, many hours of research and HTML coding, compensated by an entirely free AOL account.  For addicts like myself, it was the ideal situation.  As long as I got my work done, I could spend all day and all night online.  Which I frequently did.  I wouldn’t sleep until I collapsed in my chair.  To buy food, I borrowed money from family and friends.  I freeloaded, I mooched.  I moved from California to Connecticut and back to California again.  Anything to avoid working so I could be online all the time.

I loved hosting the chat room, particularly on Saturday nights when the place would be rockin’ and rollin’. This was a double-sized chat room that held 46 rather than the usual 23.  There were always a few “snerts” in attendance, kids who had no interest in taking part in the conversation and would repeatedly violate the no polling/no scrolling/no profanity rules.  We had macros, pre-typed scripts, that could be sent into the chat room at the touch of a button to warn these miscreants that they risked being tossed out by the higher-ups.  For most of the chatters, however, it was one big party and I was the emcee.  I would have thought-inducing questions prepared ahead of time; if I received responses, I would type follow-up questions.  I would do my best to recognize participants by addressing them by their screen names.  As the text scrolled down the screen, it was my responsibility to try to keep up with all the threads of the chat and to make additional comments to provoke the expression of a variety of opinions.  It was a heady experience, quite the thrill.  And I did it all, if not for free, than at least for the free account.

At one point, my “supervisor” asked me to conduct a seminar to let my fellow chat hosts in on the secrets of my success.  That was when I finally put my foot down and demanded compensation.  Of course, AOL was unwilling to pay actual money, and so I stood my ground and took a pass.

These days, I can’t help feeling that I am falling into a similar pattern by blogging in this forum.  None of my fellow WordPress bloggers are paid a penny; we do what we do as a labor of love.  As the old saying goes, “writers write.”  The instant publishing tools that WordPress makes available to us at no charge enable writers to gain, as Kreider terms it, “exposure.”  I love the Times graphic attached to his article, a bank deposit slip that lists, in part, “1,530 page views, good karma, 872 likes, 490 comments, 2 days notoriety… Total: $0.00.”  He points out that, despite all the feel-good vibes, a writer cannot eat and pay the rent on this.  He cites the old joke headline “Artist Dies of Exposure.”

Kreider proposes that writers could remedy this situation if we’d only stop giving away the fruits of our labors for free.  “Not getting paid for things in your 20s in glumly expected, even sort of cool,” writes Kreider, while “not getting paid in your 40s, when your back is starting to hurt and you are still sleeping on a futon, [is] considerably less so.  Let’s call the first 20 years of my career a gift.  Now I am 46, and would like a bed.”

Being a considerable number of years past the age of 46, I can certainly appreciate Kreider’s perspective.  He rails against a public that, by expecting us to work for free, relays the opinion that “our vocation is worthless.”

Clearly, Kreider doesn’t believe that our vocation is worthless.  And this is where he and I part company.  Say what you will about the virtue of the starving artist, the fact remains that, in a free market economy, things are worth exactly what people will pay for them.  In that respect, my work and that of most of my fellow writers is indeed worthless.

But that’s okay.  Just as in my days as a chat host, I do what I do because I enjoy the process and take pride in the product.  More than likely, Kreider would argue that I can’t have very much pride in my work if I am willing to forego compensation and simply give it away.

I respectfully disagree.  I blog for the same reason that I spend time with my little grandniece:  Both pursuits light up my life.  They make me smile, and hopefully they make you smile, too.

Ars gratia artis, baby.

NaBloPoMo November 2013

Eskimo Kisses

Hayden potato

Thank you, dear readers!  A Map of California has reached the milestone of 100 followers.  I am humbly grateful for your support.

It’s amazing watching my grandniece learn to walk.  Now, this may be old hat to many of you out there, but it’s a rather wondrous experience for those of us who skipped the whole having children thing.

My grandniece is still more comfortable on her knees than on her feet, but she seems to have figured out that there are two alternate means of locomotion, kind of like choosing between taking the bus and taking the train.  Only she hasn’t quite mastered the timetable for the train yet.

What’s really funny is how she surprises herself when she is able to take several consecutive steps without falling on her bottom.  She raises her hands to balance herself and assumes an open-mouthed, shocked expression, as if to say “Holy crap, I can do this!”

We are blessed to have the little one over here for at least a few hours each day, and all day and evening at least a couple of times per week.  Now that we’ve been here for a month, I am starting to become more comfortable playing with her.  And it touches my heart that the feeling seems to be mutual.

She doesn’t seem to be averse to a little roughhousing, as long as I don’t overdo it.  I might throw her over my shoulder or hold her upside down so she can do a headstand while I pretend to read a “this end up” label on her little feet.  I don’t know what the heck I’m doing, but that doesn’t seem to bother her any.  She puts up with me.  I’m just glad she hasn’t learned how to do the eye roll yet.  Whatevs, Uncle Guacamole.

Speaking of which, we have ripe avocados again.  I’m saving them for tomorrow, so we can make (and eat) guacamole together.

I’m really lucky that my wife and her mom take care of the business end of things (diapers, powder, ointment) and let me just play.  I am fortunate that I am a night owl who sleeps til the afternoon and blogs in the wee hours, as I don’t get much of anything done when Li’l Miss is visiting.

I think she’ll have her own blog pretty soon, and I can only imagine that I will blush at the things she has to say about me.  I know she digs this scene because she is forever banging on the keyboard or yanking at the cords of either my laptop or my wife’s.  She also likes to play with our iPhones.  I have to hide the mouse and my headphones when I see her coming this way, or else I know they will be summarily disconnected and whisked out of sight, whereupon I will spend an hour searching for them under the couch, behind the TV and in the kitchen cabinets.

You think I’m joking?  Earlier this week, the little scamp did something to my wife’s keyboard, after which she unable to type the letters H or C.  Then she changed the text notification tone on my wife’s cell phone to a ring tone so that my wife keeps thinking someone is calling her every time she receives a text.  Hello?  Hello?

I don’t know what my grandniece did to my laptop, but after she got her hands on it, I couldn’t get any sound through my headphones for two hours.  Then she grabbed the TV remote and recorded one of her Baby TV shows.  I kid you not!

We’ve been calling the little one Bug since she was born.  But now my wife has come up with another highly appropriate nickname:  Screech.  The lung power of someone so small defies logic.

I feel badly that we have to tell her “no” every minute or so, but the kiddo grabs at anything in sight and proceeds to investigate its qualities by tasting it.  When the prohibited item is removed, she likes to express her disapproval of this untenable situation by screaming her lungs out.  As I mentioned, I sleep during the mornings, and I am accustomed to hearing, with one eye open, “No.  No!  NOOO!!” followed by “Waaaaaaahhhh!! Wah-ah-ah-ah-wahhhhh!”  My wife and Pastor Mom must have incredibly deep wells of patience to draw upon.  If it were me, I’d be blogging from the looney bin.

If it can be knocked over, it will be.  If it can be dumped, it will be.  If it can be flung, it will be.  My grandniece particularly enjoys turning over the trash can and playing with our discarded paperwork.  When she comes near, I must quickly remove my glass of iced tea as well as the tea pitcher, or both will end up poured over her head, her clothes and the carpet.

A writer must have a pad to take notes, and I keep one next to my computer.  There are always loose pages stored inside the cardboard backing.  If I look away for a minute, the loose pages will be strewn every which way and my grandniece will be sitting among them while she sucks on the pad itself.  This has already happened at least four times to date.  As the magical masters of legerdemain point out, the hand is quicker than the eye.  That is, her hand is quicker than my eye.

So now it seems that my wife is schooling the little one in the operatic arts.  They perform a two-part tune known as “The La-La Song.”  My wife cacophonously screeches “la, la, la laaaaa!!” and then says “your turn.”  Li’l Miss then sings her part in what is actually a fairly good imitation of my wife.

She has also been teaching Screech how to rub noses, known as giving “Eskimo kisses.” I remember my aunt doing this with my sisters and me when we were little.  Where this particular maneuver got its name I have no idea.  Do the inhabitants of the Great North actually rub noses to greet each other in their fur parkas?  If so, I think the time has come to update to the modern age and be a bit more PC.

But who am I to say?  Somehow, “First Nations osculation” doesn’t have quite the same ring.

 

NaNoSloMo

nanowrimo

November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  For details, click here and here.

Ten Reasons I Will Not Be Participating in NaNoWriMo:

  1. 50,000 words?! You’ve got to be kidding!  If you break it down, that’s 1,666⅔ words every day for the entire month of November.  That’s more than twice as many words as I blog daily, and my blog posts already take hours to compose.  Besides, how do you write ⅔ of a word?
  2. Too much pressure!  I hate feeling that I have to do things, particularly when I’m not getting paid for them.  I don’t have to write a blog post every day and, let’s be honest, no one will care even if I skip an entire week.  Skip a few days on NaNoWriMo and you’re pretty much toast.
  3. You need to have an idea.  I have no ideas.  Someone in my family has to say or do something funny before I have anything to write about.  Luckily for my blog, they do this daily.  Even then, the theme is pretty much played out by the time I hit a thousand words.
  4. In my home nation, the United States of America, the Thanksgiving holiday falls during the month of November.  When we go around the table taking turns sharing those things for which we feel thankful this year, I will say:  “I am thankful that I do not have to write 1,666⅔ words today.”
  5. I am already working on a memoir.  This does not in itself exclude me, as the NaNoWriMo rules state that your “novel” can be a memoir.  However, I am three-quarters done with this memoir and I do not feel like writing another 50,000 words just to get a gold star and a happy face icon.
  6. I am a lazy butt.  ‘Nuff said.
  7. NaNoWriMo is egalitarian, and as such, is very much in the American tradition.  The very concept posits that anyone can write a novel.  Perhaps.  In my case, however, it would be horribly bad!  I am not going to write the Great American Novel in a month or a year or a hundred years.  Whatever drivel I pen will just sit in a drawer (or on a flash drive) somewhere.  I might be able to get my mother and father to read it, and that’s only if I’m really lucky.
  8. My character development is nonexistent, my dialogue is laughably stilted, and I mix my metaphors, split my infinitives and punctuate my sentences with maraschino cherries instead of commas and periods.  Also, I have no concept of how to move a plot forward.  Oh, and don’t get too attached to any characters in the first few of my chapters.  I tend to forget about them and then you’ll spend the rest of your days wondering how they turned out.
  9. If I ever lose my mind and decide to write a novel in a month, I am not such a lemming that I would feel compelled to wait until the month when thousands of others are doing the same thing.
  10. I started writing my memoir 13 years ago.  Me, write a novel in a month?  Don’t bet on it.  Sign me up for NaNoSloMo, will you?

 

Join me in writing a blog post every day in the month of November!  Click here to sign up for NaBloPoMo.  See you on the blogroll!