Sunday, October 29, 2006

Getting Ready!

I'm gearing up for NaNoWriMo and I will be missing from my blog for most of November.

National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.
Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.
Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

I will be checking in on all your blogs daily but to achieve my goal I'll save my finger power for NaNoWriMo. I will be attempting to write a fictional autobiographical novel from four different view points of my families journey. I need cheerleaders for my strength to endure this tough but important goal. I will still post when I can but will miss my blog routine of club participation.

Manny had a stroke over the weekend but is bouncing back yet again! Who says cats only have nine lives? I'm nursing him along but did not want anyone to think I've forgotten them by slinking away. Manny's stroke and this writing venture will take up most of my November. Lynne has been my greatest encourager to write, so I thought I'd share what she emailed me. Many of you are doing this and maybe this quote and poem will inspire you. Wish me luck!

"In my family we were taught to respect excellence...anyone who was good at what they did...deserved our admiration. Moreover, we were to use the talents God had given to us in pursuit of similar excellence ourselves. There was no point in comparing ourselves with others...but only with what we might become by using the gifts God had given us. "Respect for excellence and its pursuit did not mean that you had to be excellent. You did your reasonable best. You didn't quit. Approval....was conditioned on trying. The emphasis was on effort, rather than outcome."
By Andrew Greely

A Simple Poem for Virginia Woolf

This started out as a simple poem
for Virginia Woolf you know the kind
we women writers write these days
in our own rooms
on our own time
a salute a gesture of friendship
a psychological debt
paid off
I wanted it simple
and perfect round
hard as an
egg I thought
only once I'd said egg
I thought of the smell
of bacon grease and dirty frying-pans
and whether there were enough for breakfast
I couldn't help it
I wanted the poem to be carefree and easy
like children playing in the snow
I didn't mean to mention the price of snowsuits or
how even on the most expensive ones
the zippers always snag
just when you're late for work
and trying to get the children
off to school on time
a straightforward poem
for Virginia Woolf that's all
I wanted really
not something tangled in
domestic life the way
Jane Austen's novels tangled
with her knitting her embroidery
whatever it was she hid them under

I didn't mean to go into all that
didn't intend to get confessional
and tell you how
every time I read a good poem
by a woman writer I'm always peeking
behind it trying to see
if she's still married
or has a lover at least
wanted to know what she did
with her kids while she wrote it
or whether she had any
and if she didn't if she'd chosen
not to or if she did did she
choose and why I didn't mean
to bother with that
and I certainly wasn't going
to tell you about the time
my best friend was sick in intensive care
and I went down to see her
but they wouldn't let me in
because I wasn't her husband
or her father her mother
I wasn't family
I was just her friend
and the friendship of women
wasn't mentioned
in hospital policy
or how I went out and kicked
a dent in the fender of my car
and sat there crying because
if she died I wouldn't be able
to tell her how much I loved her(though she didn't and we laugh
about it now) but that's what got me
started I suppose wanting to write
a gesture of friendship
for a woman for a woman writer
for Virginia Woolf
and thinking I could do it
easily separating the words
from the lives they come from
that's what a good poem should do
after all and I wasn't going to make excuses
for being a woman blaming years of silence
for leaving us
so much to say

This started out as a simple poem
for Virginia Woolf
it wasn't going to mention history
or choices or women's lives
the complexities of women's friendships
or the countless gritty details
of an ordinary woman's life
that never appear in poems at all
yet even as I write these words
those ordinary details intervene
between the poem I meant to write
and this one where the delicate faces
of my children faces of friends
of women I have never even seen
glow on the blank pages
and deeper than any silence
press around me
waiting their turn



Helen said...

Go for it !!! I am so glad you are taking this challenge. Looking forward to reading this Novel when done. Hugs :)

Anonymous said...

Good for you Tammy! I'll be cheering you on whenever I take a breather from the NaNoWriMo myself!

I love the quote and the poem~you are always inspiring to me :) I'll miss your posts next month, but I know you have lots to say in your novel. Hope I get to read it someday!

Hugs to you and yours, especially to Manny!

pepektheassassin said...

Did I know you are doing Nano? Can I add you to my Nano buddies?

Anonymous said...

Go for it!

I love the poem to Virginia Woolf. Thanks for posting it!

pepektheassassin said...

And that quote is right on -- there's no comparing yourself to others --judy fp ehst uou can and keep on keepin' on--and write with the light on so you won't write like this! We are each others cheer leaders! You go, girl!

(I am sitting here in the dark and can't see the keyboard very well...)

Chris said...

I'm so very proud of you for doing this! I will miss your posts, though. (That's just the selfish part of me!). I wish you the best of luck my friend. So, do we get to read it when it's finished?? I hope so!

Deb R said...

Good luck with it Tammy!

I thought about doing it again this year (I did it in 2004) but I can't stand the thought of not blogging for a month and that'd be the only way I could do NaNoWriMo would be to give up my blog for a month, just as you plan to.

I'm glad to hear Manny's still hanging in there.

clare said...

Good luck Tammy!

Pam said...

The poem to Virginia Woolf goes right to the heart. Thank you.

I'll be cheering you on every day and know the end result will be a triumph.

Love to Manny...

Anonymous said...

Sorry you won't be posting for a month.I will miss them and will look forward to your return.Your novel will be great to read however.Good luck and happy typing.Love Dave

Anonymous said...

Much good luck to you, Tammy. I hope we'll be able to read your novel some day.

Healing thoughts to Manny (again!)

Lisa (oceandreamer) said...

I am cheering you on Tammy, I know you can do it and it will be fabulous as all your words are. No worries about blogging, we will be here encouraging you! (and of course leave the light on for you!)
Sending healing vibes for Manny the wonder!!! This dog has the determination some humans lack!

Gail in MN said...

WOW! Go for it! I'll be sending good vibes your way all month.

Tell Manny that three furry creatures (Ethel, Purl, and Towhee) plus one human wish him a speedy recovery.

BendingPeak said...

Good luck. Enjoy the process.

Jolene said...

Good Luck and have fun with the novel writing process. I can't wait to read it!

So exciting :)



Anonymous said...

good luck and enjoy it - i'm hoping to :-)

(love to your kitty cat too x)

tinker said...

What a wonderful poem! Thank you so much for sharing it, Tammy.

And you GO, GIRL! Write that damn book! :-)
I'm jogging alongside you in the NaNoWriMo - remember, no matter how many words we finish with - we'll have more words written at the end of November than when we started!

Wishing you (and Manny!) all the best!!!

I'll be cheering for you all the way to the finishline!

Colorsonmymind said...

You got yourself another cheerleader here darlin.

Yeah you. I am so thrilled you have taken this challenge on. Hope to read some of what you write.

Love to you

pepektheassassin said...

You know what? I think I just added some stranger named Tammy to my buddy list. What are you calling yourself? Warrior girl? Daily Warrior? Tammy?

pepektheassassin said...

Did I tell you how much I love this poem? Especially the part about the faces of "friends never even seen."

Amber said...

Go you! I know you can do it. You can tell me all about it when we meet. ;)


acumamakiki said...

I can't wait to read/see your efforts. We'll miss you (goes without saying) but I feel excited for this for you. Happy Halloween!!

paris parfait said...

Hooray, Tammy! Will be cheering you on in your excellent endeavour! xo

Anonymous said...

Good luck for NaNoWriMo! May the creative juices flow, and God be with you! Take care and have a great, word-filled month!

Vedrana M. said...

good luck with NaNoWriMo :)

tara dawn said...

What an inspiring quote and poem...thank you so much for sharing. And let me just say that I am SO proud of you...I am one of your biggest fans my dear and I know that whatever you write in this month will be truly amazing.
I miss you dearly and am so sorry for being so absent. I'm working on making more time for the truly valuable things in life...not just school and work.
Know that you are in my thoughts. I love you sweetie!

AnnieElf said...

Oh Tammy. This poem is absolutely captivating. Thanks so much for posting it here. Best wishes and great success as you write this month.

Sue said...

Good luck with your writing Tammy!

Jeremy said...

Good for you. Have fun!

Patrick Leer said...

"Break a leg!" or whatever is the appropriate good wish for aspiring novelists.

Georgia said...

Best of luck to you Tammy!!

I am doing it too... but I have found I am an EXCELLENT procrastinator and have only about 600 words....

I'll bet yours is fantastic!! i will even bet that you finish :)


vicci said...

It's gonna be a great journey Tammy...Good Luck!!! I can't wait to read it!!!!!!