Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Why I Lost NaNoWriMo

My Dear Reader,

I didn't make it to 50,000 words this time. I didn't even make it to 40,000. Or 25,000. Or 15,000. This year, after being so psyched about writing my second 30-day novel, I finished at a mere 12,000 words. Pathetic, I know.

Of course, I did write about 10,000 of those words in three days, which I find pretty awesome. I guess that that means I can write a novel in fifteen days, which you must agree, is impressive. And on one of those days, I was driving down to California and sharing a single source of computer juice with my three brothers*.

You see, there is this little thing we have in America called Thanksgiving. I celebrate Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is about being with my family and remembering my personal American heritage by, among other things, consuming various New World foods and proclaiming thankfulness for the sacrifice of others. It's hard to write 40,000 words while doing that.

It's especially hard when you have a family like mine.

Madre's side of the family, the most of which live in the Sacramento, are just about as Mormon as you can get without putting egg whites in your hair. There are somewhere around fifty of us, if you don't include the second cousins and great aunts that are normally there on the fourth Thursday of November. And there are more children than you can shake a stick at, though we generally choose not to try. And yes, we are all Mormons and we love just how Mormon we are.

If you do not have the experience of a large family, picture this: a smallish three-bedroom home that was bought so long ago that it's actually paid off. Now, imagine people filling every nook and cranny of the aforementioned house, and that each of these people seem to have an odd-but-keen desire to separate into groups by age and talk to each other. Five to ten percent of the time, one of the adults or teens will break into song. About sixty percent of the time, all parties are erupting with laughter. The rest of the time is divided between eating a sample of fifteen different dishes served from fifteen mismatching pots and going bananas over whoever happens to be the newest baby. Meanwhile, a pack of children that resembles so many wolves roams through the house, though they mostly go unnoticed until one of the wolf-children starts crying.

This is what I have taken part in at least once a month for the majority of my life. I started out as the newest baby, and worked my way from a wolf-child into a teen, and this year I rose to the rank of potato peeler/English expert, which is actually pretty high on the family ladder. Some day I expect to be promoted to adult, though it seems that my bachelor's degree and twenty-three years of experience at living have failed to qualify me for the position. But of course, HermanaMayor has two more years of experience, served a mission, is applying for law school, and still isn't considered an adult, so maybe I'm counting my chickens a little too early.

I actually brought my laptop, a cantankerous lady that I refer to by the name of Eris, and fooled myself into believing that I could actually make myself finish my novel while all of this family was going on around me. And then I decided to take Thanksgiving off from writing, if only to catch up with my relatives that were older than twelve and make sure that my relatives younger than twelve know what my name is (going to college tends to make this a challenge). And then I realized that children under the age of twelve were going to be involved, including as few high-profile babies (the terms "high-profile" and "baby" being synonymous).

And just so you know, when babies are put into the mix, the Cecily does not get any writing done at all. So, I didn't really get my novel done, but I don't mind. I'll try another novel next year and I'm hoping that: a) Thanksgiving is earlier in the month and b) I'm not such a slacker between November 1st and November 23rd.

Regards, best wishes, and a pack of wolf-children,

-Cecily Jane

*And as several of my aunts will tell you, my brothers have an ever-increasing dependence on computer juice. Sometimes it's kind of like my brothers have turned into a large, three-headed Mr. Hyde, and computer juice is the only antidote.


Savvy D said...

you're way with words always makes me smile. I didn't have time to read the complete blog, i'm putting off homework, but the parts i read made me remember why i miss you.

this is my new blog...check it out yo.

Raymundo said...

Yay! I love our family :)

Katie Jensen said...

haha this makes my day. a perfect description of our thanksgiving festivities. :)

Anonymous said...

Do I get to sit at the adult table now that I'm engaged?

Anonymous said...

hey i got your letter
i will write you back soon! :)
thanks so much!!!

lina said...

I can totally relate to the not being considered an adult thing. I have younger cousins that get to sit at the "adult table" simply because they're married while I'm stuck with immature high school freshman and sophmores simply because I chose to put my education before mindless man hunting. I find this incredibley unfair.

~Stappsters~ said...

Do you think egg whites might help the situation.

Chris said...

Ahh, sorry you didn't finish your novel, but I am glad that I got to see you at Thankgsgiving! Atleast you have 12,000 words started! NOw you can finish.