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WARNING: THIS HAS NOT BEEN EDITED OR SPELLCHECKED…

So, I didn’t think that I’d make it but I did.

So, it’s the half way mark of NaNoWriMo and I’m pleased to report that I’m just a tad away from halfway with my project. I’m still pretty pleased with myself, having not only decided to undertake this but ALSO because I leapt away about five days after everybody else. (Not to mention the fact that I have killer work hours, so I don’t have half as much time to write as others do). So, to celebrate this general feeling of “I’m the Shit…” I decided to climb out of my little shell and go meet other fellow crazy WriMo’s. I had to work earlier today, (got up at 4:30am) and ran late and for a minute had thought of just giving it a miss but something pulled me on and now I’m here.

It’s a bit overwhelming. I have never heard a bunch of WRITERS TALK so much as these people do. I’m not much of a talker, and I HAVE been up since about 4:30am this morning.. I’ve been trying to follow the conversation but amongst the fan going full pelt (32C TODAY!!!), my blinding headache and CELINE DION singing about the trials of love over the loud speaker (completely drowning out my Yo-Yo Ma Silk Roads Ensemble sigh) I couldn’t hear a thing. Because I’m also not much of a talker, I’m not much of a listener either. If you listen, you have to talk. If you don’t, then you can use it as an excuse (see the reason behind my superior reasoning). They seemed to come from all walks of life – predominantly female – and from all age groups. There’s a young woman that I’m sure is younger than I am. She’s also the only one writing by hand (and seems to be out of paper). The one next to me and the ML for the meeting is nice, older, and actually hard at work typing AND making conversation. (Some people have so many talents). The next candidate… I’m not quite sure where to place her. She talks the most, just fried her computer with coke and seemed to have worked as a till girl at some point. And, then, the last arrival, an older man with thick glasses, a nervous, hesitant smile AND in the process of writing a PhD in Chemistry. I thought that that’s a particularly smart idea to push through the pages and pages of facts that need to be proved.

A part of me is wondering what I’m doing here. I’m tired, sunburned and not in a terribly social mood, yet a part of me is happy that I’ve made it, watching these people as they work (and listening to them as they talk). There’s something different to interacting with people in the flesh and being with people who share the same passions as you do – even if it is in another genre. It’s also interesting to see how serious people are taking this. I’m drawn back to a NaNo post that I read where they speak of writing being a ‘One day’ profession. Everybody wants to write that winning novel ‘one day’ but never today. The people of NaNo, whether they are serious amateur writers (being a serious fan fiction author I consider myself amongst these) or newbies, only leaping into the wonderful world of their imaginations now, have decided to take that first step and make a stand. It’s something special.

I don’t think that I’ll get a lot of writing done today, but I can sit amongst these people and be comforted that I’m not the only one of my kind. NaNo’s been a wonderful experience because it’s made an essentially lonely hobby into something I can share with other people. They don’t interact with me as readers do with an author, but as equals. I’m quite humbled by that.

Speaking of being humbled, as you might have gathered, I write fan fiction – I have been for about five years now. Yesterday, I received a request form a young woman to hear whether she can write a fan fiction in mine. I felt terribly flattered. It showed that my story and my characters did not just leave her when she finished the last written word but that they stayed with her and nagged at her until she could write down her own. I started writing because of this, because other people’s characters brought out the best in mine and to know that that is now being continued makes my heart warm and, admittably, makes me very proud of myself.

I don’t know if I’ll ever publish a book, but it doesn’t matter because I already know that my writing is touching people, carrying them through times of sadness and teaching them things about themselves that they didn’t know. It’s a beautiful, wonderful thing to share.

Which is why, I realized, I’m at NaNoWriMo Write in.

Because I want to share as much as I want to be apart of something. I have no ghosts or weak heroes or carbon dioxide in my stories (note – carbon dioxide is two words… CO2 is one. Guess what our friendly chemist is using?), nor do I have flash plots that will become the next best seller. But, I have faith in them (see previous post) and I have readers (and perhaps writers!) who have faith in me.

It makes a difference you know.

AlyssC01

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When Women Were Warriors Series - Catherine M Wilson

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