This morning, at 5:30am, I awoke with one thought: what do you call those little metal things you stick into a hand-mixer? You know, those detachable tools that do the actual mixing? Turns out, the answer is pretty obvious – they’re called blades – but in the darkness and in my still-half-asleepedness, blades sounded too sharp and harsh.
It’s November 5th, and I’m a full day behind on my NaNo goals, despite my best intentions. So, I woke up determined to spend as much as possible of this day playing the catch-up game (in other words, write at least 3200 words). Hence, the thought about mixer blades, completely random though it is. The image of the blades spinning in place, never colliding with each other, rotating in perfect harmony¹ – well, for some strange reason, I felt urged to pray for myself to have creativity and clear vision that work together as well as hand-mixer blades². That’s the only way I’ll meet – and, hopefully, exceed – today’s goal. Broken mixer blades equal chocolate cake batter that’s lumpy and uneven, and I have a feeling a clash of creativity and mental acuity leads to the same kind of writing.
So, now that we have that out of the way: my word count isn’t dreadful, but it will be if I miss another day.
That said, I’m totally loving writing this book. Interesting images and scenes keep popping up from nowhere, and I’m discovering a lot of new things about these characters. Like I wrote the other day, I’m surprised to find I like them so much. I want to describe how I feel, but I think J.C. Hart said it perfectly in her November 5 post:
I’m spending a lot of time not even consciously considering the next steps it will take. I’m sure that it’s all simmering below the surface, but it’s lovely that I don’t have to spend time deliberating over what will happen next. I’ve got complete faith in myself, and in the story.
Which is a really strange but beautiful place to be in. Maybe it means I’ve finally hit a point in my writing where I can trust myself enough to loosen the reins a little.
Yes. This is exactly how I feel. I know the direction the story is about to take, but right now I’m letting myself sink fully into each scene as it happens, not worrying too much about the specifics of what’s next. It is nice to have some idea of what comes next, though, because it helps me write more layered scenes and dialogue. J.C. is right, it is a strange and beautiful place to be.
I told my husband yesterday how much I’m enjoying my characters, right before I told him I felt sorry for them – they have no idea what’s about to happen to them, and their pretty little worlds are going to get completely obliterated by unfortunate circumstances. It might get ugly, but I’m twiddling my fingers like the scheming puppeteer that I am³.
Happy writing today! How are you doing with your goals this week? …And I don’t just mean word-count-goals, I mean the substance of those words — how is your story shaping up? Surprises, no surprises? Obstacles? Do share, even if you’re not partaking in the madness of November.
(PS: Wow. After re-reading this post, I am curious to see what will come out in my novel today. Just saying. Not often you read about mixer blades, wedding singing, scheming puppeteers, and goatherds in the same post.)
NaNoMeter: 4920 down / 45,080 to go
¹Fun Side Note: Writing perfect harmony brought back laughable flashbacks of singing in a wedding one time. The florist for my wedding recruited my husband and me – two weeks before her wedding – to sing a duet in her wedding ceremony. The song was full of horribly cheesetastic lyrics such as “He made the sun, he made the moon | to harmonize in perfect tune | one can’t move without the other, they just have to be together | And that is how I know it’s true – you’re for me, and I’m for you…” Since we were engaged at the time, we kept getting asked if we were going to sing this song TO EACH OTHER in our wedding. It was hard enough keeping a straight face while singing the thing, and near impossible to keep a straight face (and be polite) when answering, “No freakin’ way. Ever.”
²Except at 5:30am it looked more like, “I pray for creativity and clear vision that work together as well as those little metal thingies that you stick in a hand mixer when you make chocolate cake.” Eloquent, right?
³When I use the term scheming puppeteer, do you also get images of Julie Andrews singing “High on a hill was a lonely goatherd” with the Von Trapp family? No? Oh. That must just be me. I’m soooooo menacing, with these instincts that lead me directly from scheming to yodeling in less than a heartbeat. Oy.