I came over to the coast with another writer on Wednesday night. This is my annual NaNoWriMo writing retreat and, yes, so far, it has always been at the coast. It will probably continue to be at the coast, since the ocean's movement the smells the fresh wash me clean feel on my skin the stepping into nature of it all is good. Watching water between words, listening to the water rock sand as I sleep.
This was the first year is was hard to leave home to come to the coast. It was hard for me to leave S at home; she was invited, could have come with us, but she has clients to see and art to make and a shift at the gallery. We were both fine with me coming over but given the election results it felt like a time to be together.
On the other side of that feeling was a determination for this to not be a time of collapse. To not be a time where fear or disappointment took away my writing. This writing retreat was planned long before the voting and I wasn't going to let my voice be silenced by the results, wasn't going to let my writing be taken away. And S completed a powerful painting these past couple of days, while I've been here. She sent me a photo of it last night and it has a lot of energy and life and movement, so she obviously had some creative work to do in her studio, which is there and not here at the coast.
My current word count is 25,035. This is the goal for November 15th, the halfway point, I'm there now. I am going to push for at least another 5000 words today, knowing that my writing pace may be slower next week, with many things happening in my schedule. I have written over 5k each day here and it's good.
I have been tweeting my word count updates. While keeping an eye on the protests at home. Protests with other groups joining in and trying or actually derailing them into riots. I know people who are in the protest groups and I would probably be there if I was at home.
I read Facebook status updates and articles about what is happening in the internet via data times I allow myself. I am fortunate to have an extended family's condo to stay at over here and for writing retreats it's good that there is no WiFi, it keeps that writing distraction low. But I do allow myself some time to check in now and then, to read how others are doing. To keep connected in this divisive time.
I will have more to say on this situation, as I have been changed by what happened on Tuesday. Some of that change was already in the works, some of the changes had already happened and I am grateful for having those skills and strengths in place before Tuesday. But right now I am here to write this other story. The other story has wandered and had new beginnings and taken unpredictable turns, and it's all okay. This year NaNoWriMo for me is about exploration and writing every day as much as I can and about letting the words flow where they want to go.
This year I had a basic plan coming in to the writing and it has veered from there. I have started down that path a couple of times this month, so far, and written some good sentences and written many words and the writing has led me to several places. I figure that whatever I write is what I need to get out. What I am probably going to end up with this year is several story starts and a bunch of essays. Or essay foundations for rewriting the story that needs to be told; yes, mostly that.
Now, I'm going to post this writing, turn off my WiFi and get back to the business of NaNoWriting.