Wednesday, November 26, 2008


It is 8:10 AM and here I am, butt in seat, at Common Grounds. I know, I planned to go to Fat Straw instead. The steel cut oatmeal at Common Grounds was calling me instead of the yummy, but not-again bagel-only options, at Fat Straw. The music today is mellow, so far, appropriate to the still-waking-up novelists and few others gathered this morning.

Maybe it is the respect for the craziness many may experience tomorrow with either family and friend gatherings, cooking, to football or not football, and all of that ... or for those who do not celebrate the day in that way and are stuck grumbling about nowhere to go because ninety percent of everything will be closed.

Whatever the reason, the music is there in the background, where it should be. The soy latte is hot and creamy and smooth as usual. And it is, happily, uncrowded.

A few more bites of the oatmeal while it is still hot and then I will be off once again toward that finish line. I do not think my novel will be completed at 50,000 words, so I will write as long as I can today to, hopefully, bring everything to a conclusion.

The end seems almost as daunting as the beginning. I know the secret which is still being revealed in the story and I have some ideas how it will be played out. There is one piece of information the characters whispered in my ear last night which I am resisting. But it is their story, so I will let my fingers write it if that is what they still want this morning. The thread of the story has twisted and it was not my hand which did it; even I was surprised by what has emerged. Not in a bad way, just another reminder that the author truly is not the one controlling everything. It may not be fair to say that, as I know some authors do plan and outline and know where the story is going. Some day I would like to have an open conversation with one of those types of authors and talk about the process. For me, I cannot imagine plotting it all out. So much in this book I am about to complete would not have (probably) been in my planning. I think I need to be in the flow of the story writing process in order to access that level of creativity and connection with the characters. But just this moment I can imagine that some people may be able to let go of the editor inside and let the ideas flow in that same way during the preparation and outlining process.


Well, this has been a nice diversion from my NaNoWriMo novel and my oatmeal is now appropriately room temperature so that I can begin my writing.

"One more bite," says the editor.

"Back to the worm bin you go, editor," I tell editor. "If you behave yourself and keep quiet for a couple or few hours until I reach my goal, I will upgrade the soy latte to a soy mocha. And if you are very, very good, I may even spring for an eggnog latte."

"But what if I want a bubble milk tea?" editor whines.

"No problem, it is still right across the street. See?" I pause to let editor look.

Editor looks. "Okay. But you promise, right?"


"Okay. Here I go into the worm bin." And editor is off, after grabbing one more spoon of oatmeal and adding just a sprinkling of brown sugar, which I deliberately did not add previously.

editor in the worm bin reference:
thank you to the wonderful other NaNo
writers on the Literary Kitchen forum,
where we are all stars regardless of
our word count, genre, or location