Post-Nano, Nano Post

So, it has been a week since the end of Nano. How did I do? I won. In the way that you can win Nano, by writing 50k words on a new story. In fact, I wrote just about 65,000 words of my story. I have about another 5,000 left to complete the rough draft. I have given myself the last week off to just reboot, decompress, and detox. I tried to go back to the gym, and made it once. I’m not going to beat myself up for it, but I do need to kick myself in the ass to get moving soon.

It has been a very dreary week. Rain, cold, more rain, even colder. Dark by 5:15 and getting worse every day. Eric is still working up in South Carolina and mom stayed in Canada this winter. I think this is the first time I have felt lonely in over 5 years. The house is cold and damp and dark when I get home everyday after work. I feed the yard cats (yes, I am THAT kind of lady; but not really, there are only two) and go inside and just cuddle into my couch with either some knitting or crochet, and stay there until it’s time for bed. I am looking forward to editing either in January or February, and probably sooner if it helps me get out of this funk.

Nano was intense. It was addictive. The challenge spurred me on, and I made it till the bitter end.

And then it stopped.

Now, like an addict gone cold turkey, I am going through withdrawals, yet have no motivation to get back onto my typewriter. Or anything else except the couch right now. I even cut out the crap food, and wine. So that isn’t helping much either. The crap food was soooo yummy. Eggnog is my crack-cocaine right now.

I need groceries, I need to clean the house, and I need to get the outdoor plants into the house as it is getting near frosting time. Which means moving the typewriters around to make room. So, I guess I can get my workouts at home for a bit. Did I mention it has been raining for 4 days straight? The Hibiscus that can weigh about 125 dry, is now over 200 soaking wet. Please help me pray for my back. It has been 5 weeks since I’ve managed any deadlifts or full-squats. This is going to suck.

Last weekend, before the cold snap, I was able to finish cleaning and waxing a client’s Royal P in gorgeous Bursting Red. (pictured above) It wasn’t very dirty and only took a few hours to finish and reassemble. So, last night, while on the phone with Eric and whining about being blech and feeling of nothing, we discussed where my happy place is when I don’t feel like writing or weight lifting. That is simple, it is working on typewriters. Screwing and unscrewing, wiping and oiling, clicking and clacking, and testing escapements. So, while still on the phone, I pulled out the new-to-us 1940 CAA Royal QDL that we got for him, and I started to disassemble it. I had to let him go because I was getting a crick in my neck trying to hold the phone and not strip any of the screws.

I hate trying to remove the body of the pre-war QDLs. They are a pain in my thumbs. But within an hour I had the machine completely naked, and I.felt.good. Like, the best good I have felt since hitting the 50k mark the day after Thanksgiving. And this has got to be the filthiest machine I have ever worked on. I told Eric I want a computer vacuum and a mini compressor for xmas if he wants his machine to be pristine, and keeps finding me machines while I am supposed to be not buying any for a while.

Seriously, I told myself in October “no more typewriters until after Nano is done.” My collection grew by 4 since then, and he found 2 for himself! This from a man who is computer adamant, but encourages me completely in my engineering hobby. And now I have to get them up and going before the meet-up in January.

I want to finish the rough draft by the end of the month. Earlier would be preferable as I also want to repaint the living room and bathroom while on holiday for eight days, and try to shorten the list of things to do around the house to get it ready to sell. I am at 105 of the 120 pages I had originally planned to write for the draft, and I think that 15 more pages will give me the ending that I want.

A couple of things I noticed while writing this draft:

  • I wrote continuously and chronologically up until the climax.
  • After the climax I wrote the second half of the epilogue, and then the first half, and then started back to the time shortly after the climax. I know exactly how I want to wrap things up, and I think that’s why I’m not really worried about finishing at this point.
  • I drank one glass of wine to one can of La Croix, and it helped to keep me from getting drunk or hungover. And cost about the same.
  • Little Debbie’s Eggnog cakes straight from the freezer are the fucking bomb!
  • If you need a scanner for an entire month, it will die 2 and 1/2 weeks in.
  • Next year I will stock up my freezer with meats. Ran out of the good food very early.
  • Slept better than I have in months! No clue why. Maybe because my mind was fried every night.
  • I binged shopped yarn last weekend. Not a good thing. Depriving oneself is not healthy and results in overindulgence once given a chance.
  • I have a pub height table and sometimes standing and typing helped me get out my thoughts better.
  • Also, changing POV or voice style to start off a page helped get me into a scene when I needed a good primer. I usually went back to normal after a paragraph or two.
  • The challenge of finishing the last page every night, and not staring at a screen with a word count on it, was what really got me to finish as much as I did in 30 days. The typewriter made ALL the difference. I went so far as to stop worrying about paragraph breaks, even after dialog. I just kept typing in order to get my word count per page as high as possible.
  • Thus, the second half of the month, I was averaging 625 wpp, instead of only 585.
  • When I felt myself slowing down after week 2, I pulled down my quota from 4 pages a night to 3. I still had a few 4-page nights, but without the personal pressure I was able to be okay with myself if I only did 3 on a given night.
  • Beating myself up is not worth it. Giving myself breaks and encouragement is what will keep me writing.
  • Having my mother cheer me on for the first time ever is the best thing any aspiring writer can ever have. In the past, she kept quiet because my step-father did NOT encourage my writing, and she only just last year found her own voice and started to support my ideas and dreams. This is after he has been gone five years.

Tonight, I am going to get on with it and try to do at least 3 pages, and hopefully have the rest of it finished by the end of next week. I’m also going to get a bottle of wine because I’m an adult and I can. And this weather is fucking dreary as fuck, and I should probably heft the Hibiscus into the house before we get a decent frost.

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