After posting to Facebook that my eldest son and I intended to participate in NaNoWriMo (an event in which people attempt to write a novel in the month of November), several things happened.
First, several of my writer friends responded to my post saying either they, too, had temporarily lost their minds and had committed themselves to this goal, or they wanted to in the future, or they had been involved in the past.
Second, people I didn't know posted on my wall saying they were part of the event and could answer our questions.
Third, I realized that in a very it's-a-small-world kind of way, I actually did know one of the 'strangers' on my wall. Her parents were family friends from way back in my childhood. I believe I even met her (she would have been a toddler). If we want to go even further back, her uncle was my first boyfriend. Although, you'd have to use the term loosely, since I was 12 at the time, and broke up with him when he freaked me out because he tried to hold my hand during a movie being played in school assembly. I'm guessing she doesn't know that story!
When Eric asked me to be part of NaNoWriMo with him, I immediately became fixated on the logistics of the plan. 50,000 words, although a lot to accomplish in a single month, is a far shorter word count than most of the novels I have been writing recently. For me, this word count lands the novel squarely into the category romance novel division, My goal, through NaNoWriMo, is to produce a Harlequin worthy piece of work. There will be kissing and hand holding and... stuff. With this target in mind, I begin to ask myself, what do you want to write about?
I begin the happy process of fantasizing, and decide my heroine will be named Pearl. It will be a few days before I realize that I most likely have 'randomly' picked this name due to the fact that for the past month I have worked with a woman named Pearl. Huh. So much for my creative brilliance. My Pearl, though, is nothing like my associate. Well, maybe I will make them look-alikes.
My story, as I begin to plot/fantasize it out, will be a cowboy romance set in Armstrong, BC. To be specific, it will be set at the former cite of Circle Square Ranch, where I taught horsemanship after high school graduation. In the book, this farm will be the property of my alpha male hero (at present unnamed), and from this farm he will operate an equine assisted therapy camp. Pearl, a former rodeo cowgirl who has recently gone through divorce, will come to work for him. Sparks will fly. There will be happily-ever-afters.
As I start to imagine and form a loose set of characters and plot, I start getting excited. I am having a hard time waiting for November to come. I discipline myself, and re-immerse my brain in the novel about addiction and forgiveness and new beginnings I am currently developing. If I really behave myself, I should have that novel at roughly the 60,000 word count before November. That would give me December to finish it off, and if I can accomplish all of this, I will have written three full novels in one year. If I do that, there will be celebrating!
When I ask Eric what his book will be about, he says he thinks he is planning to work on a ghost story, which is cool. I am excited for the end of November when we can swap, and read each other's works, though I may forewarn my first-born of the sex scene page numbers his mother will have concocted -- on the off chance he might choose to avoid those passages!