30 Days and 30 Nights

late night writing

late night writing (Photo credit: professor megan)

of literary abandon.  So says the wisdom of NaNoWriMo.  Sounds like an orgy with pens and laptops.

No, I’m not participating, never have.  I think about it, most years.  Usually on October 30th, and again on November 7th or so.  Then I do the math–50,000 words by midnight November 30th divided by how many days? feel nauseous, and shelve the thought for the following year.

I don’t know the whole story behind the history of NaNoWriMo other than it’s grown exponentially and started by a small group out in California, but this I know–whoever conceived this brain child cannot possibly have been responsible for cooking Thanksgiving dinner.

I would like to do it one year, though not in November. I think February sounds right. It’s a boring month, no major holidays, guaranteed to be foul outside here in NY, making me want to hide inside my laptop, perfect.  Sure it’s a short month, but what the hell. 28 days and 28 nights of literary abandon sounds so much more manageable anyway.  I’m pretty sure the NYC Dept of Ed is going to take away the February break this year since the kids were off all of last week, so I’ll get to incorporate all the fun of getting Flower Child to and from school each day. I’ll even give it a cute name. PerNoWriFeb.  Personal Novel Writing February. Catchy, isn’t it?

I’ve got the perfect manuscript to work on, the romance in progress. I think romance lends itself to this type of writing frenzy. Keep the momentum building, move it forward, get the hero and heroine to the happily ever after before anyone starts to sag. Add in the whole Valentine’s Day kitsch and both reader and writer hearts can remain intact. Please don’t tell me you’re supposed to start fresh, a new manuscript.

Depiction of Queen Scheherazade telling her st...

Depiction of Queen Scheherazade telling her stories to King Shahryar in The Arabian Nights. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I get to be king in Fringeland, and queen of PerNoWriFeb so I’m making the rules.

None of this will come to pass. By the time my days are free enough to put this much time and focus on writing, my fingers will be too arthritic to tap on the keyboard. But I think about it. The same way I think about a beach house, a second bathroom, and a space of my own. And a dishwasher. And a washer and dryer. Oh wait. I’m getting off track aren’t I? Especially in this month of November, when I’m supposed to be thinking of something I’m grateful for each day. When did that start, anyway?

For personal space there’s no answer other than retreating into my mind.  I’m pretty good at that. Mebbe too good, it could put me over the border of quirky and into the land of looney. Second bathroom? Definitely no answer to that one, unless I develop a fondness for chamber pots. Beach house? That’s what my nano tank is for.  Limping along, having a little problem holding my calcium and alk levels steady at the moment, the front panel is in desperate need of a good cleaning, but still, it’s alive and mine.

Mrs Fringe is not Mary Sunshine. Seeing so many who have lost so much from Hurricane Sandy doesn’t make me happy with life as it is, but I do feel grateful that me and mine are safe and warm, and I excel at putting blinders on and chugging along. So maybe 1785.71 words per day won’t be possible in PerNoWriFeb, but I can shoot for working on the manuscript every single day that month.

Pom Pom Crab, my favorite critter in the tank. She’s survived several disasters, and every time I think she must be dead, haven’t spotted her in weeks, she pops up again, shaking her pom poms at every imagined threat and proving that some creatures are much tougher than they appear to be.



  1. Same here I thought about it, when I caught on a little dimly late in oct. The idea has some merit, possibly.. Feb is no good for me, Jan is a bit too post Christmas.. March is a rainy crazy month, April I am dreaming of summer… 40 and no book written, I have no clue why 🙂
    It sounds tight on space in mrs fringe land. What keeps you in the city? I always trade location for space myself.


    1. LOL, yes, I would guess many of us have similar calendar craziness. 😛 Though I do have 2 completed manuscripts, from when life was a bit more predictable.

      What keeps me in the city is twofold. a) Husband. b) budget–day to day life is so pricey here, it becomes next to impossible to save for a move.


  2. I’m doing the NaNo – no clue why – I’m a photog. But I’m keeping up. It’s a lot harder than I thought it would be. Hopefully I’ll be a better writer when it’s all over.


  3. Holy wow. Nearly 1800 words a DAY? I apparently did not quite grasp just how many words it takes to string together a novel. How many pages does that turn into? (ie your average mass produced paperback.) I will, from here on out, treat every book I purchase with kid gloves. Or… do authors find books that are dog eared, pages falling out and with broken spines from being read countless times the highest complement?


    1. LOL! 50,000 words is not a full sized, adult paperback. The small Harlequins average 55,000 words, 220 manuscript pages. (That’s using Courier New as print, where every letter takes the same amount of space, the count is different using different prints, say, Times New Roman) The average mass paperback is between 75-95,000 words. My first, more traditional romance manuscript is 57,000 words, my second is 83,000. And as a writer, I’d be thrilled to see someone holding what looked to be a well loved copy of my book. But yes, each book is a lot of words and many hours of work, when you add in editing and revisions. Writing is anything but a get rich quick scheme! 😀


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