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May 20, 2024

Notes From the Office 19: Oh, No, Not Again!

By Sand Pilarski

Tiptoeing down the cyber-halls of the Piker Press Building last month, I stealthily stole the calendars from offices and put them in a box under my desk. Conversations, when not actively involving writing, delicious dinners, or drinking, were steered away from schedules. "Don't worry about it, I've got it all taken care of!" I assured them, sweating slightly.

I thought perhaps we could just slide into mid-September without anyone noticing, but I was wrong. Tyler Willson, always carrying that blasted blackberry around with him, piped up, "Hey, remember what happens in a couple months, people -- NaNoWriMo!"

A flying tackle took him to the floor with my hand clamped over his mouth, but it was too late. Cheryl Haimann poked her head out of her office and said, "NaNoWriMo? That means we have to get in shape, and soon! Hey, what's the date?" Tyler hacky-sacked his blackberry to Cheryl just as I got the manacles on him. She thumbed up the date, reached back into her office for a megaphone, and shouted, "The end of August, people! Get ready for 10K For Labor Day!"

"Whee!" Tyler exclaimed, leaping into a forward flip that somehow freed his hands and gave credence to his frequent assertions of being a ninja. Down the hall I heard the sound of Mel Trent's knuckles cracking, and Lydia Manx cattily announcing that she wasn't sure which story line to follow next.

10K For Labor Day. Ten thousand words of anything, written from Friday through Monday on Labor Day weekend. It's an insane goal, and a cruel challenge. Some succeed; I never do. But I would only have been able to turn down the challenge if no one else was willing to take it up.

You see, there's something heady about the idea of hammering out loads and paragraphs and pages of words, without worrying about punctuation, spelling, and grammar -- or even a plot. It's a warm up for National Novel Writing Month in November, during which tens of thousands of daring writers attempt to write a fifty thousand word novel in the month of November.

All you writers out there, and would-be writers: now is your chance -- join us as we leap into madness on September 4 through 7: 10K For Labor Day!!

Article © Sand Pilarski. All rights reserved.
Published on 2009-08-31
3 Reader Comments
06:11:42 AM
I'm with ya! I'll be sitting in the woods and scribbling, with a merry fire crackling nearby (we had "scattered frost" in this area last night.)
06:14:42 AM
Should that be "a fire crackling merrily nearby"? Dammit! My Internal Editor just kicked the door in! Help!
10:08:00 PM
Do you really think I would just let my favorite month of the year go unheralded? The month when I can utterly shut out that annoying voice in the back of my mind that tells me I will never be a REAL writer and bury my doubts behind pages and pages of contraction-free prose? Only in November with that inner voice effectively silenced can I allow myself the freedom to immerse myself completely in fantasies where I finally land that big, fat contract for the Next Great American Novel!

NaNo, Here We Come!
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