Thursday, November 24, 2005

this week's NaNo pep talk

Dear Writer,

Many weeks ago, when November was just dawning, I consulted a fortune teller about you.

She was a young fortune teller, wearing the maroon striped shirt and name badge common to her trade. She was seated comfortably in her fortune teller's booth, with a line of customers queued up before her.

This is how I knew I had chosen a good fortune teller.

When it was my turn for a consultation, I approached and said the following:

"There is a NaNoWriMo participant I am curious about. I am sensing moments of excitement in Week One, and bouts of boredom in Week Two. I'm also sensing a streak of stubborn perseverance and a rising sense of satisfaction in Week Three. But then, in Week Four, the whole thing goes blank. Tell me, oh wise fortune teller: What will happen to this participant in Week Four?"

She smiled a very portentous smile. And then she asked me for $10.

Reluctant of being swindled, I asked if I might be able to pay at the end of our session. She was very insistent about the money. My suspicions raised, I reluctantly left without ever discovering your fate.

I've since learned that she was not so much a fortune teller as she was a ticket seller at the local movie megaplex. It was an honest mistake, and, frankly, the young woman's job description is beside the point. Because after that, I sat down and did the tough cogitating necessary to discern your NaNoWriMo destiny.

It turns out the ticket lady was right to be grinning.

You're going to win.

Yep. Before November ends, you will find yourself on the edge of 49,000 words. Getting there might require a lot of work between now and next Wednesday. But get there, you will.

When you round that corner, and 50K comes into view, know that all of us here on staff will be rising to our feet, screaming ourselves silly with the rest of your family and friends, as you lift your arms in a victorious salute and fly across the finish line.

Triumph. Celebration. Sleep.

It's all just a few days away.

We'll see you on the other side of 50K, novelist.


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