Almost the end of November

Did you wonder where I was? Yup, November brings NaNoWriMo. I knew there were some days at the beginning of the month that no writing or at least little writing would be possible – a wedding and some other things but I wasn’t prepared for the struggle of what would happen next. I had no idea. Which is why, frankly, no writing to get to the end of this story had been happening.

But now, when I could be working on it, even house chores seemed more appealing. I tried new tacks such as hand-writing notes to myself about things that might happen next. I wrote a sketch of a big thing that I knew, or hoped, was going to happen. I dabbled quite briefly with a different idea I had, thinking it was a short story and putting it back in the drawer when it seemed much larger.

I had a few big word count days and a whole lot of low word count days. Which adds up to a half-NaNo but which did indeed bring me almost to the very end.

Here I will say that despite the help that hand writing notes (fountain pen and tiny softcover Moleskines, how writerly, eh?) the power of digital tools is immense. November first, at our local launch party, a big storm came up just before I was packing it in. There was a tiny power blip. My BBEdit screen, non-responsive. I ended up screenshotting it just to save the few inches of paragraphs that were visible, a tiny bit of what I’d done. Came home and finally had to shut down the computer. I chose re-open windows of programs that were open, not holding out any hope for the unsaved document. But there, BBEdit (because it doesn’t suck) opened, opening two other windows and the unsaved document in its entirety.

I so love the Barebones Software guys that when I discovered there was a paid upgrade available that night, I gladly plopped my money down for it and sent them a big thank you.

I also love that as I worked on what a character was reacting to and feeling, I could cut and paste the whole ending-to-date into a new document and change it over into something that seemed better, more coherent and tweak it, free from the rest of what had been written. It finally got added back, replacing the old not-quite-right part. Yeah cut and paste!

So here we are at the end of November, and there’s a new pile of words for this book. I’m good with it.

Almost the end of November

Day Thirty, NaPoWriMo

It’s good to jot down words:
a line of conversation,
two words or three that
appear on the windshield
during the drive to work
good to capture them in
the dailyness of life
snatching them from
wherever words and ideas go
when they decide you’ve
ignored them too long
or aren’t paying attention.
Listening and looking for them,
muse-like they appear regularly
and, having paper and pen
at the ready, they stay.
The day to day after day
of describing and remembering
is an adventure without
known destination. The road
turns or brinks a hill
and there you are watching
birds boiling up on
paper-scrap wings to
a sky yet unseen.

Thank you to all my April NaPoWriMo visitors, readers and commentators. Hope you had a great month and thanks for sharing my thirty newly written poems!

Day Twenty-nine, NaPoWriMo

I can tell I’ve been listening to the lays of Bilbo.

Here, small works,
the labor of the world,
are known, that day by day
we hurry through
both chores and song
and lightly running
pass down one path
then next and next
penultimate unknown
a day is reached
and then the last
how many paths til
that rest place found
Neither knowing nor telling
the days lead on.
Sit! Stay then,
telling tales and singing
here where life lies
and sweet work of living
guessing what may be
past the hill’s edge
there where the clouds fly

This morning Mom and I went to visit the Cohoes Falls and then breakfast and then some pokemoning.

Day 28, NaPoWriMo

I’m off topic from my own prompts today…

So alike, mother and daughter,
that as the mother scolds her
for sins of inattention and
fidgeting and whining
and perhaps a tantrumI
I can easily imagine the
little girl, using the
same words and tone
to upbraid her mother
you can’t always have
your own way, she’d say,
you won’t get it by pouting,
as she holds out a spoonful
of applesauce to the elder lips
which tremble at the mere
possibility of no.
And so it goes on, her
fidgeting and whining
the mother scolding and
distractedly fixing
her daughter’s earring
until they both focus on
something else in the
food court and leave
on a singular mission
of fulfilling desires.

Day Twenty-seven, NaPoWriMo

Jumped? No.
Not at all.
Falling? Not exactly.
Allowed myself to fall?
Gave myself willingly
to the spring surge,
the tidal pull?
More than likely.
Look the wrong way
and it plows down
and sweeps you away
unexpected.
Not necessarily
surprised but still…
Turn upstream and see
that last bit of ice
that dark wave of
night-long rain coming
Be ready to lift
your joyous feet.

Cohoes Falls, today.

Day Twenty-six, NaPoWriMo

Those sitting with hills
brushing their hair with wind
having a cloud ceiling.
These are the folk, trusted
and thought to be brave
facing the dangers they find
and ignoring the phantoms.
The birds bring them news
and the seasons, in turn,
bring them joy and wisdom
bearing new changes and gifts
Those sitting with hills
have gentle hands, knowing
life to be tender, a baby
or kitten or fish to hold
and then when done
to set it free, smiling.

Day Twenty-five, NaPoWriMo

In the rain the ground
parts to let the still greenness
flow upward and out.
In the rain the greens
resolve to face April’s chill
leaving the warm mould.
In the rain the world
takes a big breath of soft spring
and relaxing, exhales.