2007 NaNoWriMo comes to an end

Tonight is the last night of NaNoWriMo. I’m not going to make the 50,000 word mark by midnight. There is no way I can write 31,000 words in less than 8 hours. Though if I included e-mails in the month of November, and other such creative sort of writings, I am certain I would be a lot closer to making that mark. I can write about my dogs all day and all night. Somehow I have to figure out how to do that and put it into a novel. I won’t stop now that NaNoWriMo is over. I’ve nearly got 19,000 words under my belt, so might as well keep going with them. Though I have hit another wall. That wall is, I have nothing to say! This is where I have to figure out how to move ahead without my muse until she is ready to come back into the picture.

Before NaNoWriMo started, I pursued something WAY out of my comfort zone. That is going to be my new year’s resolution, by the way – comfort zone expanding. I will have to be more concrete on that, but will think about that later.

As a precursor to my new year’s resolution, I had set it up to call a life coach on a satellite radio who was going to help me with this NaNoWriMo goal being I’ve done it for two years (three now) and have not crossed the finish line with a full basket of words. Instead of calling up the radio show on the spur of the moment, I was given a time to call in on a certain day, and that’s when we would discuss my lack of focus on this thing. Everything had been set up through e-mail because, the male assistant to this woman explained, they like to plan the show.

That day, I luckily had an opening at work to shut the door to an office, call, and enjoy the privacy of a 15-minute chat with a million people listening. I hadn’t been thinking about the millions of people part. Till now. But I was really OK with talking to this coach, who I had admired for her cut-to-the-chase sort of work. When I called, I identified myself, and was promptly put on hold. I held for 25 minutes without a word from anyone. The only thing that I heard was the radio show as the life coach talked to other callers.

The time I was alloted had come and gone to this woman who was meandering around an issue on the air that was really a non-issue. It was so much of a non-issue, after the break, she was not brought back on the air. Instead, another woman was brought on the air with an issue that wasn’t mine and she wasn’t I.

I was really let down by this whole adventure, and it pained me to hang up, but I did. I was pained and terribly angry that I had been steered in such a manner by the men that worked for this dynamic woman. They scheduled me, then left me on hold for 25 minutes without so much as a peep. What sort of competence is that? The kind with “in” before the “competence” part.

I wrote to them, I wrote to the station, and to the satellite provider to make sure that the life coach got the message. And she did. The man who was responsible for scheduling my time slot on the show wrote me an e-mail of apology and hoped the whole episode didn’t make me less of a fan of the woman. Sadly, it did. I think if she’d taken the step to contact me, just with a few lines, it would have helped. But the fact is, I had cleared it with my boss, spent the whole night and morning fretting over what I would say and how it would go, and having it end in a big fat zero because of incompetence was so anti-climatic and so part of today’s typical way of doing business that the awe I had for this awesome woman died that day by her choice of mediocre assistants.

And since this month has nearly past, I’m weary, but not from writing. I am weary from watching myself veer off my goals again. I’m weary of all the unexpected things that came up that I had to deal with. But that’s all part of life, and no matter what intentions are set up for writing all these words, life can intercept your plans and run with them in a different direction. I would have been curious what an excellent life coach, such as the one I’d admired, would have said to me along this process. Perhaps it will happen another time for another goal. But whatever the case, I am a writer in my soul. And whether a novel ever comes out of me, or not, doesn’t make me less of a writer. I write because I enjoy it and I have met others through e-mail who are elegant communicators with the written word. Amusing, succinct, bright writers, who I enjoy reading and writing to because of our shared love of one very special topic. Our beloved dogs.

So I bid adieu to NaNoWriMo and move on, still with a goal to write a novel, still with the full intention of one year finishing this challenge with all 50,000 words in my basket. Until then, I will move ahead and plug along with a month’s more experience in my head for me and my muse to use.

About Helen

I’m a Southern California living in South Florida. I’ve been here for 10 years as of October 1, 2007. No matter where I live, I’m a dog lover, and my breed is the Dobermann Pinscher of the Working Group. I am also fond of the Australian Shepherd of the Herding Group. My life revolves around my dogs, which is something those family members of mine don’t understand. So I’m an island in that respect, but have built friendships with those who are doggie lovers and respect the canine as much as I do. Some do rescue, some train in, compete in, and judge AKC trials. The common thread is our dogs are family.

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2 Responses to 2007 NaNoWriMo comes to an end

  1. Linda says:

    I’m sorry to hear that you did not speak to the life coach. That would have been a downer to prepare for all that, then you were let down. You sound like a very strong woman, and I believe you will write your novel one day. After all, you dealt with the unexpected things that came into your life…you didn’t run from them or ignore them.

    There was an article in the Palm Beach Post about BSL and the ban of pit bulls in Dade county. Thought you might like to read it. Maybe it will make more people open their eyes to these bans. It’s amazing what people don’t know until they hear it on the news. One girl I work with never heard about dog fighting before she read the article on Michael Vick. I’m like HELLO! Then again there are dog people and then there are dog people, if you know what I mean. Here’s the link:

  2. Helen says:

    Thanks for the kind words, Linda.

    You’re right. Some dog people feel more secure not knowing the ugliness that goes on with our beloved pets out there. I went to a new age shop last week in Hollywood. There is a local puppy mill pet shop right behind it that I think is called “Tea Cups” or something like that. They sell tea-cup sized puppies there. I went in once just to see. There were little puppies so so small…had to be from puppy mills. Where else? Reputable breeders aren’t going to put their pups there. These pups were in these glass “cages” as if they were museum pieces or something. The paraphernalia they have there for little dogs is outrageously expensive.

    Last week, as I was walking to the new age store, I saw a family exiting the place. I imagine they were there to buy a Christmas present. I wish they’d go the few miles down the road to either the Animal Shelter or Humane Society. But it seems no matter how often you write it, say it, wear it, some people don’t get it. Buying from pet stores enables those puppy mills to keep mistreating “breeding stock,” and that’s an ugly life. I bet these people never stepped foot in a shelter. Ugh! You just cannot get through to some folks.

    That is a very interesting article. I’m glad you posted it. South Florida local shelters are loaded with Pit Bulls. In other parts of the country, that’s not the case. A trainer in New Mexico told me they have an abundance of herding breed mixes. It will take someone like the Dog Whisperer to bring attention to that one-county Dade ban in Florida to possibly get a change. I know a lot of people have been working on getting it changed there for a long time, and it’s barely budging. A tough fight … that’s why it’s important to stop that piece of baloney legislation Thurston Perry’s putting forth to let each Florida county ban whatever breed they want to ban instead of all of Florida banning breed banning, as it stands.

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