Monday, November 1, 2010

Schlemiel, Schlimazel, NaNoWriMo, NaNoFiMo ...

Linvilla Orchards, Media, PA
September 2007

I've always found it kind of ironic that NaNoWriMo begins on The Day of the Dead.  Last year, when I was a bona-fide legitimate NaNoWriMo participant, I remember all too well how comatose I felt the morning after Halloween. I stayed up until the clock struck 12 and immediately began writing ... and paid for it the next day.  (Which was a Sunday, but still.)

This year is a little different, for a few reasons. 

I love NaNoWriMo  - which, for those not in the know and too lazy to click on the link above, stands for National Novel Writing Month.  Each November, thousands upon thousands of would-be novelists try their hand at cranking out 50,000 words.  The idea is that by November 30, you'll have the first draft of a novel. 

While I love NaNoWriMo, when I participated last year I learned that I'm not all that good at it. 

For one thing, life wound up getting in the way.  Bigtime.  I mean, hello ... November?  Probably the busiest time of the year for our family with Betty and Boo's birthdays, plays (one kid has been in a performance every November for the past three years), Thanksgiving, what seems like the entire month off from school between Election Day, Veteran's Day, and Thanksgiving break, and preparations for the holidays.  Throw in work, getting dinner on the table, and everything else that passes for life around here and there's not much time for novel writing. 

I'm also not a "throw-anything-on-the-page-and-deal-with-it-later" kind of writer.  I revise and edit as I write, which is counterintuitive to NaNoWriMo but the only way I know how to get anything on the page.

So, my modified version of NaNoWriMo is NaNoFiMo ... which isn't an original concept, as lots of people with novels in progress will be doing National Novel Finishing Month.  I'll be among them, just writing along at my own pace.  I don't have any goals.  If I write a page, great.  If I write 60 pages as I did last year, even better. 

How about you?  Are you participating in NaNoWriMo or NaNoFiMo or something else?  (If you're on the NaNoWriMo site, feel free to be my buddy ... I'm MelissaF over there.) 

"On your mark, get set and go now
Got a dream and we just know now
We're gonna make that dream come true!
And we'll do it our way, yes, our way
Make all our dreams come true
For me and you ...."

For those born in the post-Laverne and Shirley era:
schlemiel: an inept clumsy person; a bungler; a dolt (Yiddish shlemil from Hebrew שלא מועיל "ineffective") (OED, MW)

schlimazel: a chronically unlucky person (שלימזל shlimazl, from Middle High German slim 'crooked' and Hebrew מזל mazzāl 'luck') (OED).[3] In June 2004, Yiddish shlimazl was one of the ten non-English words that were voted hardest to translate by a British translation company.[4] 

And yes ... you are most welcome for putting "Making Our Dreams Come True" in your head for the rest of the day.  Or month.  It's stuck in mine now, so I might as well share the joy and nostalgia with you.

copyright 2010, Melissa (Betty and Boo's Mommy, The Betty and Boo Chronicles) If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.


Trisha said...

First off, I adored the Laverne and Shirley reference. I haven't thought about them in years!

And I completely agree with you that November is a horrible month for a project like this. Busy busy month.

Good luck with your novel though!

Peppermint Ph.D. said...

Good Luck! I'm so impressed with all of you for taking this project on. I will be watching from the sidelines for sure! said...

I wish I could make the time to particpate! I've always wanted to write! Good luck and I'll be watching!