A Frankenstorm is Coming, Or: Some NaNoWriMo Tough Love

October 29, 2012

My Fellow Northeastern Seaboard NaNers *

As you are no doubt painfully aware, a storm is coming towards you. As Hurricane Sandy blitzkriegs her way up the Atlantic, she will mate with a seasonal cold front, in a particularly sadistic display of meteorological savagery that can and will only be described as Nature’s version of a hate fuck, spawning a Perfect Storm that not even George Clooney would have ever signed up for in the inevitable film adaptation.** For those of you that believe I’m engaging in pure hyperbole, think twice: these aren’t my words, these are the words coming from the likes of the National Weather Service, the National Oceanographic Society of Storm Watching ***, and other weather-type agencies, none of whom are prone to needless hyperbolizing. Actually, I’m talking to you, Dad. Take this shit seriously, for once. Yeah, well, when you’re floating down 86th Street in Bay Ridge, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Emergency preparations have begun in earnest and in good faith, and the citizenry living along the Eastern Seaboard and points slightly west have loaded up on supplies. Among those supplies are candles (obviously) and notebooks (not-so-obviously). Why notebooks? Keep reading.

It may very well be likely that some of you will lose power. For those of us participating in NaNoWriMo, such a power loss could not come at a worse time; you may commence NaNoWriMo on a bad note, not being able to fire up your laptops at home or at your nearest coffeehouse, due to a lack of necessary electricity. November 1st will come, and you may very well have to face the prospect of not having enough juice to power up your laptops and produce 1667 words per day. Who knows, with the level of natural savagery and low-grade incompetence oftentimes displayed by your local power company during trying times as these, you may be out of power for days. Think about it: it might not be until November 4th before your power is restored. That’s four days of writing lost due to Hurricane Sandy’s nutfuckery. That bitch.

I am here to tell you the following, so here me, O Fellow NaNers: YOUR LACK OF SUITABLE ELECTRICITY IS NO EXCUSE FOR NOT WRITING AND FULFILLING YOUR NANOWRIMO OBLIGATIONS. PERIOD! NEEDLESS USE OF ALL-CAPS!****

Fellow NaNers, I can hear the words formulating in your very fertile minds: But, Gus, how am I supposed to write if I don’t have any electricity to power up my MacBook? Or do research online for my project. *****

HOGWASH, I SAY! And why am I channeling archaic words of disbelief all of a sudden? Because Herman Melville didn’t own a fancy-dancy MacBook, or energy-efficient lighting, for that matter, that’s why! No, he wrote on old fashioned pen and paper, his pen no doubt fashioned from a whale’s penis, the paper he no doubt had to make himself, a bitter blend created as the bastard offspring of a used potato sack and whatever whale blubber he had left over.

You have candles; you have a pen and paper. Channel your classic literary heroes: Jane Austen, Leo Tolstoy, Charlotte Bronte, and Marcel Proust, just to name a few, since I’m too lazy to look up some more names I’m unforgivably missing here. The point is, they all hunkered over some dim candlelight and a quill pen dipped in ink, fashioning the words onto paper that would become someday become timeless, all the while slowly succumbing to vision loss, praying for the onset of glaucoma as a relief to their blindness. Be your heroes, my fellow NaNers. Follow in their footsteps. Write in your notebooks. Develop a raging case of gonorrhea. Slowly go insane.

Besides, think of the literary inspiration this FrankenPerfectStorm will shine upon you! There you are, surviving the elements, so what better inspiration? After all, Ernest Hemingway wrote “A Farewell to Arms,” inspired by his serving as an ambulance driver during World War I, no doubt eluding German bombs, all the while pounding whisky and French babes. After all, E.L. James wrote her “Fifty Shades of Grey” series, inspired by her piloting Chinooks through Taliban-heavy Afghanistan…oh, who am I kidding here? Anyway, adversity makes for fine writing. Fact.

You have chosen to undertake a holy mission. Do not let such trivialities as a Perfect Storm get in the way of your mission at hand. Weather the storm, pun completely intended, and write, write, write your little asses off.

This is your first of many NaNoWriMo Tough Love Talks. I’m here for you, babe.

Yours in NaNoWriMo Insanity,

Gus Sanchez

(Author’s Note: it goes without saying, but this post is written purely in jest. The Northeast was my home for nearly 30 years, and I have family and friends living in NYC who will no doubt be severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy. They will, as will those of you whom I’ve met here, will be in my thoughts. Me, I live a few hours from North Carolina’s Hurricane Alley, but we’re only expecting very high winds, for once. So, to all my friends and family living in the Eastern Seaboard and all points slightly west to the Allegheny Mountains, be safe. And keep writing.)

* I dislike “WriMos.” The folks running NaNoWriMo use that term to describe participants. I think it sounds stupid and uninspired. It also sounds like a crap Nabisco snack that never gets dispensed from the snack machine at your office’s break room, the kind of sad-looking snack that eyes you with that pathetic visage of longing and desperation. “NaNers” sounds better, as in “You’re ba-NaNers for doing this whole NaNoWriMo thingy.”

** But surely Mark Wahlberg will.

*** Of course this exists. In, like, Grenada. Dutch West Hispaniola, or St. Crispus, or some other sun-kissed yet obscure island nation in the Caribbean.

**** Agreed. Useless. As is this footnote.

***** And by “research,” I’m sure you mean updating your Facebook and Twitter ad naseum, right? Wrong. You’re supposed to be writing, not bidding on shit you found on eBay or Etsy.

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21 thoughts on “A Frankenstorm is Coming, Or: Some NaNoWriMo Tough Love

  1. I like your work ethic when it comes to writing. I drive a school bus in a town that is home to a very famous writer’s colony that I cannot afford to attend. I figure all that literary creative energy should be in the air, and I mean to soak it up.

    Every day I park my bus in their parking lot and write with pencils and paper the kids leave on the bus. One time I was stopped at a school waiting for students and got a great idea. All I had on me was a mechanical pencil and no paper so I wrote out my idea on my forearm. Well, part of it anyway, because the led tip broke off in my arm. I literally bled for my writing. I still think that’s kind of awesome.

  2. “But the store was sold out of notebooks and filler paper! But my pencil broke and I have no sharpener!”

    To quote Henry Rollins:
         
    “If I lose the light of the sun, I will write by candlelight, moonlight, no light. If I lose paper and ink, I will write in blood on forgotten walls. I will write always. I will capture nights all over the world and bring them to you.”

    Stay safe everyone.

  3. Bahahahahahaaaaa… (laughs the evil NaNer comfortably lounging on a beautiful autumn day in the midwest). But honestly… I always have storm envy. Hopefully soon enough I will be writing in the throes of an epic, paralyzing blizzard. Yeah I’m weird that way (among many other ways). Be safe folks!

    • I’ve lived in the North Carolina region for 12 years now, and I’ve gone through one, yes, ONE hurricane. I was expecting more.

      But I’d love an epic, paralyzing blizzard. I love me some snow, more than anyone else around here ever could.

  4. Hey, everyone, be safe, and Gus is right, grab a pen and a stack of notebooks. Heck, I wrote the first draft of my first book all by hand in a notebook. Why? Superstition, mostly. The first story got written that way because I didn’t have access to my computer. It worked well, so I sort of figured that there was something about writing with a pen on paper. . . actually, maybe there is. It’s slower and harder than typing, so I use fewer words. For me, that can only be good.

    Second book is all drafted, the same way.

    I don’t think I could copy H. E. Ellis and bleed for it. But I make it a point to never be caught without paper and pen 🙂

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