November is finally here!
For those of you who don’t know what that means, it means that writers across the world are frantically writing as fast as they can, trying to up their word count before time writes out. It’s the time to forget about sentence structure, and about precision and accuracy. It’s about getting those words onto the page.
Friday night, our NaNoWriMo group met at 11:30pm in the only place in our tiny little town that stayed open past midnight: McDonalds. We met, talked, ate and then anxiously waited until the fateful time when we could begin writing. Last year, this McDonalds was brand new, and it was a ghost town. Not so this year. I’d never seen so many people crammed into one space.
Our group did a countdown to midnight, and the rest of McDonalds joined in, probably expecting something exciting to happen once we hit zero. And something spectacular did happen. Nine or ten different worlds opened up at midnight. New characters came into being. Stories that might never have been told began.
Too bad those in McDonalds couldn’t see it. All they saw was that a large group of people on computers counted down until zero and then began writing on their laptops like nothing happened. I did get a pretty big chuckle out of their confusion.
This year, I’m trying something very different. Writing is always about the journey, about trying something new. Last year, I finished my fourth YA Fantasy novel, and I’ve got to say, it’s probably the best one that I’ve written.
This year, I decided to try something new. I’m used to writing teenagers, love stories and fantastical worlds full of magic and danger. I wanted to push myself to a new level.
This year, I’m writing about a woman in her 40’s. She’s married and she already has three kids, one of them being a teenager. She’s dealing with life itself, that after “happily ever after.” One of the reason why I decided that I wanted to focus on this was because I wanted to write a book about Alzheimer’s. It’s such an important topic, yet I keep seeing it romanticized.
Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease, on all accounts. It’s a change in personality to the point that when you’re interacting with that person who has Alzheimer’s, you’ll never get them back – not completely. There may be moments that they seem to come out of their fog, but that moment becomes less and less common. They slip into their own world, leaving those behind to learn to deal with the loss.
In the first two hours of November, I was able to write just about 2,700 words. Almost immediately after, I went to sleep. When I woke up, I saw this on my twitter feed.
How appropriate is that? November is National Novel Writing Month and Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. I feel like the two of them are converging into my novel.
That being said, I’m going to use the month of November to give you updates on how my novel is going, and I’m also going to be sharing my own experiences and knowledge about Alzheimer’s. I would love to hear any of yours! The best thing we can do to take care of those with Alzheimer’s is to advocate for them. They’re the ones who don’t have a voice.