NaNoWriMo has become my new favorite swear word…or possibly my victory cry as I stand over the body of a wooly mammoth recently slain by an arrow I made from my incisor. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and is a literary challenge to write 50,000 words of a novel in the month of November. Another name for it might be National Irritate Your Spouse, Neglect Your Spawn, Make Very Little Money and Wear Dirty Underwear Month. I can see why NaIrYoSpoNeYoSpaMaVeLiMoWeDiUnMo isn’t quite as catchy.
50,000 words is about 48,000 more words than I usually write. My experience lies in articles, essays and snarky blog posts, none of which get above a word count of 2,000. Plus, for some reason, I chose to work on a very dark Young Adult novel that is pretty much the polar opposite of what I usually write. This whole experience had the potential to be a massive failure on about seventeen levels.
People, I was done A DAY EARLY. For anyone who knows me, I am never a day early. I’m never even an hour early. There’s a manufacturing term: JIT. No, I’m not referring to the prison slang for someone younger than you (I’ve been brushing up on my prison slang). I’m talking about Just In Time manufacturing. That’s what I practice, and it usually involves a freakishly early morning of panic-stricken, caffeinated, wild ass typing.
So I finished early and demanded to be celebrated. We packed up the Little Tyrant and hit Gustav’s in Leavenworth for greasy food and beer – two of my personal favorites. Unfortunately, I don’t think Toby and I were ever sitting at the table at the same time. Little Tyrant decided that, unless he was climbing the stairs to the closed section of the restaurant, he would be screaming. So we each took turns following him up the stairs and into the women’s restroom to play in the toilet. Yep, we’re THOSE parents.
After about the eleventh time trying to restrain LT in the high chair while he wailed at top volume, I gave up permanently, grabbed my beer and followed him back up the stairs. “Oh, isn’t he just the cutest?” a fellow patron said, and I rolled my eyes into the back my head and I’m all, “I know, RIGHT? Sorry to ruin your dinner.” Only, when I looked at her I realized she was being serious. She really thought he was cute. Because it’s so dang cute when your kid isn’t happy unless he’s doing something dangerous and/or illegal.
I just realized that I owe my parents an apology because that last sentence pretty much describes me. Sucker punched by karma once again…
Anyway, I should have left the Little Tyrant with the lady in the restaurant because a few minutes later he was running down the middle of the slick, snow-covered street, wielding a steak knife he stole from the table, shrieking in delight. Ok, the part about the knife is an exaggeration but I do have to check him for illegal weapons and substances any time we enter or leave an establishment.
The big lesson I learned from NaNoWriMo is that family celebrations do not need to include the whole family, especially not the member who is a shark and will apparently die if he’s not in constant motion.
Also, my literary ambitions are totally valid.