In which I envision Eleventh Grade Jack (AND FREAK OUT)
Just keeping it real

Giving up before I even start

This morning I woke up convinced I needed to write a middle grade fantasy novel set in some sort of medieval-ish boarding school with a very Jonathan Franzen Freedom-esque ending. You know why? Because I dreamed I was a CHARACTER in this novel and I was THAT impressed with my own dream. Like: Dude! This NYT Bestseller came out of my OWN DREAM! 

And then my next thought was: NaNoWriMo! Is coming up! Now I have an idea! WAHOO!

The problem (well, one of probably many problems) is that I wasn't going to do NaNoWriMo this year. I am supposed to be working on LAST YEAR'S NaNoWriMo project, for starters. And then I am BUSY. The Blathering eats up four entire days of November, which honestly is not enough days for Blatheringness but way too many days to skip NaNoWriMo. And Phillip goes on a week-long business trip right before Thanksgiving. And yet: MEDIEVAL BOARDING SCHOOL! Sigh. 

Okay, and I have to tell you that the only reason I know how Freedom ends is because I read two rather disdainful reviews of it yesterday (in the Atlantic and The New Republic) and GAH. I read The Corrections whenever it came out and I didn't finish it. I felt guilty, because everyone was talking about great it was, but for me the characters were extra super unlikeable and the whole story just depressed the heck out of me and no thank you. It's still sitting on my bookshelf in some attempt to make me look like I am With It, but now you know: I didn't finish it. 

So I have no intention of reading Freedom either, because I hear the characters are even LESS likeable this go around. But I felt guilty about it, because he was on the cover of TIME! And he is The Author Of Our Time! And then I read several GLOWING reviews, but I just couldn't do it. I don't like his people, I don't like his topics, maybe it's okay if I am NOT with it. I have, after all, confessed to the fact that Anastasia Krupnik is my favorite literary character of all time. Someone with those preferences is not likely to enjoy Jonathan Franzen. Yes? 

Then I read yesterday's reviews and WOW. I've decided I'm not going to write ANY book because there's this thing called REVIEWERS. 

But NaNoWriMo still sounds fun to me. I know I could go into it without any real idea (perhaps my medieval boarding school dream is not THAT fleshed out) and give up four days and struggle through a week on my own and just see! what! happens! But I am not into half assing things, people. I am a Gung Ho sort of person and the fact that I would have to be telling myself it's OKAY if I don't reach 50,000 words, it's OKAY because I have LIMITATIONS would probably drive me out of my mind. And you know, I'm already sort of at that point - why push it?!

Are you going to do it? And if you are my writing group, I owe you an email and a half. Which I will send. One of these days. Swearsies. 

And now Molly, who is sitting next to me in bed reading Peek-A-Who? and playing with her Miffy doll, is getting a touch demanding for breakfast. Harrumph. 

Comments

Life of a Doctor's Wife

I too rank Anastasia Krupnik as one of the best literary characters EVER (right up there with Ramona Quimby and others that for some reason are all out of kiddie lit or YA lit) and I too hate Franzen, although this is baseless as I have never read a word of his. But I don't wanna.

NaNoWriMo scares the crap out of me. I hope this doesn't mean I am Not Meant to Be a Real Writer, because it seems that a real writer would jump all over that shiz.

I also love the idea of turning a dream into a novel. And I would love to read it.

Charlotte

-Medieval boarding school? My interest has been piqued.
- You could always set aside certain time for the fabulous medieval boarding school book that will catapult you into certain fame and riches and other time for the book that literary historians will say bears the first signs of your writerly might. Fine, they wouldn't use the word writerly, but whatever.
-Every time I entertain the idea of someone reading my book, I have to actively resist the urge to hurl myself over it in a full-body death grip.
- I have so many things to say about Franzen. So! Many! Things! But your comment section is not my blog.
- [insert various cheerleadery and encouraging things re: second book and NaNoWriMo here]

Christina

This is really funny because I had a dream last week (which was weird but gave me a bit of an idea) and then I had a night of insomnia (where I seriously fleshed out my setting!! It was AWESOME and WONDERFUL, but um, still haven't actually *written* any of it yet) and so thus I feel much closer to my novel than ever before. And last week my daughter convinced me to do NaNo even though I have serious reservations (I don't want to write just to write, I want to write WELL and I'm not sure I can do that trying to write 50 thou words in a month, KWIM?) ... so all that to say, sure, toss caution to the wind and join me in my craziness! And hey, if we make it a writing group thing, maybe that will be extra incentive!! LOL.

HereWeGoAJen

Oh, yes, Anastasia Krupnik is totally awesome. I second the Ramona as well and raise you Margaret Murry.

I would TOTALLY read a book about medieval boarding school.

april

I didn't finish The Corrections either. I feel better about that now, and the fact that I bought it for 50 cents at a garage sale helps too. Don't worry about the reviewers - these are the same people that hold up other authors that I could give two shits about (hello Augustin Borroughs, David Sidaris and Dave Eggars, sorry in advance to anyone who likes them). I also love authors that my friends hate (like Nick Hornby, be still my heart).

Christiana

Okay, so I am so not "with it" enough to even know what you're talking about. :)

I like the medieval boarding school idea. I'm waiting... :)

Can you do an adjusted NaNoWriMo? Maybe 30,000 words? Gives you a little more leeway for the Blathering time and the "Philip is out of town" time... just a thought. I want to participate, but... I have a newborn. And writers block. And a Disney trip in November...

Andrea Shirey

I'm doing NaNoWriMo! Friends and family have been telling me for years to write a book and I'm going to do it! Well, try anyway. No clue what to write about yet. By the way, I've been reading your blog almost one year and this is my first ever comment! Thanks for sharing your life with the bloggy world.

Andrea

The Sojourner

I have no idea who the people you're talking about even are. Can I blame homeschooling 4 years out, or do I just have to accept that I'll never be with it?

I keep saying I'm not doing NaNoWriMo this year. Or rather, that I'm being a "rebel" by continuing my rewrite of a novel that already has a draft and a quarter.

The Sojourner

I knew that last sentence was unfinished!

Ahem.

I keep saying I'm not doing NaNoWriMo this year, but it is still a week until November. I might get sucked into it somehow still. We'll see.

Jen @ The Short Years

I am considering doing NaNoWriMo with a new project as well, even though I didn't finish the novel I swore I would finish by my 30th birthday (which was in July). Because I had a great idea for an early-reader fantasy novel, and I think I'm just going to roll with it!

Sarah in Ottawa

I ADORE Anastasia Krupnik!I cannot count how many times I've read "Anastasia Again" and my favourite one - "Anastasia on her own". I love her like I love Anne Shirley.

Speaking of YA - have you read any Gordon Korman? He's a Canadian author - a freak, really, who wrote his first novel in 7th grade - who now lives in the States. His Bruno and Boots books STILL make me laugh out loud.

I would TOTALLY read your dream-based book. It sounds wicked.

Sarahd

Stephenie Meyer dreamed about Edward and Bella and THEN look what happened. Maybe 30something mom dreams=hit YA novels! Go for it!

Carrie

I was thinking the same thing about Stephenie Meyer and Maggie, you have one up on her because you are actually a good writer!! Seriously, Stephanie Meyer, HOW MANY TIMES can you describe touching Edward as like touching cool, hard marble??? Get a freaking thesaurus!!!

Sorry, I digress. Good idea + good writing + good luck (yes, there is an element of luck in the big, bad writing world) = potential best seller!

I say go for it!!

Melanie

I'm still working up the courage to do NaNoWriMo myself - but they have a really great Young Writers Program that I'm having my middle school students do. Should be fun times...

And I'm glad to hear that my children aren't the only ones obsessed with Peek-A-Who?!

roberta

I share your passion for reading, but not so much YA. Sorry. Can I still keep hanging out on your blog? However, I too cannot bring myself to finish The Corrections. It is languishing in my kindle but I just can't keep reading it. I am not going to even attempt to read Freedom.

Maybe I should reconsider YA and try Anastasia Krupnick. hmmm....

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