Posts in: Writing

I’m a week into Nanowrimo 2021 and it’s just like old times: I’m behind in my word count, I have no idea what I’m doing, and I want to quit and keep going.

(Update 11/10: …and I’m out. Other things have proved more important, and the writing I need to do is not about word-count or bulk.)

It’s that time of year once again when I find myself — fool! — considering Nanowrimo. It begins tomorrow, the twentieth since my first. That year, 2001, I stumbled onto it a few days in, maybe the 4th or 5th, by way of a post on someone’s long-lost blog. I jumped right in with no forethought, blind to plot or progression. I crashed and burned a few weeks later when I was knocked out by a bad flu. But I managed thirty-five thousand words in a bit over two weeks. Not bad.

It was a comfort during those dangerously stupid first months of the stupidly dangerous Post-9/11 age. The shambling mess I wrote that month became the kernel of a long, sprawling divagation that has preoccupied me now and again ever since.

I participated most years between 2001 and 2009, winning in 2005 (the only year I did). The Teens have been much more sporadic. According to my records, I attempted it only in 1013, ’17, and ’18. I’m not sure I’ll do it this year.

Maybe I’ll do a half-nano (24k), just for kicks.

I’ve just finished writing two books. They’re very weird, and probably gibberish, but I suspect there’s perhaps — at most — fifteen people who might, briefly, find them curious or even somewhat bemusing. In other words: typical poetry manuscripts. Let’s see what happens next.

Bachelard, The Poetics of Space:

If we were to give the imagination its due in the philosophical systems of the universe, we should find, at their very source, an adjective. Indeed, to those who want to find the essence of a world philosophy, one could give the following advice — look for its adjective.

(see also)

A very old poem of mine, called Elegy, was published today in the “inaugural expo” of Cool Rock Repository. It’s so odd to think that this poem is finally seeing the light of day after living in my files for nearly thirty years.

John Ruskin:

The greatest thing a human soul ever does in this world is to see something and tell what it saw in a plain way. Hundreds of people can talk for one who can think, but thousands can think for one who can see. To see clearly is poetry, prophecy and religion, all in one.