NaNoWriMo has come and gone. For the second time, I haven’t finished my novel. I have failed to do something.
It’s really no big deal. I fail at a lot of things I try. So does anyone who attempts anything big, or beyond their comfort zone, their routine. Unless you were all talk, it matters that you didn’t just say you were going to do something, but that you actually tried. The important thing is to recognize you broke out of the regular day and leapt.
There are always lessons to learn in any creative attempt. The things we learn today can be applied to what we do tomorrow. They help make those things easier, and there will be successes based on everything we know and have learned. And, often, we had fun! There was joy in making things we didn’t know how to make.
The more we try these new things, unfamiliar things, harder and deeper and more demanding things, the more we learn about life, ourselves, and creativity. The more we do them, the less importance failure has on our existence, and the easier it is to try something else that’s new, or that we know better how to complete.
The fact that I fell down isn’t as important. Getting up and keeping moving forward is.
Searching Desperately Through the Ruins and Trying Not to Panic
NaNoWriMo excerpt, there’s a bunch of jargon building up in this, and I’m wary of such things. But it’s a first draft, judgment should wait:
Long abandoned by the corporate enclave founders, there were scattered opportunists who’d barricades themselves a few independent co-ops and communities, but they liked to stay isolated and wouldn’t exactly be open to a stranger and his bear, boosted or no. He knew of a small group somewhere south of the bridge that Manola had friends among, but that was it. He’d have to try to feel them out with his chatbit and see if he could get the message through a friendly wavelane.
Ahead of them, jumbled walls and the few buildings that still stood, open-eyed with glassless windows. Bluesong imagined hordes of people waiting for them, hidden behind the walls and burned out columns of temporary shelters. It was probably unlikely, he knew, but he couldn’t stop his imagination conjuring. But they were at the middle with no movement or sound from the other side. Only the slow rush of the river below them made a sound above their own feet, so he pressed on. They were just about to the other side, and Bluesong about to tell Ya-Ya he needed an access point, when the alarm sirens started pulsing behind the walls of Pearl City
You Know What They Say, Out of the Frying Pan, Etc.
But here they were. Bluesong was panting heavily and feeling a little dizzy—his weekly workouts weren’t very rigorous—but the bridge loomed just ahead through the trees, which had thinned a little as they rounded the inside river bend turning south. A few hundred yards and they’d be safe. Well, that was being laughably optimistic. East of the river was slicer territory, and he didn’t really have a good working knowledge of their range
Somehow, he’d need to get within range of an open localnet node and send a message to Manola. She’d know what to do, and maybe she could help find out what had happened to his life since this morning, when he’d thought everything was still normal. He tried not to think about the growing possibility it would never be so again.
They couldn’t stay in view of the city, couldn’t count on roving eyes not looking for them, and needed distance as fast as possible. One of the bridges was heavily trafficked. The other only by rail, still the best way to move large amounts of goods across long kilometers of wilderness between cities and territories, but maybe they could get across and head for dense forest and some valid cover. It didn’t seem to Bluesong any madder than hanging out with a talking bear in a copse next to Pearl City.
A Realization and a Decision in the Middle of a Crisis (excerpt)
“Well, we can’t stay here, they’ll find you, they’ll capture us and take us back to Pearl City. We have to find a place to stay hidden, at least for a while.”
He felt his stomach drop a little, as his panic rose again. What if he never got back to the city, to his life? He had a momentary thought that his life didn’t amount to much, at the moment. But he was on something of a career path at work, a supervisor. It was a typical qualifying job, one that allowed him significant down time for personal pursuits.
Questions started to rise, rapidly, as the immediate crisis—being escorted by corporate security goons—faded and bigger ones loomed. They were outside the city walls. They were in the wilds. There’d be others coming soon, right? Drones flying out in waves, looking in all spectra, they’d surely be caught immediately.
I’m doing NaNoWriMo this year, National Novel Writing Month, where participants try to finish 50,000 words as or of a novel by November 30th. I’ve done it once before, but had no real plan and petered out around 12,000 words. But since I have to keep up so much, I thought I’d post an excerpt from the day’s work here as a placeholder to keep up the daily routine. We’ll see how that goes, eh?
But maybe, he thought, he didn’t really know anyone. Maybe Manola was bad news, and his two guardians wanted information on her. Maybe they weren’t after him at all. He didn’t understand this train of thought, but when nothing made sense, everything seemed possible.
Excerpt from Over the River and Through the Woods and Also a Bear (working title)