Work In Progress

We All Go a Little Mad Sometimes in November

Perhaps I should clarify.

Some of us go mad when it comes to a certain writing challenge that annually takes place during this month. (Not to slight other folks who go mad for other reasons which may or may not be any of our business, depending on the salaciousness of the driving factor and whether or not we might be considered key witnesses in the court case that may or may not ensue.)

I’m talking about National Novel Writing Month. (Or “NaNoWriMo”, if you want to break it down to street-lingo level.) And yes, I realize that many of my beloved guests here at Bonnywood couldn’t give less of a hoot about NaNoWriMo and you are already checking your NetFlix queue to see if anything new has appeared, convinced that this post is going nowhere you wish to tread. Stay with me a bit, as there’s a challenge further down in this rambling mess that just might convince you to hold off on binge-watching the seventh season of “Game of Hormones”. At least temporarily.

NaNoWriMo is a lovely communal adventure wherein valiant participants attempt to write 50,000 words for a current “work-in-progress” in 30 days. If you’re not familiar with word-counts, this is a big-ass investment, requiring an average of roughly 1,700 words a day. (A typical blog post is 500 words or less, if that helps you visualize the effort. And an average novel is 150,000 words, so you are basically writing a third of a book in a month.)

Please forgive the preceding paragraph for being completely humorless and full of statistics. I try to avoid such things at Bonnywood, but they occasionally slip through my Gauntlet of Control. I will try my best not to sin in such a manner again, but there are times when I am weak and unwashed and unworthy of redemption. Then I put on another pot of coffee and all is well.

Naturally, this rapid pace of word-scribbling is not going to produce your finest work. There’s no time for editing; you have to keep moving or you will never meet the goal. And that’s the real value of this challenge for me, in that the blinders of grammar accuracy and thematic coherence and, well, any degree of professionalism has to be removed or you will not cross the finish line.

And yet, when your mind is unshackled and you truly ride your stream of consciousness, some amazing things can happen. Ideas explode and leave fragmented jewels for you to pick up at a later time and flesh them into something better. When you ignore the protocols, the creativity can burn brightly.

So, I’m doing NaNoWriMo once more. I need some burning jewels to light my way and get me back on the path of book-publishing and not just blog-posting, despite how much I relish the latter.

For this year’s mad run, I’m focusing on a short-story collection, tentatively titled “Peppered Fruit”. I plan to extensively rework some things I’ve already written, but I mostly want to cultivate new bits and pieces. And this, dear reader, is where you come into the picture.

What are your favorite stories here at Bonnywood?

Which themes do you most enjoy?

Where would you like me to dig deeper?

And, perhaps most importantly, what bits should I avoid?

Feel free to speak your mind, as it should be obvious by now that I don’t have any problem speaking mine.

Cheers.

 

P.S. Despite participating in this challenge, I still plan to unleash as many fresh (and recycled, let’s be fair) posts that I can during November. Those of you who have been with me for a while know that this month can lead to some really quirky posts.

P.P.S If you are a fellow NaNoWriMo participant or considering such, hook up with me so we can help each other get through the mess. https://nanowrimo.org/participants/brian-lageose

P.P.P.S. If you’re an American, please vote on November 6th, if you haven’t already done so.

 

35 replies »

  1. 1. Already voted. 2. I’m NaNo-ing too. 3. I like Scotch stories. (The cat mostly although the drink is good too.)

    For some reason, as soon as I announce I’m doing NaNo, ghastly things happen. Family members drop dead, we move houses (and occasionally, countries), some random one of my organs goes on the warpath and requires surgical intervention, a really good art exhibit opens in another country… And that was just ONE year. They’re all some variation though.

    So good luck to your NaNo dreams. I’ll make a brave start and hang in there as long as I can. (I have family members who make a checkup appointment with their doctors as soon as they hear I’m doing NaNo. )😉

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, I’m firmly schooled in the aspect of family members and friends paying absolutely no attention to my little “hobby” of writing. I can tell them 47 times that I am not available for ANYTHING in November, and yet they all roll right ahead with planning festivities (often at MY house) and succumbing to health issues without any concern for my needs. After all, they can read an entire book in one night, so why can’t I write one in the same time frame, mmm? Egads.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Blimey that’s some challenge – wish you well Brian and hope that you retain your sanity throughout at least some of it.
    With regard to your work, you know that I’m a huge fan (not so huge that you need a restraining order but a fan nonetheless). My favourite posts are those that are about you and your life; you are a born raconteur! Least favourite are the political ones but that’s only because I know nothing about American politics so don’t really understand what you’re going on about half the time :O) xx

    Liked by 2 people

  3. No NaNo whatever for me – attempting to write a novel is not my thing. Good luck with yours, however. I’ll just continue to blither and blather when the mood strikes me.
    Oh, and I have voted. Will it matter?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Butting in where it’s none of my business to do so, but “will it matter?” YEAH. I live in Republican Ville USA (Utah is so red that it looks dipped in blood sometimes) and I’m so purple (moderate) that I don’t fit here. And I voted. It won’t make one bit of difference, but I can say I did it and thumbed my nose at all those f*ckers who SHOULD RETIRE or leave the political scene.. there.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I hate voting the way I did in some respects (not to say I don’t have as much confidence in those I selected as any politician) but until the GOP starts reining in the hate-mongering, racist, disrespectful man at the top, they’ll not get a vote from me. In my view, they have shown themselves to be out of connection with the people, especially women, untruthful, and more interested in power than anything else.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, it can be frustrating at times, with the feeling that your vote doesn’t really matter in the end, but at least with this election cycle, there are so many races across the country with razor-thin margins where each single vote will be important. (In Texas, we might actually elect a Democratic Senator for the first time in decades.) So, I try to keep my faith in the voting process, even if I don’t trust the intentions of many voters…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Butting in also, from t’other side of the pond, yeah too it does matter, cos IF NOTHING ELSE, it validates your right to complain if the vote doesn’t go your way 😉 If you don’t even try to make a difference, you lose your voice; before, during and after. I’d be all for compulsory voting, but only if it included ‘None Of The Above’. Wouldn’t seem very democratic to force us to vote for ‘shit choice’ or ‘less shit choice’. Think it would give a truer reflection. Those of us that bother to vote often have to resort to tactical voting. Don’t know what would happen if None Of The Above won the majority though! I digress. Proper response to this post below 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  4. NaNo ing – In fact I should be NaNoing right now…but #Bonnywood more important.
    I too am a Canuck, so I will not be voting.
    I like the surprise of what is posted in the Manor. Therefore no suggestions on what you should right. Trust your instincts, indulge yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you like the “surprise”, as I really try to keep things as varied as possible, despite the “blogging professionals” who warn that you should find a formula and stick to it. I don’t like to READ the same type of thing every day, so why would I want to write the same?

      And yes, I plan to indulge myself as much as possible… 😉

      Like

  5. First: P.S. Despite participating in this challenge, I still plan to unleash as many fresh (and recycled, let’s be fair) posts that I can during November. Those of you who have been with me for a while know that this month can lead to some really quirky posts.

    GOOD! I’d die (virtually) without at least a partial ‘fix’ of your brand of blog…

    P.P.S If you are a fellow NaNoWriMo participant or considering such, hook up with me so we can help each other get through the mess. https://nanowrimo.org/participants/brian-lageose

    I’M NOT. And 500 words on an ‘average blog”? Piffle. I have to hold back to keep within that parameter, so the NaNoWriMo thing… .NO PROBLEM. Just trying to keep within THAT parameter might be a problem. I will so hook up and see if I can do this NaNo thing (which yeah, reminds me of Robin Williams – the early years… Nanoo Nanoo

    P.P.P.S. If you’re an American, please vote on November 6th, if you haven’t already done so. I HAVE. IT WAS A HIGHLY DEPRESSING EXPERIENCE. NO I’M NOT ‘SHOUTING’, I’M USING CAPS TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN YOUR GEMS AND MY COMMENTS.
    ******************
    What are your favorite stories here at Bonnywood? THE SARKY ‘LISTS’ OF THINGS ONE SHOULD AVOID, OR DO, OR PLACES OR PEOPLE…YOU KNOW… TEN THINGS THAT ONE SHOULD NEVER SAY TO A FAT PERSON (OR SOMETHING)

    Which themes do you most enjoy? ER, THERE’S A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN…AW. FORGET THIS ONE. I’M TOO DIM TODAY TO ‘GET’ WHAT YOU’RE ASKING. MAYBE THE SEMI-SERIOUS SARCASTIC ONES..?

    Where would you like me to dig deeper? YOUR STORIES..BY WHICH I MEAN YOUR STORIES (OF BEING A KIDDIE IN B.F.E. OKLAHOMA AND WHAT Y’ALL GOT UP TO

    And, perhaps most importantly, what bits should I avoid? NONE. I FIND EACH OF YOUR OUTPOURINGS TO BE PURE GOLD.

    NOW WHEN ARE WE GOING TO SPAIN? (see your last blog post and click the link to my subsequent blog post or just read my answer there…) ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • And once again, you have provided a shining example of how best to interact with a blog post, sharing thoughtful responses and heartfelt emotions. (My personal fave: “I find each of your outpourings to be pure gold.” Aww!)

      Once again, I am woefully behind in both responding to all of your various comments as well as reading your own entries. The visiting family members have finally departed, so I should be able to get my head above water in the next few days. (Unless the mid-term election results throw me into a funk of depression, in which case I may disappear for a few more recuperative days. We shall see.)

      Liked by 1 person

      • If the mid-terms go that way, I too shall wallow in a puddle of hopelessness and despair. And. Because of my most recent post, I might just do that any way. You’re a sweetie. (and I LOVED that pic of you on vacay with your partner…you need to put that in as your profile pic, just so people know you do smile and when you do, you’re outrageous! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much for the nomination, but I usually don’t participate in these things, at least not immediately. I often save up several noms and then do a mass post, so your nom is in a bit of a hiatus until the guilt builds up enough and I concoct a whirlwind, globe-traveling rebuttal. Stay tuned! (Maybe.)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I won’t be participating in novel writing month (my brain is mostly shackled because I just started a new management job and it’s like drinking from a fire hose) but I wish you every success. 🙂
    I like your lists too, and posts from Scotch, but you pick. I’ve yet to meet a post of yours I didn’t like.
    And no voting from me because I’m a neighbour, but I hope you are successful in lancing that enormous hemorroid that just keeps getting bigger and bigger like a sort of noxious giant sausage. Don’t forget to cauterise in order to avoid the blowback. 😁

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I have two favorites, but please don’t take that to mean I don’t like your other bits. Just these are the ones that make me go “yippee!”
    1) how I first found you: a clip of an old black-and-white with short snarky commentary underneath
    2) how I first lost my ❤️: glimpses of your childhood, with all the bittersweet angst oozing out.
    Go forth and write, Brian.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, the black-and-white clip quips have are responsible for initially attracting (ensnaring?) many of the followers for this blog, lulling them into a false sense of security and expectancy. Then I slyly slip in one of the nostalgic pieces and wait to see what happens…. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I would like you to quirk Mr Lageose. I would like you to quirk like you’ve never quirked before!
    My favourite posts off the top of my head;
    The plumber seduction attempt.
    Scotch.
    The recent road trip with the bear photo.
    The cupids.
    I love the lists, but I have a short attention span, so especially love the snappy, sarcastic 10 ways to not hide a body kind of thing. 😉
    Oh, and the afternoon at the bar live commentary 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hurray! You are one of the few folks who have actually shown some lasting love for the bar commentary bits. Whenever I shove one of those things out there, the response is generally a bit cryptic (polite but reserved) so it’s never clear whether they’re being enjoyed or not. However, you have just inspired me to dig another one out and dust it off. Assuming that I can remember this objective after I post this comment… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Got a little lost reading all the post replies and forgot where this was going. Oh yeah, I can’t/don’t do the NaNo thing. Never enough time to get everything done as it is, but my favorite is always your past/childhood. So poignant and oozing nostalgia. Especially love the recent one about the pond and swimming. Then you’ll do another one and THAT one will be my favorite. Insert smile face.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I especially relish your next-to-last line. It’s by far my favorite comment today. But don’t tell the other folks around here. They can get a bit persnickety… 😉

      And yes, NaNo is time-intensive, but I usually generate enough wild-ass story threads that I can weave stories out of the mess for several months afterward…

      Liked by 1 person

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