I’m doing Camp NaNo this year.
I hadn’t planned on it. In fact, I’d planned on not doing it, because NaNo wordcounts give me the heebie-jeebies, and as I told the delightful Shannon Kauderer at today’s Saratoga Romance Writers meeting, tend to leave me in a fetal position under the dining room table, sobbing uncontrollably. Shannon reminded me that I can set my own word count for Camp NaNo, even zero, and that the moral support, which is what I’d liked about NaNo in the first place, was the main point. So, this year, I’m camping. Also, Shannon has mermaidy green curly hair and charm for days, so that may have had something to do with the fact that I am now officially signed up. Not focused on word count; it’s all about the story for me.
Good thing, that, as Shannon, the regional municipal liason for NaNoWriMo (and camps) was the guest speaker, presenting her workshop on the Snowflake Method of plotting. I’ve taken this before, when Shannon presented at CRRWA, then, as now, with the delightful SueAnn Porter as my companion, so I knew what I was in for, and surely, I’d whip through this, no problem, be all set to charge forward.
Not exactly. The first step, creating a one sentence description of one character’s journey, had me stymied at first. Lots of writing, lots of crossing out, lots of squeezing in teeny tiny words above those crossed out lines, and I finally came up with this:
A disreputable rogue finds the love of a lifetime in the one woman he can never have — his best friend’s mistress.
Hm not half bad there. Okay, the meeting itself went rather smoothly. I felt right at home in the, warm, welcoming and professional group, and definitely plan on visiting again. I am not only saying that because I won the drawing for these lovely blooms right here:
It was when SueAnn and I hit the parking lot that things got interesting. Flat tire. SueAnn figured we could limp along to the nearest service station, but reversed her decision and direction and we headed back to the parking lot. There was a quick fix kit in her trunk, which we both gave the old college try, but the green sludge in the squeezy bottle refused to go into the actual tire.
In my family, the words “dripping green slime” are a way of expressing barely contained anger, but there was none of that as SueAnn and I waited for AAA to show and swap flat tire for spare tire, which turned out to be the smaller donut sort. With weather thankfully warm for the day, we waited as only writers can – picking apart bad endings to good movies and TV shows, and fixing them. By the time AAA did show, we had a couple more stops before I could head home and charge straight into writing.
Adventure over? Not a chance. SueAnn wanted to get the real tire fixed and back on, which makes sense as she’s off on another adventure with Mr. Porter after she drops me off at home, so we had a short detour to the place from which her tires originally came. There, we met an individual SueAnn has asked me to dub “Ridiculously Handsome Tire Guy.” We do not have a picture of Ridiculously Handsome Tire Guy, but SueAnn put him at “Derek Morgan level” (Shemar Moore in Criminal Minds) found herself distracted enough to momentarily forget how to speak English, which she assures me is indeed her native tongue (but sorry, SueAnn, “tire” and “photograph” are not synonyms, no matter that the gent in question seemed to catch her drift even so) and drop her purse. Somewhere out there, she’s sure, a romance novel is missing its cover model.
Quick stop by Chez Porter to feed Bailey and make sure he got to :ahem: visit the great outdoors (and pose for a photo op) and then time to brave the traffic to drop me home. What do I do immediately upon arrival? Yep, head for they keyboard. A day spent talking writerly things gets me excited to go home and put all that theory into practice. The more I live with that one line blurb, the more I like it. Should be a fun time at camp this year.
Update: Flowers now exiled to office, as incessant sneezing makes me suspect I may be allergic. Balcony door now open to let in the evening air as I snuggle under a blanket to further explore story doings.