Camp NaNoWriMo has been really tough this time around. June’s effort felt easier because I pretty much cleared everything else in my life away and decided it’s all about writing. I know it sounds like a total luxury, but believe me sacrifices were definitely made to ensure that could happen (Thanks, Roommate!)
But this go around, life has crept in, taking the form of all that non-fun grown-up stuff that clogs my head so terribly, leaving little room for my precious noveling words. It’s hard, but I’m pushing through, and also working up against a deadline for some freelance writing assignments due early next month.
So with all of the other issues pressing down on me, I couldn’t help but wonder: why do I do this to myself?
The above sentence is a total nod to the TV show Sex and the City which has played a huge role in my sanity survival therapy this past week. I decided to craft my own Camp Care Package which includes watching my favorite TV shows and movies, having fancy drinks, preparing good meals, using aromatherapy to make my house smell less like the dusty city that surrounds it, and playfully annoying my cats. All of these things remind me that while word count is an important thing, it’s not the only thing.
More from the WIP first-draft:
“Would you hurry up? Some of us have curfew.”
I instantly recognize the voice and the irritation behind it. It’s Noah, tired and annoyed and most likely on some adventure he regretted the minute it began. I slink behind the rack of potato chips. The styrofoam egg container suddenly feels like it’s doubled in weight and the baking powder box is awkwardly balanced next to the pork rinds in the crook of my elbow.
My hands sweat and I’m breathing fast. If I don’t stop freaking out I won’t be able to keep from getting the complete history of every object I’m in contact with. All good common sense tells me to just walk up to the counter, set this crap down, pay and get the hell out. But that path takes me right past him.
The muscles in his arm expand and contract as he runs a hand through his hair, sighing. His summer tan’s still holding on nicely. He’s wearing the brown penny loafers I found on clearance in the spring, buffed and shiny. A blue-and-white plaid Western-style short-sleeved shirt with pearlized snaps frames him quite nicely.
My eyes slide down his long legs, covered in dark denim, frayed at the hems, which drag under his shoes as he moves to the bank of refrigerators. His pants are always too long. We would have ridiculously drawn-out conversations about tailoring and appropriate hem lengths. Basically, it boiled down to I cared about such things and he didn’t. But he was kind enough to entertain the discussion.
I scoot further down the aisle so he can’t see me. This is so stupid. I’m hiding like I did something wrong. But I also rearranged my classes so I wouldn’t have to see him in the halls during changeover and go off-campus for lunch every day so there’s no chance of running into him in the cafeteria. I’ve become skilled in the art of Noah-avoidance. I’m the Jedi Master of Noah-ducking. The Queen of Noah Keep-Away—
He’s right in front of me.