I fell behind. The wagon hit a bump in the road and I fell off. I was trampled by the horses, scraped off the street and tossed onto the sidewalk.
Yesterday was November 30, 2011. In order for me to have finished NaNoWriMo I would have had to write something along the lines of 30,000 words by the end of the day. That didn't happen.
What bothers me most isn't that I didn't cram 50,000 words into 30 days. I'm concerned by how embarrassed I've been to come online and admit defeat. If anyone else said to me, "Hey, I tried, but you know how much else I have going on. I just couldn't get there." I'd say, "No worries. You gave it a shot." I need to extend to myself that same empathy. Chin up, woman! There's nothing saying I can't take what I started, finish it and rework it into something, now is there. Besides, I changed my mind about the entire direction of the piece and wasn't sure how to go on, leaving the first 50ish pages hanging while twisting the plot, mid-novel, into something totally different. I just wasn't feeling it this year, I guess. Or I was, but knowing I didn't have time to go back and revise made me reluctant to go on.
I'm raising the white flag of surrender. NaNoWriMo, you have officially kicked my lily-white, Irish/Dutch/English posterior.
I haven't been idle, though. I published an interview with Michael Cunningham in the Illinois Library Association Reporter. I also submitted a couple book reviews: one on Caitlin Flanagan's Girl Land for Booklist and the other Alix and Nicky: The Passion of the Last Tsar and Tsarina for Library Journal. Don't think either of those have been published yet, or at least I haven't had time to check.
Also, there are the blog posts in our local online newspapers (Patch.com and TribLocal), book reviews and an interview on behalf of the library: an interview with Michael Popek, author of Forgotten Bookmarks: A Bookseller's Collection of Odd Things Found Between the Pages; my thoughts on Hillary Jordan's latest When She Woke; and also Peter Ackroyd's latest London Under: The Secret History Beneath the Streets.
What am I reading now, you ask? I'll tell you!:
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
Becoming Dickens: The Invention of a Novelist by Robert Douglas-Fairhurst
Plus my latest review book for BookBrowse.com, one I can't reveal just yet, mostly because it makes it sound mysterious and exotic. All I'm saying is: grim, short stories, southern. That narrows it down.
Soon to start:
Middlemarch by George Eliot
Bleak House by Charles Dickens
2012 being the 200th anniversary of Dickens's birth, I plan to read several other books by and about my favorite Victorian. One is Claire Tomalin's latest biography: Charles Dickens: A Life and the other possibly Michael Slater's Charles Dickens, about which I've heard only great things. I've missed Victorian literature. 2012 is my year to revisit a few old favorites and also give some new ones a try.
Also, I've been tremendously blessed by several publishers who answered my clarion call, sending me review books I requested, plus those who continue to send titles they'd like me to cover. Here are a few of those, received over the past week:
Special thanks to Coffee House Press and Yale University Press. Wow!
Loads of things bookish happening here, plus the inevitable pull into the holiday season. It's going to be a busy month.