Lately, every time that I sit down at the computer to write, I open the file with my infant novel, which will hopefully be a fully grown, if still pimply young adult by the end of November.
National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo, turns off my natural self denial buttons and allows me to say, "No you can't have the computer, No you can go by yourself this time. No, I'm not cooking, if you want dinner, cook it yourself." Not that I am advocating total selfishness, but like the Mom on the airplane who must get her own oxygen mask first in order to stay conscious and help her family, I believe that some intense selfishness refills the well and allows me to give to everyone else the rest of the year.
This year, instead of returning to the world of Uhrlin, with my favorite protagonist, Duffy Barkley, I have taken a trip along the Oregon Trail, twice. In this years NaNoWriMo, there are two girls making the trip, and they share an ancient wooden lap desk, where they store their treasures and their journals.
But they are taking the same trip 150 years apart. One in a wagon caravan, and one in a Dodge Caravan. Only sometimes, when they slide back the lid on the old desk, what they find is not their belongings but those of the other girl.
Can you imagine walking all day to get 4 miles, and being hot and thirsty, and having to filter buggy, muddy water through a bandana - and then reading a journal written by a girl who drove 400 miles in air conditioned comfort and spent the evening in a motel pool?