I slid across the NaNoWriMo 50,000 word finish line on November 30th, at approximately noon local time. Local time for me at that particular moment was located on a cruise ship in the Caribbean. November 30th also happened to be my 10th wedding anniversary, and my sweet husband took me on a 14 day cruise that left from LA, sailed around western Mexico, through the Panama Canal, through the Caribbean, and landed in Ft. Lauderdale Friday. We had several “at sea” days, and those were perfect for sitting in the observation lounge staring at the water and pounding out a 50,000 word novel.
Towards the end I had to bribe myself. “I can’t go to lunch until I write another 1000 words.” Then, “I can’t order another Bloody Mary until I get to 45,000”. Now, THAT was a motivator, let me tell you. I was one of a very few oddballs that had a laptop computer on the ship, and I do believe that I was the only one of the 700 passengers that finished a novel while on board.
The Panama Canal almost did me in. I was more or less on track to finish the thing by that point, but only if I wrote like a maniac and skipped the bingo and shuffleboard sessions. The Canal journey took me away from the computer nearly all day. We started our transit through the Pacific side of the locks before dawn, and most people, including me, were up on deck by 5:30 or 6 AM to watch the proceedings. We stopped just short of the Gatun Locks on the Atlantic side for several hours, and took a tour by bus of the Locks facility, then back on board and through the Gatun Locks just as the sun set. It was a marvelous day, and worth the whole trip. We have the Ballard Locks in Seattle, which work on the same principle, but the similarities end there.
I didn’t get much knitting done on board. The time I didn’t spend writing was spent mostly in eating. One of the restaurants on board ship had a Cordon Bleu chef. There was also a chef from the Cordon Bleu cooking school in Ottawa on board giving cooking classes, which we took. I have a little diploma that says I am a graduate of the Cordon Bleu cooking program at sea, as well as a lovely white starched apron and chef’s hat.
This is the certificate that I am most proud of, however:
I have no illusions that I will be short-listed for the Booker Prize for this one. I discovered in writing this that yes, I can write a novel in 30 days. Crap it may be, but it’s my crap, and I figure that I have nowhere to go but up! No, I probably won’t ever try to publish this one; yes, I will try to write a better one next time; and emphatically no, you can’t read any of it. If you are one of my readers that also happens to be in my family, yes, you are probably in it. Next time I’ll try to disguise you better so you won’t need to go into the Witness Protection Program when I get famous.
I should be off sleeve island with the purple cotton cardigan in a few days, then on to button bands and sewing up. Rogue is my next sweater project, and I can’t wait to dig in to that Beaverslide Dry Goods yarn.