Thursday, November 01, 2007

First Night: The Case of the Missing Purse

With my previously banked startup cache, I'm up to 3,910. It's a different way than I've ever written anything -- what's liberating about it is the express freedom to simply write, keep writing, and write some more, without stopping to edit, judge, fret. What came out tonight offered a few discoveries, but like a momma cat who just gave birth, I'm feeling secretive and protective. Tried to get on the NaNo site but it was apparently being barraged with first-nighters, so I'll use this spot instead (along with Cathy's cute contribution of an office chart for all four of us NaNoWriMo freaks -- thanks, Cathy.)

Amusing start to my NaNoWriMo life. Had to work late -- till 6:45 p.m. today -- and when I got ready to come home, looking forward to my two hours or so at the computer, I realized I didn't have my purse. I quickly deduced I'd left it in another campus building at an earlier meeting, and after Safety sent an officer to check the room I'd been in, they called back and said it wasn't there. I retraced my steps, frantic, thinking about all the credit cards, checks, and my low-tech but much thumbed and beloved address book. When I got to the other building to see for myself, it was locked up for the night. So I pounded back to my office and begged Safety to let me back in to see for myself. And raced back a second time. A tolerant officer let me in the building and we looked together -- no purse, much unladylike cursing. All I could think of was, DAMN, what about NaNoWriMo? Does this ruin my very first night of November writing? Then, out of desperation, I made him let me in to the adjacent Advising Center (an office I'd once spent many long years in, incidently) to see if anybody'd dropped it off and it was lurking on a secretary's desk. And then I made him let me go into the Director's office, who'd been at the meeting with me. AND THERE IT WAS!

When I finally got home, my purse securely swinging from my left shoulder, I was still in an adrenaline rush, and I brought that with me to my first night of NaNoWriMo. The 1800 words for tonight flowed out fairly speedily. I was so grateful to be writing instead of calling credit card companies and loathing my stupid self!

So there you go, a happy ending. Shouldn't every story have a happy ending? Isn't this nervewracking "missing purse" event somehow just the right kind of ultimately harmless drama to propel my first night of story telling?

I am wondering about happy endings. Humans really don't have happy endings. We get old and die. Or at least, die. But I'm still feeling exuberant, so I don't want to let it stand there...I'm banking on some happiness between now and the day I die -- the "aho lahi" as the Tongans used to call it, the "Big Day." I don't know if my novel is going to have a happy ending. But the mood I'm in now, with my reclaimed purse hanging beautifully on the back of a chair in my bright and lovely kitchen, is that I think it will. I think it will.

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