Friday, November 4, 2011


We are doing NaNoWriMo here in the house.  By NaNoWriMo, I mean, of course, National Novel Writing Month and by we, I mean, of course, me - maybe Rhubarb.  She's signed up and set her goal at 15,000 words, but we shall see where this goes.

I myself cheated a bit.  I'd already started my novel in October and had two chapters written.  It was nice to have the head start.  1667 words per day, the goal of NaNoWriMo, is HARD.  Seriously, try it.  It's HARD.

On the other hand, I do find that here on day four, I have sufficiently strengthen my writing muscles and those 1667 words per day are flowing a lot more freely than they did when I wrote just TWO measly chapters in October.

I guess there is something to the idea of actually practicing your craft.  The novel, in case you are wondering, is currently entitled Maggie.  Here is the synopsis I wrote for the NaNoWriMo web site:
This novel chronicles the lives of a very strong lineage of women, dating back to 19th century Ireland and culminating in the current era. The women are bound by incredible senses of humor and a knack for creative survival.
Can you guess from whence came the idea for the book?  It is a part fiction/part true story based upon my mother's life, with my own life thrown into the mix (what with my mother being MY mother and all).

Just for fun, just for kicks, here is the excerpt they requested on the NaNoWriMo website:

Patrick’s mother, Maggie Fitzgibbons, had often wondered if the famine might have passed them over had Biddy stayed put. It seemed to her that Biddy Early’s second marriage, to a Flannery no less, and subsequent move to Kilbarron was the undoing of her little spot of Feakle Parish.  Maggie could not have known the true extent of the famine.  She was sure it was purely a Feakle problem, brought on by the absence of County Clare’s most prolific healer, and scorned her neighbors who skirmished to catch the boats to Amerikay.  
The night a gush of uisce and fola burst from her insides, ushering forth the labor for her first-born son, she refused to allow the birth to progress until Biddy arrived.  Her own mother yelled at her, called her a fool, while her sisters begged her to reconsider.  “She’s all the way in Kilbarron.  It could be days before she is even fetched.”
Maggie stood up from the hay, wiped herself dry with the closest bit of flax she could find, and poured herself the poitín Paddy had saved for this day to lessen the labor pains.  “I don’t want to bring a child into this hunger without the blessing of Biddy,” she sputtered.
Paddy looked at Maggie a moment.   He knew that his wife would somehow not allow his first child to make an appearance before he could get Biddy to his home.  Such was the consequence of marrying a Fitzgibbons.  He should have known it, his own grandmother, Mairead, a Fitzgibbons woman herself.  As he stared into the green of Maggie’s eyes that matched the winter sea, he recalled his father’s stories about his grandmother, how she had refused to eat for seven days until the landlord finally relented, back when they occasionally relented, and gave the family a larger share of the fields they tended.  On the fourth day, the landlord marched out to the field, where Mairead stood hunched over a patch of sod, and handed her a basket of salted pork and maslin, the smell of rye still rising from the bread.  She picked up the pork and sucked in its fertile aroma.  Then she tenderly licked it from top to bottom and all around, savoring every bit of the flavor.  The landlord stood smiling, smug and proud, until she placed the meat back in the basket and went on to lick each and every item provided and replace those as well.
When the landlord stormed away from the field, Mairead Fitzgibbons laughed so hard she wet herself.  Three days and as many baskets of licked food later, the landlord agreed to her terms.

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