I’ve never been much good at joining group projects, so I suppose today makes no exception. I’ve always been one to do things on my own terms, especially, if not always, things that require creativity to flow in my veins instead of blood. NanoWriMo is no exception.
If you did not already know, NanoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. You hole yourself away and expel thousand of words onto a blank screen – characters, romances, murders, love, betrayal, all the juicy little workings of humanity. NanoWriMo is an opportunity to dedicate yourself and say today, now, I will fulfill that creation. Create the first skeleton, as it were.
I first learned about it last year, far too late into the process to join the others, but intrigued to see progress reports pop up over the Internet and happy to see others fleshing their minds into reality. I was craving an opportunity to join, but waiting by the kiddie pool nervously.
I hoped I would be ready the next time around, but I was wrong.
2016 has been a most unusual year for me full of changes and chaos, and unless something changes very soon, I am truly walking in a bone dry creativity graveyard. I haven’t got any novel ideas. Honestly, I don’t even want to write a novel right now, and somehow I feel guilty for it.
Perhaps because I so wanted to be a part of the group, whatever that group was.
The thing is, though, you don’t always get to choose what happens and when. I cannot choose a novel idea just like that, and truthfully, I am currently too wrapped up in work and too ambivalent to care about most things. I need time away from the weirdness that has gripped America by the throat.
That does not mean I will forget writing though. No, never. Instead, as a method of healing and crafting, I will upload several creative pieces this November. I have decided to emphasize creative writings in some forms this month, so be on the lookout for creative essays, poems, ten minute creative exercises, word play, and more. To start, I will list 10 things that make me happy, but are not reflective of my current day/week. As in, these are not things I necessarily did recently, only things that are an infinite source of joy, even if they only ever remain in the mind.
The sound of a champagne cork as it goes pop and seeing the smoke drift from the top of the bottle, as if to say, hello, we have been waiting for you to celebrate…. everything.
The appearance of a child’s birthday party in the park in the fall, not summer. When the balloons dance with leaves and children run around in sweaters and towels tied to their necks like a superhero cape.
Cotton candy being handed out to strangers in all colors. A swirl of pink, blue, yellow, and green melting into my mind’s eye as I watch the crowds across the street flock in their Sunday shoes and bouncy dresses.
Said bouncy dresses being worn by several women in a crowd. All different colors, all headed towards a separate destination. Together and alone. Coincidence.
The sound of new shoes being opened up for the first time. The soft brushing away of paper as it slowly says goodbye to the new laces and brings you hope upon hope. Wondering what adventures these shoes will see and if they will first visit coffee shop stained tiles or a carpet of flower petals on the sidewalk in the spring.
The rush a little girl gets when she is first allowed to choose her own shoes, all on her own.
The feeling a little boy gets when he is first allowed to choose his own shoes, all on his own.
The concept of young virgin love first piercing a teenage heart. Backseat kisses. Woodland kisses. That first time she holds his hand as if to say this is what I have waited for all my life. Dollar sodas and hundreds of coffee cups later, and love still has a very special place in her heart. Maybe not with the same young person, but the concept of love being raw and measured in lattes and scoops of ice cream over the course of several years.
When a child tastes candy for the first time, for their first Halloween/Christmas/Easter that they are old enough to do so, and realizing that life is sweeter than they ever could have dreamed. Then, losing that innocence only to rediscover it 20+ years later. Life tastes like honeycrisp apples dipped in caramel and Skittles and your grandmother’s fudge.
The feeling that floods a woman when she gets her first lace smothered, feminine under garment and realizes she is grown up. Of course, she will realize later that she was never truly grown in that moment, but the feeling of being grown is one not to be matched ever again. To embrace your body. To become the essence of femininity. To feel like an adult, though may real adulthood hit you much, much later.
I don’t know if 10 Things Tuesday will be a regular occurrence here. We have already discussed how badly I am at creating by the rules. But I hope to give it at least a semi weekly appearance because really, beautiful thoughts feel wonderful.
Are you good at participating in giant group efforts? What kind of creative exercises do you indulge in regularly? Better yet, give me one beautiful thing in the comments… I’d love to read your imaginations.