The end of NaNoWriMo (But Not the Story)

It’s just after eight in the evening and my dog is staring at me from the hallway. The cheap, red wine is coursing through my veins, warming my body like a well earned hug, but its warm happiness is only a precursor to the bubbling joy I feel from finally achieving a well set goal. This month was NaNoWriMo, and for the first time since 2014, that’s four whacks at this pig mind you, I have finally reached the disgustingly high word count goal of 50,000. To put that into a bit of perspective, that’s about 1667 words a day, rounded up. To put that into an even better perspective, Stephen King claimed that while working on a novel, he writes 2000 words a day. Stephen King doesn’t have a 9-5 sucking the life out of him (he did, at one time, gods bless him), his kids are all grown up, and he isn’t going to college or trying to snag that hot little piece from work with a heart as sick and swelled as his ambitious of placing word on paper for a living – he’s gotten all those ducks tightly in a row. Whereas, in contrast, I’m some clock punching, knuckle dragging, drunkard whose only surface passions seem to be reading, Dungeons and Dragons, and pissing my time away as the whole world carries on and on and on without me. Fifty-thousands words, just saying it sounds like a mouthful of shit. One thousand is on the above average side of a college term paper, 1984 by George Orwell was eighty-eight thousand nine-hundred and forty-two, and in between that, somewhere under the spilled wine, crushed out cigarettes, and countless baleful glances from an unwalked doggie is fifty-thousand words. Hard to believe, but believe it. If I could do it again (and I can) I would (and I will). This novel is far from over (a little on the far, but close to an end). I have bitten nails to nubs, doubted myself into insomnia, talked to my handgun like an old friend over far too many drinks, and more than once had the urge to stop fooling myself and resign my life to punching a clock and scratching my ass for a living.

NaNoWriMo is over now. The words have been counted, I’ve watched their Congratulations YouTube Video, I even bought that damned near twenty-dollar t-shirt that claims “I’m a fucking winner” (after shipping and handling, they aren’t savages after all); but then there is that question posed time and time again that I read all too often as a LOSER on the wrong end of fifty-thousand words: What’s next? The rest of the novel, you assholes.

Fifty-Thousand words is a good starting point, don’t get me wrong. But Game of Thrones is like what, a thousand books? Jane Austin shit books in her sleep, Tolkien cracked a few when he wasn’t busy being grumpy, and Bukowski turded out a few more when he wasn’t drowning himself in contempt for the human race (among other things). I won, truth be told. I hit the mark, I finished the race, I bought the goddamn t-shirt – but I’m not done. There’s a story there that needs an end, there are people there, people I created, that need an ending to their tale. But not tonight. Tonight is for celebration. Tonight is for smiling because “I done good, momma.” I tested my salt. I tested myself. I hit a goal that is fucking ridiculous when there are bills to be paid and jobs to be done. And, maybe because I’m drunk, and, maybe because I think I’m hot shit in a champagne glass (and not cold diarrhea in a dixie cup, for once); I’d like to share the chapter that pushed me, and my story, and the denizens within its wordy bounds, with anyone who cares to read it. Now, like always, this is a rough work, rougher than, well, you find an analogy, I’ve done my writing work for the day. But thoughts, comments, criticism, hate, what-have-you is always welcome.

To read my last chapter (written for NaNoWriMo) follow THIS LINK RIGHT HERE, or look up into the navigation bar under NaNoWriMo Excerpts and click on Hamman (2017).

Thanks for stickin’ it out with me even though I’ve been a real rat-bastard of a stick-in-the-ass for all of November.

-phill

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