It's getting close to that time of year again, and I'm already in a giddy state of panic-laced joy.
I'm annoying all my friends with reminders that I'm going to the Muskoka Novel Marathon on Friday, July 16th. My mother bought me a jar of pickles to take with me "In case of emergency, like writer's block or Page 301." I've been fasting from all sorts of creativity in the last two weeks, to build up a ravenous appetite for writing. I've been listening to '20s and '30s music the last few days to get me into the spirit of the book's era (and I've been subjecting friends, family and unsuspecting neighbours to the likes of "Lullaby on Broadway," "Happy Days are Here Again," and "Yes, We Have No Bananas" at all hours). And in the trunk of my car: 4 cans of Monster Energy Drink, 4 cans of Full Throttle, and 1 obligatory can of Rockstar.
The portents so far are good. When I arrived at my Grampa's place (jumping off point before heading up to Huntsville), I spotted a photo clipped from the July 7th newspaper: my great-aunt Ruby dressed up like a flapper. Coincidentally: my principal character's name is also Ruby.
But am I ready? Yes and no? Yes, I have everything I need (computer, keyboard, obscene amounts of caffeine), and no, I don't have everything I need (I still haven't actually written down the plot for the book I intend to write).
72-hour marathon implies 72 hours of sleep-deprived typing, interrupted by inconvenient and ill-timed trips to the bathroom, but it doesn't mention anything about the 72 days of hair-pulling and lip-chewing leading up to it!
The questions are making me toss and turn - and I haven't even gone to bed yet. How's the story going to end? Can I make this book better than last year's? Is it going to have enough action? What about the research? Shouldn't I have done more of it beforehand? Are we going to have office chair races again? Who's going to be there this year? Is my roomie going to put up with me and my weird sleeping behaviours? And speaking of whom: is Jacqui going to make good on last year's promise to take a magnet to my computer while other MNM'ers distract me with burgers and fries?
And the two biggest questions of all: 1) can I actually write 301 pages this weekend? 2) HOW did I write 300 last year?
I mean, who in their right mind writes 300 pages (approximately 55k words) in 72 hours? Was I mad? Did I really drink that much caffeine? How fast was I typing, for crying out loud? How many spelling errors per second is that, anyhow?
But what's been keeping me grinning is this: By this time next week, I'll have a new book written. It's a book that doesn't exist right now, but by Monday night next week, I'll have a hard copy in hand. Now how freaking cool is that?
Time (very limited time at that) will tell if I can beat my own record. Stay tuned - I'll post updates as bonus material during the marathon.