Despite my brilliant frantic current writing project, despite my newest fascination with certain members of my ancestry, despite the alluring possibility of travel and adventure, I will and I must drive all such distractions from my mind, in order to concentrate on this coming Nano.

No more plumbing the depths of my murder mystery; no more searching after that curious character with the magical umbrella who has just moved into my attic (attic? second floor apartment? house next door?); no more delving deep through dictionaries dark to discover delicious delicacies of dialect …

Basil (as you can plainly see) has been quite ignored, poor fellow, for some time; not that being left to his own devices deters him from any possible quirk or fancy, such as rummaging about in the library and pulling books from the shelves and dropping them onto the floor and creating such a mess it’s a wonder I don’t have bookeaters. Bookeaters? Bookmites? Pests, of one sort or another. Rather rodent-y, I suppose, with long snouts and sharp claws and ugly yellow teeth.

Stories shelved, characters subdued, plots untangled and left to dry in the ever-chilling October wind, I take up my nifty Nanoist to nano like the Nanowrimer I was born to be.

Two days.



We live in a world of instant gratification. With writing, as with many other wonderful exciting confusing frustrating frabjous things, we cannot expect to produce War and Peace overnight, or even within a year, or perhaps a decade. We cannot expect to produce it as our first attempt at a novel, or our last. We cannot expect to produce it ever, in fact. Tolstoy rather beat us to the quick.

Dash it all, I can hardly produce a readable blog post, without consuming an excessive amount of cheese. And chocolate. And cheese.

As an unwilling though undeniable product of the late twentieth century, I expect results. Fast. Now. Yesterday! I expect quantity rather than quality, efficiency rather than eloquence. I wrote 50K words in 30 days; doesn’t that count as a “book”? (What is a “book”?) Why can’t I put it on the market now and make it a best-seller? Isn’t that effort enough? What do you mean, editing? But I want it NOW.

Basil just sits in his corner and guffaws. Sigh.

Point being, patience. Building a vocabulary takes patience. Building a mental library takes patience. Building a repertoire of references takes patience. The pleasure of forming an intricate sentence is consumed by the focus and attention necessary for its content. Or something.

Rudyard Kipling encourages us to “Wait and not be tired by waiting.”

T. S. Eliot takes it a step further:

“I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope, for hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love, for love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith, but the faith and the love are all in the waiting. Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought: So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.”

Thank you, Blue, for the sermon. May I go back to bed now?


For the record, one of the recommended tags for this post is “Shopping.” I take that as a sign. Retail therapy, anyone?