November is National Novel Writing Month and, as I have for the last few years, I signed up. This time, not to write a novel that I then never look at again but, to work on a short story collection. I have ten years’ worth of short stories, at least, and thinking it would be a good idea to go through them all and see if they can be shaped into a book, so I decided to make use of NaNo to do that. Instead of stressing over word counts I’d stress over stories, and try to get one finished each day.
Things were going well. In the run up to the event I searched my files, found thirty-two stories I thought worth working on, put them in a Scrivener project file and, on 1 November got to work on the first one. By the end of the day I was happy with it. Ditto 2 November. Then came 3 November.
I woke up as usual at six, got coffee, jotted some ideas in my journal, and got to work. I chose a story to work on, read it through, made a few changes as I went, but before I got to the end I was totally highjacked by the US election. And that’s the position I still find myself in.
On Wednesday I didn’t even open the file. I just went straight to Twitter to see what was happening and, pretty much, stayed there for the rest of the day. Thursday was the same and Friday, today, seems to be headed in a similar direction. This blog post is an attempt to wrest my mind from the whole, hideous affair. It’s not working.
As I type this it is four o’clock in the morning on the east coast of America. There will be no fresh news for some hours, I’ve caught up with everything from yesterday but, still, I find myself eyeing up the Twitter tab and glancing at my phone in the hope of a notification from the New York Times. I can think of nothing else. And I live in Scotland, so feck knows what it’s like for those of you who actually live in the US. You must be totally unravelled by now. I wish I could do something to help, but I can’t, and I think that’s my problem. I have so many friends, not to mention my own child, who live in that country and whose peace of mind must be being tested to its limits. Whose material lives are threatened by the possibility of four more years of rule by a lunatic. It’s like watching the rise of Hitler, knowing the suffering and destruction that’s going to cause, but being unable to do anything about it.
Please, please, please let there be a definitive result by the end of today so we can all recharge over the weekend.
Here’s a nice picture of trees.
Update: it’s now Saturday morning (11:26 GMT) and still nothing definitive. Yes, it’s looking hopeful, but hope can be so easily snatched away.
As the sun is out D and I have decided to go to the coast and walk over some clifftops, just to get away from this fug. Hopefully you can all do something similar.
Fingers crossed, XXX