Well folks, NaNoWriMo is nearly upon us—nine days! And you’ll be relieved to know that I have my lucky coffee cup. Here’s the deal. I started this challenge in 2005 and only finished 25,000 words… Because, I was writing in longhand. The writing wasn’t hard, but the word count was a Bitch. The next year I finished with the requisite 50K and rewarded myself with a tee shirt. The following year the prize was a shiny red coffee mug with the words “National Novel Writing Month” emblazoned on one side and “Can’t Talk Noveling.” on the other side. My secret weapon. I’ve used it every year and won every year.
Earlier this year… Tragedy struck. First the handle broke off, but I glued it back on. And then one fateful day I bumped it against the counter and it’s smashed into a bazillion pieces. I was sure I would never write again.<insert weeping and gnashing of teeth>
In desperation, I wrote a letter to the Office of Letters and Light–Nano headquarters. I knew that the awards changed every year but held out a slim hope that there might be a few red mugs somewhere.
Within a short time I received an answer from the office manager telling me there might be one sitting around as a pencil cup and he would send it to me. You may not believe me, but the heavens opened and I heard music.
Alas, weeks went by and no package. There was an e-mail from the O.L.L. describing the chaotic move of their office. “Well… I guess the coffee mug got lost in the shuffle.” I wrote an e-mail to that effect and once again was assured that it must’ve been delayed.
More time passed and I sent my donation, as I promised, but no red shiny mug appeared. With sadness in my heart, I sent a note to the infinitely witty Tim Kim. “I guess it wasn’t meant to be, but thank you.”
He responded: “Agh, that’s terrible! Thankfully, one of our fantastic staff members has donated his mug to your cause, and we’ll be shipping it out again today.I hope this one reaches you safely, and that it appeases your muses! Please, please let me know if this one doesn’t make it to you either, oof.”
Last Saturday, once again, the heavens opened and I heard music. And found a box in my mail. It was in fact a shiny red mug! I cannot tell you that joy that package brought me, not only for the bright shiny coffee mug that greets me each morning, but also for the bright, hardworking staff.
“NaNoWriMo is run by a tiny but mighty nonprofit called the Office of Letters and Light. OLL’s other programs include: Camp NaNoWriMo and Young Writers program”
This will be my seventh year; I have at least ten manuscripts waiting in various stages of completion. Two of those have already been published in two more are contracted.
So, thank you, Tim Kim and a wonderful crew at the Office of Letters and Light (http://store.lettersandlight.org ) from another very grateful writer.
Barrett & Her Muses
PS if you want to write a novel, there’s still time to sign up! NaNoWriMo