Hi again, Dear Reader. It’s now noon on Sunday, October 25, 2020, and although it looks like it is a nice day, it’s also a hot and humid one. As I write this, the temperature outside is 83˚F (28˚C) under mostly sunny skies. With humidity at 79% and the wind blowing from the southeast at 3 MPH (5 KM/H), the feels-like temperature is 91˚F (33˚C). As of 12:06 PM Eastern, the forecast for the day still calls for a high of 86˚F (30˚C) and sunny skies. Rain might affect the area tonight, and the low is expected to reach 73˚F (23˚C).
I made two cups of coffee and had some sliced white bread after I posted Musings & Thoughts for Sunday Morning, October 25, 2020, or: Reveille, Movie Reveries, and NaNoWriMo Update. I didn’t think the milk that was in the gallon container in the fridge would suffice for everyone else if I had a bowl of cereal, and in any case I’m not as fond of Cinnamon Toast Crunch as I used to be, so I skipped the cold cereal.
I also got into my street clothes, grabbed a bottle of water, my key, wallet, and smartphone, and went to my usual place-where-I-clear-my-head: the nearby park. Unfortunately, by the time I went for my constitutional, the sun was already out in force and there wasn’t a lot of cloud cover to mitigate its effects; I could not get temperature information from AccuWeather on my phone because our account is out of data, but it was hot and sticky. I drank the entire bottle of water while I sat on “my” park bench, but that only prevented me from becoming dehydrated. It did not do anything to alleviate either the heat or the humidity, so I snapped a few photos with my phone’s camera and hightailed it back to the house.
On the good news front, my copy of World War II Map by Map was delivered not long ago, so I have one more reference work that I can use for NaNoWriMo 2020.
I am still weirdly ambivalent about this NaNoWriMo project. Part of me wants to do it; I am, after all, a writer, and I have dreamed and talked about writing a novel since I was a boy. I have written a couple of short stories, and I even self-published one (Reunion) two years ago through Amazon’s CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
If you have never heard of Reunion, here is the brief synopsis from the product page on Amazon:
It is February 1998. 33-year-old Jim Garraty is a respected history professor and bestselling author who lives in New York City. Popular with both students and readers, Jim seems to have it all. Fame, a nice apartment in Manhattan, and a reputation as one of the best World War II historians in the U.S. But when he gets a cryptic email from his best friend from high school, Jim is forced to relive his past – and a trip to his hometown of Miami reopens old wounds he thought had healed long ago.
Please forgive me for indulging in a bit of self-promotion, but I’m proud of my work on this short story, and self-published authors have to, ahem, to do a lot of self-promotion.
So…I know I can write fiction. I can even write screenplays; I have earned three credits as the writer and/or co-writer of three free-to-watch short films on YouTube, including Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss.
Anyway, I know I can handle short stories and short screenplays, but I’ve never successfully written a novel. I tend to be plagued by self-doubt and worry way too much about What if it isn’t any good? In many ways, I am my own worst enemy, especially when it comes to my writing endeavors.
And this is where the ambivalence comes in.
On the one hand, I have invested money into buying how-to books on writing, reference works, a biography of Ernie Pyle, a former aviation writer who gained fame in the Great Depression for his journey across America and writing a popular syndicated “human interests” column, then gained even more acclaim as America’s most popular war correspondent, plus Pyle’s 1944 Brave Men. (No, my novel isn’t about Pyle, but one of my characters is a young war correspondent covering the European Theater of War after D-Day. Per my preliminary idea for the novel, Ernie Pyle, Ernest Hemingway, and a few other famous war correspondents will either have cameos or be mentioned.
On the other hand….and let’s be brutally honest here, I’m scared.
Scared of what, you ask?
I am scared about the prospect of writing a crappy novel.
I am scared about being unable to come up with interesting characters and situations.
I am scared about my ability (or, more correctly, my inability) to blend fact and fiction.
I am scared about my daily word count and being able to produce 50,000 words’ worth of material for the same project for 30 straight days.
I am scared of starting, sticking to a routine for two or three days, then quitting.
I could go on and on, but I won’t. I’m sure that the basic theme is I’m scared!
Yet…despite that….there is a part of me that stubbornly says, “Yes, you’re scared, but this is what you’ve wanted to do since you were nine years old. Try anyway.”
I will try to listen to that part of me rather than the fear-frozen one.