We Four in Egypt

Now back in the US!

Slogging towards 16,000

The yellow icon to the right tells you what I’ve been reluctant to share because the idea of writing a novel seems awfully ambitious for a busy working mom in Cairo. (By the way, never before have I thought of myself as “busy working mom in Cairo,” a phrase that evokes, to me, a harried woman in a powersuit with a briefcase and a toddler on the front of some magazine. And maybe there’s a camel in the background.)

But I am writing. For NaNoWriMo, specifically, National Novel Writing Month. It was a whim, really. I learned about it on November 1, the first day of NaNoWriMo. I had recently realized how much time I have to write given all my time on this blog. And I’ve had stories swirling around in my head pretty much for my entire life. And, I’m wordy. So, I registered, not sure if I could stick with it, but determined at least to try.

The goal of NaNoWriMom, and the way you “win,” is to write 50,000 words by midnight, November 30. Not necessarily good words, and not necessarily a refined anything. And certainy not something to publish. But a possible first draft of something. (December is for editing.)

I’m a couple hundred words shy of 16,000 (though the yellow logo might not always be completely up-to-date), and it’s been great. A surprise, really. Slow and steady wins the race, the organizers say, and I’ve just about kept pace by writing approximately 1667 words per day, sometimes a few more, sometimes a few less. I’m staying up way too late most nights.

I won’t share my plot here (and I will say that my dreams of quitting my job for my book tour, culminating with an appearance on Oprah, rank right up there with the dream where Brad Pitt and I take our kids on a play date together. Ahem.).

Mr. Four had a guess. He said, “Does it have to do with kayaking?”

Bingo! And he’s become my technical advisor. He helps with the scenes with the rapids.

I was about to say that I used to have a much more exciting life. But then I realized I’m a busy working mom in Cairo and what could be more exciting than that. So, let me say this: I used to be younger. And that’s kinda fun to write about. (Not that this novel-in-progress in autobiographical! No way.)

Another piece of advice from the NaNoWriMo organizers was to tell people you’re doing it because it’s an extra motivator to finish. So, now you know.


10 November 2007 - Posted by | fun, this blog


  1. Gary would be so proud! Right (or “Write”) on!!

    Comment by Mom | 11 November 2007

  2. Heh, funny, Mom!

    For other readers: my mom is talking about my high school English teacher, who also taught the Creative Writing class I took, who once told me something like, “Mechanically, you’re a good writer. But it’s just so boring!”

    So maybe that’s why I’m writing about kayaking. If I can make kayaking boring, then that in and of itself is an accomplishment.

    Comment by egypt4 | 11 November 2007

  3. Ooh, this sounds exciting! I have never participated and decided that this year, when working on a master’s paper, is not the year to do it. Maybe next year. But yours sounds very interesting to me. Maybe you should have your kayakers kayak on the Nile! 🙂

    Comment by Libby | 11 November 2007

  4. Here’s a nice post on NaNoWriMo from “The Millions” a blog about books, reading, and writing.


    Comment by Monica | 17 November 2007

  5. Libby, that’s a good idea–maybe I’ll have my character kayak the Nile next year, if Mr. Four lets me do this crazy thing again.

    Monica, thanks for the link. NaNoWriMo has been really hard and very rewarding. I never would have done all this writing without the carrot.

    I’m over 30,000 words now, when only a few days ago I was barely over 20,000 and was thinking of quitting. And I’ve done all and continued to use contractions.

    Comment by egypt4 | 18 November 2007

  6. […] to NaBloPoMo (11/1) Last year, on a whim, I attempted, and completed, NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing […]

    Pingback by NaNoWriMo to NaBloPoMo (11/1) « We Four in Egypt | 1 November 2008

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