50,000 words of tired


NaNoWriMo drags on. The deeper I get into the month, the harder it is to squeeze out 1700 or so words each day. My job doesn’t help either. I am engaged in intense work all day every day, teaching and working with kids, and sometimes by the time I get finished working out in the evening, I am just done. I sit down and eat dinner, usually reading as I do so, and then I want to fall asleep. But I can’t. I must drag out my laptop, and write.

Not that I wouldn’t be sitting here at my laptop anyway, It’s just the thought that I have to write. I love to write, and I am not saying I don’t write every night, but 1700 words is a lot if you are super-tired to begin with.

It’s been a rough week, with Veteran’s Day in the middle of it, the starting and stopping, the crazy things that go on in an elementary school all the time. There are also the physical workouts, which for me lately have consisted of digging in the school garden. What am I digging, you ask? Well, all the garden plots got seriously overgrown with grass during the summer vacation, except our grade level’s, of course. The other grade levels let the grass completely take over, and when everyone else came back from vacation, it was a total mess.

I had worked our plot the whole summer, even standing out there one day in 115° heat taking down giant sunflowers that were now dead. I didn’t go over to the garden every single day, but I never let more than a couple of weeks go by. I just knew what would happen. Under the garden beds, which were newly made last February, there is particularly aggressive Bermuda grass, the kind that will not ever die. The garden was not dug down properly to begin with, and I watched it happen, but since I am only one little person, the people who were building it did not listen to me. Plus, as usual, most people take the easy way and don’t care about doing things right. I always think it is better to take a little extra time and do it properly instead of having to go back and re-do it after it’s messed up. Well, guess what happened? It got messed up.

So, my project is to dig out all that nasty Bermuda. You have to dig way down and get the white spaghetti-like roots out, and it takes digging with a spade. And jumping on the shovel to get way down in it. I don’t really mind, it’s a great workout, and it is keeping my boss from getting really annoyed at people for not keeping up the garden after all the effort that was made to put it in. Since I was one of the people who really wanted it, I feel obligated to do my share of the work. And, apparently, other people’s share of the work as well. Anyway, the schedule of working all day and then doing physical labor every afternoon takes its toll by the time Thursday rolls around.

Tonight I also had the privilege of going to an awards ceremony for one of my students who earned one of the awards. I am really proud of this girl, and she deserved the award. She is a great student. In fact, after I told my class about what National Novel Writing Month is about, she was the only one who showed interest in it. She signed up to do the 50,000-word version even though she is only 12. If anyone can do it, she can. She and I can at least commiserate every morning about how writing went the day before.

So, I guess I’d better get back to my words for the day. Here I am, sitting and writing about “stuff” that doesn’t count for the novel, but at least it’s a good warmup.

Yes, NaNoWriMo drags on …

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