NaNoWriMo. You feel, if you are me, that you shouldn’t be too negative about NaNo.

Is that because I feel that I would be letting the side down?

Well, this is just me, but I can’t make out how they think NaNo is fun.

I’ve made a commitment, so I do feel as though I should (dreaded word) carry on with it.

I did some housework today, and it was a treat.

I have done much washing the last couple of days, even though the weather has been abysmal.

Wait – was it yesterday that the weather was abysmal?

Rained all day, I think.

Cold today, but I hung some clothes out on the line (yes, I still do that), and they have come in dryer than they went out.

When I was sixteen, I said I would never talk about when I washed my curtains.

Wish I could – wash my curtains – but that isn’t going to happen soon.

It’s just, I’m not house-proud as such, but it eventually gets me down if the dust builds up too much.

What is ‘too much’?

When it starts getting me down.

What a thing to talk about in the middle of NaNo.

But there is an indefinable quality about a place if it has been cleaned.

People who work in buildings don’t even think about the cleaners having been there.

They’d soon notice if they hadn’t.


I’m finding, through this general word-sprint, which is what the whole of NaNo is like, as far as I am concerned, that the way I write, the sort of writer I am, is coming into focus – what I should have known, but hadn’t actually said to myself – not recently, anyway.

Now you’ll be disappointed if I don’t explain that.

I was re-reading A S Byatt, Possession, which won the 1990 Booker Prize.

I’d had the book lying around for some time, and I thought I’d read it, get rid of it – its pages had become yellow and it was a bit smelly, the way paperbacks can become after years and years.

It’s not an easy read, but it is more than brilliant.  Oh, I’ll say the word – it is postmodernist.  It is feminist also, but it is – I’d prefer to say it ‘brings in questions of the theoretical’.  (Forget I used the ‘ist’ ending at all.)

Because it does bring in the theoretical, to say it is ‘brilliant’, as though Byatt is something of a genius, is the wrong way to talk about it.

Oh, I can’t get into all that now – I’ve got to make the meal – NaNo takes up much of your ordinary time, and I would never do it again – not in this ‘beat the word-count’ way.

Possession, by the way, is a romance.

But not in a genre way.

And I think, if I live long enough (I know – how miserable all this is making me), I won’t write genre – and I’m sort of disappointed because I think genre would be more popular.  And I have nothing against genre.

But I’ve been educated to the roots of my hair.

You can’t wipe that sort of thing from your mind.