NaNoWriMo. DONE! Yes, we do walk on water.

Posted: November 28, 2011 in NaNoWriMo
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Word count: 50,012.

Yeah, got it done and it was almost impossible to do. If you are or have participated in this, then you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Nothing replaces one’s own intention and this last week was proof of how stubborn and pig-headed I can be. I put a lot of things on hold to finish this, but the one thing I was not going to do was blow-off Thanksgiving. My original target was to finish the day before, but life had other plans for me.

On Friday, my car decided it was time to start acting up. I woke-up with an almost flat tire and wasn’t sure if I could make the drive to the gas station right down the street, but I HAD to get to work as I had a client that had flown in from back East for the week and there was no way I could reschedule. During the agonizing drive was the time the “check engine” light decided to go on – again. I knew I needed to take it in and get the spark plugs replaced but you always thinks you’ll have time to do that. Nope, not anymore.

The guy takes a look at my tire and tells me he can’t fix it because it’s too worn out and not safe. This was news to me, but who am I to argue with a mechanic? I ask him if he can put the spare on for now and I’ll get a new tire later. He says he can and gets out the thingy to take the lug nuts off. I’m texting my client while he’s doing that and telling her I will be there soon as I am getting a tire fixed. I look over and the mechanic is waving me over and I suddenly don’t want to know why, but I wander over there to see what the trouble is.

The problem, he tells me, is one of the lug nuts is stripped and he can’t take it off without breaking it. Even I know it’s not a good idea to drive around without one but I try to get him to tell me that it’s OK to do. No such luck. So all he can do is fill the tire with air and hope for the best because I now need to drive the car to a tire shop and have them deal with it.

I am now running late and not sure how long the tire will hold, so I take city streets to work and all is fine. I get there on time and life moves along. I leave for home Friday night and cautiously approach my car with my fingers crossed that the tire is holding up. It is and I do a quick happy dance in the parking lot. I get home and cross my fingers again because I have to be back at work the next morning and I can’t do it if the tire is flat, so I call a friend as a back-up driver if I need it. He says no problem.

The next morning, with my fingers crossed again, I check my tire and it’s fine. I drive to work and again go through the same routine when I leave. All is good and I figure I will get a new tire tomorrow and all will be right with the world until I start driving home.

My car now doesn’t like me accelerating and is being a real bitch when I drive home. I wish now I hadn’t gotten on the freeway and would like to personally apologize to all the drivers behind me when I couldn’t get my car to go faster that 35 MPH while merging. By the time I got it up to 45 MPH, I was ready to take my exit.

The next morning I find out the tire place is closed on Sundays! Who the hell closes on Sunday? I snap and snarl but at least the tire is fine. I run a few errands and my car REALLY does not like me pushing on the gas petal. Too bad, I have places to go and things to get done.

I also have to get this all done before Wednesday as I am driving 4 hours to see my family for Thanksgiving. I start to feel a sight panic start in me but I push it aside and tell myself everything is fine and not to worry.

I can’t go on Monday because of another client and by now I am so nervous and worried when I drive that I start to get a headache. I am now staying off the freeway and praying for slow cars on the road that I can stay behind. Better they get honked and yelled at than me.

I finally get it to the tire place and come to find out, I need two tires replaced and I can see exactly what he’s talking about. I tell him that he needs to give me a break because I am the 99% and after he was done laughing so hard I thought he would die, he tells me that he will give me a discount because I am so funny and adorable. Shit, I’ll take it. Then he tells me they can’t fix the broken lug nut and give me the address of a guy who can.  So now I have to go somewhere else to get this done.

I thank him and again drive carefully over there and trying to keep visions of two tires falling off and me crashing into the retainer walls and dying a fiery death.

I get to the new guys and it takes them about 1.5 hours to take care of my car BECAUSE ANOTHER LUG NUT BROKE OFF! What the hell is it today with cars trying to kill me? I am wondering if I need to name my car “Christine” and start looking around the parking lot for Stephen King.

Now once that’s done, I still need to take my car over to the mechanic who is going to fix the “check engine” light and get my car past her fear of acceleration. I get lost going over there, can’t find the damn place and am about to pull over and have a nervous breakdown when I see it. I mentally bitch slap Mapquest for HAVING THE WRONG ADDRESS!. I pull in and throw myself on his mercy to fix my car.

He does – 2.5 hours later – and now I’m toast. I am spending money I don’t have, I haven’t been able to get any writing done because of all errands I’ve had to run the last few days and now I have a headache because I haven’t eaten all day. He also gives me a discount because I was funny and nice to him and I drive off wondering how I am going to pay for all of this. I decide that it doesn’t matter because the important thing is to make it for Thanksgiving and now that my car is safe, everything will work out.

I rush over to work but it’s pointless. The day is shot. I’ve only had 2 days off for the month, so I figure I deserved a break. I grab a check, run to the bank to cover my expenses and go home. I am too tired to move. My toenails hurt and I don’t have anything for dinner. I eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and decide to watch  movie and pick-up my writing the next day after a good nights sleep. Besides, it will be the day before Thanksgiving and the office will be quiet, so I’ll have time to catch-up and finish my word count while I am at my family’s house. Everything will be fine as I hit the “Power” button on my laptop.

I won’t boot up and keeps dying on me.

“NO!” I scream and scare my cats so bad that they run for cover under the bed. I don’t care. I lost count of how many times I hit that power button but I knew – I was totally and completely screwed.

I sit down and cry. I cried for a long time. I was exhausted, broke and at my wit’s end. I sat there for a long time and no matter how hard I tried to figure something out, it was useless. I was out of money, didn’t know what to do and was tired of thinking.

I finally got up, packed up my laptop and headed out to Best Buy. My friends were there. The Geek Squad was there and all I needed them to do was wave their magic wand over my laptop and everything would be fine again and I could take it with me, get my writing done while everyone was asleep and have a nice Thanksgiving.

Instead he told me the mother board was dead and couldn’t be fixed. I suddenly realize I had not backed-up anything and my book was gone. Gone. It was all over for me. All my files were gone, all my notes, my pictures and all my documents for work.

I was an idiot and now everyone was going to find out. I confess to him that it wasn’t backed-up and casually asked if there was anything they could do about it. I was calm and he had no idea he was talking to a woman who was hysterical. No reason for him to know that. It might have scared him away.

He tells me they can try, quotes me a price and then points towards the computer section and says I’ll need to buy a new one in order to transfer the data. I quietly look at them and all I can see are the prices. I have no idea what to buy or how I am even going to do it. I walk out, go home and cry some more.

The next day, Wednesday, I go into work and tell my boss what happened and I feel myself wanting to cry again. We talk and we work out a way for me to get a new one and off we go, back to Best Buy. I love these guys. I had called Fry’s and you would have thought I had just killed their kitten with the way they treated me.

I get the computer but it’s going to take a few days to transfer the data. I smile and tell them it’s fine and that I understand there’s no guarantee that they can but they will try.

I leave early Thursday morning for a long drive of coffee and rock and roll blasting out of my radio. I don’t care anymore. If I have to take another month to finish this damn book, I’ll do it. If I have to re-write it from memory, then so be it but I am GOING TO HIT 50,000 WORDS EVEN IF IT KILLS ME.

I come back late Saturday afternoon. I had called The Geek Squad (some of the nicest people I have ever met) the day before but they couldn’t say exactly when it would be done.

Then suddenly on Saturday night, they call! It’s done and I can come get it. I rush through dinner, grab a friend to come with me because I hate crowds and am too wired to speak rationally and off we go.

I pick it up and now I’m terrified that something will happen and I’ll either drop it or run it over with my car. They told me they recovered all the data and it’s ready to go.

I power it up and hold my breath. YES! It’s all there! I immediately grab the flash drive that I bought and back-up the laptop. I did that again today. Yes, I do learn things on occasion.

This morning I start writing and writing and writing. I forgot to eat, so around 1:00 I forage and find something. I write some more and suddenly realize I have to go to work tomorrow morning and haven’t done my laundry. I jump up, go and get it done and come back.

(Out of respect for my male readers, I’ll not write about the “period from hell” I got on Thanksgiving. You can thank me later).

I am 2,000 words away from my target when the toilet stops working and floods the bathroom floor. I stand there, watching it overflow and suddenly I start laughing. Well, it’s either that or cry, so I decided to laugh. I clean it up and call a friend who comes over but can’t fix it, so tomorrow he will get some different tools and try again. All of this strikes me as so par for my life. You set your sights on something and it’s as if you called forth the God of Murphy’s Law.

Have you ever noticed that when your toilet doesn’t work, you have to go to the bathroom more often? Fortunately for me, there’s a gas station right across the street, so in-between going over there and putting my laundry away, I wrote. I ignored the looks I started getting from the attendant the third time I used the facilities.

Then I hit the 50,000 word mark and screamed and scared my cats again. I did it, somehow.

And the best part is this – I love my book. There’s more to go but I learned that any one of us can do what we set our minds to. Busted cars, broken laptops, impossible working hours, clogged toilets, horrible cramps and PMS and lack of sleep and money but I kept going and I did it.

I did it.

I DID IT!

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