It’s 11:23 on October 31st over here in Japan-land (fun fact: that’s one hour off from 1023, aka the identification number of stormtrooper Davin Felth, aka the guy who said “Look, sir! Droids!” — there, that’s a taste of what it’s like to live in my head).
Ever since 2004, Halloween for me ends around sundown. During the day I’ll wear a costume to work and have fun, but once I’m home, it’s time to get ready for NaNoWriMo. It’s great, because I actually hate Halloween parties anyway, and now I have a vaguely-impressive-sounding excuse (“sorry, I’m writing a novel”) rather than just being an antisocial shut-in. (Fun fact 2: this is also the excuse I use for not doing anything with my hair, other than washing it and letting it dry. “Would people recognise Neil Gaiman if he combed HIS hair? … well, probably, but NEVER MIND.”)
I’m going to try to post once a week during all this, giving an overview of the week’s progress, complete with word count, mood, and best Google searches, but we all know how it goes. Anything can happen during NaNoWriMo, but blogging may not be one of them.
For those joining me on this madcap literary adventure, I salute you! For those sitting out this round, watching enviously from the sidelines, or even changing the channel in a huff, I ask your patience on behalf of everyone taking on the challenge. I only wish that spray-on shampoo that made the rounds on infomercials in the 80s was a) still extant and b) actually worked.
My NaNoWriMo profile here, for you who haven’t seen it. Just for fun, here’s my novel summary again:
Between two worlds life hovers like a star,
‘Twixt night and morn, upon the horizon’s verge.
How little do we know that which we are!
How less what we may be!
— from Byron, Don Juan (1824) canto 15, st. 99
When a group of atavistic historical reenactors misuse Temporal Historical Society technology to travel back in time to 1806 and give themselves a new life in the past, they send four confused contemporaries into the future in their place:
LADY JOSEPHINE BRANSCOMBE, widow of Geoffrey Branscombe (killed in action against Napoleon in Prussia), who would rather have her husband here than honour in his stead. Tired of the war and its blind patriotism in 1806, she has no desire to be blindly pulled into another.
CAPTAIN HENRY FITZWILLIAM of His Majesty’s Royal Navy, currently on furlough after a traumatic incident in battle and avoiding the conversation with himself about what to do if he can’t take command again. Already facing an existential crisis,he finds himself at a loss as to how he can make himself useful in a society where he has no purpose.
LIEUTENANT ARTHUR BENJAMIN HARDING, upwardly-mobile cavalry officer and ladies’ man, recently distinguished in battle after a mad charge led his outfit to victory. Well used to the company and adulation of European women, he discovers that in the future he’s as aesthetically appealing to them as Neanderthals to him.
LORD GEORGE BYRON, age 19, just published his first anonymous set of poems, and only beginning to set foot down the road to fame. Recently cowed into destroying almost all copies of his original poetry collection by a disapproving critic, he faces the knowledge of a lifetime of art and infamy he’ll never get to experience.
Thrust into the future with no way back, forced to assimilate new languages, cultures, technology, and biology, in a society embroiled in a war with echoes of the one they just escaped, the four must rediscover who they are, and on what side of the battle line they choose to stand.
Have fun this month, everybody! I’ll see you on the flip side.