Monday, November 29, 2010

Naaa Not Writing Anymore

NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month and it's actually a rather international affair now. I always knew I had a billion poems in me, but never thought I had a novel. This wacky adventure has proved me wrong. And twice now. Every November, 160 000 people all about the globe aim to write 50 000 words (each) between the first and final days of November. That averages out at 1667 words a day. Now, when I say 'novel', personally speaking I mean two times one third of a novel. Last year, I wrote 72 000 words, or a third of Clear (before my computer crashed and wiped it), so it's sitting on the backburner. This year I've written 52 000 words of a travel book I can't WAIT to finish!

My partner in crime (or 'other genres') this year and last has been Kate Murphy, a writerly chick, hunkered down and HANDWRITING hers in South Hedland, North West WA. That's an inspiration in itself!

If you've ever had an inkling you might have a novel buried in your bowels (or somewhere more sanitary), check out NaNoWriMo and plug it in for November next year. Find yourself a network of co-nutters on the site and dig in. The prize? - Surviving! And a neat little certificate at the end. Oh, plus all the glory....

So, in honour of words, all the words I've overused, all those adjectives I've burdened my page with thus far and every travel tip the Lonely Planet's Clem Lindemeyer ever gave me, here's a litte fiddle with vocabulary...

A Little Linguistic Omphaloskepsis

I glared upon the story I was writing,
describing things in detail rather frightening.
But then, oh dreary me,
was stuck right up a tree
and lost for words and wishing for some lightning

to tell me of this word that I was needing,
my hands bemoaning blisters, nearly bleeding.
I couldn’t think of it,
was losing all my grip
and this was stopping me from now proceeding.

I asked you if you’d help me in my mission
to pick the one I needed with precision.
You pulled out all your best
and wouldn’t let it rest
until there was some mental synergism.

You offered omphaloskepsis. I said “Huh?”
Means ‘navel gazing’, nope, that’s not it, nup.
Then lackadaisical
and pedagogical,
then spatchcock, squelch and defenestration wha?!

And antidisestablishmentarianism,
or how about that Rastafarianism?
“But no, I need no noun,”
thus pulled a frumpy frown
and then you threw in Pastafarianism.

I told you, “It’s a verb I’m searching for,
a doing word, to sing, to dance, to score.”
You threw them like hot darts,
‘twas nonsense off the charts,
just piffing them at me ‘til I was sore.

To sashay, mosey, sidle, waltz or peek?
To ooze or paddle, potter, stroll or reek?
To do-ce-do or thump?
To toddle, limp or bump?
To shimmy, amble, whimper, grunt or sneak?

So getting closer and, in your defence,
I thought you were on track but should commence
to alter things a bit,
so that we might nail it,
for I required a verb set in past tense.

Traipsed? You asked me. Oh please, please, please no!
Done that one to death liked glared and flowed.
Well, how about we sailed,
we gallivanted, trailed,
we waddled, wavered, waggled, gandered, glowed?

“Oh dear, it is no use,” spoke I, quite hollow,
indeed, quite out of words all drunk and swallowed.
Maybe I’d omphaloskep…
and think of something yet
or maybe now stay quagmired, simply wallow.

But sitting there, morose and rather spent,
my story stuck like footprints in cement,
you saved the day, hooray!
Legend – what can I say,
declaring, “Here’s the word you want - it’s ‘went’!”

Yippee! ‘twas it, the perfect verb, past tense.
Quite neat, quite tight and built on common sense.
“We WENT up to the house.”
Ah, wondrous, wicked, grouse!
So, thank you dictionary, your skill’s immense.

© Elise Batchelor November 2010

Thanks to Jean Burton for coining the phrase 'Naaa not writing anymore'
Thanks to Kate Murphy for the words 'Omphaloskepsis' and 'glared'
Thanks also for their many words to the defenstrative George Jones, Rachel 'La Fontaine' Fountain, Sylvia Campbell, Laura Schuijers, Mike Fitzsimon and Sarah Warke for their antidisestablishmentarian nouns, synergistic verbs and quagmire of phrases and lackadaisical links.
Thanks, finally,  to my brother in law Tim. No story could be complete without 'spatchcock'.