So July was supposed to be the month where I got my act together. Camp NaNo started July 1st and I had come up with a fabulous idea to help straighten out a particular issue with my work-in-progress. A short story or novella would be the perfect way to get my characters to my fictional town and a fun way to kick off the series. Two birds, one stone, how could this not turn out awesome?
I had already signed up with Camp NaNo setting my word count at 30,000 words. I figured 1,000 words a day would be pretty easy. During NaNo in November, I write 2,000 words a day so 1,000 words should be no problem. In the first few days it wasn’t a problem, in fact I didn’t get started until about July 6th and I was writing 1,500 words each day to catch up. It was going well, I was excited about two new characters that I’d added that filled in some gaps in the backgrounds for other characters. I’ve been using Scrivener for a little over a year now, not consistently but I finally feel like I’d gotten a good feel for how to use it and had even spent some time setting up character and location templates I was really feeling positive about how it would all turn out.
It was all good, my word count was on track and then we had a monsoon storm. I live in Arizona and we have these nasty storms in the summer that start with a wall of dust blowing across the Valley of the Sun with high winds often followed by torrential downpours. Sometimes we get dust and some wind and just enough rain to make the windshields on our cars really spotty. This time though it was bad, thunderstorms with high winds and microbursts that hit several areas east of Phoenix. Unfortunately, we live east of Phoenix and lost a good chunk of one of the trees in our front yard. We were watching from our front porch and half of the tree had folded down on itself. My husband went out and moved his car since the wind was blowing in the direction. A few minutes later the wind wooshed in from the opposite direction and folded section broke free and fell into the street. We waited about ten minutes and although it was still blowing out, the crazy wind has subsided. We really wanted to get the tree out of the street it wasn’t quite dark yet but we could see it being a potential hazard. We live about four houses from the main turn into our subdivision, in the dark I wasn’t sure if that was adequate distance for someone to see it in their headlights and safely react in time. We were able to push and pull it into the yard and out of the street but at one point I slipped on the wet grass. I fell straight back onto my tuchus and stupidly put my hands down as I fell. I was laughing before I landed knowing how I looked, scared Sully have to death. What I didn’t know though was that I had severely sprained my left wrist, I guess the adrenaline overpowered the pain. About an hour later, I was nearly in tears, I got some ice on it and it started feeling a little more normal. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I am not sure which, I have a lot of experience with spraining my wrists, and in fact dislocated the left one when I was in high school.*
I ended up wearing a stiff, immobilizing brace during the day and an Ace bandage while I slept. There is no good angle in a wrist brace in which you can type, honestly the same goes for the Ace bandage. I tried different scenarios with my laptop; on my desk propped in various angles, on my lap, on a bed tray, knees up, knees down. There just wasn’t an angle that would work with the wrist brace that didn’t put the other wrist in a weird uncomfortable position. I finally gave up and started writing in a notebook. My word count when I got injured was about 16K so at least I was halfway there. I remember from previous years that many people write their stories out by hand and how they should proceed to validate their word count. I used the easier method, I counted the words on three of my handwritten pages to get an average word per page, I probably should have done more but after three my patience began to wane, a lot. Anyhow, I took the average and multiplied it by my total number of pages. Somehow I had met my word count and I was able to ‘win’ Camp NaNo. Yay me!
Today was really the first day that I’ve able to type without any pain on my wrist. I know, it’s not a huge thing but when you’re supposed to be writing it’s terribly inconvenient. This weekend I’ll have to type up all of the scenes and notes and get them organized into Scrivener. Hopefully, once it’s all typed out I will still have reached my word count goal. Of course, the chances of me typing straight from notebooks is very slim, the urge to edit as I go will be really strong. It’s probably best if I just stick to my original figures and not dwell on matters that were out of my hands. In the past I’ve always managed to reach my word count. This time it was in a different way and I can live with that.
Happy writing! See you next week. 🙂
* Yes, I dislocated my wrist and in the most stupid way possible. I was on the softball team my sophomore year, and while I’d love to tell you that I sprained it hitting a home run or sliding into home scoring the winning run, that is so not the case. During practice after school we were waiting for the coach or something, all I remember is that we were all standing around. Several days earlier some of us had been talking about stuff and somehow I mentioned that I could do a cartwheel on a straight line. So while we were waiting someone suggested that I do a cartwheel on the chalk line. No problem, I do that all of the time. I’d shown people all over the place, sidewalks, bleachers, lines in the parking lot, curb stops in the parking lot. For whatever reason that day when I did my cartwheel it really hurt my wrist. Whether I dislocated it then or just sprained it and then further injured it during practice. And yeah, you’d think I would have mentioned the hurt wrist and stayed out of practice but I couldn’t tell my coach, ‘oh hey, I can’t practice I hurt my wrist doing a cartwheel..’ Super responsible, right? I still can’t imagine having that conversation. I had to have my wrist taped up for the rest of the season. So much fun…