All hat and no titles

“What are you, Queen for a Day?” 

The customer was puzzled.  Granted, my accessory choice for yesterday–a silver plastic tiara–may have been ill-chosen; other responses included “Aww, is it your birthday?”, “Theeeere she is…” and “OK, Your Majesty, I’ve got a reference question.”

On the other hand, Monday’s selection, a multi-colored baseball cap surmounted by a tiny frog hoisting a large propeller, was uniformly well received, especially when I moved and the propeller commenced twirling. 

Of course, none of the headgear modeled by library staffers this week would have looked appropriate unless you knew that this is Hats Off to Libraries Week.  Co-workers inventoried their closets and emerged sporting Continental tweed numbers, elegantly fashionable chapeaus, vintage and team spirit toppers, camouflage, a chef’s hat, and Western lids, for starters.

Extra effort was required, not just to procure a week’s worth of headpieces, but also to brave the startled gazes of patrons who are unaware of the campaign and understandably conclude that you are just really eccentric.  Rewards for hat-wearing this week were manifested in grins and delight from customers who appreciate the entertainment value, not to mention the energizing opportunity to step outside one’s customary persona.

And speaking of breakouts (as in comfort zones), the next hat I’m considering for try-on is that of Author.  If I can fulfill the goal of National Novel Writing Month–producing a 175-page novel in thirty days–I’ll be very proud indeed.  Not of the content, however; I can tell you right now that the NaNoWriMo webpage prediction (“Make no mistake.  You’ll be writing a lot of crap”) will apply to my manuscript.

It’s the outrageously impractical pace of production that appeals to me.  To achieve the 50,000 word goal, I’ll have to churn out several pages every single day, which means that ideas will have to flow from my brain to the paper without benefit of polishing or second-guessing.  In other words, there’s an automatic excuse if the book is bad.  And it will be.

In hopes of reducing the awfulness quotient of My First Try, I’m consulting books from the library’s collections:

  • How to Grow a Novel: The Most Common Mistakes Writers Make and How to Overcome Them

  • The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

  • Is Life Like This?  A Guide to Writing Your First Novel in Six Months

One has to appreciate the irony of relying on nonfiction books in order to create fiction.  Come to think of it, if my novel results in the miserable quality that I’m anticipating, it’ll be classified as nonfiction anyway–humor.

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