One of the fun things about doing NaNoWriMo (besides being a month devoted to writing and a great excuse to down gallons of coffee) is all the geeky stuff that’s available for use during the event. There are word count widgets (yep, got that!), banners and badge buttons (done those, too) to install on one’s website/blog. On-site, there’s even push-button access to upload images for use as one’s novel cover (pretty cool, but haven’t done that yet; maybe this year) … just to name a few techie toys.
Then there’s the personalization of one’s NaNo presence. Along with the usual profile set up, there are numerous ways one can do this. Over these three years of participating in this creative endeavor, I’ve pretty much kept my moniker (desertmountain) and gravatar (a photo of me and Leggy Lady on the compound, sized-down real teeny tiny) the same. Mostly just to maintain a sense of continuity within and between each year’s NaNoWriMo.
However, each year’s signature quote has been different.
Interestingly, they reveal something about that year’s novel/project while not specifically chosen as such…a sort of foreshadowing of whatever wanted to be written/worked on during that year’s NaNo.
“Come clean with a child heart. Laugh as peaches in the summer wind. Let rain on a house roof be a song. Let the writing on your face be a smell of apple orchards in late June.” – Carl Sandburg
Little did I realize my novel for that premier year would revolve around the lessons and seasons of life within The Peach Orchard Project or My Life as a Peach.
My second NaNoWriMo, I found a quote revealing the effectiveness of fiction as a form of literary social commentary from a favorite author.
“A book, too, can be a star, ‘explosive material, capable of stirring up fresh life endlessly,’ a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe.” – Madeleine L’Engle
I plunged deep into the realm of my characters. They cried out for justice in an unjust world while I grieved the passing of the ugliest and hardest of my street people characters who died a hero, defending The Woman Who Didn’t Belong.
This year’s signature quote jumped out at me while reading, When Women Were Birds by Terry Tempest Williams. It gives me hope that the creation of (he)art as truth is an important endeavor; one which compels me to soldier-on in doing.
“To withhold words is power. But to share our words with others openly and honestly is also power.” – Terry Tempest Williams
Honesty is an undeniable foil, it flashes whether bidden or not. In order to be true to myself, I have to speak. I must share my words, my music, my (he)art, my Musical Non-Fiction, regardless of whether or not it is seen, heard or read.