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Meg's Blog

NaNoWriMo in Puerto Rico

14,656.

That's how many words I have so far on the book I'm writing for National Novel Writing Month.

Of course, while 14,656 words is a good start, my book has to be more than the 50,000 word length suggested by NaNoWriMo. So while you might think a word count of 14,656 is impressive, considering it's only November 8, and I have until November 30 to reach 50,000, it's actually not, especially since I won't be working on my manuscript much for the next few days, because I'm in PUERTO RICO!!!! So all the rest of you who are participating have plenty of time to kick my butt.

That's right, I am on the fourth-largest island in the Caribbean, after Cuba, Hispaniola, and Jamaica. First settled by an archaic culture known as the Ortoiroid over 4,000 years ago, Puerto Rico became known to Europeans when Christopher Columbus discovered it on his second voyage. Legend has it that the crew of Columbus's fourth voyage, traumatized by the brutal voyage, were so terrified of sailing home to Spain that they stayed in Puerto Rico (which means “rich port”), thus becoming the island's first serious colonists.*

*The previous paragraph was taken almost verbatim from an article by Martin Dugard in my AMERICAN WAY magazine, which I stole from the plane, FYI. Well, whatever, you didn't think I made it up, did you? I have a book to write! I don't have time to sit around making things up about Puerto Rico.

Anyway, the signing is tonight from 6PM-7:30 at the Borders Plaza las Americas, 525 F.D. Roosevelt Ave., Hato Rey, Puerto Rico 00918. Try to come, if you can! I don't know that I'll be back to Puerto Rico for some time (unfortunately, as it is quite beautiful).

I think it's very interesting that Britney Spears chose the moment I left mainland US for a US Commonwealth in order to file for divorce from her soon-to-have-his-own-reality-show-in-the-vein-of Flavor-Flav husband Kevin Federline. I can't believe she didn't tell me! That girl is getting a phone call the minute I'm home.

Moving on, I received quite a bit of mail sympathising with my dream of having a book of mine banned someday. Several readers pointed out that THIRTEEN, an anthology I participated in, was banned in Texas. However, MY story was not the one that got the collection banned, so I can't claim that victory (also, I believe it was only RESTRICTED, not outright banned, like HOW TO DRAW MANGA or Susan Juby's excellent MISS SMITHERS).

Several of you further pointed out further that I mentioned once having been banned in Ireland. However, I was only banned from speaking at a school in Ireland (and believe me, that was quite a blow to this Irish-Catholic member of the Leahy clan). The book itself wasn't banned. Just me. Which is shocking, as I am generally considered a G-rated public speaker. Although my being banned from speaking WAS glorious, as it meant I got to go on the Irish news and have a lovely Irish lunch out with my then UK publicist, Alyx. I enjoyed every minute of it.

Many of you wrote to offer your support in my NaNoWriMo participation. Thank you, and the same to you. Although I have not yet signed up officially with the website, I hope to do so soon. I hope we all finish our projects by November 30, which is coincidentally when I have nine houseguests arriving for a nine-day visit.

So you can see how vitally important it is that I stay on track with this manuscript, which is actually due fairly soon (as is the one I have to start right after it).

Lastly, I would like to point out that author Susan Juby wrote to remind me that there is a Canadian town called Nanaimo, and that perhaps was what led to my confusion in thinking that Nanowrimo is a town, not a writing project. To which I say, HA! I KNEW I'D SEEN THAT WORD SOMEWHERE BEFORE!!!

However, that does not explain why I thought Nanowrimo was a town in Alaska.

Anyway, I am off to enjoy my poolside pina colada now (virgin, of course. It's much too early for alcohol), very glad that I am NOT in Nanowrimo. Because were it a town in Alaska, it would be too cold there this time of year for poolside cocktails.

See you at the signing!

More later.

Much love,

Meg

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