No Excuses November

Three years ago, I completed the National Novel Writing Month challenge which involves writing 1,667 words a day for thirty days. It was unforgiving, creatively taxing, time consuming exercise. For a month, I actually embodied that life of a writer as I sat drinking and writing my way into the night. I lost nine pounds because although Baileys and milk is delicious, and prevents you from reflecting too hard on your two thousand word defecit from yesterday and the day before, it isn’t dinner. Especially not for a week straight.

I’m not going to do that again because I have a child, so in addition to mixing booze and breastfeeding not being a good idea, I feel like child services might intervene if I threw handfuls of crackers at my son in lieu of all meals for thirty days straight. However, I can commit to 334 words a day. It’s one fifth of the NaNoWriMo goal but given that I have a small person who depends on me, it’s both a challenging and acheivable goal. Because I’ve been known to sneeze out four hundred words on occasion. Those of course would be the kind of sneezes where you cover your whole face and glance in a panicked manner around the room because your arm, face, sweater and the two people standing next to you are coated in snot. An epic sneeze in short, but a sneeze or almost a post no less.

Also, I’m changing the rules which states that the challenge begins at midnight on November 1st and ends at 11:59 November 30th. In case anyone was wondering, I finished at 11:58 November 30th in 2013 and I’m starting my challenge now on the 29th of October, it will come out November first so it totally counts.

I should add that I will be WRITING 334 words a day, not posting them, which takes longer and involves that dastardly and time consuming process known as editing. Instead I shall bank them so I can sit on my laurels a while.

Boom, That’s 335 words. Watch out world, Unwashed is coming.


Procrastination and Beer Commercial Pleasantries

I’m purchasing a house this year. This means only one thing; I have stacks of paperwork approximately as high as myself to fill out. Luckily most of my family deals in business and thus are overseeing the various processes for me which is a good thing for a number of reasons. First off, I just finished National Novel Writing Month, and yes I did write my fifty thousandth word at eleven forty five last Saturday night. This came at the cost of being a grown up and ironically posting on my blog with any sort of regularity. Happily my family has understood. When my Aunty Camelia, who is acting as my mortgage broker, would call me asking for important documents there was no judgment when I replied “Ummm, I’m kind of busy right now, I’ve got a whole lot of lemon berry frozen yoghurt to eat and Real Housewives to watch.”

My Dad has been handling the transfer of monies and whatnot. This too involves mass amounts of mail being sent to my house.  There were a lot of conversations like this during the past month

Dad “Did you receive the papers that my assistant William sent you?”

The Great Unwashed “Yes, they’re sitting right in front of me.”

Dad “Are you going to sign them?”

The Great Unwashed “Absolutely not”

My Dad has always dealt with all my financial affairs and up until recently everything in my life was good because of his secretary Cadence. Dad’s secretary and I had a great understanding. She would send me nice little notes written in her bubble letter print reminding me to sign things and when I forgot about them she would call me and ask in her sweet way for me to remember. It worked great.

And then she got pregnant and has been off spending time with her baby. I’m terribly happy for her and William, the man who has taken her place is extremely kind however he is all about protocol and not bubble letters or frequent voice mails telling me to file papers.

Finally this past weekend I ventured home and my Dad and I went through and signed all of the documents. On the top of the pile was one of William’s many introductory letters explaining what the pages he had sent me were. It was terribly professional with the company letter head and everything which was why I couldn’t sign the papers alone. Clearly if a letter was required this was serious business and it’s doubtful whether I should be trusted with something such as that. Fortunately I figured out a solution; along with a blank cheque that I still need to send to my father’s office, I’m going to include a note to his assistant.

Dear William,

Thanks so much for sending me everything. In the future it would be more helpful if you sent a note that looked like this, written on a coffee stained post it rather than intimidating business like letters.



Ur Dad wants u to sine this.

Lates. William


My father’s assistant may argue that corresponding in this way isn’t professional however I am not professional, so it works.

What Writing One Thousand Six Hundred and Sixty Seven Words a Day Is Like

At first it’s awful. Because you think you aren’t funny at all.

And then you accept not being funny. Which makes everything ok and somehow you manage to be funny again.

And then you skip a day. Which is fine, these things happen.

But then you skip another day. And you pretend that’s fine too. You can make it up on the weekend- in the words of the youth “Whatevs”.

And then the weekend arrives and you realize you have to write eight thousand words and you’re all

“This is the end of my life!”

And then you get bedsores from sitting in your kitchen chair, not moving and staring at a computer screen. So you vow never ever, ever to get behind again.

For a little while you don’t. And you even get used to writing THAT MUCH every single day, day in day out.

It becomes a thing that you do. Other people have fun lives in the evenings and you write.

But then something happens again and you miss a day. Which is ok, these things happen, it’s just sixteen hundred words, why you banged that out in under two hours last night, no biggie, break it up over a couple of days.

True to your word, you do makeup a little bit writing twenty one hundred words the next day. But then, oh that nasty life, it happens again. And suddenly you find yourself staring down the barrel of five thousand words for one weekend.

So like any good person you put it off. Until seven pm when Canada has become a cold, dark, horrible foreboding place that’s going to sit on your chest and feed you the monthly writing challenge until you cry and churn out the necessary words.

For such a polite country Canada can be a dick sometimes.

So you write words. And you don’t like them. So you write more words. And you like some of them. Then you email your friend who tells you to keep going. So you write about cupcakes because who doesn’t love cupcakes then you look at the screen and think “My God why am I writing about cupcakes?”

That’s what National Novel Writing Month is like. If you’ll excuse me, I have to get up and stretch because my butt is numb.

*I didn’t actually get bedsores. It just felt like I did. I’m fairly certain my butt has retained the shape of my wooden chairs though.

NaBloWriMo Ready

Way back yonder in November 2012 before I began The Great Unwashed, I heard rumblings of a writing contest. My Facebook feed was filled with comments about writer’s angst and being behind or creating something one was proud of. And it got me thinking that perhaps I should start putting my writing out into the world.

So I did.

And it was good.

I quite enjoy it.

I especially enjoy all of you, my Unwashed public.

Hence to challenge myself I shall engage in my own NaNoWriMo which is short for National Novel Writing Month. Essentially for the month of November participants must write 50,000 words or 1,667 words per day.

That’s a lot of words. It’s the kind of task that could kill a frat boy. Or at the very least severely cut into their drinking time.

Regrettably I am not able to fully participate in NaNoWriMo because I do not write fiction. I have written fiction and certainly my family members would like to argue that some of my stories contain such hyperbole that the words might as well be fiction but when push comes to dewey decimal classifying shove, I’m a non-fiction humourist.

Please note that all stories about my mother are 100% TRUE. I wouldn’t ever exaggerate her strength. It’s just too dangerous to do something like that to a woman who I caught bicep curling mini coopers last weekend.

I digress.

So I shall be participating in an extreme writing contest of my invention- NaBloWriMo or National Blog Writing Month because the products of my work shall go up on my site to be perused by you, my lovely Unwashed readers rather than being transformed into a fiction draft. Obviously I shall not be posting everyday and I may in fact hold back many of the works that I create because I hold my posts to a certain standard. So collectively we may very well be celebrating NaBloWriMo together for quite awhile. Think of it like an Unwashed Thanksgiving only instead of having to eat turkey every day for two weeks afterwards you’ll just be reading posts that I created in November for months.

Wish me luck!