My RSVP to NaNoWriMo’s Invitation!

Something about this year feels different. Dead dreams scream for resuscitation. Hope wants to live its name in me and in my abandoned literary works. Dread and the TERROR of an unfulfilled literary life wake me.

Something about this year’s NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) screams at me to heed the 30-day challenge and finish one of several novels that established a permanent but undeveloped colony in my brain or (at least) finish the revision of the novel that has remained unpublished for decades.


Frances Ohanenye_The Penniless Millionaire

This is the year I take steps to shift my writing life to include year-round writing instead of summer-only writing when my full-time job takes a break.

The three years I was unemployed were the happiest my writing life has had. I was broke but happy. I woke up writing, I ate lunch writing, I burned many tea kettles while writing, I gave up food for writing, I did not want to do the 9-5 drill so that I could write, and I loved how darkness stole into my oblivious days because I wrote from sunrise to sunset. I was so euphoric that I called myself “The Penniless Millionaire.” Bliss thrived in me!

I established my NaNoWriMo account in 2012 and wrote about a thousand words. However, bills piled, and I had to heed the demoralizing downturn. I returned to the extravertive side of me that came with teaching and mingling.

Now, I must heed NaNoWriMo’s call once more and join hundreds of thousands of writers. I will pen a novel THIS YEAR before 2019 dries up like some of the pens I use to grade essays.

To honor me, my blog (Literary Nomad11), and my firm resolution, I will travel to any location and for any duration to write about literature.

Lethargy is not an option.

Procrastination cannot hold me in a deadlock grip any longer.

RSVP: NaNoWriMo, I will attend the best LITERARY party of the year! I will dress in my most elaborate attire and will write with my most creative pen. Thanks for the invitation.

Statistics/Facts to know: 

Challenge: Write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days (November 1 to November 30).

National Novel Writing Month Heads Into its 16th Year (NPR)

20,000 New Yorkers Just Tried to Write a Novel in a Month (The New York Observer)

8 Best-Selling Books Written During NaNoWriMo That Show You It Can Be Done (The Bustle)

Meditating My Way Through the Stress of Too-Much-To-Do

I found myself stressed beyond words. Using the cliché that my plate is full does not do justice to the number of commitments I have entangled myself: pursuing a specialist degree (Ed. S.), writing for Yahoo! Voices, maintaining this blog, maintaining my poetry blog, maintaining the blog in memory of my amazing mother, teaching at two universities that are at the extreme end of each other, trying to live a life, trying (and failing pitifully) to fulfill my religious obligations in several ministries, meeting with my numerous literary groups, writing offline daily (in my notebooks and in Word), and latching on to NaNoWriMo to finish a novel between November 1 and November 30.

Feel free to ask, “How are all those going?” Let’s just say that the word “stressed” found a new meaning and a new height in my body and was taking an unrestricted toll on it. Therefore, I had to save me from my obsession to overload. Hence I joined Deepak Chopra’s 21-Day Meditation Challenge, which began on November 5, 2012. I am so HAPPY that I did. It is proving to be the most sane thing I have done. It truly centers me, restores me from within, and has allowed me to discover magic. I have kept a diary of my daily journeys, just vignettes of my experience. I will post these weekly in addition to my regular postings.

Day 1 Entry: I have meditated before, but I am still trying to understand what happened to me today. Deepak rang the bell and asked me to open my eyes gently; I did without expecting anything really. Tears rolled down my cheeks. I had not realized that my eyes were holding tears until I opened them gently. I am in awe. Namaste, Deepak.

Day 2 Entry: I went further in today and touched my soul’s inside but my body tried to make me aware of it for several minutes. I tried again and succeeded. Yay!  Today, the tears hung inside my eyelids and did not cascade down as they did on the first day. I wonder if the magic is diminishing. I certainly hope not because I feel magical. Namaste.

Day 3 Entry: I have come to accept that tears are part of my peace on this journey. I guess it is the measure of my arrival within, touching my core, leaving my body/matter, and connecting with my mind and spirit. The left eye released a long one today, giving the right eye a run for its money (no pun intended). By the time the bell rang for release and conclusion, another set of tears ran down both cheeks. I feel so content. Thank you, Deepak. Namaste.

Day 4 Entry: I did not reach deep into my spirit today. There was noise in the house, and I was very much aware of the outer sphere. I tried to avoid the external influences and hone in so that I can reach within. I almost succeeded when the bell dinged. Namaste.

Day 5 Entry: Today I went deeper than the day before, but there was no tear today, which was kind of disappointing. I don’t know if this means that I did not go further in than I had been able before today’s own meditation. Anyway, it is a journey in which I am still developing and still trying to grasp the many facets of getting in touch with my spirit. At one point, I had an image/sensation of floating and looking down on something. I could not identify the something. I am still growing and embracing my potential to be, do, and have whatever I can dream. Namaste.

Day 6 Entry: The magic has returned! Yes, yes, yes! The tears came today reversing the last time I experienced them. This time, the right eye released the tear first streaming down that cheek. The left eye followed hesitantly and released its own. I am still bashing in the luxury of peace and calm. It took me awhile to let go of the body because my pants held on to my waist, and I was aware of that contact with the flesh. As soon as I was able to let go of the skin and focus on the spirit, I was able to focus on the purpose of my journey today. I arrived there and produced the result (tears) that I did not know if they would come since they did not come the last two sessions. I am so happy that everything I desire is within me. I have known this all my life. It is so refreshing to have it affirmed. Thank you, Deepak. Namaste.

Day 7 Entry: The tears came today, running down both cheeks. I have come to look forward to them as an outlet of my inner cleansing. My body made me aware of it today as I tried to let go of it. What can you say about a bloated stomach when you are trying to ignore it and focus? It appears that focusing is impossible. I tried to let go of the body, but it did not want to be ignored; so, so disapointing. Namaste.

Day 8 Entry: today’s tears did not run down; they let go as drops and fell into my blouse. Today tried to prove a difficult one, trying to make me aware of my skin, the physical. I could not seem to find detachment from it from within. Therefore, I shed the pants whose elasticity was making me aware of my stomach and draped a loose garment instead, which is why I now understand why Mahatma Gandhi wore loose wraps instead of pants that call attention to them. Today I let go of the physical, things that demand attachment to the world and demand attention from me. I must have reached some semblance of spirituality because the tears greeted me when I opened my eyes. Still, I am going to try to meditate a second time today since I did not achieve the level of potential I seek. “I can create anything, anytime, anywhere,” so here I go creating. Namaste.

Day 9 Entry: BeautifuImagel, just beautiful, was what rang through my mind as I opened my eyes. I have found five new senses: the sense of abundance, the sense of magic, the sense of fulfillment, the sense of bliss, and the sense of giving. Gone are the five physical senses (touch, taste, sight, feel/touch, and smell). Today I give that which I want to receive. Needless to say, the beauty that I mentioned and the magic both came in the form of those welcoming and cleansing tears that came three times in one day. Wow! Can you say, “Bliss?” Today was the height of my meditation. I arrived at beauty, abundance, magic, fulfillment, bliss, and generosity. I am so content and confident right now that it is possible to conquer anything, which is truly my frame of mind: I can conquer/achieve anything to which I set my mind. Thank you, Deepak. Namaste.