NaNoWriMo and Leave-Behinds


I managed to get to 50,000 words in NaNoWriMo this time. The story, however, is sitting still, for the very simple reason that I have not yet managed to unravel the personal knot that drove me to write it in the first place. I am giving myself a little time off to think about this, but I hope to return to it in the not-too-distant future (this happened with my 2008 NaNovel as well; I finished that one in January 2009, writing furiously in my bedroom with a baby blanket draped over my head for reasons that remain obscure to me).

If you've been following events on my various social media presences, you may know that Avril escaped from jail, took a ghost bus back over the mountains, and encountered a wolf. She also met with a serpent made of asphalt and has been doing a lot of searching through a very strange house. Currently she is in the woods, but also still in the house.

To celebrate, I made a collection of yarn pom-poms (pictured above). There are... a bunch of them. Once you start making yarn pom-poms it gets hard to stop. I've put these into empty quarter machine capsules, and I plan to leave them places for strangers to find. I've been making these sorts of "leave-behinds" for years (everything from bookmarks to origami lucky stars) as a creative discipline, and I share it now because maybe you'll find it as satisfying as I do. Leave-behinds embody a lot that I aspire to as a maker of pictures and stories and things. In so many other ways I fall short, but every time I release one into the wild I think, "yes, I am letting go of ego and outcomes and letting beauty happen and then pass away."

It's one of the purest feelings of creative success I know.