December 9 – Party Prompt: Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans.
The NaNoWriMo write-ins. Oh, the NaNoWriMo write-ins. I have always written solitary. It just seems like writing would naturally be a solitary pursuit. Sure, you can have people read and talk about your work with you, but the writing itself is a one-man job. But then I went to a NaNo write in at a local bookstore.
I was a little late and I wandered through the bookstore, looking for something, anything that looked like people writing. Right smack in the center of the store, clustered around a little table sandwiched between the music display and a six-foot fountain, there were three or four people hunched over laptops. I sort of walked by them once, pretending to browse, trying to work up the courage to ask if they were NaNoers. I mean, if they weren't, I'd have to explain myself and look like an idiot as I wandered the store to find the actual NaNoers.
I sidled up apologetically.
"I feel a little silly, but are you the NaNoWriMo people?"
Suddenly I was surrounded by the gushing welcome of writers to one of their own. They ushered me into the cramped space, arranging chairs and laptops so I had table space. My knees were pressed uncomfortably to the table leg and my backpack nearly tripped several people where it peeked out from under the tiny chair, but it was marvelous.
Almost the first thing I did was yank the bookmark out of my notebook. It apparently hadn't been glued in too well, because it just popped off in my hand as I tried to flip it out of the way. I stared at it for a moment.
"Oh, that's not cool," I said in a tiny voice, still afraid to talk, as if I might be interrupting.
"I pulled my bookmark out." I held up the sad little scrap of ribbon. Again, the gushing began, an outpouring genuine sympathy. It was such a wondrous, comforting display. I was at home. These were my people. I could write with them.
The evening was spent in mostly-silence, with little bursts of conversation about nerdy things, writerly things, serious things, before going back to writing. I spent three of the happiest hours of my writing career there.
I went back the next week.