After a few more sentences, Mia looked around Wrimonia. Some Wrimos weren’t writing at all and in fact weren’t carrying writing implements, but instead were wandering around Wrimonia with purple bars and relieved looks on their faces. These Wrimos were celebrating with champagne and confetti. Others were sitting on eraser benches like Mia and were typing away on their novels. Vendors with halos were more vigilant than ever in selling the halos.
“Don’t you want to be in Wrimonia again next year?” one vendor yelled across Wrimonia. “Get a halo for yourself or a friend today! Save Wrimonia!” The vendor pushed his cart to a Wrimo celebrating her victory, and Mia looked away to a sign ticking away the seconds toward the end of NaNo. Mia watched it for a few seconds before turning away. Every second watching that sign was a second not writing, she told herself, and I can’t afford that right now.
People ran across Wrimonia, and Mia spotted the battalion of marathon runners running across Wrimonia cheering on the Wrimos.
One marathon runner looked at a Wrimo who was behind on word count. “You’re behind,” the marathon runner said, “but you know what? You can do it! Fifty thousand can be yours by the 30th.”
“I’m not so sure about that,” the Wrimo replied. “I’m just trying not to stop writing at this point. I have twenty thousand words. That’s nearly ten thousand words a day.”
“There are many Wrimos who have caught up from that far behind and finished,” the marathon runner said. “Some have written even more in this time. Heck, even a few have written the full fifty thousand words in this time.”
“But I can’t,” the Wrimo replied.
“But you can,” the marathon runner said. “NaNoWriMo is a marathon, not a fifty yard dash, and you’re about to reap the benefits of it. Just keep writing, and you will surprise yourself.” The marathon runner kept running, and the Wrimo kept writing. Mia looked up, and the marathon runner was right in front of her. It was the same marathon runner who gave Mia the pencil.
“You’re not going to give up too, are you?” the marathon runner asked.
“I didn’t expect you to say that,” Mia replied. “But it’s tempting. It’s awfully tempting.” Mia scooted the pencil over so the marathon runner could sit down on the bench. “My story sucks. Really really sucks. I just joined the Suck Club because it sucks so badly. There are busty lesbian cabbage pirate ninjas, and random characters who came out of nowhere in there, and I don’t know where it’s going or if it’s going anywhere, and I don’t know if there’s any point to doing this in the first place.”
“Tell me, Mia,” the marathon runner said. “Why did you sign up for NaNoWriMo to start with?”
“I wanted to write a book,” Mia replied. “I lost all inspiration for writing and I wanted that back.”
“Have you found it again?” the marathon runner asked.
Mia stammered. “Well, I thought I did,” Mia replied, swinging the pencil around without realizing it. “Sorry,” she said when she nearly hit the marathon runner with it. “But then the Writer’s Block and Inner Editor decided to haunt me and I barely escaped, and Alaina and my characters haven’t been around for days, and I don’t know where they are.”
“Mia,” the marathon runner interrupted. “I didn’t just give you this pencil on a lark.”
“It does something,” Mia replied. “It’s still talking.”
“You mean you still haven’t figured out what it does yet?”
“Well, when Writer’s Block and Inner Editor were taking me on two on one, I managed to escape with this,” Mia said. “I pierced the bubble Writer’s Block was blowing.”
“But have you actually listened to the voices?” the marathon runner asked.
Mia shook her head. “They’re still indistinguishable to me. It’s just a blob of voice.”
The marathon runner gulped. “Listen.” And she and Mia leaned in toward the pencil, and suddenly Mia heard something so warm, so beautiful, something she had never heard before. It wasn’t a voice at all, actually. It was a comforting sound, a sound of joy and love and inspiration coming from the inside of that pen.
“But what is it?” Mia asked.
“Have you figured out anything else the pencil does?” the marathon runner asked. Mia shook her head. “Play with it for a minute.”
Mia examined the pencil further, and she noticed that where the metal part of a normal pencil would be was where this pencil unscrewed. She unscrewed it, and out flew nine letters. They flew into the air and spelled her name. MIA WONNOR, the letters in the air said. She stared at them for a few minutes. They were in the most beautiful font she had ever seen, and each letter was in a different color. As Mia stared at the letters, the marathon runner moved a hand, and the letters rearranged themselves.
NANOWRIMO, the letters read a minute later. Mia stared in astonishment. Was NaNoWriMo really written in her name? In the stars, even? Mia looked up, even though it was the middle of the day and the only star up was the sun.
“You can do it, Mia,” the marathon runner said, handing the pencil back to Mia, and Mia looked at the pencil again. “NaNoWriMo is embedded in your very being, Mia, and you were meant to complete NaNoWriMo. Now go forth and finish!”
Mia looked up at where the letters once were and noticed that they had now disappeared back into the pencil. The pencil was warm yet light in her hand. There was one more battle to fight, but first, the next milestone awaited: forty thousand words.
Some of you figured this out ages ago, but yes, Mia’s name was meaningful. In fact, I spent the trip to my write-in the day I started this novel trying to figure out the perfect NaNoWriMo anagram for her. Will this spur her to finish with over 10k and days to go? We shall see.
Feel free to link this on your blog, Twitter, whatever. Just don’t pass this off as your own, and we’re cool.
I highly encourage you to donate to the Office of Letters and Light, the nonprofit organization that runs NaNoWriMo, if you enjoy this tale of noveling madness. If you donate in the new year, your donor goodies will appear in the month before the event you donate to (NaNoWriMo or Script Frenzy).
If for some strange reason you’re really into giving money to Internet strangers who write somewhat humorous things, I won’t complain. You can do that at the link below.