The Next October
Mia made her way down a familiar path to a world she had visited once before. In some ways it looked just as it did the year before: the buildings were still in the same places, though they, along with their plaques, had been scrubbed down after the recent shutdown and cleaning, the streets had been paved, the familiar eraser benches had been revamped, and even some of the people looked familiar. But no one had a bar above their head, most of the people who had halos the year before were halofree, and some people were new by Mia’s standards. Mia checked her name tag and noticed that she was still going by the same name as the year before. She checked into her bag as she entered Wrimonia. Old works, check. Laptop, check. Metal pencil that saved her life last year, check.
As she walked around the forum, she noticed Dragonchilde chasing a Wrimo who strangely resembled a troll across the forum. “Get him banned!” someone yelled as Dragonchilde chased the troll, holding on to her hat so it wouldn’t fall off. She still wore the staff badge, Mia noticed. That was familiar, at least. But one thing that wasn’t familiar was the horde of Wrimos at the Newbies forum. Mia walked on that way and noticed the plaque: “A place for newbies to gather or for veterans to give them advice.”
And then it hit her. I’m not a newbie anymore, Mia thought as she passed them. They looked so young. None of them had participant or winner badges, and many of them looked nervous. Almost all of them chimed up with questions as other Wrimos passed, and some of them chased the more senior Wrimos as they passed. One of them approached Mia as she passed.
“Wow, you did NaNo last year?” the Wrimo, a young impressionable Wrimo, asked.
Mia nodded and looked at the place on her chest where she noticed veteran Wrimos’ badges last year. Sure enough, a Winner badge from the year before sat on her chest in bright purple. “I did NaNo last year and even won,” Mia said.
“I’m scared,” the Wrimo asked. “Is it hard?”
Mia thought back to her own journey through NaNoWriMo: the adventures with her characters, meeting Alaina, the joys and commiserations with other Wrimos, the forums, the procrastination and distraction that she discovered while writing, the battles with Writer’s Block and Inner Editor, the struggle to make the daily word count each day, the struggle to write consistently. Finally she said, “It’s as hard as you make it. But don’t worry, there’s always someone here to help you if you need it.”
The Wrimo smiled. “Veterans can adopt newbies, right?” the Wrimo asked. Mia nodded; she had noticed this the year before but decided not to take advantage of such an offer; after all, she was here to write. “Will you be my mentor through NaNo?”
“Of course,” Mia replied, and they wandered around the forums while Mia told the new Wrimo about her NaNoWriMo experiences.
And Adventures in Wrimonia comes to a close. There’s so much to say here, but that’s what a separate post is for: the experience of writing Wrimonia, why such-and-such didn’t get mentioned (probably because I didn’t have time!), and what’s coming next.
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.