Friday, April 8, 2016

Raising the Bar

Maybe it's the active cabin and my very productive cabin-mates at Camp NaNo this April. Maybe it's the wonderful tales from Kenneth Cummings that I am organizing into Meant To Be Here this month.

Or maybe I just underestimated the way the word count climbs when you write diligently every day for at least three hours, but last night, I realized I was already half-way to my 60,000-word goal.

Time to raise the bar. I changed my goal to 85K, the same goal I set for myself last April for the first half of the memoir. I may have to raise it yet again, since after just one session today, I'm 40% of the way to the new goal!

Here's the daily sample from the Work In Progress: 

I served as a U.S. Cycling Federation (USCF) official at the Colorado time trials one year. These state championships are feeders for the national trials; race winners here are eligible to compete in the U.S. 
Time Trial Championships.

This event was to be held on the rolling plains near Strasburg, Colorado, a small town east of Denver. I wanted to collect the mileage stipend, so I decided to pack light camping gear and ride my bike there the day before the time trials. The weather was predicted to be fine; I thought bike and bedroll would be all I needed.

Out in Strasburg on the barren plains of eastern Colorado, I could find no cluster of trees dense enough to hide my bike and camp in. I went back into town, and asked the manager of the local historical museum where I might be able to camp. He told me there really wasn't a camp-ground per se, but said if I came back after dark, I could sleep there between a couple of old rail cars on the museum grounds.

After dinner, I picked my way between the cars, and bundled into my sleeping bag on the ground in the dark space that separated them. The sky was clear, so any heat in the ground radiated rapidly away. Near midnight, it got really windy, and the cold breeze sucked away any remaining warmth. Unable to sleep, I went hunting for better shelter. I found one of the passenger cars was unlocked and moved in. 

I was out and away again before sunrise the next morning, off to the races.

Honesty prompts me to point out that, even with the new 85K goal, I am still one of the "slackers" in my cabin. Four of my cabin-mates have goals of 100K or more. I got lucky this year! 

Word Count: Day 8 Session 1: 2324; Session 2: 2758
Word Count Total: 36,820 words