Thursday, 10 November 2011

Lest. They've Forgotten

When I read articles about Fifa trying to ban poppies (since corrected), or Poundland attempting to ban their staff from paying tribute, for fear of offending others, I can’t help but think to myself…

… Lest.  They’ve Forgotten.

It seems there are innumerable ways to honour (and dishonour) Remembrance Day.  Perhaps you have a political or religious agenda; perhaps you have a loved one in the Army.  The sight of Poppy may fill you with sheer pride.  Or contempt.

On 11/11/11 I, personally, will be remembering those who were sent to their deaths through conscription.  When that one minute silence starts, year after year, these are the things that go through my head:

I try to imagine how it would have felt to have been forced into battle, or to witness a loved one be involuntarily drafted into the Army.  Even the confines of my imagination produce a feeling of immense terror.

I try to imagine how it would have felt on 11th November, 1918, when the Armistice was signed, marking the end of World War 1.  I’m sure there would have been immense relief, though not without unspeakable trauma and loss.

I try to imagine how it would have felt to go through it all again only 21 years later.  What was going through the minds of those who’d survived WW1, knowing what lay ahead of them?

I try to imagine those who lost their lives taking a long, hard look at our world today. Would they feel it had all been worth it?  Even those who willingly entered the Army in a fit of Patriotism… what would they think?

As we face the onslaught of more displays of forgetfulness, I will be remembering the Armistice Agreement and what it represented.  Not through a sense of Patriotism, but through a sense of human compassion for ALL casualties of war, regardless of origin.


Sunday, 6 November 2011

The Story So Far...

Nearing the end of my first week of NaNoWriMo, I'm sitting at 9120 words.  By the end of the day, I should technically be at 10002 words.  I intend to spend a good chunk of my day writing, so I'm feeling comfortable with the pace I'm writing at.

I haven't been devoting too much time to writing this week, to be honest.  I thought I'd be rushing towards 10k on my first day, in the height of my delirious enthusiasm.  In reality, I got off to a somewhat awkward start.  I started writing scenes that were a) not part of my lovely outline and b) not in keeping with the natural order of how the story unfolded.  I naively assumed I'd start from Chapter 1 and go from there! *blush*

I've been guilty of doing that forbidden thing in NaNoWriMo: Going back and fixing bits.  Not full scale editing or anything, but there have been a few amendments here and there (ok I'll stop heh heh). I also found myself hitting that proverbial brick wall at times.  Not writers block, per se (I don't believe in that), but just... reaching a point where I'd lost concentration, gotten restless, and had to Step Away From The Laptop.  I know a change of scenery will always recharge my creative batteries.

I haven't used the spreadsheet I made a big fuss over before November 1st.  I've steered clear of social media, lest I get too sucked into the "race" aspect of it all.  Don't get me wrong, it looks like fun and I'm sure it would push me that bit further than my current mellow flow, but I'd run the risk of leaving myself too susceptible to procrastination via Twitter and blogs; I could spend hours on them!

I keep reminding myself that although NaNoWriMo is a global event, it's also a personal journey; one that I would like to complete!  In order to give myself the best chance at it, I need to refrain from distractions and focus on the story.  A story which, I'm delighted to say, I'm loving more and more with each word written.

So, I'll keep you updated on my progress, and wish everyone else doing NaNoWriMo the best of luck with your stories.  I can't wait to read about them all in December! :)