Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Betty WriMos

It's only 1667 words a day...

Cor van der Borsel dropped his pies with a clatter, raised his fist in fury and shouted, 'NaNoWriMo!'  The villagers nodded understandingly.  It was November again and he needed to make his word count.
I hope all our Betty WriMos are feverishly pounding out word after word after word.  The Great Betty can be our source of inspiration when things are getting you down.  If she were a WriMo, perhaps she might have penned this little gem:
“He sighed deeply: to fall in love at first sight with this malodorous sleeping girl, with, as far as he could see, no pretensions to beauty or even good looks, was something he had not expected. But falling in love, he had always understood, was unpredictable, and, as far as he was concerned, irrevocable That they hadn't exchanged a word, nor spoken, made no difference. He, heart whole until that minute, and with no intention of marrying until it suited him, had lost that same heart.”
Betty Neels


  1. Betty van den BetsyNovember 2, 2011 at 12:57 PM

    Now I'm no WriMo, but I pumped out a term paper or two in my academic years with minimum-word-count requirements. So if it's write now, edit later, consider the above quote: complete and wondrous at 86 words.

    Ladies and gents, I give you a first desperate draft of 287:

    He took in a deep breath, and let it loose, there amongst the quiet cacophony of a rural emergency room, in a deep sigh. Surely, he thought, no man, nor woman, nor yet beast, could ever have expected so extraordinary an experience as this: falling, not into mere infatuation, but into true, deep and permanent love, and at first sight no less, with this distinctly malodorous, heavily sleeping young woman with, as far as he or indeed anyone he knew could see, absolutely no pretensions to beauty nor yet even to the bare minimum of good looks. However, he reasoned, thinking the thing through calmly, all the poets and sages of all the ages had given him reason, always, to understand that the phenomenon that modern cliché termed ‘falling in love’ was rarely – perhaps even never – a predictable course. He needed no careful reason to recognize that the course he would pursue in matters of the heart would be, as far as he himself was concerned, irrevocable by any power or action imaginable on this earth. Of course, she – snoring slightly, smelling mightily – and he, dapper, successful and disinclined to emotional drama, had yet to exchange even a single word, nor even heard each others’ voices speak. And yet, for him in that moment, that clear and immutable fact could make no difference in the world; not a whit nor a whistle. For he, whole of heart – and at times seemingly impregnable of heart – and without the least intention of ever marrying nor even dating very seriously until he found the person and circumstances that truly, even perfectly, suited him… well, here it seemed that that solid, cautious man had lost, at last, that very same heart.

  2. Ohhhhhh...but I like that, Betty van den Besty.

  3. I'm up to 3,450 but I haven't had a chance to log into NaNoWriMo with my word count because I left my computer home, so I'm working on Betty Ross's.

    My novella is a retelling (sort of) of Jean Webster's "Daddy-Long-Legs." Here's an excerpt:

    Dear Mr. Benefactor:

    Your lawyer, Mr. Norman, refuses to tell me who you are or why you're paying for me to go to Swarthmore. I don't understand this. People just don't pay for someone else's kid to go to college. I'm not even an orphan, like whatsername in that kid's book, Daddy-Long-Legs. So I don't get it.

    Mr. Norman's kindly allowing me to write to you. He thinks I'm going to thank you for the money. I guess I will, too, although I'd like to know a lot more about what the hell is going on. No one at the Bursar's Office will tell me, either. They refer me to the Financial Aid Office, but they have no idea what the deal is because – as they've told me countless times – I'm not getting financial aid.

    It's like some crazy riddle. How does a girl with no money get to go to an expensive liberal arts college for free without getting a scholarship, a loan, or any other sort of financial aid? The trouble is, I don't know the answer.

    Okay, but I'm supposed to tell you about myself, or – what was it Mr. Norman said? Oh, yeah, “Your benefactor would like to know more about you, I'm sure.” Well, he may be sure, but I'm not. I'm not that interesting.

    But you're paying a lot of money for me to go to a “premier educational institution” as Mr. N. put it, so here goes.

    I'm 18, I grew up in a rural area in Northeast Pennsylvania, I was an only child, and I'm shy. I won't be coy and deny I'm smart, but compared to other kids here I'm really nothing special. It's pretty incredible how many valedictorians end up going to Swarthmore. My roommate, Ashley, and I were laughing about that. If everyone here was the very best student in his or her class, some of them are going to be in for a rude shock when they're not the best anymore. It's supposed to be crazy competitive here, with the super-geniuses and total grinders getting ahead of the merely very smart and hard working types.

    They sell t-shirts here that read, “Swarthmore – anywhere else it would have been an A.”
    D'you expect me to made all As? I know some scholarships are predicated on getting a certain GPA. I guess I'll have to ask Mr. Norman.

    Because the thing is, I'm not one of the super-genius types, and while I'm a hard worker, I'm not going to get straight As. At least I don't think I am.

    Which isn't to say I'm a party girl. I'm not. Like I said, I'm shy.

    I'm sorry I'm rambling. I'm a little homesick, I think. Anyway, I'll sum up. I'm just a girl at a fancy school getting a great education on your dime. I'll do the best I can to prove the money well spent.


    The name had been redacted because Ben had insisted he shouldn't know her adopted name. In his mind, she was Charlotte, a five year old with caramel colored curls. A girl he'd seen for maybe ten seconds before his mother killed her mother.

  4. Betty Barbara here--
    Okay, Betty Magdalen, you've got ME hooked. The letter was lovely--but , oh my, the 'plot bomb' at the end--
    I need to know What Happens Next!

  5. Love it Betty Magdalen! What a great idea to do a take-off of Daddy Long Legs--a great book with a fun format and I haven't seen rewrites.

  6. Wow, Betty Magdalen, I agree with the previous commenter - what a plot bomb. I'm completely hooked already!

    I just re-read Daddy-Long-Legs last month, too, and was reminded of how much fun it was... Best of luck with your novel!