The Three-Day Novel Contest takes place every Labour Day long weekend, and this year’s entry deadline is fast approaching. I’ve yet to decide if I’ll enter, but I am teetering on the verge of writing my cheque for 50 bucks and going for it again. I wrote in 2009 and 2008, and finished both manuscripts within the 72 hour timeline.
Yeah, crazy people like me enter this thing, which is heralded on the contest website as, “the world’s most notorious literary marathon.” The moment the clock rolls over to “Saturday,” essentially midnight on the Friday night, keyboards all over the world start heating up, and the whole enchilada finishes up three days later. For each of the nutbars who enter the contest, around 700 I think the last time I competed, the goal is to finish a complete manuscript for a novel. Yes, you read that correctly: a novel, a book, a full length piece of literature.
My first attempt in 2008, evolved over the weekend I wrote into a comedy, which really wasn’t my goal. I may be too twisted to write a straight piece, and I’m growing contentment with that about myself. The piece I wrote in 2009 was far longer, but also much, much darker, and involved death by toaster. I won’t explain how that panned out here, but it was strange and memorable to say the least.
Here’s the thing: I was seriously, seriously thinking I wouldn’t enter this year at all, partly because I am dog tired already from school, and from getting up at the butt crack of dawn to swim before school, and partly because I have heaps of things to get ready for school, and it would be somewhat foolish of me to give up a three day weekend that I could use so well for lesson prepping and resource locating. Really, though, the bigger problem was my complete and total lack of ideas. I’ve always had a little something in mind for previous years, but this year, my brain was so empty it echoed. The last thing I wanted to do was pay fifty dollars and draw a blank, so I didn’t think the contest was in the cards for me this year.
Then something happened on my way home from school. As I pulled into the alley, dodged a pothole, slowed down for a cat, and wondered why the heck the people at the far end of the block never move their garbage cans off the pavement, I got a grand idea. It wasn’t exactly accompanied by harps and angel song, but it’s a bang-up notion and I think I have something to go on now.
Ah, my friends, the decision just got a bunch more complicated. I’ll keep you posted.
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