National Terrible Unfinished Novel-Writing Month – Day 13

This new “Don’t be a NaTeUnNoWriMo Writer…be an author. No, an Author” attitude is paying off in spades. I’ve been buoyed by another piece of phoney-baloney advice that I once came across: “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.

So if I want this NaTeUnNoWriMo novel to be everything it can be (unreadable and incomplete), I need to start dressing like an Author.

I had my mission for the day. Naturally, I went for authors that had made lots and lots of money:

Tom Clancy. A good first choice. I had the sunglasses and the flappy nylon windbreaker. I still needed a “scrambled eggs” command cap from a nuclear tactical cruiser-class hovership that the US Air Force has not yet publicly acknowledged exists.

I tried making do by taking an old navy-blue cap I owned, tearing off the Pokemon logo, and painting in some gold oak clusters and insigniae with that that kind of fabric paint you can buy at the craft store. Didn’t work out too well. My hand wasn’t very steady, you could still see the outline that the Squirtle embroidery had left behind, and I suppose if I had looked carefully before buying the paint I would have noticed that it was the rainbow glitter kind.

Stephen King. Which would seem to be a snap: jeans and a tee shirt. Man alive…do I own plenty of those. But no matter which permutation or combination I put together, I didn’t get that necessary sort of “I made sure to buy a house with an extra-large crawlspace under the porch, so that the bodies could stack easily” vibe when I looked at myself in the mirror.

J.K. Rowling. I did have a bunch of women’s suits in my closet but I’d bought all of them at a discount clothing store that caters to a certain clientele. Not a Chanel or a Dior in the whole rack.

Hunter S. Thompson. Windbreaker from the Tom Clancy attempt. Aviator glasses. Chinos and a golf shirt. I just needed a bucket hat and a pair of deck shoes, and those were pretty cheap.

But I didn’t want to suffer the same failure I experienced with the Stephen King outfit. It’s the little unseen details that really create the correct impression.

I think it actually worked a little bit too well. I soaked the hat in nail polish remover so that there’s be an imperceptible haze of chemicals around me at all times. Which was definitely the right idea, but it probably would have worked better in August, when the weather’s warm and I usually have the windows open. As it is, I slumped over at my desk within ten minutes and when I woke up, I discovered that I’d lost about thirteen hours. As well as all of the printing on the left side of my keyboard.

I didn’t manage to get a good Fantastically Successful Author outfit together today. But I managed to avoid writing anything, and that’s really all that counts.

Day 13. Words written: 0.