Wednesday, November 23, 2011

NaNoWriMo and St. Cecilia

One thing that I utterly love about the month of November is that wonderful, hectic, chaotic thing known as NaNoWriMo.

For anyone who has not heard of NaNo before, this stands for National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write a novel of 50,000 words in thirty days. That leaves you with a goal of about 1667 words per day. For all you non-writers laughing over there in the corner, try to write that many words. It's a LOT of words!

My goal during NaNo is to just write. This is hard for me, because I have an obnoxious inner editor that likes to revise chapters while I'm in the process of writing them. I generally lock her in a mental closet and just write. Also, since I hate feeling pressed for time, I generally try to go way over my word count for the day, so I don't have quite such the overwhelming amount of words to write. I think I have to write at least 1330 words per day in order to finish by November 30, but my goal is to finish sooner. :)

This month I'm working on a sequel I wrote to a story that I actually wrote for a summer NaNoWriMo, and I keep falling more and more in love with the characters. There are two alternating MC's in this book, and they are such polar opposites I'm having a blast writing about them. I'm also doing a lot of redrafting, because each chapter I write takes a tack I wasn't expecting. I mean, this one character popped into the picture and he wasn't even part of the original draft, and now I think he's going to be this great antagonist who's actually a traitor. Cool, eh? I would never have thought of that if I hadn't just been writing without thinking. I actually love it when that happens. It makes me feel like writing is so uncertain, and terribly exciting!

Even though this is totally off the NaNoWriMo tack, I just wanted to share with you that yesterday was the feast of one of my more favourite saints: St. Cecilia. I love St. Cecilia, primarily because she is the patroness of music, and music is right up there with writing in regards to which activity I'm most passionate about.

St. Cecilia was a remarkable saint. She was the perfect model of the early-day Christians, living only for God and converting many pagans to Christianity by the beauty of her preaching. Her prayers and example converted her husband Valerian to the Faith, and his conversion in turn inspired his brother Tibertius to convert as well.

Both Valerian and Tibertius preceded Cecilia in martyrdom, but when it came her turn to die God proceeded to prove her faithfulness to Him by protecting her from the first death initiated for her. This was to be death by suffocation, where Cecilia was shut up in the baths with fires kindled hotly so that they should have killed her through the heat. But though she remained in that prison for a day and a night she did not even break out in perspiration. Seeing this, the prefect of the city ordered that she should be beheaded, and sent an executioner to perform this duty.

Somehow, the executioner bungled the job, striking three blows that did not sever her head from her body. Cecilia was left in this condition for three days, during which she continued to preach and draw souls to God. After she died she was buried in the catacombs.

She is the patroness of musicians.

St. Cecilia
Catholic Online
Catholic Culture

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