Every year you take the NaNoWriMo challenge it is a different experience. The manuscript of my first novel was so bad I killed it with fire. The second one resulted in my first published novel. Last year, it was a disaster: I could not finish.
This year I outlined a story and I have followed it to some degree, but it’s very “first drafty” and I know that a lot of it will not survive rewrites. One wants the words that flow to be beautiful and poetic, and ready for publication!
The ongoing joke, as I shared my status with friends, was that I had not yet used the unicorn. This is the idea that if everything else falls apart, you can always add a unicorn.
Magic and fantasy changes everything.
Last night, as a joke I threw in a unicorn reference… There is a festival taking place and the headlining act is a cover band called Monkeys on Unicorns.
The ensuing comments after I announced the unicorn development resulted in the following dialog (shortened here) which made me laugh out loud:
“At any rate,” Gábor was saying, “after I figured what it was, I was almost disappointed because there just was no way these guys could improve on my first assumption. But it’s not a bad band, I liked them.”
“Why disappointed?” she asked. “I don’t understand.”
“Well, when you called, I thought you said we’d go watch monkeys on unique corns.”
“Monkeys on Unicorns,” she corrected.
Gábor raised an eyebrow and said, “You say that like it’s supposed to be perfectly logical. Monkeys with Razor Blades makes more sense! Monkeys Wearing Boots makes more sense.”
“Don’t you know what a unicorn is?”
“Yes,” he said, annoyed. “And no…”
“I did not discover children’s stories until I entered school,” Gábor said. “And I rejected most of them as ridiculous. My education, therefore, is rather incomplete in terms of whimsy.”
He was standing over her as her swing came to a full stop.
“Well, what did you think monkeys on unique corns would be?”
“Monkeys riding perfectly cylindrical ears of corn,” he said a little too quickly. “Like some retro circus act.”
The image alone made her let out a belt of laughter that echoed across the park. She threw her head back and the neon colored oval swing began its oscillation, then she kicked at the ground and she was off again.
“So, at what point did you realize it wasn’t going to be that?”
“I saw their band logo,” Gábor said, crestfallen. “At first I thought it was even better: you know, monkeys on horses; then I looked closer, but without my glasses, and figured the horn could be an ear of corn on a horse’s head, because there was corn! But I quickly realized that was just ludicrous.”
Maya was laughing so hard she was struggling to hang on and gasping for air.