NaNoWriMo Day 1

No, I’m not going to post every day, but I’ll try and not abandon my blog through Nano.

This is not going to be my best year for Nano, but I’m still going to try. In the past, if I’ve been doing school and work at the same time, I’ve never been able to make my 50k. On the other hand, that was the first three years, and I’ve got a lot of experience now that makes it easier, so I might still make it. Still, school’s got to come first.

I’m currently finishing up commercial ground school, but I’ve been working more lately, and haven’t got through all the online videos yet, which are really awesomely thorough. I’ll probably be writing the test in the next couple of weeks.

It’s been a stressful last couple of months. My husband has been very sick, with no end in sight, no diagnosis, and the next major diagnostic test not even scheduled yet. We’re told the only way they’ll likely speed up the process is if he ends up hospitalized, and with the amount of weight he’s losing, that’s becoming a real possibility.

So I’ve been flying less because I don’t want to overdo things, and I need to focus on the written test anyway, while the information is fresh in my mind from ground school. I’ve been going out about once a week to make sure I stay in practice.

So there’s my list of excuses for not getting my 50k this year, but not for not trying, so here goes. I got started at midnight, as usual, and plowed through the first 1666 words between midnight and 2 AM. Wish me luck.

Story related: I read an article a couple days ago, by Jim C. Hines. It wasn’t new information to me – I had read things about prejudice against Roma before. I think North America is largely ignorant of Roma people because there just aren’t very many around. I mean – I’ve never seen one. I’ve researched it because I was curious, and that’s probably the only reason I know as much as I do. I haven’t thought about it in a while though, so when I read that, and remembered I had planned a character for my nano novel with a gypsy/Roma background, I stopped to think about how I had planned to portray that character.

Does he fit one of the three stereotypes Jim lists? Well, he’s not a thief. He’s disliked and distrusted by others for being from a culture with a similar reputation to the Roma of IRL, but wrongly so. He’s definitely not a spooky witch/prophet type. And while I’m pretty sure the sexy gypsy/gypsy as romantic figure would certainly extend to male characters, and there will be a little romantic tension between him and the main character, his allure has nothing to do with him being a gypsy.

He’s a pilot, who happens to have come from a Roma people type background previous to joining Onesky. I actually chose that background because I wanted a character that would be treated as an outsider, even in a very multicultural setting. His most defining characteristics are his skill as a pilot, and his demanding teaching style.

His sister is another story, but while she does some terrible things, it’s not the sort of things that fit into the gypsy stereotypes, I don’t think. She steals something, but it’s not out of general practice or habit, and it’s not for profit. Neither is she a romantic or witchy figure.

So I think I’ll be fine on this portrayal. Articles like Jim’s aren’t saying that we shouldn’t write about Romani people, they’re just saying that if we do, we should be conscious about it and educate ourselves to make it a more real representation. And hey, that research can spur inspiration. A lot of Romani people were killed in the Nazi concentration camps, which kind of gives me ideas for book 3…

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to take my husband for a CT scan.

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