Meet Jesper the Talking Hamster. He's the official mascot for the 2005 Malaysian Nanowrimo and must be woven somewhere into everyone's Nanonovel.
Yes lunacy prevails, and last night we had out first Nanowrimo meet-up in the Booker Room at MPH 1 Utama. Folks came shyly, seriously, a little afraid at first. You could see the words "What am I letting myself in for on? Is it too late to run away?" behind everyone's eyes ...
Around 30 people turned up altogether. (Not bad when so many folks have begun the exodus from the Klang Valley ahead of next week's Deepavali and Hari Raya holidays.) Most were young (youngest 16) but of course there were a couple of us more 'mature' folks and a couple of older gentlemen whom I hope do decide to join us for the long haul. It was great too to meet up with some of the local bloggers including minishorts, eyeris, bawangmerah and Simon.
I answered a few questions about practicalities and then our ML's, Mabel and Erna turned up and took over. They'd put together some goody bags with Jesper's picure on the front, and a Nano survival kit inside which included chocolates and a sheet of ideas for practical suggestions for when you get stuck with your story (Problem: My plot makes absolutely no sense. Solution: Add a dinosaur.)
Mabel got everyone involved in a silly game which well and truly broke the ice, and then everyone introduced themselves and their novels. A comforting number of people said "I have absolutely no idea what my novel's going to be about but I'll just jump in and start writing it anyway." That's the spirit: who needs a plot?
When it was my turn, I told them I fancied writing something Banvillesque this year which got me a few strange looks ...
Erna wanted to record a message from the whole group to send across the world for the next Nanowrimo podcast. Malaysia's message? :