Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Word Count: 40,620

I can see the finish line, assuming I define 50,000 words as the finish line. It isn't the end of the book for sure. It will be the end of the month, though. Today won't be a big writing day. I'm tired, for one thing. For another, I have work, followed by Thanksgiving grocery shopping, followed by the family meeting, followed by *sleep*.

Yesterday my NaNoWriMo jersey came: "No plot? No problem!" I'll wear it to work tomorrow, then to the dentist's office for oral surgery (yuck), then if I'm up to it to the cafe where the local NaNoWriters meet with their laptops and their giant power bar.

Another goodie in the mail: the book I've been waiting for. It's a powerful text on suicide motives, based on years of close study and interviews with survivors of serious suicide attempts, including a lengthy study of a young woman who attempted suicide in the same horrific fashion my character did. (Mine succeeded.) These case studies go a long way past cries for help or swallowing five aspirin. These people really wanted to die, and they chose very effective methods to achieve that end. But even the best methods can fail and leave you (for example) with your face shot off, unable to speak.

I'm including an Afterword with suicide helpline numbers and some other sources of support. If I'm going to write a book about suicide, I have a responsibility to show it truthfully, unglamorously, and to make sure even fragile readers are protected — insofar as I can protect them.

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