While chatting with a new friend and fellow NaNoWriMo participant-to-be, and working out the details of our write-ins, I told her that I was thinking of bringing along a stuffed animal for identification purposes. Now, anyone who knows me also knows that I have a rather extensive collection of teddy bears. Some are from when I was a kid, at least two are from F.A.O. Schwartz in Manhattan, and others have been gifts over the years. All of my bears have tails (a requirement in my teddys, I mean it is a bear, after all), and only a select few have joined me on my travels near and far. But bears are so…common, I guess, that I am trying to find another option for this project. Especially since one of the other mascots we’ve been told to look for is a penguin.
A few years ago, my friend Mandy gifted me with this cute little ceramic black cat to keep me company when I write, and to this day he sits on my shelf and watches over me. But this year I feel the need for something less traditional, larger and more exciting to really get the creative juices going. I do have this really cool dragon, but he’s made of LEGOs and is about 6″ from snout to tail, which makes it kind of hard to carry him around inconspicuously in one’s messenger bag, not to mention keeping him in one piece! Only two other critters appealed to me then as mascots, and soon it was Peanut’s Snoopy vs. the Muppets’ Animal.
Now, the Muppets have always been there for me, especially Kermit, and Snoopy is the only dog I’ve ever really loved. I knew Snoop would always be there for me, but in the last week I’d really connected with Animal’s silliness; my work computer desktop wallpaper, my profile photo on Facebook and the lock screen on my iPhone all currently bear his grinning mug to make me smile. So it was natural to consider him for my mascot, and I cranked up the laptop to find me a little Animal something to plop on the table next to me. As it turns out, Animal isn’t as easy to find as I’d hoped. Oh sure, I found plush toys of the Mayhem’s drummer, but they were either too big or too expensive, and no figurines of any kind were to be found. I admit I didn’t look very long, but I truly did expect to find a lot more than I did. I mean it’s (yikes) Christmas in just a couple of months.
With that search a bust, I glanced over at the mantle and there Snoopy sits, trusty and stalwart, as if he knew all along that I’d be returning to him. Not only that, but thanks to my local Hallmark store, I’ve got a plush Snoopy in two different sizes so no matter which I pick he’ll fit very nicely into my messenger bag and no one (except those of you who read this blog) will be the wiser that he’s traveling with me. The fact that Snoopy himself is a writer (as evidenced by this photo I found that is so perfectly apropos) just makes him that much better of a choice as my mascot for this year’s NaNoWriMo.
So, if you happen to make it to any of the local AuNoWriMo write-in events here in Austin, you’ll perhaps find me and Snoopy ensconced at a table, me tapping away on the keyboard with him sitting by awaiting my casual rub on his head. He’ll definitely come in handy when the time is counting down and I need that little bit of extra inspiration to keep me going to my goal of finally finishing this novel of mine and adding those long-awaited words to my manuscript: “The End.”