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General News · 1st September 2009
ruth ozeki
This Labour Day weekend, from 12:01 am on Saturday morning to 11:59 pm on Monday night, fifteen brave and foolhardy Cortes novelists-to-be will attempt the impossible: to write a novel in 3 days. Clearly these intrepid souls, while heroic, are utterly lacking in common sense, and they need your help! They will have no time to sleep or bathe, never mind to cook or feed themselves, so if you’d like to help and to get involved in this literary folly, the Whaletown Institute is looking for donations of soup, bread, coffee beans, tea bags, muffins, cookies and fresh fruit. We would also welcome the loan of a couple of small desks and desk lamps over the Labour Day weekend.

And finally, we would like to ask for your understanding. These novelists can’t help themselves. They are driven to do this thing, which is utterly impossible, and there is a kind of quixotic magnificence to their madness. So if you see them, inkstained, walking in dizzying circles, muttering to themselves, or quietly weeping into a trashcan filled with crumpled manuscript pages, please treat them gently. Don’t try to engage them in conversation. Don’t say “I told you so.” Just feed them a little soup or a cup of coffee, massage their shoulders, and point them back in the direction of their desks, secure in the knowledge that this ordeal, like all others, will soon end.