Today -- rather, yesterday -- the intelligent Windows computer must have thought I was overdue for this reminder. So, being the helpful device that it is, it... well, reminded me (as if I'd forgotten).
I had reached the end of my novel at just over 74 000 words. The goal is 50 000, so of course I'm far past winning.
However, the NaNoWriMo website requires that you upload the text of your novel for them to count so they know you have actually written 50 000 words or more and can give you access to a well-deserved winner's certificate. Verification, they call it.
It was 11.20 PM and I had just polished off my novel, milking a few extra words out of it here and there, and was finally ready to upload it to get it verified. So I went to the website, pasted the text into the 'verification box'... and Firefox froze.
Completely, totally froze. I know it's probably at least twenty below zero (Celsius) outside, but honestly, this computer has been on for a few hours now, it should have generated enough heat to handle a simple copy-paste operation.
I managed to close the stubborn thing via the Task Manager (the Windows computer user's best friend if you ask me) and restart Firefox (this takes twelve minutes). It allowed me to log back into the site, get to the verification box... and once again froze on the copy-paste.
I began to panic. I have less than a half hour until the verification box is closed to me, because then it will be 1 December local time and the contest will officially be over.
Once again I manage to force Firefox to close and get it to reopen. By now it's 11.40 PM. I have twenty minutes. Again it lets me log in only to freeze when I try to verify.
I'm in tears. That only happens once every six months or so -- I do not cry easily. I have worked so hard on this novel and now I can't even get it verified and get the official winner status that I so richly deserve?
The computer is moving more and more slowly every time. Recovery is taking longer and longer. I figure I have one more chance to get it right before running out of time and thus officially losing the contest.
I'm completely fed up with Firefox. I try Internet Explorer, but it freezes before it even loads the home page.
Fine and dandy. I've never particularly cared for IE anyway.
So I try Safari. I haven't the faintest idea why or how we've got Safari installed on our Windows computer, but it's my only hope now. I double-click it... and am pleasantly surprised.
Within seconds I am logged on to the NaNoWriMo website and at the verifier. I copy and paste my novel into the box. For a split second nothing happens and I began to panic even more, thinking the blasted thing's frozen again.
But then the pointer returns to normal and I am allowed to scroll down to the 'Submit' button.
I think I was happier when I clicked that little baby blue button than I was when I reached 50 000 words.
So I am now officially a winner of National Novel Writing Month for the fourth time in a row. The novel was 74 834 words and 247 pages long. Hopefully I can write the next one on a MacBook.