Don’t Call Me Chicken!

Marty McFly, don't call me chickenThis past weekend my guy and I watched the movie Back to the Future in honor of its 30th anniversary. I haven’t seen that movie since it came out in 1985. The movie, and Marty and the professor, have aged well.

The first time I watched the entire series (Back to the Future, I, II, and III), I didn’t catch the back story of Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and his “chicken” button. That is, he’s a pretty level-headed kid unless someone calls him chicken, as in wimp, fraidy cat, coward.

Once someone pushes that button, Marty stops seeing sense and instead pushes through his fear and goes after whatever he’s afraid of. (And several times, gets into trouble because of his hot button-pushed head.)push my buttons

But I can’t relate to that emotion, I hum to myself righteously. I don’t have any hot buttons like Marty does.

A day later, I receive a challenge on Facebook: write a book in a month. Join NaNoWriMo.

National Novel Writing MonthYes, a blogging buddy entices me to sign up for National Novel Writers Month, in which crazy people (synonym: irrational, foolish, silly) sign up to write 50,000 words during the month of November.

A novel in a month.

No way, no how, is my response. I’ve been struggling with my new novel (a sequel to The Right Wrong Man) for six months now. I like what I’ve started. In fact, I love my characters, my (so far half-baked) plot, my title, and my ‘pod-filled’ chapters.

But I’m stuck.

The last thing I need is another writing challenge. Another deadline. Another way to fail.

But then this blogging friend (and you know who you are!) kind of calls me “chicken.”

“What are you afraid of?” she asks. “This is an opportunity, a challenge to meet emptiness, fear, not-knowing and vulnerability.”

“Besides,” she adds, “anyone can do it.”


What if I’m not anyone. What if I can’t do it?Marty McFly, Back to the Future

But then, like Marty, I don’t want to be a “chicken.”

I’m no wimp, no coward, no fraidy cat.

So, you know what I did, don’t you?

So far, 5,000 words. 45,000 to go.

And don’t ever call me chicken.


Thanks to Google images.

67 thoughts on “Don’t Call Me Chicken!

  1. Wow! I am deeply impressed at this challenge you took on, Pam. 🙂 I also think writing 5000 words so far is excellent! Good luck and enjoy! I will try to stay caught up with this level of writing, Pam.


  2. Wishing you success finding the 50,000 words to write and I hope the challenge will work to help you jump-start your sequel.

    I never sat down to watch “Back to the Future” and had no idea it was a trilogy. My kids watched it often, though, on the VCR back then, so I’ve seen bits and pieces of it. Wonder if they had all three movies? Must ask them…


  3. You can do this, Pam! I’m a huge fan of NaNo. My current book under contract is a 2010 NaNo project. It was a mess, but messes can always be cleaned. Go for it! Write 1667 words a day and more on the weekend. It’s very doable even with a full-time job outside the home. Good luck!


  4. You’re no chicken, wimp, fraidy cat, Pam. 🙂 I wanted to join the challenge but I was a fraidy cat, thinking I couldn’t possibly do it. Maybe next year I’ll be more like Marty and go for it. Good luck!


  5. Sorry I seem to have a problem with my attention span jumping back and forth from my blog to yours.
    Congrats on taking up the challenge! Best wishes for the dedication that must take. I enjoyed going back to Back to the Future. 🙂


  6. Great to read you’ve signed up for NaNoWriMo … I have too. I didn’t write a word on the 1st November but now up to 11,122 and adding more tonight. And you got me thinking a little while ago that maybe I should try to write more poetry … well today I did and posted it … a little flush of ‘likes’ as well … to me that’s down to your encouragement … thank you.


    • Ho boy. I’m writing; it’s going slow; I won’t have a complete novel by the end of the month, but I’ll have the start of something I’m really excited about. Whoo Hoo!!! Thanks for your encouragement.


  7. Would never call you chicken, Pam! Just reasonable and sensible. I also have a trigger phase: I don’t think you can do that. I see red when someone says that to me – I just have to disprove them (unless of course it’s something like ‘I don’t think you can bungee jump from an airplane)!


    • Thanks for the smile. I was JUST about to egg you on and say I bet you can’t bungee jump, but you beat me too it. Ha Ha. I agree, if someone says I can’t do it, I’m out there doing it. IFthe ‘thing’ is in my comfort zone AND if the ‘thing’ feels right in my gut.
      Like joining Nano. Which is killing my gut right now, because it’s hard and scary.
      But I ain’t chicken. 🙂


  8. I don’t know
    what you plan to write but here’s a suggestion- think about our weekend on Long Island. You have 5 different women whose lives are connected by one college experience. Just go from there. 40 years later!!!!
    Good luck!!!!!!


  9. I’ve never once done the NaNo. Don’t intend to change that either! But good luck to you. I see thousands of words in your future.


    • Hi comrade of the keyboard. Thanks for the encouragement. I’m in the midst of wondering what I did to myself, challenging myself with Nano; but I’m also in the midst of writing more toward my novel than I’ve written for half a year. So…. WRITE ON! ❤


  10. Chicken? Chicken? To think that someone would call YOU that! Off with her head! She obviously doesn’t know what she’s talking about. (She was probably just trying to get her SELF going and dragged you head-over-heels into it. *grin*


      • Well, chickens are known for their scribbling, and I’ve certainly been scribbling away, thanks to the push and shove from a nameless someone. The good news – I love my scribbling so far for NaNo!! And I love seeing how well you’re doing in there too!!! ❤


        • Almost every day I don’t want to write. I don’t like that I HAVE to write. It actually feels quite irritating. So I sit there and snivel and start writing. Start chicken-scratching! And some days it feels like it’s a masterpiece! The last two days it feels like it’s simply awful. It’s not flowing. So today it should be flowing again, right? Glad to hear that YOU are loving your scribbling, Chicken Buddy.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Actually, David, you should consider NaNo for next November. You write prolifically and soulfully and have so many world followers. I may do it again next year (if I survive this bout of NaNo), and if so, I may push you along too. 🙂


  11. Haven’t done NaNo myself yet as it seems like November is always the editing part of the year for me. I prefer creating in the summer months.

    Dang, I really need to watch Back to the Future again! Used to love that movie, and I bet it’s even more amazing now.

    Good luck to you with NaNo!


    • Thank you Britt. I have always pushed aside the idea of NaNo, but I must admit, it has pushed me into writing more than I guessed possible. I may go BACK to the FUTURE next year and try again. (In the meantime, yes, go back and watch the series. Better the second time.)

      Liked by 1 person

    • I really enjoyed reading your post on PerNoMo. I won’t make the word goal of 50,000 because I agree with your point – I don’t want to go for quantity over quality. But even so, I have added more to my chapters and my characters than I thought possible with this NaNo challenge. Good luck with your goals – personal and professional. xo

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I was just glad that the predictions in the movie about the Cubs winning the World Series would come true! LOL!! Glad it was just a movie, but one of my favs! Did you know Eric Stoltz was the original Marty McFly? They even started filming and fired him after only a month because he didn’t have the “comedic timing” Michael apparently had!
    And I would NEVER call you chicken!! ha ha! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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