November, for me is always the month of excuses. For one, this blog will cover both what’s on my desk right now, and the monthly challenge for December. The excuse? November, traditionally is hell-month for writers. Or, at least, for those who choose to partake in the month long challenge/torture/creative drive that is NaNoWriMo. For the uninitiated, that means National Novel Writing Month, whereby writers of all walks and experience levels come together with one purpose: To write a 50,000 word first draft of a novel in 30 days. Sounds crazy? it is.
When you break it down further, it comes out at 1,667 words per day, every day, for 30 days. Easy? Sure. Right up until the part where you sit down at a clean work area with a blank document, with a tidy pie of papers next to you and think right, lets do this. And then absolutely nothing happens. Then there’s a crash from the lounge room that needs to be investigated. Then a large truck pulls up just across the street and starts pouring a load of tiny pebbles onto the footpath. Then the phone rings and you remember that everyone needs lunch tomorrow and there’s currently three slices of week old bread and talk a tomato left in the kitchen. And so it goes on. Excuses.
So November for me is National Half a Novel Finished Month. Sometimes less. At the end of it I sigh, wish I’d been more disciplined about it or maybe taken myself off to live the life of a hermit for a month. Then I check how many words actually got written. And celebrate. Its a lot more than otherwise. And that’s always a plus. There’s light at the end of the tunnel no matter how successful the digging was. Rather like the light I’ll be looking forward to seeing once I finish this month!
In addition to the novel writing, it’s always a guilty pleasure to work on a short story or two. Last month’s topic for the Evocations challenge (Envy) turned out to be, well, green for me, and I’m glad I got to unearth a central character who literally wore his emotions on his sleeves. What happens if envy is what makes you what you are?
There’s many emotions that run high during the festive season, excitement, joy, anxiety, apprehension, and whilst these things run the gamut of emotion, what they all seem to have in common is that they are usually stronger, and more amplified in a time that is often spent in close quarters with family or friends, and has liberal doings of food and hopefully a gift or two. One of the things that is both sought after and reviled during the festive season is a sense of glee. Which is precisely why I chose it as this month’s challenge. Not sure yet if the glee came with good intentions and thoughts or perhaps with a side dish or revenge. Time will definitely tell the tale.
(NB: The basic concept of the Evocations Challenge – 1 emotion or feeling to evoke per month for 12 months. Minimum 500 words, Maximum 5000 words. Evocations to Date: November: Envy, December: Glee).