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For a while now I have wondered why in God’s name NaNoWriMo is held in the same month as Thanksgiving, a major U.S. holiday that requires large amounts of time cooking, cleaning, and chumming with family, both loathed and loved, while crammed into the same house for hours. I’m thinking this will be an especially interesting year what with the election and all (and aren’t we all praying no one brings THAT up at the dinner table?).

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Holiday stuff makes it more challenging to keep up with the daily word count necessary to reach 50,000 words and win this thing. Currently I’m sitting at 32,568. Not bad in my opinion though I sure would love to have a clear schedule for the next week and a half that’s left . Which brings me back to my question:

Why is NaNoWriMo in November??

The answer is less interesting than you’d think. It all began in July, 1999 when freelancer Chris Baty started the project in the San Francisco Bay area. It was later moved to November “to more fully take advantage of the miserable weather” — a phrase I’m not sure anyone living in California is entitled to utter. Minnesota definitely dedicates itself to miserable weather this time of year, but I’d love it if NaNo was in January, you know, when the holiday madness is over and when people are ready to take on their New Year’s resolutions. Or is everyone hung over in January? Maybe that isn’t a great idea either…

Whining aside, I will keep soldiering on toward that 50,000 word goal, regardless of family foibles and cooking Olympics. For this year’s NaNo I’ve been punching at three projects:

  • The final installment of my Insurrection series. By the way, I’ve moved the Pinterest board from secret to public if you’d like to see some of the images/vids that inspired the story.
  • The second half of Dark Frost, the first book of my Sundered Kingdoms trilogy — a Fantasy novel scheduled for 2017.
  • And a Fantasy Romance novella I plan to publish around Valentine’s day. The story for the novella actually sprang up from out of nowhere and demanded my attention. I tried to explain to it that I’m busy with other things right now but that excuse was promptly shot down. Now I’m all embroiled in North Sea mythology with no escape in sight.

So, with all that, with the election, NaNo, the impending Thanksgiving holiday and Black Friday mania, November is chock full of ways to lose your mind. For the record, I don’t participate in Black Friday shopping. I could say that it’s because I don’t agree with the premise of it — ie. the consumer hysteria that grips the hoard as they barrel into stores and shopping centers, trampling the occasional clerk, and devolving into a mental state more animal than human — but the truth is, I really don’t want “stuff” enough to shift myself out of my post-Thanksgiving torpor and into the cold…Okay, and I’m also not sufficiently ruthless to survive such an ordeal.

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There is however a bright spot for me personally this November. Well, every November but this year especially. My husband and I celebrated 10 years of marriage (woo hoo for beating the depressing marriage stats!). Below is a picture of yours truly on my wedding day. My husband and I met in Holland while I was researching Dutch immigration policy. He was a local social worker interning at a refugee organization where I volunteered for the summer of 2004 to get interviews and data for my senior thesis. Much later he told me he thought he knew me when we first met, that he said to himself, “There you are” as if he’d been waiting for me and at last I showed up. Sweet talker:)

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How is everyone else doing this November? Hanging in there? Or hanging by a thread?

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