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Thoughts at 90 miles an hour

November 2, 2008

This is a little grab-bag of thoughts put together whilst driving home from a friend’s party tonight (don’t worry, I’m not the one driving!)

Halloween has been and gone for another year.  It was always one of my favourite festivities when I was growing up, and not only because we were allowed to dress up in costume, and got more chocolate in one night than our parents normally allowed us in a year.  Everyone seemed to make such a big effort.  Maybe this is because I was a kid, and my world was composed of other kids taking part in Halloween.  But on television there always seemed to be celebrations of the supernatural and spooky, and for a child unwittingly developing a nascent Gothic streak, this was heaven.

As I grew older, cynicism took hold, people seemed to care less, took part less.  Society seemed less prepared to embrace the praeternatural (perhaps due to the success of The X-Files, Buffy et al normalising them?) and Halloween became a non-event.  Except this year.  For the first time since I was at university, I dressed up and went to a Halloween party.  And as a writer, I took literary inspiration, appearing as the eponymous lead from Gaston Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera.

Perhaps a tradition worth keeping?  Because now, Hallowe’en is the last hurrah before October segues into November, and from now on November means National Novel Writing Month.  This is my second year of participating, and no doubt you will hear more about it over the next four Sundays.  If you are not taking part in NaNo this year, I can only apologise.  November might be a little obsessive…

For this year’s novel, I’m working on the sequel to last year’s story.  In addition to taking part in NaNo, I am serialising last year’s work, posting a short chapter of around 2000 words (depending on convenient breaks in the story) each day.  If you want to check out last year’s story, then please visit The Long Watch: Apocatastasis and subscribe.

Some of this year’s participants plan to post their daily output to a blog.  Although I do intend to post the odd snippet (for Creative Carnivals and the like), the main body will stay under wraps.  This is not because I think there is anything wrong with doing it (far from it), but mainly because I’m serialising the previous story, so I don’t want to ruin it for anyone by posting something from the second that might be considered a spoiler!

What I can tell you however, is the first line of the second book:

“Why is that… thing… still here?”

The identities of the speaker and the thing referred to I shall leave to your imagination!

On top of taking part in NaNoWriMo and serialising a book, I also have my full-time job, a plethora of home improvements to carry out, Christmas shopping to begin, and a social life that may or may not be put on hold this month.  I can only admire the dedication of those US based writers who also have the Thanksgiving Day holiday to contend with during the second half of NaNoWriMo.

Still, although November is a busy month, this should not be anything out of the usual for writers.  “I should be wriiting” is a mantra that is worth repeating – we should always be this busy, not just for one month a year.  This time around, I intend to keep going.

One Comment
  1. November 2, 2008 5:58 am

    Paul, I LOVE that first line! Very gripping!

    And thanks for a great post! You just proved that you can write anytime, anywhere.🙂

    I look forward to reading your snippets! Write On, dude, write on.

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