November, for me, is always a time of stress, but also anticipation. I look forward to every November for several reasons. In the first place, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I think it may even be the favorite holiday for me. For me, it’s not about the football, or being thankful. In fact, given that Thanksgiving is not such a positive holiday for many people in the US, I tend to focus on not the political aspect of Thanksgiving, nor as most of my readers know do I care a whit for football, for me, it’s all about the food. I am a woman who likes her food and I will never apologize for that.
But in the last few years, November has even more significance with Nanowrimo. In that month, I am able to connect with the characters that I write. This year is even more special. I have met someone with whom I have connected and we have decided to try and write a children’s book together. I am fortunate in that she is a fantastic illustrator and likes magic and fantasy as much as I do. So in the context of the real world with anthropomorphic characteristics of animals combining magic we are going to try and write a children’s book. I don’t want to say any more than that, because the book market is extremely competitive. I will say that it is to be educational in scope specifically with second language learning. It is an exciting project and I am looking forward to it.
We are thinking to start that in December and give ourselves a six-month deadline. In the meantime, my characters continue to flourish in my own novel. They are getting themselves out of situations and also into situations. I foresee a comeuppance for my antagonist rather quickly. In fact, I struggle because I think my climax is coming much more quickly than expected. A story arc is a fairly close approximation to an isosceles triangle where all the sides are the same. Mine looks like a lopsided triangle as my climax and resolution are coming down at a much steeper rate than normal. It is a dilemma that I am unsure how to fix. But I am hoping that my friends who write, and are willing to read my novel when I finish it, will point out the places where it isn’t working, and also maybe some suggestions on how to plug the holes in the plot.
Last November, I was invited to a Thanksgiving by friends here in Amsterdam. Those friends have now left and are back in the States. So I thought “Why don’t I take over the tradition and make a Thanksgiving of my own?”. And so I have. I am having 20 people over on Saturday the 24th of November. Imagine 20 people in about 400 ft.² of space. That’s not the whole apartment that’s just the living/dining area. I think it will be a bit of a squeeze but we will make it work.
This November has not turned out to be the most productive November in terms of word count. But I don’t think that word count is the best way to measure the progress of a novel. For me, it’s about quality versus quantity. I want to write a decent novel and if it takes me longer than one month that is OK by me. I like how my writing is slowly merging with my teaching. I am thankful that I am able to combine these two aspects of my life. It promises to be an Interesting closing of 2018 and opening to 2019.
That’s all she wrote for this Inkreadable installment. But stay tuned, as always there is more to come.