Posts Tagged ‘November’

“if you will always give great ears to the cacophony of the masses instead of the solemn voice of your true purpose, you will never leave a distinctive footprint” ~` Ernest Agyemang Yeboah ~

A Truckload of Jingling Keys.

A Truckload of Jingling Keys.

With November on the horizon, many are making plans to encourage growth on their upper lip, or preparing purple or pink-and-blue or silver ribbons to replace the pink ones worn through October … all admirable endeavors.

I, however, having no desire for any more facial hair than I already spend too much time erasing and not a single straight pin in the house, am planning to put my nose to the grindstone, rather than use it to frame a statement, by accepting another November challenge … NaNoWriMo.

National Novel Writing Month (often shortened to NaNoWriMo), is an annual internet-based creative writing project that takes place during the month of November. NaNoWriMo challenges participants to write 50,000 words (the minimum number of words for a novel) from November 1 until the deadline at 11:59PM on November 30.

I’ve had a number of novels percolating for years: a trilogy on the history of Africa as seen through the eyes of elephants; a completed, but as yet unpublished account about the gifts of terminal illness that needs a rewrite; the birth and life of a female messiah.

So many stories, so little time, motivation, energy, and far too much living and working and .. well … noise.

My personal odyssey, unlike Homer‘s, has not had me stumbling across any muse that might infuse inspiration. She could be avoiding me in deference to my lack of belief in inspiration getting work done or light-bubbles-of-creativity putting words on a page, paint on a canvas or notes on a score.

Nope. The only calliope following me around emits a continuous, cacophonous clamor, comes complete with shiny objects and has the ominous distinction of being known as Distraction.

Ambient sounds, especially with words, occupy about 5-10% of your intellectual bandwidth.” ~ Peter Rogers ~

charles-payne-quote-that-may-be-a-distractionAs Halloween draws near, ghosts of unformed prose haunt me. Throughout the day, they sneak in from corners of my mind … not good when driving … and by night come oh-so-close to materializing, then vanish to mist leaving me whimpering in my sleep to wake grasping at jingling keys as dogs bark and the phone rings and the need to pee drives the dregs of plot points and dialog fragments out of my head.

Closing in on the Oct/Nov cusp I’m buckling down, warming up, preparing to ignore all that can safely be ignored, focusing, organizing, finding voice, plotting direction, knowing characters, and …

… writing a blog post!

Fuckin’ shiny objects!

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November is a tough month for me under any circumstance. Following directly on the heels of a Halloween that isn’t in this country, we have a Thanksgiving that isn’t anywhere I’ve lived since 1993.

Thanksgiving is … was … probably my favorite holiday; all about family and food, but without the pressure of gifts and parties. Important traditions run deep and wide, and emotions can run high over things that to an outside observer might seem a trifle, like green Jell-O.

From the beginning of time, my mother’s Thanksgiving meal included a Jell-o mold of green Jell-O with alternating pineapple slices and red maraschino cherries. One year … for some reason she never clearly explained, but one that must have had something to do with the onset of menopause — at least that’s how we’ll call it now … she took it upon herself to throw years of comfortable ritual to the wind and make an ORANGE Jell-O mold, with carrots.

Well! You can imagine how THAT went over.

Yes, the customs of Thanksgiving are dear to my heart, and I have now had to forego them for 14 years.

Sure, I try to revive them here, but my attempts are pitiful imitations, piffling forgeries of fowl, as many years no turkeys make it this far until just before Christmas, and they’re pathetic representations of the species most of which have known the frozen state for many years before I can even think of stuffing them.

I’ve learned to be grateful for a skinny bird topping out at 6 or 7 pounds … Cornish Game Turkeys, if you will … and have managed in recent years to coax flavor and enough juice for gravy out of birds that died in Russia circa 1999.

Because there’s no holiday on a Thursday in November in Seychelles, any Thanksgiving that I may pull together has to happen on a weekend, and no matter how long I live here that just doesn’t feel right.

Because there are very few Americans, the guests I invite never ‘get’ the holiday, and few have a clue even about cranberry sauce.

Worst of all, of course, is the fact that my mother, my grown kids — my daughter, with my granddaughter, and my son — my brothers with their wives and kids, are all sitting down on the other side of the world. They may not be at the same table, but they’ll all be looking at green Jell-O.

There will be more on this before the month is over …

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