Happy October, everyone, or "Inktober" for the artistically inclined, or "Pre Holiday Rush" for the retail oriented. The latter category includes my son, who has officailly joined the almost-full-time working world as he discovers his own path through life. That path now means staring Christmas full in the face for nearly the next three months as he's going to be surrounded by it at his day job. I have no love for the general commericialization of holidays, but hype at this time of year especially rankles me. It's pie season, in short. And who doesn't love lingering over a good pie? Recent shocking revelations notwithstanding -- i.e., canned "pumpkin" may legally be canned squash -- autumn is still my absolute favorite season, and adjustment move to longer nights and less sweltering days is a welcome one. Especially is one is prone to bake and consume pies, pumpkin, "pumpkin," or otherwise. I'm all in, pie-wise, and am not so eager to have that swapped out for peppermint-everything.
Can you tell that I'm blogging before breakfast today?
Of course, I also love October because for me and my Famously Flawed Writing Process, it's the kickoff of my NaNoWriMo prep season. This is the second NaNo I'm participating in since my personal pledge to Write Every Day, Dammit. Last year, I was still wrestling with digitizing/redrafting my 2011 attempt, and looked forward to October for a chance to stop and refocus. This year, I almost hate to put it down, even though it's still the same work-in-progress. I've found a good technology mix for the task: my AlphaSmart Neo for the original digitizing, and my tablet and bluetooth keyboard for the rewrite, plus some good habits about making backups. (Specifically I'm using a Belkin keyboard meant for mobile devices, which has its own supporting panel. I should do an entry on it.) The Neo, as Joe V. pointed out, is excellent for its distraction-free simplicity, at the cost of not being able to see much text at once. It's closer to the raw paper typescript than a finished product. Using the tablet lets me see about a page at a time, and get through more text at once, and having that context is important for pulling together coherent overall paragraphs.
So anyway, October. My Nano Rhino is ready, though it's not clear when he'll be starting. I do have a habit of over-planning things, and I may try for a more skeletal approach to the novel this fall. Perhaps I won't sketch out the daily writing as much as the overall big ideas, and save the specifics for November. I'm still due to dive into my notebooks and see what I've got going in there. And as I posted previously, having the known quantity of my daily rewrite chore is also keeping me mentally anchored in the face of personal turbulence. I want to see those characters through their own journey, I suppose, before I set them aside again and introduce more into my head-space. One can only juggle so much chaos. But the Rhino is itchy nonetheless. I think he may get a friend this year, a new addition to my menagerie of malapropisms. I'm keeping my eye open for a "Hippoplotamus" to join my writing totems: a creature that lurks beneath the surface, just showing enough that you know it's there, watching. One poke, though, and it erupts noisily and dangerously. You better be ready when the hippoplotamus decides it's had enough or when it's time for a snack.
I wonder if they like pie?