Day 4, post Halloween reflections

I am writing this on Halloween. I spent 2 hours this morning blowing leaves off my driveway and thinking of the upcoming NaNoWriMo 2013. Growing up in New Hampshire, fall was amazing foliage and long rides on my best friend, Nutmeg, my Appaloosa gelding. I’m putting him in my new book, a contemporary romance called the Widow’s Appaloosa. When I lived in Boston, leaf removal was a matter of sweeping leaves off my condo’s deck; then going for walks with my dog and various dog-park friends and tapas bar-hopping on Newbury St with friends, dressed in wool plaids and boots. In Washington, I didn’t touch the falling leaves, my apartment complex handled it; Halloween was roping an unwilling cranky person into being designated driver as we descended on coworkers’ houses with empty wine glasses.

But my move to the Foothills of Northwest, North Carolina changed the dynamics of autumn. Four acres of trees all seem to drop (congregate) on my 200 foot driveway (Let’s not even think about shoveling snow!). I ignore the crunching colored droppings until I realize that I should make sure the few trick or treaters we get, don’t fall into a creek or our pond! Knowing where the driveway is will help with that. So, I untangle 150 feet of extension cords, yup 50 feet short, so the street-end of the driveway gets swept, raked or ignored. I try to stay focused on those long trail rides of my teenage years and one ill-conceived Halloween on horseback. Little kids in costumes coupled with fresh manure doesn’t make for happy campers.

After ten minutes, I realize the whole damned morning is a good metaphor for my next NaNoWriMo. There are so many commonalities. The biggest being, all is so much easier if you do a little each day. Waiting too long and you are moving an amazing volume of work or leaves. There is also the prep work. The cords are always a big tangle since DH uses them for Christmas lights, I coil, he bunches, so today DH stands for ‘damn husband’.

Also,  keeping healthy, taking vitamins and avoiding viral contagions like other humans. I am not able to take flu vaccines. My new doctor happily said Carry On, Avoid Humans! It is irritating to me how many people stagger into the public sniffling, coughing and touching the things that I need to touch like door knobs. Or wander around complaining about how bad they feel, want sympathy? Go online and whine! But, I felt good today and rewarded myself with an amazing creamy black cherry greek yogurt and an expresso.

That said, I wish I had blown the leaves a few times over the last few weeks. It was tough, at four inches deep, I calculated 450 cubic feet of leaves. (Sorry, scientist do this, even for former scientists, math is an awesome time-wasting activity.) I considered putting all the leaves in one spot, so the dogs could play in them but there is a particular density that is nearly impossible to blow. So, it was easier to blow them into several locations.

So, as I blow leaves, I think: a minimum of 2,000 words each morning will get me to 50K by Nov 26th, in time for the arrival of in-laws. This should also enable me to write and edit my other book for my last contest of 2013 in December. And to make it even more fun, I have three medical procedures, two in November and one St Barbara’s feast day, which should be a real PIA. So, just like the knotted cables, the wheel barrel and ladder that needed to be put away, one must be prepared for the occasional setback.

November 4th, when this post goes live, I will be smiling at my laptop with a large bowl of cappuccino and a piece of raisin toast, preparing to write my daily outline and starting word 6001 and ending with at least 8,000 words. Later, I’ll be hopping on the treadmill to work off that electric buzz of residual energy.

Whatever your goals or method or process, I wish you a wonderful Monday!


Yeah, forgot about daylight savings ending, so 5 am is the old 6. No cappuccino, but a cup of ice cold Starbucks vanilla latté and no treadmill, since I fell flat on my face three times on Saturday (Meniere’s Drop Attacks) and the last time was face first onto a large granite rocks in a stream-bed -so, too bruised to tread mill or to do yoga. But, I did manage to pump out 6,893 words over the last three days and I enjoyed returning to the world of horses, if only in my mind. The way this Meniere’s is going I may have to trade the vehicle in for a horse! So, smiling at the keyboard, yup! Awaiting sunrise, check! Listening to BFF husky snoring at my feet -score!


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Day 4, post Halloween reflections | Veronica Jane Burke
  2. Sandy Bruney
    Nov 04, 2013 @ 10:07:19

    Sorry about your fall, Christine!


  3. CristineGzr
    Nov 04, 2013 @ 11:10:03

    Thank you Sandy, I hope I didn’t sound too whiney. There are so many people who suffer far worse than me. I’m basically a Weeble that wobbles, falls down and pops right back up! I am remarkably limber today. Apparently, falling onto a pile of wet rocks is much less damaging that falling on the driveway ;-). It has always been a challenge for me to be in the moment and not walking around daydreaming with my head in the clouds. Meniere’s seems to be a good way for me to be more vigilant about where I am.


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