It’s National Novel Writing Month, a 30-day, 50,000- word, novel writing challenge.
I’m not participating but Tangerine Tango contributor Dawn Landau is. Not only is she writing with abandon dawn to dusk, she tagged me in the blog game called the “Look Challenge.” Bloggers, who are writing beyond their blogs have a chance to offer a sneak peek of their work.
The rules require that you search your writing for the word “look” and share a few lines. Dawn suggested I provide excerpts from the book.
Here’s what I found:
From Gabi Coatsworth’s essay about her memories shrimping with her father:
“I used to wonder sometimes if the sea would ever come back again. I would look out of my bedroom window, under the eaves of Granny and Grandpa’s house, and sometimes the sea would be right up, covering the pebble beach, and at other times I couldn’t see it at all, it was so far away. All I could see was sand, stretching away to the end of the world. It felt a bit scary, but there is one wonderful thing about sand like that. In the summer, after we’d had supper, my father would take us out shrimping before bedtime.
We’d walk down the drive toward the main road in front of the house. Holding hands in a straggling chain, we would cross the road after repeating the incantation: “Look right, look left, look right again. If all clear, quick march.” This last was, I suspect, my mother’s variation on “cross the road”. She had been in the army, after all.”
From Chris Rosen’s experience in her first hot air balloon:
“Miss Bean, our two-year-old shelter dog, started barking furiously on the deck while I was finishing making the pesto. Looking out towards the mountains, I saw why. A beautiful hot air balloon was floating over the valley and heading towards us! If it wasn’t for our trees, they might have landed on our hill.
I remembered our hot air balloon ride…”
And from Patti Winker’s memory about clotheslines:
“Most might find it hard to feel nostalgic about any kind of laundry, let alone having to lug heavy baskets outside to dry on lines. Line drying the wash is hard work and not often reliable. Mom watched the sky, constantly on the lookout for ominous dark clouds. There were no guarantees that all her hard work wouldn’t end up back in the house, soaking wet.”
The next part of the game of course is to pass along the challenge to others. I’m tagging the above three writers, who are always up to something and also Suzanne Rogers, a photographer who I know has a book or two worth “looking” at.
Dawn, thank you for the tag. Good luck with NaNoWrMo!
November also is the gratitude month, culminating in Thanksgiving.
I have lots to be grateful for, particularly this week after Hurricane Sandy ravaged the East coast, demolishing the shoreline, and devouring communities. We lost power but had installed a generator last year after losing electricity for 8 days in the October snowstorm. So we had heat and minimal lights throughout and could cook on the gas stove. A friend and her 16-year-old son moved in. Our power was restored on our street yesterday but most of the town is still without. Enormous old trees have been uprooted; wires are down everywhere. A tree fell on our roof, ripping off the gutter and some of the shingles, but it’s nothing compared to elsewhere.
My son Jacob and his family spent one night with us until their power returned. I had hoped they’d be with us longer! We had a fun slumber party.
My heart goes out to those who’ve lost homes. I feel a tremendous sense of loss about the condition of lower Manhattan. But New Yorkers are resilient; the city will rebuild.
I know it’s easy for me, safe and warm in my little bubble to urge others to be patient. Tempers are beginning to fray as lines for gasoline stretch around street corners. People are complaining on the local online newsletter about the lack of response by the utility companies, about no gas for their generators, about no trains.
Yes, it’s cliché: Be thankful for what we have.