It’s Everything-Vember

Why is November the month for everything? It’s NaNoWriMo, Movember (how do mustaches promote awareness of anything other than mustaches?), I saw Wovember for weavers, and I think a lot of people use November for thankfulness, as well. NaBloPoMo. There are probably more. Why November? Is it because we all have to get our shit collective acts together before Christmas?

Nothing makes me think of prostates more.

I can’t grow a mustache, so I’m going to do NaNoWriMo this year. Actually, since I’m Greek I probably could grow a mustache– in fact, I know I could. I often do, accidentally. But that’s not much of an accomplishment for me, and I don’t think it would raise anybody’s awareness of prostates, unless it caused someone to wonder if I had a prostate myself.

I have two notebooks I’ve been putting off using because they are Moleskines and pretty, and I don’t want to screw them up with half-assed story-starts. My usual paper of choice is yellow legal paper. I like it because I can distinguish it quickly from homework that I have to grade, and I know all the yellow stuff is mine, all the white stuff is theirs. But when I’m at Barnes and Noble and see pretty packages of notebooks, I can’t always resist. You’d be surprised at how often I do resist, since the temptation is always, always there. Sometimes, though, the notebooks I get when my resistance is low pile up unused.

This is in Frankfurt– but in our local bookstore, it’s my downfall.

Well, I’m going to use them up for NaNoWriMo! I’ve found I write more prolifically if I can handwrite first. Why is that? I wonder if I self-edit more when I am typing? I’m a rather quick typist. Maybe I do have the tendency to reread and then edit, though, when I’m typing. This is one of those problems that first arose, I am sure, with the advent of word processors and computers. I used to have a little cadet blue, manual Smith-Corona. You couldn’t erase– your only option was to backspace and X the offending phrase out. Or, while you were typing, you had to think around whatever it was you’d just written, avoiding X-ing out anything at all, because X-ing out was kind of a pain in the butt. Imagine, now, the next time you are typing on your phone or computer, if you could not use that magical delete button? I think learning how to type (and write) on a typewriter where erasure is difficult must make one a better typist out of necessity. I think it might alter writing, too, in the same way. A part of me always feels stuck with what I’ve put onto the page, even if I’ve deleted it. Like that bell that can’t be unrung!

Mine was from the 1950’s, but isn’t this one beautiful? You can see why people are dissecting them and making jewelry out of them– though I find it a little macabre.

It’s after 9:30 in the morning, but it’s still darkish outside, like it might rain. What a fitting way to start the beginning of the cold season. I’m listening to Grizzly Bear, and it’s mellow. Sometimes I hear Travis, which is rather troubling, because even though I loved Travis once upon a time, once the banjo entered the picture, their music never quite did it for me anymore. But also, sometimes I hear shades of math rock and Harry Nilsson (what a combo!) and so that keeps me enchanted. I’ll always love Nilsson.

My daughter is home sick with a pesky cough, but she seems happy enough to gaze upon her class picture and make up stories in her head. She has told me not to come into the living room. No problem, kiddo! The apple did not fall far from the tree there. She’s in second grade, reading above a fourth grade level, she writes for her own reasons every day, and reads for fun. She reads about homeless kittens. When I was seven, I was really into Encyclopedia Brown, though I hardly remember anything about him and his adventures now. Not long after that, dissatisfied with kid-mysteries, I moved on to Agatha Christie, and I wonder what she will move on to? Our tastes aren’t very similar. Maybe she will be one of those girls who loves Little Women? I always hated Little Women! So many people speak so reverently of it– but give me Anne of Green Gables any day. Oh, Gilbert!

Maybe I will try and be thankful this November. Why not?
I wonder how many things you are supposed to be thankful for at one time, in one sitting? I will go for five. Five a day. And let’s say five pages of writing, since I’m setting down the goals in black in white. It is my prescription for myself.

I am thankful for:

— The copy of Agatha Christie’s The Moving Finger splayed out on my nightstand, waiting.

— My kid, who gave me a kiss and a blue M&M yesterday.

— Spotify. I like to buy my music so I can format it however I want, but when times are lean and I am hungry for music, it’s nice to try albums out first. Sorry, Lower Dens!

— The friends we trick or treated with last night. I don’t have a whole lot of family that only belongs to me, but I feel related to them. Having them over is comfortable– which is unusual for me.

— Today’s overcast weather. It makes the greens greener, the red leaves redder, our cozy house cozier.


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