The fall colors in Lawrence have been truly spectacular this year. Someone said it's due to the wet weather we've had off and on all year long. On long walks through my neighborhood, I've felt as if I were in a painting, or on a palette of colors, waiting to grace a blank canvas. Alas, my camera has gone full tilt and I've tried taking photos with my tablet and my son's camera, but none seem to capture the full splendor of the fall colors, sometimes ten different shades all in one tree. But here are a few attempts that I made. Be sure to click on the photos for a closer view!
Now that I'm home again, and working at my two jobs, I've also taken on a new challenge for the month of November: to write 50,000 words in 30 days. That's right! It's National Novel Writing Month again, affectionately known as NaNoWriMo, and I'm going to focus my writing on recreating, with a creative flair, the journal of my travels in Italy this fall. Writing about my travels is one of the best ways I know to stay in an Italian mindset.
In a previous post, I explained that in the confusion caused by the transport strike in Italy, I lost my travel journal, which is like losing a part of my soul. I had filled nearly 100 pages of a notebook over a two-month time period, which I figure amounts to about 25,000 words. I'm going to spend the month reminiscing about my travel experiences in creative detail, so there's no gap in the record of the ten trips I've taken to Italy since 2006.
A second objective of being part of the NaNoWriMo is to establish a daily writing discipline that I can maintainevery day, despite work obligations, travels and whatever else goes on in my life. A writing discipline is necessary to reach another goal: to write novels based on my travels and experiences in Italy.
Here's Wikipedia's description of NaNoWriMo:
"National Novel Writing Month, shortened as NaNoWriMo is an annual internet-based creative writing
project that takes place every November. NaNoWriMo challenges
participants to write 50,000 words of a new novel between November 1 and
30. Despite its name, it accepts entries from around the world. The
goal of NaNoWriMo is to get people writing, no matter how bad the
writing is, through the end of a first draft. The idea is that many
people are scared to start writing because it won't be any good, and if
there's a time to celebrate length, rather than quality, more people
will write an entire first draft, which they can then proceed to edit if
The project started in July 1999 with just 21 participants, but by
the 2010 event over 200,000 people took part – writing a total of over
2.8 billion words.
Writers wishing to participate first register on the project's
website, where they can post profiles and information about their
novels, including synopsis and excerpts. Word counts are validated on
the site, with writers submitting a copy of their novel for automatic
counting. Municipal leaders and regional forums help connect local
writers with one another for holding writing events and to provide
Joining the NaNoWriMo site provides you with numerous writing resources, connection to forums posted by other writers and daily encouraging pep talks and suggestions. In my town, there are also write-ins at the public library every week, for those wishing to be in the company of others working towards the same goal.
Doing the NaNoWriMo project means that I won't be posting often on this
blog during the month of November, so I can devote my writing energy to
the project. Creating a daily writing discipline is more important to me than reaching the 50,000 word limit, but I'll give it my best effort!