By Nandy Ekle
We are now in the middle of August. In my part of the world we are still in the throws of a huge barbecue under the sun, temperatures soaring into the hundreds daily. However, there is a slight change in the air reminding us that summer is coming to a close. I may be because of the ads and the themes the stores and malls are spreading to remind parents to get their kids ready for school to start. Or it may be the calendar, hanging so proudly on my wall announcing that we have indeed entered the eighth month of the year. Or it could be that we are all so tired of being roasted daily like marshmallows that we are dreaming of those cooler days.

Most assuredly, the approach of autumn is felt with much excitement to those like me because all of the above reasons, and a few more: colors, weather, adventure, smells . . . I guess the only thing I do not like about the fall season is the fact that where I live, we only have about two weeks of true fallish type weather before the deep freezer door hangs open letting in all the ice and snow we can stand. And then, by late April, we will be praying for the heat of summer to come back.

Autumn holidays are practically non-existent. Of course, the biggest day of autumn is Thanksgiving, which opens the Christmas season and starts the holly jolly madness of the winter holiday. There are also a couple of smaller holidays between Indepenced Day and Christmas: Labor Day, Columbus Day, and Halloween. And then, Of course, Thanksgiving. 

There is another thing about autumn that is very exciting. NaNoWriMo. This is a group of authors who have gotten together and sent November as Novel Writing Month. The challenge is to write a novel of 50,000 words, at least, in the 30 days of November. The first couple of times I participated in this, my attitude was, piece of cake. I could write anything any time. But I have learned what a pompous attitude that is. It is a challenge, and the challenge is big.

Beginning midnight, November 1, through midnight November 30, 50,000 words will be put on paper. The only rule is you cannot have written any of the story before midnight, November 1. On that night, you may type “Once upon a time,” or “It was a dark and stormy night,” and kick off your story. The story does not have to make sense, it does not have to to be one long story. And it may be one that goes on further than 50,000, or stops short. As long as you have 50,000 words by midnight November 30, you will be able to say, “I beat NaNoWriMo.” And being able to say this is worth the prize, which is more of a prize than than the other NaNoWriMoers could ever give you.

So the time is right. November is still a little ways away, It may still be blisteringly hot outside, but it’s not too early tho begin thinking about November.

Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.    

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