Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Novel in a Month & other Goings-on.

I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving, and you haven't brought any gluttony guilt into the new week. December, how did that happen? And we all know how fast Thansgiving to Christmas goes. 2010 will be here in no time. I'm probably not alone in saying - here's to a shiny new year to look forward to. A lot has happened here in '09, the great BearFest, a very successful summer of ice creaming here at your favorite scoop shop, and an interesting mayoral contest, to name a few. But it also seems as if it's been a particularly trying year in other ways. Deaths, illnesses, divorces, break-ups, job losses, and this pesky recession seemed to cast a shadow over a good portion of the year. Still, there are many things to be thankful for, and in keeping with the 'glass is half-full' theme, here's to a strong finish of the year here in December!

It seems I've had a bit of blog-writer's block lately, as you may have noticed by the sparceness of posts here at the ICD recently. I think that may have had something to do with my latest little project, 'National Novel Writing Month'. A customer/friend mentioned the idea to me a few days before it was due to start (November 1). The object is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. That's 1667 words per day, in case you don't have a calculator handy. The writing doesn't have to be any good. In fact, they encourage fast and bad writing. At that pace, there really isn't time to rewrite, edit, or even reread as you go.

Having never even attempted writing a novel, although I'd certainly talked about it enough, it was definitely intimidating. Like running a marathon after a couple 3 mile jogs here and there. In any event, I volunteered anyway, went to the website and signed right up. Two days later, I was writing like a madman. I must say, it was actually good fun. You write every day, then update your wordcount on the site. They send you pep talk emails from successful (and aspiring) writers.

You can form little support groups. They even have local groups you can join, and go to writing gatherings if you feel so inclined. Umass Amherst had one that I joined, although I never did get to go there to write. For me, writing is best done in solitude, mostly on my couch at home. I did get to enjoy a little writer's retreat at a friend's vacant beach condo. A brief taste of the writer lifestyle, that was pretty sweet...

I even got a little taste of the photographer's lifestyle while I was beachside, knocking out my first novel. Can't say whether my new writing creation will ever be more than just a big Word file full of 61,267 words, but you never know. It's a long, quiet winter for an ice cream guy in New England. Perhaps I'll include a little excerpt here someday...

If you're curious about the 'Novel in a Month' thing, feel free to drop me a line or stop in. Be happy to give you more info. According to their website, they had over 100,000 participants from all over the world. In case you're curious, there were around 32,000 'winners', which is about 19%. According to the site, that's a new record.

Moving on to the local stuff, don't forget to check out this weekend's Open Studios at One Cottage Street. Many amazing local artists have studios in there, and you only get 2 chances a year to see and purchase their fine works. This weekend is one of them...

Also coming up later this week, the always 'cool in a small town way' Santa Stroll. It kicks off at the Maple School at 7 pm. Santa leads the way, making a stop at the edge of the pond for the annual tree lighting ceremony. The tree is usually floating in the middle of the pond. With no pond this year, I'm not exactly sure where the tree will be. I'm guessing at the corner of Williston Ave and Cottage. Unlike the rag shag, costumes are optional. Hats and gloves are recommended though.

Finally, coming up next week, Easthampton City Arts is having their annual party and open house. They have lots to celebrate this year, after the hugely successful BearFest. The public is welcome to join the celebration. Food by the Apollo Grill, live music, a silent auction, and more. Should be a fun night...

Ok, I think I'm all caught up now. Hope to see you soon.

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