On November

I don’t know why November became quite so full of itself. As if Thanksgiving isn’t enough for it to be doing, we have two more exciting things to be writing about. Even though I’m not going to do things the normal way, I wanted to record my interest here. Otherwise, what would you be reading right now?


National Novel Writing Month means, as you might imagine, you spend the month of November writing a novel. I worked out it would be around 1,200 words a day. I also worked out I would need to have an actual idea for a novel.

I can be perceptive if the conditions are right.

And I do have a novel idea. It’s a quest story, which opens on a Christmas scene. A kid watches his dad read a letter that literally makes him crumble to dust. The kid is taken in by an aunt whose son protects the wilderness with an army of polar bears. I’m not sure what to do with that part yet, but every story is improved with an army of polar bears. As Phillip Pullman can attest. The aunt mysteriously disappears, leaving only a drop of blood in a bath, and the kid is forced to find help in a nearby town. There, he finds a psychopath played by Tom Waits (in my head) who guides him into a land of stories, an alternate reality that is powered by storytelling. Not-Tom-Waits likes to kill people, so his price of entry is having to capture the stories of his own life by writing them on magic paper and keeping them in jars in a cave under the sea. It would make sense in the story. Maybe.

Through the story, he guides the kid through weird adventures against magical tree-worshipping cultists, brain-eating bugs, and the like…he’s looking for a famous novelist who is now the king of the fantasy land. Only, spending so long in the alternate reality has turned the novelist into a literal monster kept in check only by the constant attention of his terrified wife. The kid is to be sacrificed to the monster. Only Not-Tom-Waits changes his mind, kills the monster, and…yadda yadda yadda.

It’s an idea. I have some pages written. I’m not going to write a novel this month. The above, or parts of it, could end up as short stories, screenplays, comic-book scripts. But almost certainly not a novel.

Instead, I have 30 days so I’m going to write 30 blog posts. The long-term goal is to have enough words strung together in an interesting manner to have actual essays. Then the essays get published. Then I become so rich that all I have to do all day is write blog posts that turn themselves into essays.

Now, 30 posts is about eight months of content for my non-monetized content-streaming platform (that is, this blog). Hopefully, in that time, other things will also happen that I can write about, so the next year of posts for you 3 or 4 people who are still reading this nonsense should be in place. Not bad.


Also in November, men are apparently growing mustaches to raise awareness for men’s health issues (which are largely testicle- and prostate-based. Let’s not be shy about that.). I’m not part of this as I only found out about it yesterday – and I already have facial hair. But I wanted to mention it here in case either of my readers is interested.

Entirely separately, coincidentally, and in a non-charity way, I’ve decided to turn my little face-fur-feature into a full-face fur feature. That is, my goatee is going to become a full beard. It’s time. Let’s see how I look with a face full of fur. Maybe I’ll look awesome like Karl Marx or Nick Offerman. Maybe it’ll just look wrong like when Stephen Colbert goes rogue.

It’s an exciting journey that, through the magic of social media, we can go on together. Thanks, technology! And, if actual Movember is of interest to you, please do contribute or take part. I think next year, I’ll shave everything off my face and start again for Movember. And then apparently people can sponsor me for not shaving, which sounds like the best way to make money for charity that doesn’t involve eating steak.




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