I do love the fall. When you feel the relief from the heat, the chill rippling across your skin, it relaxes your tension and slows your pace, no longer a rush from air conditioned car to air conditioned house. We can pause a bit, listen to the leaves rustle, push our hair out of our face from the wind. We are grateful for seasons and often sense the stir of the spiritual, the realization that our world was created well and in balance by forces we don’t always fully understand.

I’m always busy in October with the outdoor special, but it’s nothing compared to November when I combine my two passions–writing and photography–into one crazy month of a dizzying overabundance of both.

National Novel Writing Month is a marathon writing spree where you try to write 50,000 words of a new novel in 30 days. We begin at midnight on Halloween as the calendar flips to November, and it stops at midnight on the 30th.

I’ve done NaNoWriMo for two years now. In 2005 I began Helena the Muse (you can read the first chapter), which is completed. I’m in the process of querying agents for representation for that. In 2006, I wrote Baby Dust (also a first chapter available), which has a complete draft but needs a lot of work still.

This year I have a novel in mind about a circle of frustrated art students who are trying to figure out a fool-proof way to make their work explode into fame and recognition. In the style of Helena, which had significant historical fiction streaks as the main character forces herself back in time to serve as muse to some of the world’s greatests art masters, this book will also have a number of historical twists involving real artists who have either purposefully or inadvertently used suicide to catapult their oeuvres into infamy.

I’m very excited about the onset of both things–holiday pictures and the new novel. I’ll be posting about both things along the way!

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