Into December 2016

I can’t believe how fast the year is going.  On the one hand, 2016 has been such a crappy year (for any number of reasons – both personal and external), that’d it be good riddance. On the other hand, I’m not sure if we’re supposed to look forward to 2017.

November was terribly strange, to say the least – the least of which was Election Day’s outcome.   In all honesty, my blog post from that time, during the wee hours of Nov. 9, 2016, was trying to process that whole thing.  We need more people to vote and be active citizens, but I so don’t agree with the decision that arose from this Election Day.  I’m trying to respect and empathize with those who voted differently than I did, but I get the feeling that they’re not empathizing with those of us who disagreed with them – those who feel afraid and are about to be marginalized (and who have been marginalized as it was).

Everyone needs help and we’re all oppressed by fears and problems; how will everyone get help or can help each other?  Do we even want to help one another, or just some people?  (are we even candid enough to admit that we might feel that way?).

There are a lot of existential questions out there, after all.

So, I struggled with the balance of trying to go through stages of assimilating the current events, and trying to stay committed to what I’ve cared about – like, my writing.  National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) continued, but work and life really made it hard for me to keep fiction writing.

I managed to get to 50k words before midnight, on 11/29/16.  I really didn’t feel 50k was going to happen either, since this month has been so… well, what it has been.

Anyway, so from participant:

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_participant-200

to reaching the goal of 50k words:

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_winner

My project for this year’s NaNoWriMo was another attempt at a revision/continuation of my superhero story, but more of “a novella in short stories” idea, with “Variations of Masquerade” as the working title.  I ended it at around 51387 words or so (according to the MS Word count), and with the words “to be continued,” since it didn’t really end. But, with a little bit of time and plunging in, even when I didn’t really feel like writing, I got something more than I did for months of not-fiction writing at all.

What I really like about NaNo is that spirit of support – writing can very solitary, but sometimes, it doesn’t have to be.  And, yeah, while the idea of NaNoWriMo is about reaching a goal of 50k words, the real idea is to write at all.  It’s like marathoning – yeah, you should run 26.2 miles to win, but trying is still pretty awesome.  So, to all the WriMos / NaNo’ers – we did it again!

And, I wish we as a nation could learn to be more supportive and less polarized.  We’re facing a rather unpredictable future, and for the sake of the nation, it’d be nice if we can figure this out together.

On to December…  I have a lot of reading to catch up, and other tasks (that continuing war against clutter is not being waged by itself).  Lots of cool movies to watch, and so maybe December will be better. Maybe!

(cross-posted at sswslitinmotion.tumblr.com)

Election Day 2016

People have died for the right to vote in this country; American women didn’t have it until 1920. The right to vote means something.

I voted. I don’t agree with these few signs in the neighborhood for the Republican candidate, but presumably even these neighbors exercised their right to vote (let alone their right to free speech). Not thrilled at all about my vote for NYS legislators (ugh), but I was firm that I voted right for my federal legislators and the executive branch.

But, at this hour of Election Night, or the wee hours of the day after, I guess I’m trying to keep perspective.

The tough part of governing is always the issue. Can we hear each other out, put aside the pettiness, and be able to effectively work together? I’ll plead with us all here about that, whatever will happen going forward.  And remember: breathe. I’m trying to do my own meditative pause.  Let’s see what happens next.

(cross-posted at sswslitinmotion.tumblr.com)

Chicago Cubs Won the World Series!

It has happened: after midnight of November 3, 2016, the Chicago Cubs won the World Series!  They did it – they finally did it, after a 108 year drought. That Game 7 was insanely ridiculous – an extra inning, and a rain delay!   The world as we know it has changed; just please don’t let the world go completely crazy and don’t make it the end of the world… btw, and nice fight, Cleveland Indians.

The World Series was a nice distraction from Election Day madness.

So, it turns out that there was a reason why we didn’t vote on November 1, the actual first Tuesday of November:  we don’t vote when the first November Tuesday lands on November 1 apparently as a religious accommodation to those who observe All Saints Day.  I liked the explanation from NPR’s Domenico Mantanaro: convenience due to a 19th century agrarian society, religious accommodation, business-related reasons, and politics.  It always goes back to politics.

Ok, staying away from more politics. On to looking for more distractions… New York City Marathon and getting an hour back.  Enjoy the week!