Halloween, Holidays, NaNoWriMo

Happy Smashing Pumpkins Day! (Oh yeah, and NaNoWriMO!)

Pretty pumkins, pre carving
These are the pumpkins we will be smashing today. Of course, they have since been gutted and carved, their rotting faces now caved in.

A few years ago, my sons and I started a new family tradition that they look forward to almost as much as Trick-or-Treating. We like to call it Smashing Pumpkins Day.

This day falls on November 1st, the day after Halloween, when the boys officially gain permission to take our now-rotting jack o’ lanterns out to the marsh behind our apartment complex and smash them to BITS! They love it.

What could be more fun than smashing pumpkins? Of course, if you smash someone else’s pumpkins, you’re a jerk. But there’s no harm in smashing your own pumpkins once their poor faces have sunken in. So today, as soon as my kids get home from school, they will gather up our jack o’ lanterns first thing and drag them out to the marsh. Each year, the boys come up with new and creative ways to pulverize their pumpkins. Let’s just say, we like to get our money’s worth.

Smashing Pumpkins Day also happens to coincide with the first day of NaNoWriMo, which I am in no way prepared for. I’ll spare you my this-year’s excuses. Let’s just say November is the worst possible month for me to find time to write that much.

I do still intend to complete a new first draft by the end of the season, so there’s that. I am also still filling plot holes in my summer first draft. I may yet get a decent word count out of November, but I’m not going to expend much effort keeping track when I know I’m not going to get anywhere near 50,000 words.

I’ll just keep chipping away as per usual, and will probably block off two whole weeks after I’ve finished grading papers and have posted final grades for this semester. My holiday shopping is almost complete, so I’ll have a couple of weeks free between my semester-end and the start of my kids’ winter break.

I have already proven I can write a complete first draft (though nowhere near a 50,000 word first draft!) in just a few weeks. It’s funny how, once you’ve done it once, it doesn’t feel like such a huge deal as it once was. I think that’s the point of NaNoWriMo. It pushes you to finish something. What you end up with probably won’t be anywhere near publishable without a few revisions. The point is to prove to yourself that you can do it.

Are you starting NaNoWriMo today (or Smashing Pumpkins?) Please share in the comments below.

~Amanda L. Webster

P.S. I just want to take a moment to apologize for falling behind on responding to comments. I spent most of last week out of state for a funeral, then most of this week playing catch-up. But I am almost back on track and will hopefully get caught up by the end of next week.

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