May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14
Tomorrow is November 1. November offers two opportunities to create new life changing habits. One is called nanowrimo short for National Novel Writing Month. During nanowrimo, participants commit to writing a novel or 50,000 words in one month. That breaks down to 1,666 words per day. Because I have already started a new novel tentatively titled, Redemption’s Edge, about my grandmother and her mother, I thought this might be a way to get a rough draft done quickly. The story will be about the two women told in their voices but intertwined as they come of age, find a home and make an impact on their world. My great-grandmother, Henrietta Emily, nicknamed Etta, came to the United States from Wales after the Civil War with her family. My great grandmother married twice, once to my grandmother’s father and then, after he died to a man she met on the Isle of Pines off the coast of Cuba. My grandmother was raised on the Isle of Pines before returning to the United States for college. After graduation, she served as the secretary to the President of Auburn University before moving to Washington, DC where she assisted the Congressman from Alabama in the 1920s, an influential time to be a part of American politics. Later, she married my grandfather and moved to Florida where he worked as an engineer in the phosphate mines. I am excited about telling their stories and imaging what made them into the women that they became. In order to write a rough draft of the novel in 30 days, some things are going to have to change in my life. That brings me to the second opportunity, “Slowvember”. This is a movement to consciously eliminate all those things from your calendar that steal time and encourage the hustle and bustle of our busy lifestyles. It is specifically set for the month that leads into the crazy holiday season with lots of obligations and responsibilities. What would I do, what could I do, if I eliminate all those hours spent pouring over Facebook or watching television? Could I take the time to cook better food instead of using precooked entrees that cost more? Could I stand in the yard watering flowers and vegetables enjoying the fall air and watching the butterflies? Could I go horseback riding? Could I talk to my family? Could I read more books? Could I write more books? So, starting tomorrow, I am taking a break from Facebook and television. I might even give up housekeeping. I am going to live life in the present, choosing to be available to my family and friends for spontaneous adventures instead of having every moment scheduled. How will that work in combination of nanowrimo? I don’t know. I have already decided that I will let Slowvember take precedent. Even though I don’t reach my 50,000 word amount, it is more important to me to slow down. So, goodbye Facebook and Fixer Upper, hello November.