Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Of Halloween, Politics and Novel-Writing

I haven't written for awhile because things have been barreling downhill on me, but I do have things to say...excuses, mostly.

We are fully moved into the new house now, which means we live in a maze of boxes and bags. The library has become a staging area for our "keep," "give away," and "throw away" piles. Every morning, Joe takes the trash out with him, and I'm in charge of the "give away" boxes. I wish the "keep" pile was smaller, but we'll go through it again when we separate all the things in it into boxes for the rooms into which they will actually belong. I'm not enjoying this process...particularly the part involving going through boxes of papers. But the last time we did this, we came out lighter than before, and I hope that will be the same this time. Then, we have to keep from letting things pile up again!

But that's boring. We had a Halloween worth writing about but now I'm having to hurry through everything, so you'll get the short version. All day long, we moved from the apartment, finishing up just in time for the 4 p.m. deadline. Then, we dressed as Crusaders and stood in our mudroom/sunroom/foyer and watched trick-or-treaters get scared or delighted by our neighbor, who was dressed as a very scary skeleton with a scythe. Every group had the same conversation: "Is he real?" "I think he's a statue." "I think he's real. You go." "No, you go." "No, you go." Finally, someone would venture up toward the candy and our neighbor would come alive with a really fantastic mad-scientist "BWAA-HA-HAAAA!" laugh, and the kids would run screaming off the porch. To little ones, he'd say, "Boo." Sometimes they too ran screaming, but one memorable little skeleton went after him with his plastic ax, and a fairy princess said "Boo" back to him! We were the boring house after all that, but they were glad to get our candy anyway.

As we were leaving for the English department party, we saw the boys of the town gathering for the egg fight. In Sackets Harbor, after the little trick-or-treaters are finished, when it's just the lat few and it has gotten dark, the young people, beginning around age 12, it seems, gather to throw eggs at each other. As long as nobody throws one at a house, car or person who isn't playing, the village looks the other way. We left before the festivities began, but in the morning, Tula tried to eat every broken egg on the sidewalk! By now, they have all been cleaned up. What a place!

The party was great...We hung out with the other nerdy Catholics, who were dressed as Mother Teresa and St. Francis (complete with stigmata). The theme was "heroes and villains," and one couple came dressed in black with the words "Is this the face that launched a thousand ships" (the woman) and "and burned the topless towers of Illium?" (the man). They were a heroic couplet, of course! I LOVE my people!

That night at midnight, I began my novel, as per the rules of National Novel Writing Month. In this month, people from all over the world try to write a 50,000-word novel in the 30 days of November. If you get to the end, you "win." I lost big-time last year! This year I'm writing a crime novel...of all things. I don't read them. But I'm enjoying the challenge thus far. However, I have to use all precious writing time on the novel, so I may not blog as regularly for the next few weeks.

Now, about the politics, I guess everyone knows what's going on up here with Owens, Hoffman and Scozzafava. This morning at 7, me and Tula walked by some Owens supporters with "Honk" signs. They asked if I was voting, and I told them I vote in Oklahoma. I may vote here next year, though. We'll see. Anyway, it was nice and warm at the time, but a big cloud just burst over Lake Ontario and now it's raining. I hope they have ponchos!

And now I must get ready for school. We are talking about evaluating internet sources today. Must try to make that interesting.

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