Warning: Unusually-Personal Stuff Ahead. May or may not be related to writerly-NaNo stuff at the end.
A long, long time ago, there was a little girl who had a mother. This mother got sick and got better. Then she got really sick again and didn’t get better.
The timing of this not-getting-better couldn’t be worse. The mother and little girl lived in a part of the world that honors the ancient practice of Daylight Savings Time. The week this mother didn’t-get-better is also the same week that the world became dark an hour sooner. And in eleven-year-old time an hour is an eternity.
It’s no surprise, then, that twenty years later the first week of DST shocks me no matter how much I prepare for it. That first Monday, the sun sets before the workday is over. By the time dinner is on the table it’s pitch black outside (and raining, too). Even our streetlights and houselamps are pathetic to combat this sudden shift. The long night has arrived.
Perhaps it’s just our lovely little valley, but the weather seems to conspire against us too. I haven’t seen the sun since we rolled our clocks back.
And this is one of the many reasons I am glad that NaNoWriMo is in November. Sure, there are a ton of reasons that November is a terrible time to pick up a new project: Raise your hand if you’re traveling or being traveled to in the next few weeks. Or raise your hand if you’re responsible for roasting an animal and preparing platterfuls of sweets. Okay, now raise your hand if all of this holiday insanity brings forth memories and emotions of previous holiday insanities.
You can put your hands back down now. Not to beat a dead horse, but November is a big month for most people, for one reason or another.
And that’s why, for me, NaNo comes at a perfect time. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sudden darkness, to let these short days make me feel like the whole world is grinding to a halt. It’s not. NaNo is a beacon and a connection to wonderful people. NaNo keeps me busy, yes, so busy I can’t worry about how dark it is. I have words to write and a house to clean and cookies to bake and write-ins to enjoy. I need that joy and fire this month. I need all the light I can get.
I fully appreciate that the organization that sponsors NaNoWriMo is named The Office of Letters and Light. 🙂
And even if you didn’t have to roll back your clocks, it’s likely that the sun is setting a bit sooner every day. How are creating your own light this month?