There was this hot minute where I wondered whether this should be the year I tried NaNoWriMo, which challenges a writer to write 50,000 of a novel during the month of November.
The answer is “Nope. ‘Tis not to be that kind of November.” There’s a lot of life-stuff happening.
BUT I will be revisiting a 10,000 word novelette I started a while back, no doubt re-ordering each sentence four or five times — which math-wise, is like 50,000 words!
But before those things take up all my brain space and I forget — a quick gratitude-y post of a couple cool things from October.
30 Days of Yoga IRL.
A yoga studio that opened by us ran an introductory special: Unlimited classes for 30 days for 30 bucks. At this place the default cost per class is $25, so obvi the 30 for $30 is a deal!
Studio yoga classes are expensive for me right now, but in general I think they can be worth their cost. My first yoga experiences happened at a time before it was mainstream, so doing it at all meant doing it at a dedicated studio with dedicated teachers. Good training early on gave me a solid and long-lived practice. Once you have a strong foundation, you can get greater value out of free yoga classes taught by aerobics instructors at low-rent gyms, or on YouTube during the pandemic.
And it enables you to recognize a well-lead class and really appreciate it, which I’ve been doing! I took about 15 classes in 30 days. In the near future, I’ll pick up a few “Community Classes” (classes a studio gives to the community at a lesser price) for the next couple months and it looks like next year will contain a couple months between producing gigs where extra time and extra money coincide and I’ll buy their month subscription then.
Dick Francis (and probably Mary Francis, too)
One of my current writing assignments — the digital comic I’ve mentioned — involves horse racing and the kind of shenanigans that an ex-mafia guy in need of some extra currency might get up to at a horse-racing track. It’s up to me to figure out the details of what these shenanigans might be, so I’ve been researching, interviewing acquaintances who are into racing, reading books and articles about betting, watching old movies like “Let It Ride.” All these have been somewhat educational but not inspiring.
But then I stumbled onto the novels of Dick Francis… and they are so. much. fun! Like if Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett had a love child and he was a British steeplechase jockey… which is what Dick Francis was before embarking on his second career as a crime thriller writer. From 1962 to his death in 2010, he wrote 42 books. So far I’ve stayed up to into the wee hours reading his debut novel, Dead Cert, as well as all his books that feature his only recurring protagonist, Sid Halley – a one-handed ex-jockey-turned-crack-investigator who pursues his perps despite being haunted by personal demons. I’ll be looking for a couple Dick Francis novels to download to my Kindle before my upcoming 15-hour flight to Istanbul!
P.S. I enjoyed this article on by author John Fram about rediscovering Dick Francis during an extended illness. I might check out his book too!