A fellow writer and good friend recently expressed his annual lament that if only NaNoWriMo weren’t set during the most busy month of the year. It’s a reasonable lament, I suppose, being that November is wedged right in the middle of the busy holiday season and has a high concentration of birthdays, highly-anticipated box office releases, and coincides with National Desk-Cleaning Month, Daylight Savings Time…plus, all the obligations of everyday life.
But that, I insist, is what makes it a challenge. Further, keeping in mind that I am an individual riddled with chronic optimism, I feel that the busier one is, the more efficient and productive one can become…unless, of course, one lies down belly-up and decides to binge-watch Netflix until the fervor passes. That happens too.
So I figured there was no better way to end my most recent hermitage than to take on an ambitious challenge during this year’s NaNoWriMo. Not only am I going to write as much as I can of my 250,000-word science fiction novella series Pacifica this month (5,952 words in!), but I am going to make art every single day this month and post it here.
Yesterday, I participated in a little Bill Watterson fan love. Today, since dogs feature heavily in my current story I’m writing, I thought I’d pay homage to Solo, the best dog I’ve ever known. He passed away on September 1, 2015, at the ripe old age of 14 and a half, and I still hear him around the house, look for him in his favorite corners, and miss him terribly. (He is also depicted on the cover of not-yet-released Lookaway Dogs, illustrated by my brother Jon, and set in the same science fictional universe, along with the other best dog I’ve ever known, Dixie.)
Dixie, bless her sweet little heart, passed away a few years ago. After her passing, Solo took to traveling with me everywhere. I bought him a safety harness, and he rode in the front seat of the car with me everywhere. I took him on errands, endless hikes, and twice to the ocean, which was just fine by him.
My almost-seven-year-old is all for the art challenge and has sat with me at the dining table the last two days to enthusiastically create art with me. Here’s her version of Solo. They were great friends, those two.
So there you have it. I have emerged from my self-imposed hermitage to make art and share art, and I invite everyone to join us! If you make a painting, a drawing, a sketch, a doodle, share it in the comments or Tweet me. If you, too, want to add writing a novel to the challenge of getting through November in one piece, come be my buddy over at NaNoWriMo; I am known as squishyang, my forbidden Ninja name. We can cheer each other on. 🙂