Well, it's all over, our happy time of Phoctobering. Should I still have a blog next October, I expect we can do this again. Looking back at the month, I see that I personally posted more than one hundred images, and provided almost 150 links to other sites' Phoctober entries.
It was a reasonably global event, as well. We had entries from five different continents (damn you, Antarctica and South America!) as well as some ardent posters from right here in America. We were treated to English gardens, Parisian streets, leaves and trees from virtually every place currently experiencing autumn, snow, rain, fog, sunshine, clouds, bottles, whales, paintings, music and scores of other things. It was really delightful how much everyone shared.
Even more inspiring to me personally were the reports from some of the other blogs which seemed to indicate that they had fallen in love with photography all over again as a result of Phoctober. I cannot express how cool I think that is.
Phoctober was conceived as a way to trick myself into blogging every day again, as I used to. I had some nice shots sitting around, and figured it would be a cake walk to fill thirty-one days with images. I was wrong about that. It was more difficult than I could have realized, but having completed the month I feel like I have accomplished something. Nothing big, maybe just a little thing that I find personally enriching. And I seem to enjoy blogging again.
So I want to thank all of you who did a post yourselves, or more than one, or even just came by to look at the pictures. Joiners, lurkers, those who left comments: all of you have made this something far nicer than it had any reason to be.
Next year, I expect we'll have an official Phoctober badge, and perhaps something a little more structured in terms of how links are set up. And I hope we'll have some of you who thought about posting but did not joining in.
We now resume regular blogging. Hope you guys are okay with mostly words for a while.
NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo both begin today. A month of writing for yours truly. I leapt into my NaNo project last night as soon as the bells chimed midnight (okay, there were no actual bells). I speedily spat out five or six hundred words.
They were the wrong words. I am starting again. I may do so three or four times. I know it's all about the word count in NaNo, but I need the foundation to be strong if I'm going to be able to write a novel in a month.
I never got very far with outlining, but I have spent a fair amount of time thinking about what I want the novel to be, what it should say and do. I have answers to some of the questions and none at all to others. Once I have answered a few more, the real work begins. The other questions will answer themselves in the writing.
I am, weirdly, not nervous. Last year I did not get a chance to start until the sixth, and finished in about three weeks. I tend to write pretty quickly, so once the ideas have taken their shapes, I know I can get the words onto the page and begin building this thing, this work, this novel I have inside of me.
It's a genre piece, about people who would most commonly be called superheroes. Specifically, it is the memoir of a formerly costumed man with abnormal abilities, who is now retired from the whole racket. I don't want to say too much, as there are things I do not know about the plot, and also things I would rather not reveal to someone not perusing the actual manuscript. My hope, though, is that it will be fun and thinky and all sorts of good things.
My further hope is that it will be fleshed out and written in a clumsy first-draft by the end of the month.
For others plunging themselves into NaNo this year, I offer a quote from Ernest Hemingway that helped me a lot last time around: "The first draft of anything is shit." Not really a Hemingway fan, but he kind of hits the nail on the head with that one.
NaNo asks for 50,000 words in thirty days, which breaks down to 1667 words a day, or about 70 an hour. This is more than a word a minute throughout the month. Whether you've personally enlisted for this folly or not, I hope you'll come by to wish luck upon me and my Bloggeagues also undertaking this immense, uh, undertaking.