The day after Halloween means that there are pathetic pumpkins sitting on front porches, with puddles of wax spilled inside and smoke marks ringing the carved eyes and noses. It means that all the little motion-sensitive chattering skulls and moaning ghosts are finally turned off. And it also means that in the break rooms of offices across the nation bags and bowls of leftover candy sit. Miniature Hershey bars. Peppermint patties. All manner of chocolate or sugary prepackaged confections sit there in brightly colored wrappers - a precursor to the excess of Thanksgiving and Christmas.
A few years ago I instituted a candy policy for Halloween. Knowing my weakness for all that is calorie-dense, I decided to only purchase candy I didn't like. Considering how picky I am about such things, that wasn't too difficult, and so trick-or-treaters in years past have received coconut filled chocolate bars, blueberry flavored pixie sticks, and huge gumballs painted to resemble bloodshot eyes. This year Richard bought the candy - some sort of sour gummy fruit affair - one of the few candies that *he* doesn't like. Halloween, apparently, gets more difficult when living with someone who's a whole lot less picky than I. Heh.
Last night Richard's best friend had a Call of Cthulu game scheduled to start once the candy-grubbers had all retired home to count their loot and come down from costume- and chocolate-induced highs. I'd been looking forward to this for weeks. I'd only played this game once before, but I enjoyed the role-play of horror immensely, and it didn't hurt that the host is an incredible game master. So it was with no small amount of regret that I waved Richard off to the game and stayed home instead, having already spent most of the day in bed nursing a rather nasty head cold. Today I feel nearly normal again (although it would be nice to be able to breathe normally one of these days); unfortunately a day too late. Ah well.
Midnight marked the beginning of November, and so NaNoWriMo has officially begun, after weeks of build-up involving frantic "I still don't have a plot" and "How do I do word count again?" emails to the discussion lists. There's a list of other online journalists located here if you'd like to see some of the other lunati…um…participants involved - some of whom are even promising to actually put their work in progress online. Alas, I'm not one of them, being neither brave (or cruel) enough to let anyone see my hastily scribbled fiction. No need to point out that I subject you to my hastily scribbled non-fiction on a regular basis; it's just not the same. What you may get from me in the next few weeks of journaling (and I stress the 'may') are occasional updates on word count, or perhaps even an excerpt or two. Um. But don't hold your breath on the last one.
So away we go. Keep the coffee pot filled, and make it extra-strong. Oh, and hands off the mini-Snickers bars in all that leftover Halloween candy. I think I'm going to need them.