There's this odd drawing of breath that feels deeper, less pressed, less like it's being gasped between pit stops in my life. With the weight of National Novel Writing Month behind me and victory staring at me from a 5x7 certificate, it seems like the expectations are loosed and I'm free to do whatever I damned well please with the rest of my life, from here on out. Until next November, anyway.
In the light of a Monday morning the next thing I damned well please should probably be cat boxes, Christmas shopping and my homework for school. And cooking dinner and making lunches and doing all sorts of wonderful every-day boring things.
Ironically, even as I type this I find myself checking for any place where I can increase my word count by splitting words up and removing hyphens. It will be funny to see at what point that ingrained behavior drops off.
I have spent the past half hour looking up people struggling with their NaNoWriMo saga on Twitter and sending them notes of encouragement in the hopes that it spurs them on to complete the seemingly impossible. Or if not that, then at least that someone in the universe understands and feels for them even if they don't pull it off. I know the unexpected messages I got from people on Twitter offering tips, websites or encouragement were wonderful brief moments of contact. These were people that sat down in front of a blank canvas and did their damnedest to throw 50,000 words out in to the world that sort of formed a rough approximation of a story. We had a kything for the type of irritation and exhilaration that comes from it. I was more than a little surprised that Twitter came in useful this way. Occasionally social networking actually does what it sets out to do and connects people. :)
Thanksgiving was a wonder of planning and family and happiness to be home with people we'd missed and cared about. Bob and I spent it on a whirlwind 3 days of road tripping, usually with McGruntypants in the back seat trying to behave himself and not heave his doggie dinner all over the seat. He's 1 for 2 on that, btw.
Thursday, aka Thanksgiving proper, we traveled up to my Dad's and spent the afternoon there with Pat's boys, their wives, and their offspring along with Nick and Sean. The children all proceeded to swarm and play with Zen, who in proper doggy fashion played until he collapsed happily on the carpet, occasionally getting up the energy to rise again for a few pounces before lying down once more. He was even well behaved while sitting around the table, hooked to the chair by his leash. For being so good, he got turkey and peas and some biscuit.
It was good to chat with Dad and Pat, and to take a moment to set up a date in the future to go hang out (even if it's tentative). I'm hoping we get together to run around Longwood Gardens. I know he would enjoy it and I want the opportunity to take some photos with my Holga. OR... my Diana, actually! Would love to see what came of it. Maybe a shoot-off there, ooooo... that would be so much fun! Zen played with all of the kids while there and passed out, overjoyed and exhausted on the way home.
Thanksgiving at Bob's folks' house was nice. We chatted and had leftovers that were made in to patty form and then pan fried, which is something superly awesome I wish I could do with left over mashed potatoes but have never quite mastered.
Saturday was the road trip to Mom's wherein Zen politely barfed in the far corner on the towel so it was easy to clean out of the car. How he barfed food he ate 6 hours ago, I don't know, but he managed it. Talented pup.
We got to chat a bit with Mom before the Eibinettes descended and brought their dog Delilah with them. It was a fun time. Lots of food was made and we watched old home movies of Julian and his kids. Cody was his grumpy self, and I got to pet him to assure him that all the hyper younger dogs would be leaving soon.
For the record, I have discovered that Julian had hair like Neil Gaiman, and it freaked me out.
Delilah and Zen played to the point of passing out asleep near the table again, and we enjoyed waaay too much fun and conversation and food. By the time dessert showed up we were all VERY full and all smiling. It was nice to be able to connect and reconnect and meet some new faces.
Mom sent us home with a big stack of leftovers (thankfully, for we had none and had returned home twice already to a house with no food in it because we'd had Thanksgiving elsewhere... doh).
The rest of the weekend was spent with me catching up on NaNoWriMo and watching Zen systematically destroy any of his soft toys. We took a lovely long walk and talked about what was to come, and I finished my 50,000 words and then some (feeling slightly dirty that the last 5,000 were a ginormous sex scene that will probably be cut out because, well... my Mom and Dad might want to read it some day.) Celebration of this was promptly undertaken as we went to Applebees for nachos, drinks and dessert. Bob finished up a tough bit of coding at the same time, so we had our dual victory dances rockin', it was a rather splendid confluence of events.
The Diana F+ glow is on its way now, and I find myself ~wanting~ to return to the realm of Alice the clockwork girl and a world that must hide its technology to survive. I loved the story. So maybe in a month when I've hit equilibrium -or unemployment- I'll take it on again.
For having a 4 day weekend, there was remarkably little time to actually rest. I'm hoping to remedy that with Christmas coming up!