Halloween Night

I wrote this poem in the third grade and now I'll share it with you.

Halloween Night is a scary sight
Where ghosts and goblins play
Scaring people
Far and near
Halloween Night is here.


Holy Halloween Party, Batman

Brian calls this one "Batman and Bobbin."


N is for November and November is for Novels

Did you know that November is National Novel Writing Month? Well it is. And there is an organization called National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) whose whole purpose is to encourage people to write a 50,000 word (175-page) novel within the 30 days of November. They give people who have always wanted to write a book what many of us need to get things done: a deadline. The time constraint also gives permission to write a lot crap since you don't have time to edit and tweek everything (or really anything) that you write.

Last year, I signed up, but I did not reach my 50,000 word goal. Brian took my computer with him to Belgium for one of the four weeks of writing time. It's hard to write 1,600 words a day by hand — mostly because you don't have the amazing word-count function in a paper notebook. Also I went to New Orleans for one of the remaining three weeks of November. It's hard to go on a service trip and find and hour or two each day to write a couple thousand words. So really I only tried for about a week and a half which is why I only made it up to about 10,000 words.

But this year my November looks a little less busy. I think that I might be able to do it.

So I signed up again. It doesn't cost anything and you get your own profile page where you can count your words and put a picture of yourself and a exerpt from your book once you've started it. There are chat rooms and help pages like plot ideas and lists of potential character names. It's pretty fun.

Anyone else want to write a book? Want to do it November? Want to do it with me?


Reading with Husband, Part I

Me in a tree on Bear Mountain just a few feet off the Appalachian Trail.

I had to pass an interview to get into the book club I mentioned two posts ago. It was informal, at a coffee shop, and mostly to make sure that I wasn't crazy before they invited me into a group that meets in people's homes. I told them that I had a degree in literature and that I had read (and understood most of) James Joyce's Ulysses and that I had personal connections to the literary and art world through my husband the art-magazine editor. But what they have remembered the most and most fondly, is that Brian and I read books out loud together. Even now, two years later, Kavari will tell new members of the group, "she and her husband read books out loud together. Isn't that wonderful?"

The most recent book we've read together is Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods which we unrepentantly stole from my parents when we went to visit them in Vermont. (Sorry mom and Bobby. I will give it back.)

A Walk in the Woods is a travel memoir about hiking the Appalachian Trail that makes us want to walk the 2,000+ miles from Georgia to Maine. The author sets out to "thru-hike the AT" (a little lingo for walking the whole trail in one go) with a fat, barely-reformed alcoholic college friend who would be played by Paul Giamatti if they ever made a movie. The story of his hike is interspersed with history and lore — from the trail's creation to its wildlife and geology to the nine murders that have occured on the trail since 1937. It is hilarious and inspiring even though Bryson doesn't finish hiking the whole thing.

Brian and I have walked on the AT three times in the past year or so. While visiting Great Smoky Mountains National Park we hiked on the trail to reach the "top of old smoky." Last month the two of us and our dog Mo got to hike some of the trail in beautiful Vermont (you can see pictures at the link above). And then last weekend we happened upon the tail unexpectedly. We went to a wedding at Bear Mountain State Park a little upstate. We drove to the top and then hiked around. Near the end of our hike, we notice some white blazes, 3 inches wide by 6 inches long, painted on trees and rocks. The white blaze is the offical mark of the Appalachian Trail. These blazes appear regularly on the trail, to keep hikers on the right track. We were so excited to find them, we walked fifteen minutes more and were almost late for the wedding.

Brian on Bear Mountain.

Me, Mo, and Bobby on the trail in Vermont.