Still, I'm loving this. A big part of what makes it so exciting for me is how interested Ben is in the project, and how much he encourages me. We were out to do some Christmas shopping and errands together last week, kid free, and we talked about my plot and characters and he gave me a tip that changed the structure of the story to something I felt much more comfortable bringing to life. I remember sneaking his printed screenplays into class to reading during lectures in college and being so impressed with him. I've always admired his writing style, especially his dialogue, so having him compliment me and talk about my story with true interest is super flattering.
I was thinking about how I'd like to do this every November from here on out (unless it gets torturous and painful near the end and I change my mind completely) and how lovely it is to add another tradition to month that's already full of it. I'm into Thanksgiving. My family doesn't travel, my sister always comes Black Friday shopping with me, and we get a tree that weekend. But I also love some of the lower-profile happenings. Small Business Saturday is a huge push for some of the holiday-season cash flow to get rerouted into smaller businesses in your community, and I love hunting down the best local places to pick up some gifts. I'm also getting happy tingles about The National Day of Listening. StoryCorps is one of my favorite things in existence, and I wish constantly that I asked more questions of people who are already gone. Here is an instruction guide for recording your own interview, with some sample questions that are sure to get a deep convo going.
I'll leave you with some of my favorite pieces of writing from past Novembers:
This is the two part story of my first time hosting Thanksgiving at my house, when I ended up in the ER with poison ivy in my throat: Thanksgiving Nightmares, Part One & Part Two
Something I was grateful for every day in November 2011. Milo was a month old and I was on maternity leave and it was a good time to be Ashlie.
Last year I did some more detailed notes about Small Business Saturday and The National Day of Listening.
This is some writing about my dad, who died in November 17 years ago. Recently Milo has been asking lots of family tree questions ("Who is daddy's daddy? Who is your mama?") and I'm trying to make Grandpa Kevin a big part of our conversations. To All Who Said I'd Find Relief, You All Have Lied and Why Your Middle Name is Kevin
Lastly, here is a link to my homepage for National Novel Writing Month. I have an excerpt of my story, with the working title The Family Historian. I'm hoping to share much more very soon!
Thanks for being patient, lovelies! Be your own lady!