The Meaning of November
The current eleventh month of the year, November, is also a child of the changes in the calendar over the centuries. November is based on the Latin number, novem, for nine, yet because of the Gregorian calendar’s inserts of January and February as the first and second months, November is no longer the ninth month. November is one of my favorite months because I love the fall colors that soon turn to white and grey. Where I live the sky is often a brilliant blue, the air is crisp, and on cloudy days the clouds form great white mounds and decipherable shapes in the sky. I always have more energy in November to complete both indoor and outdoor tasks. While I miss my summer garden, I enjoy the snow blossoms covering the bushes and ground.
November in Current Fiction
In Robert Frost’s poem, “My November Guest,” he personifies his own sadness who loves the dark and barren days and comes to appreciate the beauty of the “bare November days” even when he is not sad.
My November Guest
My Sorrow, when she’s here with me,
Thinks these dark days of autumn rain
Are beautiful as days can be;
She loves the bare, the withered tree;
She walks the sodden pasture lane.
Her pleasure will not let me stay.
She talks and I am fain to list:
She’s glad the birds are gone away,
She’s glad her simple worsted gray
Is silver now with clinging mist.
The desolate, deserted trees,
The faded earth, the heavy sky,
The beauties she so truly sees,
She thinks I have no eye for these,
And vexes me for reason why.
Not yesterday I learned to know
The love of bare November days
Before the coming of the snow,
But it were vain to tell her so,
And they are better for her praise.
In Patricia Lockwood’s contemporary and experimental novel, No One is Talking About This, the author uses the trope of being online, texting, and tweeting. She mentions the month of November in an ironic statement on page 44, “for not only had sex ended in American on November 8, 2016, but English, that language of conquerors that broke rock and built with it, had never been capable of sounding that way, as if it were in the process of tumbling into its own long open-ended ruin.” This is the day Trump was elected. It allows her to set up the “dictator” in the portal.
She mentions November again on page 70, “Was it better to resist the new language where it stole, defanged, coopted, consumed, or was it better to text thanksgiving titties be popping to all your friends on the fourth Thursday of November just as the humble bird of reason, which could never have represented us on our silver dollars, made its final unwilling sacrifice to our willingness to eat and be eaten by each other.” Patricia Lockwood’s use of common holidays in November (voting day and Thanksgiving Day) is also ironic.
My Writing Goals for 2022
Publish my second book of poetry:
I continued working on the rewrite of the chapbook.
Finish, request feedback, and send my first novel out for review:
This month, I attended a book launch for a friend of mine. It was fun to see the final product. I need to put more time into my current draft because I do want to see it published.
Continue to work on my other novels:
In our October critique group, we had a good discussion about how we write, what we work on, and how we organize our stories. Today, we discussed 2000 words for each of our novels. I truly appreciate the feedback and encouragement my co-members provide to me.
Continue to develop a network of kindred spirits in the world of writing and publishing:
Boulder Writers Alliance:
Our BWA Poetry Circle featured Chris Hoffman who incorporates ecopsychology into his poetry. Chris enjoys integrating psychology, spirituality, mythology, and native wisdom in his work. His books of poetry, Son of the Earth, On the Way, Realization Point, and Cairns are available in bookstores and on Amazon.
The Steering Committee held a meeting. The editor of our newsletter and I worked on our November edition.
Denver Women’s Press Club: I listened to a podcast facilitated by a member of the DWPC, Judith Briles. Judith interviewed Nicole Sullivan, the owner of the innovative Book Bar, who recently took over The Bookies, a bookstore in Denver.
Women Writing the West: The national conference took place in October in Oklahoma City. I enjoyed seeing conference photos on Facebook and reading the comments that members posted on our listserv.
Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers: I read the newsletter which currently features literary humor, member authors, and information about writing retreats.
Document my writing progress through my blog and post it on the seventh day of each month, one blog per month in 2022:
Today is November 7, 2022, and I am posting my eleventh blog of 2022. October was a busy month because we had family visiting from Madagascar. Autumn has been colorful and warm in Colorado with no freeze until the first week of November. Thus, my flower garden continued to bloom much longer than usual.
Today in History:
One of my favorite writers, Albert Camus, was born on November 7, 1913. I will never forget reading L’Etranger in a college French course. The writing intrigued me. I can still remember the first line: «Aujourd’hui, maman est morte. Ou peut-être hier, je ne sais pas.» In 1957, the Nobel committee awarded the Nobel Prize for literature to Albert Camus. Only two years later, Albert Camus tragically died in a car accident in France.