Andrea Lani
Mother ~ Nature ~ Writer

October extinguished itself in a rush of howling winds
and driving rain and November arrived,
cold as frozen iron, with hard frosts every morning
and icy drafts that bit at exposed hands and faces.

~ J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

A wind and rainstorm whipped through Maine on Halloween night, ushering in the bare and bleak landscape of November. The next couple of weeks brought periods of unseasonably cold temperatures (which I read as "unreasonably cold" temperatures, an accurate description in my opinion). Meanwhile the month chugged on, moving with slow but steady persistence toward my return to work and the holidays, when my children's wants ratchet up to an intensity that's inversely proportional to my ability to meet them, even if I were inclined to indulge their consumerist tendencies.

November vies with March in my world for being the most challenging month to get through, the one I'd most like to escape from into a stone hut perched in the midst of a nice warm, dry, sunny desert. So this year I've taken steps to try to keep from getting sucked into the November gloom. They include:
  • Walking daily, whatever the weather (and making a set of cute fleece skirts to wear on those walks).
  • Making stuff. I used to think I needed to "accomplish" things to stay reasonably content, but really what I think I need is to make things, with my hands, that don't need to be remade again the next day. In addition to the skirts mentioned above, I've got two fun knitting projects going (which I never do; I'm usually a very monogamous knitter).
  • Writing. I've been doing my own version of NANOWRIMO, mining journals for material and typing in at least 1700 words per day (and feeling validated for doing so by Lydia Davis).
  • Managing my time. I've been trying to implement some time management techniques that are supposed to make you feel like you have more time. Jury's still out on whether or not they work.
  • Spending time with friends. I've gone on a couple of lunch dates, gotten together with friends to knit, and had a "Girls' Day Out" with a mother-in-law. I've also gotten together with fellow Maine Master Naturalists for events, gatherings, and meetings.
  • Making art. I've been trying to devote at least a little time each week to nature journaling and/or watercolor painting.
All this does not change the fact that the days are about seventeen minutes long, and it's unreasonably cold, and the holidays and the job are bearing down like a runaway freight train. But, along with a few deep breaths and some mindless couch and TV time, it's making this month a lot easier to take.
A Dangerous New World Launch Party
My essay "'Persistence' Is the Thing with Fins" will be included in the forthcoming book A Dangerous New World: Maine Voices on the Climate Crisis, coming out from Littoral Books in December. 

The book's launch party is happening December 8 at Space Gallery in Portland. I'd love it if you could make it! Proceeds from the book's sales will be donated to 350 Maine.
Support Literary Mama
My very first piece of published writing appeared in the online journal Literary Mama, way back in 2008, when I was a baby writer. After finishing grad school in 2014, I became co-editor of the journal's Literary Reflections department, and a couple of years ago also joined the senior editor team. As an all-volunteer organization, Literary Mama has always been a labor of love, but now, after 16 years as a "hobby business," we are a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, and as such can accept donations. In the short term, these funds will help support our basic operations, which heretofore have been footed by staff members. In the long run, we hope to eventually pay writers and, possibly, editors. Please consider making a small contribution toward helping us bring great writing by mothers about motherhood into the world.
Hang in there through this cold and dark month, friends,
sunlight awaits on the other side.

~ Andrea
Copyright © 2019 Andrea Lani, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp