Autumn is here for good, with its cool, blustery days, changing leaves, wool skirts, and ubiquitous pumpkin-flavored monstrosities. I happen to love the fall (but don’t try to make me eat a pumpkin muffin), and I live in the best place in the universe to experience it in all its glory. New England never looks better than in October, and even driving to the grocery store is an ever-changing adventure in brightly colored foliage and migrating birds.
And what does this all signal? Only one thing that matters, of course: the imminent arrival of NaNoWriMo! For those of you who weren’t around last year, or this summer, or who live in a cave, NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month: a community challenge to write 50,000 words of fiction in the month of November. It’s glorious and wonderful and the perfect invigorating shock to the creative system when everything seems to be getting gloomy outside.
I love absolutely everything about it, from the people I get to meet to the challenge that helps give me purpose and motivation. I do much better with everything when I have a bit of external accountability, because I’m a lazy sod when left to my own devices, which makes this perfect.
The only small dark spot in the whole thing is that last year, I did so well because I had just become unemployed, and this year it looks like I’ll be in the same position. It would actually be nice to fail because I’m too busy getting used to a new job, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. So I might as well throw myself into it.
Anyway. I’ve decided to write something completely new and different for the month, putting aside all my usual projects and letting my imagination loose for a little while. I’ve already thought up my concept, which you can read below. I’m very excited about the whole thing.
So if you’re interested in taking on this heroic quest with me next month, please look me up and add me as a buddy. If you’re not sure if you can handle it and need some convincing, either leave a comment here or try exploring the forums a little, and see what an awesome community would love to welcome you.
In any case, here’s my new blurb and cover. If all goes well, you’ll be seeing this on my shelf someday, too.
Dalan Sorly is unlucky. In the Moonlands, a place of near absolute darkness where blindness is the norm and the people dwell in vast underground cities, he is born into a family happily untouched by trouble before their inauspicious seventh son came along. Growing up abused, unwanted, and uneducated, he is nonetheless extraordinarily dangerous – because Dalan can see.
Tired of being denied a full life and facing execution after showing his unwillingness to be exploited by the rulers of Cau Entaith, the city of his birth, Dalan chooses to avoid the gallows and be exiled to the surface instead. He is given over to the care of the Clan of the Crow Moon, a loose association of sighted outcasts like himself, charged with protecting his people from the enormous imia, vicious predators intent on burrowing their way into the city’s heart.
In the company of his new-found brethren, Dalan finds purpose and hope, and discovers that the imia are not the only enemies of Cau Entaith, sight is not the strangest gift in his newly broadened world, and that even under the bright light of the sun, darkness is never far away.