Prep Season: Halloween, NaNoWriMo, & Holidays

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There are a lot of things in my life that I’m in prep-mode for right now.  Halloween is approaching, and if I want to make my own costume I need to get to work sooner than later.  NaNoWriMo season starts in October for me, so I definitely need to finish prepping for that since it’s only nine days away.  Thanksgiving happens in the middle of NaNoWriMo so I need to have a plan for that well before November 1, and I’m making a lot of my Christmas gifts this year, so it’s time to get cracking.

Let’s start with Halloween, though this does bleed into NaNoWriMo a bit.  I love sewing and creating my own costumes.  I find the prop creation to be a blast and I love starting with a pile of fabric, thread, and other notations and ending with a whole outfit (or at least a piece of one).  Plus, this year I have a new (and wonderful!) sewing machine to test out for all this.  It was my grandmother’s.  A Singer from the 1960s that’s built into a table that folds up to look like an end table.

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I’m still in the idea phase for what my actual Halloween costume will be, but I also love to wear a costume for the NaNoWriMo kickoff party.  It’s fun and it makes me memorable, which is good since I’m an ML (aka the local volunteer leader).  The theme for this year’s NaNoWriMo is superheroes.  So for the kickoff party, I want to do some kind of superhero costume.  At the very least, there will be a cape involved.  I’m thinking of going very simple on this one, like a t-shirt cape (it’s an idea I found on Pinterest and now can’t locate), and then a tunic and some leggings with a belt.  Super simple but impactful.

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For Halloween itself, I’ll dress up for work and then go to the NaNoWriMo kickoff write-in until after midnight, so the outfit has to be super comfortable (I’ll be in it for about 20 hours) and it has to be work-friendly.  I was thinking fairy, but that might not meet the comfort requirements.  Maybe something more like elf or púca (a special kind of fairy) so that I can make it work with more normal clothes but still be distinctive and Halloween.  As I said, this is still at the idea phase.  It may come down to what I have the fabric and patterns for already.  We’ll see what happens, and I’ll likely post about it here.

And that leads into NaNoWriMo season and all the prep I’m doing for that.

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As a Municipal Liaison (ML), I’m one of three in my region who are in charge of making sure there is a kickoff part, a thank goodness it’s over party (TGIO), and at least one write-in per week per ML.  Our region is also large and very active, so we do prep-workshops in October.  This year we have three of them.  One I am coordinating with a presenter on the west coast.  Another one of our former MLs is doing.  And the third will be largely presented by one of my co-MLs, but we’ll all be there to answer questions and give advice.  So I don’t have to do a ton of prep for these (except to make sure the projector is working properly).

I’m also a pretty active ML, so I tend to host more than my minimum once a week write-ins.  I have a standing write-in on Sunday afternoons that goes all year long, so I’ll continue that.  I’ll also likely do a couple Saturdays at NC State University and a few random evenings at other locations we’ve used in past years.  Right now I’m just trying to get all my dates settled.  We also do a couple big Saturday events that we have to finish planning details for.  Basically, there’s a lot that we’re still planning.  It’s fun though and I get to do said planning with two of my best friends so it’s a definite win for me.  So NaNoWriMo is an ongoing prep project until November, and there’s even some prep for the TGIO in November, so that will continue for a while.

And then, of course, there’s actually preparing to write in November.  Normally I’m not particularly good at this part.  I’ll settle on an idea in the last week of October, or even on Halloween.  This year I think I’ve settled on an idea already and it’s still September.  My writing friends are all shocked.  I’m actually a little infamous in our region for not having an idea until the last minute.  The idea I’m working on is set in the same world as Strong Fort Spathí and is centered around the Wiccan university in Fort Madison.  There will be a werewolf, a werecat, and a vampire.  The antagonist is a hate group harassing the university after it opens its first dorm specially designed to house vampires.  And just to be clear, when I say I’m “working on” this idea, it really just means that I’m thinking about it.  I have a few notes about a potential plot line or two, and I’ve been exploring the characters a little in some backstory scenes to get their voices figured out.  That’s about it.  I’ve found that too much planning makes me feel hemmed in and makes my writing feel forced, so I try to keep it pretty simple.

What may not happen in November, but I need to be working on through October and then again in December is all my holiday gift creating.  I like to make jewelry, and my mother loves most of what I’ve given her so far, as has my sister.  So this year I’m making something for each of them, my mother-in-law, possibly my sister-in-law, and maybe a few other close friends.  I’ve been gathering materials for the past few months as I can find them on sale or cheap on eBay.  So I have almost all the supplies I need, I just need to sit down and actually make things.  That is at least a nice relaxing project I can look forward to.

Jewelry I Made

So what are you prepping for right now?  Any plans to get things ready for Halloween, or other fall and winter happenings?

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