The end for us in Professional Writing & Editing, that is. Almost the end. The one thing that's left is marking. Tons of it. Truckloads of it. And for me, it all has to be done in a week. Usually I try to stagger it over a couple of weeks but I have two Tuesday classes this year, which means Melbourne Cup Day is not an option for final submissions, although it will be a day spent on marking instead of going to the races!
This time of year is hopeless for writing - usually. But it also coincides with NaNoWriMo, which is the thing you sign up for where you write 50,000 words in a month. For writers in the US, it probably works out fine. For me, with end of year marking, it's not good at all. One year I signed up, and used it to finish the last 40,000 words of a draft. I did try to start something new to reach the big 5-0 but the brain died on me.
This year, I am determined to do something! I feel like I have spent months of my life recently doing nothing but rewriting. Nothing new, nothing exciting (because I love the first draft, this is a terrible state to be in). So my friend K, who has signed up for NaNo, is going to work hard on her new novel, and I'm signing up with her (my personal NaNo - K, do I call you NaNNy?) and I'm going to be trying very hard to work on a new novel of my own. I may not get far, but it might just save my sanity while everything else is crowding in.
The other thing that saves my sanity on a constant basis is our bit of bushland about an hour out of Melbourne. I've been taking hundreds of photos over the past few years, and now we have applied for a Trust for Nature covenant. So I've decided to create a kind of photo record of what I see there. It'll be mostly plants, because I don't have a decent zoom on my camera to catch the birds and butterflies well enough. But one day... In the meantime, if you're interested, my first amateur naturalist post is up.