This has been and will continue to be a fairly challenging November for me.

The entire quarter from October through December is always a bit of a bear for me. My company’s success is centered around retail prosperity and Christmas is (in this country at least) the retail holiday to end all others. Throw in new products to roll out and the whole thing can get kind of hairy.

It feels a little weird to not even begin to try and do NaNoWriMo this year.  I think last year I got a whopping 1400 words into my 50K for the month and then just threw my hands up and quit on day 3. This year I didn’t even walk up to the starting line.  My fellow word nerds were all out and about 10/31 at midnight pecking away. I slunk home after a dinner of fried chicken and crawled into bed hoping that 1) no trick or treaters came by although I did in fact have candy if they did; and 2) that said trick or treaters didn’t decide to egg my car for such inhospitable behavior as they had two years prior.

I lucked out on both counts, but still feel a little sad at not making a go of it.  Words don’t come easily for me lately, as the sporadic activity on this blog would demonstrate. I have tried not to put any pressure on myself to try and produce words at a regular clip, but I feel like I may need to push myself to try and crank stuff out whether I feel up to it or no.  I do n0t do well without some kind of outside pressure or deadline pushing me to make something happen I guess. Flashbacks to late night cram sessions from college, maybe.

Right now I am sitting on a chaise at the home of friends Kurt & Deanna. There are writers all throughout the house furiously pecking away at their keyboards trying to beat each other in a word war (ten minute time limit to crank out whatever they can). I’m playing along here just because I can and it makes me feel a bit more connected to this world I used to feel so much more a part of.

I miss feeling like I have something to say here. I do not know if I was any good at it, but I do miss it. I have no idea why my ambivalence keeps persisting when I know that it does not matter whether I ever write the great American novel or not. All that matters is that I say what I feel because the feelings are my own.

Well, I guess obsessing about correcting contractions in this thing to help up my word count does not exactly count as “feelings” per se. But it does speak to the fact that my competitive spirit has not gone completely by the wayside. Nor my propensity for expressing myself awkwardly in prose to pad the bullshit pile effectively.

Where was I?

I do feel like I am slowly finding my way back in some areas. The last two times out playing cards have been profitable. I took fourth place in one poker tourney, and then flamed out in the second but came back huge in the cash game after making some good plays and hitting some lucky draws. More importantly, I am learning to let it go when the losing side of variance sneaks up and bites me in the ass. As long as I can analyze my play and understand where I might have made the different choice (if there was one) to maybe increase the odds more to my favor, I can sleep at night without beating myself up.

Progress. Or “baby steps” if you’re a What About Bob? fan.

(Note to self: word counts are significantly more likely to go up when you don’t struggle with spelling issues like how to spell aficionado and spell check doesn’t help you.)

Anyway there isn’t any real point to all of this beyond my saying I may be cranking out the random a lot more in this space than usual. You have been warned.

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