This November, I will be taking most of the month off from blogging. I’ll still post on Mondays and several people have given or promised me guest posts contact me if you’re interested, so the blog won’t be entirely dormant.
I’m doing this because November promises to be a busy month. I could try to do everything I have planned and still write posts, but that would take energy away from my November projects (which I think are more worthy of my attention than some months’ projects have been) and it would probably produce lower-quality blog posts as well. Lose-lose.
So, what am I doing this November? Three big things:
National Novel Writing Month!
I’ve wanted to do NaNoWriMo ever since I found out it existed, back when I was in college. But when I was in college, I had classes and focused my energies there. The first year I was out of college, I was just starting this blog and new it would die if I took a month off–I was still finding my focus and my voice. Last year, I was still doing consulting part-time for a living and didn’t think I could balance my home work schedule and my home writing schedule.
But this year, there are no more reasons not to and I’m very excited. NaNoWriMo happens every November, when a group of crazy people all commit to writing 50,000 words of a novel (a short novel) in 30 days. It started as a fun attempt by a few friends and grew into something international. I’m hoping that my blogging will give me an edge. I’ve written between 250,000 and 400,000 words in the last 2.25 years I’ve had this blog (estimate based on # of posts and my average words per post).
If anyone else is doing NaNoWriMo and would like to be buddies on the site, email me your screenname and a link to your NaNo profile and I’ll friend you. 🙂
Donating Peripheral Blood Stem Cells (Marrow Stem Cells)
On November 16th, I’ll be donating PBSC, the stem cells that make bone marrow. The process is not quite as intense as donating actual bone marrow. There’ll be no need to stick a needle into the bones themselves. But it will be uncomfortable and require a number of days of prep work.
If things go well, I’ll be live tweeting and/or microblogging the process. I probably won’t be able to type, but my darling husband will be accompanying me the entire time and has agree to be my amenuensis.
What the process will entail in November (after a blood test today) is 4 days of Filgrastim shots to stimulate my bone marrow to produce more stem cells than normal. These stem cells will end up in my blood. This is supposed to be the most painful part of the process, especially in the areas with the most marrow.
Then on the day of donation, I’ll receive a 5th shot of Filgrastim (which is nice because it’ll last all day and help my body make more stem cells after the process is over) very early in the morning. After about an hour for breakfast, I’ll come back and be hooked up to an apheresis machine. Best case scenario, an IV will take blood from one arm, route it through the machine to take out the stem cells, and put it back in the other arm. If things don’t go as well, I may have to get a central line in my leg. Less fun, but I would get the use of my arms.
Fortunately, it normally only takes a couple days to be most of the way recovered, unlike when you donate bone marrow itself. The pain just comes beforehand.
GRE and Grad School Applications
Thirdly, I have a GRE scheduled on November 20th. I started reviewing for it in October, problem by problem, but what free time I have besides work and writing I’ll be spending working on my GRE. I’m also not going to let NaNoWriMo derail my GRE efforts, but I’ve found that spending 15-20 minutes on a day doing it seems to work well.
While my library school applications don’t have to be done until the winter, I hope to get them finished up by early December, which means filling out a lot of forms, & writing statements of intent for each program. I’ve already started that too.
Thanks for all the support so many of you have already given me on each of these three November tasks. Here’s to a successful November for all of us!