Challenge. By far, one of my favorite words. So many possibilities in those nine letters. Endless, really.
From Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary:
1. to demand as due or deserved
2. to order to halt and prove identity
3. to dispute especially as being unjust, invalid, or outmoded
4. to question formally the legality or legal qualifications of
5. a: to confront or defy bodily
b: to call out to duel or combat
c: to invite into competition
6. to arouse or stimulate especially by presenting with difficulties
7. to administer a physiological and especially an immunologic challenge
Great word, isn't it? It's one of my favorites. Oh, right--I told you that already. Silly me. What I haven't told you is why it's sitting so heavily in my mind right now, as we begin the final day of the month.
November is when the National Novel Writing Month Challenge is held. Over 100,000 people from around the globe signed on to challenge themselves to writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. I've done the challenge for a couple of years now and, honestly, at this point November wouldn't feel like November if I wasn't writing furiously on the first draft of a NaNo novel.
I love taking the NaNo challenge! This time I wrote a novel called Seaside Shimmy, which will be fine tuned in January, after I've settled down a bit. It is a follow-up story to my upcoming (March) release of the first Anna Romeo mystery, Vineyard Mambo. I had more fun writing this book than I think I should have. I giggled at every turn, smiled as Anna danced around a corpse. Oh yes, it was great fun! I will admit, though, that it was a challenge trying to squeeze writing into the already hectic holiday month. But the challenge of squashing writing in, finding extra hours to devote to NaNo, is part of the fun. Anyhow, that was my big November challenge.
Ah! But November isn't over, is it? There's still, according to the time counter on the NaNo homepage, about 15 hours left to the month. That gives me (ample!) time to finish the last challenge of the month. I'm writing a story in a genre that I've never written before and, between us, it's giving me a run for my money. It's a short story that has a December 1st deadline and you would have thought I'd written it earlier but hey, let's just call this the super-challenge, okay? Or, if you will, the author-who's-taken-leave-of-her-senses scenario. You choose. :)
To mark the end of my fun-filled month, I'm giving away a surprise to celebrate. Anyone who leaves a comment on this blog post, sharing a challenge they've taken recently, before December 1st will be elegible to win. Tomorrow morning (after I submit my infernal...um, challenging story) I'll randomly choose a winner. So please, won't you let us in on what challenges you? Tell us how you challenge yourself? Please?
I challenge you. ;-)