October has always been a pressure month for me, filled to choking with exams, papers, art shows, projects, and other deadlines that try to squeeze the stuffing out of the days leading up to Halloween. This year is no different. Though I eschewed all art shows this fall, and scaled back from five jobs to three, I am still a very busy bee. However, this October brings three additional deadlines amid the usual chaos – all for which I am eagerly counting down the days:

4 Days:  I have four days until I finish my Vision Impaired training for the home therapy group that employs me. I already work with deaf and deafblind babies and toddlers; this current class is enabling me to work with visually impaired tots who are otherwise cognitively normal and need additional challenges, including pre-Braille training. Did you know that you could teach “pre-Braille” to someone still in diapers? I didn’t either, till I joined this class.

11 Days: I have eleven days till I hand off my current manuscript, Castle 8, to a journalist friend who has agreed to give it a cold read. I cannot tell you how excited I am – first, that I get to see my friend, whom I haven’t seen since visiting her in Jakarta several years ago; but also that I will get a thoughtful, honest response from someone who can tell me where my (literary) hangups are and what to do about them.

21 Days: Only three weeks remain until NaNoWriMo! I will do a specific post on this annual event later, especially as I know there is some strong debate in literary circles as to whether NaNo is everything it’s cracked up to be; but I for one am very excited. I have already storyboarded the sequel to Castle 8 and am ironing out the details as we speak. I don’t anticipate having a complete rough draft by the end of November, but if I cross that magic 50,000 word mark, that’s roughly 200 pages closer to the end than I would be otherwise.

What about YOU? Are you considering doing NaNoWriMo this year? Let me know!