Sunday, November 28, 2010

In defense of NaNoWriMo

November is national novel writing month or NaNoWriMo. The goal is to write a novel (50,000 words) or rather a novelette. However there is a general disdain for this type of challenge among certain literati.

I know everyone has a story with in them. Maybe it's only one (i.e., Margaret Mitchell "Gone with the Wind") or many (Stephen King "Shawshank Redemption" Cujo" "It" etc). Either way, every writer no matter where they are in their writing journey should undertake this type of challenge

1. because you have to write every day
2. because there's a deadline
3. because there are no limits to what you should or shouldn't write
4. it's for a good cause--donations go to libraries and literary campagins all over the world.

The website admits that you will write a lot of poor quality material. They operate on an honor system: you cannot use anything that's been published by you or anyone else. They also want to encourage everyone to write whether you are Stephen King or not. Once you reach the goal of 50,000 words by November 30 at midnight, to them you are equal to Stephen King.


Monday, November 1, 2010

Leaves fall because...

...they want to.

Leaves fall from deciduous trees due to the release of hormones (yes, trees have hormones) that close off the transportation of nutrients and inhibit the growth of the leaf. The "anti-growth" hormone causes leaves to snap off at a specific point where they're connected to the branch of the tree.

The benefits of losing leaves include conservation of water, shedding of insects (eggs and pupae), limiting the growth of fungus and other parasites. So it's probably best to take all fallen leaves and destroy them or rake them as far a way from the tree as possible.

Sources: Backyard Nature