Today is November first, and you all know what that means. It’s NaNoWriMo — or National Novel Writing Month. It’s time to shut out the outside world. Leave the dishes in the sink and the beds unmade. Ignore the phone calls, the invitations for entertainment, and hubby’s pleas to turn out the light and go to sleep. Hurry home from work or school and fire up that computer. This is it — that amazing month when you focus on writing that novel you’ve always wanted to start, when you experience the exhilarating rush of having an entire book-length story flow out of your mind, through your fingertips and onto your computer screen. You will live the adventure you create. There will be roadblocks: the kids will need at least some of your attention, work will demand a certain amount of hours, teachers will complain, and sickness may dog every step. People may even die. But will you let a few small details like that stop you from writing the greatest novel on earth? No! Go forth my friends with determination to write every day, to push through the obstacles that will come, and let that story shine forth. You can do it. I believe in you. And for all of those skeptics and doubters out there who are just too left-brained: no, there is no monetary reward at the end of the journey: just 50,000 words and the enormous satisfaction of having lived an entire life in a month. Happy Writing!