It’s Been A While…

Here we are, November 2022.

I was supposed to be trying new challenges each month, and I did pretty well until I uprooted my family and moved to Montenegro at the end of June. Since then, I’ve been getting used to my new job and our new location and I haven’t been doing many new challenges.

But, it’s a new month, and it’s only two months until the end of the year. So I feel like I need to come back to the idea that started this whole venture: monthly challenges.

To begin with, I should say that while I haven’t been updating the blog, I have continued at least one challenge: What I started back in May… veganism.

Yes, I’ve actually managed to keep up my vegan challenge for the past six months, and I’m happy to report that it’s been a success. You could say that this is my six month veganersary.

But I’ll understand if you don’t want to.

Here’s how my vegan journey has gone. My first month, “Meatless May”, a part of the 365 Days of 30 Day Challenges, was awful. I felt like death warmed over the entire month, and I was farting nonstop. Then, I had a fateful conversation with a reformed vegan, who told me that the first month was the worst part, and that you have to get to six months to really start feeling the benefits, and so I chose to continue. Even moving to Montenegro, where I thought it would be impossible, I continued. Thankfully, I’ve found enough vegan sources here – including vegan items in the markets and vegan cafes run by Seventh Day Adventists, that I’ve been able to continue.

And actually, I’ve enjoyed it. There have been moments of difficulty, because this country does love its sausage and cheese, but I’ve been able to prevail.

And now, after six months, I’m happy to report that my reformed vegan’s suggestion was true, that I feel really good, and I have every intention of continuing.

Otherwise, I have been so busy with my new job and our new location that I haven’t really been continuing the 365/30 challenge. I haven’t done anything since July.

But I hope to finish strong.

And this comes with the quintessential 30 day challenge… Nanowrimo, the National Novel Writing Month.

This is the original 30 day challenge… writing the first draft of a novel in 30 days. I’ve done it for years, and I’ve written several first drafts of terrible novels.

So, since I’m doing things differently this year, I’m going to do Nanowrimo differently. Here’s my plan:

I’m going to use a random word generator to generate a word each day. Then, I’m going to write a short story about that word. Nanowrimo challenges you to write about 1,600 words a day, but I’m not going to hold myself to that. I’m just going to tell the story of the word each day.

To make it a bit more interesting, I’m also going to be working my way along the path of the hero’s journey each day, with new stories, new characters, new settings, new situations, all going somewhere.

And, at the end of the month, I will hopefully have done a boatload of new writing.

So, that’s where I am in my challenges for the first of the last two months of the year. Veganism and Nanowrimo.

Seems like a good partnership.

Author: thimblerigsark

Nate loves the life of the expat, having spent the last fifteen years living in Kazakhstan and China. In Kazakhstan, he founded the Kazakhstan English Language Theater, the first English language theater in Central Asia. Nate is also an educator, and has taught upper Elementary and theater in some pretty far-out international situations. He's the proud papa of three brilliant and beautiful children, and the husband of the lovely Koolyash. Nate is currently working on part II in the Thimblerig's Ark saga. Thimblerig's Ark was conceived while Nate sat in Tommy Condon's Irish Pub in Charleston, South Carolina, listening to the band play a song about why the unicorn missed out on Noah's Ark. Thimblerig's Ark looks at how the animals all made it there in the first place, focusing on a con-artist groundhog named Thimblerig.

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