The joys of the greyest month

By Scott Bury

November vista

We’ve entered what my neighbour called “the ugliest month.” It’s easy to see what she means: grey skies, naked trees, the bite of the wind.

Hallowe’en is over, the full-on insanity of the holiday shopping season and its excessive decoration and celebration have not started yet. The upcoming observance of Remembrance, Armistice or Veterans’ Day casts its own pallor.

And this year, there are the continuing pandemic and a certain election in one country that add their own tinges.

But there has always been something about November that appeals to me.

Grey following orange and yellow

November is the month for wearing leather jackets and warm sweaters. The month when the winds bring the promise of snow and skiing and skating.

A time of anticipation of other things.

Going out takes a little planning, but not as much as deepest winter: a jacket, shoes or maybe light boots, maybe a hat.

For me, the beginning of fall is a time of new starts. The end of the heat and humidity of summer also releases me from summer languor of the period. I always get ambitious again and start several projects at once: home improvements, new books, new promotion plans.

By November, I can concentrate on one at a time, which allows me to actually complete them.

I’m not alone in this: November is National Novel Writing Month, an annual event where people commit to writing 50,000 words in a single novel between November 1 and 30. That amounts to nearly 1,700 words a day, every day. I did it once, in 2012. The result was One Shade of Red, my spoof of a certain much celebrated and much castigated bestseller.

But the point is this: November, the greyest month, is a month when we can get things done.

So let’s enjoy this time of year. Break out the warm jacket, the waterproof shoes, the hat. Don’t forget your mask!

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