The NaNoWriMo Challenge, Julie London and ‘November Twilight’

A big number in that title, but I’m going to attempt something new around here. For one month only, I’m going to set myself the challenge of becoming… A Daily Blogger. Argh, what am I doing to myself?

I’ve tried 7 posts in 7 days before, and succeeded, although the plan to make them shorter didn’t quite come off, so it was quite a task. This time I’ll be kinder to myself and probably use a few shortcuts. If you are a regular visitor, don’t feel any pressure to populate the comments boxes (although always nice), as this is really just a personal challenge tied in with my college course.

I’ve shared poems around here before from the NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month) challenge, but now it’s time for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and we’ve all been encouraged to join in. The idea is to throw down 1650 words per day for the whole of November, and by the end of it all you’ll have a novel. It will probably be rubbish, and just the seed of something to work on in the future, but for many writers it’s a wonderful wordy workout.

Of course I have no illusions about being a writer myself, I’m just an enthusiast who likes using this place as her web-diary, and as somewhere to share the music she has enjoyed over the years. I am never going to write a novel, as that’s just not my thing, but I’m hopeful the ‘essays’ I post around here could be turned into some sort of volume down the line. Something for the grandchildren, if I ever have any. (The way this pandemic is playing out, our single offspring are finding the dating game nigh impossible at the moment, so any future grandchildren might end up being of the virtual variety.)

So, in solidarity with some of my classmates, there will be something new here every day until the end of the month, always including a featured song. Hopefully I will end up with a few gems, but at this stage who knows, it might be an epic fail. I suppose that’s going to be the fun of it.

As today is the first day of November, and as I am a fan of Julie London, here is something liberated from Charity Chic’s blog last year, when he very kindly shared a song at the start of every month from her Calendar Girl album. The song for today is November Twilight.

November Twilight by Julie London:


Looking at the album cover, it does seem to fit the remit well, Julie sporting some very skimpy outfits indeed and not the kind of thing for a dark and dreich November night here in Scotland. Julie was of her time however and always oozed glamour, so in 1956 I imagine this went down well with her fanbase. She has appeared around here a couple of times before (link here) as I’ve always loved her sultry voice, especially when singing her signature song, Cry Me A River.

So, ‘What’s It All About?’ – I’ve ended up being too wordy already and it’s only day one of my challenge, but I will, by necessity I’m sure, have to ease up on the wordcount as the days go by. Thanks again to CC for sharing Julie’s wonderful album last year as we now have a go-to track for the start of every calendar month, should we need it. Looking at the first line of the song, it bears out what’s been happening around here this weekend – What with all the wind, the trees are looking very bare indeed, stripped of all those beautiful autumn colours.

As it looks as if it’s going to be another tough month for the country, I’ll try and make this a fun place to visit for the next 30 days. Always plenty of good music to share (it won’t always be from 1956) and I will avoid mentioning the pesky pandemic as much as possible. By the time Julie is ready to sing Warm In December (that Santa suit doesn’t look very warm at all), things might be a whole lot brighter.

Julie London

Until next time….

November Twilight Lyrics
(Song by Pete King/Paul Francis Webster)

The branches of the trees are bare
The smell of burning leaves is in the air
November twilight steals across my heart

At five o’clock the streets are dark
Across the empty bandstand in the park
November twilight softly falls again

So still that you could hear a voice
If one were calling
So quiet that you could hear a tear
If one were falling

And April’s laughter steals once more
Across the dark pavilion of my heart
And then I miss you most
Miss you with the ache of long lost things
Of sunburnt hours and garden swings
When life was beautiful
And love was young and gay
November twilight must you stay?

Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days - I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 50 years ago the song "Alfie" was written by my favourite songwriting team Bacharach and David - The opening line to that song was "What's it all about?" and I'm hoping that by writing this blog, I might find the answer to that question.

19 thoughts on “The NaNoWriMo Challenge, Julie London and ‘November Twilight’”

  1. As an aspiring author, I have to confess I find NaNoWriMo … awful. I’ve tried several times, I just can’t do it. That said, there is something to be said for the imperative of regular writing to a target. My novel began as a blog, with the imperative that I would post the next 2000 or so words every Friday. Guess that turned out okay so maybe I should try something similar again. Am already a day behind though… 🙂

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    1. A few of the people I started the course with in 18/19 (I’m still in First Year so a very part-time student) are now doing it for the third time, but it is tough and there have been many drop-outs over the years. If I do manage to post here daily (my version of the challenge) it will ‘clog up the works’ so to speak, and I might alienate my usual readership, but I hope not.

      I loved your book Martin and am going to add a page on my blog for such works by the people who are on my sidebar. Interesting to hear it started out as a blog. There is hope for me yet.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. She certainly did. Marilyn Monroe oozed a certain kind of sex appeal when she sang but with Julie, despite the clothes and Calendar Girl images, it is somehow a lot subtler and classy.

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  2. Brilliant challenge, Alyson and I admire you and wish you luck, I can absolutely see how setting a target like this (and telling people!) is great motivation. I wish I could even write one post. I’m so mentally tired at the moment, just from keeping up with relentless work commitments – but maybe it would be something for me to try next year?! The silly thing is I do have ideas floating around my head but I just can’t find the oomph to do anything about them. However, I look forward to reading yours!
    I do love those November Twilight lyrics.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks C – I do worry I will bore all my followers by posting so regularly and you’ll all unfollow me but as I said this is a personal challenge tied in with the college course so a different kind of animal. The funny this is, if you post regularly it gets easier and almost automatic whereas the longer you leave it between posts the more difficult it can get. At the moment your priority is work however so don’t stress about it. In the current climate you must take all you can get.

      Yes the lyrics are lovely aren’t they.

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  3. Best of luck in your quest – I have trouble writing 30 posts in a year, never mind a moth (which is surprising fro someone like me who has always got SOMETHING to say).
    Looking foward to some great toons (like this one), some inspiration, and something I can nick and pass off as my own work

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks – I think it’s going to be tough to be honest and my neck/shoulder has already started to seize up having spent too much time in front of the computer this week. We all have something to say, it’s getting it down in words that’s the trouble – That keyboard is not always our friend.

      Glad you liked Julie’s song.

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  4. I noticed your daily posts popping up on my sidebar when I returned to blogging a couple of weeks back and was aiming to catch up with them all in one fell swoop, but an ongoing deluge of lengthy overtime shifts put paid to that idea. Instead, I’ll have to drop in here and there to see how you’re getting on. I belatedly wish you well with your endeavour.
    I put out 55 consecutive posts to celebrate my 55th birthday five years ago, which was quite an experience. I did it on a whim having prepared absolutely nothing – a bit of an error on my part! I came away with an even deeper level of respect for the daily bloggers in our community. My current aim is to produce two posts per week – and I often lack the mental stamina even for that modest target. I get so tired from work – and when I’m tired the old grey matter shuts up shop!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome back and glad you are ‘connected’ again to the blogging world. Hope the Wifi holds up well in your lovely sounding new abode.

      You might have noticed that the title of these posts has changed – I have taken out the 30 in 30 part, because I think I’ve reached my blogging limit. Not sure how many milligrams in the bloodstream it involves, but after managing 17 posts in 18 days I think I was boring my followers with my endeavour. My kind of blogging doesn’t suit a daily output, and although I was on a bit of a roll and could have probably carried on, I thought I’d give everyone a break. To be honest not many, if any, of the NaNoWriMo lot are still going either.

      Yes, I’ve looked back at your 55 posts when you mentioned them before, so hats off to you – That was quite an undertaking. The general consensus seems to be just to post something new when you are in the mood for it (and certainly not when you’re tired from work) – It shouldn’t feel like a chore. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with when you have time and energy – Hopefully more from that nice garden you have.

      Thanks for dropping by but no pressure to read all 17 posts – I actually had ideas lined up for another 12 and you can be topical when you post every day, but not to be on this occasion.

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