It’s a really small robot that controls minds by entering through the ear. No, wait, it’s the long-lasting mechanical pencil from Apple–the extra-small model. No, that’s the iWriMo NaNo. Maybe it’s that Gungan who tore Jar Jar Binks a new bunghole for showing back up at the underwater city. No, that’s not right either. Whatever it is, it’s a mouthful.

I’ve been spending so much time writing these past few days, my brain is muddled.

Ah, yes, that’s it: It’s National Novel Writing Month. It’s an open challenge to all and sundry to produce a 50,000-word novel (or 50,000 words of a novel) in the 30 days hath November. Conveniently, I’ve been working on a novel lately. But NaNoWriMo requires a pace about double my norm, so it’s a challenge nonetheless. And a useful challenge at that; if I make it happen, I’ll close out the month 70% or 80% done with the whole thing.

(For the record, 50K words does not actually a novel make, but it’s a solid novella. What most of us think of as a novel–what we’ll pay $7.99 for in paperback–is more like 120K – 150K. Or so. But it’s the thought, or rather, the act of actually sitting down to write, that counts. And that’s what NaNoWriMo is about.)

(Also for the record: I may be cheating. The rules are really loose: Just write 50K words, and they seem pretty tolerant of how that 50K relates to a finished item. Pre-November notes and outlines are explicitly OK, but it’s not clear whether partially completed novels are kosher. I’m choosing a favorable interpretation.)

You can check out my word count on the right over there. The meter should glide on up over the course of the month. Wish me luck!

And if you’ve ever thought you might write a novel some day, well, there’s no time like the present. Literally. Or literarily. Join about 200,000 other people and give it a shot!