Am writing, am reading, am really really busy

12 days into November, and I’m on track to finish NaNoWriMo well ahead of the deadline. It’s amazing how much I can accomplish when I have to.

The reason I have to: I start a 2½-week trip on 24 November, which will leave me with no spare time for writing, and probably little for reading.

Which is why, while cranking out the daily NaNo pages, I’m also barreling through Moby-Dick. I passed the 35% point a couple of days ago, and my interest and enjoyment haven’t flagged.

“Moby Dick”, Rockwell Kent, 1930, courtesy

But I have to admit that I’m flummoxed about what to add to the massive amount of Ahab-and-the-white-whale commentary that’s collected over the past 168 years.

2019 being the 200th anniversary of Melville’s birth, of course the blog-iverse is crammed with readers sharing their first/second/nth experience of reading Ishmael’s ultra-detailed tale. I have nothing to add, except a slight warning to all: don’t let Ishmael’s voice of expertise fool you. He makes up sources and disagrees with experts. You’ll see. This in no way diminishes Ishmael’s believability when it comes to narrating the events aboard the Pequod — he misses nothing, and never hesitates to tell us all.

To end, I send you to a Moby-Dick themed website well worth a lengthy visit:, where Patrick Shea, composer, musician and teacher based in Brooklyn, has posted commentary and a new song for each chapter of Moby-Dick. Starting in 2008, Shea composed the songs at the rate of about one a day (although it took him much longer to record them for his blog). His comments provide not just a reaction to the novel, but also a genesis-tale for each accompanying song. The songs themselves range through several musical genres, with lyrics printed for us to sing along. (Shea’s song cycle pre-dates the premier of Heggie & Scheer’s opera, Moby-Dick, by just 2 years.)

That’s it for today. I’ll be back in a week with an update.

About Lizzie Ross

in no particular order: author, teacher, cyclist, world traveler, single parent. oh, and i read. a lot.
This entry was posted in Adventure, Am reading, Am writing, NaNoWriMo, Seafaring and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Am writing, am reading, am really really busy

  1. Ola G says:

    Can’t believe I haven’t even started Moby Dick yet, and half of November is almost gone… I need to remedy that asap! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. buriedinprint says:

    Congrats on your NaNoWriMo success so far. It’s hard to make time for writing, easier to make time for reading, and sometimes that’s a challenge too. I don’t do the November thing but I did have an unusual number of deadlines for October 31 and have had quite a bit of work as things boomeranged back for edits and resub’s so I can relate to the excess on the writing side lately. Enjoy your trip and your break from the words. (For awhile.)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lizzie Ross says:

      Thanks, BIP. I got a NaNo leg up, because I already had a draft (last year’s work), but I’d done little with it — it was a good last minute project to take on, and NaNo a perfect opportunity to whip it into better shape.
      Sounds like you had a busy busy time in October. I hope you can relax for a bit, until the end-of-year holiday whirl begins.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Calmgrove says:

    As I rush to the end of Jane Eyre I’ve also made a symbolic start on M-B today, the date it was first published in the US in 1851 (a month of course after it appeared in Britain as The Whale). A brief blog post on this will appear tomorrow.

    I wondered if you’d be doing NaNoWriMo this year as I don’t think you’d mentioned it before, but congrats on getting so far so fast! And Bon Voyage for when you set off…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lizzie Ross says:

      Thanks. I didn’t think I’d be doing NaNoWriMo either, but that bug is a hard one to shake off. Yet it’s a useful one, for whatever one’s writing needs are. Looking forward to engaging with you on M-D.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I am really enjoying this slow read of Moby Dick as a first timer. I am taking it all in, but I look at what Ishmael/Melville tells me as what was known about whaling and its history as it was at the time written; like a primary source document. So I don’t expect everything about it pass muster for a whaling historian today. So thanks for the warning!

    Whoa, that website of music for each chapter is terrific!

    Liked by 1 person

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