Musings & Thoughts for Saturday, October 31, 2020, or: Of Walks, Noisy Lawnmowers, and Prepping for NaNoWriMo 2020

If I had left the house one hour earlier, I might have accomplished my mission. Alas, I did not.

Hello, dear friend. It’s almost noon (11:47 AM Eastern) as I start this post for A Certain Point of View, Too. Here in New Hometown, Florida it is a mildly warm day; the temperature is 77˚F (25˚C) under mostly sunny skies. With humidity at 68% and the wind blowing from the east-northeast at 7 MPH (11 KM/H), the feels-like temperature is 77˚F (25˚C). Per the Weather app on my Lenovo all-in-one PC, the forecast for the day calls for a high of 84˚F (29˚C), partly sunny skies, and lots of humidity.

As is my custom – one that I acquired since my move here from Miami – I woke up early even though it’s Saturday and no one here has to go to college or work. I’m not sure at what time – I don’t wear watches anymore because the wristbands always – always – break in some way or other, and I have no idea where my alarm clock/radio is. And I obviously do not sleep with my computer turned on (ditto for my smartphone, a gadget with which I have a love/hate relationship). It wasn’t dark-as-night outside when I got up from my futon, but it sure as hell wasn’t nine o’clock in the morning.

I’m definitely a creature of habit, so I followed my usual morning routine of puttering about on Facebook for a while, eating a quick (and annoyingly unsatisfying) breakfast, changing into my street clothes, going for a walk to the nearby community park, sitting on a bench with one of my writer’s “how-to” books, then returning home to write my blog post.

The walk was fine, but I think I might have been wiser to not dawdle on Facebook for an hour before getting my butt out of my chair and fixing breakfast. First, although the temperature dropped this weekend because a weak cold front passed through the area, today isn’t as “subtropical fall-like” as it was yesterday. Yes, the high isn’t quite in the 80s/high 20s (for my international readers) yet, but the sun is out, and the humidity is rising. So even though it was crispy cool when I got up, it was warm when I left the house. (Plus, I’d decided to put on my windbreaker, which proved to be an unnecessary move on my part.)

Second, I didn’t reckon that because it is Saturday, many homeowners tend to mow their yards in the morning before it becomes uncomfortably hot to do so. Intellectually I know this, but because I have a lot on my mind lately – such as NaNoWriMo – I forgot this fact about daily life in suburban America. (In my defense, in the Land of Ago I lived in a homeowners’ association where the townhouses were small and didn’t have huge front or back yards for people to mow. And what little landscaping had to be done was either handled by contractors hired by the HOA management or, for townhouses such as the one I owned – however briefly – by homeowners who liked gardening or by privately contracted landscapers.)

Thus, even though I set out to the park with my copy of Dean Wesley Smith’s Writing Into the Dark to study about writing a novel without an outline, I did not stay on “my” bench as long as I thought I would. Here’s why:

  • It was getting warm, and the windbreaker was getting a mite hot, and I don’t feel comfortable enough in this neighborhood to take off any article of clothing – except perhaps a hat or cap – in a public place
  • One of the homeowners decided to mow his lawn at the house directly across the street from the park[1]

Knowing that NaNoWriMo is less than a day away, I tried to stay put on that bench and read at least one of the chapters in Smith’s Writing Into the Dark, but even though I am hard of hearing, lawn mowers…well, they aren’t exactly the quietest machines, especially if they are gas-powered, and this one was, indeed, gas-powered and made a racket loud enough to wake the dead. Or so it seemed to me, anyway. I managed to sort-of get through the chapter, but eventually I had to give up the effort and head back home. Score: Lawnmower Man: 1, Aspiring Novelist: 0.

It’s okay, though…I can re-read that chapter – and more – in my office. I just think that reading outdoors and away from distractions – such as social media and computer games – is a tad more beneficial and relaxing than staying home 24/7.

So, Dear Reader, that’s how this Halloween 2020 morning went for me in New Hometown, Florida.  

As for the rest of my Saturday….

Other than reading – or trying to, anyway – writing-advice books or history books about the Normandy campaign in the summer of 1944, I have no big plans for this last Saturday of October 2020. I don’t have a girlfriend anymore, so obviously romance/sex are not in the cards for me any time soon. I’ll probably  study for a few hours, then go out after 5 PM for my evening foray to the park, followed by my usual routine of hanging out on social media till dinnertime and watching a movie or documentary till I get sleepy.

Photo by Pixabay on

Well, since I am not the World’s Fastest Typist, it’s now 1 PM Eastern, so I’d best close for now and post this so I can hit the books, so to speak. I’ll probably post again in the evening, though. So, take care, my friend, and I’ll see you in a while.  

[1] And, apparently, lawn mowers are going to intrude into my peaceful – or semi-peaceful – day of NaNoWriMo prepping and blogging; I can hear another neighbor tending to his or her yard a few houses away as I write this post.

Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

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