Particulars

The tale

For me, November is a time for creative writing. This year was my eighth to participate in National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. The challenge is to write 50,000 words of fiction in 30 days. It’s a creative blast that keeps me indoors most evenings and every weekend.

Long story short, I was too busy tapping my keyboard to hike.

That turned out for the best, as in November the Bay Area choked on dangerous smoke from the Camp Fire near Chico, north of Sacramento.

But NaNoWriMo events continued. Every year, on the Saturday closest to November 15, a local writer hosts a mid-month celebration at his house in the hills south of Los Gatos.

Simon, our host, made a fair amount of money with IPOs from startups like Google. So his humble abode was well-stocked with more than a few creature comforts. He also had an alpaca, a llama, at least one emu, and two large dogs named Bear and Ursa Minor. And, being in the hills, he had a view.

The property was high enough to feel “above” the layer of smoke. So although I was there to socialize more with fellow fiction-writers, I found time to snap a few pics. Here, I’ll let them speak for themselves.

Santa Clara dawn, October 1
For comparison, here’s a sunrise I caught on my way to work in October.
Horizon and haze
Sun beams filter across a jagged horizon.
Sunset through the smoke.
Sunset through the smoke.
Looking south towards Santa Cruz.
I caught a post-sunset photo on my way home, looking south towards Highway 17.
Groot the Emu
Groot the Emu blocked the driveway until he decided I was worthy of entry.

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November 17, 2018