The Times, They Are A’Changing; November 31st

Have you ever felt like an idiot of your own making? Because I felt that way last Sunday. I woke up, looked at my phone, and the time said 9:00 am. It was a little later than I normally wake up, but I’d been up past midnight and deserved a sleep-in. Then I went downstairs, where all the clocks (and I have A LOT) said the same thing. Ken was out, and I sat down to read other people’s blogs. It occurred to me that the clocks were supposed to be changing on Sunday night, so I looked it up. Sure enough, the time change was going to happen on Sunday at 2 am. Then I read Positively Alyssa’s blog Fight MS Daily where she bemoaned daylight savings time, and I actually posted this comment: “Our clocks don’t change until after midnight tonight–I didn’t know other places did it earlier!”

After that, I casually wandered into the kitchen, where I realized that the tea tin clock I have above the hood range on the stove seemed like it had stopped keeping time. I was just replacing the battery when Ken came in:

Ken: Oh, did I forget that one?
Me: What one?
Ken: That clock. I changed them all when I got up this morning, but I guess I missed that one.
Me: What are you talking about?
Ken: Spring forward? Daylight Savings Time…
Me: That’s not until tonight. Sunday at 2 AM.
Ken: Which was at 2 AM. This morning. Several hours ago.
Me: Time is a construct.

Then, this Friday morning, something even more amazing than time and space relativity happened. I was contacted by Cecilia Kennedy of Fixing Leaks and Leeks, a fantastic writer in her own right and author of The Places We Haunt among many other things, to tell me that she’d written a feature called “Women Writers Shaping The Future Of Horror” for Horror Tree, and I was one of the writers she listed in the article, which you can read here:

I was so excited that I ran outside in the pouring rain in my housecoat and slippers to tell Ken about it. Slippers and housecoat, you ask? Well, it was only 9 am. Or maybe it was 10, who knows? Time is a construct.

Finally, there’s this. Every year, my friend over at Evil Squirrel’s Nest hosts The Tenth Annual Contest Of Whatever. This year’s prompt is ‘November 31st’ and I highly recommend you participate in this fun contest–you can scurry over to the Squirrel’s site for more details. I don’t normally write to prompts but this one was too good to resist, so here’s my effort:

No Argument Here

Carol and her sister Martha never really got along. They were always at odds with each other from the time they were children, causing their parents to describe each of them as capable of starting a fight in an empty room. As adults, they maintained a distant but moderately amicable relationship, at least until Carol got married at the age of 52. Martha, who had remained single and had resigned herself to spinsterhood, felt shut out, and the drunken toast she gave at the wedding was hurtful, especially her insistence that Carol’s new husband had made the wrong choice. After a few years of cold silence between the two sisters, Martha decided it was time to turn over a new leaf and repair the familial bond, the only one she had left. She resolved that she would reach out to Carol, who was happily settled with her husband and their three miniature poodles, and no matter what Carol said to her, she would take it in stride, and prove to her sister that their relationship could begin to finally flourish. No arguing, she promised herself—no matter what. Martha drove to Carol’s house on a gloomy November day and stood on the stoop for a moment before taking a deep breath and ringing the bell.

Carol opened the door. She was momentarily speechless then her face hardened. “Well?”

“It’s been too long, Carol. Can we put the past behind us? Maybe go out for a coffee?” Martha waited for a response.

Carol’s eyebrows arched. “Let me check my calendar.” She remained in the doorway, unmoving. “I’m free on November 31st.”

Martha gritted her teeth and smiled grimly. “Fine. I’ll see you then.”

I hope you participate–I had a lot of fun with this one! And finally, let me apologize to any of my followers who’ve been experiencing frustration because your comments have been disappearing. I had no idea until my good friend Bear Humphreys, who writes a fantastic photography blog called Bear Humphreys Photo, emailed me privately to tell me that one of his comments had disappeared. I checked my spam—it was the usual nonsense, which is to say, a few random porn sites sandwiched between interminable comments about ‘Amazingness’, ‘Sensationalness’, and ‘Phenomenalness’ all posted by people purporting to represent trailers, RVs, campers, sprint vans, conversion vans, van windows/doors/trim repairs, and every possible thing that could relate to RVing or camping, as if I’d ever do ANY of that. Then I checked my TRASH folder and discovered A LOT of comments from legitimate followers that had somehow ended up there. I think I restored all of them, but I can’t be sure, because the majority of the RV-obsessed comments, aside from the ones that somehow got into my spam folder, are in the trash. And these sites are posting literally every five minutes—there were over 5 pages of trashed comments just for Thursday alone to work through! But I think what happened is that I was forced to switch from the WordPress app to something called Jetpack, and that seems to be when the comments started to get screwy. So I’m keeping my eye on things, and I’ll be checking regularly to make sure my friends don’t end up with the trailer trash. (And please please don’t use the words RV, camper, trailer, van etc. in your comments or they might end up in spam!)

49 thoughts on “The Times, They Are A’Changing; November 31st

  1. YAY! November 31st is now the new Twelfth of Never! Now poor Carol will be just as confused over her coffee date as you were when you totally missed DST! Thank you for the lovely entry in my humble contest, and good luck!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Oh wow, I need to head on over to Evils site and check that out!! I hate the time change, like most people here in the US, we believe it’s no longer necessary to go through this anymore. Congress passed a bill to eliminate Daylight Savings Time, so every state that participating DST will no longer “fall back” in November, except Arizona. They, as a state decided to enact their own law to stop with DST. So the rest of the US will no longer participate either, which is about fucking time! I’m so psyched for you that you were chosen as a women in horror writing!! Seriously, it’s totes awesome my friend, congrats!!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Ha! I hate the time change–it snuck up on me too. Nate announced it, thankfully, the night before, and I said, “Are we still doing this? Didn’t we vote against this somehow in Congress or something?” –and he just laughed, which meant that we really did have to spring forward–and now, here we are! Thanks so much for your kind words in your post as well–I’m so happy to have had the chance to read your work–and I can’t wait to see what you’ll do next. The November 31 entry is so fun!!! Love it! Cheers!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m all for November having thirty-one days. Then we can let December have just thirty and the new year will start a day early. Because, as a wise woman once said, time is a construct. And also Einstein said time is relative, by which I’m sure he meant that time always goes more slowly when your relatives are visiting. The poet Randall Jarrell said that when he was in military basic training they were put on “Double Daylight Savings Time” which meant they were told they were getting up at 5am but it was really 3am. At that point I’m not even sure why they bother. All this is to say I certainly understand legitimate comments ending up in the spam folder. For some reason I also get a lot of spam that’s incomplete sentences about Charlemagne and the history of bookmaking. Do you ever get the feeling that spammers know you better than they should?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love the idea of November having thirty-one days. Then December can have just thirty and we’ll start the new year a day early. Because time is a construct. Anyway I’m just glad we got the extra hour of all this great news for you! You’re becoming quite the celebrity!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’ve toyed with the concept of time in stories. Human’s fixation with seconds, minutes, hours, weeks, months are all artificial constructs — indeed. 24 hours? Bah. In reference to the starts the Earth’s “day” or rather sidereal day is only 23:56:04 long. 60 is a nice number though 60 x 60 x 60 would have been a good factorization of a solar day.
    And get this, base “sixty”, liked by ancient Sumerians, is called sexagenary. How cool is that!
    November 31st, the day all writer’s submit their NaNoWriMo novels.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, goody, I only found one in the spammy spam…although the comment promising “amazingness that is a lifechanger” was pretty tempting…especially since there is a dearth of “amazingness” to things right now… Ha!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A contest! I got an award in a writing contest this one time. You know, like the kid whose dog gets an award for “longest tail,” I got one for longest run-on sentence. To explain, it was about three hippies in a VW Bus, so in these exigent circumstances sentences naturally like you know far out totally don’t need punctuation or, in many cases, a subject. It depends if everyone is thinking the same thing at the same time, which I admit happens more often than random chance might suggest.
    In conclusion, it’s about 7:30 here in the peeyim and the sun is gone, set, westered, kaput, and we got zero zip nada daylight except for a little bit that’s still bouncing around between the buildings. As I am retired, it shouldn’t make any difference to me what time it is, but I remain confused for a few days every time they pull this sh*t.
    I suggest we all revert to Newfoundland time, which 27 minutes ahead of New York City. I forget why, but the story has its roots in the Great Mackerel Juggling Contest of 1883 when the official timer slipped and fell into the Gulf of St. Lawrence and emerged holding a dead mackerel which, it turned out, had in its belly a Timex watch once worn by Eric the Red and which had apparently stopped running at precisely 27 minutes past the hour. Anyway the story doesn’t mean anything, but I was just reminded. OK.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh, goody, I only found one in the spammy spam…although the comment promising “amazingness that is a lifechanger” was pretty tempting…especially since there is a dearth of “amazingness” to things right now… Ha!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wonder what this ‘am….ingness is? Some kind of drug perhaps? Also, because you used the actual word, your comment ended up in spam, but don’t worry, I rescued it, along with a few other people’s AGAIN!


  10. Ack! So after reading your post, I went to my spam comment folder and I’ve got dozens of RV and RV Repair comments too. (My fave are comments from “RV Blinds Repair Near Me”. )

    Loved the writing prompt, especially the way you ended it. I admire how you’re able to build such vivid stories using so few words.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! It was a lot of fun. But because you used the actual words, your comment ended up in spam. It’s like Monty Python’s Knights Who Say Ni–“Don’t use that word!!”


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