No, not the ghosts in your television, though perhaps an equally frightening group. It is, as many of you know, THAT time again. Time for the nanowrimo disciples to crawl from their dark, caffeine-infested burrows and go on their annual word-slinging rampage.
See what I mean? Does it look like she's about to stab out his eyes with that pencil, or is it just me? This is their secret membership badge, and you can find them by it, if you know where to look. They might, however, try to cleverly disguise themselves to avoid detection. In that case, I'll give you a few tips for ferreting out the culprits.
First, look here: http://nanowrimo.org
(Okay, that's a little too easy)
Next, be on the alert for the following signs:
An inexplicable twitchiness and general sense of excitement for no apparent reason.
Flinching whenever you say the word, NOVEMBER
Panicky scribbling on yellow pads of paper...upon further examination the scrawlings are a very complicated and poorly understood branch of mathematics known as: The Word Count Equation, or Literary Efficiency Theorem.
Sporatic, maniacal laughter punctuated by fits of weeping.
The sudden appearance of novelty items bearing the word: Author, Wordsmith, or "WINNER"
If you suspect that your friend or family member may in fact be suffering from Nanowrimo, there are a few, sure-fire tests:
-Casually mention that you saw a plot bunny dart under the front porch and then watch carefully for their reaction.
-Poke suspect with a fork. Do they immediately begin to scribble words on paper?
-Paste a sign on the bathroom mirror that says, 2 more days til Nov. 1st. Wait.
-Hide the coffee. If they produce more, hide that too.
-Announce that you are going on vacation in November and they will be required to: watch your kids, do your job, keep the house clean or anything else that will take up large chunks of their time.
(wear protective clothing)
If any of the above cause severe agitation, aggression, depression, violence or a visible rash...you have one in your midst! Immediately rush to http://nanowrimo.org and join them.
There is no beating them.