It’s been a very weird week. Here’s my wrap-up:

1. Oh, Sandy! I made it through the storm pretty well, all things considered. I live on high enough ground that there wasn’t any flooding, my building didn’t suffer any property damage, and we’ve had power the whole time. There were a number of downed trees in the neighborhood—a few that looked like they just got yanked, roots and all, right out of the sidewalk—but that was the worst of it. So, really, I’m good. It’s been a strange couple of days, though, with the subway down, all kinds of technical difficulties at the office, and a lot of storm-related zaniness in the neighborhood (well, maybe zaniness is the wrong word, but things that aren’t normal: really obscene car traffic, grocery stores running out of food, gas stations nearly out of gas, and so on).

So I came through unscathed, but I’ve got friends who still don’t have power and are dealing with much bigger problems than what I experienced.

I don’t think the bigger picture really sank in until Wednesday. I spent a lot of time Tuesday on the phone or online connecting with my friends and family and making sure everyone was accounted for and doing okay. (Everyone’s fine, albeit with setbacks like no power. Con Ed says lower Manhattan will be back Saturday night. Westchester County—where my mother is currently living in an apartment without heat or hot water—is a bigger question mark, maybe not back to normal until next week. A tree fell on my dad’s house in Connecticut, but the damage seems minimal.) I had some sense of the scope of things because I was more or less glued to the local news from Sunday evening until Tuesday evening. But I didn’t get it. It took hearing from some people I know in New Jersey, who are dealing with terrible flooding, no power, and now they’re running out of food because the grocery stores have nothing. It took watching the national news last night and seeing how the rest of the country is seeing the fallout from Sandy before I really felt how bad this was.

And, you know, I’m a Jersey girl first and foremost. I grew up in Bergen County. My family has all moved out of the state, but old friends, people I grew up with, they’re still in New Jersey. The Hackensack River flooded near my hometown and displaced a lot of people. It really breaks my heart, watching all the destruction in my home state. (I’m making big donations to the Red Cross and other aid organizations because I hope that normal life can resume as soon as possible for all of these people who are suffering now. This one really hit close to home for me, literally and figuratively.)

So, yeah, this is very surreal. Life in NYC will probably be mostly back to normal by early next week, and I look forward to that, but my heart goes out to everyone who was more severely affected by the storm than I was.

2. Halloween! Well, because of all that, Halloween was mostly canceled this year. No parade in the Village. I woke up on the 31st and just plumb forgot. I walked through Park Slope that night, though, and there were trick-or-treaters everywhere, so that was good. The public schools are closed this week and I think the kids enjoyed being out of the house.

Actually, that was the funny thing about Wednesday. People were EVERYWHERE. After everyone was cooped up for three days, all of the restaurants in this part of Brooklyn were slammed.

3. NaNoWriMo I decided to do it again. I’d been kicking around an urban fantasy idea, but then decided Saturday that it sucked, so I’m resurrecting a novel I started and abandoned over the summer, a m/m contemporary about two guys who are down on their luck and just happen to live across the hall from each other in a crappy apartment building in Brooklyn. Back to basics, you know? I’m setting the novel in my brother’s neighborhood (Crown Heights), which has developed a lot in the last couple of years. I might have to go to some bars there. You know, for research.

4. Future Books I don’t know if I announced this anywhere, but the pub date for my next book, Show and Tell, got bumped up to January 8. So hang onto that $10 bill your grandma sends you for Christmas!

5. Reviews Four Corners got top billing in the All Romance eBooks newsletter Tuesday (thanks, Val!) and Hearts on Fire Reviews gave it five hearts. Yay! If you want a slightly angsty contemporary to snuggle up with this weekend (and seriously, why is it suddenly so cold out? You’d think it was November or something) that is not a bad way to go.

So now I gotta brush the dust off my wool coat and get down to the business of writing a novel in a month. I hope your November got off to a less strange start than mine did!