No NaNo Win This Year

Last year I finished my book in thirty days, in spite of illness, family obligations, and co-running an event for my chapter of RWA. As you can imagine, my elation knew no bounds. I could have written a book a month! I could have gone back in time and won every NaNoWriMo since its inception. I could hardly wait for this year.

The Dawn of November 2017, found me with a plan in mind for a story, a sequel to last year’s story. I knew my characters pretty well because I had been talking to them for over a year. I planned to be halfway through it on November 15th, then take a day or two off for family birthdays, then finish strong. I could see myself wearing the t-shirt.

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What changed? Well, first of all, I signed up to run a bird mart, which took a lot more time to organize and produce. I had to be available to several other people throughout October and November, until the date of the event on the 4th. That day I got no writing done, and the next day, nothing. I felt exhausted. But in a good way. I still had a wave of things to do to wrap up the accounting and so on, but that wasn’t urgent until the end of the year.

120317 birds

I wrote like a madwoman for the next two weeks, but my daily counts were pitiful. I’d have one day of 2000 words followed by three of a few hundred. I did not give up hope. I believed I could write on the weekends. Except for the second weekend, I had to clean my house for our Game Night party. The third weekend I went to the RWA meeting which is also a fundraiser to support literacy in the area. Did I mention that for both the bird mart and the chapter meeting, I created my potscapes and a donation basket?

first potscape

Along with all of that, my husband and my son both had birthdays. We went out to dinner for one and to lunch for the other. We had amazing times and amazing food and beer. I learned that I don’t do much writing after food and beer. Food and beer mean I’m going to nap until bedtime.

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The final weekend in November follows a big holiday where everyone and their uncle gathers to overeat and tell embarrassing stories. There’s shopping in crowds and preparing a meal and admitting the food is better than what we had in restaurants recently. We also (Okay, being honest here, I) miscalculated the timing of the meal at my Goddaughter’s house and arrived without having had lunch at 1:30, thinking we would be eating around 2. By the time the food got to the table at 5, we had considered driving through fast food to tide us over. Yikes! At least it was a slice of what the original colonists experienced, right?

120317 argh

Black Friday happened, mostly to other people. My only task was to get the final anthology of The Bowman’s Inn published and available. And one of the dear people I met on Thanksgiving bought a copy on pre-order plus the back issues to catch up. Exciting and scary at the same time. Can’t wait to read his review.

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I have no idea if that pushed me into a series of headaches and sinus congestion or if it’s the fact that someone I love very much likes to sleep with the windows open and the fans on when we have 40-degree f temps overnight. He says it’s all in my head. Pass me the tissues.

As a technological rebel, I use neither Internet Explorer or Google Chrome to browse the web, I use Mozilla Firefox. I’ve never had a complaint about it. Then these smart folks decided to update their nearly perfect product in November 2017. Could they have waited another month? Could they have spared a thought for the aging writer struggling against the clock? Of all the things that happened in November, this is the one that depressed me the most. Because many of my plug-ins no longer worked with the Best Firefox Ever. My desktop ground to a halt, flickered back and forth between email and web pages, and restarted itself spontaneously. Luckily I save things fairly regularly. My in-house tech support, with whom I sleep, did his magic and made things better. I could now write for a few hours before needing to restart. His oft-heard complaint that “You have too many tabs open” didn’t speak to the fact that I did not have this trouble before!

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With two days left to go and half a book yet to write, I surrendered. I’ll finish the book by January, maybe. Meanwhile, my Regency Romance trilogy, books one and two, were chosen by Smashwords for their Premium Catalog. People browsing through Apple or Barnes and Noble just might come across my titles and decide to buy. I better get book three finished and up there! Also, last year’s NaNo project was submitted to an editor and returned with an email explaining what needs to be changed and saying I could resubmit it. There is no end of projects that have lots of potential.

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Without winning NaNoWriMo this year, I am still eager to finish my book and get the other projects finished. I feel like a winner, and I will certainly join in the NaNo fun next year. Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.

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