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Done With Writing Thanks to NaNoWriMo 2021

No, I’m not done with all writing, just writing my perpetual WIP. After wallowing in one extreme for awhile (no writing), I went the other extreme in November and completed 50,977 words toward my novel. These were all new words (although the majority can be found in the dictionary). I know some people would say NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is crazy but there’s method to the madness, at least for me.

The commitment to write 50,000 words in a month means I have to put butt in chair and just do it. Although I know I don’t have to write 50k, the challenge is there and so I try to meet it. At times it was grueling. I took a day off now and then which meant that I really had to crank out the words on the other days. Here’s me after one long day of writing.

After a long day of writing, I am consoled (sort of) by Maxine (on my lap), Junior (on pillow next to me) and Raji (above me; with our temps getting chillier, he’s getting friendlier).

I finished on November 27 so I could have a couple of day to just zone out. Plus November 30 was my husband’s birthday so I didn’t want to spend that day writing.

I’m going to take December “off” from working on my novel, but I’ll recommit myself to writing daily. I don’t know what I’ll write but anything is better than nothing at this point. Who knows? Maybe I’ll try poetry! I bought Diane Lockward’s The Strategic Poet, thanks to Luanne Castle’s review of it. You can read her review by clicking here.

In other news …

MY SISTER IS HOME! Sorry for shouting, but you understand why. Yup, she came home on November 24, the day before Thanksgiving. That’s what my brother-in-law (and the rest of us) had been hoping and praying for. I’ve talked to her twice so far, and I cannot tell you how good it was to talk with her. She’s sounds like herself: lucid, ready with a laugh, positive, strong. Her sons boast about how hard she worked at physical therapy, knowing that the better she got, the sooner she’d go home. Now we can all breathe.

Maxine is still hanging in there, but she’s more or less getting hospice care now. At the last vet visit a couple of weeks ago, we learned that her kidney enzymes have shot up again. We could hear the disappointment in our vet’s voice. We all knew we couldn’t stop the kidney disease from progressing but we had been hopeful we could slow it down. Oh, well. To keep her hydrated, we’re giving her subcutaneous fluids every other day. To keep nausea at bay, we’re also giving her Cerenia every day. Mealtime is a challenge because she’s become “picky.” She’s a slow eater so we put her in a closed room by herself. She’s gets distracted by the boys trying to break the door down (sigh), but if she’s given enough time, she’ll eat most of her food. She seems to like leaving some behind for the boys.

So, good news about my sister; not good news about Maxine. Meanwhile, we’ve made a couple of trips to St. Marks Refuge to ride our bikes. I did not fall once.

Here’s a few scenes from our last bike ride, timed so we would be out on the dikes at sunset.

This is my favorite section of what is called the Deep Creek trail. The bayou is usually full of waterfowl: ducks, wood storks, spoonbills, herons, etc.

My husband riding away.

Opposite the sunset.

It was a fun bike ride that almost didn’t happen. About a mile and a half out, my rear tire went flat. Fortunately, my husband was carrying a new tube so we didn’t have to spend time trying to find and repair the leak. He saved the day again.

Now I have a lot of catching up to do and that means reading your blogs!

Categories: Writing

Tagged as:

Marie A Bailey

Writer, blogger, knitter, cat lover, and introvert.

36 replies

  1. Good morning, Marie! Great news about your sister. How wonderful! Sad news about Maxine though. I hope you’ll still have more time with her for awhile.

    Congratulations on getting all that writing done! I’ve done marathon writing sessions for some of my books–when I suddenly had to write articles or entries with a deadline looming–but it was days, not weeks of it. I hope you enjoy your break. (And you’re always welcome to join us at dVerse.) 😀

    Beautiful photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good morning, Merril! I am so happy about my sister. I talked to her last night and she sounded so good, tired but good 🙂 She’s busy with doctor appointments, PT, visiting nurse appointments, and catching up with family. She laughed a lot. Warmed my heart.

      Thank you for the congrats. Now I have to figure out how to put everything together 😉

      Most days I think Maxine will be with us for a long while yet. She has a strong spirit, like Luanne’s Pear. I’m so grateful Greg can give her subcutaneous fluids, sometimes he can do it without my help. Twice Max just sat on his lap while he gave her the fluids!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. NaNoWriMo is crazy fun – been there done that for 3 years in a row in what seems like ages ago (2012-2015) First two times, I was a non-rebel…then the last time I used it for my own non-fiction purposes that made me a ‘rebel’ at the time when those rules were in place!!!
    So glad you took the challenge and made it back to December 1st in one piece

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Laura! NaNoWriMo is crazy fun. I know some people think it’s just plain crazy but in the early years, I really enjoyed just pulling a story out of my head, not worrying about whether it made sense 😉 I do think it’s useful for other forms of writing. Word count is the only rule I stick to and even that I can ignore if I want 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m really happy to hear about your sister, Marie. That’s wonderful news. I’m sorry about Maxine. You’re doing the best you can for her…she’s fortunate to have you as her caretaker. Congrats on completing NaNo. I hope you enjoy your month off. Thanks for sharing your gorgeous photographs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jill! Maxine is also so fortunate to have Greg as a caretaker, too 🙂 Given my “needle phobia,” he has to give her the subcutaneous fluids. A few times he was able to do it without my assistance; twice, Maxine sat on his lap while he gave her the fluids! The fluids really seem to be helping her maintain a good quality of life. They won’t “save” her, but I do think she’ll be with us longer because of the treatment.


    1. Thank you, Jan, and, yup, it’s all about butt in seat. I guess I will always struggle with that, especially when butt in seat competes with being outside tending to my wildflowers or going on bike rides/hikes/walks. My list of procrastination activities is long 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There is also the list of avoidances—the issues in our lives we want to avoid thinking about more than necessary. The writing takes me away from worry. Sometimes.

        [I am very happy for all your good news, especially about your sister—we all deserve such good news.]

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I tried NaNo this year after years of ignoring it. It went well for the first half of November. I was meeting the goal pace, but then things happened. The drain of trying to write every single day got to me, plus I got to a point in the story where I had to make some decisions about where the story was going to go. I had to ponder those options. By the end of the month, I had 29,000 words, which is 29,000 words more than I had at the beginning of the month.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. And that is really the point (in my humble opinion) of NaNoWriMo: that you write more than you would otherwise. Even though I made it to my goal, that’s not to say that all those additional 50k words are going into my novel, but at least I understand my characters a little bit better 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Really glad to hear about your sister, Marie. Your relief is palpable.

    BTW, I’m getting a lot of pleasure out of writing poetry these days, so yes–it can be a great alternative to slogging your way through a novel. It feels more spontaneous, and you’re finished much sooner!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed, Kevin, I cried when my BIL told me she was coming home. What an ordeal they all have been through. A writer once said that she liked writing poetry because she doesn’t have to explain it. That appeals to me as well 😉 I’m glad to hear you’re writing poetry and enjoying it!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, John! Having my sister home is a real blessing, especially since the holidays are very important to her. So far, Max seems pretty comfortable. She’s doing well enough that I have to remind myself that she’s a sick kitty. I suspect she is and will be as strong-willed as Luanne’s Pear.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. The words are in the dictionary 😀 Congratulations!!! Having done a VERY modified version of NaNoWrite I really understand what this took. And so sorry about the kitty’s kidneys. We dealt with that with our littlest pup, with the fluid treatments. So glad she has you to take care of her.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Ellen! I am so glad that the fluid treatments are working for Max, at least keeping her hydrated and perky. Fingers crossed she continues like this for a long, long while.


  7. Congratulations, Marie! 50K words is no walk in the park.
    Good new on your sister, to boot.
    So sorry about Maxine. It’s hard to know how far we dare go. Sending hugs.
    Your pictures are beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, thank you, Dale! Yeah, my post is a real mixed-bag with good and not-so-good news. I’m thrilled about my sister. At least now I don’t feel so much anxiety for her. I can give all my anxiety to Max … lol. She (Max) is so far, so good. She takes her fluid treatments in stride and seems pretty comfortable. Fingers crossed!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Poor Maxine. Makes me so sad. It’s so hard to go through the hospice period. I am happy about your sister though.
    AND THE WRITING. I can’t tell you how excited I am for you, Marie. So glad you kept BIC (butt in chair) through it all!!! Congrats!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Congrats, Marie! These marathon sessions really do help us grow as writers, don’t they? Anyway, at the same time, I’m so sorry to hear about Maxine. Have also caught up with your latest post and you must be hurting. Wishing you all the best and hopefully this random comment from someone across the world does give you a tiny bit of strength. Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

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