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November: Gone in a NaNo Second!

A laptop sits open on a desk. with a text document open.

For many writers, November is the month for NaNoWriMo. This event encourages people to put 50,000 words towards any novel. Unfortunately, I usually start the month doing great, meeting or exceeding my desired word count daily. However, November tends to be a hectic month for me in the other areas of my life. I have concerts to perform in, marketing to do, and visitors to host, so my daily writing suffers.

My NaNo Goal

This year, I had what I thought was a more obtainable goal. Each day, I would complete a stanza for one of the new books I’m pushing to complete by next March (there are two big festivals that month) or a blog like this one. I believed I could accomplish 500 words of useable text a day. However, keep in mind that I was trying to create rhyming, informative stanzas, not merely putting down random descriptions of scenery or what the protagonist was wearing. No, I was producing enticing tidbits that educated and entertained.

As usual, I started well. During the first week, the words flowed, and I successfully completed each day’s task. Woohoo! Then, a friend came to visit for a week. I’d eke out a few disjointed sentences in the morning, but then we were out and about from noon until midnight. Our activities (horse riding, horse viewing, and shopping) were much more exciting than getting a few words down. Sometimes, I’d remember writing something but not recording it (horrors!). I’d quickly log into NaNoWriMo to post the word counts for a few days. Fortunately, NaNoWriMo doesn’t insist that word counts be entered only on the days they were written. 

After my friend left, I returned to my routine. With the cooler weather, I didn’t have to rush out to my horses at the crack of dawn. That’s not a cliché. When it’s over 110 degrees, you need to be on, then off, the horses before 9 am. With the cooler temps, I can amuse my muse by writing in the morning (my most productive time), doing my chores, and then leisurely heading out to my equine companions for leisurely and time-unlimited encounters. My 30-year-old Mustang, who had a rough time with the excessive heat this summer, is healthy, frisky, and energetic with the cool weather.

A woman wearing a riding helmet, sits on a chestnut horse.

 My friend on Napoleon while I rode Poncho

A white and tan horse wade in a river.

Salt River horses

I then focused on my concert with the Tucson Masterworks Chorale, where I sang in a solo trio and read a poem (I had the reputation of my poetry society to uphold, after all). The concert was dedicated to all innocent people who faced war, violence, oppression, or bigotry. It was such wonderful, meaningful music sung by a great group of community singers. It was a lot of fun and refreshed my soul.

The event poster for Tucson Masterworks Chorale presents Songs of Peace.

I have a couple of festivals to sell my books at (please let the weather be good). With two significant events in March (Tucson Festival and Books and the 4th Avenue Street Fair), I plan to publish a couple more books (keep up to date with Lyric Power Publishing, LLC). One tells about Arizona’s dinosaurs (I’m learning so much about dinosaurs that I didn’t know, and so are my critique group members), a portion of what could be the world’s longest picture book on bats and solitary bees. I’m deeply touched when people come to my table and ask for my newest book because they have all the others. I may not be a best-seller, but knowing I have touched a few people’s lives is all I need. It fulfills me and motivates me to keep writing. I wish NaNoWriMo wasn’t in November! August would be so much better – it’s a quiet month. I may not have completed my writing goal, but that’s okay. The writing continues at least a few words a day.

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