Monthly Archives: November 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 19

Today’s writing was all painful truths. One essay is something that, if shared, might cause upset in a very close-knit artistic community. It’s certainly not in a state ready to be shared, and I certainly would never share it just to make waves. But it’s painful in the base case, and wondering how it would be received makes it more so. Of course, that’s never a consideration when I write. I’ve learned to let those thoughts run loose only once I hit “save” for the day and sit quietly.

I wrote of my experience with sexism and anti-Semitism during my limited time in improv. The memories, some comfortably in storage for the last six years or so, crawled out of their cozy compartments and poked at me to get my attention. Perhaps they were emboldened by recent political events. Or perhaps they came forth because I’m feeling open to writing my own experiences without worrying about my legacy.


Both of today’s essays today are about vulnerable moments. My weakness, both internal and perceived by others. Memories that make me cringe or cry. Or want to time travel and take my younger self by the hand and give her some of the strength and wisdom-via-age that I can claim now. Essays that I don’t think I would have had the courage to put to paper even a year ago.

Growth is sometimes measured in bravery.

Hard day writing. Good day writing.

I like it when my totals for the day end up a nice round number. I have approximately two or three more days until I hit my 50,00. I’m excited and ready to slow down and focus on making these essays and stories workRight now, I have pages upon pages of something that cautiously approaches good. And messy.

Day 19 Stats:

  • Essay: “Intersection of Improvisation and Online Comments” 1844 words
  • Essay: “Milestones” 1056 words

Daily Word Count: 2900 words

Total Word Count: 45,257 words

NaNoWriMo Days 15-18

Hello. Hi. Howdy. Sometimes I miss just coming here and chatting. This month, however, choices must be made, and my choice this month is to devote as much time as possible writing my 50,000 words. That doesn’t always leave time to come here and chit the chat.

Today is no different.

We are in week four (maybe five, I don’t even know anymore) of at least one child being sick. Coughs and sniffles, broken up occasionally by a sinus infection, strep, or fifth’s disease, have been passed around my household, keeping us all awake for several hours each night. Finally, last night, I was felled by some bizarre combination of headache, sinus pressure, nausea (no, I’m not pregnant, thank you for thinking that) and sore throat. It’s a greatest hits of all my kids’ illnesses for the four weeks (maybe five).

So today I wrote 1800 words, which normally I could do in one sitting, but it took me over eight hours today. Eight miserable hours of my own discomfort plus taking care of two littles who are also unwell, but well enough to want such unreasonable items as food, water, and attention.

I’m closing in on 50,000 and am in a murky area where I wonder if I’m spinning my wheels, if I’m adding words that add value to the piece. That kind of thinking slows me down. I am enjoying cycling through two or three open pieces at a time. Makes me feel like a Somewhat Nimble Writing Ninja. Or just really unfocused. Sinus-infected. Take your pick.

Once I hit 50,000 words, I will resume a more reasonable writing schedule. This past year I was a task master — each day at least an hour and forty minutes editing or the usual 1667 words based on the NaNo model (and something I read somewhere one hour of editing is worth 1000 words.) Making up lost time on weekends or early mornings.


It did not go well.

I need to rework the model so I’m focusing on trying to finish a certain number of pieces in a certain time frame or looking at a submission deadline and working backwards from there to create a schedule.  Or maybe expect only 7000 words/7 hours editing a week (or a combination of the two.) Until next summer, that may be all I can commit.

I am relearning that I am happiest when I actually can spend hours writing,  and when I’m not trying to “squeeze it in.” That’s the best part of NaNo.

The illness? Not so much.

Here’s to tea, juice, ibuprofen, and a heating pad.

Day 15 Stats:

  • Short Story: “Pie Trauma” (Working Title) 1037 words

Daily Word Count: 1037

Total Word Count: 35,723

Day 16 Stats:

  • Essay: “How to Recognize a Mother on Vacation” 2043 words

Daily Word Count: 2043

Total Word Count: 37,766

Day 17 Stats:

  • Essay: “Control Z” 2757 words

Daily Word Count: 2757

Total Word Count: 40,523

Day 18 Stats:

  • Short Story: “Pie Trauma” (Working Title) 394 words
  • Essay: “How to Recognize a Mother on Vacation”  1042 words
  • Essay: “Inheritance” 398 Words

Daily Word Count: 1834

Total Word Count: 42,357

NaNoWriMo Day 14 — Birthday (Mine) Thoughts (Also Mine)

Updated NaNoWriMo numbers at the end.

I originally posted the following on Facebook, but it was coming across like a sad cry for birthday wishes. Certainly not my intent. For some reason, this seems the appropriate place to lay down these words and perhaps cover with a nice warm blanket.

Thank you, friends. We all need in our lives a moment when we feel a little sparkly-special. It’s really still ok to have some sort of childlike expectations for birthdays. Remember when it was, like, the best day of the year?! And all great things were to happen on your birthday?

That’s calmed down for me, but even now I look forward to cake and some form of deep-fried vegetables. Great things.

Let’s overshare for a moment, shall we? And by “we” I mean “me” because you’ve all been clamoring for access to the deep recesses of my mind. And also this is my monologue and I’m going to enjoy the moment.

I’ve been reflecting on recent events and also my sense of place. More than usual (and that’s a lot), I’m feeling quite “too” these days, — either as in “excessively” or, perhaps more kindly, as in “as well.” It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it is a thing. It makes me who I am and gives me a voice and a sense of straddling worlds. Good for humor, even better for inner-thigh stretching.

I think that feeling – which is hard to pin down because it’s toffee-sticky and I’m wading in it, trying not to eat my way out – means something. But it doesn’t have to. I’m writing about it. We’ll see if that brings meaning. I hope at some point in the future it is crafted into something funny. Or at least purposeful in a way that doesn’t make people want to gag.

Maybe it just stays in the draft folder, which is, I think, where too much of our lives end up. My goal for this next year is to polish more of my life into something better resembling a completed draft.

Which is all just to say that I am lucky to know you and receive your good wishes. I hope to use them well.

Have some cake and carry on.


And now the numbers.

Day 11 Stats:

  • Essay: “Errant Blue Lines” 1684 words
  • Essay: “Because Of Course There’s Pink Eye” 365 words

Daily Word Count: 2049

Total Word Count: 28,865

Day 12 Stats:

  • Essay: “Because Of Course There’s Pink Eye” 384 words
  • Essay: “This Year Thanksgiving is the Fourth Thursday in November”   1145 words

Daily Word Count: 1529

Total Word Count: 30,385

Day 13 Stats:

  • Essay: “When the Tooth Fairy is Your Family’s Financial Advisor” 107 Words

Daily Word Count: 107

Total Word Count: 30,492

Day 14 Stats:

  • Essay: “When the Tooth Fairy is Your Family’s Financial Advisor”   278 Words
  • Essay: “Birthday Stress for Ten Seconds”  1341 words
  • Essay: “This Side of the Table” 2575 Words

Daily Word Count: 4194

Total Word Count: 34,686