Monday, November 30, 2015


And so it ends. My 10th NaNoWriMo under my belt. I don't know why this one seems so important, but it does. I think it may be because the story this year struck a cord and I have a more complete story than I've ever had before. I know what happened, why, who did it, and how it ends. That feels exceptionally good.

This was my first year doing NaNo as a retiree and I had assumed I'd have more time to write. And technically, I did have more time but I was so exhausted I couldn't tell the difference. First, I've been struggling with severe fatigue for months, and it kept getting worse. I usually got up at 6 a.m. and by 10 I was wiped out. I'd have to lie down and sleep for a couple of hours every day to even process the simplest tasks. So, I just knew writing would be a nightmare because I couldn't think.

In October, they found I have severe sleep apnea and I needed a C-Pap machine. I didn't get it until Wednesday before Thanksgiving. I delayed my trip just to pick it up before I left town. So, most of the month, I juggled writing with sleep, very bad sleep. 

The only way I stayed ahead in the counts for the first two weeks was the ChatNaNo sessions online. I could easily get 3000 words a night in there in a couple of hours. Without that, I doubt I'd have been successful. Because of that, I remained ahead of the goals each day until the holiday set in. 

At that point, I was current but we traveled from Indiana to Atlanta and that's a 12 hr round trip for me. So Wednesday and Sunday were all driving. Thanksgiving day was all family and we were exhausted by the end of it.  On Friday, we all went out and my cousin took us for a flight. He recently got his pilot's license. It was a small plane so only one of us went up at a time. That was fun but again, most of the day was used up and we were tired by the time we got home. Still it was the most beautiful day for flying over Atlanta if a bit windy. My aunt took Sarah and my sister shopping for a bit while I sat home and tried to write a bit.
My sister came up from Florida on Wednesday, too. Since I haven't seen her in a couple of years, it was a lovely opportunity and any free time was actually spent with her and my aunt. Saturday was another shopaholic day for my aunt, my sister, and my granddaughter, Sarah. I sat in the most convenient chair I could find and watched them. No, it is not my thing.

So, although I did a little writing here and there, it was dismal and I ended up 4 days behind by the time I got home Sunday. When I got up this morning, I need 6000 words. I started at 9 a.m. and finished at 8:30 p.m. and I wrote them all today.

One of my writing friends, Diane Whitehead showed up for a write-in tonight and that was nice and two others showed up on the ChatNaNo site. Lulu and Azzure. Azzure always blows Nano away. She's a firebrand at churning out the words. But for Lulu this was her first win. She's been making the attempt for several years. I told her tonight that pregnancy must be the secret. She has an 18-month-old and is pregnant so this is an amazing win for her.

I'm happy I won. For the last couple I wasn't able to reach the goal so this makes me feel better. I wish I could explain to the naysayers how good it feels to do NaNoWriMo. Writing at breakneck speed, meeting wonderful new friends and writers, dashing around to write-ins, and commiserating with fellow Wrimos is all a crazy, wild ride and the most fun I have all year. Going in I felt awful and almost decided to just give up. Coming out... the C-Pap seems to be working. The story is great. The friends are wonderful. And winning is just icing.


  1. Dixie... I loved this post! Well, sorry about the apnea, but glad you now have the cpap, sorry about the fatigue and the pain, but it sounds like you had a really marvelous t'giving. But I absolutely agree with your final sentiment. Nano wouldn't be what it is, without the deadline and the pressure and the tension... but all of that contributes to crazy wildness. And the commiserating wouldn't happen if nano was easy. And the friendships would be of a different sort. You're right.. it's the overall experience, and the people, and the words put down on paper... the "win" is just icing.

    1. Thank you, Laurie. And congratulations on your own win.

  2. I hope the C-Pap does help - it sure did for Holly. David had to have a Bi-Pap (pulls the breath when necessary) and it did help. I am so ecstatic that you made it through and still had time for your family trip!! Awesome results!


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