Almost the end of November

Did you wonder where I was? Yup, November brings NaNoWriMo. I knew there were some days at the beginning of the month that no writing or at least little writing would be possible – a wedding and some other things but I wasn’t prepared for the struggle of what would happen next. I had no idea. Which is why, frankly, no writing to get to the end of this story had been happening.

But now, when I could be working on it, even house chores seemed more appealing. I tried new tacks such as hand-writing notes to myself about things that might happen next. I wrote a sketch of a big thing that I knew, or hoped, was going to happen. I dabbled quite briefly with a different idea I had, thinking it was a short story and putting it back in the drawer when it seemed much larger.

I had a few big word count days and a whole lot of low word count days. Which adds up to a half-NaNo but which did indeed bring me almost to the very end.

Here I will say that despite the help that hand writing notes (fountain pen and tiny softcover Moleskines, how writerly, eh?) the power of digital tools is immense. November first, at our local launch party, a big storm came up just before I was packing it in. There was a tiny power blip. My BBEdit screen, non-responsive. I ended up screenshotting it just to save the few inches of paragraphs that were visible, a tiny bit of what I’d done. Came home and finally had to shut down the computer. I chose re-open windows of programs that were open, not holding out any hope for the unsaved document. But there, BBEdit (because it doesn’t suck) opened, opening two other windows and the unsaved document in its entirety.

I so love the Barebones Software guys that when I discovered there was a paid upgrade available that night, I gladly plopped my money down for it and sent them a big thank you.

I also love that as I worked on what a character was reacting to and feeling, I could cut and paste the whole ending-to-date into a new document and change it over into something that seemed better, more coherent and tweak it, free from the rest of what had been written. It finally got added back, replacing the old not-quite-right part. Yeah cut and paste!

So here we are at the end of November, and there’s a new pile of words for this book. I’m good with it.

Almost the end of November

Sir Harry

In all his majestic majesty.

Sir Harry

and… painting

Also may have traumatized the wee furry things by vacuuming a little. They seem to have recovered nicely.

and… painting

NaPoWriMo 2019 – Day Sixteen

Ginny and I had a chat this morning, before I fed them all and went out to paint.

Morning Chat With Cat

Don’t worry.
I love you.
It’s OK.
Someday,
we’ll both
be old.
But today
is not
that day.

NaPoWriMo 2019 – Day Sixteen was originally published on

NaPoWriMo 2019 – Day Fourteen

Black cat slithering
through the field
sinuous around each
clump and weed,
a void against the
grey-tan grasses
abandoned by winter.
Above, sky showing ribs.
Below, all paths and trace
concealed,
obliterated.

NaPoWriMo 2019 – Day Fourteen was originally published on

NaPoWriMo 2019 – Day Seven

Scooping up Ginny, kitten-cat,
she allows me to cradle her
and then place her baby-like
on chest and shoulder.
She’s not a very huggy cat
but this she suffers daily
especially if near a door or window
when my height gives her
a world-view she craves.
It’s a brief visitation.
I admire her beauty up close,
her whiskers, her ears
her off-kilter calico being.
She listens to these murmurs
and accepts the finger strokes
jumping down of her own accord.
Some days, she explores with her
exquisite, fuzzy nose –
the snuffling intimacy
fills my examined ear with bliss
recalling other touches so sweet
Her parting glance reminds me
breakfast is waiting,
and our moment is complete.

NaPoWriMo 2019 – Day Seven was originally published on

NaPoWriMo 2019 – Day Four

Not sure this is it for today, but the suggestion was for a sonnet about sadness. Although I’ve found a few lines in the past few days of iambic pentameter it wasn’t happening for me today at lunch! And then at the last minute:

“She didn’t listen to a thing I said”
what a jolt to the man’s nervous system.
With all the world’s bleak incivility
there’s room to find in the heart’s recesses
a space for kindness or at least, manners
enough to hold your tongue and baser thoughts
If that made him angry, it makes me sad
to expect blind compliance, to obey
the old structures that have served him so long
that keep him bound as much as those beneath
until an unexpected slight shows him
the unreality is all his own
She listened no doubt with her own sadness
and shaking her head moved on without him.

NaPoWriMo 2019 – Day Four was originally published on