Take NaNo and Stuff Your Chicken With It


First things first. My husband’s name is Rich. I’m tired of calling him hubby, and I have no pet nicknames for him, so there you go.

Next, I was thankful on Thanksgiving Day. I’m always thankful. I say that upfront lest you think I am ungrateful as this post continues.

Rich and I were in the kitchen Thursday morning as we prepared our Thanksgiving dinner to take to my mother’s house. Music was playing, and we enjoyed the time cooking together. But every time something would go into the oven, I would run to my computer to type a few sentences, and then back to the kitchen, I’d go.

It was time to throw together the corn bake. My family calls it corn shit. “Hey, Maddie! Are you Imagebringing that corn shit again?” Anyway, the corn bake was popped into the oven, and I was off running to my computer to type a few more sentences. … In a nutshell, National Novel Writing Month was a terrible idea. Who thought doing this in November was optimal?

My mother doesn’t care for turkey, and we don’t care what we eat, so I stuffed two chickens instead. Imagine my surprise when it was time to leave, the oven door was opened, and the chickens weren’t done. Neither was the corn bake. I can only assume the oven decided to be persnickety about cooking chickens instead of turkey.

We dragged it all out anyway, and we took off for Mom’s. I called ahead and told her to turn her oven on, and we would finish cooking everything there. Well, that was just fine with her because she wanted to go to the grocery store and stop off at the drug store to pick up her prescriptions. On Thanksgiving.

Mom and I left Rich in charge of the food, and off we went. Having a husband with a strong feminine side is wonderful. He browned the chickens, finished the corn bake, and heated the noodles, sweet potatoes and extra dressing. When we came home forty-five minutes later, he had the meat off the chickens and onto a platter. Our son had arrived, it was just the four of us for dinner, and it was very nice. … Until several hours later when NaNo raised its ugly head inside my brain. I had to go home right then. I had to work on my book.

I did write for a few hours that evening. I was even a teeny bit cranky about it. Ok, I was a lot cranky about it. I would have much preferred to visit blogs and see how everyone’s ImageThanksgiving turned out. When I finally gave up and went to bed, I had crossed 30,000 words – still 6500 words behind. Sigh.

By the end of the day Friday, I was at 33,710 words – still 4600 words behind. On one hand, I wanted to throw in the towel. The book would get done eventually, and I’d rather blog than write. But my mother has been reading the book a few chapters at a time as I get them done. I gave her two more chapters on Thanksgiving. She called Friday evening and told me to hurry up and finish the book. She said she loves it, and can’t wait to find out what happens next. She went so far as to say that this one might be her favorite. Hmmm … I was partial to the ghosts in New Orleans; she must like the zombies in Chicago.

So here I am on Saturday evening at midnight. I was tempted to visit blogs today, but I restrained myself, and it turned out to be a good writing day. Rich and I played a little Dr. Mario when I needed a break, but for the most part, I started writing around 2:00 and kept at it for the day. Word count at midnight: 41,188. The finish line is in sight. Today, I was a writing goddess.


Click for a closer look and to see what Susan is doing now.

55 thoughts on “Take NaNo and Stuff Your Chicken With It

    • Thank you, Jae. Hope you had a good Thanksgiving, too. I’m headed off to bed shortly, but I’m going to take some time in the morning to catch up with bloggers before I start writing again. I see you have a couple I haven’t read yet. Talk to you soon!

  1. So Glad NaNoWriMo didn’t ruin your Thanksgiving. I’ve been missing you here, and wondering a lot about your progress. You’ll finish in plenty of time. I thought November was a really stupid month to do this too. Good luck! and just keep that bowl of M&M’s good and full. 🙂

    • I was really cranky Thanksgiving Eve. You had several posts I had missed, and I wanted to just read blogs and leave stupid comments all over the place. But that competitive nature of mine doesn’t go away easily, and I was so far behind. 3,000 words per day seemed insurmountable, so I buckled down. I’m partying next November! And I’ll have an email on the way to you later today. 😉

  2. A persnickety oven. Ah, the joys of real life. Love that word, though. Persnickety .

    Like the Diva, I wondered about the sanity of having NaNo in November, but not everyone in the world celebrates Thanksgiving.

    You got this, Maddie. I’d say don’t drive yourself too hard, but don’t think it’s appropriate. When it’s all over, you’ll have time to rest up. And a golden opportunity to gloat!

    • I thought of you, the minute I dropped persnickety into the post. 😉 Over 7,000 words yesterday ended up being fairly easy. The first part of a book is harder as all places, characters, and plot(s) are set up – don’t you think? Once everything starts happening, the movie is rolling so quickly in my head, I can’t get it down fast enough. I’m not much of a gloater, but I might go over to the NaNo site and give it a good swift kick before I walk away.

      • Finishing NaNo is a good reason to gloat. I’m way to pokey and random for that. I spend an awful lot of time pacing and staring out the window. 🙂 Finally I end up making timing diagrams and flow charts on a white-board, trying to tie all the stuff together so it will make sense to other people.

        • I can see where you would have needed a white board (or two or three!) for The Valley Walker. I had to do a diagram for this book. I had more “strangers” to keep track of this time – plus the zombies and the guy wearing the gorilla head. 😉

  3. I don’t do NaNo, but I agree, November doesn’t seem like the best month to do it. Nor December. January makes better sense to me. Nobody likes January, and it’s all about turning over new leaves anyway. Seems like a perfect time. 🙂

      • That’s the month I plan to really hunker down. By the way, last night I read the scene on the boat (from your first Susan Hunter book). Great scene! I really enjoy your writing style. Light and easy to read. Perfect for when I’m out of town like now. 🙂

        • I’m so glad you’re enjoying it. I love the boat scene. I went shark fishing once in Florida. The conversation with the first mate in the book is nearly identical to the one I had with the first mate on the boat I was on. There are many similarities, but I don’t want to give too much away. Suffice it to say, I was scared to death, I heard Jaws music in my head, and I ended up with a 9-foot hammerhead shark mounted on my wall. 😉

    • Thanks, Pam! Hope you had a good Thanksgiving, too. I’m enjoying this book. The characters still have the same personalities, but their situations are so different this time, it’s bringing out other temperaments as well. I’m going to hang out at blogs for a few hours, and then I’m excited to get back to writing today. 🙂

    • My family is a riot whenever we all get together. I have three brothers, and they all think they’re comedians. I’m hoping not to fall short with NaNo, and I’ll tell the story of the zombies soon. 🙂

  4. My daughter loves corn shit. She has have been able to make as well as Mom. Maybe once I tell her the new name for it she will be inspired to whip up a batch.

  5. Maddie, my internet is playing up today. This is the third message. Just as I get to the end it goes on the blink. So here is a shortened version.
    You have always been a writing goddess and are much to be admired for your determination.
    You are also to be admired for being part of a fast disappearing species of woman – one who likes her partner and has nice things to say about him.
    I want the recipe for corn bake (don’t let anyone get away with calling it anything else. After a bit it stops being funny and starts being hurtful).
    Come live in Aus and you won’t need to worry about Thanksgiving turkeys or chickens or corn bake (although there’s always the danger of having a gladdie tossed at you by Dame Edena.
    LOL (that’s lots of love not laugh out loud). 🙂

    • I agree. I’ve enjoyed reading about what others had and how they shared their day. I am sooo glad Rich knows his way around the kitchen so we could just leave him like that. It seems your husband does quite a bit of cooking, too. We’re both fortunate!

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