We made it through November and we gave thanks, and there was relatively minimal family drama. And what drama there was wasn’t directed at me, so I give thanks for that, too. But the fallout caught my son, who is dealing with recognizing that sometimes family members aren’t the best people to hang around with. I’ve never subscribed to the “family is blood, you need to love them unconditionally” stuff. If people are trashfire, they are trashfire, and you don’t need that in your life. You can’t choose your family, but you CAN choose who you let spend time with you. Spend it with those who love and support you.

November really is the saddest of months. It’s one of the short ones (30 days), the days go from somewhat mild to cold, and the leaves are finally shed completely and the world turns brown. Daylight savings ends, too. And then there’s NaNoWriMo tacked on to an already depressing month that often comes with family drama. I remain of the opinion that NaNo would be better served by moving forward a month and making it an October challenge. An extra day to write, fewer family distractions, and a month that comes with ghoulish fun. What better thing to do in October than create a horror of a first draft!

More on Nano in a moment. On to the monthly details…

Writing Conferences/Workshops/Classes/Professional Activities:

No professional activities this month. The MWA Frederick chapter held a NaNo related write-in, but I skipped. I’d done plenty of writing by then and was feeling under the weather.


Finished the first draft of my WIP. I completed my NaNo challenge at 51,000 words on November 20th, which was great. See my post 50,000 Words for how I managed to accomplish it. Doing NaNo really isn’t for the faint of heart.

At this point in the year, and likely not adding anything new (December is my holiday month where I don’t stress too much about working on anything new), my word count stands at 271,000 words. Not a bad result for the year, especially given the short story sales I’ve made and another completed first draft to work with.


The first draft stands (or stood) at 191,000 words. A pretty daunting length that will need much editing. From September 1st to November 20th, I added 123,000 words on the draft. I think the story has a good set of bones to work with as I move into the editing phase.

Outstanding Submissions:

6 short stories and 1 novella outstanding as of December 1st. Longest lead time is 167 days. Nothing shortlisted or on hold.


4 submissions made last month.


4 rejections received in November.


No acceptances.

Goals for December:

I’ve already removed about 50,000 words from the novel that I knew didn’t work and placed them in a separate dump file. I’ve also begun first edits by jotting down scene notes on index cards. For December, I intend to finish that work, begin re-organizing the scenes, and re-writing the prologue. Anything beyond that would be a bonus.

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