November is just around the corner, which means that so is NaNoWriMo 2017. Last year, I managed to write to the tune of 12,180 words. Not that impressive, to be sure. However, it did propel me towards 46,500 words over the course of the year, and therefore, I’d say that it was a success. Even so, this bucket list item remains: write 50,000 words in 30 days during NaNoWriMo. Technically I’m a rebel, since I’m using a previously planned novel as my project. But it isn’t about starting from scratch. It’s about finishing. Will this year be my year? It just might be – because I am filling my writing toolbox with six things that can take me all the way.
On October 13, we spent 10 hours driving 600 miles to West Lafayette, Indiana (300 miles of which seemed to be only cornfields). The pretense was to visit my best friend Kelsey Trumpp. But really, we were there to see Kelsey and get our brand new puppy. My heart had been fixed on a puppy for over a year. I wanted a companion for Cash and a puppy to train for therapy work in nursing homes, hospitals, and schools. After begging Spencer for a golden retriever, he said that we could get a second dog if it was a collie. I was on the phone that day calling all the breeders I knew.
As of October 1, I am off meat and dairy for good. Not only that, I am aiming for as close to a whole foods, plant-based diet as possible – so I’ll be avoiding processed foods, added sugars, and oil. This change has been a long time coming. I’ve talked about it for a while now, even with a chicken wing in my hand. It’s been a long road to this decision, but I’ve known for a while that this was my “ideal” diet. Now it’s time to make it a reality. This is my story.
I wanted a cat a month after getting married. If you know me, that won’t surprise you. If you really know me, you might wonder why I waited so long. As a dog person, I wanted a puppy more than a cat, but we lived in a small apartment. And our landlord, my mother-in-law, had a no-pet policy. So, no dogs. But I felt lonely in our small apartment. Spencer was out late most nights working on his business. We had no TV, no couch, no table even (we set up four TV trays to get by). So, I thought I could convince her to let me have a cat. But not just any cat. A Maine Coon.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt, I love this land. I was in third grade on September 11, 2001. It was just an ordinary day at school. Our principal didn’t make any special announcements. No one seemed scared or afraid. No teachers rolled in TV stands. My classmates didn’t murmur the word “terrorist” or “attack.” I don’t even remember the school day. Even when I walked into my grandma’s house off the bus, no one was in hysterics. She simply said to me that a lot of people died and it was serious. I sort of nodded and went into the sun room for a snack. But I will never forget that moment. I still remember every detail of standing in that doorway, hearing the news, even if I didn’t understand what it meant. And what it meant was tragedy.
“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.” – Albus Dumbledore What was your first word? Mine was “kitty,” which should be no surprise to any of my friends. It’s nothing special, considering all the words I can say now. But “kitty” was an important part of my development. It started me on a path that would define my psychology and even physiology. It was the start of my super power.