NaNoWriMo day 27: A snow day and also the day I reached 50,000 words


The first snow fell last night in big, beautiful drifts, covering everything with a dampening, white blanket.

The children spent the day running and calling out in excitement – I can hear one screaming “yaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!” now, from down the street. They are everywhere, building forts and throwing snowballs with so much enthusiasm, you’d think it was the first snow they’d ever seen.

Only the snow brings them out; they must’ve been inside all summer playing video games.

It is my favourite time of year, when the land changes beyond recognition, when the snow is still clean and white and glisteningly magical.

I feel as though finally the world is back to the way it should be. As though that brief warm, green season was just a blip, almost an aberration, and now we are back to something more familiar and recognizeable.

There is a bit of ice on the canal. Not enough, of course, to skate – yet. But it’s been pretty cold and if this is it, if winter stays, it shouldn’t be too long.


Today, between walking my son to and from school (with the storm, the buses were all cancelled), I hit and passed the 50,000 word mark in my memoire.

(Yes, I had to wax lyrical about the snow first).

I made it. My first NaNoWriMo is a success, even if the story never makes it any further than my laptop. I just wanted to see if I could do it. And I did.


I still have a few little stories and anecdotes I’d like to add here and there, but I’ve validated it online and I’m officially past the requisite number of words.

It feels great, and more than just being able to say I did it (no small feat!), the story itself has brought me along through my memories of Ireland, the people, the beauty, the underlying spirit and magic. It has been nice to walk again by the lakes and mountains and sea and rolling green fields, by ogham stones, ring forts and ancient sites, and into the homes of the friends I have not seen in a very long time.

As for lessons learned along the way, I’m happy I took everyone’s advice (thank you) and simply wrote without worrying about whether or not I was actually crafting a proper story. As I said from the beginning, at least for this time, I found it easy to write the necessary number of words, and to do so almost each day. I would sit down at my laptop and immediately find myself back in time, back in the moment. Having lived it once, it was easy then to describe the situation and how I – me, now – think I felt back then. An hour or two would pass before I realized it.

As I went along, I started to find it easier, too, to fictionalize my history. I stopped worrying about changing the facts. And I think that is the point at which the memoire actually became a story.

What will I do with it now?

Well first, I will go out into the snow, but then, I might make myself a coffee and sit down to read it through. I’m not sure, after a month of writing it, what exactly I will find. I’m sure, though, that reading it will be an entirely different experience than writing it was.

I’ll let you know.

Congratulations and good luck to those who participated, and to those still in the game.



6 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo day 27: A snow day and also the day I reached 50,000 words

  1. Congratulations on achieving your goal! I look forward to reading excerpts from your memoir and maybe even letting you read mine:) I had initially signed up for the NanoWritMo but gave up because of other conflicting priorities. You’ve inspired me, once again.

    • Thank you for your kind words!

      I’m glad to hear that you are writing your own memoire. I’d be thrilled to read it! I have no doubt that it will be an inspiring and beautiful piece of writing.

      I think NaNoWriMo is a great opportunity to focus efforts and to practice the discipline of writing regularly. But everyone still has a life and you can always use what you started with as a jumping off point any time in the year.

      I have posted some excerpts, though not many. They are filed in “Short Fiction” under the “Writing” tab at the top of my blog.

  2. Congratulations! I would advise you to take a little break (maybe a couple days or weeks) before you reread your story though. To look at it with fresh eyes. You would be amazed what a fresh perspective does to your perception of the story.

    And enjoy the snow. We rarely get any here in NC, and never that much.

    • Thank you for the good advice, and for your comment in general. I think you’re right and I will take a few days at least. I must admit, I’m even finding I need a break before launching back into my blog. I know I’ll get there, but for now I think my brain needs a rest. The snow is a good diversion, too 🙂

  3. I’m so so so very happy for you!! Congratulations on finishing! Taking the time to dedicate a whole month to writing just this one subject I know was tough for you…but it sounds like it was a fantastic experience and I’m sure in time you will figure out the perfect place for your story.. The snow and photos look amazing! We spent a week in Florida where it was a little warmer but just drove in last night to see a little white stuff this morning…. so fun!

    • Oh good, so you got some of the northern weather for part of your Thanksgiving! I hope you had a wonderful, relaxing and regenerating time with your family. Enjoy the snow 🙂

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