In the second of three blogs, author Suzanne Jacobs Lipshaw relays her experience writing 50,000+ words in the month of November
Life doesn’t go as planned…
|Suzanne's writing space|
|Suzanne with her parents|
Days one and two went smoothly. Then came day three. My father was taken to the ER by ambulance. The hospital was still under Covid procedures and only one family member could be with him. My mom asked me to go. Assuming I’d be there a good portion of the night, I somehow had the presence of mind to grab my laptop. Once my dad was settled in and asleep, I wrote 2,000 words. The next day we found out my dad needed surgery and was sent to Henry Ford Detroit. Each day I picked up my mom and drove her to the hospital where we spent the day with my dad. At night I went home, had dinner with my husband, went into my office, lit my candles, and wrote. I soon realized that writing from 7:00 -10:00 each night was therapy for me—an escape. On the weekends, my brother went to the hospital with my mom (only two people allowed in the room due to Covid). I spent the weekends taking advantage of the writing boot camps offered by NaNoWriMo Michigan and made up any missed words.
Eventually, my dad left the hospital under hospice care. We knew his time with us was short. Yet, each day my mom asked me “Did you get your words?” And when my dad had the presence of mind he’d ask, “Did you write yesterday?” This was no longer a solitary goal, and their encouragement kept me going.
Sadly, prior to Thanksgiving, my dad passed. My writing time was spent drafting his eulogy and sitting shiva. The final weekend of NaNo, I did a major writing push. On November 30, I hit 50,836 words and typed “THE END” with only hours to spare. During shiva, one of my friends mentioned how my dad’s eyes always twinkled. When I finished writing, I went outside, looked up at two twinkling stars and said aloud, “I finished Dad.” And I could hear him say, “I knew you would. Love you honey.”
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