NaNoWriMo is the celebrated event during November each year. The point is for a writer to challenge themselves to achieve 50,000 words in a month. Thirty days hath November, so that’s a lot of “sit your butt in the chair.”

I’ve never officially participated. In part, because competition and goals don’t push me forward. I am a word nerd, so it was a concentrated period for words to propel me forward. I polished short stories, snippets that had languished at 250-words, and I blogged as per my habit. Productive as always, but with a greater purpose: to fill the dull hours of COVID-contained culture.

I achieved 17,000 words, in solidarity with friends, which is actually 1/3 of the NaNo goal.

I rewarded myself with several weeks of holiday baking. First, I trolled my neighborhood, dispensing holiday cheer via baked goods. Very positively received, to elevate the mood above glumness in these austere times.

Now my husband and I can reward ourselves when we write holiday cards… and laugh at others who are shut out of shopping at the malls due to our third quarantine session in 2020.

Together we may achieve another 17,000 words – and accumulate more pounds around the waist and onto the belly, to accompany the laughs demonstrated above. Those laughs, augmented by hugs, kept the good times rolling in our house, no matter what. Even in COVID-times.

Music and Netflix and Reading helped maintain our good spirits, too.

Now, in December, we are committed to 100 cards with notes hand-written inside. You see, we’ve seen few far-away relatives and friends. We must write each note as a memoir of our lives in 2020. To cement those relationships. To re-bond with local friends we’ve been separated from seeing while in quarantine. To reassure our treasured families and friends that we survived during this pandemic.

Emotions have a beginning, middle, and end and we are telling ours.