Progress on Scents of Exile!

If you read my last NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) post, you’ll know that I had a goal of writing/editing the first 50,000 words of Book 2 of The Fragrant Trilogy. Did I meet my goal? Unfortunately, no. But I am pleased with the progress I did make. Let me tell you about the second half of my November.

The day before my last NaNo post, my oldest son stayed home sick from school. That same day, I got a call from the school to come pick up my youngest son because he had a fever. They were both home when I published that post, but I didn’t think anything of it at the time. They both went to school the following Thursday and Friday and I was able to make my characters suffer in the book. By Friday afternoon my word count was

14, 142 words!

Which means I added almost 10k words that week!

image from

That Friday was also the day I started to go down hill. I ended up spending several hours in Urgent Care and then waiting for my medication before the boys and I headed to Prescott Valley to join Ryan and his family for his Grandmother’s memorial. (I was not contagious at this point, at least I didn’t have what they boys had). My Long Covid symptoms were heightened and I was completely exhausted when we arrived.

I knew it was going to be a weekend where I couldn’t work on my book because well, hanging out with family was on the agenda. I really enjoyed reconnecting with family members we hadn’t seen in years, and the boys had a great time hanging out with their cousins from Colorado. By the time Sunday evening rolled around and it was time to get ready to drive back home, I was thinking I could totally drive that night. But then I started packing up and my body shut down. There was no way I was going to be able to drive, I couldn’t even stand anymore.

Fortunately, a good night sleep helped rejuvenate me. Even though it was cut short with a departure at 5:45 am, so that we’d have enough time to get home, pack lunches, and send the boys off to school. Then, I had a cardiologist appointment where we discussed switching up my meds to see if there was a different beta blocker that might help relieve my shortness of breath symptoms. And after that, I came home and crashed again. This time with whatever sickness has been going around. I was laid up in bed for two days and my new medication was not performing better but worse than the old.

Thankfully, by Wednesday, I was on my feet again and able to start cleaning up the house. My mom came up that day and helped. It’s amazing how a clean house can lift your spirits. Yes, we had a wonderful Thanksgiving,

except for my middle child who woke up sick and had to stay in bed all day. He was also quarantined the next day, the day we had planned to celebrate his upcoming birthday with his other cousins. Not the best birthday party when you have to zoom in to open your presents with everyone else gathered together at a different house. But at least he got to watch shows and play video games all day.

All that to say, by the end of that week my word count had only crept up to

15, 338 words.

I thought, “Now that we’ve all been sick, I can finally make some more progress on my book!” I still had a few days left of November. And I did! I ended November with

22,481 words

or the first 5 chapters written/edited!

I am happy with my progress even if it’s been slower than I would like. There are many changes happening to the first draft that I think will make the story ten times better. I am going to try to do a second NaNo goal of 50k words in December. We’ll see if I accomplish it what with all the holidays and sickness still going around (my oldest has been sick again this week with Strep Throat!). Here’s to reading, writing, and enjoying good stories!


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