When I began my journey to take my writing into a new career path, I began exploring the world of blogs and reading articles by professional writers and about the publishing industry. I kept coming across references to NANO. I had no clue what that was or how it could relate to writing. my only experience with the term was attached to the word second. I thought a nanosecond was about half a second (after looking it up I realized it was a billionth of a second). It also oddly took me back to Mork and Mindy and Mork’s famous sign off of nanu-nanu. Finally I figured out it was National write a novel month in the month of November. November is one of my favorite months because my birthday is November 12th and for me that is the launch of the holiday season. I had already polished up one novel and sent it off to a publisher (still waiting to hear, they said 3-6 months, November makes 3 months, it would make a great birthday present to have it accepted, just saying) and had managed to begin my second book despite the fact as a full time first grade teacher I had launched a new school year. In September I was editor and publisher to my twenty students as we published our personal narratives in writer’s workshop, and I kept writing, so I thought I could easily finish it by the end of November, what a great way to participate in my first NANO. Then October rolled around. It was time to prepare report cards and get ready for twenty parent conferences, yet I still managed to keep writing (housework was lacking but something had to give). In late October I thought, I still had it all balanced and under control, I wasn’t feeling great, for about five days I felt like I was on the cusp of coming down with something, working in a primary school this is not unusual, the environment is a cesspool of germs. Then the morning of October 23rd I woke up with a familiar pain and a fresh crop of blisters, I suspected I had shingles, although part of me thought no since I had just had them in the spring (I am only in my middle forties, too young for the vaccine, but apparently not to young for the illness). The doctor confirmed it that afternoon after school (I’d rather have teeth pulled with no numbing than write sub plans) and I began to take antivirals. My writing came to a grinding halt. I did not miss a day of work, I got through all twenty parent conferences, I slept all I could and I did manage to eek out my weekly blog post. November first came and I was not better, so I started on a new round of meds and the first week rolled by in a crazy blur, including my twenty newly minted writers were ready for editing and publishing again, this time we had finished our I am an expert non-fiction books, for those of you who have not idea about writer’s workshop publishing in a first grade classroom, that means sitting one on one with each student and going over each page of their six to eight sections of book and editing with them, then typing up their pages and laminating their covers and helping them write their table of contents and number their pages, binding it all together and send them off to do their illustrations (lots of late nights typing). I can finally say that I am beginning to feel better. Life and responsibilities got in the way of my writing. But NANO is partly about no excuses so while NANO is flying by in what seems like a nanosecond, I am ready to jump back into my novel, I have five more chapters to go, surely I can finish those in half a NANO.