I’ve kept it quiet for some and talked endlessly about it with others, but this month I was a proud participant in National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo for short. I’ve been cheered on all month by my housemate Lauren, friend and neighbor Keight (both past NaNoWriMo winners) and pen-pal Rob (a participant this time), my co-workers Lyndsey, Alisa, and Jerimiah, and was given the courage to push on by my family in the last stretches while my parents bragged to my grandmother, “Eleanor’s writing a novel.” Yes, it is true. I did it and it’s done. The novel has no title. I don’t know the genre. I hope it is literary fiction, but it may just be chick-lit. In any event, it is over 50,000 words long (51,156 to be exact) and it exists. It centers around a young, American 20-something named Hannah who moves to Paris after college to prove she’s not sublimating her dreams and all that follows. Will it ever see the light of day after this month? I have no idea, but it’s done! I think it’s an experience ever writer, even those like me who don’t usually write fiction, should go through. It imposed a creative discipline on me and showed me that I can get up at 7 a.m. to write. It made me look for all the possible opportunities in the day to write, and I got to create a whole reality based on, but not exactly like, the one I live in and the things I have experienced. I can’t wait to do it again, but I think I only have one novel in me and this was it.