The End of NaPoWriMo 2019 and My Subsequent Collapse

OK, well, I didn’t exactly collapse. But it was tough.

The last two poems, for days 29 and 30, were:

  • Meditation on Choler
  • You Are Loved

The very last poem was a tribute to a friend who passed away–a poem that I had promised to her husband for her memorial service. Not sure he even wants it (I haven’t given it to him yet), but she was a fan of my poetry from the very beginning. She was such a good friend that she was a fan of anything I did. Nancy was 18 years older than me and her oldest child was my age. But age meant nothing to her, and I was in college when our friendship solidified into what it would remain. She accomplished a lot in her life, moving through stages of wildness and compromise, always reaching toward a form of enlightenment. I knew I couldn’t write a poem that she deserved, but I did my best, and that would have made her happy.

Mom has gone home, and the rest of my company is now gone. It was 11.5 months of people living here, visiting, etc. This Highly Sensitive introvert can’t take another minute.

The funny thing is that Nancy was an extrovert to my introvert, but that never stopped us both from having fun.

One (sample) memory from my 20s was of us partying at a showing of Reefer Madness. She dressed as Harpo Marx, and I was Carmen Miranda (you can see that carnivalesque switching of roles, right?). I am pretty sure we ended up getting kicked out of the movie for being too loud. Not blaming here, but she had a very boisterous, contagious laugh.

I called Nancy’s poem “You Are Loved” because she always ended every conversation, even every email, by saying “remember you are loved.”

I have lots of poem drafts to go through and revise. I keep thinking NaPoWriMo should be in the summer or fall. If you write all April and revise all May, sendouts in June is a great example of poor timing since a lot of journals shut down submissions for the summer.

Have a wonderful week and remember: you are loved.


Spring Arizona during the day:

The bottom one is just budding.

Spring Arizona at night:


Filed under #amwriting, #AmWriting, #NaPoWriMo, Arizona, Flora, Garden, and Landscape, Poetry, Writing

39 responses to “The End of NaPoWriMo 2019 and My Subsequent Collapse

  1. So sorry to hear about your friend, Luanne. She sounds like a rare, special person, and that you have lots of good memories. I am glad you’re finally getting some downtime, at least down from company time 😉 I can’t imagine having visitors streaming through my house for almost a whole year. Rest, rest, rest. Take care of yourself. Take time with your poems. If June is not a good time for submissions, then take your time. Remember you are loved.

    • Nancy was very very special. Yes, I definitely want to rest (she said, but didn’t do it). Well, I have been sleeping much longer at night than usual. Maybe it will start to work after awhile. Remember you are loved, too, Marie. xo

  2. I can’t imagine having people live here that long although I know some were your mom and kids which is different. I always tell my husband if I had to build this house again, I would have a private master bedroom wing where I could retreat to rejuvenate and not hear all the noise from the family room! We don’t get the out of town guests like we used to. None of my husband’s family is local and some summers we had people every weekend. Most of them I had only met a few times. It got to be too much so we announced that we were shutting down our B&B (except for the stepkids). I admire your ability to handle it so well. I love your friend and she would have loved that poem.

    • Yes, Mom and kids are different, but still very much for this introvert. Especially when days turn into weeks into months. Oh, I don’t know how you did that in the summers!
      Nancy was a one of a kind. Thank you so much for saying she would have loved it, Kate!

  3. Sorry to hear you’ve lost a special friend. I did picture a fun duo attending Reefer Madness—pretty hilarious! She sounds like the kind of friend we all need. I hope you’ll share your tribute poem someday. Get some rest. Hold kitties. Breathe. Play around with some gentle writing. And remember what Nancy always said because it’s true. 💚

    • We also went with my sister-in-law who was Groucho, but that was more that I asked her to come, not that she was usually with us, if that makes sense.
      Thank you, Cheryl. I am doing some gentle revising hahaha. Remember you are loved, too, Cheryl.

  4. I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend, Luanne. She sounds like a special lady. xo

  5. I’m glad you had a chance to honour your friend’s memory in poetry. So sorry to hear of her passing.

    11.5 months with guests? I’d start to collapse around 11.5 days! May you enjoy all the solitude you need as you recovery your space!

    • Thank you, Maggie. I know, right? 11.5 days is 8.5 too many. At least I am starting to sleep at night now! Also thank you about Nancy. She was so special.

  6. As we age we get more practice at losing people. Way more than we want. I’m very sorry you’ve lost your friend. She would be honoured to know you wrote a poem for her.

  7. Well done. As you probably know, I have lost several older friends in the last few years, but, as you show, they stay with us

  8. Well, it does sound like a collapse should be on the agenda after all that. Glad you found such a wonderful friendship with Nancy – the movie event must have been a hoot!

    Love the cactus photos! Now take a rest!!

  9. I must remember that phrase and use it. We all need to hear that and remember it about ourselves, too. What a wonderful thing to remember about your friend who sounds like she was a perfect foil to your quiet soul. She was loved. And so are you.

  10. Lovely memories and photos, Luanne.

  11. Everyone should have a friend like that! I love her sign off and think you should adopt it to keep your special friend and that sentiment alive and out there. Well done on your achievements and I hope the organisers of NaPoWriMo take your feedback into consideration. My daughter came and lived with me for nearly two years a while back and we are so close and so companionable but I was really glad when the time came for her to move on 🙂

    • Now there is a thought! I love that idea, Pauline–adopting Nancy’s “sign off.” What an amazing thing. I never would have thought of it either. I might use it best in a future book where it suits the book, a book Nancy would have loved. I have to write that, of course haha. Yes, my daughter is now living close by but not here, and that is good. And we are so close, too.

  12. You are amazing, Luanne, to have written all during the month while having company! Congratulations on all the new poems (eager to see them). Your titles are intriguing! Condolences on the loss of your dear friend. Poems are such a wonderful contribution to a memorial, and I’m sure yours will be a blessing to her family.

    • Thank you so much for the condolences, Carla. Nancy was so so special. So are you. Remember YOU are loved.
      A couple of poem titles have changed already, but the revisions have been light, so I’m not sure what’s going on.

      • I love the idea of letting people know that they are loved. I usually just say, “I love you,” which is great too, but switching it around is nice. It focuses on them instead. You are loved, Luanne!

  13. So sorry that you lost your dear friend, Luanne. Wow–I hadn’t realized you had guests for that long. I’d be going crazy, too. (Also, we don’t really have a house that’s good for overnight guests.)
    Good luck with your poetry revisions–but I hope you get some rest and relaxing down time.

    • To clarify, that does include daughter and her BF and my mom. But for me that is still WAY overload. I don’t know when I won’t be exhausted any longer.
      Thank you about the revisions. they are going a little too easy, so I am suspicious about the poems ;). I hope you are happy with your napowrimo results!

  14. I’m sorry you’ve lost such an amazing friend. The poem’s title is just perfect. I bet her husband will love it.
    11.5 months? MONTHS? Good mercy, it’s time to power down, hermit down, and chill out!

  15. Congratulations again on finishing your lovely and productive month of poetry-drafting! And don’t forget you inspired me to join napowrimo and stre-e-e-e-tch my writing muscles! 🙂 And, I’m still attempting to go along with more poems this month. Trolling video poetry on Youtube, googling poetry prompts on my browser … unleashed! Hah! 🙂 (just partly kidding) Thanks, Luanne! I love that you have 30 poetry drafts, little poem starts that will become even more intriguing as you go on. So wonderful!

    • I am so thrilled that you did napowrimo, too, Theresa. I hope you do that your drafts and work on them later, maybe after your novel is done or at least it’s first draft!!! Can’t wait to hear more about the novel in the future! Happy Mother’s Day!

      • Thank you Luanne! So fun that you were thinking of me and I of you. I am definitely still engaging w poetry, still learning. And the novel. What a saga- the writing of it. More when I’m further along! Happy writing, my friend!

  16. I am so sorry you have lost a dear friend. I am sure the poem is beautiful because it has been written with love.
    I can’t stand visitors who stay for more than a day and I certainly couldn’t cope with multiple visits over a whole year! Rest and recuperate my dear and congratulations for completing another NaPoWriMo!

    • Thank you for your kind thoughts, Clare. I don’t like company for more than three days. Now a lot of this was my daughter and her boyfriend and my mother, but they are no exception to me–I still get exhausted!

  17. “Remember you are loved.” That might be the best email sign off I’ve ever heard. So sorry for your loss and hope you can rest up.

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