What I sent to the Nano people

The folks at nanowrimo.org wanted some feedback on our experiences with National Novel Writing Month.   Here is what I sent them:

I am 52 years old.  Last year, I was a Nano rebel.  I wrote a memoir about my hitch-hiking trip across the country in 1979 with my dog Hoofy.  While I was writing this book, I starved myself.  You see, I have anorexia nervosa.  The January following last year’s Nano I was finally hospitalized for my anorexia, and again in March.  It did no good.  By August, I was starving myself to death and no longer wanted to live.  Then, I met Frank.  Frank also has anorexia, and he turned my life around.  I told him about how I really wanted to do Nano again, but that I felt hopeless that I’d ever be able to do it.  Frank and I began eating together.  Bite by bite, I found that I no longer wanted to die.  Whereas in August I was staggering around the house, barely able to stand up, by October I was walking my dog, Puzzle, longer and longer distances, sometimes for miles.  So I planned out my Nano book, and wrote it.  I am So Cold, and Hungry in My Soul is about a woman with anorexia nervosa.  It is the saddest book I have ever written or even read.  Writing this book brought back memories of last year’s Nano book, of sitting in the library, writing about hitch-hiking with Hoofy, writing while weak and starving, word after word, and then feeling so weak that I could barely walk home.  It is memories like these that fueled the writing of I am So Cold, and Hungry in My Soul.  But there are bits of humor in the book, too, and joy as well.  Some days–not many–I just cried.  I finished the book, just over 50,000 words, on November 17th.  Meanwhile, Puzzle’s long walks had inspired me to try running, and with Frank’s encouragement and wisdom, I began running daily, increasing my mileage.  See what my strong body can do!  I am proud to say that yesterday I ran my first 5k race–ever.  I am So Cold, and Hungry in My Soul is about a woman who loses everything.  I wrote the book because I have gained everything.

Feedback and comments welcome!