I was planning to write this on December 1st, but the end of November came a little sooner than I expected. It’s been a busy month, an exciting month, a stressful month, a painful month, and ultimately a very successful month. I started the month with three objectives: to participate in National Novel Writing Month, to donate bone marrow stem cells, and to complete my GREs (& and work on grad school applications). I am pleased to report success on all three fronts.

In order of success:

Bone Marrow Stem Cell Donation – Done!

The lead-up was dramatic, with an unexpected bad reaction to a plain old painkiller (I want to emphasize that it was NOT one of the usual donation drugs, just the painkiller the doctor had chosen). After that was taken care of and I got on a painkiller I could tolerate, the rest of the procedure went well. I won’t get updates on the recipient’s condition until they’re more stable, but I’ve been informed that the cells made it to the right hospital on time. Win.

GRE – Nearly Perfect

In a fun example of bad scheduling (due to scheduling ahead of time and not being willing to pay half the test price to reschedule), I ended up taking the GREs only four days after the donation. In an example of very bad decision-making, I decided to go see Amanda Palmer‘s show in Falls Church the night before. In an example of good planning, I spent nearly a month studying for the GRE.

Fortunately, the studying won hands down. The show was awesome and I still got a good night’s sleep (test was at 12:30pm); I recovered very quickly from the procedure.

The Math portion was incredibly hard, but I realized afterward that the computer adaptive test kept throwing harder questions at me as I kept getting them right. I finished with only 40 seconds left on the clock. The computer showed me my score before I left: Verbal: 780, Math: 790. This is out of 800, like the SATs. I don’t yet know my score for the essays, but I discovered that blogging had made me perfectly comfortable with a) taking a position and defending it and b) critiquing someone else’s argument by showing flaws in their reasoning.

You can bet your boots there’s a post on GRE prep coming up in December.

National Novel Writing Month – Win

The real monster of the month was my decision to write 50,000 words in 30 days. That’s more fiction than most people write in their lifetime and more than the total of every piece of fiction I’ve ever written. I haven’t finished the novel yet, but I crossed the 50k mark just before 11pm on November 27th, making me an official NaNoWriMo winner.

I’m going to keep the progress bar up for now, to show how much farther I get this month. I plan to continue writing (though slowing down a little as necessary) because I like the novel, I love writing fiction, and I think it’s not entirely crap…which is good for a first draft.

It’s been a crazy, crazy November, but also one of the most exciting, rewarding, happiest months of my life. Thank you all for your support.


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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Peter November 28, 2009 at 12:14 am

Congrats on all of your November success! So what is the novel about?
.-= Peter´s last blog ..Set Your Course For Next Year Now! Setting Values Oriented Goals =-.

Shawanda November 28, 2009 at 12:24 am

Wow! Congratulations on all your accomplishments. Where in the world do you find the time?
.-= Shawanda´s last blog ..Black Friday Findings =-.

Financial Samurai November 28, 2009 at 12:28 am

Good work! And you got guest posters to fill in while you were busy with all that stuff.

Those are some real high GRE scores! What field do you plan to apply to again, and where?
.-= Financial Samurai´s last blog ..The World Stock Markets Are Crashing & You’re Going Shopping?! =-.

Nathan November 28, 2009 at 1:46 am

Hi there, I’m dropping out of lurking mode to give you a *major* congratulations on your GRE scores. Those are simply amazing. I took it last month and wish that my verbal had been anywhere near that high. You’ll have no problem getting into programs for sure!

Tom @ Canadian Finance Blog November 28, 2009 at 1:51 am

Congrats on your awesome month!

NaNoWriMo FTW!
.-= Tom @ Canadian Finance Blog´s last blog ..Friday Links =-.

Baker November 28, 2009 at 1:55 am

Man, kind of makes me feel like an underachiever!

Way to set the bar high! You push everyone around you to finish out 2010 with fire!
.-= Baker´s last blog ..Special Thanksgiving Video from the Baker Family! =-.

mrsmicah November 28, 2009 at 10:01 am

@Pete – the short version is that it’s a story of a young woman in Victorian England whose future just fell apart and how she changes her life accordingly. There’s murder, sex, art, and a few ghosts.
@Shawanda – wasn’t easy to find the time, but between cutting out blogging & choosing only to watch 2 tv shows a week, I made it work. May have missed a couple showers. 😉

@Financial Samurai – thanks! Library and information science. Couple of online programs. Plus with these scores I’ve decided to apply to College Park, UMD’s IRL program because I might get a very good scholarship/fellowship. There may be some tough decisions up ahead.

@Nathan – thanks. 🙂 I was most worried about the verbal scores, in fact I had not done well on the tests while studying.

@Tom woo! 🙂

@Baker – somehow I can’t imagine you feeling like an underachiever. But I am feeling pretty achieved right now. 🙂

RainyDaySaver November 28, 2009 at 10:53 am

What an inspiration! Now when I try to procrastinate (which is often, sadly), I just have to remember all you’ve accomplished in just one month. Brava!
.-= RainyDaySaver´s last blog ..Happy Thanksgiving, Faithful Readers =-.

Financial Samurai November 28, 2009 at 11:10 am

What an interesting and great niche to be in Mrs. Micah! I would DEFINITELY go for the school that can offer you the most in terms of grants.

Does Georgetown, George Washington, American also have this type of graduate program? I love the Terrapins under Garry Williams basketball 🙂
.-= Financial Samurai´s last blog ..The World Stock Markets Are Crashing & You’re Going Shopping?! =-.

mrsmicah November 28, 2009 at 11:30 am

@RainyDaySaver – I procrastinate as well, alas, but if it can inspire you to keep going then awesome. 🙂

@Financial Samurai – the only IRL programs in the DC Metro area are at UMD College Park and Catholic U. Since I live in MD, I can get in-state tuition at UMD, whereas CUA is very expensive.

FFB November 28, 2009 at 1:26 pm

I feel lazy! I think any one of those would make for a productive month. Congrats on all fronts!
.-= FFB´s last blog ..ING Direct Announces Black Friday Deals =-.

Lynnae November 28, 2009 at 1:31 pm

Congratulations! I’m impressed with all you’ve accomplished!
.-= Lynnae´s last blog ..Happy Thanksgiving! =-.

Patrick November 28, 2009 at 3:08 pm

Woo-hoo! Congrats on all fronts. 🙂
.-= Patrick´s last blog ..Individual Health Insurance vs. Group Health Insurance =-.

Financial Samurai November 28, 2009 at 3:22 pm

IC. Then definitely go for UMD! That’s a no brainer! I’m sure you’ll get it. Perfect timing for your husband to start making the big bucks!

Carrie...On The Cheap November 28, 2009 at 3:40 pm

Wow! Congratulations!! All 3 are quite an accomplishment and probably all things most people will never accomplish in their life! Do something to reward yourself – you definitely deserve it!
.-= Carrie…On The Cheap´s last blog ..Video Contest Extended! =-.

Squawkfox November 29, 2009 at 12:12 pm

You go girl! Very happy for your huge success!
.-= Squawkfox´s last blog ..10 Terrific Turkey Leftover Recipes =-.

MoneyEnergy November 29, 2009 at 1:33 pm

Congrats indeed. Inspires me to get cracking on my own December goals!

Flexo November 29, 2009 at 6:38 pm

Congratulations on your successes this month!
.-= Flexo´s last blog ..Podcast 32: Gift Cards and Financial Reform =-.

cybele November 30, 2009 at 3:10 am

Aim high – and you did! keep it up, but maybe not at quite the same pace (at least for a month) ;-D

Pamela November 30, 2009 at 9:43 am

Awesome! Congratulations!

cavewoman November 30, 2009 at 10:24 am

That is an awesome November. Congrats on all of the “doings”.

CM November 30, 2009 at 10:54 am

Great work! I completed nanowrimo last night! It’s a great feeling, isn’t it?

Cat November 30, 2009 at 5:49 pm

HOORAY!! That’s awesome! I took the GMAT last week and it wiped me out. I’m so glad you did well!
.-= Cat´s last blog ..Wow =-.

Credit Card Chaser December 1, 2009 at 12:04 am

Awesome job on the GRE – I am impressed!
.-= Credit Card Chaser´s last blog ..Win $500 in the 2009 Credit Card Chaser Love/Hate Credit Cards Contest =-.

Jesse December 1, 2009 at 11:38 am

You are one of the most amazing people I have ever met. I talked to you about each of these things individually but I didn’t realize they were all coming together in the same month!

Just amazing..
.-= Jesse´s last blog ..Top 14 Personal Finance Tools =-.

Evolution Of Wealth December 1, 2009 at 12:12 pm

I couldn’t leave without saying Congratulations! What a great month. I’d bet that they are only going to keep getting better. Keep up the good work
.-= Evolution Of Wealth´s last blog ..4 Reasons to Talk to Your Creditors =-.

PT December 10, 2009 at 6:13 pm

Way to go, MM. Sounds like you are really crushing it.
.-= PT´s last blog ..Hunting for Treasure: Estate Sale Tips and My Recent Experience =-.

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