Tag Archive: National Novel Writing Month

This is the start of the fourth week of NaNoWriMo, and I was doing so well. By the end of Week 2, I had written seventy-five percent of the words I needed to write to win NaNo 2013, though I would not be completely finished with my novel when I reached 50,000 words. Specifically, I was at 37,867 words. Then Week  3 came along, and real life stopped me in my tracks. Just for the record, the third week of November of 2013 was not a fun week. On Tuesday, my mother had hip replacement surgery, which was actually scheduled in advance, as she had a sort of fast growing arthritis that necessitated a complete hip replacement. I knew I might not get much writing done that day. I had planned for that in advance, and was optimistic.

On Wednesday, I was headed to work at 5:45 in the morning, looking forward to the day ahead in my Pre-K classroom, and then an evening of writing. I stopped at a traffic light and the pickup truck behind me didn’t. He hit me at around 40 miles per hour, and pushed me into the pickup truck in front of me, effectively totaling the SUV I bought back in March. I experienced being the middle part of a car sandwich and I am not ashamed to admit it was scary. I spent most of that day removing glass covered personal belongings from a car that will soon no longer be mine, and talking to insurance companies, police officers, and trying to find a ride down to the hospital so I could drive my mom’s car home. No writing that night either. And no writing Thursday night because after visiting Mom in the hospital, I had to replace my niece’s car seat, so we could pick her up at the scheduled time on Friday afternoon. No writing Friday or Saturday because this was a weekend she decided not to nap, and with a four year old, that makes finding time to write difficult. With five days left, I have to write around 3000 words a day in order to make it.

Here’s hoping that the coming week is better than the last one, and that I can stay on track and finish on time. May the Muse be kind. Whether I finish in time or not, I do plan to finish.


Well, folks, tomorrow is the big day. At 12:01 am tomorrow morning, National Novel Writing Month officially begins. I won’t be able to start writing until I get home from work around 4:00 or 4:15 tomorrow, and    though I have an outline, and I’ve done a plethora of research, I just don’t really feel ready. I will, however, dig deep and embrace this experience with all of the enthusiasm with which I normally embrace writing projects.

Several of you have asked me what the book is about. While I have had three or four good ideas, and all of them will be placed in the idea vault for future projects, I have settled on writing a metaphysical fantasy story. Basically, I’ll be writing about the things in life that might exist, but are not easily seen, or are only seen when the circumstances are right for them to be seen—things such as fairies, goblins, and elves, or creatures from past mythologies of the world, or even angels and demons. Beyond that, I don’t want to reveal too much of the story line, for two reasons. As I have mentioned before, talking about the plot of one of my stories tends to kill the tension of the story for me, and makes it harder for me to finish it. Also, plots change according to character whims and also necessity sometimes, and therefore, I don’t want to reveal too much and have readers be disappointed when something changes.

One thing that you should know about the world of my story is that little is as it appears to be. Many things  turn out to be something other than what you might think they are at the beginning. For now, that’s all I can tell you, but I will check in periodically with updates, and I hope you will all keep following along to learn more. 

That is the question, isn’t it? For some of us, it isn’t really a question. Or maybe it is, but there’s no real answer besides the one we know, have always known in our hearts to be true. Writing is the only way this chaos, this insanity that marks our crazy lives makes sense. My joke with friends is that I row crew because I like to row crew, and I teach because that’s my calling, but I write because I can’t help it. I can’t not. I can’t imagine a life without writing–a life without the words or the worlds of my imagination, a life without the ink-on-paper people who are more alive than many “real” people to me, or a life without the adventures and misadventures of these same people.

The fact that these people exist in my head makes no difference, nor does it render them any less real. If that seems crazy, then what I am about to say is even more so. I picked up the gauntlet thrown down by a couple of very good friends, and accepted the challenge of trying to write a 50,000 word novel in one month’s time. I SIGNED UP FOR NANOWRIMO. And what a challenge it is, too! Apart from a full time job, trying to get my business off the ground, and responsibilities at home, I will be attempting to write an entire novel (or most of one) in 30 days. The level of my success remains to be seen.

I will use the rest of this month to plan and plot and outline. Will it be a mystery story? Science fiction? Fantasy? Or something else? What of the characters dancing around in my head, half formed? Which will take the starring role? Who will the supporting characters be?  Where will the plot lines bend and twist like the branches of an old tree? Will this story follow the path of those before it and grow too complicated to finish in 50,000 words and thirty-days? Or will it fizzle and die in its infancy? I will brainstorm ideas, adopt them, and then discard them, and adopt others. I will outline and chart and plot. I will make notes and then tear them up and make more. I will come maddeningly close to throwing up my hands and walking away.

Then, on the evening of Friday, November 1, 2013, I will start to write, and the characters will finally have their say. At the end of it all, and as much as I might not want to admit it, I am simply their messenger, transcribing the story they wish to tell. If I do that well enough, it will be a story others want to read. If I don’t, well…

So, what do I need from you? Encouragement mostly. Motivation. To some degree, accountability. To reach the goal in the time allotted, I must write around 2000-2500 words per day. That translates to approximately ten to twelve pages. Every. Day. Feel free to inquire as to how it is going, or kick me in the pants (if I seem to need it) to get it done. You can ask what I am writing about, but please don’t be offended if I don’t tell you (not immediately, anyway). In my experience, sharing my work lessens the tension building as I work, thereby killing the motivation to finish in order to relieve said tension.

Thank you for your help, and I hope to see you on the other side of this coin with more stories to share. Happy Fall.