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Showing posts from November, 2016

Jumping In With Both Feet Without Really Looking: Just Like My First Quilt

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In 2002 my maternal grandmother passed away suddenly and as the only woman in my family without a sewing machine, it was decided that I should have hers. I had never really used a sewing machine but accepted it as a material connection to a woman I admire and miss daily. A few days after receiving the machine I just up and decided to make a signature quilt for my mom’s upcoming 50th birthday. Did I mention that I had never so much as threaded a sewing machine, had no idea how to make a quilt, and her birthday was less than six months away? Yeah, that’s how I do. There is something about crafty things – I jump in with both feet without really looking. It’s also how I have amassed a large collection of hobbies and crafts!
And that is how I’ve come to NaNoWriMo.
I have no plan, except I will write 1667 words per day for the month of November, am committed to attending at least one write-in per week (Please say hi if you see me at one!), and will do most of my writing under the watchful ey…

NaNoWriMo - It's My Thing!

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In mid October, fellow ML Styrch and I gave a Nanoprep mini-seminar for the Antioch Writer's Workshop. The week leading up to it, I became nervous. I hadn't stood in front of a group and made a speech since speech class in college- and that was about bra types (fun class and I got an A). The night before the seminar I verbalized these concerns to my husband. "Why are you worried? This is your thing." That simple statement bolstered my confidence.

He's right. NaNoWriMo is my thing.

My NaNoWriMo story began in 2008 when I was first introduced to it by a friend. I love the challenge of nano. The first few years I remained isolated and didn't attend any functions. Oh, how that has changed. Now I plan the write-ins and parties. This will be my ninth year participating and my second year as a municipal liaison. I've also participated in several camps.

Through NaNo, I've defined my genre. Alone, I couldn't decide if my stories were chic-lit or paranorma…

Failing NaNo Isn’t the End

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I’ve known about NaNoWriMo for awhile now. Maybe ten years. Maybe less. I signed up for an account six years ago, but I never participated until last year. I thought maybe I was finally ready. I’ve written two novels. I have a collection of short stories I’ve written. I know what it takes to complete a novel and I wanted to finish my current WIP, so I thought NaNoWriMo would be the perfect opportunity to do so.
I started out strong. But I failed. I failed hard.
I don’t remember how many words I ended up with last year. All I know is that failing NaNo stung a lot more than I thought it would.
And yeah. You’re going to feel bummed if you do fail. But you’re starting a novel. Do you know how many people want to be an author? Some statistics say up to 90% of Americans want to write a novel. But how many actually do? And you, fellow WriMo, are one of the few who did pick up a pen (or open up a word processor) and you started writing.
Failing NaNoWriMo shouldn’t discourage you. It should em…

The Awesome-ist Trip You’ll Ever Take (because making up words is okay during NaNo)

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Official NaNo name/region: bhoney, Dayton Title of 2016 NaNo project and genre: Breakout, YA horror How many years have you participated? I have done NaNo 5 times and Camp NaNo 8 times. How did you find out about writing for NaNo? I’d heard other writers talking about NaNo, but didn’t really know what it was. I finally decided to look it up and see what all the fuss was about and knew I had to give it a try. Of course, that was like 2 days before NaNo started so I didn’t have much time to prepare, but I decided just to dive in and hope for the best! LOL
I get asked a lot what advice I would give aspiring writers. My biggest advice is to find out what method works for you, whether you’re a plotter (someone who outlines and plans it all out before starting) or a pantser (someone who writes by the seat of their pants and discovers what’s going to happen as it goes) or a mixture of the two. Either way, I find the most motivating thing for actually finishing a project—whether it’s flash fictio…

How 2016 NanoWriMo Is Going To Cure Writer’s Block

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Nanowrimo name: dkblinux98
Title & genre of 2016 project:Seventy Six Falls (Thalia Chase: Sex Therapist, Book Two), LGBT+
Years participated: This is my first year participating. I’ve not ever done the camp.
How did you find out about Nano?I found out about Nano through Literature & Latte’s Scrivener application, which is absolutely the best writing software ever!


I published Book One in the Thalia Chase: Sex Therapist series on June 11, 2016. When the idea for the series came to me last November, I had everything neatly planned out. I would release book one, Eagle Cove in June. I would release book two, Seventy Six Falls, in September, three in April 2017 and four in September 2017.
Writing Eagle Cove had been easy. It never occurred to me I would struggle with Seventy Six Falls. I moved the release to November, scheduled my editor, and my audio performance artist, and continued to delude myself that I would make the deadline.
By the end of September, I was halfway through the firs…

Urban Fantasy Writer: Leslie the Inkweaver

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• Official Nano name: Leslie the Inkweaver

• Title of 2016 nano project & genre: The Amazon Triangle (Urban Fantasy)
How many years have you participated? This will be my 6th year!
How did you find out about writing for Nano? When I was doing college online, a few other students were participating, and at the time I don't think I was writing 50K in a single story, much less a month. I started tracking my word count and just experimenting with writing every day, and I had so much fun that the next opportunity (two years later... Because my second attempt "accidentally" happened in October...) I actually registered, and I've been doing it officially ever since!

What is your favorite part of Nano? My favorite part is the camaraderie and community that it brings out over writing. I am meeting people in my area and making connections all over the world (via the Facebook group) by being a part of NaNoWriMo.

Strategy or tip for making the daily 1667... My strategy i…

Faith As a Mustard Seed

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Hi.  My name is Shari. My Nano name is Archadia, and I write Christian Fiction.
I joined NaNo in 2011 after my husband passed away. It had been several months, and I was looking for ways to express myself/find myself, get out of the house, and meet new people. A friend had told me about this a couple of years before, but I had too much on my plate. In 2011, my daughter asked me if I wanted to do this with her and I jumped at the opportunity. Unfortunately, I had made too many commitments, and nano was the first to go. I didn't come close to my goal, and just kind of forgot about it over the next few years. Life got in the way again, but I was always journaling. 
One day in 2015, I was going through my journals and came across this document without a title.  I read it and thought, "wow! This is really good!  I wonder who wrote it and how it got in my google docs?"  Slowly, it came back to me that it was the piece I had started in 2011. I really liked it when I thought some…

Outrunning the Enemy: Self-Doubt

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I can’t believe I’m doing this! I NEVER let people read what I’ve written. Nine times out of ten I don’t read what I’ve written. But when Rochelle put out the call for guest bloggers, I couldn’t resist! What a great opportunity to break out of my comfort zone, and finally allow other people to read my work. Plus, if this blows, Rochelle won’t post it :)
This is my first year participating in NaNoWriMo, although I did sign up in 2015. Last year I signed up with every intention of writing an amazing novel, being published, and living happily ever after. Obviously, that didn’t happen. But what did happen was my desire to finally achieve my dream of writing a book became a necessity, and not just a fantasy.
One of the hardest parts of participating in NaNoWriMo is not (surprisingly) reaching the goal of 50k words, but the self doubt. Every day I delete WAY more words than I commit to my novel. I read, then reread every sentence. I second guess myself, my motive, my main character, everythi…

You can do it! Advice by Sora Moto

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Hello, my name is Andrea, but my friends mostly call me Kanna. This is my 4th year participating in Nano. I first found out about it while at an anime convention. There was a panel on writing fanfiction early on Sunday and I thought it would be fun. I was not disappointed. The panelist also told all of us about a yearly writing event called Nanowrimo, so when November rolled around I looked it up and said ‘why not’.
You can do it!

I’ve always found that positive encouragement can help when you’re stuck or just in a bit of a slump. So we will start this out with that.

Moving on to more practical advice, over my years of writing I have found that the best way to meet a word goal is to not worry about how many words you may have written. Instead, focus on what point in your story you want to get to each day. This can be as simple as having a scene in mind that you want to get out of your mind before it flies the coupe or a plot goal, such as making sure those two characters meet today! By…

@ShinySouthpaw Shares Fun Facts

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Sitting at my computer, staring at this little blinking cursor, I’m reminded of a few fun facts about myself.

First, the genre that flows best for me is Fantasy, and while writing in my chosen genre, I can hold my own when given an assignment of sorts. But give me the task of crafting a blog post, something that’s both creative and non-fiction, well… that’s when my confidence waivers. I won’t go into how many times the backspace key’s been hit or how many different evolutions this posting has seen.

Second, I have a weird username for my NaNoWriMo account. Starchampion. It certainly is not your typical name for an online presence. I’d like to think it was created back when I was such a newbie at creating an online persona and didn’t know any better. Now, well, I guess I keep it for nostalgia.

Third fun fact, I write. Yeah, I know we all write, but I mean it in the literal sense. When I wield my craft, I do so with a pencil and a spiral-bound notebook. I’d like to think, that being a le…

My First NaNoWriMo – A Tale of Healing!

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National Novel Writing Month healed me.
If you ask the Dayton, Ohio, NaNo group, those who know me likely consider me a prolific writer.  I can hammer out seven hundred words in a fifteen-minute word war and have little problem writing fifty thousand words in less than three weeks.  I'm focused and intense, man!
But I didn't always live in Dayton.  For the previous three years before my first NaNo, I lived in Miami, Florida.  It was the most consistently miserable time in my adult life.  I felt trapped, I didn't have many friends, I didn't want to go anywhere.  While I was in Miami, I finished a couple of short stories, but that's all.  Prolific?  Pshaw.  I'd be lucky to write at all in the course of a month.  I was seriously concerned that I had lost the ability to write, lost the magic that allowed me to express myself in words, and was trying to adjust to the idea that I wasn't a writer, after all.  It was a rough adjustment because I didn't want to …

Taking Chances

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Sleep “E” here, working to finalize Taking Chances, a creative non-fiction. This will be my 2nd year of NaNoWriMo.
I love NaNo because it gives me the avenue to focus and hone the craft I love. I'm a writer. I write. It's what I do. Last year was my first year. I was nervous about the commitment, and whether or not I could write 50,000 words in a month. Turns out, I only wrote 25,000 words...MORE than I would have written otherwise.

A close friend, Danny Rodriguez, put me on to NaNo and what he was able to accomplish through it. I'm grateful he shared the opportunity with me. And I'm grateful to have met Rochelle and the spectacular team of writers and writing she helped cultivate leading the Dayton NaNoWrimo group! The encouragement through the Write-Ins, Word Wars, and wotivation (trying to keep the alliteration going) is simply amazing and keeps us inspired through deadlines, schedules, and carpal tunnel

Writing in Gnomilieu

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Hello, Wrimos! I’m Dawn from the Dayton region and my official NaNoWriMo tag is dmpaul. I also participate in Ohio: Elsewhere and will be hosting a Greene county write-in this year.

I first heard about NaNoWriMo several years ago at a writers’ group in California, but I never thought I would be capable of completing 50,000 words in one month. I let NaNoWriMo drop from my brain - until last year, when my writing buddy, who lives far far away, brought NaNo up in one of our many writerly conversations. I didn’t engage with the idea at first, but as it rolled around in my brain, the idea began to grow until I couldn’t ignore it anymore.
I buckled down, looked myself in the mirror and asked, “What are you afraid of?”  It was a worthy question. It really made me think, and I realized there was nothing to fear. I mean, what would happen if I failed? Nothing. I would be no better and no worse off than where I was in that moment, if I failed. But what if I succeeded? Well… The world.
So, in 20…

Writing in Gnomilieu

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Hello, Wrimos! I’m Dawn from the Dayton region and my official NaNoWriMo tag is dmpaul. I also participate in Ohio: Elsewhere and will be hosting a Greene county write-in this year.

I first heard about NaNoWriMo several years ago at a writers’ group in California, but I never thought I would be capable of completing 50,000 words in one month. I let NaNoWriMo drop from my brain - until last year, when my writing buddy, who lives far far away, brought NaNo up in one of our many writerly conversations. I didn’t engage with the idea at first, but as it rolled around in my brain, the idea began to grow until I couldn’t ignore it anymore.
I buckled down, looked myself in the mirror and asked, “What are you afraid of?”  It was a worthy question. It really made me think, and I realized there was nothing to fear. I mean, what would happen if I failed? Nothing. I would be no better and no worse off than where I was in that moment, if I failed. But what if I succeeded? Well… The world.
So, in 2…

The Adventures of an Author Errant…

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My name is Michelle Mavity and this is my first NaNo. I probably would have participated last November, but I didn't know it existed until this summer (too late for Camp, unfortunately). My best friend from high school clued me in and she will be participating, too!
I have a couple of projects on the back burner for NaNo, but I haven't made a firm decision on which one I will write. One is a Faustian horror tentatively titled "Longing and Lust in Louisiana", and the other is an untitled romantic suspense. I have vague character sketches for both but I haven't spent much time on either one.
As far as strategy goes, I'm pretty prolific. I've been known to put down 10,000 words in an afternoon. My big problem is going to be choosing a project! I don't have a writing buddy, per se, but I do have a couple of Pandora stations I like to listen to while I write. Reggae and Motown for romance, and metal (Korn, Tool, etc.) for darker, edgier stuff.
Everything i…

Dig Deep, Admit You're Scared, Cry it Out and GO

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A friend of mine told me about Nanowrimo and I was instantly sold. That year, I didn't have a novel in mind, so I tried doing a picture prompt every day. I didn't make my 50k that time, but a lot of really interesting stories spilled out and I wrote a lot of things I didn't know I was capable of (I also discovered that sometimes writing a little poem is a great kick-off for a sprint!) A few years later in 2013, I got all riled up about Nano again and this time I had a novel in mind. I had been watching Star Trek TNG and getting into old-school Sci-fi. Following a prompt, I wrote a novel about a man who finds an alien, throws it in the water, ends up at a government research facility, and later discovers his very strange connection to said alien. Like any good story, it took me on a ride and went places I never dreamed of.
As far as making my goal? Well, you always start off on-task in the beginning. Then you hit a wall, such as unexpectedly moving your story twenty years in…

When You Meet Your Muse on the Road, Kill Her

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When writing, you're going to get stuck.  You'll be sitting at your computer or your notepad, and you'll wonder "what happens next?"
It is my experience that many of you will wait for inspiration.  You'll want for a white-limbed goddess to whisper something into your ear that thrills you, fires your soul, makes your mind race.  Then, only then, will you rush to your place of work and the words will flow from your fingertips like wine into a glass.
However, muses are fickle, and you've got a deadline.
The most practical advice, then, that I can give is: kill your muse.  She'll try to talk you out of it; do not listen.  She'll beseech and beg; ignore her.  Others will plead on her behalf; reject them.  Take your muse out back, put a gun to her head, and scatter her brains on the ground.  Then leave her face down in a ditch for the badgers and coyotes, return to your place of work and write.
Writing is work.  It's wonderful work where you get to…

In the Trenches

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Hiya! I’m Aimee, AKA theAimeeMeester online when NaNo rolls around. I’ve participated in three official NaNos and five or six Camp months now, with no intention of stopping anytime soon. A friend told me when I was younger — I didn’t participate that first year I heard about it, but I stalked my writer friend’s progress, and after that, I was hooked. NaNo has become a yearly holiday for me, something I plan from December all the way through October. It’s a month of suffering so who knows why, but here we are.
For me, NaNo has become an experience that’s all about the people. Every year the writing community starts buzzing with life come autumn. We flail about our projects and laugh nervously and count down the days before the madness starts. And madness it is; 30 days of screaming, all-caps typing, late nights, and lots and lots of coffee. NaNo turns fairly “normal” writers into hermits hunched over their laptops at 2 in the morning, and best of all, we do it together. I look forward t…

The Big Dream by C.J. Baty

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C.J. Baty is my Nano name as well as my pen name.

This year I will be working on the 3rd book in the Pinkerton Man Series possible title is An Education in Love/The Pinkerton Man Series bk. 3.
This is my second year to do Nano and I did participate in Camp Nano though I didn't make my quota either time. Although the story I was working on was published as Home on the Range/The Pinkerton Man Bk 2 in June this year.
I actually found Nano on Facebook when I noticed some of my author friends and readers who were discussing it.
My favorite part of Nano is talking with others who have a love for writing and reading. It's great to share ideas and discuss plots with those who really understand your passion.

Being a published author was the big dream for me and even though I waited until I was much older to get started, I wouldn't change a thing. It has been an amazing ride. If that is your goal, than I'd encourage you to keep at it. There are a lot of Indie Publishers out there loo…