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 inspires me! I work part time for Walmart and I can't tell you how many times customers and coworkers have inspired character ideas. I've even been inspired mowing my grass. I don't think I necessarily seek out inspiration, but I try to keep an open mind so that inspiration is more likely to happen.
I was given a piece of advice from a lady a few weeks ago. Her husband is a past NaNo participant and she has writing experience of her own. She told me to write drunk and edit sober. I've found it's a very good idea to not reverse them!