Tag Archives: NaNoWriMo

PrepOutMon-day: Trick-Or-Treat!

Happy Halloween week! Halloween is so exciting now that I have a little one! My little strawberry is going to playdates, trick-or-treating, and sing-alongs dedicated to this not-so-spooky holiday. So much fun!

Strawberry at a Halloween jam.

Strawberry at a Halloween jam.

You know what else is exciting about Halloween week? When it ends, NaNoWriMo begins! We’ll all have sugar-highs and optimism as we dive into these projects we’ve been thinking about for so long. I am ready! I’m through with the planning, wondering, and  mapping! I want to write! (It just occurred to me that some of you are probably child-free and will be starting NaNo with a hangover…probably after making out with a slutty green crayon all night. That is cool too. Let me know how that goes.)

I’m taking my wobbly-walker trick-or-treating as my NaNo prep this week. Mama is going to load up on candy–the fuel of word-sprint-when-I-can writers!

Looking for a fun way to kick off NaNo? I’ll be joining @FriNightWrites #writeclub to get my first 1667 words. Hope to see you there! (I’m @penandstink)

Happy Halloween, Trick-or-Treat, and NaNoWriMo!


PrepOutMon-day: Doctor’s Note

Dear Blog Readers and Spammy-Hammies:

Gilly has come down with the “cold from hell.” Her words. I am a doctor, so I use doctor talk. She has phlegmitis. She asked me to write a note to excuse her absence today. After making a house call, because I’m the kind of doctor who makes house calls from a horse-drawn carriage, I can confirm that she and her entire family have a very serious cold, or phlegmitis.

I have seen first-hand that story mapping index cards have been used as spare tissues. Unfortunately, the blue lines run when damp and left little blue mustaches on the entire family.

The computer was encased in a gooey snot web. It appears it was last used to google “Eastern Equine Encephalitis.” They do not have EEE. They have a cold. The computer is in quarantine…drying out.

Gilly’s new writing pens? It appears the family has used them to clean out their ears and de-clog their noses. These methods are not medically approved. Nor are these methods approved by common sense.

Writing ideas? Gilly asked me for drugs to aid her creativity. I told her that perhaps reading a book, instead of watching My Best Friend’s Wedding, would aid in creativity. She growled, coughed on a pillow, and threw it at me.

So, she is sick, growly, disgustingly aggressive with her germs, and deplete of adventurous writing tales to share with you today.

With doctorly flourish,

Dr. Smart Doctor Guy

PrepOutMon-day: Hello, Sexy!

You guys, I know what my next writing project is going to be!! *Gasp!*

I’ve mapped the story out in a very general sense. And I am going to work on mapping out the specifics this week. I am excited! I love the idea! I love the structure! I’m in love, love, love! I even did a few writing sprints on Friday to brainstorm and get a feel for the protagonist. Did I mention this story is “the one” and I’m in love?

Basically, I have the pre-writing stages equivalent of  a dating profile of my perfect man in my inbox and he wants to get to know me!! Is he too good to be true? Will we mesh? Will he show up to our first date with a popped collar and ruin everything? I don’t know where this will go, but I’m going to put on my hottest pair of jeans, some lipstick, and find out!

Also, thanks to this blog I realized that we have to write TONS OF WORDS each day to complete NaNoWriMo!! A little less than 1700 if you are consistent each day. I am consistently inconsistent, so crap! Hope my project likes “quirky” girls!

Oh! And you are all invited to the wedding if this works out!

PrepOutMon-day: With An Idea And a Bus Pass…

I thought it would be convenient to dedicate Monday posts to preparation for NaNoWriMo, aka PrepOutMon. (If you want to know what PrepOutMon is all about, check out PrepOutMon’s grand unveiling.)

Why Monday? First, there is a possibility that I can write and work beyond nap schedules while my husband is home during the weekend. If all goes as planned, I can share the weekend’s progress with you on Mondays! Second, some writers might want to go through this process with me, but don’t give two stinks about my mom-life or random thoughts. I’ve made it easy. Stop by on Monday! Ignore the other days. Third, PrepOutMon-day is “cute.”

Do you think I am stalling because I haven’t made any progress with PrepOutMon? Wrong! I have begun mapping one of my favorite story ideas onto index cards. This is not writing, but it is work. On these index cards I am beginning to map out the story to see if anything interesting is really there. The original “idea” is a word, a portmanteau. So figuring out if this word is big enough to convey a story does take some work.

So far, I have 20 cards and scrap pieces of paper. The first card has the story idea and the original inspiration of the idea. I included the inspiration to help set the mood of the story and to bring me back to the moment in case I get stuck and/or realize the story or the interest lies within another aspect of that “aha  idea moment.” I have index cards with character points on them. Other cards have possible plot points that I can shuffle to fit the story or remove if they don’t work. I have cards with potential plot problems. I don’t even know how to deal with some of these problems. Other problems may not even become relevant as I get into the writing. That is exciting!

Stack o' mapping

Stack o’ mapping

So I am in a story mapping phase. I have never done this before. Typically, I have an idea and start writing. But this hasn’t worked for me, so I’m going to try a more systematic approach. A systematic  approach helped me with writing up research, so maybe it will help with fiction too. My goal is to start NaNoWriMo with a map of the world(s), characters, problems–a map that I can build upon and tear away at as I write.

Interested in story-mapping but don’t know where to start? Check out The Writer’s Compass by Nancy Ellen Dodd. Obviously, this book is about her “aha” moment in understanding the writing process. We don’t necessarily all want to write like Nancy Ellen Dodd, because that would be weird. But if you are interested in mapping, you might find a technique or approach that you can alter to jive with your personal style. I am using a bastardized version of her index card approach to story mapping. She is a tad too plan-y and index-y for my taste.

Next Monday I hope to have a few more index-card maps for other story ideas. I have adult and children’s fiction ideas, so I need to figure out which age-group I want to choose for NaNoWriMo. So work to do and hopefully I’ll see you back here Monday. If not, I’m happy to write to myself about the process too.

NaNoWriMo PrepOutMon

I’m gearing up for NaNoWriMo. Yes, I know NaNoWriMo isn’t until November. So why the rush? I am determined to meet the challenge! Not just for the cool NaNoWriMo gift that I will present to myself upon completion. No, no. I am not that shallow. (I am.) I need to prove to myself that I can manage my time between mom-ing and writing. And with a toddler, this is going to take some major organization on my part.

My NaNoWriMo History:

  • 2011- I joined the NaNoWriMo frenzy. I completed my 50,000-word “novel” by the skin of my teeth. The result was a halfway-decent idea and word-garbage (a.k.a., a “novel”).
  • 2012- In a sleep-deprived moment I thought, “I can do NaNoWriMo this month!” However, 20 minutes later, I remembered that I only had time to nurse, eat, and hold my 3-month-old baby 24/7. So I didn’t even start.

My 2011 Trophy

But, y’all, it is 2013. Things are going to be different. So on 9/1/2013, I am starting my own event: NaNoWriMo PrepOutMon (National Novel Writing Month Preparation And Outline Months). Let’s agree to just call it PrepOutMon.

Once a week, for two months, I will spend time planning this novel–generating some solid novel ideas, selecting one concept, and outlining the crap out of this book. I’ll update you on my progress once a week, just to keep me honest.

PrepOutMon progress to date:

  • I plan to get organized…
  • And blogged about it.

Who wants to join me? I’m talking to you, Heather! Anyone else?

Autumn is Coming

Autumn is amazing. According to my husband, autumn begins September 21st. I am too lazy to fact-check, so let’s go with that. But for me, autumn begins the day after Labor Day. Kids are going back to school, emerging-adults are off to college, and the nights start getting chilly.

I like lists so here are some of my Autumn Favorites:

  • Frye boots
  • Changing leaves
  • Apple cider
  • Apple picking
  • Pie-making
  • Sweaters
  • Stews in the slow-cooker
  • Crunch of leaves
  • County fairs
  • Roasted veggies sprinkled with garlic and rosemary
Pumpkin on a bench

Pumpkin on a bench

Classic list. Deal with it. But this autumn, I’m also looking forward to a few changes. You want them in list form too? Okay!

  • Joining a writing workshop 9/24 (I added a countdown on the right)
  • Having a toddler
  • Failing at NaNoWriMo
  • Joining a gym to lose last 9 lbs
  • Preparing real Thanksgiving dinner for first time

Let’s hope that this is a long autumn! What is your favorite thing about autumn?