Winning NaNoWriMo 2017

Each with a bottle of ginger beer in hand, my husband and I celebrate another win for us both! My darling husband, this insane maniac filled with humor, deep thinking and weirdness has won this evening, for his 11th of 11 (3 of which he wrote by hand)! And I’ve won my 7th of 8!

We have won. And it feels darn good.

I embarked on a journey of new genre and found my way through on November 22. He tread his way through a new genre and completed less than an hour ago. Together, we kept each other entertained, intrigued and slightly annoyed as we kept interrupting each other to excitedly deal with playlists, uploads and other inspiring acts.

This has been a forever treasured November–our first NaNoWriMo as husband and wife. 2017 will always be full of joyous firsts for us. And now, we look forward to more adventures, more firsts, and many, many more NaNoWriMo wins!

If you’re still writing, KEEP WRITING. You’re so close! You can do this! Matt had 4,000+ words to go as of last night, with a full work day planned today. Yet he did it long before midnight. You can do this, too! Keep going! Keep going! Join us in our win.

NaNo-2017-Winner-Facebook-Cover

 

Advertisements

A NaNoWriMo Search History, For Your Amusement (and Mine)

As a writer, especially one writing in a new genre, one has to do a lot of research. Quite often, this research is quick, single word searches. Other times, this research involves heavy topics that one must read thoroughly before understanding that one word you were looking for. And today, as I do these types of searches, I laugh over the variety of topics researched. So, for your amusement (and mine), here’s the list of all topics researched this week. (If we tossed in the subjects I’m researching for my husband, you wouldn’t know what I was writing. ;))

  1. bounty hunting license laws for Washington and Idaho
  2. license laws for carrying a weapon across state lines
  3. Prokofiev, Soviet composer biographical information
  4. quotes on paranoia and internet security
  5. DeLorean & gull-wing
  6. the city of Coeur D’Alene, Idaho
  7. lyrics for the greatest Christmas carols of all time
  8. what name sounds like apel?
  9. where is Apeldoorn?
  10. Romanian mens’ names
  11. Romanian surnames
  12. great mug sayings
  13. lyrics to specific Christmas carols
  14. stores known for selling Christmas decor
  15. Seattle location for FBI offices
  16. best seafood restaurants in Seattle waterfront

7 Writer’s Quotes

“Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.”
—George Orwell

 

“The freelance writer is a man who is paid per piece or per word or perhaps.”
—Robert Benchley

 

“Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.”
—Virginia Woolf

 

“For your born writer, nothing is so healing as the realization that he has come upon the right word.”
—Catherine Drinker Bowen

 

“The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.”
—Samuel Johnson

 

“I’m out there to clean the plate. Once they’ve read what I’ve written on a subject, I want them to think, ‘That’s it!’ I think the highest aspiration people in our trade can have is that once they’ve written a story, nobody will ever try it again.”
—Richard Ben Cramer

 

“One thing that helps is to give myself permission to write badly. I tell myself that I’m going to do my five or 10 pages no matter what, and that I can always tear them up the following morning if I want. I’ll have lost nothing—writing and tearing up five pages would leave me no further behind than if I took the day off.”
—Lawrence Block, WD

NaNoWriMo Day 2

Day 2 has hit. I’ve only written a few hundred words, but I’m okay with this (especially since yesterday I had already exceeded the minimum for today as well). I have to function in this world, making a living, cooking, cleaning, blah, blah, blah…can’t entirely stop everything for NaNo, much as I’d love to.

Thus far, I’ve figured out where my lead character and her husband live, what the premise behind the mystery is and a few key factors in what isn’t the mystery. I could very easily be going about this all wrong, but I’m okay with that. Exploring the writing of a new genre is supposed to be filled with errors, mistakes, inconveniences and new discoveries. I have the feeling that will definitely happen a lot in this one.

I haven’t quite found the narrator’s voice, nor the exact location of where the story is taking place. I’ve picked a generic region of the country, even a large town to focus things around, but, yeah…nothing beyond that.

What discoveries are you making in your novel this year?

NaNoWriMo Has Begun!

Here we go people! It’s November 1, and it’s time for our 50,000 words! The world needs our novels, as NaNo says, and now it’s time to let them shine!

This year, I’m taking on a whole new genre from anything remotely ever written by me before. With brand new characters, a totally new setting, and lots of crazy humor happening–at least, that’s the goal.

I’m excited to take on a new genre. But, I will still have that element of music here. I can’t help myself.

And to start things off for my butt-kicking, Krav Maga instructor turned bounty hunter/jazz singer leading lady, here’s the theme from Cowboy Bebop (don’t judge it by the name, seriously!).

12 Tips for Scheduling Your Writing Time for NaNoWriMo

I’ve had many people ask how I can make time to write NaNoWriMo every year. I’ve had another friend tell me, “Not this year, but next year. It will be less crazy. Then I can do it.”

All of you heard that excuse she gave. You know that friend won’t get around to NaNoWriMo next year, either, unless something in her attitude changes. November is always a crazy month, in a crazy season, leading up to an even crazier season. That’s just how it is.

So, how does one schedule around this craziness called life, and, you know, work and earning a living and things?

It’s both extremely easy, and exponentially difficult at once–and it all comes down to decision and commitment, and a few simple steps.

NaNoWriMo “schedules” you to write 1,667 words per day to reach that 50,000 word count goal within the 30 days of November. But here are my tips on how to actually reach that goal.

  1. Aim for higher than 1,667 words per day. This not only gets more words in, but also gives “make up word counts” for days on which you cannot fulfill the minimum words.
  2. Set a higher goal than merely 50,000 words–why? Because then if you don’t make that 75,000 word goal, you’re still more likely to have reached 50,000 words.
  3. KEY: set side 1 hour per day, minimum, every single day of NaNoWriMo, for writing.
  4. Set everything up for your writing nook before November 1.
  5. KEEP YOUR WRITING NOOK ORGANIZED.
  6. If at all possible, have that writing nook separate from your normal work or play space–set up just for the month of November. This helps with keeping it organized and ready each day for writing.
  7. Write at any free moment you have. 10 minutes waiting in a doctor’s office? Bring your laptop with you, or download an app that will let you write. Dump it to your computer that night.
  8. Bulk up on your writing “supplies” before November 1. Need tea to keep you going? Buy it in advance. Need pens because you’re old-fashioned and do it all by hand? Have enough around that you don’t have to shop for them (or any other supplies) during November.
  9. Tell your family, roommates and/or friends that every night from 8-10pm (or whatever your writing time is), you are unavailable for phone calls, emails, texting, Words with Friends or any other thing that takes you away from writing. You are WRITING, and only emergencies will be observed. (And only things like uncontrolled bleeding, massive vomiting and anything bordering on death constitutes emergencies.)
  10. Set an alarm or other reminder that goes off each day (with advance warnings, if possible) to remind you to get started on your writing.
  11. Set an alarm to end that scheduled time. This keeps you on schedule. You’re busy, we get that–so respect your own time.
  12. Write away from the internet as much as possible. This helps to minimize distractions. (My husband uses a word processor for NaNoWriTing–no internet access at all possible!)

Every year that I’ve done these things, I’ve more than written 50,000 words in 30 days or less.

NaNoWriMo Prep Day 1: Sharing a Writing Space

It is October. So you know what that means–NaNo Prep time!

This year, I’ve got a whole new experience awaiting me as I write for NaNoWriMo. Last year, I co-wrote a book with my then fiance. This year, we’re writing side-by-side, in the same apartment, as husband and wife!

I’ve written books with others around before. But I’ve never attempted this feat with someone so…distracting around before. Last year as we co-wrote, he was in Florida while I was in Chicago. And we only spoke for about an hour a day on the phone. Now, however, he’s merely feet away at any given moment (both the pro and the con of both working from home)…and terribly distracting to me in many ways.

So this month, a lot of my prep time for NaNoWriMo will actually be adapting to having a handsome, silly man around who wants to talk story, theology, music, writing, kittens, and movies all day long, during work breaks.

Today, my assignment is to create a check-list for the NaNoWriMo, including anything to assist in avoiding distraction by the hot husband.

  1. the best playlist ever for NaNoWriMo
  2. sound neutralizing headphones
  3. a closed door between handsome man and myself while writing
  4. fitness attire washed and ready to go (1 week’s worth at a time, folded and placed in bathroom, ready to put on immediately when I rise)
  5. store of amazing teas to sample and possibly blog about
  6. healthy snack foods, prepped twice weekly (celery sticks, carrot sticks, green peppers, etc. cut and stored)
  7. healthy meals prepped for reheat on stove (prepped once weekly)
  8. writing hour boundaries discussed and set with hubby
  9. research and source materials in place by October 31
  10. candles galore!
  11. lighting pre-planned for optimal writing times
  12. cat toys to throw at cat when she attempts to add her own distractions
  13. outline
  14. (working?) title
  15. cover
  16. novel set up on NaNoWriMo.org by Oct. 25
  17. list of blogs to write for October by October 5
  18. list of blogs to write for November by October 31
  19. plenty of cat treats for leash training cat on writing breaks
  20. 10 cozy additional mystery books read (unless I choose to go a different route than currently planned)

That should be more than enough to work on in the midst of my various gigs and big events this month.

NANOWRIMO IS COMING!