NaNoWriMo 2019

This is my 12th year participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Crazies like myself set the goal of writing 50,000 words in one month. Not just any 50,000 words, but arranged in a novel or a series of short stories. Or whatever. I figured in all I have 10 separate manuscripts. Three have been published by me. Two are in advanced revision stages. I know several will not see the outside world as a published book.

This year, I’m being a NaNo rebel and I’m advancing last year’s story instead of starting a brand new one. The Briefly Visible Life of Theodora Mott is what I’m hoping will be slightly autobiographical in that the main character is a person of size, as am I. In other words, it’s about a fat woman. An #OwnVoices sort of thing. There will be/won’t be/may be other similarities to my life. It’s set in Arizona. My published books have scenes in Arizona but are mainly set in other states.

Here’s a link to my NaNo Projects page that lays out my projects over the years:

Something special about this year is that I was interviewed about NaNo by Tom Maxedon at KJZZ, a public radio station here in Phoenix. I also participated in the Local Authors Fair at the Barton Barr Central Library in downtown Phoenix. Here’s a link you read and/or listen to. There will be a podcast later this week.

Above is me at the Local Authors Fair with Zook’s Corner. I only sold one book, but damn it, I said hello to people first. And it was fun to talk about the book and Mennonite culture with a few folks. I was exhausted the next day. Hit me up for a bookmark.

As far a NaNo 2019, I feel like I’m struggling a bit this year with Thea’s story. It’s overall been a poor writing year for me. I made very slow progress on Book 3 of Lilyland but it picked up in September when I started going out writing with a group of other people. But then, I realized something I absolutely had to change, so I had to go backward. And now with NaNo here, it’s stopped. For a month.

Anyway, about Thea, I hope to get her story in gear. She has some exciting things ahead to knock her out of her (dis)comfort zone. Internet fame. Romance. And a dog or two.

NaNoWriMo is coming!

nano So, here it is, the ides of October 2016. While many women are thinking about the holidays and scouring Pinterest for decorating ideas and recipes, writing women are not.

Okay, I know I can’t speak for every woman writer. But on most of my writing Facebook pages, the talk is about NaNoWriMo . Thank the Lord there are places to go where no trace of politics can be found. NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month which is November. Writers’ blogs and writers’ Facebook groups are filled with angst-ridden posts asking, “Who’s doing NaNo this year?”

We’re writers. Why the distress about doing what we love to do? You know how marathon runners stress about finishing their next race? Well, WriMos stress about completing 50,000 words in 30 days. Not just any, 50,000 words, but arranged in such a way they qualify as a novel. A rough draft of a novel, not one you can send out to agents yet (although some have, much to the chagrin and amusement of agents and publishers.) Or maybe it’s the mere beginning of an epic fantasy or a future detective series. Or a novella. Finding time to write that many words amidst the doings of everyday life is a challenge for many folks.

That’s no so much me anymore since I’m unemployed. But I remember those days. this year, besides NaNo, I’m also taking an online course with the University of Iowa Writing Workshop, and sending out queries for a revised former NaNo project, working on book 3 of Lilyland and working with a critique group. Writing, writing everywhere and not a royalty in sight. Sigh.

y unofficial slap-together cover

my unofficial slap-together cover

Since I started NaNo-ing in 2008, I have completed 8 rough drafts (although two were for the same novel). Two of those have been revised, edited, polished, and self-published. Another one I’m currently querying literary agents with. Two others I am currently revising.

If you think you have a novel in you that’s screaming to get out, give NaNo a try this year. Sign up here. You’ll meet a great online community to cheer you on and who will understand what you’re doing when no one around you does. You can meet other actual people face to face at local write-ins. You can drink gallons of coffee and nibble Skittles, M&Ms and pretzel nuggets like mad. Hopefully, you’ll be able to get your family or roommates to understand. If not, it’s only 30 days. 640px-skittles-louisiana-2003