Posts tagged: NaNoWriMo

Nov 30 2015

November 2015 :: Personal Projects

November has been full of trying to make my 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo, as usual. This year my novel was an update of Pollyanna, with a dystopian twist. I hadn’t actually read the original before, so this has been a really fun project to work on! The month isn’t finished yet, so I’m still writing; whether or not I make the 50k, the story won’t be finished yet as it looks like it will need to be around 80,000 words in the end.

Tomorrow, December 1, I’ll be switching gears briefly. I began working on a very special short story a couple of months ago, and as it’s to be a Christmas present I need to get it finished and see about illustrations and printing!

Once that’s squared away I’ll get back to Pollyanna (which I have tentatively titled How to Be GLAD) and try to just focus on that for the rest of December. January 1 will hopefully see a new plan and lots of writing every day!

How are your personal writing projects going? What’s your pet project right now?

Nov 23 2015

Workshop Summary :: November 2015

In honour of NaNoWriMo, we’ve been doing our best to #GetItOnThePage during November! We’ve been following our outline but focusing more on completing scenes than word count. There’s one week left to this month and we’re talking about how, when, and where you’re writing, all in an attempt to get your thinking about how to maximize your writing time!

In December we’ll be looking at character development, so be ready! You can follow along at my Twitter account all month long. As always, one post per day at 9.00 a.m. Saskatchewan time, but I check for replies every night, so if you have questions please ask and I will see them and reply as we go along!

Nov 03 2015

November 2015 :: Business

November, being National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), is all about writing your story over on Twitter! The tag is #GetItOnThePage or you can just check my Twitter account (linked to the right).

NaNoWriMo makes life busy, but that’s okay! If you have a project you want edited or written, please fill out the contact form! If you quote code NOV2015 you’ll get a 10% discount — what a deal!

May 29 2012

Personal Projects: What’s going on?

As always, I have many balls in the air. It’s perhaps a rather ambitious schedule I set myself with these, but I’d rather be overly ambitious and have to adjust my expectations than become bored working on just one project at a time!

First Draft

Currently in first draft, I have Regenesis, a personal essay about the ebb and flow of interest and focus; and CAVIES: The Musical, a musical about a bunch of guinea pigs in a rescue. If I finish it, I’ll have to turn it into an animated film script rather than a stage script, because I don’t think all of it will be do-able by people in guinea pig costumes.

Second Draft

I just finished the first edit of I Still Think of You, a film short about a man who may not be “all there”; and Education & Qualifications, a story written as an article about whether or not Mad Scientists should need their doctorates in order to be called doctors. This is the story for A Method to The Madness: A Guide To The Super Evil. The submission deadline is Thursday, so I’m hoping to get my third draft done today!

Third Draft

I’ve completed the third draft of Crumbs to a Dog, a fictionalized version of the story told in Matthew 15.21-28. This is told from the point of view of the mother whose child Jesus heals. When I rewrite Bible stories, I try to find an angle that will illuminate something in the original text that maybe isn’t always obvious to everyone who reads it. I’m not sure how well I accomplish my goal every time, but I enjoy writing these stories and have a few more on my list.

Final Draft

My Anglican picture book about Advent is finished! Well, the text of it is, at least. When I wrote the first draft of this one, it was in verse and it really wasn’t very good at all. Each draft changed things a little more, and finally I went with prose, electing to tell the story of a little girl noticing the differences about the church at Advent. The purpose of these picture books is to impart information to both children and their parents. If I were a better artist, I’d illustrate it myself, but that’s not going to happen. Next is finding a publisher and possibly an illustrator, depending on the publisher.

In the Wings

As I finish each of these pieces, I try to cycle in the next piece on my list. When next I sit down to do some editing, I’ll be working on the third draft of Experience & Qualifications, as I said, and then I’ll finish it and send it off on Thursday afternoon.

Once Experience & Qualifications is finished, I’ll turn to the latest draft of my novel The Power, which is about a young woman who can see demons and angels. It has changed a lot since its first incarnation as two mildly related short stories I wrote in high school, and I love coming back to these characters over and over again. Someday it might actually be finished enough to be ready to send to publishers.

Along near the end of June, I’ll pull out Crumbs to a Dog to look over one more time and make my final changes. I like to let stories rest between edits; fresh eyes make for better choices, in my experience. It’s hard to find markets for retellings of Bible stories, but I write these for my own enjoyment more than for the possibility of publication, so that’s okay – just adding another story to my list of finished pieces will be good enough!

June is Camp NaNoWriMo, and of course I intend to participate. This time around I’ll be working on a novel I’m calling Data Stream. For fun, I’ll be writing it in Excel and then pulling it into a Word document as a mail merge to get my word count each day. There’s a point to the exercise besides allowing me to use Excel in strange and wonderful ways, but I’m going to wait to talk more about this project until it’s finished.

Also in June, I have five children’s picture books in mind (one of them is already started), an essay, and a short story to finish. They are, as follows:

  1. Baptism: An Anglican Picture Book – Another book in the series that Advent belongs to.
  2. Karl the Dragon – This will be in verse, I think, and tell the story of a dragon who… well, we’ll see where it goes.
  3. Lent: An Anglican Picture Book – Another book in the Advent series.
  4. Mobius: Dora (series) – Book 1 – This is the first in a series of picture books about a little girl who has autism. It doesn’t actually have a title yet.
  5. Christmas: An Anglican Picture Book – Yet another book in the Advent series.
  6. Disability or Difference? – This essay will look at how people who are less severely affected by their disabilities can do serious damage to the ability of those with more severe impairments to get the accommodations and respect they require and deserve.
  7. Beast – A retelling of Beauty and the Beast, from the Beast’s perspective.

Of course, I can’t start working on the first draft of Baptism until I’m finished either CAVIES or Regenesis, so we’ll see where that gets me.

Oct 16 2010

It’s that time again!

Every year, I participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I am a Municipal Liaison (ML), and have been since 2005. I also moderate one of the busiest forums on the site, and have since 2006.

NaNoWriMo is a fun, community-building writing event. The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel (or the first 50,000 words of a longer novel) in November. Writing begins at midnight on November 1 and continues until midnight on November 30.

I first discovered NaNoWriMo in 2001, I believe. It didn’t go well for me that year; I think I managed a few pages of a story about a boy and his dreams. If I ever find that failed manuscript, I’ll see about finishing it.

In 2003, I was living in Calgary and learned of the forums and local in-person events. I never made it to any events that year, but it was exciting to find out they existed.

In 2004, I made it to some of the events. I even made a good start on a fairy tale type novel that uses bits and pieces of popular (and not-so-popular) fairy tales to create the plot. That one I definitely intend to finish.

In 2005, I volunteered to ML and totally flaked on everything – the novel, the write-ins, the parties… yeah, I sucked that year.

But in 2006, I resolved to make it the Best Year Ever, for myself and my region. My co-ML, Heather (whose web site is over here), took control of the in-person events, planning and running the Kick-off party and scheduling and booking weekly write-ins. I found a free IRC chat host that had an interface I could put up on a web page (I had this domain already, so that was easy) and started hosting chat rooms (that is now a rather large undertaking called, I sent weekly inspirational e-mails to everyone in the region, and I volunteered to moderate three of the busiest forums on the NaNoWriMo web site. I also planned and ran a Midway Bash because people wanted a social in-person meet, and I wound up looking after the Thank Goodness It’s Over (TGIO) party when Heather suddenly had to go out of town at the end of the month. 2006 was also the year I finally made that 50,000 word mark, with a YA novel called The Social Habits of Dolphins. Most of the plot points in that book are still valid, but overall the story itself needed so much work that I have decided not to work on it any longer.

In 2007, I met my now-husband, Juniper, in the middle of October. He decided to do NaNoWriMo with me, and we had a blast together. Heather again handled the Kick-off and the write-ins, and I did the online stuff and looked after the Midway Bash. I also got to do the TGIO because Heather again had to travel at the end of the month. Sadly, I only made it about halfway to the finish line that year, but it was still a lot of fun. I blame my lack of success on my attempt at an experimental type of novel, which didn’t really have a proper plot. I might see if it’s done or if it needs a bit more work to finish it, and then we’ll see where it goes from there.

And then 2008 happened. Heather was too busy to do her usual event handling, so I booked, planned, and ran: the Kick-off party, the Midway Bash, and the TGIO; two or three write-ins per week; an all-nighter write-in; and a 12-hour write-in. I also continued to run, and I was still moderating two forums on the NaNoWriMo web site. This was the year of my second win, with a sequel to my 2006 novel. It was called The Survival Instincts of Seagulls at the time, but I have since changed that to Tumbling. Tumbling is in editing at the moment, and has become book one of a series of YA books about teens with disabilities.

At the beginning of 2009, Juniper and I moved to Saskatoon. I became the ML here, and last year I ran a Kick-off, a Midway Bash, a TGIO, and one write-in per week. I moderated two forums and ran I also finished Pointillism, which is the third book in the series. I am currently working on Releve, the second book in the series. Tumbling, Releve, and Pointillism are a trio, so the events of these three books are dependent upon each other.

This year, I am still ML in Saskatoon. We’ll be having lots of fun events, and our Kick-off and TGIO are both going to take place at McNally Robinson, which is the best book store in the country. I am still moderating one of the forums, and I am still running I am going to write the fourth book in that series, but I’m starting a new trio, so I get to explore some new characters and new disabilities.

Writing is fun, and NaNoWriMo makes it even more fun. Even better, I actually finish my projects in a decent amount of time when I write them this way.

If you want to join me this year, follow the link at the beginning of this post – I promise, you won’t be sorry!

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