NaNo is Coming! NaNo is Coming!





It’s October. A lot of things happen for me in October. Plum pudding has to be made to be ready for Christmas. The Pasadena Writers Conference happens at the end of the month, and I prepare for NaNoWriMo! Huh? is that like NaNu, NaNu? (Mork and Mindy)? Nope. It’s National November Novel Writing Month!

I had no idea about this crazy phenomenon until last year when I attended my very first professional writer’s conference in Pasadena. I was so excited to be a member of the tribe with an official nametag proclaiming me to be a writer of Women’s Fiction that it became real for me. It was kinda like when I got my sky-diving jumpmaster card or my real estate broker’s license in the mail, or even my college diploma. Oh, yeah, it’s official!

It was the final day of the four-day conference, October 29, 2017. I sat in the back row of the audience of one of my favorite speakers, best-selling author, Rachael Herron. At the end of her presentation, she smiled into the microphone and said, “Hey, everybody! It’s the end of October. Who here is doing NaNoWriMo?”

Hands shot up all over the room, my head whipped from one side to the other. Up went my hand! If they could do it, I could do it. Wait a second. What is it? NaNo-what? I didn’t dare ask. After all, as some smart man once said, “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.”  (Abraham Lincoln).

I perked up my ears as some other fool asked, “NaNo what? Who?”

“Oh, it’s fun! You write a fifty thousand word novel in thirty days. It starts on November first and ends on the thirtieth. It breaks down to writing 1,667 words a day. At the end, you have fifty thousand words and you win.”

You win? Ooooh, I like to win! Whaddya win? I heard “Fool Two” ask. “Well, you don’t actually win anything, you just win! You can buy yourself a T-shirt that says Winner. Plus you have a novel that you get to revise. It’s fun!

I could hardly wait for the starting bell. Of course, I had time before that—exactly two days! Little did I know at the time that people had outlines and characters all lined up waiting for the first of November. That’s when I knew, without a doubt, I was a true “Pantser!”

Who, me? Fly by the seat of my pants? Lil ole me, who leaps first and looks after? 

Yeah, so I dug in and wrote a novel—my first attempt at fiction. Yikes! What the hell??? What’s a novel, anyway? Wikipedia says: A novel is a relatively long work of narrative fiction, normally in prose, which is typically published as a book


I followed the advice that came from the little guy that lives on my shoulder, “Don’t think about it. Just do it!” So I did. I will say, that although the story is made up, it does read like a memoir, my normal style; so much so I hesitate to publish it knowing that certain family members are going to be furious. For now, it sits in a drawer waiting to pounce. Meanwhile, it’s time to move on. NaNo is sneaking up on me. I’m supposed to have my characters all figured out and have my plot outlined. 

Most likely, I will sit my butt in the chair on November first and, once again pants my way through fifty thousand words! I thought it was hard last year with the Thanksgiving visit with my daughter in Seattle. This year I’m going to Ohio to spend it with Lynn and Lucas. Yikes! I’m thinking the wine we are destined to consume all week will enhance my creative juices. And, of course, Lynn’s famous hair-of-the-dog Bloody Marys will surely set me on the path to a best-seller.

Oh, and guess what? This is BYOWB week! Yeah, bring your own writing buddy week. So, if you’re even thinking about it do it now and we can get some free stuff! Here’s the link:https://nanowrimo.org/dashboard


Do it now! It doesn’t cost anything to sign up, there is no penalty if you don’t finish, but you can’t win if you don’t enter. If you’re anything like me, once you commit, you will finish, er, I mean win! Why? Because you said so!

Let’s do this thing. Why? Because it’s fun to say—for the same reason I like to go to In-N-Out Burger. I like to say double-double with grilled. Or zanahoria (carrot in Spanish). I just like to say it. But, in this case, once you say it, ya gotta do it. Write or die. Which is a writing app that “encourages” you to get your word count in—if you pause too long it starts “hollering” at you. Keep pausing and it starts erasing your words. Write or die! I highly recommend it. 

Write your fifty thousand words and you, too, can buy yourself a nifty “Winner” T-shirt. On your mark, get set, write! You still have time to outline a plot. Me? I’ll think about that later (spoken like a true Pantser). It could be the perfect push you need to actually write that novel you’ve been talking about all these years.

Hurry…only two more days to sign up as my writing buddy—and the free stuff. 

Happy NaNoWriMo!


9 thoughts on “NaNo is Coming! NaNo is Coming!

  1. As much as I would love to answer via the blog, I am blocked for trying too hard to find my password. Oh well, this is a phenomenal post, full of your bubbly, infectious joy and fun. You always remind me how to live life, CJ!! Love you my dear and go for the gold!!



  2. You really have a buddy, he’s on your shoulder! Good luck. Please text once in a while – Lou’s at the end of it all!


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