Category Archives: NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo – day 3

taken @ Hollywood Wax Museum – Branson, MO


Mwaahhhhahhhaa! Yes. I decided to tackle writing 50k words in 30 days. And. I decided now would be a most awesome time to begin blogging again. Of course. I’m a writer. I do everything and anything to distract me from ACTUALLY WRITING.

I’m not sure what or how I will chronicle the momentous event this month. So, if you’d like to drop in on my muse, my craze, my procrastination, I’d enjoy a comment of encouragement or two. I’d even welcome words of discouragement and mockery. That’s right. I’m a little sadistic like that.

Bring it. I’ll prove you wrong.

So far:

Day one = 1,940 words

Day two = 1,143

Total count: 3,083

Rambling to the inspiration of “Black Mud” – The Black Keys





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Finding your Writer’s Voice

My NaNoWriMo group met at the library a few weeks ago to practice an exercise our liason learned in a workshop.

This is Intense. It WILL resurrect your creativity.

  1. You should have at least one partner, but a group of 3 or 4 works best.
  2. each writer brings 3 pictures to the workshop (cut from magazines, printed from online, taken from your own camera) images should be interesting because these will be used to prompt ideas
  3. everyone lays their pics onto one table and each writer selects 2-3 images that really pique their interest or speak to them
  4. back at your notebook or laptop, one person sets the timer for THREE MINUTES
  5. as a group, pile your pics together and choose one picture to start with, study it, let your mind churn out characters, settings, story lines or dialogue and get ready …
  6. Timer goes – Start writing! Write as fast as you can, no thinking, no plotting, No EDITING
  7. Time’s UP! Stop writing even if in the middle of a sentence.
  8. Flip to the next picture, look it over quickly – you should only have 60 seconds before starting the next round.
  9. Timer starts – Start Writing again! THREE MINUTES. This should be an independent scene or story idea from the first one you started, though if you’re an amazing prolific writer, you can connect the scenes….
  10. Repeat these writing sprints through your stack of images (should have 9 total).
  11. After the 9th scene is written, take turns READING aloud your story snippets to the group. You should read them straight through, pausing briefly between to give your partners time to jot down some thoughts on your work.
  12. After each writer has read aloud, offer your feedback. Feedback should remain positive  – think of it as writing a fan letter to your favorite author. These are all very rough drafts, remember.
  13. One more time, each writer reads aloud straight through all 9 snippets of their writing.
  14. This time, each writer will offer feedback based on:
  • How each scene made them feel
  • What genre they believe this scene would fall into
  • Ask what the author had in mind for the story plot and the ending
  • Which of the 9 was the strongest story

At the end of this fun, fast workshop, you will each have 9 story starts, a full tank of confidence and a better idea of your writer’s voice and the genre that you write the best.

Here are the pics my group used:

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Filed under Advice, Fiction, Inspiration, NaNoWriMo, teaching, Voice, writers, Writing prompts

I’m a Poser

I talk a good NaNo talk, but I do not walk a good NaNo walk.

I have  a confession….

It’s November 9

And I have written exactly…

ZERO words towards my 2011 NaNo Novel. 


I have the kickin’ idea, I even have the time.

But I also have a plan.

A plan for something Amazing, Exciting, Inspiring

It has to do with writing…

And teaching…

But it’s taken my creativity and energy away from NaNo’ing

At least for now…

But for all you crazy NaNoWriters – I salute you and wish you luck, plot twists and a bit of encouragement and lots of caffeine!


“You never know what you can do until you have to do it.”

Betty Ford ~ 1918-2011, Former First Lady and Founder of the Betty Ford Center

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Ready, Set, NaNo!

OK, fellow NaNo’ers. This month the Writers Inspired blog will be bare bones as I write like crazy to complete a 50,000 word (rough draft) novel. Are you with me? Buddy me >>> click here

I’ll be checking in here to post my frustrations and triumphs and to just procrastinate. I do have some guest posts and book giveaways scheduled throughout November, so even if you’re not participating in National Novel Writing Month, please visit often. Or better yet, SUBSCRIBE! That way you’ll get an email when a new post goes live.

OK, I’m ready… I think!


P.S. As I’m writing my novel ( a YA horror novel this year) I am also working on a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious project…more on that in December ! Squee!


Are you participating in NaNo? First time? 10th time? Share your genre, your word count, your stay-awake-and-write advice!


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5 prompt Friday

         Here we go again…

  1. The empty feeling in my stomach spread to my chest and head, threatening to pull me inside out.
  2. How do I say this to you?
  3. On her wrist was a bracelet made from multi-colored paperclips.
  4. His voice crackled through the walkie-talkie, “The Eagle Has Landed.”
  5. Are you ready to do this?

Have a story or prompt to share? Post it here : ) Happy writing!


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NaNo ate my novel and other excuses

I went into November with the best of intentions and little more than an idea for a great YA novel: it had a sarcastic protagonist, high school bullying, characters with symbolic names and a very. hot. boy. My word count goal was set: 50k words. No less, most likely no more either ; ) I didn’t make the goal, as “Marge” probably relayed last week… But I give myself a gold star for effort and wear my “participant ” badge proudly. I do have upwards of 35k words towards a pretty crappy rough draft with an amazing story line. So, no, I don’t think it was a waste of time, energy and talent (talent used loosely).

Not only did I write 3/4 of a rough draft of a novel in 30 days, but I inspired a class of 13 young writers to do the same! A third grade student of mine, Gwen, aimed for 300 words and wrote almost 450! Another third grader, Cody, blew past his goal of 300 and was still enthralled by his story at 500 words! A six grader, David, had high hopes of achieving 20k words, as this was his 3rd NaNo, but still wrote over 4 thousand words. (Yep, he’s my kid.) My youngest participant and my youngest son, Sam, 1st grade, 6-years-old aimed for 200 words and “wrote” over ONE THOUSAND! Now, that makes me feel like a true writer – by teaching and motivating others to reach their lofty goals.

Thank you al for sharing your NaNo journey. Now, onto the revision phase…

“Even though you may not know how to achieve a lofty goal, set it anyway. You will be surprised at how inspired you’ll be and you’ll likely take action you wouldn’t normally have taken.” ~Peggy McColl, Author & Speaker


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NaNoWriMo: Day 29

Um, Hi. I’m filling in for Mary Jo. See, NaNo seems to have melted her brain and her alter ego “Marge” is blogging for her at the moment. I kinda like this blogging thing. Feels powerful. ; )

But, back to the NaNo update. Mary Jo went into the looong holiday weekend with such high hopes. Silly Girl.

She did manage to write 8,013 words this weekend. Enthusiastic of her, but alas, it did her in.

To date, she has a total word count of: 34,984 and 15,016 to meet the goal before midnight on Tuesday. (tomorrow)

Only a miracle can save her now. But if the Christmas Spirit, NaNo Faeries or Writing Wizards are too bogged down, no worries. Mary Jo is a drooling, babbling mess rocking in the corner and probably won’t even know she has lost.

Until she recovers – I sincerely hope you all are doing well in your little writing thing. Cheers!


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NaNoWriMo: NEVER give UP

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

Thomas Edison

Pluggin’ away…still under goal, but hopeful

Have you guys tried WriteorDie ? Seriously. I wrote 835 words in 22 minutes, then 929 words in 30 min, THEN 658 words in 16 minutes.  Kind of like having that old nun over your shoulder with a ruler at the ready…

{courtesy of}






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NaNoWriMo: Day who cares? Whose stupid idea was this anyway?!

 Today’s Stats (as of Nov 22, 2010)

0 Words Written Today (not true. it’s all in my head. Um, let me re-phrase that)

1667 Words to Write until 1667 (ooo, look! you can do math! we’re not impressed)

1667 Suggested Daily Word Count (I know that already!)

21638 Cumulative Word Count Total (see? I haven’t been a total slacker!) 

22 Current Day (22 days of literally abandon, I mean “literary” abandon)

 36667 Suggested Cumulative Word Count (eh, um, OK)

984 Average Words per Day (I’d like  a recount!)

 At This Rate You Will Finish On Dec 21 (Bah- humbug!)

8 Days Remaining (OK, sure – wait – what?!)

15029 Words to Write Until 36667 (*cracks knuckles* locks door* gulps coffee*)

28362 Total Words Remaining (yes, I know. STOP.Yelling. AT ME!)

3546 Words per Day to Finish on Time (baby steps….IthinkIcan IthinkIcan…now, where did my characters wander off to?)

Have you checked your Stats today?


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NaNoWriMo: Half-Way Point!

When I was a kid and we’d make the 2.5 drive from Chicago to Dowagiac, MI for weekend getaways, the whole car load of us would “hoot” when he passed the half-way point. Think of old school Arsenio Hall’s “woot-woot-woot!” with the fist in the air.

So, my fellow NaNo’ers – lets’ Woot Woot Woot! even if you’re not at the desired 25,005 word count, you’ve made it through 15 days of NaNo Mania!

And, for my wager on words yesterday:

Yesterday’s Word Count: 3,297 !!! just shy of the 4,000 goal I had, per Liz ; )

cumulative: 17,770

Mood: Delighted, hopeful, loving the mess that is my novel again! Till next time…

Check in: How are all of you doing? Anyone make it to th half point intact? Are there any NaNo’ers out there who’ve already “won?”

P.S. I’m Super Stoked about getting to meet one of my fav YA authors tonight: Laurie Halse-Anderson. Hoping to get SPEAK and WINTERGIRLS signed 🙂


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