Tag Archives: nanowrimo

What’s my Motivation?


I’ve decided to do both NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo! This is crazy for me, seeing how I’ve managed to blog less than once a week on average for the majority of this year. What’s going to get me through two writing challenges? A few good podcasts. Lots of love and encouragement. Lattes. One I’ll be listening to this month is called I should be Writing, by Mur Lafferty . She’s participating in NaNoWriMo this year too and has fantastic daily tips for those who are writing fiction. I have been listening to her for a few years now and realized why not share the wealth?

I subscribe and listen to her show  via iTunes and you can enjoy the content there or directly from Mur Lafferty‘s website.

She goes to cons, goes to grad school, goes on tangents, and goes the distance when it comes to writing every single day. Very motivating for me.

My novel is coming along slowly. I’m a little behind in my word count but it’s still early in the month. I’m going for a new genre this year and I’m interested to see where I go with this one. Naturally, with all the writing and a new job I started today (hooray!) I find myself with a very limited amount of free time this month. Cue the social engagement invitation rejections. So, sorry to my dearest social peeps. November is officially the month I become a hermit crab. A hermit crab who writes a lot. And one who wants to hang out with you in December.

Be sure to subscribe to A Mad Vox for daily updates. I doubt I’ll cross-post every day’s writing.


Writin’ & Bloggin’ like crazy

I am torn between doing NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo this month. Or just NaNoWriMo.
Doing both would be crazy, right?


Maybe I should just do it.

New Adventures in NaNoWriMo 2013

NaNoWriMo 2013 Participant

A.k.a. Cleaning and Organizing Month.

I don’t know what I’m doing, don’t know should I
Change my mind,
I can’t decide, there’s too many
Variations to consider

No thing I do don’t do no thing but bring me
More to do,
It’s true, I do imbue my blue unto myself,
I make it bitter

On the Bound Fiona Apple

I went to the NaNo Los Angeles kick off on Halloween. I’m glad I got a chance to go and  meet a few new fellow writer types and to unwind a bit before the craziness that is NaNoWriMo began. This year I’m doing a different type of story from previous years. Mainstream, rather than youth fiction. I’m interested to see how it turns out.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo?

If you are and want to follow my progress let’s be buddies.

Goodreads Challenge update + mini-review: Start with Why

Goodreads Challenge (25/25)

Goodreads Challenge complete

Done and done. Today I reached my goal of reading 25 books in 2012.

The final book was Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (book #6). I am glad to have completed it over a month early, but it did cut into my NaNoWriMo start time. To keep my sanity through November I’ve decided to sit this year’s writing challenge out, however I won’t be completely absent from that world. I plan to lurk on the various NaNo sites and forums and watch my fellow writers zoom toward their goals. Who knows? I may even stop by a local write in.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo or NaBloPoMo?

Mini-review: Start with Why

Start with WhyStart with Why by Simon Sinek

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“Start with Why” by Simon Sinek is an analysis of how visionary leaders are able to cultivate success and others are not. they do this by simply communicating the concept of why they believe what they do which draws others who believe the same thing to their cause. I enjoyed the first 65 pages or so, but then book seemed to start over and repeat the same thing (using the same examples). I would recommend this book for those who want to experience the concept in the author’s TED talk in a different way, but I tend to agree with Loy Machedo’s review.

View all my reviews

Post-NaNo recap: TGIO, writing apps, and how I did

Thank Goodness It’s Over (TGIO)

This weekend I carpooled to Santa Monica for the NaNo LA region’s TGIO party. That was a fun event where the LA region’s Municipal Liaisons (A.k.a. MLs) hosted and congratulated all who showed up for participating. I chatted with others, ate Japanese fast food, and took a group photo. To boot, I even won a nice prize from a raffle. One dark and white chocolate later I was officially ready to start my December, by reading.

The raffle prize I picked up was Wake Up Your Muse: 1001 Story Starters for Fiction Writers by Jan Christiansen. It’s a short read of 1001 first line prompts of stories you can write. I’ve already noted a few starters that will make for fantastic prompts for me and I can’t wait to use them.

A few gems from the book:
“I didn’t know I had an uncle until I read the obituary.”
“They arrested every girl who had attended the slumber party.”
“She took one look at the handsome doctor and vowed never to eat apples again.”

Writing apps

I have discovered a few apps to help you keep writing. If you use them, may they lead you to lots of productive movement of your progress meters for whatever you choose to write:

750 words – Write a daily quota of 750 words to keep that ingrained habit of writing consistently. Fortunately this is far less than the 1667 words a day required of NaNo’s effort.
Instant Boss
 – This is meant to micromanage your time spent writing.
OmmWriter – This one uses pretty colors and sounds in the background while you write. Oh, boy!
Mac Freedom – All the cool writers use this one, apparently.
Write or Die – A place to write to a predetermined goal or else…
Written? Kitten! – A kinder version of Write Or Die, but with KITTEHS!

How did I do?

I accomplished the challenge itself, but as for my personal goal to do this by writing consistently… Well,  I knew from my previous efforts that I could write relatively quickly– over 2K words per hour when in the zone. Just look at the beautiful exponential curve of effort there toward the end on my author page. Those stats don’t lie.

I’m a pantser, meaning that I intended to write this with no outline. This year I decided on a whim to download a writing tool promoted in the NaNo forums called Storyist. This tool made it easy to outline my story’s setting and create a background for each of my characters so I did just that. It helped a bit to know in advance how my characters would act or react in certain situations. Unfortunately, I somehow changed a page layout setting in the program using a keyboard shortcut that I couldn’t figure out how to undo. I finally managed to undo the changed layout setting using the tool menu after about a week. The program was otherwise easy to use and I felt like I was creating a publishable manuscript which was cool.

Leave it to a looming NaNoWriMo deadline for me to get more sleep each night and have cleaner dwelling than I have in all the other months of the year. I knew I wouldn’t let myself get to the point of non-progress where I couldn’t possibly catch up, though mentally, I was much more hare than tortoise.  And like the fable it’s true that it wasn’t much fun being anywhere near the point of getting too far behind. Just knowing that I had to write so much quickly just to “catch up” to the daily word count made it harder to get started each day. Fortunately I knew from previous years to expect that feeling and I did not let it stop me from starting.

I learned several other things about my writing over the last month which I may detail later but today I’m gearing up for a trip to my local museum row for a relaxing day away from my computer screen.

December’s blustery beginning

Last Week’s Wacky Windy Weather

dangling street sign

See that road sign? Blame the wind.

I cannot believe it’s already well into December. I must have gotten distracted from the start of the month by the hurricane-level winds in LA last week and the post-novel sprinting haze of not having to write thousands of words each day. Now that I have gotten some rest and I have slightly more time– only slightly– I can explore some of the NaNoWriMo forums and catch up on other conversations that I missed while I was writing last month.

The Santa Anas are usually fairly-pleasant warm winds, notable for unseasonably warm night air with a bit of dryness. We had some Santa Ana action last week and it was NOTHING like that. The wind got all kinds of crazy and intense for a couple days. Simply driving on the freeway was challenging, especially on Wednesday evening. There were leaves, leaves, trash, and more leaves blowing all over the lanes. The next day I saw a lot of tree debris and found out that all school districts in the Pasadena area were closed that day due to the danger that goes along with power outages; things falling on people, exposed wires, and also the hazards all over the roads.

Click the photo and check my Flickr page for a couple more photos of  ‘fallen tree across the offramp’ action. These are just a couple of my sightings, but there are loads of photos and stories of the damage by legit reporting sources with warnings of more more windy days to come.

Fortunately, by Saturday– the day of the post-NaNo celebration–  the weather was fine again. More on that to come this week. If you don’t want to miss it just click the “follow” button at the top of this page or enter your email to subscribe in the upper right area to stay current. LA locals, watch out for those fallen trees and wires and stay safe out there.

NaNoWriMo 2011 winner + green apple pie

Greetings from NaNoWriMo. Winner 2011

That's me!

In November I wrote the first draft of a 50,093 word novel. That’s 206 pages (double-spaced). Untitled most of the month, now it’s called The Daily Middle School Chronicles. The synopsis goes like this. A spoonful of comedy and a pinch of tragedy make for an unmistakeable dose of middle school in epic, end-of-the-world, life-ruining proportions. This story is about three friends just trying to survive the eighth grade, and each other.

I had a fun journey through the word count madness, by getting out of the house and writing with people. I want to send a big shout out to my G+ circle– not sure how so many of you posted so often and finished writing your novel– and weekend write-in crew at Panera Breads at the South Bay Pavilion. You all did fantastic jobs of writing, motivating me to write, and plain old being good company in between all those word sprints. I feel the need to mention that I was one of the lucky few to witness the brilliant sheen of two thousand (2000) stickers meant to reward our progress at a write-in. Lots of these stickers featured dinosaurs (a definite bonus).

Aside from being declared a NaNoWriMo winner, this week was also awesome because I had apple pie, which I’d been craving all month long. I had such a big craving that when I randomly spotted some apple pie-flavored gum I bought that, which actually tasted just like apple pie. The real apple pie was better though. Check it out.

Homemade Apple Pie

Homemade Granny Smith Apple Pie. It was as tasty as it looks. mmm...pie.

Coming up: There’s my local “NaNoWriMo: Thank Goodness It’s Over” party this weekend to look forward to, as well as going to bed early slightly earlier because I don’t need to stay up as late to write a novel. Next time I’ll post what I learned from NaNo 2011.

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