Monthly Archives: November 2014

Make Your Last Day Count

Make Your Last Day Count

There are planned pep talks and then there are those thoughts that come to you while driving home at one in the morning because you didn’t want to stop typing at your parents house when it was a half hour to midnight because you’ve still got 5,000 words to write before the final midnight.

All of you who have already validated can go plot what you’re bringing to the potluck at the TGIO party. I love you, but I’m not talking to you right now. Really. This is the last time you’ll hear a peep from me until tonight’s Last Blast To Get Your Words In or I’ve validated myself. Whichever comes first.

For those of you still reading, I want to take a moment to encourage you to keep writing. As I have been working on catching up with the 12,000 words I need to get in these few days, I could not help but think a quote attributed to Red Smith about the difficulty of writing that goes “You simply sit down at the typewriter, open your veins, and bleed.”

We may not use typewriters anymore (at least the vast majority of us), but sometimes these last days of writing feel like bleeding, like the marathoner who didn’t quite break in their shoes enough before beginning the race.

Life happened. Writer’s block got you. Doubts started eating away at your confidence. The characters ran amuck. Whatever it is that happened in the last 29 days, I want to encourage you to keep writing today… and tomorrow and the next day. Maybe you don’t reach that 50,000. Maybe you do. Whatever happens take heart in the words of Ray Bradbury – “You fail only if you stop writing.”

Don’t let worry slow you down. Follow Walt Disney’s advice – “Why worry? If you’ve done the very best you can, worrying won’t make it any better.” 

I like quotes, so here are a few more that you can take heart in if the craziness of this all seems to have grown since you first started on this journey.

“An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail.” – Edwin Land

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” – F. Nietzsche

“Normality is a paved road. It’s comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow on it.” – Vincent Van Gogh

“Anybody remotely interesting is mad in some way or another.” – Doctor Who

“We wait, starving for moments of high magic to inspire us, but life is full of common enchantment waiting for our alchemist’s eyes to notice.” – Jacob Nordby

“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.” – unknown

“Never, ever let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do. Prove the cynics wrong. Pity them for they have no imagination. The sky’s the limit. Your sky. Your limit. Now. Let’s dance.” – Tom Hiddleston

“Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.” – Mary Kay Ash, founder of May Kay cosmetics

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela

I could go on and on, but I have some writing of my own to do. Hopefully one or more of these gives you something to hold onto as you continue in your writing journey.

Whatever comes at midnight, I’ll borrow from lyrics of The Wanted to share my own feelings towards you all -:

“The sun goes down
The stars come out
And all that counts
Is here and now
My universe will never be the same
I’m glad you came
I’m glad you came”

Write on, my friends. We’ll see you again soon.

Alaina aka A_Rachelle
Your co-captain of the Airship NaNoLansing Sojourner aka co-Municipal Liaison for USA::Michigan::Lansing

Find us online:
Our Forums
NaNoLansing.org
Facebook
Twitter

Happy Thanksgiving, TGIO, Gratitude

Happy Thanksgiving, TGIO, Gratitude

Happy Thanksgiving Wrimos!

I hope that you take some time in-between your lush Thanksgiving dinner to write a little bit.  Sneak away for a 20 minute word war with Timmy in the chat room and jump start your words or jump in on a word war with another region.  Whatever you do, be sure to use some of your time today to write.

TGIO aka Thank Goodness It’s Over Party

Every year we celebrate our wins and near wins, challenges and successes at an end of NaNo party.  This year ours will be on the 7th.

DETAILS:

When: Sunday December 7, 2014
Where: The Avenue Cafe (Gone Wired) 2021 E Michigan Ave, Lansing, MI
Time: 3-6 pm.

Activities:

  • Socializing – Come share your triumphs, challenges and general awesomeness with other wrimos.
  • Share Excerpts – If you’d like to share some passages from your novel, feel free to bring them with you.
  • Special Certificates – We will have special certificates for you to celebrate your accomplishments.
  • A chance to win – your very own soft squishy NaNoRhino, our NaNoLansing Mascot
  • Guilt Monkey Prizes – We will have prizes for those who shared the most guilt monkeys.
  • Potluck – If you can, bring some food (no liquids) to share.  If you can’t bring food, come anyway.  We still want to see you!

To coordinate potluck items and any carpooling offered or needed, see our thread here.

Please RSVP by December 6th at Eventbrite.

Gratitude:
Are you grateful to NaNo?  Do you appreciate everything that happens behind the scenes to make this happen?  Would you like to see your MLs embarrass themselves again this year, like we did for last year’s fundraising challenge?  (Watch till the end – there’s an Easter Egg there.)

Then please consider donating to NaNoWriMo.  Our fundraising challenge goals can be found in this thread.

You will be able to see just how close we are to meeting those goals by looking just above the threads in our regional forum.

Write Ins:

Don’t forget about our last three write ins.  We’ll help you reach whatever goal you have set for yourselves and help you achieve your win!  (I know you can do it.)

Online Write In – Friday 11-28 from 2 until 4 PM
Write-(in) through the holidays – Saturday 11 am until 2 pm EL Pie Company
Last Blast Get Your Words In – Sunday 9 pm until midnight – Old Chicago in Okemos

Well it’s time for me to write a few words while I let my stock simmer.  Gotta get those last 15K words in during these last few days!  Hmm… 15K in 3 days?  Yes.  I can and WILL do it – and you can too!

Annette (Contemplative Cat) & Alaina (A_Rachelle)
Co-Municipal Liaisons, USA::Michigan::Lansing.
AKA your event coordinators, purveyors of fun, answerers of questions and senders of periodic regional messages to keep you in the loop.

Find us online! 
Our Forums
NaNoLansing.org
Facebook
Twitter
YouTube

 

Week 4 – Believe in Your Potential for Greatness

Week 4 – Believe in Your Potential for Greatness

It’s week 4. Some of your friends are sprouting their winning purple bar, others are like me and waiting to validate until I have more words. Some are right where they need to be, others are a little behind and then some are ready to give up.

For those who have won. Congratulations! Well Done! Go share your joy in the Winner’s Hall of Fame Thread.

For those of you like me who are waiting to validate your novels – don’t wait too long. They need to be validated by 11-30-14 at 11:59 pm. If you need information on how to validate, check out our Winning NaNo FAQ thread.

The people I want to talk with right now though are those of you who look at your word counts and are ready to give up.

DON’T GIVE UP! No matter how improbable your winning seems, believe in your potential for greatness!

Look at the Steampunk world. Steampunk technology is completely improbable and yet it works. One foundational idea behind the steampunk movement is the greatness of human potential and the human potential for greatness! You have it in you to be great! Yes you. *points at you* Yes, I really do mean you. YOU can be GREAT!

One article on steampunk philosophy says it perfectly :

“Steampunk is unrepentantly optimistic, intentionally calling upon the past for the inspiration to build a better future, free ourselves of limiting inequities, and to make a place where each individual is empowered to explore their own creativity.”

Steampunk looks at recycling, reusing and repurposing items. When it comes to NaNo – draw upon that ideology and recycle some of your old ideas. Repurpose your old plot lines. Send your character off on a side pursuit which will add backstory, character depth and words.

But whatever you do – DON’T GIVE UP!

Every year we see multiple wrimos achieve the improbable and write 20 to 30K words in the last few days of the month. You can do that! Yes, you can! I’m actually trying to get another 15K in by the end of the month and I’ve been notorious for slacking off this past week, but I’m still going to do my darnest to make that happen.

Imagine how great you will feel having accomplished the improbable. Imagine that beautiful purple bar and the cheers of the NaNo staff when you win! Doesn’t that feel wonderful? So don’t give up. Achieve greatness and keep going!

To help you with your goal we have 3 more write-ins planned:

  • Online write in – Friday 11-28-14 from 2 to 4 pm in the NaNoLansing Chat Room. Be sure to allow time to register if you haven’t done so already.  More info in this thread.  Be sure to give yourself enough time to register to use the chatroom.
  • Saturday 11-29-14 from 11 am until 2 pm – EL Grand Traverse Pie Company.  Thread with more info here.
  • Sunday 11-30-14 from 9 pm until Midnight – Last Blast Get Your Words in Write In – Old Chicago, Okemos

Whether you win or not, you are still much farther ahead then you were at the beginning of the month. Your novel is taking form and that’s wonderful.

Annette aka Contemplative Cat
Your co-captain of the Airship NaNoLansing Sojourner aka co-Municipal Liaison for USA::Michigan::Lansing

Find us online:
Our Forums
NaNoLansing.org
Facebook
Twitter
YouTube

Week 3: All the Little Things

Week 3: All the Little Things

Week three. Sometimes it feels like the Wednesday of NaNo. In week one we had a plan or the hope of a plan and asked ourselves ‘what if.’ Week two we held fast to our imaginations and steamed past the naysayers. Then week three arrived. Purple bars started appearing under some people’s pictures. Then there are those of us who aren’t quite (or not at all) near the blasted purple bar worrying as we shovel coal in hopes of creating some more steam because it feels like there might not be quite enough. This is week three. Don’t worry. It’s almost week four.

So what can you do when all those coals of ideas pushing your imagination on seem to be running low?

One of the things that is fascinating in steampunk is while there is that crazy juxtoposition of ideas and openness to just about anything, there is also a lot of attention to detail. Do an image search on steampunk and once you look past the tophats and corsets and bustles of the Victorian era, you may begin to notice that what sets them apart are all the little deatils. There are cogs and chains and intricate clockwork devices. The pistols are engraved and the brass is aged. Texture is layered over texture and every seam is defined. Without those details they don’t make the jump from Victorian to steampunk.

Word nerd that I am I looked up the etymology of ‘details’ and at its French roots it means to separate (de-), to cut (tailler). Further back that to cut is from the Latin talea meaning a twig or cutting.

What does this have to do with steampunk or NaNo? Maybe its where my own NaNo manuscript is as, but there are two pieces of inspiration I take from this.

The first is that all those ‘minor items or events regarded collectively’ can be a great place to visit when you are stuck and trying to figure out how to get those 1,667 words in for the day. Describe the details that make your story yours. Maybe your character loves pierogies or spike heels. Perhaps they decorated their whole home in purple or there is something strange about the street they live on. Daily writing prompts are a great place to find inspiration for this.Those details may never make it past the first draft, but there is a lot to be learned from the details of your world.

The second is that original Latin talea. In horticulture a cutting is a part of a parent plant that is cut off in order to grow a new and separate plant. Look through what you have written. Where are there places that you have skipped over details or days or emotions? Can a new scene be grown out of it? What unanswered questions can you address?

Need help figuring out some details? Other wrimos are a great source of info. Come and pluck their minds at our write-in today at E. Lansing Grand Traverse Pie Company or any of the others coming up between now and the end of the month.

Go get lost in the little things and we’ll see you soon.

Alaina aka A_Rachelle
Your co-captain of the Airship NaNoLansing Sojourner aka co-Municipal Liaison for USA::Michigan::Lansing

Find us online:
Our Forums
NaNoLansing.org
Facebook
Twitter

(Almost) Halfway There

(Almost) Halfway There

Congratulations, everyone! We’ve almost hit the half-way mark. Have you backed up your novel today?

November 15 Write-a-thons

This year we have two that you can attend and both are trying to figure out how many people to expect, so if you are planning to attend, please take a moment to stop by the appropriate thread and let them know.

Cauldrons will be present at both events and NaNoLansing wrimos will be able to get tickets to trade in for charms at Tuesday’s write-in.

Sixth Annual Battle of Midway
9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Montrose-Jennings Library, 241 Feher Dr, Montrose, MI (off of I-75 between Flint and Birch Run)

Organized by the Saginaw Bay Region, we’ve had wrimos attending this for several years now. Go to this thread for more information and to talk potential carpooling.

Go Green, Go Write
8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Technological Innovation Center (TIC),325 E. Grand River in East Lansing

Organized by the Capital City Writers, you can find out more here.

2014 Fundraising Goals

$1000: Specially designed NaNoLansing sticker
$1100: Specially designed NaNoLansing sticker & t-shirt
$1200: Specially designed NaNoLansing sticker & t-shirt + organized reading
$1300: Specially designed NaNoLansing sticker & t-shirt  + organized reading released as podcast
$1400: Specially designed NaNoLansing sticker & t-shirt + organized reading + parody music video
$1500: Specially designed NaNoLansing sticker & t-shirt  + organized reading released as podcast + parody music video

Stretch Goal
$5000: A_Rachelle gets a guilt monkey tattoo

Questions? Head over here for more information, disclaimers, etc.

Write Ins 

Tuesdays, 7 pm
Organizer: MLs
Old Chicago, Okemos

Get more information here.

Wednesdays, 2:30 pm
Organizer: A_Rachelle
Abiding in the Vine, Owosso

Get more information here.

Wednesdays, 6 pm
Organizer: Wrimos (look for GBJazzman in particular)
Panera Bread, West Lansing

Get more information here.

Thursday, Nov 20 @ 8 pm
Organizer: glancesherlock
Grand Traverse Pie Company, East Lansing

Get more information here.

Guilt Monkeys

Guilt monkeys have been flying, but when we updated the tracking we realized that there is some missing monkey movement. If you have unregistered monkey trading going in, take a moment to fill us in so that our tracking will be up to date.

TGIO Party

The time is approaching more quickly than we’d like to think. Weigh in here on the party details.

That is all for today. As always, keep a weather eye to the forums and we’ll see you soon.

Alaina (A_Rachelle) & Annette (Contemplative Cat)
Co-Municipal Liaisons, USA::Michigan::Lansing.
AKA your event coordinators, purveyors of fun, answerers of questions and senders of periodic regional messages to keep you in the loop.

Find us online! 
Our Forums
NaNoLansing.org
Facebook
Twitter

Week 2 – Time for Renewed Steam in our Creative Airship

Week 2 – Time for Renewed Steam in our Creative Airship

We started week 1 with the joy and enthusiasm of unbridled creativity.  We set sail together on our steampunk airship called the NaNoLansing Sojourner.  Led by your flight captains Contemplative Cat and A_Rachelle, our group of ragtag writer enthusiast wrimos took off on the adventure of a lifetime.  The steam was flowing through our writing letting us ride the stream of ingenuity.

And then week 2 came.  Perhaps your family and friends are questioning why you are doing this.  Perhaps you have some naysayers who even doubt it’s possible.  Perhaps you too are questioning your ability to achieve this seemingly impossible thing called NaNoWriMo.

That’s where hanging onto the philosophy behind steampunk will pull you through.  We took off on this improbable journey filled with endless possibilities.  Those possibilities are still there.  Just like the steampunk captains who built and piloted those unlikely contraptions of creative and brilliant gadgetry, we too can ignore any doubts from ourselves or others and pilot our creativity on – bringing new life to our novels.

When you look at those scenes you wrote and start to believe the lies of the unimaginative, just leave them there and start a new scene.  Your acquaintances are starting to tell you you’re crazy?  Write them into your story and have at them.  Use all of your life experiences now to add steam to your novel.  Who cares if you just went from a romantic love story to a death by shovel?  Keep writing.  Your creative juices will start to return.  They really will.

The world and your environment will provide the raw materials needed to forge ahead, just like our steampunk heroes have done.  And then when you finish week 2, you can be proud that you didn’t jump ship.  You stayed with your ship mates and hunkered through the darkness and you can see the dawn breaking just on the horizon as you pass the half-way point.

To help fill you with more steam, I’ll remind you of these resources:

Write ins:
Thursday 11-13
Go Green, Go Write 11-15
Battle of Midway 11-15
Tuesday 11-18 Old Chicago

Daily writing prompts

Chat room.

Now go forth and pour some steam into those novels!

Annette aka Contemplative Cat
Your co-captain of the Airship NaNoLansing Sojourner aka co-Municipal Liaison for USA::Michigan::Lansing

Find us online:
Our Forums
NaNoLansing.org
Facebook
Twitter

2014 NaNoLansing Fundraising Goals/Prize Levels

2014 NaNoLansing Fundraising Goals/Prize Levels

After some discussion between Contemplative Cat and I, here are your fundraising goals for 2014.

A couple of notes before you see the levels:

  • Stickers and t-shirt designs will be made available for you to order at cost + $1 to go back to NaNo.
  • Organized reading text is TBD. Input is welcome.
  • Song to be parodied would be decided once that goal is reached.
  • Per the discussion leading to the stretch goal, paying for it would require additional funds.

2014 NaNoLansing Fundraising Prize Levels

$1000: Specially designed NaNoLansing sticker

$1100: Specially designed NaNoLansing sticker & t-shirt

$1200: Specially designed NaNoLansing sticker & t-shirt + organized reading

$1300: Specially designed NaNoLansing sticker & t-shirt + organized reading released as podcast

$1400: Specially designed NaNoLansing sticker & t-shirt + organized reading + parody music video

$1500: Specially designed NaNoLansing sticker & t-shirt + organized reading released as podcast + parody music video

Stretch Goal

$5000: A_Rachelle gets a guilt monkey tattoo

Charmed, If You Will

Charmed, If You Will

As you may have heard, we’re pretty charmed this year as in you can win charms by participating in the Cauldron of DOOOM. If you’ve acquired one of our handy dandy goodie bags, that’s why there’s a key ring on your bottle o’ inspiration.

For your plotting purposes, allow me to share with you the charms that will be available at write-ins. We are releasing them by week, so look for new posts at the beginning of each new NaNo week.

Thusly, here are all of the charms you can acquire as of the ML write-in this Tuesday, November 11th at Old Chicago.

Kick-Off Charms: N, A, O, Guilt Monkey, Plot Bunny

CharmsWk1

Week 1: bee, arrow, lightbulb, book (gone)

CharmsWk1pt2

Week 2: Shovel of Death, skeleton key, regular key, genie lamp (gone)

CharmsWk2

Week 3: gear, angel wing, octopus, dragon (gone)
NaNoCharms wk 3

Week 4: rabbit moon, sand castle(limited), spider(limited), pawn (limited), crown (limited)
NaNoCharms wk 4

Donation Day, an online write-in, and other news

Donation Day, an online write-in, and other news

Throw some confetti! Blow on the kazoos! It’s Donation Day!

If you haven’t donated yet and plan to, today is a great day to do it with prize drawings and double donor goodies at the $25 level and more. Check out this page for more information.

Are you a broke Wrimo who would love to have a halo and get that badge on your dashboard for donating but just don’t have the cash to donate yourself? Check out this thread and this one.

2013 NaNoLansing Fundraising Video

Last year we had an awesome fundraising year and promised you all a video. It’s been live for a little over a week, but we know not everyone has found it yet,

You can watch it here.

Also, keep an eye on the forums for this year’s ‘ways your MLs are willing to embarrass themselves’ fundraising goals.

How to Track Your Word Count on a Partial/Revised Novel

We know our wrimos come at NaNo from a lot of different places in their writing. While most are starting something new, some are taking an old story and re-writing it or doing a new section, so the question has arisen of how do you record that word count?

It’s really simple. If you didn’t write it after 12:01 on November 1st, don’t record it in your word count and certainly don’t use it to verify.

Just like character sheets and plot outlines and all of those things that may have been created as prep in October don’t count, neither does anything else you might have written before that time. Create a new document, mark off the information from before so you don’t include it, whatever you have to do to differentiate between NaNo and the rest of the year.

If you have any questions, feel free to message either of your MLs.

Online Write-In This Afternoon

Saturday, November 8, 1-4 pm
The NaNoLansing Chat Room

Check out this thread for information on how to register and join in.

Write Ins – ML Sponsored

Tuesdays, 7 pm
Organizer: MLs
Old Chicago, Okemos

Get more information here.

Wednesdays, 6 pm
Organizer: Wrimos (look for GBJazzman in particular)
Panera Bread, West Lansing

Get more information here.

Thursdays, 8:30 pm on Nov 13 & 8 pm on Nov 20
Organizer: glancesherlock
Grand Traverse Pie Company, East Lansing

Get more information here.

November 15 Write-a-thons

This year we have two that you can attend.

Sixth Annual Battle of Midway
9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Montrose-Jennings Library, 241 Feher Dr, Montrose, MI (off of I-75 between Flint and Birch Run)

Organized by the Saginaw Bay Region, we’ve had wrimos attending this for several years now. Go to this thread for more information and to talk potential carpooling.

Go Green, Go Write
8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Technological Innovation Center (TIC),325 E. Grand River in East Lansing

Organized by the Capital City Writers, you can find out more here.

Less than a half hour until that online write-in. I had best go fortify myself with food.

Alaina (A_Rachelle) & Annette (Contemplative Cat)
Co-Municipal Liaisons, USA::Michigan::Lansing.
AKA your event coordinators, purveyors of fun, answerers of questions and senders of periodic regional messages to keep you in the loop.

Find us online! 
Our Forums
NaNoLansing.org
Facebook
Twitter