Monthly Archives: November 2015

The Home Stretch

The Home Stretch

Every year at about this time one of us writes a message with a reminder not to give up, that there is still time to reach your goals and here, in this group and place and time were will support you no matter what word count you have at 12:01am on December 1st.

It may sometimes sounds like tripe when we say the most important thing about NaNo is that you took that leap and you have more written now than you did before whether it is 5,000 or 100,000, but I promise you we mean it. Take courage and continue on no matter where you are. If you’ve already hit 50,000 words (or your personal word goal) – Congratulations!!!! Let your purple bar shine!

If you’re not at 50,000 I feel you more than ever this year because as some of you have noticed, my word count hasn’t made much progress of late. As is sometimes said “life happened” and my dread of moving has been proven true as I attempt to pack up my apartment and clean in these last few days of the month. I’ve known for a couple of weeks now that short of Mary Poppins showing up and helping me out with a bit of her magic, there was little chance of hitting that 50,000 words. However, if there is one thing I have seen true in my years with NaNo, it is that not ‘winning’ doesn’t mean that your efforts are in vain.

There is a quote that has been on my fridge for years now and I’d like you to take it to heart as you read and write today.

“It must be borne in mind that the tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. It lies in having no goal to reach. It is not a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled, but it is a calamity not to dream. It is not a disgrace not to reach the stars, but it is a disgrace not to have stars to reach. Not failure, but low aim, is the real sin.”
– Benjamin Mays –

There are so so very many people out there who will never step out and take a chance on the novel inside of them. No matter how many words you have written, you have taken that first step. You may consider your first draft garbage, but that’s ok. Pretty much every first draft is, but without it there are no second, third, or fourth drafts. Without it there are no finished novels.

I won’t be seeing you all at the last couple of write-ins with moving going on, but I have complete confidence that you will have an awesome time with Annette and look forward to the TGIO coming up next weekend. I don’t know exactly where life will take me in the next few months, but I don’t expect to be in Lansing come next November, so if you’ve ever considered getting more involved with the region, drop her a message and let her know. There’s always something that could use an extra set of helping hands.

It has been an amazing nine years with you all. It is still crazy to me that it has not only been that long, but just how much we have grown from that little group of 8 or 9 of us at Schuler’s my very first year in Lansing. You have been more than just my region, you’ve been my inspiration and I am so proud to have been a part of you. I know that no matter where I end up this coming year you are in good hands and will continue to do amazing things. I may be too far to pop in next year, especially if plans to move to Germany come together, but I have already promised to pop in and visit the chat room at the very least 😉

Now for a few practical end of NaNo tips:

  • Use the validator to check your word count even if it’s less than 50,000. This will let you know if there’s any discrepancy between your program and the validator.
  • Try and squeeze in the last couple of write-ins to boost your word count (and spirits).
  • Back it up and do it again.

– Write-Ins –

Today, 2-5 pm
Virtual Write-In
Get more info here

Sunday, Nov. 29, 2-5 pm
Grand Traverse Pie Company (E. Lansing)
Orchard Room

Monday, Nov 30, 8pm-Midnight
Last Blast to Get Your Words In!
Old Chicago (Okemos)

– End of November Wrap-Up –

If you would like to get a halo or nominate someone for one, make sure to do so in the next few days.

Make sure your final monkey trades have been entered as close to the first as possible for award calculation.

Not sure how to validate your novel? Check out this article for step-by-step directions.

– TGIO Party –

Our annual gathering to ease our separation anxiety and FOMO along with celebrating another NaNo completed.

Saturday, December 5, 2-5pm
Okemos Library

For more information go here.

To RSVP go here.

To share your potluck contribution plans go here.

I must resume my packing, but have a wonderful weekend, write-well, and never give up.

Alaina aka A_Rachelle
along with Annette aka Contemplative Cat
Your NaNoLansing Municipal Liaisons (MLs) 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

You Can Do This!

You Can Do This!

It’s Thanksgiving week.  We’re heading into the final stretches of NaNo. Whether you are at your recommended 41667 words, have finished or are way behind and feel like your novel is stuck and going nowhere – Don’t give up. You may feel like your novel is going nowhere. You might wonder why you even started this project. You might feel like you want to divorce your novel and leave it behind in the dust. Don’t do it. Keep on writing.

I was looking for some inspiring quotes on this subject and found this one that really fits.

“Don’t be discouraged. It’s often the last key in the bunch that opens the lock.” – Author Unknown

You may feel like everything you are writing is crap, but it isn’t. There really are bits and pieces of brilliance in there. You might have to sludge through some things when you edit {in December or beyond} but you will find them there. Keep writing and push through this stage and you’ll find yourself closer to “the end” and closer to your win and in the process you’ll reach a point where everything flows again. That’s right. Push on and you can find that key to unlock your creative juices again.

Here are some ideas to help you through:

  • Work on a subplot
  • Explore the motivations of one of your minor characters
  • Send your characters off on a side adventure
  • Grab one and leave one of our plot prompts.
  • Let yourself have desert or some other reward after you’ve written something.
  • Go to the chat room and find some word wars to join in or have one yourself by typing !startwar (# of minutes) (number of minutes before you start). I’ll be on and off there for the rest of the month. Look for my name without the |afk and I should be there shortly if not already.

Think you won’t have time during this holiday season? Here are some ideas to make the time.

  • Write while the turkey is cooking.
  • Take a “nap” after dinner and bring your laptop with you. While Grandpa is snoozing, you too can be away from kids, family and expectations alone with your novel.
  • Go to bed early and take your laptop with you.  While people think you are sleeping, your novel can be written.
  • Write on your smart phone, while in line shopping, in the restroom, anywhere really.
  • Dictate to Siri while you’re waiting for something, or as you walk the dog.
  • Have someone else drive to the family celebration and use that time to write. One year, one of my friends was able to write 10K words as her hubby was driving to and from the relatives for Thanksgiving!
  • Use every spare moment as a chance to write. I’ve done a majority of my writing this year in 15 to 20 minute stretches.
  • Write with others at our ML Sponsored write ins.

Other things:

Winning:

If you’ve reached 50K – awesome! Congratulations! Our list of winners can be found here. Now be sure to validate your novel because you won’t have officially won until you do that.  Information on how to do that can be found here.

Staff Appreciation Day Wednesday 11-25:

NaNoWriMo staff do a whole lot to make this event happen and keep it fun for us. So much happens behind the scenes that we never see and they spend countless dedicated hours to provide this wonderful venue for us. It’s so easy to take things for granted, yet it is truly wonderful to hear that what you do really is appreciated.  Please let them know how much you appreciate them at these threads – Site & Message Board, Feedback & Suggestions and All Ages Coffeehouse.

Treat Yourself to A Beautiful Halo either by donating or through our Halo Relocation Program. And a huge thank you to all of you awesome people who have already donated.  You help make this all possible.

TGIO & Going Away Party for Alaina:

Be sure to RSVP to let us know you’re going. It will give me time to get your awards together. Also, let us know if and what you’ll be bringing for the potluck. The list can be found here.  More information can be found in this thread.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Now stretch those fingers and wrists and get back to writing. We’re cheering you on with each word you write. 

Encouragingly yours,
Annette (Contemplative Cat)
along withAlaina (A_Rachelle)
Your NaNoLansing Municipal Liaisons.

Find us online! 
Our Forums 
NaNoLansing.org 
Facebook 
Twitter

It's the Halfway Point!

It's the Halfway Point!

We’ve reached the halfway point. Yay! Congratulations, wrimos! Whether you have already reached your 50K point like three of our amazing wrimos have, are still writing away, or feeling so far behind that you’ll never catch up, take a moment and pat yourself on the back. Seriously. Stop what you’re doing right now and lift your hand up and give yourself a pat. I’ll wait.

Doesn’t that feel good?

You’ve written words. You’ve got your novel underway. Every word written is an accomplishment! Every. Single. Word! Be proud of yourself. I know I’m proud of each and every one of you! Yes. Even you! The NaNoLansing library has a spot waiting just for your novel.

Perhaps some of you are sailing right along and the words are flowing freely for you. Congratulations. I’m a little bit envious. Perhaps some of you are feeling stuck like me and pushing yourself to write something just to get the “I uploaded words every day badge.” Maybe some of you feel it’s hopeless and have given up. Regardless of where you are right now, don’t give up. Keep writing. Even one sentence is one more sentence than you had before. If you’re stuck on one scene, move to another and go back. It will probably be fresher and easier later.

Perhaps your characters have it too easy? Be mean to them. Give them some obstacle that makes it hard for them to reach their goal. Give them a lot of obstacles. Have them nearly reach their goal and then take it away from them at the last minute. Your plot will get much more interesting and you’ll have much more fun with it.

Need more inspiration? 
Read our wonderful wrimo-written pep talks – like the fantastic one we have from Jim Hines. (Thanks again, Jim!) He’s always been an inspiration to me. Write one of your own and inspire others – and win that badge for pep talks.

Want a writing prompt? Take one and leave another from our writing prompt thread.

Want to be inspired by a shiny halo and receive your badge for that?
You can donate yourself or thanks to the wonderful people who have donated already and have added to the traveling TARDIS, if you are a broke wrimo and would like a halo and the badge that goes with that, please post in the Halo Relocation Program Thread. We currently have 6 halos waiting to be passed on.

Want some friendly competition? Add your name to the word count tracker for NaNoLansing and watch how you compare to your fellow wrimos. 

Need more push?

Come join your fellow writers at our write-ins this week.

  • Tonight (11-17) with YuOfOwari at AI Fusion at 7 pm. Be sure to let her know you are coming asap because there is only one room that can accommodate 15+ people and it fills up.
  • Wednesday Night (11-18), I’ll be running a virtual write in from 8 pm to 10 pm. This counts as one of your NaNoLansing Events.
  • Thursday night/Friday morning (11-19/20) GBJazzman will be hosting a write in at the Westside Denny’s starting at 12:30 am.Saturday (11-21) from 11 am to 2 pm, another ML sponsored write in takes place at the East Lansing Pie Company.


Mark Your Calendars for the TGIO/Going Away Party:
Don’t forget to reserve time on Saturday December 5th from 2-5pm to come celebrate another wonderful NaNo. This is also a very special party because the first part of the celebration will be a going away party for Alaina who has decided to pursue more exciting things and will be moving in a few weeks.

WINNING!
Starting November 20th, you can upload your novel to officially win and get your shiny purple winner’s banner and goodies.  You can still keep writing after that and updating your word count, so don’t worry about that.  Be sure to validate your novels.  Every year I see people who reached their 50K and never officially won and it’s heartbreaking to see.  Don’t let that be you.  Validate your novel sooner versus later.  And for those of you, like me who aren’t at all at the point to win, now is a good time to be sure your account is set to EST.  You will have until 11:59 on 11-30 to validate your word count and win.

As always, write on. Come chat with us in the chat room. Post in the forums and have fun!

Your NaNoLansing Municipal Liaisons,
Annette (Contemplative Cat)
along with Alaina (A_Rachelle)

Find us online! 
Our Forums 
NaNoLansing.org 
Facebook 
Twitter

It's November 1st! Say Hello to Your Characters.

It's November 1st! Say Hello to Your Characters.

It’s November 1, the day when hundreds of thousands of people around the world embark on the exciting journey of writing. It’s the day when the NaNoLansing Library is filled with dreams of completed novels. Characters come out to play and rush forth to have their story told. Writers contemplate their next scene and fingers are flying across keyboards and paper.

Your characters are just as excited as you are to be given life. They long to have their stories join in with the many other stories that line the shelves of the library. Whether you have fully developed and fleshed out characters or they are just fuzzy, vague ideas, let them come forth. As you write, they will become clearer to you. Your story will move forward as you guide them through the what if and what next process.

Use the enthusiasm you have right now to get a jump start on your word counts. Write as much as you can this week and give yourself some word count padding. Now’s the time to really run with your thoughts while you and your characters are fresh and enthusiastic.

Write strong, write hard, and write every day. Even if you only write a few words, you are still moving forward and adding to your novel. Post your word count every day and you’ll receive a shiny badge showcasing your achievement.

What else to check out and do while you are on the forum:

  • Fill in your novel info. You can always revise it later.
  • Be sure that you are homed to USA::Michigan::Lansing so your words count for our area.
  • Get a halo either by donating or by the Halo Relocation Program. We still have nine spots for wrimos to be haloed from our traveling TARDIS of good noveling karma donations. Check out our Halo Relocation Program thread.
  • Mark your calendar for Saturday, November 7th and Double up Donation Day. You can get the $50 donation items for only donating $25. (Sorry there’s no double up for other donation levels.) Plus there will be chances for hourly prizes along with a grand prize winner.

Want to be encouraged and have some camaraderie while you write? We have some very fun activities and resources available to you.

  • Make a post in the Word Count Tracker thread and watch how your word counts compare with your fellow wrimos.
  • Participate in the Guilt Monkey Game.  We already have monkeys that have been spotted in the area.
  • Write a pep talk for your fellow wrimos and win a badge for your author info page in the process.
  • Post and give feedback on your novel synopsis.
  • Participate in NaNoSelfie Day. Help your fellow wrimos around the world by posting a picture of yourself to Twitter or Facebook #NaNoSelfieDay2015 and #NaNoLansing. We’ll flood the NaNoverse with inspiring pictures that day.

Upcoming Write-Ins:

We have a wonderful assortment of write-ins available to you.

  • If you’re a night owl, gbjazzman will be having a late night write-in at the Denny’s on the westside from 12:30 to 2 am on Monday night/Tuesday morning.
  • Our next ML sponsored write-in will be Thursday November 5th at Old Chicago in Okemos from 7 to 10 pm.
  • Stay up Thursday night and drive out to the west side for another late night write-in with gbjazzman at Denny’s from 12:30 to 2 am again.

While not a NaNoWriMo event, the Capital City Writer’s Association is having their all day Go Green, Go Write event on Saturday and it is free of charge. There are already 80 people who will be attending that. Wow!

Well it’s time for this writer to get back to her novel, so for now, I, and my characters, bid you adieu.

Write on fellow wrimos. Write on!

Annette aka Contemplative Cat
along with Alaina aka A_Rachelle
Your NaNoLansing Municipal Liaisons (MLs) 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