Author Archives: Contemplative Cat

Exciting News, Workshop Survey, Save the Date and FB, Calendar Changes

Exciting News, Workshop Survey, Save the Date and FB, Calendar Changes

As summer wraps up, the NaNo season kicks in and planning is already underway for this year.  We’ve got some news & info for you and would like your input as we firm up ideas.

First the most exciting news!

WELCOME to our new Co-Municipal Liaison (ML) – YuOfOwari22.
It’s official and I’m very excited to announce that YuOfOwari22 (Courtney) will be my Co-Municipal Liaison!  She is going to be a wonderful addition to our ML team and we’re lucky to have her here to help us.  Welcome to the wonderful and wacky world of MLing, Courtney!

SAVE THE DATE – Kick Off Party:
We’ve been busy working on our schedule of activities and want to give you time to be sure you can attend.  With plenty of advance notice, we have scheduled our Kick Off Party so please save the date now.  We’ll have write ins and other events firmed up later and will give you those dates as we finalize them.

Kick-Off Event:
Our kick off party this year will be on Sunday October 30 from 2 pm to 5 pm at the Avenue Café on Michigan Ave in Lansing.  More details will be coming later.

PRE-NANO WORKSHOPS SURVEY:
We’re working on pre-NaNo workshops and would like your input.  Please take a minute and complete our survey to give us your input asap.  The survey can be found here.  We will be working on firming up details in a few weeks and will let you know as soon as we have details.  Keep an eye out for future emails and check FB and Twitter.  And speaking of the book of face…

FACEBOOK CHANGES:
Facebook is making changes so you’ll see more posts from your friends and family in the news feed and fewer posts from the pages you follow. (In other words, NaNoLansing.) It’s great that posts from friends and family won’t be missed, but if you’d like to continue seeing NaNoLansing posts on a regular basis, just follow the instructions below.

1) Visit the NaNoLansing page by clicking the hyperlink on our name.
2) If you are on your mobile, tap on “following.” If you are on your desktop, tap on “liked.”
3) Select “see first.”

GOOGLE CALENDAR:

If you have synched your calendar with the NaNoLansing calendar, you may have to resync it as we’ve changed our email.  You can check to see if your synch is still active by checking for the Kick off event in October.  If it doesn’t show, you’ll need to resynch.

We’ve got an exciting year planned for you and will send more news as we get it.  If you have any questions or ideas, feel free to send us a NaNoMail.

Excitedly Yours,

Annette aka Contemplative Cat
along with Courtney aka YuOfOwari22
Your NaNoLansing Municipal Liaisons (ML) 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

May Write In & brainstorming for the summer months

May Write In & brainstorming for the summer months

Hello everyone,

It’s time for our May write in.

Come join us tomorrow (Thursday May 12th) for another fun evening of writing, sharing and brainstorming for the summer months.

When:
Thursday May 12, 2016
Time:
6:30 to 10 pm
Where:
EL Grand Traverse Pie Company (Orchard Room)

Activities:
We will have time to write, share our projects and spend time looking at what we would like to do for the summer.

Historically write ins have taken a sabbatical during the summer months, but they don’t have to.  Come share your thoughts on how you would like to utilize our summer months.  (If you can’t come, please PM me with your thoughts and ideas.)

Hope to see you all there!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

NaNoLansing Newsletter

Life got away from me recently, so no newsletter this month.  Sorry about that.

For those of you who don’t know, we have a monthly(ish) newsletter with reminders of write ins and other tidbits of information and resources.  If you would like to be on the mailing list to receive that in your email, please sign up for our NaNoLansing Newsletter at this url link.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Writingly yours,

~Annette aka Contemplative Cat
Your NaNoLansing Municipal Liaison (ML) aka your event coordinator, purveyor of fun, answerer of questions and sender of periodic regional messages to keep you in the loop.

Find us online!
Our Forums
NaNoLansing.org 
Facebook
Twitter

April Write In and Newsletter Information

April Write In and Newsletter Information

Hello Everyone!

We’re into our 2nd week of Spring Camp NaNoWriMo and a bunch of us are having a blast with this.  There are at least a couple of cabins with local wrimos.  If any of you would like to communicate across cabins, please come to the April Camp NaNoWriMo thread and post away.

It’s time for our April Write In.

When:
Thursday April 14, 2016
Time:
7-9:30 pm
Where:
EL Grand Traverse Pie Company (Orchard Room)

Activities:
We will be supporting and cheering each other on with our Camp NaNoWriMo goals, have some writing time, and of course, Cauldron of Doom word Sprints.

May Write In
Mark your calendars now for our May write in too!

When:
Thursday May 12, 2016
Time:
7-9:30 pm
Where:
EL Grand Traverse Pie Company (Orchard Room)

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NaNoLansing Newsletter

Want to stay in the loop and receive monthly(ish) newsletters with write-in information and other tidbits and resources?
Sign up for our NaNoLansing Newsletter at this url link.

If you have gmail or some other free email service, you many need to add NaNoLansing at gmail.com to your address book or the newsletter might wind up in the spam or promotions folder.

Possible Delivery Problems:
Also, there might be some difficulty sending out this and/or future newsletters as we are currently using a free gmail account as our email address.  Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC) is a new thing that is affecting Mail Chimp Integration with free email providers.

Finding a solution to this may take some time.  If any of you techy type people have experience with this and would be willing to help, please PM Contemplative Cat.

Thanks!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Looking forward to seeing you at the write in!

~Annette aka Contemplative Cat
Your NaNoLansing Municipal Liaison (ML) aka your event coordinator, purveyor of fun, answerer of questions and sender of periodic regional messages to keep you in the loop.

Write In Thursday March 10th!

Write In Thursday March 10th!

Hi Everyone,

What crazy weather we’ve been having.  Blizzard – warm – blizzard – warm.  Thank goodness we’re on a warm streak now because that means that we won’t have to deal with snowy and icy road for our write in this week!

So come on out and join us for our March Write In!

When:
Wednesday March 10, 2016
Time:
7-9:30 pm
Where:
EL Grand Traverse Pie Company (Orchard Room)

Activities:
We will talk about Camp NaNoWriMo and share resources and ideas.  Plus we’ll make a little headway with our writing too with our Cauldron of Doom sprints.

April Write In
Mark your calendars now for our April write in too!

When:
Thursday April 14, 2016
Time:
7-9:30 pm
Where:
EL Grand Traverse Pie Company (Orchard Room)

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

NaNoLansing Newsletter

Want to stay in the loop and receive monthly(ish) newsletters with write-in information and other tidbits and resources?
Sign up for our NaNoLansing Newsletter at this url link.

(Please note – If you have gmail, you many need to add NaNoLansing at gmail.com to your address book or the newsletter might wind up in the spam or promotions folder.)

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Looking forward to seeing you!

~Annette aka Contemplative Cat
Your NaNoLansing Municipal Liaison (ML) aka your event coordinator, purveyor of fun, answerer of questions and sender of periodic regional messages to keep you in the loop.

Find us online!
Our Forums
NaNoLansing.org 
Facebook
Twitter

February Write In

February Write In

Hope all of you are doing well.

Our February write in is just around the corner!

When:
Wednesday February 10, 2016
Time:
7-9:30 pm
Where:
EL Grand Traverse Pie Company (Orchard Room)
Activities:
We will have time to socialize, discuss future write in ideas, and of course write with word sprints from the cauldron of doom.

If you have ideas/wishes/hopes for how to best utilize our monthly write ins, please let us know, here, at our write ins, or both!

March Write In
Mark your calendars now for our March write in too!

When:
Thursday March 10, 2016
Time:
7-9:30 pm
Where:
EL Grand Traverse Pie Company (Orchard Room)

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

NaNoLansing Newsletter

Want to stay in the loop and receive monthly(ish) newsletters with write-in information and other tidbits and resources?
Sign up for our NaNoLansing Newsletter at this url link.

(Please note – if you have gmail, you may need to add NaNoLansing at gmail.com to your address book, or the newsletter might go to your spam or promotions folder.)

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Looking forward to seeing you next week!

~Annette aka Contemplative Cat
Your NaNoLansing Municipal Liaison (ML) aka your event coordinator, purveyor of fun, answerer of questions and sender of periodic regional messages to keep you in the loop.

Find us online!
Our Forums
NaNoLansing.org 
Facebook
Twitter

 

Happy New Year Write Ins

Happy New Year Write Ins

Happy New Year Everyone!  I hope your holiday season has been filled with fun, family and festivities.

We have our first write-in of the year coming up next week.

When:
Thursday January 7, 2016
Time:
7-9:30 pm
Where:
EL Grand Traverse Pie Company (Orchard Room)
Activities:
We will have time to socialize, discuss future write in ideas, and of course write with word sprints from the cauldron of doom.

Possible 2nd Write In: (Will be canceled if no one can host)
We have the Pie Company room reserved for Thursday 1-14-16 at the Pie Company 7-9:30 pm, but we can’t hold it without a host.  If you are willing to host this, please let us know in the forum.  If no one volunteers to host, I will cancel it on the 7th.

February Write In
Mark your calendar for Wednesday 2-10-16 from 7-9:30 pm at the EL Pie Company. 

Your feedback wanted.
If you haven’t already, please complete our end of NaNo survey. This will help in planning next year’s NaNo. 
Thanks to all who have completed it thus far.  I’ve gotten some great ideas.

NaNoLansing Newsletter
We have a Newsletter which I’ll be sending out periodically with information about write ins and assorted other tidbits and resources.  If you would like to stay in the loop all year long, please sign up here.

Looking forward to seeing a lot of you next week at our first write-in of the year.

~Annette aka Contemplative Cat
Your NaNoLansing Municipal Liaison (ML) aka your event coordinator, purveyor of fun, answerer of questions and sender of periodic regional messages to keep you in the loop.

Find us online! 
Our Forums 
NaNoLansing.org 
Facebook 
Twitter

2015 Wrap Up

2015 Wrap Up

Congratulations on finishing another wonderful NaNoWriMo Season!

This has been a successful and eventful year! For one thing, after 9 years this was the last year that Alaina (A_Rachelle) served as a NaNoLansing Municipal Liaison. We’ll miss you Alaina!

You might be like me and catching up on all of the things that you weren’t able to get to during NaNo. You might be glad it’s all over, or missing it already. Whatever you are experiencing, you can be proud of yourself for all that you accomplished.

Survey
Please help me make 2016 even better for our region by taking the time to complete this survey. Your information really will help me in planning next year. Thank you!

NaNoLansing Through The Year
If you don’t want to see the fun end, I’ve got good news for you! We will be having monthly write ins starting in January!
We have an information and discussion thread located here.

Write Ins Scheduled To Date:

  • January
    • If someone else wants to host 1-14, we can have it on that date.
    • If you’d like me there then 1-7-16 at the EL Pie Company 7-9:30 pm, works for me.
    • Discuss and Vote at the Writing Through 2016 Thread.
  • February
    • 2-10-16 EL Pie Company (Orchard Rm) 7-9:30 pm.

Year Round Communication

  • NaNoWriMo Regional Forums
    • I will continue to post threads and information over on our regional forum as things develop so be sure to check in there periodically. This will be my first spot for communication.
  • Regional Emails
    • I’ll be sending out periodic regional emails with information on write ins and other events.
  • NaNoLansing Year Round News(letter)
    • If you would like to receive periodic newsletters with information about upcoming events and other little tidbits, please sign up for our NaNoLansing Year Round News(letter)
    • If you’ve already signed up, please do so again as I am creating a new list. Thank you!
  • Social Media (Facebook and Twitter)
    • I’m not a big Facebook or Twitter person, so please don’t rely upon these mediums for your primary communication.
    • IF a write in or event needs to change unexpectedly on short notice, I WILL post on FB and Twitter if at all possible.
    • If something big comes up, I *might* post it on these mediums, but again, you are better served by keeping your eyes on the other methods first.

2015 Stats:

87 people wrote over 50K words
84 people validated their novels and officially won!
274 people wrote at least one word.
338 people created a novel
6,945,673 words were written
20,549 was the average wordcount
185 guilt monkeys were passed around.
$1115.00 has been donated to date. Thank you all!

Project for Awesome
One last thing – If you like doing videos and would like to help NaNoWriMo raise more funds, please consider participating in Project for Awesome.  NaNo has been able to receive donations from this for several years running.  For more information, please visit this thread.

Have a wonderful Holiday Season everyone and I hope to see a lot of you in the New Year!
~Annette aka Contemplative Cat
Your NaNoLansing Municipal Liaison (ML) aka your event coordinator, purveyor of fun, answerer of questions and sender of periodic regional messages to keep you in the loop.

Find us online! 
Our Forums 
NaNoLansing.org 
Facebook 
Twitter

Come Celebrate Your Month and Say a Fond Farewell to Alaina!

Come Celebrate Your Month and Say a Fond Farewell to Alaina!

It’s December and NaNoWriMo is officially over, but our events aren’t.  We have one more left.

TGIO / Alaina’s Send Off Party
This Saturday (December 5th) is our Thank Goodness It’s Over (TGIO) and Going away potluck party for Alaina from 2 to 5 at the Okemos Public Library.

Whether you achieved 50K or didn’t write a word, come join us for food, fun, awards, games, prizes, planning for NaNo through the new year and our chance to see Alaina one last time before she moves.  You can find more details at this thread. If you want an award, you need to rsvp by Friday afternoon.  Even if you don’t rsvp in time and aren’t guaranteed an award, please come anyway.  Let’s give Alaina a great send off. Alaina has been a NaNoLansing ML for 9 years and is one of the founders of our region!  It would really be great to have a big turnout to celebrate her 9 years here.

You can rsvp here and add to the potluck list on this google doc.

Congratulations!
Also, congratulations to everyone!  Yes, everyone!  For those who won – that’s so awesome!  We’re proud of you!  For those of you who wrote less than 50K, but finished your novel (thinks of Jim Hines), you rock.  You won, in my opinion!  For everyone who wrote anything, yay you!  You have more words toward your novel and you flexed your creative muscles and that’s great.

A big shout out to our 87 wrimos who passed the 50K mark.  For the *4 who haven’t validated yet and haven’t officially won, you can go to this thread and they will help you get your purple winner’s banner.

Our 2015 NaNoLansing 50K’ers are:
Sihaya48, dpennoni, cactusrose, Tricia LB Warren, kyleen66, Remmirath, Colleen Nye, jesirobe, FrancescaGrace, The_Riskbreaker, Pelhaesque, Nicolebi-Wan Kenobi, *coders11, Jayvsmooth, AuthorMegMatthews, Kaelk, Amsterdamned, nooneyouknow2012, sportmanteau, quedquis, girly1393, bookwriter2013, dinoegg1, IvyT, Aspigander, kyttyn, Cavebound Dragon, Contemplative Cat, ms-carter, shantel.dj21, SkylarkLanding, riverwoman, PurpleMadHatter, Chelle LaBelle, *M.Miller, Lena Chang, Hilary-Noelle, valentine220, estelraca, Kissa, _Terajin, Red-Star, TheLukeskywalker2, yomart501, Lori Holuta, Tango Aida 7, SnowWhite86904, A. Lewis Highdale, sigmaechoes, Brian Betcke, Ginnie O., WineAndCoffee, 15cfisk, ohh hey there, akivos, jhirst18, The_Bean, lgk-chan, Random_Gauge, memorysdaughter, autumnf, SparrowClef, noralellen, WhatKelseyWrote, allison_wonderland009, Eve Rebil, YuOfOwari22, MaggyMae78, CheyenneAutumn, writemydreams, Crystalwolf, MasterKisame, RightersBlock19, AbsentlyBumblebee, BariumCobaltNitrogen, Dani37654, gbjazzman, hijinx_redux, Sheari, Dawn Marie Gorman, *OverMyTop, MartyVee, *evanola, stargirlofthesea, Black_Robert, The-Not-So-Evil-Overlord, R. Lutz.

Donor Thank You
A great bit thank you to everyone who donated.  This is our best year ever in donations and it’s each one of you who ensure that this wonderful event can exist every year.

We also have 4 halos that can be given out to wrimos.  I’ll chip in the extra if a fifth would like one.  Just post in the Halo Relocation Thread.  Please get your requests in my Sunday because I’ll be writing out a check and sending the remaining Traveling TARDIS donations on Monday morning.

Survey:
Be on the look out for a survey that will be sent out this weekend.  It will really help me to plan for next year, so your feedback, ideas and comments will be very welcomed.

This has been a wonderful NaNo and it’s been so much fun to see you at events, meet you on the threads and see your word counts rise.  You are the best!

I hope to see you Saturday at our party and for those that can’t come, I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!
Annette (Contemplative Cat)
along with Alaina (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

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