It’s NaNoWriMo Prep Time!

It’s NaNoWriMo Prep Time!

Hello everyone!

It’s almost October and that means that it’s NaNo Prep time!
We have a brand spanking new regional forum for you to come explore.
And while you’re there, please introduce yourself.

There are a whole lot of great events planned this year!

Save Your Thursday Nights for NaNo!
First off, save all of your Thursday nights for October and November because we’ll have NaNo Prep workshops every Thursday in October and write ins every Thursday in November except Thanksgiving!
FYI – If you want to be sure you never miss an event, link your Google calendar with our Google calendar.

NaNoPrep Workshops
We’re very fortunate to have four very talented authors who have generously agreed to help us prepare for NaNo with these workshops:

October 4 – Richelle Renae McFate – How to be an Organized Writer
October 11 – Colleen Gleason – The Hero’s Journey for Writers (How to use the classic elements of storytelling to plot your book)
October 18 – Lev Raphael – Developing Important and Memorable Settings
October 25 – Elizabeth Heiter – How to Write Efficiently and Effectively

For more information about the workshops, see our thread here.

Kick Off Party
Our kick off this year will be Sunday October 28th. Go here for more information. And be sure to rsvp by Friday October 26th because there will be a very special goodie in those goodie bags this year. No hints. You’ll have to be there to find out. 😉

NaNoLansing Facebook Page
Also, if you want to be sure to see the NaNoLansing posts on your Facebook feed, be sure to like our page here.

We’re going to have a great NaNo Season!

Excitedly yours,
Your NaNoLansing Municipal Liaison
Contemplative Cat aka Annette

October NaNoLansing Prep Events!

October NaNoLansing Prep Events!

We’re really fortunate to have an exciting line up of excellent authors to assist us this October with preparing for NaNoWriMo so save all of your Thursday nights now because you won’t want to miss any of these!

Location, Dates and Times:

Where: Old Chicago 1938 Grand River Avenue, Okemos, MI 48864 –  Map
Dates: October 4, 11, 18 & 25
Times: 7 pm until 9ish. If we finish earlier, we can spend the time working on our novels and we might be able to stay later if we wish.

The Authors who have generously offered to share their expertise with us:

Richelle Renae McFate
In addition to being a published author and an amazing editor, Richelle Renae McFate is one of the most organized writers I’ve ever met and she’s going to share an organizational system she has mastered to help us with our novel prep.

Colleen Gleason
Colleen Gleason is an award winning author who has not only been on the USA Today bestseller list but also the New York Times Bestseller list. She has published 8 series and more than 50 books in a variety of genres. Her workshop is sure to be a winner and will help us develop a strategy to keep our plot moving.

Lev Raphael
Lev Raphael is an award winning author of over 25 books in multiple genres, both fiction and non-fiction. He has been a professor of creative writing at Michigan State University and teaches writing at His most recent book, Writer’s Block is Bunk, is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. In addition, his sense of humor makes his workshops as enjoyable as they are instructional.

Elizabeth Heiter
Elizabeth Heiter is a critically acclaimed and award winning author who has published 11 books in three series and two different genres. Her novels have been published in more than a dozen countries and translated into 8 languages. Her workshop is timely and will definitely help us to maximize our NaNoWriMo month in the best way possible.

Our Exciting Workshops:

October 4th
How to Be an Organized Writer 
Presented by Richelle McFate
Whether you are a pantster, a planner or somewhere in between, learning how to organize your thoughts while you write will help you with your novel. Richelle has mastered a style of organizing your writing. She will share her system using plotting notebooks, handouts and electronic programs to help tame the sometimes chaotic process of writing a novel in a month. (You can learn more about Richelle here:

October 11th
The Hero’s Journey for Writers – How to Use the Classic Elements of Storytelling to Plot Your Book.
Presented by Colleen Gleason
There are certain elements that make a story compelling—elements that have been found in tales since the beginning of human history. When we incorporate these elements in our work, we create story that draws in the reader through familiar and exciting elements. (You can learn more about Colleen here:

October 18
Developing Important and Memorable Settings
Presented by Lev Raphael
Writers are often so focused on plot, characters, and dialogue that they don’t pay enough attention to setting.  This workshop will explore ways in which you can make the setting in your fiction important and memorable. (You can learn more about Lev here :

October 25
How to Write Efficiently and Effectively
Presented by Elizabeth Heiter
All writers struggle to fit writing time into their schedules, stay on track, and make sure each new book is strong and unique.  The ability to write efficiently and effectively isn’t about time or method – it’s about mindset and creating habits that set you up for success. In the past four and a half years, Elizabeth Heiter has had 10 books in two genres published.  Join her as she shares her secrets for writing efficiently and effectively.  (You can learn more about Elizabeth here:

Hope to see you all there!

2017 Wrap Up – Great Job Everyone!!

2017 Wrap Up – Great Job Everyone!!

Congratulations on finishing another wonderful NaNoWriMo Season!

Whew! What a whopper that was! But we all pushed through, we wrote a massive amount of words, took down some baddies, and had a rousing good time!

I don’t know about you, but my TBR pile is like eight feet tall; time to get crackin’!

A few points before we close out the year!


Please help us make 2018 even better for our region by taking the time to complete this survey. Your information really will help 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 are hoping to once again do write-ins throughout the year!

If you would be interested in continuing your writing activities with our lovely group, then we especially recommend that you answer our Post-NaNo survey (link above), as there is a section where you indicate your preferred days of the week, etc.

Once we get some initial input, we will have information and discussions in this thread.

Communication Through Year

Regional Email

  • We will send out regional emails to people with the information on the monthly write ins. (If you haven’t signed up for these and want to stay in the loop, you can do it by going to: My NaNoWriMo -> Account Settings)

Regional Forum Posts

  • We will continue to post pertinent info here on the regional forums, so check back every now and again for that!

NaNoLansing Year-round Newsletter

  • We will also have a periodic newsletter for sending out other information, such as writing workshops, interesting blog posts or articles, and other news or resources. If you fill out the Post-NaNo Survey, there is a link at the end which will take you to a contact information form (we did it separate this year to ensure anonymity).

If you would prefer to skip the survey, but would still like to get the newsletter, then please either NaNomail either one of us (Contemplative Cat or YuOfOwari22), or you can fill out the contact form here.

Facebook and Twitter

  • We’ll be posting last minute reminders or updates about changes to Facebook and Twitter.

2017 Stats:

295 Wrimos
5608905 Words Written
19013 words written per wrimo
73 People wrote over 50K
31% of the people who wrote at least one word won
5 people wrote over 65K words
A little fun fact (and shameless plug for next year), nearly 60% of those who came to the write-ins won!

Also, we yet again beat our donation record – this time by hitting a whopping $1,495! This amount includes everything (pennies and all) that people put in the TARDIS! Thank you everyone! Great job!

For fun, here again is the list of winners from this year:

A. L. Windsor
A. R. Corabello
Allie Sanders
Cavebound Dragon
Contemplative Cat
Dave Andora
Elliot G Grace
Eric Roath
The Not-so-Evil-Overlord

Whether you won or not, I think everyone put in a great effort and you cannot dispute that we all came out ahead; every word counts!

Well, I hope you all enjoy the fresh snow, have a great holiday season, and a happy new year!

~Courtney aka YuOfOwari22
along with Annette aka Contemplative Cat
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.

The Last Week of NaNo is Upon Us!

The Last Week of NaNo is Upon Us!

Hello NaNoLansing Superwriters,

We’re nearly there! We’ve come so far as a group! With just a few days left, the dreadful Illiterasee are down to one villain remaining! Doc Proc tried to distract us from our course last week with the lure of turkeys, stuffing, and maybe even a wee (or immense) bit of shopping. But ha! With just under 30% of his health remaining, we’ve shown that no matter how yummy the dish or tempting the sale – we shall not be put off indefinitely and our words shall rise again! 

We’ve a few days yet to finally defeat this nefarious foe. Some of you have even reached your 50K goals! Congratulations! Don’t forget though – in order to reap the benefits of your win (or just get that shiny purple bar), you must needs validate your word count. Once you’ve done that, join in the celebrations here!

A few tips for validating:

  • Check the validator against what your word count says; sometimes there is a discrepancy. I always write a few extra, because there did seem to be a difference for me in past years
  • Observe any differences in your time zone or clock from the NaNo servers and take this into account when considering when to validate. Don’t lose your rightful win because of a time misunderstanding. 

For those of us still fighting the good fight, there are still a couple events coming up to help!  

Wednesday 11-29 Virtual Write In
Where: NaNoLansing Chat Room (Access Info here)
When 7:30-9 pm
Host: Your ML YuOfOwari22

Thursday 11-30 Annual Last Blast Get Your Words In Write In
Where: Old Chicago (map)
When: 7pm – Midnight
Host: Your MLs 

To top off what is sure to be our glorious victory (and celebrate the end of another excellent NaNo season), we are of course having our annual Thank Great-Googamooga/Goodness/Golly-gee It’s Over Party (or TGIO for short)! 

TGIO (Thanks Goodness It’s Over) Party! Saturday December 2.
Here’s the grand TGIO Party thread! Check it out for more info!
Where: Okemos Public Library
When: 2 – 5:30 pm
Activities: Potluck, prizes, awards, a white elephant gift exchange and fun!

Please RSVP by December 1st.

Please do remember to RSVP as we like to have special surprises planned for everyone in attendance. 

Additionally, if you are able to offer or are looking for carpool rides to these last few events, please head on over to our carpooling thread and let the group know! 

In the meantime, remember:

  • If you need quick ideas, try out our prompt thread 
  • There’s still time to nominate yourself or a fellow wrimo to receive a shiny halo of strength and determination!
  • There is still time! You can do this!
  • There is *not* time to edit, however. Tell that busy-body inner editor to hit the road until December, and write like the wind!
  • Worst comes to worst, just passive-aggressively take out all your anger and frustration at certain 30-not-31-day-long months in the form of several and varied character rants and rack up some words that way (I certainly cannot attest to the effectiveness of this from personal experience though so don’t ask >.>) 

In any case, keep on writing, friends. You got this! 

Your Mission Control Word Power Commanders,
Courtney aka YuOfOwari22 along with
Annette aka Contemplative Cat

Keep Writing for the Good Fight!

Keep Writing for the Good Fight!

Hello NaNoLansing Superwriters,

Cat here with some inspiration to keep us going.

Together, our amazing efforts have demolished Fear Stryke! Between nearly 34K words we wrote on Thursday at the write in and the astounding 123+K words we wrote Saturday, we left Stryke in a pile of dust and wounded Doc Proc!

But the Illiterasee aren’t done with us yet! Our intel just revealed that Doc Proc aka Doctor Procrastination has a nefarious plan to keep us away from our words. Some of his plans include, spending a little too much time at the grocery store, deluding us into thinking we can’t squeeze out some words while the turkey is cooking, shopping for hours on end on Black Friday without writing, and spending entirely too much time online looking at all of those amazing sales. He is very adapt at tempting us with distractions this time of year, but don’t let him! Our fight for Word Domination is TOO important. We need to be sure that we (and the world) maintain the freedom of creativity and the power of imagination!

Some of our mighty writers have passed the 50K Mark! Well Done! (throws confetti). Please remember that your win is not automatic. You still have to validate your word count. Once you’ve done that, celebrate your win with the rest of us here!

For those who haven’t yet received your stunning purple winner’s bar don’t despair. You still have time and many people have caught up during the Thanksgiving weekend!

Right now, be sure that your time zone is set correctly and then give your novel a test to see if the validator records more, less or the same words as your processor has. It’s painful to come up to last minute only to discover your time zone was off, or your processor is more generous than the validator.

For all of you mighty Superwriters, KEEP WRITING! Use these ideas to forge ahead on this Heroic Journey.

  • Come to our Virtual Write Ins and write up to 6000 words like some of us did!
  • Make your own write in and post about it in our regional thread for others to join in.
  • Carve out time to write where ever you can. 
  • Dictate into your phone with one hand while you stir the gravy with your other hand.
  • Prop your iPad on your knee while you type away standing in line during Black Friday (and gain the secret noveling badge.)
  • Write while the football game and parade are going. Heck add in a story about a family holiday.
  • Take some prompts from our prompt thread and add your own.
  • Nominate yourself or a fellow wrimo to receive a shiny halo of strength and determination.
  • Write about what you’re experiencing.
  • Don’t worry about quality. Now is the times to just crank those words out like a rapid firing machine gun.
  • Commit to celebrating with your fellow super writers at our TGIO Party.
  • And…. Just keep writing!


Here are some events to help you!

Wednesday 11-22
Where: NaNoLansing Chat Room (Access Info here)
When 7:00-9 pm
Host: Your ML YuOfOwari22

Wednesday 11-29
Where: NaNoLansing Chat Room (Access Info here)
When 11 am -1 pm
Host: Your ML YuOfOwari22

Thursday 11-30 Annual Last Blast Get Your Words In Write In
Where: Old Chicago (map)
When: 7pm – Midnight
Host: Your MLs 

TGIO (Thanks Goodness It’s Over) Party! Saturday December 2.
We also have set up a splendid TGIO Party for you!
Where: Okemos Public Library
When: 2 – 5:30 pm
Activities: Potluck, prizes, awards, a white elephant gift exchange and fun!
Please RSVP by December 1st.


So Mighty Superwriters, I leave you with a thought,

Be a Hero and don’t abandon your story! Keep writing!












Until next time,

Your Mission Control Word Power Commanders,

Annette aka Contemplative Cat along with
Courtney aka YuOfOwari22

Week 3 – Mission Update!

Week 3 – Mission Update!

Hello NaNoLansing Superwriters,

This is Yu, from the Owari Branch, with another important update regarding our mission!

Together, our combined words have eliminated both Max Perfect and Lord Bloque! We’re two villains down! Take a moment to virtual high-five your Word Buddies and pat yourselves on the back! Although we’ve been fighting a valiant fight, the battle for Word Domination isn’t over yet!

Week 3 sees us facing off against the villain whom many us of would call our Arch Nemesis – Fear Stryke! This villain snakes his cruel influence into the hearts of even the most steadfast and hardy writers. He makes us all second guess ourselves and doubt whether we can reach our word goals, or if there is even a point to having them. There is! Never doubt that there is! And just like we’ve taken out those other two evildoers, we’ll squash Fear Stryke with the combined weight of our words! We’ve already made some headway (like just over 250,000 words of damage headway!) With the month nearly half over, and Fear Strike already taking damage, we’re well on our way to victory!

Just last week, I succumbed to the Plague that had ravaged my entire department. 5K in the hole, I felt the pressure to keep up and the despair of wondering if I ever would. Regardless, I had to take some time off to take care of myself. Taking time for self-care is essential during NaNo. There were a couple days where I wrote only 50 or 100 words (and I only managed to scrap those together because I’m a gamer completionist who can’t turn away from badges).  But taking the time we need doesn’t mean we’re out of the game!  Once I felt rested, I gathered my friends around me (or rather, simply showed up to the write ins with you lovely folks) and I’m already on my way to getting back on track. Every word we write counts and we can’t let the fear of failure or disappointment get us down!

Need some tips to help you battle through Week 3? How about:

    • Keep writing! That’s right, don’t give up!
    • Follow the prompts in our prompt thread to get more words.
    • Trying switching to a different section or scene in your story. Writing out of order sometimes helps!
    • Attend a write in or three. (List below)
    • Have word wars in Chat NaNo. Collectively, just a few of us reached over 6,000 words at the last virtual write in.
    • Nominate a wrimo or yourself to get a shiny halo of strength and commitment.
    • Keep writing! (It bears repeating)


To help you with this effort, here are the next few write ins that are coming up:

Thursday 11-16 Write In

Where: Old Chicago (map)

When: 7pm – 10pm

Host: Your MLs 

*Heroic Write In*

Saturday 11-18
Where: Okemos Public Library (map)

When: 9 am to 7 pm

Prizes, potluck, coloring sheets, buttons and fun!

Please RSVP here

Please list your potluck items here.

Sunday 11-19
Come Write In
Where: Okemos Public Library (map)

When: Noon to 6 pm

Wednesday 11-22


Where: NaNoLansing Chat Room (Access Info here)

When 7:00-9 pm

Host: Your ML YuOfOwari22


That’s all the update I have today, team! Let’s fight the good fight and bash those baddies with our words! 

Until next time,

Your Mission Control Word Power Commanders,

Courtney aka YuOfOwari22 along with

Annette aka Contemplative Cat

Week 2 Battle Plan

Week 2 Battle Plan


Hello NaNoLansing Superwriters,

This is Cat from Mission Control with an important announcement for you.

Together, our words have crushed Max Perfect and sent him off for the rest of the month! Well done! We couldn’t have done this without our combined efforts. Things are definitely looking up in our battle for Word Domination!

But Week 2 brings with it one of the worst villains of the Illiterasee – Lord Bloque! He has even made his way into Mission Control and I’ve had to battle his forces of evil. Lord Bloque is a tricky fellow. Also known as the Blank Lord of Oblivion and Quantum Unending Existentialism, he sweeps in to make us feel like we couldn’t write a novel if our life depended upon it. The Illiterasee know that we are the most vulnerable to Bloque’s influence during the week 2 slump.

How does he affect us? Let me tell you my story. This morning I looked at my manuscript and wanted to chuck it out the window. I hated my characters, couldn’t find where the story should go and stared at my computer screen for a half hour without typing. Even a word war set up by our friendly bot, Timmy in our regional chatroom couldn’t shake the feeling like it was hopeless. I couldn’t write. Why was I bothering? What was it all for anyway? But then I realized it was Lord Bloque coming to thwart my efforts and I wasn’t going to let him win!

Don’t you let him win either. If you can get through the week 2 blahs, it will get better. This is only the Illiterasee trying to win in the war for Word domination. Together we can kill off this evil villain too. But we have to keep writing!

So what can we do to beat Lord Bloque?


To help you with this effort, we have the following write ins scheduled and invited to.

Thursday 11-09 Write In

Where: Old Chicago (map)
When: 7pm – 10pm
Host: Your MLs

Saturday 11-11
There are TWO choices!

Where: Foster, Swift, Collins & Swift (map)
When: 10 – 2 pm
Host: Alexandria Sure
For more information see this thread.

Midway Madness
Where: R & B Books (map)
When: 10:30-4:30
Host: Flint Red Hots
For more information, see this thread.

Monday 11-13

Where: EL Public Library (map)
When: 10 am to Noon
Host: Your MLs

Where: NaNoLansing Chat Room (Access Info here)
When: 7:30-9 pm
Host: Your MLs

Tuesday 11-14

Where: NaNoLansing Chat Room (Access Info here)
When 7:30-9 pm
Host: Your ML YuOfOwari22

ALSO for a special treat we have:

Heroic Write In

Saturday 11-18
Where: Okemos Public Library (map)
When: 9 am to 7 pm
Prizes, potluck, coloring sheets, buttons and fun!
Please RSVP here
Please list your potluck items here.

Well that’s it for now. Please pull out all your strategies for defeating the dreaded Week 2 slump and Lord Bloque.

Until next time,

Your Mission Control Word Power Commanders,
Annette aka Contemplative Cat along with
Courtney aka YuOfOwari22

Battle Stats and Heroic Efforts

Battle Stats and Heroic Efforts


Hello NaNoLansing SuperWriters!

The Fight For World Domination!

We’ve just received intel that our ferocious word heroes did an amazing job last night at the write in. The Illiterasee’s Evil Villain, Max Perfect, tried to dodge our word bombs, but he wasn’t able to. We slashed his legs with hyperbole and struck his arms with metaphor and the sheer force of our words sent him home to tend to his wounds. We’ve almost won! His hit points are down so low, they are nearly critical! Let’s finish him off NaNoLansing!

The Power of Write Ins!

To help with that, we’re having our Super-Powered Write In tomorrow from 10 am to 4 pm at the Library of Michigan. More information can be found here.

If you are still wanting some writing time – Howell Carnegie District Library – 314 E. Grand River, Howell (map) will be having a Come Write In Sunday November 5th from Noon until 4 pm. They will have coffee, snacks, writing prompts and a quiet space to write.

We’ll also have another NaNoLansing Write In on Thursday Nov 9th at Old Chicago in Okemos (map) from 7 pm to 10 pm.

Become a Hero for NaNoWriMo!

Would you like to be a hero for National Novel Writing Month?

NaNoWriMo is funded mostly by us, the writers who enjoy this wonderful event. Tomorrow is Double Up Donation Day.
For $25, you will be able to receive $50 worth of goodies including a lovely enamel pin. Plus they will have drawings for great prizes every hour from 9 am EST (6 am PST) until 11 pm EST (8 pm PST).

Also, if you don’t have money to donate, we currently have 8 halos available in our Halo Relocation Program. Nominate yourself or someone else to receive one of those shiny golden halos.

We can do it, NaNoLansing! Let’s finish off the evil Max Perfect and the rest of the Illerasee’s evil villains with the power of our words!

Your NaNoLansing Word Power Commanders (aka MLs),
Annette aka Contemplative Cat along with
Courtney aka YuOfOwari22

Happy NaNo Eve!

Happy NaNo Eve!

Greetings NaNoLansing SuperWriters!

We are just hours away from NaNoWriMo! It’s almost here!

If you haven’t heard already, some of our enterprising SuperWriters are meeting up to start the party off right, with a Midnight Start Up! There’s still time to join in; learn more at the thread here.

No matter what time you start writing, we can at least help you get the month started off right – with a Write In! That’s right, our first Write In is this Thursday!

Thursday 11-02 Write In
Where: Old Chicago (map)
When: 7pm – 10pm
What: Cauldrons, camaraderie, and candy! Come get those words in a start the fight for Word Domination off right!

Speaking of Word Domination, we’re hitting the ground running this year with a all-day write-in right off the bat!

Super-powered Write In
Saturday November 4th from 10 am to 4 pm.
Library of Michigan (map)
We will write all day to defeat the evil minions of the Illiterasee. To aid in that effort, we will have word sprints every hour with prizes! Plus we will have a potluck.
For more information, check out this thread.
Please remember to RSVP!

In other news, we’ve a rivalry brewin! Your fellow Wrimos have started a thrilling Marvel vs. DC competition of friendly-yet-epic-wordy-proportions! Join the fight for glory, honor, and Word Domination! Mwuahahaha!


Anyway, hope to see you all soon! Either your shining faces or your shining avatars! 😉

Your fearless MLs,
Courtney (aka YuOfOwari22) along with
Annette (aka Contemplative Cat)

October 19th Workshop Change, Kick Off Info and Misc. Good Stuff

October 19th Workshop Change, Kick Off Info and Misc. Good Stuff

Hello NaNoLansing Wrimos,

We’ve got a few announcements for you today.

Change in our workshop for Thursday 10-19-17
7-9:30 pm – Old Chicago (Group Room) Okemos, MI (map)

The bad news is that Bethany Neal unfortunately had to cancel. She sends her regrets and encouragement to everyone.

The good news is that we are very excited and grateful to be able to announce that Teresa Crumpton has graciously agreed to present a wonderful preparatory workshop – Juiced: Techniques to Power Up Your Creativity. If you saw her earlier this month at CCWA, you’ll know what a great presenter she is.

Thank you Teresa! We’re looking forward to this!

Thursday 10-26-17 Plot In
7-9:30 pm – Old Chicago (Group Room) Okemos, MI (map)

We’ll provide worksheets and a venue for creative brainstorming this night. Whether you are a pantster or detailed planner, come join us as we help each other prepare for NaNo!

Kick Off – Sunday October 29, 2017
2-5 pm – The Avenue Cafe, Lansing, MI (map)

We have our kick off scheduled and it’s going to be a blast with games, a potluck, photo ops and information about our heroic month ahead. For more information you can see our thread here. Right now we need you to rsvp so we can know how many goodie bags to make. Please rsvp here. (Thanks to everyone who has rsvped thus far!)

Also, we have a potluck list going on our thread here. If you can bring something to eat, please sign up here. 

NaNoLansing Regional Forum

If you haven’t done so already, please introduce yourself here. We’d love to get to know you better!

Also – please feel free to start and comment on threads in our regional forum. Want to know how everyone is prepping? Start a thread to ask. Want to know what everyone is writing – post that too. Or anything else you would like to post.

Until next time,
Contemplative Cat (aka Annette) along with YuOfOwari22 (aka Courtney)
Your Municipal Liaisons for NaNoLansing, the Greater Lansing chapter of NaNoWriMo