Archives: 2007 NaNo

A nice realization

January 14, 2008 | 5:15 PM

I've always respected the fact that stuff must be cut in the editing process. Even if you fell in love with it when you were writing it--and especially if you didn't--some things just must go. They don't add to the story. They actually detract from the story. They just don't fit in the story as well as they should.

And, no matter how painful it is, you must cut.

I haven't done a lot of this, despite the fact that I know it is a fact of a writer's life.

But I am editing my 2007 piece now, and I am cutting a lot. Some of it I don't like, so it's easy. Some of it I do like, and it's harder. But it doesn't fit.

I feel more like a "real" writer now.

Another NaNo comes to an end...

December 1, 2007 | 12:15 AM

So, here I am, surrounded by Wrimos from the Michigan::Flint and Michigan::Tri-Cities at our joint Final Fandango Write-In. I finished my novel with 14 minutes to spare. I *would* have been done a lot sooner, but the first hour or so was spent with me and two of the guys from the Tri-Cities Region (the Flintstones weren't scheduled to show up until two hours after us Tridgies began, so it was just our region) decided that it was more fun to use YouTube to watch every funny commercial we could ever remember seeing. Which of course led to comedy routines on YouTube. I was laughing so hard I had tears running down my face, but not a lot of words got written during that time. *g*

I also wrote *precisely* 5,000 words today (well, technically yesterday since it is after midnight). Which I think is cool. To end on such a round number. We just called Chris Baty and expressed our appreciation for this wonderful experience. And there was some silliness expressed, too. ;)

And, as I finished the novel, I finished earning my tenth and last badge. It is the Random Ending Badge, which is earned by writing a "gleefully left-field or completely nonsensical ending." And I went for the gusto. My gleefulness is on steroids. I am so thrilled with how far out of left field this ending came. Heh. Oh, and it also completed a Municipal Liaison dare AND our regional bagel dare. And I plundered more real live events. All-in-all (I can use hyphens again--the month is over!), it was a most delicious and gratifying epilogue.

Random Ending Badge

All in all, despite the lack of motivation for the first two weeks, the second half of NaNo treated me well, and I am very excited about that.

Thanks for another wild ride, Chris Baty.

Two Badges Earned Along the Way

November 30, 2007 | 9:29 AM

So, I actually earned both of these badges a while ago, and just never updated over here. Oops!

The first is the Creative Nonfiction Badge, which is earned by either plundering overheard dialogue and real-life events for novel material or placing barely disguised friends and family members into your novel as characters. Last Sunday or Monday (I think Monday), I needed Honey to open a fortune cookie and receive a fortune that was prophetic. I made it up. Then, not 30 minutes later, I opened a bottle of Jones Soda that had a little saying in the cap. And that phrase was perfectly perfect for the fortune I needed! So, I went back and changed the fortune I had created to the one I had just opened on the inside of the Jones Soda cap! I was so thrilled!

Creative Nonfiction Badge

The other is the Eureka Moment Badge, which is earned by experiencing that "aha!" moment when a major plot issue is resolved, and your story comes together. Actually, I've had three of these moments during the last week and a half, as thoughts come to me that really help tie this story together! It's been very exciting. And two of them center around Dan and have inspired the idea for the next story in the Gethsemane universe--which will be about Dan. I am pretty freakin' excited!

Eureka Moment Badge

Just one more badge to go, and I know exactly how I am going to earn it. I will be earning it tonight at the Final Fandango Write-In that the [Michigan::Flint] and [Michigan::Tri-Cities] regions are holding together tonight at the Flint ML's house. can't wait! Mwa ha ha!

Coming from behind...

November 27, 2007 | 10:28 PM

I was behind all month, but the last couple of days I finally got to write the crux of the story where really starts to unfold after all of the descriptions of the feelings that have led up to this point. And it has flowed! I still have three more pivotal scenes to write and a little bit of a conclusion, but as of 2.5 hours ago, I hit my fifth NaNo win. *sighs with relief and pleasure*

There were times I doubted I was going to get to this point, but once I laid the groundwork for the story, it got easier. Not for the characters, but for me. :)

And in so doing, I won the NaNoWriMo Victory Badge by "writing a 50,000-word novel, from scratch, in thirty days."

NaNoWriMo Victory

Love those word wars!

November 26, 2007 | 9:45 PM

So, I decided to blow NaNo off today. It's November. I am depressed. I am always depressed in November (I hate fall!), but there's been a lot of other things going on this year that I have not had to deal with in other years that are making me more depressed lately.

So, I decided that I was allowed to blow off NaNo and play a video game. And I am not a video game kind of person! Well, I turned on the computer to turn off my brain (video games do that to me), and decided that I just couldn't not write.

So, I headed to the NaNo forums and went to the 15 minute word war thread in the Word Wars, Sprints & Prompts forum.

And now, less than an hour later, I have written 2030 words for the day and am more than two days ahead of the minimum word count goal. Yay!

Without the word wars, I write at a pace of about 1000 words an hour. I get distracted. I research things. I use a thesaurus. Basically, my inner editor does NOT stop working.

My average number of words in a 15-minute word war is about 830 or so (I may go find all of my posts and do an average). I usually do end the 15 minutes with between 830-860 words, my low being somewhere in the upper 600s (I can't remember) and my high word count for 15 minutes was 975. That's basically my usual word count for an hour done in 15 minutes! That happened yesterday at a write-in (there were witnesses, lol!) while I was writing a pivotal scene between Dan and Honey. It was one of two pivotal scenes I have been working up to since Word One.

Anyway, the only reason I am where I am right now is because of the word wards, and I am sooooo grateful to them. It's the only way that I can turn off my inner editor and just Write, with a capital W.


November 25, 2007 | 10:14 AM

Yesterday, my car rolled over 40404 and I happened to notice it. Later that night, I was going to stop writing for the night. My word count? 40404. Spooky! *g*

Oh, and as of yesterday (another 5K day!), I am caught up to where I am supposed to be for the first time since November 1. Yay!

Another day, another badge

November 20, 2007 | 7:29 PM

I did it! Yesterday, I had my first 5,000 word day since the 2003 NaNo. It got me way back on track and helped me earn my latest badge, the Rally Merit Badge. To earn that one you must write 5,000 words in one day or make up a 10,000 word deficit.

The 15-minute word wars are helping me soooooo much!

Rally Badge


November 14, 2007 | 5:24 PM

How am I supposed to keep something so beautiful, so inspiring under wraps!??!!?!? If I thought more than two people read this blog (Hi, Susan and Leigh!), I wouldn't even say that, but I have to say SOMETHING!!!! ACK!

And, yes, as a result given the horrific day I've had, I decided I deserved a day of wallowing in self pity with no pressure to write, no matter how far behind I am, but as a result of my steadfast friend Susan and the NaNo pep talk I just received, I am soooooo off to do some word wars and sprints!

20K words!!!! Here I come!!!!!!!!!!!!

It seemed like now or never...

November 14, 2007 | 10:59 AM

So, one of the badges is the Secret Noveling Badge, where you must "novel while at work, school, or any other place you're supposed to be doing something besides noveling."

I have been very good this year. I have not noveled once while I was supposed to be working. A lot of that is because of apathy toward writing and not any great loyalty to my employer. Plus, I was working hard on a project and figured I had lots of time to secretly novel. Well, I just found out that when I finish the part of the project I am working on (which will be within about the next hour), the hours for the project have been cut, and I am basically unemployed until December 1, unless they can find me another project (which I hope they can!). Finance worries aside, the more pressing NaNo issue is that this morning may be my last chance to secretly novel. So, when I was supposed to be putting the finishing touches on the project, I did a 10 minute word sprint and churned out 510 words.

And thus earned my latest badge.

Secret Noveling Badge

Holy crap!

November 12, 2007 | 7:54 PM

I've found my new motivation! (Thank God, because I was starting to panic!)

I've participated in regional word wars before, but in five years I've never participated in an individual word war or sprint, despite the fact that there is a whole forum dedicated to them.

Feeling desperate, I headed over to the forum to challenge someone to a word war. Well, there was already a thread set up for 15 minute word wars. So, I jumped in. In the first 15 minute word war, I wrote 679 words. And they are some of the most honest words I have written all month. In the second one, I wrote 789 words. Just two 15 minute increments, and I am almost all the way to the normal daily goal of 1667! Insane!

And, even though I have *thought* I got the whole idea of NaNo for the last four years (silencing your inner editor), only having to write 1667 words a day, for me at least, still allows that inner editor to reign (like going back and adding italics to thoughts or using the MS Word thesaurus for the perfect word or researching exactly what it is I am trying to say). Well, when you're trying to write as many words as you can in a really short amount of time, that truly DOES go out the window. And the words really DO flow. And who cares that I can't find the right name for that little window thing with the shelf that cooks put the food on when they want the waitresses to take it out? I just described it as best I could, and later, it will be finessed.

Now, NaNo is real to me.

And, hey, Dan, that perfect "10" day we talked about? I am pretty close to feeling that way, right now! *g*

Warm and fuzzy

November 12, 2007 | 6:12 PM

Every year I get at least one NaNoMail from someone who has seen my username or my website address and realizes that I am a big fan of the X-Files and Trixie Belden (the latter always shocks me) and contacts me. I love having those dialogues! I got that NaNoMail today from someone who recognized my username AND the title of my novel as XF inspired. See, it pays to be unoriginal inspired by your favorite things!


November 11, 2007 | 8:01 PM

I sat down to write more than 3.5 hours ago. Have I even written one word?



Caffeine Junky

November 11, 2007 | 7:32 PM

Well, I think I definitely earned the Caffeine Abuse Badge, because I have "consumed dangerous amounts of cofee, tea, or caffeinated soda in my quest for 50K." Not only do I drink a gallon of iced tea a day (which, truthfully, I do whether I am noveling or not) and three or four cups of hot tea a day (which, truthfully, is more because my furnace isn't working properly and it's cold!), I always get two chai lattes in whatever size is the largest (depending on which coffee house that's a venti, triple, 24 oz., or 20 oz. The coffee houses that have you order them by the oz. lack creativity.) while I am at the write-in and/or KO party. This morning, I drank my chai latte on an empty stomach (because my bagel had caught fire in the "haunted" toaster--long story, but needless to say, a haunted bagel toasting machine will be in my novel) and had the caffeine shakes even as I went to the counter to order the second one. So, seeing as how I have consumed more chai tea lattes in the last week and a half than I have in the rest of my life combined, I hereby proclaim myself a caffeine abuser.

Caffeine Abuse Badge

Procastination, thy name is Merit Badge

November 10, 2007 | 10:09 AM

So, thanks to an unexpected overnight guest on Thursday (and then again on Friday, which I didn't know about either until he just didn't leave *sigh*), I didn't get any writing done on Thursday, because I had to clean my house instead, including changing the sheets on the guest room bed and cleaning the gust bathroom, which I wouldn't have to do had it not been an overnight guest. Hey, I got a whole three hours notice this time, which is way more than I usually get when Matt's family decides to come over.

Anyway, to earn the Procrastination Badge, you have to do one of the following things: (1) Skip writing for more than three days in a row. (2) Spend more than 30 cumulative hours during the month on the NaNoWriMo forums (which is how I thought I would earn this, so I've been keeping tabs of my forum time in my word count spreadsheet). (3) Clean your home instead of working on your novel.

Which is what I did on Thursday. And what sucks is that I was secretly relieved to have something to do other than write my novel. *sigh* Matt did say, when he called at 4:30 to let me know that his dad was coming to spend the night, that he would clean before his dad got there at 9 pm or so. I decided that cleaning sounded more fun than forcing myself to write, so I did. And it's a good thing, too, because Matt's dad walked in the door at 6:30, not 5 minutes after Matt got home from work.

Although, now that I am done editing most of the fanfic that people have been sending me (except for one outstanding chapter), I am hoping to focus more on writing. I've spent at least an hour editing fanfic literally every day this last week for people, so that has been taking up time that I could have been writing. Hopefully, once I get the last chapter of editing out of the way, I'll be able to focus on writing more on my own fanfic. Which most definitely will not be edited until after NaNo, because it is going to need a LOT of work before it's even ready for editing, let alone posting!

Procrastination Badge


November 7, 2007 | 5:45 PM

Every day I wait until the last minute to write, because I really don't feel like it. I've managed to make myself write a little bit each day (except for the day I left at 6 in the morning and didn't get back until 10 at night), so I am not that far behind on my word count, but it's been a daily struggle. Once I force myself to write, it's usually not that bad, but when the next day rolls around, I really don't want to write again. And I have to force myself again. Meh.

Does it surprise anyone?

November 2, 2007 | 7:40 AM

Of course, I earned the Word Count Padding badge on the first day of NaNo! I excel at Word Count Padding! *g*

To earn the Word Count Padding Badge you must: (1) quote song lyrics or other books in your novel, (2) have a stuttering or triple-named character, (3) write out contractions, or (4) introduce unneeded dream sequences or hallucinations.

I paraphrased a chemistry book, but I would have done that anyway and had forgotten that was a way to earn the badge to begin with.

Of course, I write out contractions!

And I referred to Jim as "James Winthrop Frayne the Second" when Jim would have sufficed (but I only did that once instead of the multiple opportunities I had) and Uncle James as "Great Uncle James Winthrop Frayne the First." I am on a roll!!!! *g*

Oh, and I earned the NaNo Socializing Badge again for hosting a write-in. *g*

Word Count Padding Badge

Counting Down

October 31, 2007 | 8:17 PM

Here was my inspirational email to my regional Wrimos. I hope it is, in fact, inspirational.

[NaNoWriMo: Michigan::Tri-Cities] Ready, set, WRITE!

Hello Fellow Wrimos!

We are but a few hours away from a glorious November...I can feel it! Right now in some parts of the world and soon in ours, thousands upon thousands of people are or will be sitting down and letting their creative juices flow. With all of that creativity flowing out into the world, we can't help but be inspired. It doesn't matter if you have no clue what you're going to write or if you're armed to the teeth with outlines, character sketches, or that little thing we call a plot, sit, take a deep breath, and inhale all of that creativity. Let it fill you! You can do this!

Like E.L. Doctorow once said, "Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way."

We can make the whole trip that way, and we will! Whether we write 50 words or 50,000, we're winners because we contributed to that flow of creativity.

Get ready, get set...WRITE!

Have a great November everybody!

aka pipermaru
Michigan::Tri-Cities Municipal Liaison

Earning my first badge!

October 30, 2007 | 6:27 PM

So, I was going to make a lovely post with pictures of all 10 of the badges that I scanned in along with descriptions of each of them. But life happened (in the form of no sleep and several 13+ hour days in a row), and the badge post didn't.

On Sunday, however, I earned the NaNo Socializing badge! The requirements were to: (1) Drag a family member or friend into NaNoWriMo, (2) Take part in a word-war with an online NaNo buddy, or (3) attend a NaNo KO party, write-in, or TGIO party.

I hosted a KO party, so I have opened season on the badge earning! *g* Ten of us met up at the cafe inside a Barnes and Noble and had a *lot* of fun! This is a really great group, and I am looking forward to seeing them more at write-ins!

NaNo Socializing Badge

Total Geek

October 13, 2007 | 6:47 PM

I got my t-shirt and my merit badges today! I can't wait until November when I start "earning" these suckers! Some I do already (word count padding: no contractions and triple-named characters) and some will be a challenge (procrastination: go three days without writing, spend 30 cumulative hours on the forum during the month, or clean the house instead of writing. I *hate* cleaning the house and the thought of going three days without writing terrifies me! How will I catch up!).

I plan on coming back here and giving more details about the badges, but I just had an insane busy day and want to go chill. But I was too excited about my badges not to blog about them as soon as I got them!

Alas, I lied!

October 11, 2007 | 9:50 AM

When I said I generally completed all of the items Chris mentioned in the description for the merit badges (secretly noveling while at work or school, padding your word-count through nefarious means, experiencing a 5000-word day, abusing caffeinated beverages, and, ultimately, reaching 50K.)--I don't!

I just looked back at all of my NaNo spreadsheets for 2004, 2005, and 2006, the best I've done is 4,969 in one day--and that was way back in 2004. I'm sure I must have done 5K in one day back in 2003, but I wasn't keeping a spreadsheet back then. That was the year I started on November 3, took November 4 off, and then wrote 64K by November 24.

Anyway, Chris seems to think the merit badges will sell out quickly because of the quantities available, so even though I was on the fence about ordering them because, dude, they cost more than a t-shirt and are not the slightest bit practical, once I heard they may sell out and they're difficult to get back in stock, I ordered them.

So, me being me, must earn them all. So, at some point next month I need a 5K day. *gulp*

So cool!

October 9, 2007 | 9:19 AM

As the Girl Scout who earned more badges than the rest of her troop combined (well, almost *g*--I did earn every badge except for three; my vest was covered; yes, I am a geek), these NaNo merit badges appeal to me muchly! Of the ones he mentions specifically in the description, I earn them all every year, except for the abusing caffeinated beverages, but I could easily do that too!!!!

Me want!

It starts!

October 2, 2007 | 10:46 AM

The NaNo site has relaunched, and I've been over there poking around and discovering what's new with the new site. I always get so excited when the new site launches at the beginning of October every year!

I still haven't gotten my info about being an ML, and there is no regional lounge for the Tri-Cities, which is what I am supposed to be moderating, so I will try to be patient until that gets up and running. But I just want to start ML-ing! Taking polls about where the KO party and write-ins should be! I did some research as to the best places to have write-ins during November, so we'll see how that goes, since this area is pretty spread out.

No Paneras in this area, which bums me out--it's my favorite place to go write and use the free WiFi. :(

A plot forms

September 22, 2007 | 1:07 AM

Last night, I couldn't sleep. Okay, I've been an insomniac since age 7. Every night I can't sleep. But last night the realization that NaNo '07 is just around the corner hit.


And then I couldn't sleep because I was lying awake terrified that I would not have anything to write come November 1. I tried and tried to think of a plot, but that was a dismal failure. As I knew it would be. Writing, for me, will not be forced.

So, tonight I am in the car, listening to music, driving over the Saginaw River (well, I was in the passenger seat, hubby was driving), and suddenly, I knew what I would be writing about in November.

Thank goodness!

Excited but nervous!

September 13, 2007 | 8:51 AM

So, I applied to be a Municipal Liaison, and I was just accepted! So, in addition to the NaNo craziness, I will have even more responsibilities.

I had an *awesome* ML when I lived in DC. She was tireless in planning events and getting media coverage--in the Washington Post, no less. I would like to honor her (she lost her fight with cancer a few months ago), and I hope that I can be half as good an ML as she was.

When I moved to Michigan, I realized that the region that I moved to isn't even an official NaNo region, despite the fact that there are a lot of colleges in the area and there were a lot of participants last year. Well, I couldn't be regionless! So, I applied to create a Tri-Cities of Michigan region and be the ML, and I just found out that my application was accepted.

So, um, *gulp*!

All righty then!

September 7, 2007 | 8:15 PM

The blog is up and running for NaNo '07. Whoo hoo!

Getting the blog ready for '07

September 5, 2007 | 12:39 PM

Thanks to HostRocket deleting my entire site on the last day of NaNo '06 before I had a chance to back-up the blog, all 2006 entries are missing. :( But 2003, 2004, and 2005 are all present and accounted for. In the weeks leading up to NaNo, this will evolve into a blog fit for the public to see.

Greetings From NaNoWriMo

Camp NaNoWriMo Founding Donor


2011 Participant

2011 Municipal Liaison
NaNoName: pipermaru
Also known as: Dana

2011 NaNo Novel:
Who knows?


Download Erik Benson's NaNo Report Card in .xls format
Updated for 2011 by Dana

Past NaNovels

2010 Winner
Untitled Supernatural Mystery
Final Word Count: 52,769

2009 Winner
Gethsemane Redux
Final Word Count: 52,256

2008 Winner
Circle of Six
Final Word Count: 63,211

2007 Winner
Basic Chemistry
Final Word Count: 56,093

2006 Winner
Trixie Belden and the Mystery at Turtle Cove
Final Word Count: 50,773

2005 Winner
Final Word Count: 50,724

2004 Winner
Beneath the Surface
Final Word Count: 51,021

2003 Winner
House of Cards
Final Word Count: 63,789