November 2007 Archives

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

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