It’s NaNoWriMo Time!

NaNo-Shield-Logo-WebI’m a day late with this post. To be honest, I didn’t decide until late Wednesday night that I would be participating in NaNoWriMo this year.

I know a lot of you know what NaNoWriMo is, but there are probably a lot who don’t.

November is National Novel Writing Month. It was started in 1999. In 2005, they became a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization.

Here is a little bit about NaNoWriMo (or NaNo for short):

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) believes stories matter. The event began in 1999, and in 2005, National Novel Writing Month became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. NaNoWriMo’s programs now include National Novel Writing Month in November, Camp NaNoWriMo, the Young Writers Program, Come Write In, and the “Now What?” Months.

Last year, NaNo had some pretty impressive numbers.

  • 402,142 participants, including 95,912 students and educators in the Young Writers Program, started the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walked away novelists.

  • 972 volunteer Municipal Liaisons guided 646 regions on six continents.

  • 1,195 libraries, bookstores, and community centers opened their doors to novelists through the Come Write In program.

  • 65,962 Campers tackled a writing project—novel or not—at Camp NaNoWriMo.

And lest you think it’s just a vanity exercise to see if you can do it (50,000 words in one month is a lot for some people and not-so-much for others):

Hundreds of NaNoWriMo novels have been traditionally published. They include Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, Hugh Howey’s Wool, Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Jason Hough’s The Darwin Elevator, and Marissa Meyer’s Cinder.

But, really, this just scratches the surface of all that NaNo is. To learn more about it, I encourage you to visit the site and poke around in the “about” section. If you want to try it, leave your NaNo username in the comments here and I’ll add you as a writing buddy.

I’ll see you tomorrow. I have some writing to do.

Weekend Schedule

Creative Commons via catchingcourage.com
Creative Commons via catchingcourage.com

Earlier, someone on Facebook asked what people’s plans are for the weekend. After I posted, I realized this weekend is fuller than most. It looks to be a good one, though.

As of today, I’m behind on my NaNoWriMo project since I haven’t done any work on it today. I’ll use tomorrow to catch up on today’s words and also add tomorrow’s. I have a writers’ group meeting I’m going to and then an interview with a doctor in the emergency department at the hospital for an article I’m working on for the paper.

What about Sunday?

I’ll do more NaNo writing, go to a baby shower, and go take pictures at a Lego Town building party. It should be fun. Monday will be back to work on more paper stuff, so I’m not going to have any down-time from the weekend. Sometimes that’s not necessary though. Here’s hoping this will be one of those times.

Soundtracks for Writing

What do you have going in the background when you’re writing? Do you prefer silence or do you have the TV or radio/other music source on?

I can write in silence, but more often than not, I prefer to have something on in the background. If it’s not something that annoys me, I actually find that it helps me to focus better.

Why?

When I was growing up and doing homework, my mom was a babysitter. There was always something going on. I got used to working with background noise. That has actually served me well in various jobs. With writing, I tend to have to create my own background noise.

Often, I’ll have the TV on in the background. Sometimes I’ll pay attention to it, but usually it’s just there as white noise.

When I’m writing fiction, though, I will usually turn some music on. My musical preferences are dictated by the current project. For example, with my NaNoWriMo story, I’m listening to a lot of modern rock (especially Shinedown) and some classic country.

I know. Odd combination, right?

But it works for my characters. The heroine listens to modern rock. The hero listens to classic country. (And a couple days ago, I actually found his theme song when it comes to her. “Shameless” by Garth Brooks.)

Feel free to leave a comment. How do you prefer to work? In silence or something in the background? Why or why not?

Welcome to November

Today is more than just the beginning of a new month. It’s also National Author’s Day.

And it’s the beginning of National Novel Writing Month.

In case you’re not familiar with NaNoWriMo (as it’s more commonly called), the idea is to write a rough draft of a novel totaling 50,000 words in 30 days. It started as motivation for those people who say they will write a book “someday.”

Well…

“Someday” is here.

It’s also encouragement for those of us who do write and who do have novels written to dust off the idea for the next book and get going on that.

That’s where it’s relevant to me.

A couple years ago, I wrote Navajo Rose (under the pen name of Kat O’Reilly). My sister-in-law asked where the next book was. I said there wasn’t a next book because it’s a stand-alone. She insisted that another character needed her own book.

I thought about it and decided she was right. A couple days ago, I finally found the inspiration for the hero. So I started it last night/this morning at midnight.

I’ll update about my NaNoWriMo progress every Saturday through the month. In the meantime, are you participating in NaNo? What are you working on?

Q&A with Angela Drake

From her Amazon Author Page:

Angela Drake believes in happy endings, the magic of ‘what if’ and in second chances. When not living vicariously through her characters, Angela writes about and promotes Texas and classic country music. She is an active member of two local writer’s organizations. Angela enjoys time with her granddaughters, gardening, journaling, and a myriad of artistic pursuits. She shares a home in the Ozarks with her husband, three dogs and two cats. She loves networking with readers and writers through her Facebook, twitter and blog.

Today we are fortunate to have Angela on the blog for her new book, Somewhere Down the Line, published by Boroughs Publishing Group. She took the time from her promotion efforts to answer a few questions for us.

What was your process during the writing of Somewhere Down the Line?
I wrote Somewhere Down the Line during NanoWriMo 2012… in 18 days!

I immersed myself in music by the band who inspired the story, including the title track. I cruised the internet and found THE house on Galveston Bay. If I had a cool million Dollars to toss around, that house would be mine. LOL

How did you decide on a publisher to submit it to?
Serendipity played a big roll. I didn’t write Somewhere Down the Line with the intent of seeing publication. This was just one of those stories I had to write based on an idea that would not turn loose. One of those ‘what if’ things that came about during a situation. That was in Nov. 2012. In the spring of 2013, Boroughs Publishing Group offered up a contest called ‘What’s In A Name?’. The story had to be based on a song title. I had one! The clincher was that Chris Keesler is the Editor In Chief of Boroughs. I have admired Chris for years. This was my chance to work with my dream editor. I wound up being one of the three top finalists, guaranteeing a contract for my novella.

New Somewhere Down the Line_coverAfter it was accepted, what was the process of getting to publication?
I went from six months without a budge to from edits to publication in under 5 weeks. I have Chris Keesler to thank for jumping into my corner and taking the lead. Sometimes you have to speak up when something doesn’t feel right.

Is this part of a series or does it stand alone?
Somewhere Down the Line is a stand-alone. However, through the process I have found a way to combine my one true passion, music, with writing stories. So there will be more books with a song title theme and/ or music settings.

What’s next?
I have two projects in progress. One is to figure out why my first completed work hasn’t seen publication yet (though it did get ‘The Call’ once). I’ve changed the title to A Christmas to Remember (Dolly Parton song) and see if I can’t move this one out the door.

My new project is about a fireman in New England, a widow with a young son and exploring the history of ‘Field Days’.

Visit Angela’s blog by clicking her picture above. You can buy Somewhere Down the Line on Amazon.

You can also find her at:
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