Wednesday, November 26, 2008




Yesterday, I crossed the finish line in the NaNoWriMo challenge!

50,124 words written in 25 days.

The novel has a decent beginning and a reasonable end. The middle....well, let's just say that Indiana Jones with a map, a native guide, and a GPS couldn't find his way through there. That's okay, it is fixable. Nora Roberts says you can't fix a blank page. My pages are NOT blank. How cool is that?

I told someone else that this is a bit like having a baby. The little critter is here, but the work is not at an end. The book still needs lots of nurturing and raising.

But it's there. A story. That's the coolest part of this.

I have created.

I'm feeling a bit Wonder Womanish these days! Can you tell?

Wild, reckless, rough, rustic...the journey was often stressful, insane, and very exhilarating. I learned things about my creative abilities I don't know I could have learned any other way....and I've been a professional creative soul most of my adult life. That's saying a lot.

Whatever you create with, how ever you create....take a it with ABANDON and JOY!


Friday, November 7, 2008

The Wild Ride


Things I've learned from a week of NaNo writing.

1. Deadlines and goals are good things.

2. I can set aside time to write. The key is DOING it.

3. First drafts can be wonky. In fact, they should be.

4. Having friends along for the journey is the best part.

5. I'm ravenous after a writing session. Having healthy snacks available is imperative. Leftover Halloween candy is dangerous.

6. Two thousand words a day no longer seems like a lot.

I don't know how these lessons will translate into my other creative pursuits, but I'm anxious to find out.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Write Your Own Epitaph Day


Yesterday, November 2nd was Write Your Own Epitaph day.

Did that one slip past you?
Why wait for your heirs to inscribe your stone? You can save them the hassle and get exactly what you want.

Take examples of from John Yeast, who said on his tombstone...Pardon me for not rising.

What quirky, fun, serious, or creative phrase would you put on your stone?

When I was a professional photographer, I used to tell folks I would have "Just One More" put on my tombstone because I was always saying that to my clients.

A young Ben Franklin once penned a proposed epitaph for himself. It is lyrical and amusing, but never actually used. That's too bad because I like it a lot.

The body of B. Franklin, Printer
(Like the Cover of an Old Book
Its Contents torn Out
And Stript of its Lettering and Gilding)
Lies Here, Food for Worms.
But, the Work shall not be Lost;
For it will (as he Believ'd)
Appear once More
In a New and More Elegant Edition
Revised and Corrected By the Author.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


It's contagious. A rampant virus is sweeping the world causing glazed eyes, aching wrists, numb posteriors, and exploding brains. And I've come down with it.

What's it called?


Or for those who don't speak abbreviations ~ The National Novel Writing Month.

For the month of November, participates go more than a little nuts with their writing. The goal is 50,000 words in 30 days. In other words, its all about quantity, not quality.

It's all about locking up your internal editor and writing with glee, ignoring bad grammar, ignoring all those icky writing 'rules' and even ignoring glaring plot holes. Writing, writing, writing. Dumping a tangle of nouns, verbs, and adjectives on the pages and sorting them out not at all.

As an exercise in pure creativity, NaNo excels. Writers push past the editorial guards at the gates of our minds and into the rare air of sheer fun creativity.

I read recently about studies done on patients with frontal lobe damage to their brains. That's the part of your brain that shuts down your stupid factor. As in 'no, you do not want to jump off the house, on to the trampoline, and into the pool'--kinda thing. It seems this part of the brain also judges your creative efforts as you do them. And it's a harsh critic. We learn too young to tone down our impulses in order to fit in to society.

Strikingly enough, studies showed that if the frontal lobe is damaged, often the person shows vast leaps in creative endeavors. Painting, music, art of all kinds. They lose many of their inhibitions, too. Dancing in the streets, anyone?

The NaNo project is designed to totally circumvent your frontal lobe. Writers are invited to send their internal editor to the NaNo kennels for the duration. Writers are urged to wear silly hats while they write. To follow wordly rabbit trails. To eat outrageous amounts of chocolate and consume gallons of coffee. To skip showering, housekeeping, and all social engagements. All in the name of writing.

The madness continues for a month.

How can you kick your own creativity in gear if you are not a NaNowriter?

Be a NaNo...whatever. Potter, quilter, gardener......

I saw a lovely photo of a "NaNo" style garden last spring. The gardener had opened one of those cans of wildflower garden seeds you see at the garden center. She had cast them with abandon in a vacant side yard and watered a bit.

The photo she showed was i n c r e d i b l e. Riotous blooms in all sizes, shapes, and colors. The garden broke every rule of gardening, and it was awesome.

So...for the month of November....

Send your internal editor to the kennel to keep mine company.

Work fast.

Break some rules.

Do exactly what pleases your heart.

Join me this month in creating with ABANDON. Let loose the reins and have a blast!

My word count today....3,078. Yay!