It’s Official

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I lost NaNoWrimo this year.

I got about 26,000 words written and that in itself was a fricking miracle.

23,867 words on November 27. I think it’s safe to say that I will not be winning NaNo this year. But I am going to finish. I have written every day. I do have a viable project that I can continue to work on in tiny bites over the next howeverlongittakes.

It’s a time-travelling lesbian romance and it’s delighting the crap out of me so… yeah, I’m gonna keep working on it. In my own time. Because that’s what it means to be a hobby novelist.

A snippet, if you will:

“You’re weird. I like that,” Jillary laughed. It was only to mask a sinking sensation one gets when the mysteries of the universe interrupt the course of everyday banality, like when you witness a car accident or hear of someone close to you dying unexpectedly. 


“Yeah, but I’m serious. I saw you and me right here on the couch. You unzipped my fly and I asked you to stop. I saw it just exactly like it happened.”


“Mmhm,” Jillary said skeptically. She forced a smile, assuming that that feeling had everything to do with discovering the she and her new companion may not, in fact, be living on the same level of reality. “What happened after that?” 


“Uh… nothing. Then I was back here and you were over… there somewhere,” she said pointing toward the bedroom. “And now we’re here, I guess.”


“Mmm, adorable. So I think it’s time to go to the ER.”


Happy NaNo, writer friends. May you all be content with what you’ve produced this year regardless of the outcome!

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This is the first image that came up when I searched “time travel” and I just… sure, ok. Photo by Sebastian Voortman on




Giving Hope to the Next Gen of Writers

I had a student today–in the physically-oriented after school-type activity I teach–give, as an example of resolve, this (paraphrased) answer:

“You have to decide that you keep wanting to do something even when it’s hard or like, when you’re writing a story and you get writer’s block, you have to keep going. You can’t just stop because it’s hard because you decided to wanted to do this so you just gotta do it.”

“My friend,” I said, “are you a writer?”

“No!” he responded. “No, not really. I mean, I’m sorta writing a book. I’m trying to. But I’m not like… a real writer.”

“HOLD UP!” I said, “If you write and you take it seriously, you are a writer. If you are resolved to write a book and you are fighting through writer’s block, you are a writer. You don’t have to a successful author to be a writer. You don’t have to make money off of your writing. You don’t even have to be an adult [fyi: this is a teen]. And you don’t have to wait for me or anyone else to tell you what you are. If you write, you’re a writer if that’s what you want to be. Own it. Name it. Be it!”

Friends who follow this blog, especially those struggling through NaNo like I am, don’t read those goddamn memes on Twitter about what makes you a real writer. No such thing. If you write, you’re a writer if that’s what you want to be.

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I’m Good Enough, Smart Enough, But I Do Not Have the Capacity For All This

I haven’t had a single day since the first two of the month where I met my word count. I’m pretty significantly behind. BUT, I’ve been writing every day and that feels pretty good.

This isn’t just my annual declaration that I’m probably going to lose to mitigate the disappointment I feel in case I do before pulling off some amazing feat of overnight writing late in the game that puts me over the top. This is me accepting that my life is too busy right now to dedicate the full amount of attention and energy needed to accomplish 50,000 words.

I AM going to lose NaNoWriMo this year and this is my attempt to make myself accept that. I am participating. I am writing every day. I’m working on a WIP I like and want to tell. And that’s the best it’s going to get this year.


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Photo by Shamia Casiano on

Girls Who Let It Go

It’s been a tough-to-get-going kind of month this… year, actually but I’m finally making some progress with my NaNoWriMo 2018 project!

You know when you get to the end of a story and you’re like, WAIT… what actually happened? Does this ending make sense? Did I contradict myself a few too many times? And when I’m writing with a deadline, the answers are No Idea, Not at ALL, and Absolutely. So down into the editing hole I go with a flashlight, some note cards, and a big ole red pen.

I’m not entirely unhappy with what I’m finding down here either. I am absolutely in love with my 13-year-old character, Amerie:

“Mara, I know we just met,” Amerie said in an excellent impression of maturity belied only by her sparkly rainbow journal cover. “But you have to know this about me: I am a feminist and I know some people are like, ‘feminists are terrible’ but it’s not true. Beyonce is a feminist and she’s like, American royalty.”


“Agreed,” I said because… truth. Beyonce is a queen. And if a girl’s gonna choose a role model, she could hardly do any better.


“So I’m not like, actually about to let a boy change who I am. I’ve seen Frozen.”


I hadn’t. So I … really didn’t understand the reference. Touche, child. Touche.

Here’s a little secret about this entire piece: Amerie is the hero.

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It’s NaNoYoBusiness

Yes, today is the last day of NaNo and yes, I should be focused on that but instead, I’m thinking about How To Walk, as taught by a college professor of mine.

You must walk with your chest or hips leading. You must hold your chin up, keep your back straight. You must keep your eyes up and make eye contact with the people you pass. This is what confidence looks like and you MUST project confidence.

Ok, but… must I? Must strangers know that I am CONFIDENT or can I just BE confident and not care what strangers think? Must I make eye contact or can I just ignore most of the people I pass because what the hell do I care what they’re doing? Must I keep my eyes up because I’m nearsighted and I do not wear my glasses so, for real, I need to look down a lot so I don’t trip.

Must I project confidence? Because I’d rather project LEAVE ME ALONE, I’M NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.

This train of thought brought to you by The Extroverts Ain’t Always Right, Just Loud Awareness Campaign.

Now let’s go quietly be confident that I’m going to win Nanowrimo 2018 because that’s for me, ya’ll. I write for me.

NaNo Freaking Problem, Ya’ll

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Photo by Pixabay on

I’m not counting my chickens or anything but there’s two days left of NaNoWriMo and my wordcount is 48,385.

So. You know. I’m feeling a little…. INVINCIBLE!

You can’t stop me, life! You can’t slow ME down, priorities! You can’t– oh wait, both kids pooped and it’s almost dinner time and I have to bring the boy to karate in an hour? Right. So… I’m occasionally vincible. That’s ok.



There are certain drawbacks to being a pantser. For instance, I just discovered what a total douche one of my main characters is and now I’m like, LET’S JUST SCRAP THE WHOLE THING because this isn’t working out the way I thought it would.

There are certain benefits to being a pantser. Now this character is intentionally a douche bag and there will be consequences for his actions. I don’t know what they are yet, but I look forward to seeing his comeuppance.

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