Tag Archives: nanowrimo

5 minutes


reflect on this year and manifest what’s next

5 Minutes. Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010.

Busy activism, yoga, turmoil, shock, betrayal, absence of step-kids, fear, doubt, goodbye Connecticut, anger, dark cloud, illness, climbing out, acupuncture, resignation, doubt, so long Big Kitty, disappointments, busy activism, hello mountain biking, challenge, fun, goodbye yoga, hello garden, hello ladders and paint, vegan podcasts constant voices in my head, busy activism, NaNoWriMo, NaBloPoMo, fear, doubt, farewell Deimos, hello writing, radio show.

Details… and more…


What I’ve learned from NaNoWriMo & NaBloPoMo


National Blog Posting Month badge

NaNoWriMo 2010 Winner

What I’ve learned from obsessively writing for participating in NaNoWriMo & NaBloPoMo during the month of November, 2010:


  • It’s OK to do something goofy and impossible sounding once in a while.
  • It’s not a good idea to do both NaNoWriMo & NaBloPoMo at the same time. (Even though I completed both!) That being said, though, it was sometimes refreshing to take an idea that I had meandered on about four hours, and have to distill it down for a public blog post.
  • Writing is a habit I’ve missed.
  • Writing brings up painful things. Which is why, although I had kept journals almost since I’d learned to write, I gave it up for a number of years after my mom died.
  • Writing can get you through tough times. I could have just quit and disappeared into my grief when Deimos grew sick and died this month. Instead, I was able to work through it much better than in February when I lost my friend Connecticut. Why did I ever deny myself this outlet?
  • When you do too many things at once, something has got to give. What I didn’t let give, was eating well and getting regular exercise. However, I had to dial back my volunteer advocacy efforts just a little, while still helping the major events to go smoothly. (Less meetings, a little less time at the studio.) And it’s nice to have an understanding hubby who picks up some of the slack around the house.
  • Write in the morning before work, and before the day gets away from you. Even if you’re not a morning person.
  • Girl looks up from coloring

  • Write way more daily at the beginning of the month than you think you need to. I thought I did this, but it wasn’t enough. I hit a distinct plateau mid month, then had to write like a crazy lady over the holiday and almost up to the last-minute to catch up.
  • Writing is sometimes lonely, but that’s OK.
  • It’s hard to be pithy and/or eloquent every single day. Especially when you’ve just spent several hours trying to get your word count in for NaNoWriMo. And it’s 11:45 p.m.
  • If you consistently post your blog post right before midnight, not that many people will see it.
  • My smart phone doesn’t take great photos. It lacks a flash, and I took most of my photos at night. It is conveniently available, but if I want engaging photos, especially of food, I might want to learn how to use the nicer digital camera.

Here’s hoping that I’ve created a blogging habit and I won’t wait until next November to post again.


Original Console Radio

Always room for nic nacs

NoNoWriMo Winner BannerA marathon writing spree and I have finished NaNoWriMo today: 50,234 words written during the month of November. To be fair, I wouldn’t exactly call it a “novel,” but a possible memoir and/or fantasy story was born, and a habit was resurrected, which is good enough for me. Now I will go collapse.

But first, I leave you with this followup. I have found a picture of the actual console radio on my Weird Things list. It’s not identical to the one on eBay, but pretty darn close: notice the horizontal paneling on the eBay one, and the vertical paneling on my childhood one. Also, I remembered incorrectly about not being able to set anything on top. There are plenty of lovely items on top of the console radio in this picture.


By the way, I don’t know what possessed me to do both NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo in the same month, especially after failing at both last year, but I would not suggest that to anyone. Ever.

Unexpected Gifts


Letter July 28, 1972. Dad to Grandma.

So I’ve been spending most of my nanowrimo words on journaling rather than actually crafting a story. Which is OK with me, because I’m really doing it for the second year in a row in an attempt to recreate a writing habit that I once had. And I’ve started out much stronger this year because I’m doing the bulk of the writing in the mornings – before the day gets hijacked. I’m not naturally a morning person, but this seems to be the only way I can keep focused long enough. When I do the blogging at night, like tonight, I tend to stay up too late.

This week I’ve been exploring an unexpected gift that I was given this past summer. My Dad and I were in the parking lot at the Weird Al concert. He’d brought some old letters along in the car that had been stuffed in a mailer and sent to him by his sister. He often ambushes me in the car with clippings or printouts or advice of one sort or the other. (And conservative right wing talk shows. Don’t worry, I’ve gotten him back in the past by programming all his car radio presets to liberal whacko stations.) So he hands me the letters and tells me that I should take a look at them first. They were letters from he and my mom (and an occasional kid) – first to my Dad’s parents – and then just to his Mom after his Dad passed away. I imagine that my aunt saved some of them from my Grandma’s things after she died. (My Grandma was an avid letter writer – I probably have hundreds of her letters squirreled away somewhere.) I looked at a few of them that first day, but then put them in a “to be gone through” pile where they sat until just the other day when I decided they might be interesting to explore for journaling.

Here’s where I got to play history detective. Out of 18 or so letters, only 3 are in envelopes. Those have “to” and “from” addresses and postmarks. Most of the other letters say things like “Fri. Eve, July 28” and give no indication of the year. So then I had to piece together the probable year from the content and location (my Dad transferred around a lot in the Forest Service when I was little). But I also quickly discovered that I could Google the day of the week and date and figure out the year that way. In fact, I found the most useful site to be Wikipedia, where I could just locate the entire year, then see if July 28 was on a Friday that year.

The letters span the years 67-77, but most are from the time period 1971-1973 when I was a toddler in Minnesota and then Idaho. I was hoping more of them would have been from my Mom, since she’s been dead nearly 20 years and can’t tell these stories anymore, but it seems that Dad was the letter writer, or maybe those were the ones saved because they were from the son. Regardless, I’ve been given this unexpected little glimpse into my early childhood and my family at the time. I’ll be exploring this more, but some of my initial impressions about my baby self:

I talked a lot – “She can turn over both ways and talks a blue streak – but we can’t understand a word.” “Barbie is getting to talk more & more each day. She can say about anything if she wants something bad enough.” “She is quite a little talker. She talks all the time now & is trying to learn her colors & ABC’s.” At what point did I turn into the painfully shy little girl that I remember?

I was an animal lover and, apparently, abuser – “…the other one [kitten] is gray and its name is Smokey (Barbara calls it Mokey, it’s her kitty).” “Barbie sure loves Smokey our kitty, but most of time holds her by the neck & we are trying to teach Barbie how to be more gentle.” “Barbie carries the pup & especially the kitten around all day long. She hardly ever plays with her dolls anymore she has 2 live babies to play with now.” I remember Smokey! But I don’t remember strangling the poor thing. And why does my one brother call me Barbara when everybody else called me Barbie?

That was easy!


In honor of NaNoWriMo, I decided to start a fresh blog with WordPress. Just to be a little extra sadomasochistic, I may try to blog a little every day as well as work on the “novel”. Since I have several other WordPress blogs that I run (both .com & .org), I’m familiar with the interface and like the features and flexibility. Plus I can use the Android app – already tested it and it works great! Importing from my Blogspot blog was ridiculously easy. A little clean-up to do, but not much. Granted, there weren’t all that many posts or customizations in the old blog.

Uh, writing a novel is hard, says the English major


Technically, the degree is “Writing / Literature,” but who’s ready to nitpic that with me? I’m not going to get too far into what I think the value of my degree from George Fox College (now University) is – let’s just say I’m pretty sure I learned more and had a broader education in high school than I did at George Fox.

Anyhoo, I’m participating in National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo (not NoNoWriMo as I ridiculously referred to it earlier via Twitter, which sounds like I’m writing something naughty) and this is day 2. I finally got my word count up to day 1 levels a few minutes ago. It’s a far cry better than yesterday, anyway. I’ve heeded the advice of the pep talk email and let the writing take me where it will, editing as little as possible. It’s funny that when I started out a few hours ago, I wasn’t in the mood, was kind of cranky, and began writing about something completely different than anything I thought would go in the story. But, amazingly, it came around and pretty soon I was on track again. So far so good.