Pumpkin pie, Vegas, rock stars — yes, it’s almost NaNo time!

NaNoWriMo 09Oh, November — full of delicious turkey, hot apple cider, stuffing, pumpkin pie and . . . wait, why am I only talking about food?

Because what else comes sailing in come November? Why, National Novel Writing Month, of course! Fresh off the heels of last year’s victory, I’m culling together characters, possible plotlines and awesome settings for the book I will complete in 30 days or less. The rules? We have to write at least 50,000 words to “win,” meaning you get an awesome badge to stick on your own blog and, you know, bragging rights. Because you wrote a book, gosh darnit! And then you can proceed onward with your — er — masterpiece as you see fit.

This is my third year participating — and I’m sure 2009 is going to be the most challenging session to date. First and foremost, I’m going to California the first week of November! Three friends and I will be partying in San Diego and Los Angeles because . . . well, just because. Because it’s fall, it’s getting colder and we had a strong urge to get away from it all — for a few days, at least! Sounds nice, right? And I’m sure it will be — in fact, I’m stoked and get nervous jitters every time I think about it! But what does my excursion mean? Five days of no noveling. Chris Baty, NaNo founder, recommends not going more than 24 hours without writing something; it’s so easy to get thrown off course or to lose your momentum. I’m certainly no seasoned author, but I think I’ve written enough — and for long enough — to know I’ll finish the project even with my vacation thrown in there. Still, I’m a bit nervous to leave my book for so long!

And beyond that? I’m not totally sure what I’m going to write about. I have a vague idea, sure — mostly just the setting (Vegas) and the characters (rock star, his first love, aging parents, new wife, little kids, probably a cute dog or something). Yeah, I know — making progress. None of my novels have ever been planned out ahead of time, so I’m hoping that my characters will just walk straight up, flash their devilishly white smiles and give me a series of hearty handshakes.

“Meg!” they’ll shout in unison. “We’re here — the population of your Pulitzer Prize-winning novel! Nice to finally meetcha!”

And I’ll push my hair over my shoulders, draw myself up to my full height and call back, “Yeah — and where the heck have you been?”


If you’re participating in this year’s NaNoWriMo, be sure to add me as a NaNo buddy. We can bolster each other up when even the caffeine and chocolate aren’t enough to keep our little fingers tapping and even work out some plot-related kinks together. If you’re in the Maryland/D.C./Virginia area, I’ll be on the look-out for some write-ins, too — with the shiny pink laptop, no less. Here’s to our next great literary adventure!

15 thoughts on “Pumpkin pie, Vegas, rock stars — yes, it’s almost NaNo time!

  1. Oh Meg!
    You are truly helping me propel my pumpkin food obsession.

    Side note: I just had a pumpkin donut from Dunkin today.

    The verdict = fluffy sugar coated heaven!


  2. I tried Nano last year and got about 10K words in and lost the momentum you speak of. I have it in me to write the 50K for sure but just not over a month I think.

    Will you share your work with us? A few snippets here and there maybe?


  3. Yea-uh! I’m doing nanowrimo again this year and I’m really, really excited. I won my first year [2007] but last year it just fell apart around the 40K mark. I found out half way through November that I was gluten intolerant and sick – dumb, I didn’t want to write after that.
    This year will be different though! Hope your novel goes well and your characters come to meet you soon!


  4. I’m so excited for Nano too! I’ve decided to work on one of my middle grade ideas, and get rather delirious when I think, I might have a project to salt away for revisions when November is finished! Good luck and have fun in California!


  5. Sigh….I’m having so much trouble deciding if I should do this or not!!!

    I’m going to San Diego for 4 days as well in November and with school and everything, I don’t know. I reallyyyyy want to do it though. I’ll have to think about this some more!


  6. as my favorite alien once said, ‘nano-nano’. mwa haa haa.


    i have tried a ZILLION times…but i can’t do it. i’ll write a bunch of stuff and think it sounds not horrible..and when i come back to it the next day i erase it all and start again. and never get anywhere. the writing sounds so forced. it makes my husband crazy.

    i stopped the insanity and instead write bad nonfiction (and then get rejected by highlights magazine). oh, the agony.

    maybe i’ll try again.


  7. Definitely adding you as a buddy. Hopefully we can motivate each other. I have a lot going on in November and this is my very first NaNoWriMo year so I’m not entirely sure how I’ll do but I’m setting up high expectations for myself.
    Best of luck Meg and enjoy your trip to Cali. I bet LA and San Diego area will be nice. If you venture farther north say, San Jose area, hit me up!


Comments are closed.