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One month, one novel

Writing with Quirks

So Camp NaNoWriMo is open (as if I’d let you forget that!)

Not only am I experiencing the usual angst of accepting the 50,000 word challenge but I’m also realizing I have a few well developed writing quirks.

Headset on and MP3 loaded I begin. Soon I realize I forgot to turn the music on. Fix that. Now my head starts bopping as I write. Suddenly I’m trying to think of a word and my Sicilian comes out. Which means my hands leave the keyboard and start aimlessly waving in front of my face while I desperately try to get my brain to pull the word I want out of long term storage. Ah, found it.  Then I notice the kids watching me and being disgusted with their weird Mom (teenagers you know). So  I just close my eyes and keep on typing. Which really does help me cocoon away from reality but oh let me tell you how the eye rolling begins then!

I can’t be the only one with weird little habits. So please, tell me some of yours.

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Camp NaNoWriMo is Here!

Yes of course I’m off to camp for July – and August. The November experience that we all love (okay maybe not everyone) is now in summer format.

Camp NaNoWriMo is new this year. How fun being one of the first in the gates. Just imagine –  clean tents, tables aren’t all sticky, bears aren’t nosing around yet.

And, just to add to the fun – a new version of the Traveling Shovel of Death (TSoD). For summer only, The Traveling Blue Tent of WHOA™. The possibilities run rampant!

Oh come on, you know you want to. We’re already busy over on Twitter at #campnano, #campnanowrimo, #campnanosprint, and @campnanowrimo. Or of course you can just go directly to the source CampNaNoWriMo.

All right. I have 4 hours to come up with an idea, outline, lay down a few character sketches. Totally doable, right?

See you at camp!

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Research and Scrivener for Windows Beta

I started using the Scrivener for Windows Beta last November for NaNo but really wasn’t doing anything much more exciting than basic writing and the occasional character sketch.

Fast forward six months and I’m getting a little more adventurous. Now as I’ve already admitted my weakness for research in a previous post (To the Stacks!) I’ll have to add my weakness for bookmarking sites and keeping them horribly organized.

Enter Scrivener and the utter joy at being able to import a site directly into my work file. Now I have everything available even when I can’t get to the internet. (Which happens quite frequently when the girls are at dance classes for hours on end!)

Just use Ctrl-Alt-W and you’ll get this nice box:

Note that you can’t be in the Story and do this. But go anywhere else in your binder and import as you wish. The possibilities boggle my mind. Pictures of authentic Bavarian garb in my character folder, lists of different types of dragons in research… Sorry, my mind wanders.

Thank you Scrivener for helping to organize my research addiction. For now I’m happily importing, writing, and waiting for the next update.

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NaNo Needs Guts

No, I’m not usually hawking something around this place. But today I’m plugging away for NaNoWriMo. Just in case you’ve never been exposed to this manic experience let me describe it this way:

November 1 – Join with 200,000+ of your closest friends to begin writing [first draft of] a novel and wonder if you can do it.

November 30 – breathlessly finish your [first draft of a] novel at 50,000 words or more, upload your word count, receive winner badge and begin partying

Really, it’s that basic. It’s just all the stuff in between that adds to the experience. Where else can you talk to people from all over the world, get pep talks from actual well known authors, have the opportunity to meet flesh and blood people in your own area, and be encouraged to really push yourself all FOR FREE.

I must be honest here and admit that I’ve only participated for one year. But it was such a wonderful experience I  made a special page just for NaNo. But my kids have also participated over at the Young Writer’s site where there are nicely moderated forums and kids get to set their own word goal. Now I’m not saying that  I felt any more pressure, but really, who wants to be outdone by their kids?

Of course in the real world all the staff,  office, website, and local volunteers do need stuff like paychecks, power, postage, and server time (just to mention a few). So yes, you are asked if you can spare a little money to help along the way if you can.

This year there’s an even cooler project underway called Camp NaNoWriMo. For many people November is not a great month to try and get intense writing done what with all the shopping and tree trimming and turkey basting. So now it is finally time to get summer camp launched. And that’s part of the point  to this summer’s Camp and Guts fundraising drive.

I haven’t even touched on 95% of what this incredibly small group of people manage to pull off every year. So yes, I’m asking you to go check it out for yourself and give.

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