How it went

Well, NaNoWriMo is … still going on as far as I’m concerned, because I am still writing. I was never entirely sure I’d get to 50,000 words in a month, given time constraints, so I’m not terribly disappointed. I did work on the novel every day, though, and I consider that a win. Also? I like to consider myself a “pantser” and all, but all future novels will get a pre-game outline. I’d never tried one before, and it makes a huge difference in the day-to-day when you already know the character’s arc avinvogel_piboldmo_winner-1nd what happens next. Though I did deviate here and there, condensing some things, expanding on others, throwing in an extra chapter. If you’ve already got the path, it’s easy enough to take a few steps off it, look around, consider the scenery, then make your way back to it.

PiBoIdMo, though? I’m happy to report that “30 picture book ideas in 30 days” was a success. In fact it was fun! A few ideas were weather-related (well, it did snow), one was based on something that happened to me long ago, another on something that happened to my mother longer ago, several involving a little witch and her not-at-all-witchy best friend, and one drawn from my family’s trip into the city to see the Rockettes. (I wrote a draft of that one, and my son instantly recognized where the idea had come from. He was delighted.)

My habit of carrying tiny little notebooks around definitely helped in this case. Also? Long car rides — say, a daily commute — are a good space for coming up with ideas. You’re sitting in traffic anyway, might as well do something useful, right?

I’ve already started to put the ideas to good use, and I expect, at some point, to double back and use all 30 of those ideas, which is pretty fantastic.

So thanks again to Tara Lazar for running PiBoIdMo, which I plan to join again next year. And if you haven’t read her “The Monstore,” you really need to, because it’s hilarious.

…. and now, back to writing.


My month of writing feverishly

piboidmo2014officialparticipantnano_logo-aef44f162676a9d773edb93f995492f2So I couldn’t decide between NaNoWriMo — aka National Novel Writing Month — and Tara Lazar’s PiBoIdMo — aka Picture Book Idea Month. Wait, I thought, why don’t I do both? It’s like chocolate and peanut butter — they taste great together!

(Well, they do. Peanut Butter Cups? The best. I have been stealing them from my kids’ Halloween stash. Shhh.)

The thing is, I’m working in two very different genres — picture books and women’s fiction (or chick lit, if you prefer) — and I like to give each equal time whenever possible. I enjoy both for different reasons: Picture books are just flat-out fun to write, engaging my whimsical side, and reading to children is one of the best experiences to have. Women’s fiction is fun on a slightly more adult level, in which I can take aim at relationships, the working life, social conventions and etc., and I can unleash my inner snark, so to speak. So doing one writing challenge doesn’t take away from the other. In theory.

So far so good — I’m 6,000 words into NaNoWriMo, and have come up with one good picture book idea a day so far. I’m also banging out a picture book draft for 12 x 12. My tiny little notebooks have been getting a workout. (My son was annoyed to find that one notebook contained only ideas for stories, and not actual stories. Sorry, kiddo.)

It is possible that I will be a touch distracted this month, and may be buying Thanksgiving supplies in a panic the evening of Nov. 26, and possibly enlisting house guests to do the dusting. But I’m hoping to have some good writing done by the end of the month, and then I can take a breather.

Right before the holidays kick in. Ah well.

Oh! And Susanna Leonard Hill declared me an honorable mention winner in her Halloweensie Contest! I am delighted my story was liked. Do go back and read everyone’s entries if you haven’t, they’re great.