NaNoWriMo: It’s a GO!

Hey Readers.... and, yes, you writers, too. Who is doing NaNoWriMo? I am! That's National Novel Writing Month (November) where those people plagued by words take a moment--a month--to jot down as many of the wily buggers as we can. And voila. A story emerges. That's the plan. I'm digging into another Romantic Suspense. Something… Continue reading NaNoWriMo: It’s a GO!

Digging Into History

Digging into History: Doubting Thomas look to Egypt

Isn't she C.U.T.E? The doubting Thomas often gets a bad rap. And curious cats can end up in a BAD way. (Dead. But you didn’t hear that from me. Boo is sitting on my lap. LoL.) But whether you’re dying to know or refusing to belief without seeing, there’s always more than one way to… Continue reading Digging into History: Doubting Thomas look to Egypt

Wisdom Reblogged

11 Things to Do With a DNF Writing Project

NaNoWriMo is over and done. 2018 is nearing its last hoorah. The time for setting 2019 goals is almost here. We writer’s NEED them.

But, if you’re panicking about last year’s lovelies, those unfinished darlings more commonly called WIPs, don’t. The dreaded DID NOT FINISH doesn’t need to get you down.

Check in with the always witty, René Penn, author of the Bachelorette Blogger serial for some perspective. Her light side approach to the dreaded DNF is sure to make you chuckle and help you . . .

Write on!

Rene Penn


A few months ago, I learned about the term DNF, Did Not Finish, in the context of reading books. It’s when someone loses interests in a book they’re reading and never makes it to the end.

Funny thing is, we writers have this DNF experience with our own writing. Don’t we?

I know I’ve amassed a pile of DNF writing projects over the years. I just added to it again last month, which is probably why this has been on my mind.

From my previous post, Our Stories Are Like Socks, where I discussed the oddball similarities between socks and stories…

“Don’t get stuck on a story that’s the wrong fit, that has holes, and is sagging at key points. Even if you’ve tried to mend it, patch it, or hold it up with story suspenders, there comes a point when you know that there’s no saving it.”


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Wisdom Reblogged

NaNoWriMo, Cheating, Losing, and Winning

NaNoWriMo aftermath. How do you feel?

GREAT, I hope. It’s over. And however much you accomplished, words are words, baby. Take it from my good pal, René Penn, author of Bachelorette Blogger.

She rocks.

Write on!

Rene Penn

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National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) was an odd experience for me this year. I’ll cut to the chase and tell you that I didn’t meet the “winner” requirements. I didn’t make 50,000 words for the month.

I finished at 37,154.

How would one even write out that number?

Thirty-seven thousand, one hundred and fifty-four?

Such a clunky word-count total. Nothing sexy about it at all.

It would’ve been nice to reach 40,000. But that didn’t happen, either. So yeah, I lost.

But that’s okay. There’s a bright side.

I spent part of NaNoWriMo finishing a book that I had started writing in June. That’s right. I cheated, doggonit.


NaNoWriMo participants are supposed to start writing a brand new book on November 1. Instead, I continued writing the book I had been working on before. New words are what counts.

Luckily, NaNoWriMo cheating isn’t a big deal. They even call us rebels…

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Writer's Tool Box

NaNoWriMo: The baby has come to term, but delivery is a process!

So, hey, I just finished my NaNoWriMo challenge. Yeah! It's done. The raw words are there. But the process of writing a book--an engaging, entertaining, cohesive body of work--has only begun. Snowbound Christmas Stalking is far from done, but that's not my problem now. Whoops--I did it again. Breathing is. Distancing myself from the word… Continue reading NaNoWriMo: The baby has come to term, but delivery is a process!

Writer's Tool Box

The patient’s flat-lining. Conflict—STAT!

NaNoWriMo. Sounds great for some. But the courtship is over. The thrill—disgusting word—is gone. No write-in, no word-sprint can revive the magic. The patient is bleeding out and pulling the plug is the only mercy. The daily pain is too fresh, too real, too stark a reminder of all that we writer’s did…and failed to… Continue reading The patient’s flat-lining. Conflict—STAT!

Wisdom Reblogged

Lessons from Chickens #2

Are you in need of writerly wisdom? Something to push you past cringing at your less-than-perfect WIP?

Check out Ashley Storm’s Lessons from Chickens, a savvy southern take on the writerly life and how wisdom can be drawn from one’s backyard.

Write on!

Ashley Storm

A few years ago, on a gorgeous fall afternoon, I came home to a horrific sight: a yard full of chicken feathers. So. Many. Feathers. I feared the worst: that one–or both–of my chickens had been attacked and killed by a predator. In a panic, I ran around the house to search for my girls. When I found them, they were happily scratching the ground, without a care in the world.

My panic didn’t end, though. Oh, no. One of the hens looked dreadful. Once a beautiful bird with shiny black feathers that shimmered in the sunlight, she was now nearly bald. I sent pictures to a chicken group on Facebook, begging for help in diagnosing the horrific disease that had befallen my cherished chicken. Needless to say, I was mocked mercilessly. I didn’t mind, though, because my chicken was fine. She was merely molting, a totally natural process. Shedding…

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Wilhelmina Wooster

There’s Something about Rock: a MUST read from Wilhelmina Wooster who always follows the formula.

Romance novels. . . they're all the same. It's a formula. The charges are set most often at the feet of HEA writers, but no doubt mystery writers--inclined to solve the crimes they create if they hope to publish--are subject to the same shade. We follow formulas. Well, duh. There's a beginning, middle, and end… Continue reading There’s Something about Rock: a MUST read from Wilhelmina Wooster who always follows the formula.

Writing TIPS

Rain, rain go away! What moves you to write?

It’s raining in Northern Virginia—again. This would be welcome news if the summer had been sizzling as summers are supposed to be. I should be cranking about my brown lawn about now.  We don’t have a drip system outside of God’s garden hose and yours truly so a brownish lawn is typically where it's at… Continue reading Rain, rain go away! What moves you to write?

Wisdom Reblogged

NaNoWriMo, Day One…Again

The Little Engine that Can: NaNoWriMo is worth the chug up the hill.

We may be one day in–it’s November 2nd–but it’s not too late. The train cars and belching cloud from the smokestack are still within sight. The clacking of wheels on rails is still there, shaking us out of that meh-mode.

Can we do it? Should we?

Here’s what René Penn, author of The Bachelorette Blogger, has to say. Wise words. Honest and encouraging. Just what we need to hop on the track and follow along to the finish.

If we think we can: WE CAN!

Write on!

Rene Penn

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It’s November 1, the first day of National Novel Writing Month, a.k.a. NaNoWriMo, a.k.a., NaNo. Still don’t know what it is? Here’s the skinny.

Starting November 1, “participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.” — National Novel Writing Month

So I signed up. I’m one of the “participants.” Again.

I did it last year, November 2017. My first time. And I’m not going to lie, it was a lot of work. It got a little rough at times. There may have been some crying and drivel involved. Possibly a tiny epidural was administered at the end of the month. But, hey, I made it through.

And when NaNo was over, I felt almost euphoric. There was a “wow, I did it” moment. I looked at my completed manuscript with a sense of inner peace. “I’m so glad I signed up.”…

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