Updated for 2016…
NaNoWriMo challenges participants to write 50,000 words during the month of November. This can seem like a daunting and time-consuming task and when you have work and house to run as well it can seem almost impossible. With some preparation, you can make November run more smoothly.
I’ve looked at a few prep lists for NaNo and noticed that mine was a little different. I decided to share it in hopes it helps someone else. I’m actually posting this in plenty of time this year!
Plan all meals for the month of November. Make sure to keep the next two in mind while making your November menu and consider doing a search for quick meal ideas. You can find what I did last year here: Freezer Meals.
If you search Google for printable menus and freezer inventory, you’ll find a plethora of templates that you can print or edit and print to help keep yourself organized. I’m hoping to have some custom printables for next year, but making something like that isn’t really my forte. I might have to enlist some help. wink, wink, nudge, nudge
Freeze leftovers for easy meals in November. My FoodSaver is one of my best friends all year round, but it’s particularly helpful for stocking up on meals for November. The bags are more compact than plastic containers, so you can fit more in your freezer. Freezing meals in plastic containers makes things handier, but make sure to cover the food with plastic wrap to help deter frost.
Dust off that crock pot. Your crock pot can be a time saver and is for more than just making a roast. There are quite a few crock pot/slow cooker recipes posted to help get you started. I also have some one skillet/pan and one pot recipes, too. Jumping on the freezer meals bandwagon is helpful, too.
Detail clean the house. I have spring-cleaning and then NaNo cleaning. If the house is freshly detailed, those quick room cleanups go even faster. Besides, a super clean house can make you feel more comfortable with putting things off for a day or two so you have more time to write. 15-minute cleanups can help you feel more comfortable with leaving the deep cleaning until later.
These tips allow for a quick cleaning or maintenace cleaning inbetween more thorough cleanings. Find out how to clean any room in 15 minutes or less.
Schedule blog posts. If you have a blog, write a few blog posts in October and schedule them to post in November to squeeze out a little more writing time. Unless you’re doing NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) as well. I don’t know if scheduled posts are cheating, but it doesn’t seem sporting to me.
Learn your software. I made the mistake of installing new software to use while in the middle of NaNo. I spent more time trying to learn the new software than I did writing for several days. I use Scrivener when I write and while it’s pretty intuitive, I’d still hate to walk into it cold at any point during NaNo. I can’t recommend Scrivener highly enough, but I’ll save that for another post. Check it out, though. Just give yourself enough time to learn it if you decide to get it. You can always import your work into Scrivener later and in the last few years, there has been a discount coupon for Scrivener if you complete your 50,000. Doesn’t mean there will be this year, but there could be.
Jot down notes or make an outline. While there are many people who can sit down to a blank screen and just start typing, I’m not always one of them. Faced with a deadline, I feel more comfortable with some kind of direction in mind. Doesn’t mean that my characters don’t wander off script and I wind up with a different story than I planned, but it helps keep me from running into that brick wall called writer’s block.
Do any research needed ahead of time. Frantically researching while trying to finish NaNo can be a word count killer. I didn’t finish more than once because I didn’t get all my research done.
Fill out your calendar with appointments and obligations. Make note of these. What days are you not going to be able to write? If there are five days in November that you cannot see a way to fit writing in for whatever reason, adjust your daily word count accordingly and aim for that.
Let your friends and family know what you’re doing. They might scoff, but knowing ahead of time can ward off an explanation later. Listening to the scoffing while you’re doing NaNo not only takes time away from writing but could also damage your flow with negativity and drama you don’t need.
Make a playlist. A playlist of music that fits your genre or in some way fosters your creativity can help drown distraction and put you in the mood to write. Use headphones for best results.
I use music I own, Pandora and playlists on YouTube depending on my mood. YouTube less so. I’d be tempted to watch, but there are plenty of audio only playlists, too.
Here’s one of my favorite YouTube playlists when I need some creepy background music. Not audio only, but I hide it behind other windows until I forget there’s video.
For those of you participating this year, write like the wind! I’d love to hear/read how you’re doing so feel free to comment on a post, contact me or drop me an email. Feel free to add me as a friend on the NaNoWriMo website, too!
I wish all books that are part of a series at least had a series number on the cover or spine or something. I’m enjoying the book, but I feel like I’ve missed a lot not reading the other books first. It’s like stepping in on season five of a TV show. Yeah, they might recap some things but you still feel a behind and maybe even a little lost. Most of all, if you’re really enjoying it, you feel like you missed out. I feel like I missed out.
I’m getting a very Buffy the Vampire Slayer feel from this book sans the “Buffy” style humor. I think it’s not so much the story itself that reminds me of Buffy, but the terminology and mythos. The story feels like it’s set in a similar world to the Buffyverse.
So, if you liked Buffy, you’ll probably enjoy this series.
Jack McShane: lover, killer, seducer, family man, and vampire. In the shadows of Savannah, with its hip nightspots and moss-draped oak trees, Jack is trying to save humankind from a threat it doesn’t know it faces: an explosion of the otherworldly, the weird, the wanton, and the wicked.
Tourists are heading to Savannah for St. Patrick’s Day–and Jack is racing through tunnels below the city to the edge of Hell itself to hold off a plot posed by the double-dead and demented. But Jack must also hold off his own desire for Connie Jones, the beautiful cop he turned into a vampire slayer. Connie, her blood running hotter than she can handle, can’t imagine the games that Jack is playing with her body and her mind, or that the other monster she’s falling in love with is all part of his devious plan.
Welcome to the world of Jack McShane, a blue-eyed vampire who knows how crazy things can get–once you get a little taste for blood.
Summary from Amazon.com
My husband saw the cover of this book and decided that I had to have it. I don’t know if he read the back cover or not before deciding that I must own it, but I understand why he would buy it based on the cover alone. I love big cats, leopards especially, and a leopard with a typewriter head? Nice!
I’m finding the book charming so far and I’m enjoying Jansma’s writing style. My hubby did well even if he picked the book for the cover alone. I don’t read a lot of literary fiction. I’m learning that I need to pick up a few more. I should read more than genre fiction.
Truth and lies. I wonder how it’s all going to end…
Back to reading!
“F. Scott Fitzgerald meets Wes Anderson” (The Village Voice) in this inventive and witty debut about a young man’s quest to become a writer and the misadventures in life and love that take him around the globe
From as early as he can remember, the hopelessly unreliable—yet hopelessly earnest—narrator of this ambitious debut novel has wanted to become a writer.
From the jazz clubs of Manhattan to the villages of Sri Lanka, Kristopher Jansma’s irresistible narrator will be inspired and haunted by the success of his greatest friend and rival in writing, the eccentric and brilliantly talented Julian McGann, and endlessly enamored with Julian’s enchanting friend, Evelyn, the green-eyed girl who got away. After the trio has a disastrous falling out, desperate to tell the truth in his writing and to figure out who he really is, Jansma’s narrator finds himself caught in a never-ending web of lies.
As much a story about a young man and his friends trying to make their way in the world as a profoundly affecting exploration of the nature of truth and storytelling, The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards will appeal to readers of Tom Rachman’s The Imperfectionists and Jennifer Egan’s Pulitzer Prize–winning A Visit from the Goon Squad with its elegantly constructed exploration of the stories we tell to find out who we really are.
Summary from Amazon.com
Set in Connecticut during the summer of 1938, a cabin full of athletic boys in the Bible camp “Friend-Indeed” eagerly await their final member. Instead of a great baseball player they get Leo Joaquim, who can barely throw a ball. Their disappointment turns to hatred which brings evil to the camp.
Summary from Amazon.com
Words fall out of use all the time for a variety of reasons. Sometimes those dead, unused or obsolete words explained something in one word that we now use several to express. Some of those words I’d love to see resurrected. Other obsolete words are just fun to say!
I think I’d like to add a few words to the list below and maybe even adjust a few of the meanings. Like…
Jargogle – to confuse
A jarring confusion maybe?
Elflock – hair tangled by elves
It happens! Or maybe it’s Gremlins. Gremlock?
Apparently, gremlock is already a word with several meanings. Save yourself and don’t look up the urban meaning. I’m giving up on this one.
Twitter-light – twilight
I think twitter-light should have a new meaning. Maybe “the flickering light cast by your computer while on Twitter” or something. I’m reaching, I know.
Frigorific – producing or causing cold
It’s fun to say!
Resistentialism – inanimate objects that exhibit malevolent behavior
Curmuring – rumbling sound from the bowels
I think we need a word for this. It sounds better than spelling it out.
Gorgonize – to have a paralyzing effect
Makes me wonder how many people know what a gorgon is these days.
Gramercy – expression of gratitude or surprise
How about “a reprieve from the grammar nazis?”
Twattle – gossip
I’ve heard this word used meaning “nonsense.”
Apricity – Warming sun on a cold, winter day
I don’t know about blatteroon. It causes a mental image of a person’s bladder blowing up like a balloon. For me anyway. Probably for you too now. You’re welcome.
I think there should be a new word to replace potvaliant. Potvaliant sounds like bravery as the result of… something else. I can’t think of anything that would cover drink as a whole. What do you think?
Satisdiction sounds more like “satisfied with the choice of words in a speech or piece of writing.”
Wouldn’t yestreen be great to use when you’re limited to a certain number of characters? Like on Twitter.
Any words you’d like to see make a comeback or change the meaning of? Let me know in the comments!
Well, I did it. I raided my mother’s books and wound up with more Dean Koontz to read!
With the books I borrowed from my mother and the handful of books of mine I have left to read, it should be a few months before I have to raid my husband and my dad’s books.
I first heard about Twilight Eyes on Dean Koontz’s podcast and knew I had to read it. Of course, I completely forgot about it every time I bought new books. Thankfully, Mom had it or else I’d probably always forget and never read it.
Speaking of Dean Koontz’s podcast, I wish he had continued it, but if you’re a fan it’s well worth a listen. The first episode is still my favorite. Check out On Working with Editors and you’ll see what I mean. If you’re a writer, you might find it particularly amusing.
They’re out there.
Waiting. Watching. Unseen by normal eyes, but all too visible to Slim MacKenzie, a young man blessed―or cursed―by Twilight Eyes…
They’re out there
Lurking in the darkest shadows of an eerie, moonlit carnival. Feeding their twisted needs with human suffering. And fiendishly plotting the downfall of the human race…
They’re out there
But don’t scream.
They’ll hear you.
Summary from Amazon.com
Snickerdoodles are one of my favorite cookies. I finally remembered to take pictures as they were cooling on the rack, so I’m reposting the recipe with shiny new pictures and Yumprint support.
Sometimes I add about 1/2 a cup of white chocolate chips (that’s what the lumps are in the pictured cookies) or melt white chocolate and dip half the cooled cookie. Snickerdoodles are sweet enough on their own, but the taste of cinnamon and white chocolate is decadent.
I usually make Snickerdoodles in the fall to pair with apple cider or spicy Earl Grey tea, but I had a craving a few days ago.
A secret government unit, a group of renegade paranormal investigators…and a murder no one else can crack
Though haunted by the recent deaths of two teammates, Jackson Crow knows that the living commit the most heinous crimes.
A police officer utilizing her paranormal intuition, Angela Hawkins already has her hands full of mystery and bloodshed.
But one assignment calls to them too strongly to resist. In a historic mansion in New Orleans’s French Quarter, a senator’s wife falls to her death. Most think she jumped; some say she was pushed. And yet others believe she was beckoned by the ghostly spirits inhabiting the house—once the site of a serial killer’s grisly work.
In this seemingly unsolvable case, only one thing is certain: whether supernatural or all too human, crimes of passion will cast Jackson and Angela into danger of losing their lives…and their immortal souls.
Summary from Amazon.com
In school, we learned about three kinds of conflict in a novel; man vs. self, man vs. man and man vs. nature. I remember trying to stump my English teacher by listing books that didn’t fall into these three descriptions. She always managed to explain why said book fit into one of these three, but I didn’t always agree with her.
I find identifying the central conflict helps to keep my novel on track. My characters have a tendency to run away with the central conflict and turn it into man vs. self or man vs. man if I let them wander too far afield.
There’s another not listed but I’ve seen listed other places, person vs. fate. This is where a character is compelled to follow his or her destiny or fate. While many person vs. fate books also fall under person vs. man or another category, it is a popular conflict and I think it’s worth noting.
The list below asks, “What types of novel do you enjoy reading?” While I’ve read and enjoyed novels of each type, I’d have to say that person vs. self, person vs. the paranormal and person vs. society are my favorites.