Oct 052016
 

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.

Source: 15 Minute Cleanups for Every Room of Your Home

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!

Oct 212015
 

Updated for 2015…

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 a 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 might help someone else. I know this is a little late. I’ll try to repost the revised version of this list a little earlier next year.

  1. Plan all meals for the month of November. Make sure to keep #2 and #3 in mind while making your November menu and consider doing a search for quick meal ideas. I’ll try to post a few of my favorites during NaNo.
  2. Freeze leftovers for easy meals in November. My Food Saver is one of my best friends all year round, but it’s particularly helpful for stocking up meals for November.
  3. Dust off that crock pot. Your crock pot can be a time saver and is for more than just making roast. I’ll try to post a few more of my favorite crock pot recipes during NaNo.  I’ll post some one skillet/pan and one pot recipes, too. Jumping on the freezer meals bandwagon is helpful, too.
  4. 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 longer so you have more time to write.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Make a playlist. A playlist of music that fits your genre or in some way fosters your creativity can help drown distraction and get you in the mood to write. Use headphones for best results.

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 or drop me an email.  Feel free to add me as a friend on the NaNoWriMo website, too!

Oct 252011
 

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 a 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 might help someone else. I know this is a little late. I’ll try to repost the revised version of this list a little earlier next year.

  1. Plan all meals for the month of November. Make sure to keep #2 and #3 in mind while making your November menu and consider doing a search for quick meal ideas. I’ll try to post a few of my favorites during NaNo.
  2. Freeze leftovers for easy meals in November. My Food Saver is one of my best friends all year round, but it’s particularly helpful for stocking up meals for November.
  3. Dust off that crockpot. Your crockpot can be a time saver and is for more than just making roast. I’ll try to post a few more of my favorite recipes during NaNo on the Community Cookbook.  I’ll post some fast and one skillet recipes, too.
  4. 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 longer so you have more time to write.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Do any research needed ahead of time. Frantically researching while trying to finish NaNo can be a word count killer.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Make a playlist. A playlist of music that fits your genre or in some way fosters your creativity can help drown distraction and get you in the mood to write. Use headphones for best results.

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 or drop me an email.  Feel free to add me as a friend on the NaNoWriMo website, too!

Jun 132011
 

Apparently, I decided I didn’t have enough to do, so I needed a few more websites. I recently re-launched Crescent Moon Haberdashery as a blog to showcase my CafePress store. I’ve been selling products with photography, artwork, and graphic work on CafePress for years and will soon be trying my hand at Zazzle as well. Crescent Moon Haberdashery is also featuring some beautiful jewelry from Aether Designs.

My mother and I have looked for a way to share recipes and finally decided, after searching for and not finding a solution we liked, that we might as well share them with everyone. Thus, I launched Community Cookbook a few weeks ago. It’s still a work in progress, but hopefully I’ll get the bugs ironed out. I went for an actual community setting and it isn’t working quite the way I would like it to. The name might change, but Community Cookbook works for now. We have a couple of recipes up with many more to come in the future.

After I feel like I have Crescent Moon Haberdashery and Community Cookbook well underway and help Jane with The Diary of Jane, I’m going to re-launch Macabre Manor. Macabre Manor has needed a lot of work for a long time and I hate to go the blog route with it, but I don’t think I’ll ever get anything done with it if I don’t turn it into a blog. Hand editing pages is so 1990’s, right? I’m still unsure I can make it do what I want, but I’m going to try. I can never make Macabre Manor what it once was, but I can do something with it… when I figure out exactly what that is, I’ll let you know.

In the meantime, this site will become my master feed as it were and my writing blog. I’ll be cross-posting things here from the other sites for the time being, except for the cooking site that is. I might make a post with recipes that have posted for the week, but I’m not going to post all the recipes both places. If cross-posting everything stops making sense or becomes too much, I’ll stop, but for now almost everything I do will still be on this blog. Why? For people who want everything but don’t want to visit tons of sites to get it.

As for the podcast, I gave up on it a long time ago. I wanted to podcast, but the more I tried the more I figured out that I didn’t really have anything to talk about. Maybe some day.

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