Countdown to NaNo

☆ October 29, 2012

We’re 3 days out! And the last seven have been total insanity here. Many, many challenges hitting those close to me, so I’ve not had quite the mental and physical prep period leading up to NaNoWriMo that I was hoping for. But such is life.

I do have my essentials ~
Chlorella (forcing myself to do a shot every morning, and in the evening for second-wind-style energy bursts)
Notepads of different sizes (from 8.5 x 11 to 13 x 16, and pocket-size for walks) and papers (from regular notebook paper to thick sketchbook paper) to suit my different moods as I hand write everything.
Ink for my favorite refillable pens and a few of my favorite guilty pleasure disposable pens (oh my holy, they come in colors I did not know this!); pencils, mechanical and regular, and an excellent sharpener.
A freezer full of stew, butternut soup, tomato sauce, jam, and pumpkin butter for easy eats.
A big stack of split firewood.
And music ~ I can squeeze in a Q&A here too. While I have several linear feet worth of cds, I generally prefer great radio to picking out cds. I’ve been through enough computer crashes that I no longer bother with itunes playlists, and it takes me forever to look through my cds for whatever I’m in the mood for (‘is that what I really want, or should I keep looking?’ I ask myself over and over) and I just get irritated. So when I want music, I usually stream KEXP; they have a great archive section so you can pick sets that match your mood, and I’m always discovering new artists (new to me).

Cheers to you who are doing it! Are you ready? What are your essentials?
I was getting nervous but now I’m back to excited.
I found a hilarious forum thread last night ~ hilarious in that way that makes you want to punch yourself in the face ~ “You Know You’re Writing Literary Fiction When…”
One example from the thread:
When you spend 3 days and 10,000 words writing about a guy sitting in his car in a parking lot.
When you spend an entire month planning everything about the characters, the subtle ways they influence each other and are connected, but forget to have them actually do anything.

Haaaaaaaaaaaa! Bonk.


23 Responses to “Countdown to NaNo”

  1. Marg
    October 29th, 2012 @ 8:16 am

    I must be weird, when you gave the first eg. of the guy in the parking lot I automatically started putting a story together.

  2. Your grandmother
    October 29th, 2012 @ 9:13 am

    Martha told me of your new adventures. I decided to join you. Ir worked yesterday but failed this morning, I am trying to write my mother’s memoir. Wish me luck. And I will wish you the same.

  3. Dana
    October 29th, 2012 @ 9:48 am

    If I would of known about NANO sooner I would definately been involved in it. For sure, next year!!!

  4. Olli
    October 29th, 2012 @ 10:20 am

    ~My laptop, Wall-E (the first time I will be using a machine to write with).
    ~Various notebooks (so many!) similarly ranging in size, style and paper type. I had to have some sketch paper as I find that drawing helps me write when I get stuck.
    ~My ever faithful Spotify playlists(music engine).
    ~A thesaurus.
    ~The Bees Knees (honey/peanut butter mixture), Macintosh apples, sandwich materials (my love), chai spices and milk (I like making my own), dark STRONG coffee & a healthier version of Ramen (if that can be). I wish my food options sounded as nutritious as yours – and I work at Whole Foods!
    ~A mixture of disposable pens, pencils, markers and crayons. None of the pens I have purchased as I am notorious pen thief.. (oh the thrill!)
    ~My go-to Hoodie, hiking shoes and “writing mitt”. My writing mitt is actually a fingerless mitten that looks like a blue paw of an animal, but with a rainbow cuff and no fingers. I bought it at Borders a couple years ago from the kid section for 36 cents (bc there was only one).

    3 more days!! :D

  5. Amanda M.
    October 29th, 2012 @ 10:24 am

    Dana – You have 3 whole days! No time like the present, involve away! I didn’t find out about NaNo until there were only 2 weeks left, and I still pounded out 10K words! :D Haven’t missed a year since!

  6. Carla
    October 29th, 2012 @ 11:52 am

    I have Asperger’s Syndrome, which is high functioning autism. This means I tend to get peevishly peeved (like, beyond average) when I don’t have the perfect pen. I’ve never had the perfect pen, but usually would settle on something mediocre.

    Recently I royally freaked out my husband when I came home with about 12 different kinds of pens. I tore open all of the packaging and did a series of tests in an effort to finally find my dream pen. I tested how the ink flowed and the tip scratched on paper when writing, the sounds they make, does the ink smear easily since I hold my pens incorrectly. And I judged them by the depth of color they produced, the sharpness of the lines they wrote, the feel of them in my hand, and how they looked.

    Sounds like madness, but it worked. Although I’d love this pen to have a little more depth of color and a little more weight to the barrel, I fell in love with the Uni Jetstream pen 0.7mm, black ink with the blue body and removable cap.

    The ink is replaceable, which is also awesome. So I completely understand the need for someone who’s writing an entire novel by hand to seek out the perfect pens. Oh, and I have a feeling you’re writing something that involves a kick-ass female along the lines of some of those books you’ve read in your sidebar. Can’t wait to read it someday!

  7. bonnie
    October 29th, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

    well, i’m not a writer, but i will be joining you in creative spirit. i have been busy getting the chores out of the way, and routing through all the materials i have stashed here and there, so that i can have a month of painting, collaging, printing, sculpting — whatever happens to get triggered. i might even start with something about a guy sitting in a parking lot…

  8. sue c
    October 29th, 2012 @ 1:16 pm

    Hmmm, don’t have Asperger’s but totally understand the pen thing, I must have been through hundreds, had a great one once – turquoise enamel w. a gold italic nib, a horribly expensive self-treat, left it on a shop counter, got back in seconds. Gone.
    I adore writing instruments, artist, but don’t draw w. pens, find a mechanical pencil = a comfortable write.
    Also have a massive notebook collection, just love New Ones.
    I like actually writing, the act of it, like drawing but different, the feel of the pen on the paper, the marks …making nice shapes with the letters.
    Ha.Doesn’t sound like a novel, does it? :-)

  9. Beth
    October 29th, 2012 @ 1:33 pm

    Literally spur of the moment. I just signed up. I’m used to selling books, not writing them. Going out on a limb and hoping that I don’t fall flat on my face.

    Good luck to you.

  10. Maggie
    October 29th, 2012 @ 2:41 pm

    I saw M.I.A. in concert in Montreal several years ago. 2006/07? Smallish venue. She was AWESOME.

  11. Maggie
    October 29th, 2012 @ 2:45 pm

    I just looked up Amanda Palmer (didn’t know her) and she makes me think of Marina and the Diamonds who I like :)

  12. Felyne
    October 29th, 2012 @ 3:33 pm

    Nooo, not the Pilot Varsity, those are scratchy and simply horrid. Do yourself a favour, grab a Lamy Safari for $28.00, it’s well worth the investment and not bank-breaking. Then if you have an extra few dollars get a bottle of one of the multitude of colourful, inspiring inks from Noodlers for $12 – Manhattan Blue, Bad Belted Kingfisher, Subway Series Sepia – come on! Don’t the names just beg you to do something amazing with them??

  13. Aleta
    October 29th, 2012 @ 4:40 pm

    You know you’re writing fiction when the characters take over, hold and party and don’t invite you.

  14. Scotty
    October 29th, 2012 @ 9:04 pm

    nice a chance to pass along some amanda palmer. her song concepts often have a real sharp edge. here is a cool video of hers, if you are offended by nudity please watch the ‘clean’ verson instead k.

  15. rockrat
    October 29th, 2012 @ 11:24 pm

    Writing music?
    I like instrumental when I’m on a roll or intensely poetic and literate when I might need to borrow something.
    ie. Bill Frissell, Duotones, Leo Kottke, Adrian Legg, Danny Gatton, Pink Floyd, Miles Davis.

    Joni Mitchell, Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins, Graham Parker (down the up escalator), Chris Whitley, Jim Carroll Band, Lyle Lovett, k.d.lange.

    I’m always looking for more. My brain works better with music.

  16. Jackie
    October 29th, 2012 @ 11:33 pm

    OK, so what are your favorite pen and your favorite ink for it? I love old Parkers. I’ve had a couple of 21s and will someday find just the right 51 when I have some extra cash. I don’t have a particular favorite ink but I like the way Levenger’s flows and the bottle Mont Blanc comes in makes it easy to refill my pens.

  17. Veronica
    October 30th, 2012 @ 1:27 am

    I can’t hand write (I have hypermobile joints and holding a pen makes my thumb dislocate), but I hear everyone on the pen thing! When I have to fill out forms, I have a favourite pen and I’ll turn the house upside down until I find it.

    I’m doing NaNo and I think I’m prepared. I have a bunch of notes, a decent outline and a fridge full of cheese and chocolate. Sure, I’ve also got three small children – but we’ll ignore that.

  18. Part
    October 30th, 2012 @ 6:34 am

    Okay – I must weigh in on my writing instrument of choice. Being an accountant by education – computer guru by job – and over all geek…. Dixon Ticonderoga 1388-2/HB soft wooden pencil – yellow – green metallic lettering – green eraser cap and pink eraser on top.

    I go through a dozen of them a year.

    Electronic sharpener – X-Acto brand

    I have never liked mechanical pencils because the 7 mm lead is too dull and the 5 mm breaks too easily.

    As far as ink, I like black only and my current love is a Pilot G-knock 07 gel pen. Mr Clicky as I call him.

    Good luck with NANO. I will be composing in my head with you.

  19. Heidi
    October 30th, 2012 @ 1:35 pm

    I am listening to KEXP as I read this post! I wish there was a NaNo for poets!

  20. Nan
    October 31st, 2012 @ 7:14 pm

    I’m doing it and am so ill-prepared, it’s not even funny. The last few days were obliterated by the Storm, which doesn’t help at all. But I did talk a good friend into doing it (we’re calling it NaNoMoFo, not original but nicely apropos). I am strangely nervous — butterflies in the stomach — I don’t even have a concept settled on, let alone a story structure or characters. It’s maybe the craziest thing I’ve ever done? Wheeeeeee ….. (thud).

  21. Domenico
    October 31st, 2012 @ 11:07 pm

    Not joining on the site, but definitely going to write a novel this month.

  22. I Hermit
    November 1st, 2012 @ 2:28 pm

    Writing is a self place and being. I knew Bill Manchester, he was a word smith. so was his mentor H L Men. You say and you do it well, use poly-syllabic words is not about your generation, nor mine. Bring enlightenment, not entertainment. We need reality from every place on the planet, not “how to write” got a idea, go lateral! Write, Feel, Understand! You know and live it, and never let it slip away. GG.

  23. ChrisP
    November 12th, 2012 @ 12:49 pm

    Felyne, while the Varsity pens are not as good as a “real” pen, they are much better than a ballpoint. Lamy makes some good inexpensive pens, though, you are so right there. I haven’t tried Noodler’s ink, but their name keeps popping up among pen nuts.

    Oh, and I’m not a writer, unless you count technical documents for internal use. Dead boring stuff, trust me.

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