Stories of faith, life, and love

Tag: NaNoWriMo

Winds in the East

“Winds in the east, mist coming in. Like somethin’ is brewin’ and about to begin. Can’t put my finger on what lies in store, but I fear what’s to happen all happened before.” – Mary Poppins

It’s November, and we know what that means. NaNoWriMo is in full swing. I like to think of it, my annual month of failure. I’m sure this year will be a different NaNoWriMo month than last year for several reasons, but I’m also falling heavily in Bert’s camp. “I fear what’s to happen all happened before.”

I’m actually doing pretty good so far. I’m no where near where I need to be to finish 50,000 words by the end of the month, but I haven’t totally lost hope.

No. Let’s be honest. I’ll be surprised if I reach the goal. And that’s okay. At the end of the month, I will be further into my new story than I was in October. I’ll have worked hard and cheered on my overachieving friends who will type right past that 50,000 word goal. I will have grown as a writer, and I will have written close to every day. Those aren’t bad results.

What about you? Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? How’s it going for you?

We’re also entering the holiday season, and I want to help readers take advantage of the opportunity to read seasonal stories without the judgment one might receive if you read them in July. With that in mind, I’m going to post reviews of holiday books and even some of my favorite Hallmark Christmas movies.

I think I’ll even give them scores. Jingle bells for movies and Christmas angels for the books. I used a scoring system for my movie reviews last year, and I had fun with it. I think expanding it to my book reviews will make it even better!

The last idea I’m toying with is part top ten countdown, part holiday shopping help. I want to give readers and those who shop for readers ideas to make gift sets based on books. I’ll include my own books, of course, and some of my favorite books from the last couple years. The ideas will be customizable to your budget needs. I’m still deciding whether I want to do these as blog posts, on my Facebook author page, or on my YouTube channel as videos. What do you think?

I’m excited to see where the winds take me in the next few weeks. I want to have fun but also provide inspiration for you as you shop for the book lovers on the list. If I can introduce you to a great Christmas book or movie while I’m at it, that’s even better.

And don’t forget to come back regularly for updates on my NaNoWriMo journey. Find out if “what’s to happen has happened before”? Maybe this time will be something totally new.

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National Author Day and NaNoWriMo

November 1st is National Author Day. I’m not sure Hallmark makes a card for this one, but if you have an author you love, take time to tell them today. If a story they’ve written has impacted you, to grow, challenge, or encourage you, today is the perfect day to share that with them.

I’m not sure if you know this, but writing is hard work. Writing well is even harder. And writing in ways that reach out, invite the reader in, and leave them changed is the hardest writing of all. When you add the marketing aspect to the author’s life, things can get exponentially more difficult. Simply hearing from one of our readers can make the day go from good to great!

November 1st is also the beginning of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). It’s a time of challenge for authors and aspiring authors to set a lofty goal and dedicate the time and energy to achieve it. What’s the goal? Fifty thousand words by the end of day November 30th. When you consider a lot of these authors have day jobs, families, and other time takers, this goal becomes a journey up a mountain.

The path up the mountain may be beautiful, but the trip is still difficult and time consuming. There are many areas where those on the journey may get discouraged and wonder if it’s worth the trouble. For those who stick it out to the end, the view from the top is amazing. They leave the month of November with a nearly completed manuscript. If they’re writing a novella, it may be completely done. It’s a wonderful feeling climbing to the top of that mountain, and it should be celebrated.

If you know an author working toward NaNoWriMo goals this month, cheer them on. If you are one, find a group to encourage and support you in your journey. They can’t write the words for you, but they can give you the boost you need to keep going.

Just one more thing. If you are an aspiring Christian/clean reads author, my publisher has two contests running through the end of November. You can find more about them here. and

Are you joining NaNoWriMo this month?

Who are the authors that have spoken to you through their stories?

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NaNoWriMo or NO

Writers, both experienced and beginners, are gearing up for the start of NaNoWriMo in just two days. I’ve never participated in the event, but I know several who have taken part faithfully every November. Even my sister authors from the Once Upon A Page YouTube channel participate. They gave our viewers and me some great information about how to complete NaNoWriMo successfully in our video that posted last Saturday. I’ll add the link below.

While the event gets splashed all over people’s social media pages from the end of October to the beginning of December, it’s important to remember it’s okay to NOT participate. You can be a successful author without ever taking that challenge. You don’t have to feel guilty if last year wasn’t good for you to join in and this year doesn’t look any better. Just as there are plotters, pantsers, and those who are somewhere in between, there are writers who thrive on challenges like this and others who find it creates more anxiety than they want to add to their lives.

So if you’re participating, feel free to friend me. I may make you feel really good about yourself. I’ve not been known to have the self-discipline to get those rigid word counts in. I may surprise myself, but I doubt it.

If you’re not, I’d still like to encourage you in your writing. Add a comment about what you’re working on and your goals for it. We aren’t in competition here. There’s room for everyone at the author table, and we need to build each other up.

And if you’re a reader and NaNoWriMo means nothing to you, I get that too. I’m glad you stopped by and read this post anyway. National Reading Month is supposed to be in March. Maybe someone will develop the reading version of NaNoWriMo. It could be called NaNoReaMo, and we could challenge one another to read and review a certain number of novels during that month. Some novel loving person might want to look into that. I know I’d get behind it.

And here’s the link I promised.

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