Camp NaNo

This year, two of my goals were to repeat challenges I completed and enjoyed last year.

One is running a half marathon. I have my sights set on one in September, with training to start at the end of June.

The other is NaNoWriMo, which . . . I just finished! But wait, it’s not November!?!?


April is one of the Camp NaNo months the site offers. Thank goodness! While, of course, I could sit down and commit to thirty days of novel writing starting any day of the year, I love the little bar graph on the site that tracks my progress. Small joys, big results.

Today is a day of celebration! I have a third novel on the page, so to speak, and I didn’t have to wait another six months to get it there. There’s a ton of editing work to do on this—the chapters aren’t even in order—but I’m looking forward to that challenge. It’s good to have it out of my head, and it’s taken some twists I can’t wait to push and pursue.

To sum up, current novel standing looks like this:

Novel A: agented, rejected on first round of submissions, major rewrite paused for birth of child

Novel B: November 2014 NaNo novel, editing not yet begun

Novel C: April 2015 Camp NaNo novel, editing to commence mid-May, after a short story edit for writers’ group

And now, it’s time to make dinner.

Stay tuned for another interview coming your way very soon . . .


Taking a Rest

We’ve been in our new home for three days. I’m very happy to say we’re about seventy percent unpacked. There are still things to hang on walls, a kitchen counter to finish replacing, and a basement to sort out, but we are getting a little closer every day. Except yesterday.


Yesterday, we did almost nothing to get further settled in. We were too exhausted, too mentally spent to even think about where something else might go. My husband and I took an ice cream break after the kids were in bed and thought about everything but moving for the rest of the evening.


That break was almost like a magic spell. This morning I woke up with ideas about how to organize our kitchen, making use of what we have in a better way. I had the energy to heft around some heavy boxes in two other rooms before I even had breakfast, because I could see more clearly how it would all end up.


So it is with writing (you didn’t think I’d make it through a move without making an analogy to writing, did you?). Sometimes—especially after things have been thrown up in the air and dramatically rearranged—you need to take a break to get clearer perspective. A rest is not always a result of laziness or apathy; it can be just the thing to get a tough spot back on track.


This move has provided me plenty of time away from my manuscript, and I’m looking forward to diving back in very, very soon. Of course my books are already on the shelves. Now I can’t wait to see where my new space will take me.

Tweet, Tweet

I have a confession to make.


When I signed on to Twitter for the first time a few months ago, I had no idea what I was doing. I don’t know much about programming, but I consider myself otherwise tech-savvy. When I launched Twitter, though, it was like someone had taken my computer and switched it to a foreign language (and not German, because I’d get that). It took a full day for me to start to feel like I had a handle on it . . . and that day felt like a week.


Fast forward to the present, and I’m loving all the great articles on writing, editing, and publishing I discover every day, courtesy of the editors, writers, and agents I follow. In case you haven’t been following my feed (it’s over there, to the right), today I’m sharing links to some of the best articles I read this week—pieces that got me thinking, reading and most importantly, writing!


Why Editors Focus on Page One:


Sarah Dessen and Regina Hayes: The Slate Book Review author-editor interview:


How Do You Find Your Next Read?:


What did you find on Twitter this week? Share in the comments, please!


Two Months In and . . . the Liebster Award!

Today I’m excited to have been nominated for a Liebster Award by Dragonfly Dithers! Thank you! The Liebster Award is one that recognizes new blogs worth reading (and those with less than 300 followers). Upon acceptance of the award, a blogger must:


  1. List 11 random facts about him/herself.
  2. Answer the questions that were asked of him/her (by the blogger that nominated him/her).
  3. Nominate 11 other blogs for the Liebster Blog Award and link to their blogs.
  4. Notify the bloggers of their award.
  5. Ask the award winners 11 questions to answer once they accept the award.


Here we go!


  1. My favorite children’s book is Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt. I still haven’t seen the movie.
  2. My favorite adult book is Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. Ordinary things made extraordinary—beautiful.
  3. I tried NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), but only managed 25,000 of the 50,000 words required to claim victory. Maybe having a two-month-old at the time made this harder than it needed to be.
  4. While interning at Abrams Books for Young Readers, I met Tim Gunn. I was wearing a shirt I got on sale for $3 at Old Navy.
  5. Someday I hope to have a dog named Gutenberg.
  6. I like to watch The Biggest Loser, because I love to see people making positive changes in their lives.
  7. I like to watch Project Runway, because I love to see people grow and learn from constructive criticism (I could do without the occasional mocking).
  8. I own a minivan. We call him Frankie.
  9. I only listened to oldies until I was about ten years old.
  10. One of my favorite movies is Sister Act.
  11. Once spring hits, I get a hankering to watch The Sandlot with a glass bottle of Coca-cola by my side.


Here’s what was asked of me:


  1. How old do you feel?

I feel exactly as old as I am!

  1. What’s your favourite time of day?

In the summer, my favorite time is the evening—when it’s still light out after dinner and it feels like time just goes on and on.

  1. What do you like to do on long weekends?

Spend time with my husband and kids. Sneak in more writing time. Drink a latte. Go for a run in the park with my family.

  1. Do you like to spend time outdoors?

Yes! I have two little boys, so I spend a lot of time outside.

  1. When you read a book, do you peek at the last few pages to see how it turns out?

Not if I plan to finish the book. If I’m not invested enough to finish, but still curious about the plot’s resolution, I’ll look.

  1. If you are a writer, do you like to write longhand–with pen and paper– or immediately on your computer?

Computer. I write notes and outlines in longhand sometimes.

  1. Are you an animal lover, or you detest them?

I like them, so I guess I’m in between.

  1. Favourite dessert?

New favorite: chocolate-chip-cookie-covered Oreos. Mind-blowing.

  1. Ideal job?

Exactly what I do! Raising my kids at home while writing and freelancing around our family’s schedule.

  1. Do you eat out a lot?

About once a week, we order in for at-home date night.

  1. Top 3 things you would do if you won a million dollars?
  1. Donate a good deal of it to organizations that provide for people’s basic needs.
  2. Help those in need pay off debts to get on their feet.
  3. Eat sushi to celebrate!


For my nominees, I’m selecting the first eleven bloggers to follow WILWWN:

Monty’s Catablog





Joe Warnimont


Sham Jaff

TheCoevas Official



And here are the questions for those bloggers:

  1. How long have you been blogging?
  2. If you’re writing something other than your blog right now, what is it (title/genre/one-line synopsis)?
  3. Would you self-publish? Have you self-published?
  4. Are you a good proofreader?
  5. Which do you prefer, writing a first draft or editing it?
  6. Coffee or tea?
  7. Where do you like to write?
  8. What was your favorite book when you were a kid?
  9. What was the best book you read last year?
  10. If you were published, would you use a pseudonym?
  11. Have you ever entered a writing contest?


Thanks again to Dragonfly Dithers and to those who follow WILIWWN.


More next week. Until then, happy writing!

How This Thing’s Going to Work

Thanks to those who have already started to follow WILWWN! I’m excited to get started, and wanted to set the expectations right now. I’ll be posting twice weekly, Tuesday and Thursday (and this doesn’t count for today). I’ve already got a lot in the pipeline for you.


I’ve also set up a QUESTIONS? page where readers can post questions about writing or publishing they’d like answered. I hope this can be a lively conversation. Thanks again for reading!


More soon.