Determined to make some friends, and possibly something of myself, I decided to join the NaNoWriMo movement this year.


The what?

I didn’t know you were a dog person.

I know, it sounds like a high-strung dog thing.  NaNoWriMo, (National Novel Writing Month), is a challenge set in November (so ready, set .. GO!), for all those aspiring to write a novel (everyone I’ve ever met, I think?) to produce it. This month.

You sign up.  You produce 2,000 words (three pages) each day.  And by the end of the month? Viola!  You have 50,000 words.  No one cares if they are coherent.  And you can call yourself a novelist!

A novelist. A writer. An author. An artist.   Who me?   Just everything I’ve ever wanted to be.

Throughout the month NaNoWriMo sends you strategies, tips, encouragement, and virtual Kleenex from actual published authors and seasoned NaNoWriMo veterans.   Plus, with the whole goal being quantity, not quality, they continually tell you, “Just write.  Who cares if it’s crap? So is mine!”  To someone who’s been tweaking and re-tweaking crap on-and-off for the past 15 years, this Kamikaze call sounds like a liberation cry.

NaNoWriMo also organizes local chapter groups everywhere from New York City to … you guessed it, Fairbanks, Alaska!  Most chapters, I noticed as I excitedly googled my fingerprints off, have regular meet ups featuring write-ins and word-warm-up exercises at charming local bookstores with wifi internet and cafes.

I pictured meeting people wearing Tina Fey smart glasses and scarves.  While drinking Carmel Macchiatos, eating Lucy’s Glutton Free cookies, and giggling about our upcoming best sellers we would be tap, tap, tapping across the dance floors of our Mac Keyboards.

Maybe I’d meet someone just like Chelsea Handler? David Sedaris, is that you?!

A novelist? An author? An artist?  A writer.  An author with a new friend who lives within this arctic jurisdiction.  Could it be possible?

With visions of book tours taking me far, far, from here (and a friend to pick me up at the airport upon my return); I signed up!

Hold the lithium.  My delusions of grandeur were sufficiently smashed by the Fairbanks NaMoWriMo Kick-Off party.  It happened last night.  At Hot Licks.

Hot Licks? Not a charming local bookstore.   The palest, starkest, ice cream place ever.  Set in a strip mall.

Tina Fey smart glasses?  One skinny worm attending was wearing a cheap tuxedo.  Another donned a tie-dye tee shirt that hugged her fat rolls way to intimately and said, “Ride It.”  across the undulating waves of her bosom.

Scarves?  No.

Wi-Fi internet?  I must have forgotten everything I’ve been struggling with since September 9, 2010.

Mac Notebooks?  One writer brought a trapper keeper.

Laughing about our upcoming best sellers?  As we went round the circle introducing ourselves each writer offered a brief plot synopsis: zombies taking over the city; a war between the planets; brain draining dream eaters (?), a baby that is actually a bird monster and pecks out the eyes of it’s care takers (that one is part two of a trilogy).  One writer noted, “Looks like we’re all writing Sci –Fi, except that girl.” To which another added, “Well, we are in Fairbanks.”  Everyone in attendance, save “that girl,” giggled and smirked at that last insight.   WTF is wrong with these people?

Try saying, “Hi. I’m Katie.  I was thinking Chick Lit.”  To a circle of open- mouth breathers as two of them literally tongue each other.

“Me and Her?”  Said one of the tonguers, “We love to write.”

“Boris is SO talented,” slobber, slobber, kiss, kiss.

When I got home I had to take a shower.

And then, I consulted my “real” friends, you know, the ones on the internet.

And, guess what?  The subject of my best friend’s daily blog post? NaNoWriMo!!  And why I should do it!  I balked.  And then I started daydreaming about the solo tap dance I’m going to start composing on November 1st.  I guess it really is a high-strung dog kinda thing.

Delusions of grandeur > reality,





14 responses to “NaNoWriMo

  1. If this blog is a teaser there is not doubt you can do it.

  2. You can do it Katie, I know you can! Just warm up with some catch phrase as always (ok maybe a marathon of catch phrase) but you are going to be great at it!

  3. I can’t wait for your book to hit the stores. You are so talented Katie and your blog is always such a delight to read. You go, girl! Keep on tap, tap, tapping away! X and a Horseshoe,

    Marie 🙂

  4. Be nice to those who write Sci-Fi during NaNoWriMo. I have tried to accomplish that myself. What you need to do is write a Chick Lit Sci-Fi novel set in Alaska. Nobody has done that (probably for good reason).

    • haha! I’m sure writing sci-fi isn’t easy! Hence my dismay re: how do you sci fi people come up with this stuff?! It scares me! (give your non eye pecking baby a rub for me!)

  5. Oh my gosh. You are so funny! I want to do this too, but here it is the day before, and all I know is I’d like to write children’s fiction. Aaaak! I think it’s the motivation I need, though. Thanks for the wrap-up from your meeting – I don’t have to lament not having a writing group, apparently!

  6. Just reading your post about it now! Ha Ha, my sister and I were basically the only two non fantasy/non sci fi writers in our city of millions also. But it is fun sometimes to feel the energy of other dualling keyboards around you at a NaNo writing event. We liked to bring our laptops to a pub and sip pints of beer as we raced thru our daily word count. And geek is just another way of saying ‘enthusiastic hobby-ist’ and man, these guys get really enthusiastic. And if it wasn’t for them, I’d never have gotten off my butt to do it. My sister is on the fifth draft of a great book she began in Nano about her time living in Japan. Stay the course 🙂

  7. Inexplicably, the Trapper Keeper is the funniest part of this entire post to me. Is he/she going to write the entire novel by longhand? Whew, that sounds harder than living without high-speed internet!! Keep up the writing, maybe it will lead to a book tour with warmer destinations than Alask in your future 🙂

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  9. Renee Sanders

    I LOVE READING THESE! AND I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE BOOK AND MOVIE THAT ARE SURE TO FOLLOW! Thanks for making me smile because of the endearing, amusing, and genuine way you write.

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