If you are as old as I am, you might suspect that the
title of this post refers to the old “Mork and Mindy” show.  But if you’re hipper than that, you probably
know I’m talking about NaNoWriMo.

 (Uh oh, I think I may have begun a NaNo post that very
same way last year.  Have my blogs become

 A couple of years ago I spent the month of November on a
YA novel that had an overarching theme, a tale of mythical adventure, a young
heroine, and literary references galore. 
If you haven’t seen it on the shelves of Barnes and Noble, that’s only
because 1. it stunk, and 2. I never finished it, and also 3. it stunk.  Maybe I’ll go back to it.  Maybe I can make it good.  Or maybe I can’t get past the boggy middle,
now or ever.

 I have less time now than I did that November, and even
less confidence in my ability to write fiction, but still… I might do it.  If I do, I will avoid themes of any
sort.  I will eschew any social agenda
related to promoting girl lit.  I will
stuff whatever erudition I possess into the closet and proceed with only one
goal: maximum fun. 

 No outline.  No
character sketches.  No plot points
decided in advance.  I’ll do it the way
Stephen King does: start with a situation. 

 Possible situations:

I am a middle-aged female writer
attending a writers’ conference somewhere other than here.  NYC? 
Maui?  An unexpected event will change my life.

I am a middle-aged female mom on a
ski vacation with my family.  But I don’t
ski.  What will I do while husband and
kids are on the slopes?

I am a middle-aged female blogger
attending the first ever Xanga Ball. 
Everyone is there, wearing nametags with their online identity.  Meeting one of you (but who?) will result in
a cascade of events that will be of no importance whatsoever, but will be
highly amusing.

 Did I mention that I’ll be writing in
first person, using a character very much like myself?  I told you I’m no good at fiction.  Third person is too hard.

 Finally, I will post what I write, so
you can all make fun of me. 

 Who else wants to NaNo?


More story starter possibilities:

4.  The doorbell rings one Saturday afternoon.  I answer and find a scary clown on the doorstep.

5.  Speeding down the highway at the standard Seattle freeway
speed of 6 mph, I approach a broken down vehicle on the right. 
The driver, a scary clown with a large knapsack, stands beside the car
with his thumb out.

6.  Shopping for jeans at the mall, I take my selections to the
checkstand.  The red-haired clerk stands with his back to
me.  “Excuse me,” I say politely to get his attention.  He
turns and grins at me with a wide painted-on smile.  His bow tie
is floppy, his shoes are enormous, but his eyes…evil.


37 thoughts on “

  1. I have debated doing that over the last couple of years, but I know nothing about it… and I don’t know if I can put up the time for it with the baby and other stuff going on … I keep saying “some day” which probably makes me a prime candidate to actually participate in it.. LOL

  2. I am intrigued, and still a bit annoyed, but hey, I can write and be annoyed, right?  What is this nano thing?  I’ll sign for the info if the law has changed….

  3. i’m definitely going to nano this year – i nano’d about 3 years ago, but it didn’t get published for the same reasons as yours.
    however, we had the incomparable diana gabaldon in our bookstore today (a surprise – and very welcome – visit!!) accompanied by the rep for her canadian publishing company.  she signed some books and wished me luck on my writing.
    so…how can i not do nano this year after that?

  4. good luck! … i would love to do this sometime, but while I’m a grad student it’s probably not going to happen. I’ll probably reach close to half the page total in November anyway thanks to papers I have to write … maybe i can just find ways to link those together and add some fiction to the research part 🙂

  5. I want to apply for the part of the scary clown. I have dressed up as a scary clown for every Halloween the past four years. This is the year I finally have the clown hand gloves I have always wanted. (Check out the movie Killer Klowns From Outer Space to see the gloves.)
    As for re-writes, I have decided to do a ‘guy-goes-back-in-time-to-change-the-past-and-therefore-the-present’ fiction tale (I know, I know, an idea that’s been done to death) and I am going to plagiarize from many of my older works to make it sing, hopefully. I love writing in first person, third person is too hard. Or maybe I’m just egotistical, who knows?

  6. Would you rather stab a reader with a screwdiver or a knife made for the job? The sharness and visual should be your weapon of choice. Give the who, what where why and how… Be descptive but short and sweet. Middle aged female? Here;
    Never use middle aged.
    Sophisticated, Experienced, Sensual, seductive, skilled, refined….
    exposed to nyc for a conference, not knowing what to expect…
    I’m not a judge, shit, im 38, im just throwing you a lil advice…
    Throw me some paragraphs, Personality buildups, scenarios…
    I get my best ideas from others sometimes!

  7. Hi! Thanks for stopping by!Yes Erik (supremespleen) is my 16 yo son. Kevin is a friend of his. Its a high school radio show. I like the Xanga Ball idea. I’m always amazed what wonderful writers I come across on Xanga. Good luck and have fun with your story!

  8. Oh I heard about this.  I’m going to have to check it out.  I don’t know if I have enough time – whine whine whine.  I will look at the website and decide.  So many stories run through my head all the time but can I write them down into a book??

  9. I tried Nano last year but it kicked my ass. I write poetry almost exclusively (except when I write a paper for school or a presentation for the bank) so I start to just lose it with a large writing project. I don’t know, maybe poets just don’t have a large enough attention span. Or at least this one doesn’t. Perhaps when I’m ready it will happen.

  10. “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters. And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” Jesus ChristMatthew 12:30-37

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