Every year at this time I’m struck by the urge to write a novel.  It would probably be best to squash the urge immediately.  A couple of times I’ve written stories and posted them in installments right here for your reading pleasure.  Remember the Scary Clown?  Well, that was about my best story ever.  Often I begin well but lose steam at about, oh, chapter 2.  I know how my stories should start.  Sometimes I even know how they should end.  But hell if I know what should happen in the middle. 


So now it’s late October and you know what that means, right?  Right.  NaNoWriMo.  Who could resist the lure of the challenge?  The camaraderie?  The unedited prose so tortured it is not so much purple as black and blue? 


This year my ten-year-old intends to participate in the NaNoWriMo Young Writers’ Program.  The youngsters follow the same rules (begin on November 1, finish by November 30, and no editing), but they don’t have to shoot for 50,000 words like the grown-ups do.  I think Tigger is going to set her goal at 10,000 words.  That’s only 333 words per day.  If she wrote as many words as she speaks out loud in a day she’d right up there with Tolstoy in output.


Will I?  Should I?  I don’t even have a topic or a single character, let alone a plot in mind. 


On the upside, if I manage to write a novel I can use my pen name for that, too.  (No, I haven’t settled on one.  See?  I’m hopeless.)


But Tigger and I could sit in the coffee shop together with our cups ‘o joe and our laptops, pushing past our own self-imposed limits.  And that’s surely worth the humiliation of writing yet another pathetic story.  Isn’t it?





  1. What is Tigger doing with a “Cup o Joe”?  I still like the idea of the Scary Clown.  Maybe he could have another adventure…maybe his own book series.  The kids would love him!  They’d make it into a mini-series!  Then a movie!  Go for it!!!

  2. I see you writing something akin to Slaves of New York, by Tama Janowitz, not quite a novel, but far more than merely a collection of short stories, as it is typically described.

  3. How about writing a real life story within a story.   The one about Tigger and Little Bit’s Halloween trials and tribulations and her writing a novel with her mother at Starbucks over a steaming “cup of joe”.

  4. “But Tigger and I could sit in the coffee shop together with our cups ‘o joe and our laptops, pushing past our own self-imposed limits.  And that’s surely worth the humiliation of writing yet another pathetic story.  Isn’t it?”
    Yes, it is.  There’s nothing like doing something that has the possibility for humiliation. (And before you say, “I find that offensive!” [tm Futurama] I was/am? a pianist, so I know from public humiliation )

  5. Good luck if you do.  Beyond the NaNoWriMo, you might try doing a novel outline and character profiles first.  I know no one likes to do that, but it’s a good way to insure getting past Chapter 2 🙂

  6. I participated in NaNoWriMo a couple of years, but I just don’t think I have it in me this year.   My mind is blank as to plot and characters and my body would protest at the work involved, good novel or not.     But I am looking forward to reading other’s attempts.     I didn’t know there was a junior version of the practice.
    Good luck to both of you!

  7. Hello Ms. Jodi,You made your site so simple yet elegant. The pictures are a nice touch. I see that you have a wide variety of observations here! I like to write articles about God and religion on my site to help people to really get to know God, especially in these troubled times. 14 When the good news about the kingdom has been preached all over the world and told to all nations, the end will come. (Matthew 24:14) (CEV) I hope you get a chance to look at them.

  8. I’d do the NaNoWriMo thing if I weren’t writing nano stuff already. I’ll be doing a BUNCH more writing come the first of the year. (A quarterly food supplier/distributor/anything else related e-newsletter for the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture.) RYC: Yes, they’re blanched. Those I photoed had just been blanched.

  9. Go for it.  you could write about a woman who still lives with her ex- husband for financial reasons, but they get along better than before, and… Oh that’s stupid, never mind.I would probably pretend i was a kid for the writing thing, so I could write less.RYC:  I’m pretty sure if i got in a bad accident and realized it was really bad i would say OMG, but I guess that’s news.  Are you sure it’s not a big deal you said that?  Thanks, I think so too.

  10. I bash my (song) writing plenty, too. Even so, when I reach the place you’re describing, where I’m at the “what the hell, whatever happens, happens” phase, that’s where the best stuff usually comes out. Give it a go.You may surprise yourself.

  11. Wow! Here I was hoping someone else’s kid was signed up for the challenge! My son’s doing it, too! And I’ll, of course, be playing along too. I think I have a good idea to go on, but we’ll see! Good luck to you both!

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