Monday, December 27, 2010

The All Sex Blog

25 comments
by
Lupe Fernandez

The Tease
The story idea flashes a little scene, just enough to get the heart thumping. Bits of alluring dialog speak. A mood clouds the mind. Maybe yes. Maybe no. Will the story idea put out? Or slam the door on the way out? So many questions, not enough time to answer. Must act quickly. Other suitors on the way. Spend time and energy on this story, this possibility, this wisp of a narrative? 

Foreplay
Sit before the page. Sound out the story’s preferences. Have a little drink. Something to eat. Talk about the weather. The décor. Admire the scenery. Opps, did the story mean to reveal that much. Get a sense of how this will end? Oh yeah.

Position
Try something conservative at first. The first person position. Always a favorite. Don’t get bored. Try third person personal. Feeling dominant? Third person omniscient. Too removed. Try something kinky like second person present tense. Whoa…back it up cowboy. Practice safe serializing. Back up work.

Climax
Mellow. Yeah. End with something to think about. Too sleepy? How about abrupt? Boom. The end. Leave them wanting more. Unsatisfactory. That’s it? That’s all? What happened? It’s the reader. No, it’s the story. Happens to the best. Too many questions unanswered. Will the story call back in the morning? Luxuriate. Ready for the sequel or a trilogy…yeah a threesome…and the movie version.

Afterwards
Still think about the story the next day…hmmm… Linger on the vivid imagery, the sensory detail, favorite pages and characters. All those secrets. Okay, maybe one of them bored. Wait. Did the story really say that? Or is it wishful thinking? Perhaps another try. Forgotten already. Another draft? Maybe another story. Oh yeah, there’s this place where they hang out. It’s not an addiction. Just say no.

Fetishes
Swim to inspire. Sharpen No. 2 pencils. Clean house. Role-play author book signing. Sort book shelf based on Dewey Decimal System.

Porn
Go to the library. Browse a book store. Read without buying. Smell the pages. Write speech for imaginary Newberry award.

Abstinence
Watch TV.

So be safe.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Pint-Sized Reads for Pint-sized Philosophers

14 comments
by Kris Kahrs

I started this week writing a post about Intentionality and Process which eventually made my brain hurt and was such a theoretical morass that even firing Jeff Zucker wouldn’t have saved it. So, I decided to post about a new line of kidlit that introduces basic Philosophy concepts to children.

The series of books is called, Deep Thoughts for Big Thinkers and is published by the Wee Think Big imprint of Bob’s Books, a division of Random Publishing which is a subsidiary of McDonalds.

JP’s Bad, Horrible, No-Good Day: In this riveting PB, 6 year old Jean-Paul Sartre knocks his mother’s vase off the table and is grounded for the week. JP weeps, mopes and throws tantrums until his strict, authoritarian grandfather announces, “You did it to yourself, boy!” At which point, JP retreats to his room and commences his life’s work, “Being and Nothingness”. Illustrations by H.P. Lovecraft.

Can You Believe Your Eyes?: Uh, oh, Rene Descartes is in trouble with the Schoolmaster again. He won’t use the red crayon because he can’t prove that it is really, really the color red. The Schoolmaster says that Rene must stay after school until he learns his colors. Will Rene stop doubting his eyes and rejecting the Crayola 64 color box?

Click, Clack, Choo!: Mr. Kant wants to take the train to Stuttgart to buy some strudel, but needs to know what time it will leave the station. The Stationmaster assures him that the train leaves Konigsberg at precisely 9 a.m. daily. Mr. Kant says, “No, no, no, it is only 9 a.m from your point of view. What time would it be from my perspective?” While the Stationmaster has a lie-down, Immanuel Kant attempts to work out the time for himself. Will he reach Stuttgart before the bakery closes?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

First Line Answers

3 comments
by Susan Berger

Here are the answers to the first lines I posted on December 9, 2010.

1. “NO WAY,” I hissed through the slatted dressing room door, “I am not coming out.”

2. Fox Street was a dead end. In Mo Wren’s opinion, this was only one of many wonderful distinguishing thinks about it.

3. I was born into the sovereignty of nerds from which few have escaped and of which even fewer have had sex. For thirteen harrowing years nerdiness reigned supreme, leaving me unattractive and socially awkward with little more than a stellar report card to call a friend.

4. Frannie Lawrence believed in secrets. The Things you didn’t talk about the way words said out loud could. Words made the bad things too real sometimes. Beter to keep silent with the hurt locked safely away.

5. I HAVE A PERFECT MOUTH. That is, at least according to my dentist, AKA my dad, AKA Dr. Dad.
Cursed by Karol Ruth Silverstein BTW.

6. It all started with Aldwyn’s whiskers beginning to tingle- the way they always did when he was hungry. Food had been getting hard to come by these last few months.

7. My earliest memory is fuzzy. Not because of time but because I’m looking out of a full body jumper. It’s sea foam green. My mom has cinched the head so tight that my vision is a fleecy porthole.

8. I pulled up on the front of my pink leotard and turned to the mirror to look at my large behind. No change there. I stretched the fabric tightly across my chest and frowned. Almost a sophomore and still no need of a bra. So much for cutting all those carbs. The calories would always hit us black girls in the wrong places.

9. “Hey, chubbo quit hogging the sidewalk!” Kenny Thompson yanked the front of his bike off the ground, circled around eight-year-old Macy Carver, and stuck out his tongue.

10. The sign in front of St Barnaby’s Home for the Hopeless, Abandoned, Forgotten and Lost read CRUSHINNG THE SPIRIT OF CHLDHOOD SINCE 1898.
(First book. This is going to be a trilogy. The second book will be out in August, 2011)

These ten new lines are all from picture books. Seven are from first books. One is from a book that has now yet been published.

1. Nestled in the soft earth beside the path you see a yellow spider.

2. Everything was just dandy till that Emily Post book showed up.

3. The jungle was quiet.
Suraj, the tiger cub wondered why.
Then Rassi arrived and gave him the news.

4. My friend Lincoln says you have two dads. That’s right poppa and daddy.

5. Everyone told Lily Hippo she was too loud.

6. Beep Beep. Sheep in a jeep on a hill that’s steep.

7. Mama love to sing. Her singing was always a happy part of everyday life. But everything changed the day after my seventh birthday.

8. Pitter, patter
Plam, plam
On my window pane

9. I took the moon for a walk last night.

10. Once upon a time Chicken Licken was standing a round when a piece of something fell on her head.

I really wanted to post the first line from When the Wind Blew which is Margaret Wise Brown’s first book. Margret wrote Good Night Moon and I thought it would be fun to see the first line from the first book she sold. But I couldn’t find it. If anyone has a copy, I would love to know the first line.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Time for another first lines post

10 comments
by Susan Berger

These lines are from middle grade and YA. Seven of them are first books. One has not yet been published, but I am sure it is going to be a first book. If you know any of these books, please leave a comment. If you have a favorite first line, please send it to me. (Even if it is from your book that had not yet be accepted for publication.)

My next post will be the answers, plus ten more lines.
1. "NO WAY,” I hissed through the slatted dressing room door, “I am not coming out.”

2. Fox Street was a dead end. In Mo Wren’s opinion, this was only one of many wonderful distinguishing thinks about it.

3. I was born into the sovereignty of nerds from which few have escaped and of which even fewer have had sex. For thirteen harrowing years nerdiness reigned supreme, leaving me unattractive and socially awkward with little more than a stellar report card to call a friend.

4. Frannie Lawrence believed in secrets. The Things you didn’t talk about the way words said out loud could. Words made the bad things too real sometimes. Better to keep silent with the hurt locked safely away.

5. I HAVE A PERFECT MOUTH. That is, at least according to my dentist, AKA my dad, AKA Dr. Dad.

6. It all started with Aldwyn’s whiskers beginning to tingle- the way they always did when he was hungry. Food had been getting hard to come by these last few months.

7. My earliest memory is fuzzy. Not because of time but because I’m looking out of a full body jumper. It’s sea foam green. My mom has cinched the head so tight that my vision is a fleecy porthole.

8. I pulled up on the front of my pink leotard and turned to the mirror to look at my large behind. No change there. I stretched the fabric tightly across my chest and frowned. Almost a sophomore and still no need of a bra. So much for cutting all those carbs. The calories would always hit us black girls in the wrong places.

9. “Hey, chubbo quit hogging the sidewalk!” Kenny Thompson yanked the front of his bike off the ground, circled around eight-year-old Macy Carver, and stuck out his tongue.

10. The sign in front of St Barnaby’s Home for the Hopeless, Abandoned, Forgotten and Lost read CRUSHINNG THE SPIRIT OF CHLDHOOD SINCE 1898.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Jobs Just In Case

10 comments
by
Lupe Fernandez

In these troubled economic times, I’m often told to have a “back up plan” or “something to fall back on” in case my stalwart efforts at writing do not bear fruit, vegetables or publication. After considerable pondering and wandering, I’ve come up with a list of possible occupations that could support me while I wax poetically, type madly and revise ravenously.

Lion Tamer
I already have the hat.

Dead Fish Plucker
I can swim.   

Occupational Hazard Counselor
I’m clumsy with band saws, bench lathes and acetylene torches.

Horizontal Refreshment Consultant
I like to watch.

Doomsayer Associate
The best laid plans of mice and microbes often go astray.

Ice Cream Creative
My first job was working at Baskin & Robbins. Some ice creams are too dry, too milky, too flat or not my favorite flavor.
 
Literary Gatekeeper
I’ll read the book for you and tell you if you will like it.

Photo by L. Fernandez

GeoTransit Surrogate
Why go on a vacation and suffer through strip-searches, cancelled flights, lost luggage or political upheavals? I’ll take the trip for you.

Critique Group Analyst
Review your munchies, chairs, pets, children, location, colleagues, and pre-meeting discussions to improve group moral and maximize your critique time. (Example: Curtail discussions about wedding dresses, grandchildren, great grandchildren, wedding dresses, pre-school, post- school or vacations to places I haven’t visited.)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Quality Control
Not all CCC’s are baked equal.

Digital LCD Progressive Scan Interlace Mode Supervisor
I watch TV.

Photo by L. Fernandez
Unofficial Wedding Photographer
Utilize guerilla journalistic approach. No posing. Requires access to intimate settings. Will bring my own lunch.  

Brain Not to Scale
Positron-Emission Ventral Tegmental Researcher
Occupation classified.

These are just a few of my favorite things.
So many choices,
so little time.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

THE ANNIVERSARY EDITION
A Year of Spectacular Postings

0 comments
Photo by L. Fernandez
Critique Offer
Last Day. Last Day. Last Day.
Offer Ends Today at the Stroke of Midnight.
That's it.
The End.
No More.
Done.

In honor of our anniversary, we are offering a Peer Review Critique! We build our email list. You get a critique of the first three pages of your current MS. Everybody wins.
 
We are not agents nor editors, we are writers, we understand how you feel. We know sometimes, a new pair of eyes works wonders.

In these tough economic times, it's nice to know that some things are still free!

This limited time offer begins November 1st and ends November 30th, 2010.

What kind of critique?

That depends on which one of us does the critique. We all have different strengths. 
  • Hilde G. the quietest member of our group, will search for voice and help you strengthen it.
  • Lupe F. caresses characters, palpitates plots, and strokes styles. Satisfaction Guaranteed. Outcall Service Available.
  • Sue B. often swirls your thoughts around in her magic teapot and puts them in a new order.
  • Kris K. the picture book writer and sanest member of our group excels at logic problems, fact verification and all things grammatical.
Guidelines:
  • Must be first three pages of your story.
  • One story per author.
  • Please do not submit unedited Nano Pages.
  • Submit to penink04@gmail.com. Put Critique request in the subject line.
  • Provide us with your name, email address, genre and a brief synopsis in an email and then attach your document.
Happy Writing!

Monday, November 29, 2010

THE ANNIVERSARY EDITION
A Year of Spectacular Postings

2 comments
Pen & Ink is One Year Old
...but only for TWO, count 'em TWO more days.
Hurry.
We know who you are.
Offer ends November 30th at the stroke of Midnight.

Photo by L. Fernandez

In honor of our anniversary, we are offering a Peer Review Critique! We build our email list. You get a critique of the first three pages of your current MS. Everybody wins.

We are not agents nor editors, we are writers, we understand how you feel. We know sometimes, a new pair of eyes works wonders.

In these tough economic times, it's nice to know that some things are still free!

This limited time offer begins November 1st and ends November 30th, 2010.
What kind of critique?
That depends on which one of us does the critique. We all have different strengths.
  • Hilde G. the quietest member of our group, will search for voice and help you strengthen it.
  • Lupe F. caresses characters, palpitates plots, and strokes styles. Satisfaction Guaranteed. Outcall Service Available.
  • Sue B. often swirls your thoughts around in her magic teapot and puts them in a new order.
  • Kris K., the picture book writer and sanest member of our group excels at logic problems, fact verification and all things grammatical.
Guidelines
  • Must be first three pages of your story.
  • One story per author.
  • Please do not submit unedited Nano Pages.
  • Submit to penink04@gmail.com. Put Critique request in the subject line.
  • Provide us with your name, email address, genre and a brief synopsis in an email and then attach your document.
Happy Writing!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mood Altering Words

8 comments
by
Lupe Fernandez


Who doesn’t need a positive pick-me-up while practicing the craft of writing? I sure do. Here’s a few handy phrases guaranteed to turn that frown upside down.

Dark outside?
Don’t worry, the Sun still has five billion years before it expands to a red giant and burns the Earth.

Worried how long your book will last?
In a warm, moist landfill, paper will decompose in 2 or 3 weeks. In a dry climate, your book might last a thousand years.

Feeling ill?
The odds of being struck and killed by a meteorite are 1-in-600,000.

Not enough time in the day?
The planet Pluto – yes I’m from the Pluto is a Planet School of Thought, want to make a celestial case out of it? – takes 248 years to orbit the Sun. Plenty of time.

Stuck on character motivation?
The zonal geranium secretes a compound on its petals that paralyses Japanese Beetles when eaten. Light activated flavonoids or anacardic acids are not suspects.






Taking forever to get published?
The Paleoproterozoic Era, including the evolution of bacteria and eukaryotes, lasted 900 million years. That’s a long time.

 Worried about paying the bills?
According to the The Economist as of 11/24/2010, 12:16pm the world debt is $40,698,066,937,458…wait make that $40,698,068,137,600…no wait…the amount is …that number keeps getting higher.


Feeling better? I know I do.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

THE ANNIVERSARY EDITION
A Year of Spectacular Postings

0 comments
Photo by L. Fernandez
Pen & Ink is One Year Old
...but only for one week and three days.

In honor of our anniversary, we are offering a Peer Review Critique! We build our email list. You get a critique of the first three pages of your current MS. Everybody wins.

We are not agents nor editors, we are writers, we understand how you feel. We know sometimes, a new pair of eyes works wonders.

In these tough economic times, it's nice to know that some things are still free!

This limited time offer begins November 1st and ends November 30th, 2010.

What kind of critique?

That depends on which one of us does the critique. We all have different strengths.
  • Hilde G. the quietest member of our group, will search for voice and help you strengthen it.
  • Lupe F. caresses characters, palpitates plots, and strokes styles. Satisfaction Guaranteed. Outcall Service Available. 
  • Sue B. often swirls your thoughts around in her magic teapot and puts them in a new order.
  • Kris K., the picture book writer and sanest member of our group excels at logic problems, fact verification and all things grammatical.
Guidelines:
  • Must be first three pages of your story.
  • One story per author.
  • Please do not submit unedited Nano Pages.
  • Submit to penink04@gmail.com. Put Critique request in the subject line.
  • Provide us with your name, email address, genre and a brief synopsis in an email and then attach your document.
 Happy Writing!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I Am Thankful For My Writing Tools

6 comments
by Sue Berger

Photo by L. Fernandez
November is thankful month so I wish to take this opportunity to express my gratitude for modern day writing.

Aeschylus the Greek playwright, who was (supposedly) killed by a falling turtle when an eagle mistook his bald head for a rock, wrote the Oresteia on paper made from reeds.
I bless Staples and all trees everywhere.
The medieval monks copied books by hand. It could take up to a year to make a copy of a book. They were works of art with colors that have never been repeated.
I am grateful for my printer and its ten pages a minute.
Shakespeare wrote with a quill pen using an ink pot and a blotter. (I hope he wasn’t left handed. It’s much harder if you‘re left handed.)
I am thankful for my computer.
If he wanted to change a line he had to scratch through it.
I bless copy and paste.
What if James Joyce wanted to rename a character in Ulysses? It would have taken forever.
I bless find and replace.
TE Lawrence left his manuscript of Seven Pillars of Wisdom in the refreshment room at reading station.
I count my blessings every time I save and then email myself a copy of a story.
Countless authors trudge countless miles to libraries and archives to research their project.
I love libraries, but I am overwhelming thankful for the internet and its endless possibilities.
Writing is a lonely profession. You can wait a long time to find an audience for your work.
I am blessed by my critique group.
It takes a long time to hone your craft.
I am grateful to SCBWI for its events and the opportunities to meet professional in the field.

L. Fernandez is grateful for the following Writing Tools:
  • The Letter M
  • Water
  • The TV Remote
  • More Women Than Men in SCBWI
  • The Library Card
  • Shake N’ Bake
  • The Silicon Chip
  • The Electrostatic Charge
  • Deinked Pulp
  • The Gravitational Constant
  • Ms. Berger's Critiques and Comfy Chairs
  • Ms. Garcia’s Critiques and Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Ms. Kahrs’ Critiques and Groovy House

Hilde Garcia says:
I'm grateful for Kris, Lupe and Sue. Also my amazing husband Dave and my children Sam and Victoria who I love more than anything in the world. I'm also grateful to SCBWI for being a great, super fabulous organization. You guys rock! And my computer and Staples which has really great deals and rebates, you should check it out.

Ms. Kahrs is grateful for the following writing tools:

How about you, dear reader?
What writing tools fill you with gratitude?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

THE ANNIVERSARY EDITION
A Year of Spectacular Postings

9 comments
Photo by L. Fernandez
Pen & Ink is One Year Old
...but only for two more weeks and three days.

In honor of our anniversary, we are offering a Peer Review Critique! We build our email list. You get a critique of the first three pages of your current MS. Everybody wins.

We are not agents nor editors, we are writers, we understand how you feel. We know sometimes, a new pair of eyes works wonders.

In these tough economic times, it's nice to know that some things are still free!

This limited time offer begins November 1st and ends November 30th, 2010.
 
What kind of critique?

That depends on which one of us does the critique. We all have different strengths.
  • Hilde G. the quietest member of our group, will search for voice and help you strengthen it. 
  • Lupe F. caresses characters, palpitates plots, and strokes styles. Satisfaction Guaranteed. Outcall Service Available.
  • Sue B. often swirls your thoughts around in her magic teapot and puts them in a new order.
  • Kris K., the picture book writer and sanest member of our group excels at logic problems, fact verification and all things grammatical.
 Guidelines:
  • Must be first three pages of your story.
  • One story per author.
  • Please do not submit unedited Nano Pages.
  • Submit to penink04@gmail.com. Put Critique request in the subject line.
  • Provide us with your name, email address, genre and a brief synopsis in an email and then attach your document.
Happy Writing!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Do You Speak Query?

10 comments
by Kris Kahrs

I speak query. Do you speak query?

Lately, query-ing has been on my mind because the prolific writers here at Pen and Ink (yours truly-cough- excepted) have all been preparing their various works for submission. An exciting time indeed.

It then occurred to me that querying is such a specific language that if everyone had to queryspeak like a writer looking for publication, we’d all be looking for a nice place to lay down.

Texting would look like:
Dear Dude. Enjoyed your talk last night at TOH bar. U rock. May I send you my proposal for Friday night? Two guys sit on ice at hockey game. One gets hit with flying puck. Afterwards guys get loud at club 4 real. A timeless tale with YA appeal.
Or twittering:
Dear Andrea. Best schmooze eva. Here’s my story. Girl tries to p/u drycleaning. Drycleaners lost sweater with diamond ring from fiancé in pocket. Drama. Call me.
And the ubiquitous Facebook post:
Allyn! Enjoyed the kidlit podcast yesterday. Very informative. Here’s a pic of me listening to the podcast. I’m the one with the martini glass in hand. Here’s a pic of me working on my MG MS. (I’m the one at the computer. No, wait, that’s the cat. I’m the one with the martini glass in my hand.) My MS is an absorbing tale of love, redemption and loss among 13-yr-olds in the cafeteria. It all plays out between the meatloaf and the mash potatoes. Sort of Anna Karenina meets Harry Potter. By the time the Jell-O starts flying in the food fight, it’s all over but the tears. See you at the retreat! BFF

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Anniversary Edition - The Legacy Continues

2 comments
A Year of Spectacular Postings

Photo by L. Fernandez
Pen & Ink is Still One Year Old!

In honor of our anniversary, we are offering a Peer Review Critique! We build our email list. You get a critique of the first three pages of your current MS. Everybody wins.

We are not agents nor editors, we are writers, we understand how you feel. We know sometimes, a new pair of eyes works wonders.

In these tough economic times, it's nice to know that some things are still free!

This limited time offer begins November 1st and ends November 30th, 2010

What kind of critique?

That depends on which one of us does the critique. We all have different strengths.
Hilde G. the quietest member of our group, will search for voice and help you strengthen it.
Lupe F. caresses characters, palpitates plots, and strokes styles. Satisfaction Guaranteed. Outcall Service Available.
Sue B. often swirls your thoughts around in her magic teapot and puts them in a new order.

Kris K., the picture book writer and sanest member of our group excels at logic problems, fact verification and all things grammatical.
Guidelines:
  • Must be first three pages of your story.
  • One story per author.
  • Please do not submit unedited Nano Pages.
  • Submit to penink04@gmail.com. Put Critique request in the subject line.
  • Provide us with your name, email address, genre and a brief synopsis in an email and then attach your document.
 Happy Writing!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Anniversary Edition - A Year of Spectacular Postings

11 comments
Photo by L. Fernandez
Pen & Ink is One Year Old!

In honor of our anniversary, we are offering a Peer Review Critique!
We build our email list. You get a critique of the first three pages of your current MS. Everybody wins.

We are not agents nor editors, we are writers, we understand how you feel. We know sometimes, a new pair of eyes works wonders.

In these tough economic times, it's nice to know that some things are still free!

This limited time offer begins November 1st and ends November 30th, 2010

What kind of critique?

That depends on which one of us does the critique. We all have different strengths.

Hilde G. the quietest member of our group, will search for voice and help you strengthen it.

Lupe F. caresses characters, palpitates plots, and strokes styles. Satisfaction Guaranteed. Outcall Service Available.

Sue B. often swirls your thoughts around in her magic teapot and puts them in a new order.
Kris K., the picture book writer and sanest member of our group excels at logic problems, fact verification and all things grammatical.

Guidelines:
  • Must be first three pages of your story.
  • One story per author.
  • Please do not submit unedited Nano Pages.
  • Submit to penink04@gmail.com. Put Critique request in the subject line.
  • Provide us with your name, email address, genre and a brief synopsis in an email and then attach your document.
Happy Writing!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Write A Novel Month

6 comments
by
Susan Berger
November is officially Write a Novel Month
(Thirty days and thirty nights of literary abandon)

In 1999, Chris Baty and a group of friends got together and challenged each other to write a novel of 50,000 words of more in ONE MONTH. Why? Who knows? Crazy!

But seven people completed the challenge. They did it again the next year with more people… This is the eleventh year of the marathon. It has become an international event. In 2009 167,150 people signed up. 32,178 people completed their 50,000 word count. I was one of them.

I first participated in 2004. When I heard about it, my thought was “No way!” The longest piece I had ever written was 16,000 words. Then I went on the Nanowrimo website. I bought Chris Baty’s book. “No Plot No Problem” and I decided to give it a shot. 

It was an amazing experience. What I had given myself was a gift – a deadline. 

I gave myself a daily stint of 2000 words. Often I would look at what I wrote and say, “This is awful!” Then I would say, “Never mind, it is word count. Keep writing.”

I silenced my inner editor and on November 29th 2004, I had a 50,000 word first draft of a YA novel. I made new friends, and had an amazing experience.

The odd thing about the experience was that the 2000 words per day on the novel seemed to fuel my other writing. 

I started Nanowrimo again in 2006. That time, I did not complete the book. But I still go back to it. I am glad I started it. No one (including me) gave me a bad time about not finishing.

On November 3rd 2009, I started Nano with not an idea in my head. But if you show up at the page…I ended up with a novel called Second Chances which I hope to pursue to publication. I was lucky enough to have Kelley Armstrong critique the first 40 pages. I am working on her suggestions.

Nano now sends pep talks from established authors. http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/pep I was amazed by how many of my favorite authors gave pep talks. I LOVED getting those emails

Have any been published? 

NaNoWriMo books have borne the logos of presses such as Warner Books, Ballantine, and Berkley Books. Published novels include, Sarah Gruen's Flying Changes, Rebecca Agiewich's Breakup Babe, Dave Wilson's The Mote in Andrea's Eye, and Gayle Brandeis's Self Storage. This is a link to the Nanowrimo FAQ on their published stats.
Go ahead! Give yourself an adventure. http://www.nanowrimo.org/
Look around the site and see if it appeals to you.

Once you sign up for Nanowrimo, you will want to “customize” your experience. 
  1. Set your region. Mine is Los Angeles. I attended several “write outs” in my area. We met at coffee shops and libraries.
  2. Set your forums: There an active online community for your genre. Check which areas you want hidden or visible. Far down the list are “Genre Lounges” There is a lounge for Young Adult and Youth. There are a lot of lounges you may prefer to keep visible.
There are other things to do on the site, i.e. set up your “Author Information, upload a picture. Watch the Nano video on October plotting. I once thought 50,000 words in a month was impossible. Now I know I can do it.

Trick or Retreat

17 comments
by
Lupe Fernandez

Last month, I attended the SCBWI Writers Retreat in Palos Verdes. Inspired by the dedication of the staff and attendees, the Planning Dept. of Pen & Ink submit for your consideration a modest proposal. Sure, you got your Esalen, Big Sur, Rocky Flats, Edwards Air Force Base and any number of Superfund sites, but you've never seen a retreat such as:

The Official Pen & Ink Writers Retreat Complex

1) Critique Rooms - Padded walls, ergonomic chairs, and big clock with timer; separate offices for Resident editors, agents and therapists

2) Communal Dorms - Married personnel only

3) Critique Rooms - Padded walls, ergonomic chairs, and big clock with timer; separate offices for Resident editors, agents and therapists

4) Communal Dorms - Single personnel

5) Ocean Beach - White Sand; Activity Director on station to cater to all aquatic needs

6) Mental Health Center – Physical Therapy, 24 Hour Doctor, Primal Scream Enclosure, Yoga Discipline, Private Massage Bays, and 24 Hour pharmacy

7) Bike and Jogging Path - Clockwise on even days, Counterclockwise on odd days

8) Information Center – Laptops with Internet access, high volume color and b/w printers; only this location allows outside electronic contact

9) Amphitheatre -Live performances, readings

10) Fruit Trees – Fresh snacks ripe for picking

11) Tower Scrambler – Jams all radio transmission for all cell phones, laptops, Crackberries, telegraphs and passenger pigeons

12) Helicopter Pad - Transportation for personnel who don't like the submarine

13) Submarine Grotto - Access to complex via submersible

14) Forest and Hiking Trails – Get away from everyone and mediate or fight bears

Registration begins as soon as the Planning Dept. inherits several million dollars to bribe public functionaries for construction permits, right-of-way access, misplacement of property titles, and the suspension of certain UNESCO World Heritage Designations.