The New Year – On Non-Resolution Resolutions

I aimed to take a like… week’s break following the end of a disastrous National Novel Writing Month… and I disappeared for over a month. Yikes.

NaNoWriMo was a bit of a mess this year… I spent a lot less time like this:

Fox & Katherine Writing

And a lot more time like this:

Not Writing

And admittedly some time like this:

Writing Under the Influence

But by the end of the month, I managed to hit 50k for the twelfth consecutive year. It wasn’t pretty, but it was done. As I mentioned here in an earlier post, I chose to write a serious world-building story about ‘good guy demons’ and a girl who unexpectedly becomes their queen on her eighteenth birthday. It has a lot of flaws, including the fact that the boy who was *supposed* to be the love interest you root for became a friend, and the boy who was supposed to be the sexy-but-not-perfect-match boy became the one you root for.

The pluses? I could conceivably turn this into a trilogy if I wanted to spend more time fleshing out the mythology and working on it. And most importantly: I hit 50k words of new material that I wouldn’t have written if it wasn’t for National Novel Writing Month.

Fox at the Cage

(And I had an excuse to go to the Cage like four days a week so I could write!)

But after the month ended, I crashed hard: creatively, emotionally, physically. I was worn the hell out. I barely touched writing (even in my blogs), and I didn’t even have the energy to pick up any editing on the project I’d started *before* November. I guess every so often you need that little break (which I’ll admit was full of lots of other fun things, like Christmastime).

But here it is now, the New Year, which sparkles and shines in such a wonderful way that you can’t help but *want* to make resolutions!

Unless you’re like me and hate the idea of resolutions, in which case the New Year makes you want to just give out a lot of hugs and smile and make lists about all the vague, non-specific things you’re going to do to make this year Fucking Awesome.

So, it’s *kind* of like resolutions, for those of us who are shit at sticking to plans.

My lack of willingness to use the term ‘New Year’s Resolution’ was the ultimate inspiration for 101 Achievements way back in 2009. I was so full of upcoming-new-year energy, but I couldn’t bring myself to do a ‘resolution,’ which has such a negative connotation anymore. And thus, the 101 List was born.

If I made resolutions, they would be like this:

~ Be more badass.
~ Clean all the things.
~ Keep up on photo editing (Full disclosure: this is like, the single biggest problem in my life. I can’t keep my pictures organized! And I forget to take some off of my memory cards sometimes! I just found like 90 pictures from 2012 that I’d forgotten about!)
~ Write like, all the time.
~ Stop flirting with boys (hahahahahaha).

And you can see how poorly I’d stick to all of those.

So this year, a friend of mine started this idea of 12 30-day challenges in 2014. No long-term ‘resolutions,’ just a list of 12 different challenges to attempt throughout the year. She invited any of us who are interested into a Facebook group for it to help keep us all motivated. Here’s my final list:

30 Day Challenges

Obviously, not all of my challenges are specifically related to writing, but a number of them are, and many of them are creativity-based as well. I thought this blog might be a good place to keep track of how I’m doing.

This month is a fitness challenge. It’s a long story I won’t get into on here, but I’ve been having some health issues lately that have contributed to the general feeling of no energy and some weight gain as well, so I’m trying to get back into the swing of things with what Trainer Mike has dubbed ‘NaSquaMo’ (that’s National Squat Month) and some cardio dance videos. Today was Day #1, and I did 30 minutes of exercise, plus my 50 squats, so I’m off to a good start!

As things start to settle down more now that the holidays are over, I’ll hopefully get back into creative pursuits more regularly, but I’m going to try to be forgiving of myself if things aren’t perfect right away. (And that right there is waaaaaay out of my comfort zone!)

So what’s everyone else feel about the New Year? Did you make resolutions? Anything creativity-related? I’d love to hear!

And here’s to a happy, healthy, creative, and Fucking Awesome 2014 to all of my readers!

Week 2 Just Sucks.

Welcome, my friends, to the shittiness that is Week 2 of NaNoWriMo.

The excitement of Week 1 has worn off. You’re probably pissed at at least some of your characters. It’s possible your plot did one or both of two things that plots are wont to do in Week 2: died prematurely or got completely out of hand. (If your plot got completely out of hand before jumping ship… well, I’m sorry that happened to you.)

So what do you do?

First, it’s okay to go through the stages.

Fox’s Four Stages of NaNoWriMo Week 2
as interpreted by Fox’s dog, Lucy

Complete despair. You’ll never write this. Never. You’ll never catch up. You’ll never figure out what to do about that plot hole with the wombats back in chapter two.

Anger. You hate your characters, your plot, your non-WriMo friends who aren’t going through this, your WriMo friends with better word counts, the man, flowers WHY ARE FLOWERS SO DAMN HAPPY ALL THE TIME THOSE JAGOFFS.

Panic. You know you have to keep going but how? HOW WILL YOU KEEP GOING WHEN YOU MUST KEEP GOING SO MUCH? Write all the things! No! Wait! The laundry! Oh, the gym! And they want you to go to work? But! The words! The words!

The Inability to Give a Shit. You just don’t care. You just want it to be December 1 so you can have your life back. You will do whatever it takes to get that purple WINNER bar, and you do not care what you must do, because you are now so emotionally uninvested in it that there is no longer any regard for quality, just for the magical number of 50,000. You will kill any character if it is convenient, you will write lengthy scenes describing outfits, and you will allow your characters to deliver monologues about their favorite Cure albums. You just do not care.

And then it gets better! It really does!

But how do you survive, while you’re suffering through the Four Stages?

Do something that isn’t writing, but still inspires you.

Like cooking! Cooking leaves you with a sense of accomplishment AND something to eat at the end!

The more you cook, the more hours you have an excuse for not writing!

Take a couple of hours to embrace your exhaustion.

Acknowledge that you’ve really been working hard, and even if your word count isn’t reflecting all that hard work, you might need a little mental break. And go ahead, dream about how fabulous your book is going to be when you wake up and start working on it again.

Be understanding of yourself that you might be acting a little strange.

Don’t totally freak out if you wake up in the morning to find that you’d had a Drew Barrymore in Mad Love style meltdown overnight and moved all of your gargoyle and dragon protectors right next to your bed. Remind yourself that all the best authors were truly crazy, so this is just part of your process.

Go out with your fellow WriMos

Commiserate with them about plot holes and word count distress. Get completely off topic and don’t get a word of writing done at a Write-In, but walk away from the event with a thousand hilarious quotes and at least one really awesome picture like this.

Ease back into the writing.

Maybe start with a blog post, or some writing in your journal, just to get the hang of things again. Maybe brainstorm a little before getting back into the meat of the story. Just go casually into it.

Return to your happy writing place.

When you’re emotionally ready, head back to your happy writing place, and settle in for a few hours of hard work. Play the jukebox, wear your favorite outfit, maybe bring along a friend who will keep you on task but not distract you *too* much. Sit down and power through some words until you’re feeling more confident.

And before you know it, you’ll be looking like this when someone asks how your novel is going. You’ll tell them, “It’s just fine, and I can’t WAIT for Week Three to get here!”


Fox’s Easy Guide to the First Week of NaNoWriMo

Why hello, readers! Bet you didn’t think you’d see little ol’ *me* again this soon!

(But a promise is a promise, and a promise made that distracts me from my word count is *always* a promise kept.)

So as promised, I’m here to chat a little bit about my favorite month-long endeavor of the year, National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo). Briefly: NaNoWriMo is a month-long event held each November in which participants attempt to write a 50,000 word novel across 30 days. (If only I could sum up my novels that succinctly, I might actually get work as a writer!)

I’ve been participating since 2002. Oh yeah. I’m one of the oldies (it started in 1999). And since this is my twelfth NaNoWriMo, I thought I’d share some of my sage wisdom expert tips for procrastinators throughout the month. Without further ado, Fox’s Easy Guide to NaNoWriMo.

So you’ve decided to embark upon a 30-day quest to write 50,000 words about something or other. Where do you even start? How do you even take the first step and get those first words down?

(First of all, you wait until 12:01am on November 1. I am a real stickler about that! NO CHEATING!)

Ahem. Prior to November 1, you are welcome to do all the planning, outlining, playlist-making, etc. that you want.

I mean. You *could* do that. If you’re one of those overachiever-types.

Fox’s Step #1. Stumble blindly into the month with only a vague idea of plot and/or characters.
I’m not even kidding here. Yes, you can spend hours and days planning for this month, but where’s the fun in that? If you’re like me and can only function under pressure of seemingly-insurmountable deadlines, staring blankly at your computer screen at 12:01am on November 1 is not the worst thing. If you can plan ahead, do it. But if you’re not a planner, don’t panic. You’ll be just fine.

I like to get a general idea of what world I’ll be writing in.

Fox’s Step #2: (Kind of) know your world.
Okay. So you don’t have to have it nailed down, but a basic idea of like, genre, or world, is a good first step. I like to write (badly) about ghosts a lot. One year, I decided it was time to go for broke and write the thinly-veiled Labyrinth rip-off I’d been dreaming of since age 13. This year, having exhausted ghosts, guardian angels, spirit healers, Death’s intern, Death himself, and a not-really-evil Goblin-king-esque hotty-villain, I decided to write about good-guy demons.

(Because out of all the comic book heroes out there, I identify with Hellboy the most.)

Fox’s Step #3: Accept your limitations.
For me, my number one limitation is world building. That’s why the Labyrinth-style fantasy crashed & burned so badly. Yeah, I made it to 50k, but will I ever go back and polish that thing? Probably not. Unless I’m super rich and super bored and have found a way to hire Guillermo del Toro to help my sorry ass out.

In general, I know that the less world-building I have to do, the faster the story will move along. I am absolutely that girl who will spend 43 minutes trying to figure out the name of that animal who’s like, part person, part horse, and probably a butler (it’s a faun, by the way, looked that one up for 43 minutes in 2010).

In the event that I will be faced with some world-building, I accept that I’ll have to do some research. So, yeah, my working knowledge of goodguy demons is limited to what I know of Hellboy. With that in mind, I set aside some hours for reading comics and fumbling around my husband’s iPad trying to read about the daily habits of fallen angels and gargoyles and succubi.

Fox’s Step #4: Find your happy writing place.
Every writer has both a place and a time where she is most productive. I’m a late-night kind of gal. My husband used to write at 7am (ughhhh and not just because he’d stayed up all night to get there, either). When I was in college, I was partial to this weird little alcove on the second or third floor of the Cathedral of Learning where it was freaking FREEZING and I had to write in mittens, but where I felt really inspired.

Ideally, I would spend all of November on a train. I get some of my best writing done while traveling, particularly on train trips. But since that’s not exactly practical, it’s important to find a local place that keeps the same hours as you.

I’m partial to this dive bar up the hill called the Squirrel Cage. Cheap drinks, good bartender, nice tables, and no one cares if I’m there sipping vodka and writing for hours, whatever time of day. Oh! And I can play the jukebox from my phone without even having to get up from my seat!

(Which brings me to my next point…)

Fox’s Step #5: Get the right soundtrack.
Okay, I’m a mixtape broad through and through, but I think the right soundtrack is important to all writers. It’s a good idea to keep building it throughout the process of writing your manuscript. I almost always make my characters their own mixtapes, but often I’ll start out with just a list of songs I’m kind of into at the time that fit the mood of what I’m writing.

Pro-tip: Sad songs are almost always the right choice.

Some bands who are always in my rotation include The Cure (bonus: you can find endless hours of Robert Smith remixes to keep things fresh!), Dave Matthews Band, Counting Crows, Ryan Adams (both with and without the Cardinals), and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. If I’m feeling uninspired, sometimes I like to put on my characters’ mixtapes and drive around after dark to get me pumped up. Take notes of any song that you hear in your daily life that makes you feel even remotely inspired and put it together when it’s time to write.

And finally,

Fox’s Step #6: Identify your allies.
Sure, writing is a highly personal thing. And I’m not saying, by any means, that you have to share what you’re writing with another soul until you’re fully ready, but it’s important to have people you can rely on to help you get through the month. The first time I did NaNoWriMo back in 2002, we didn’t have forums and Write-Ins and all that we have now. We had me, and my friend Christine, and AOL Instant Messenger at 3 in the morning. (I didn’t even have a laptop to go to the Cage! Nor was I old enough to yet anyway, but that’s neither here nor there.) My point is, I would never have gotten through that first year without our late night messages of ‘IT’S 3AM, DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR PLOT IS???’

You need to have someone who will leave you Tweets like this when you are feeling lost and alone in the noveling world (even if that person is your creepy co-ML).

I also like to stock a healthy supply of photos of my friends & family members looking at me disappointingly just to keep me on my toes and remind me of what I’ll have to face in real life if I let them down by not hitting my word count.

And if you can get a handle on those first 6 steps, you’re going to make it. Will it be easy? NOPE! And we’ll get to that, and we’ll get to it plenty in Week 2. But if you have an idea where you’re going, and know where to go and what to listen to when you get there, with your friends at your side (WriMo and supportive non-WriMo alike), you’ll get through November just fine. Trust me on this one :)

The Return of the Fox

First things first, can we just agree that any time I post in here, there is an assumed paragraph that’s basically like:

~ Sorry I’ve been away for so long!
~ Things have been busy!
~ I promise I’m going to write more often starting now!

so that I can stop *actually* starting with this?

That being said, of COURSE right now is the time I choose to resurrect the writing blog – it’s November! And what’s November, you might ask? Why, it’s National Novel Writing Month! And what’s NaNoWriMo? Why, it’s the month I’m supposed to be writing 50,000 words in 30 days!

So of COURSE I’m going to resurrect my writing blog instead of working on my word count!

(Pro-tip: those of us who participate in NaNoWriMo – WriMos, if you will – are expert procrastinators.)

This is my twelfth NaNoWriMo. I’ve written about it a little before, more so about my duties as ML, or Municipal Liaison, which is my role as Den Mother of the Pittsburgh region each November.

(Spoiler alert: I have two amazing Co-MLs this year who are making my life SO MUCH EASIER.)

But I haven’t written much about the writing part, itself. And the writing part is the most fun!

Don’t get me wrong: I love planning events and all that.

(Even when they’re enormous and give me panic attacks!)

But even more fun than being an ML is being a participant. I LOVE Write-Ins, I love nonsense Twitter threads that keep us up all night working on our word count. I love scrambling for plot ideas. I even kind of love that moment where I decide to throw caution to the wind and let my characters wander around the touristy sites of Boston just to up my word count by a few thousands.

And so, in a two-fold attempt to both make me commit to writing in here and start bringing interesting content to this blog, I’ll be talking a lot about NaNoWriMo this month.

Because let’s face it: I may not be full of information on how to get published or be a famous author (yet), but I *am* totally good at giving advice on how to write in pretty much any situation and get up to 50,000 words across a 30-day period under any life circumstances.

I’m the girl who writes during the setbreak at concerts. I mean, really.

So pop on by again tomorrow for my first official NaNoWriMo installment. Why not right now? Well, it *is* November, after all, and I’ve got my word count to attend to! :)

October Always Sneaks Up On Me

As this is my tenth NaNoWriMo, and my fourth year as ML of the fabulous Pittsburgh region, I always remember how crazy November is. I even schedule vacation time during November to make sure that I am available for my word count and my WriMos (that’s what we writers call ourselves during NaNoWriMo).

What I always forget is how crazy and complicated things get during October. Being an ML is a rewarding, super fun job, but it’s also a lot of work. Here are some of the things I have to manage before the month even gets under way:

~ Kick-Off Party arrangements. Before the start of each November, we have an official Kick-Off Party, which is a laptop-free event held at a restaurant in October. We get together, have lunch, meet our fellow writers, and have a chance to chat about our novels and the month in general without the threat of a word count looming over us. (If you’ve never done NaNoWriMo, that’s one of the challenges of the month: like a pile of fresh laundry that you *know* you should be folding and putting away, your word count nags at the back of your mind while you are socializing / working / seeing movies / making Thanksgiving dinner / etc. Having a chance to chat and hang out before we’re all worrying about that is really important to building the November support group.)

2011 Kick-Off Party
The past three years, we have had our Kick-Off Party at the incredible Church Brew Works, which is one of those classic Pittsburgh church-turned-bar restaurants with some of the best food in the city. They are also gigantic (because they used to be a church), and their service is top-notch. As we seem to keep growing each year, a big location with really attentive servers is a real necessity. At the start of each October, I call to reserve our date (usually for the last Sunday of October), and then about a week before our actual party, I call to give them the final number of RSVPs. We have gotten so big that we really do need to have RSVPs, so we make sure there is enough table space for us.

~ Forum Setup and Event Planning. At the start of each October, the forums reset, and we MLs have the task of getting our regions set up. Typically, this happens on our around October 1, but this year, the OLL (that’s Office of Letters and Light, the nonprofit who runs NaNoWriMo) switched to much higher-capacity servers (because this thing has gotten so massive that we tend to crash the site repeatedly the first few days of November), and the switch happened closer to the second week of the month. This, naturally, resulted in a massive time crunch!

So, I always do a “Who Am I and Where Do I Live” post. Pittsburgh is rather spread out: we have a lot of suburbs that all report to the same region, plus those of us who live in the city limits. What I have found over the years is that having four or five local events per week seems to get people together with minimal traffic disasters and commute times. I keep the major events (the Kick-Off and the TGIO Party, which will be discussed in a later post) to the city limits, as it’s the most central, and the largest portion of writers come from here (lots of college students and people coming to events right after work account for that, I think).

Then there’s the introductory post, explaining how our events run, mostly for the Newbies who are unfamiliar with our region or NaNoWriMo in general. That’s the beautiful thing about the ML community in NaNoWriMo: we all have our own methods, and since all of our regions are so different, there are an endless number of ways to handle things. I like to use the introductory post to cover our ‘business as usual’ events, which include the Kick-Off Party, the Write-Ins (getting to those in a moment), including the Midnight Kick-Off Write-in, and the TGIO Party, and also how to contact me with any questions.

As it stands, we generally have four Write-Ins per week in Pittsburgh. Write-Ins are the laptop-inclusive get-togethers where we writers meet at coffeeshops to encourage each other in our word count endeavors, and also to chat and distract each other from writing. We are really, really good at the latter, it turns out. :)

Our Write-In locations are broken up geographically: one in the City (which rotates in location to different city areas and coffeeshops), one in the North suburbs, one in the South Hills suburb, and one in Monroeville, which is the eastern suburb of Pittsburgh. These run from roughly 6-9pm on weeknights.

Then, we also have random other Write-Ins throughout the month to cover locations that may not have enough people for a weekly Write-In, but for a one-time event will bring out people who might not otherwise attend events.

I usually make the decisions about these events by using the name and location post. I’m a big fan of spreadsheets (because otherwise I would probably lose my mind!), so I make a list of everyone’s username, real first name (if they feel comfortable giving it), location, and availability. I use this info to pick dates and locations for events, and I also try to coordinate around the schedules of veteran WriMos who I can count on to be at the events I can’t attend.

Then I coordinate all of this info and enter it into our Google calendar:

This calendar appears on our regional forum, so WriMos can keep up-to-date on events throughout the month. Also, during the month, people will request dates to be added for additional and/or ‘unofficial’ Write-Ins that they want to publicize, so I will add those as well. Those are often University-specific, or for small groups who want to meet on times or days different than their regularly-scheduled local events. Oh, and our Monroe-villains (as I like to call them teehee) love to meet several times a week, so there’s that :)

Coming up with actual sites is kind of tricky. It’s hard to gauge, even with all of the data that I collect, how many people will be at a Write-In. These are far more casual events than the Kick-Off, so I can’t really ask for an RSVP. Sometimes, we will have 20+ people show up at a City event, and then only 6 or 7 the following week. You can never really tell, but I spend most of the year keeping a running tally of coffeeshops that will probably work, and coffeeshops that will probably not, every time I visit one (being an ML is a year-round commitment!).

~ Answering questions. This is probably the thing that I forget about that takes the most time. Each year, usually early in October, I start getting all sorts of messages on my NaNoMail from new writers. This is great: I LOVE new writers. That means we are reaching more people who are hopefully going to find out that they have a passion for writing, and I love that! However, it also means answering a bunch of the same questions over and over. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind answering questions because I love talking about this event and our region in specific, but I ALWAYS forget just how long it takes to respond to all the questions in a timely manner. (I must keep this in mind every time I promise myself that I will personally respond to fan mail when I someday make it big as a writer!)

~ Assembling goodybags. Goodybags are one of those things that are not required of us MLs, but many of us choose to create them anyway. I just came around to the Goodybag thing last year (my first two years as ML were a little crazy, as we went from a small, not-terribly-involved region to a huge region with tons of people eager to participate IRL, instead of just online), but I’m now an addict.

Goodybag Creation Station
Here’s what Goodybag Creation Station looked like on my dining room table this year. (That’s my pup, Miss Lucy Red, trying to help.)

You can put whatever you want in your Goodybags, since there aren’t any rules. I like to put a few motivational things, and also what I call an ‘Emergency Plot Device Kit’. I pick stuff up from party stores and WalMart (I love Mike Feinberg’s down in the Strip District – they have awesome stuff, and it doesn’t break the bank) and try to get creative with it.

The Emergency Plot Device Kit is a little Ziploc baggy with different trinkets inside, the idea being that if you’re stuck, you can reach in and pull one out to motivate you. There are mini-chili peppers (so you can introduce a ‘hot topic’), Mardi Gras coins (to help settle tough dilemmas), slinkies (for when your character just can’t stop moving downhill toward a decision that’s going to get them in trouble later), and mini country flags (to signify that it’s time to change locations).

I also include some other little motivational trinkets like a noisemaker to celebrate hitting your daily word count, candies to keep your tummy happy, and drink umbrellas to spice up your bottomless cup of coffee.

But my favorite part of the kit are the Motivational Trading Cards. I pick a handful of Pittsburgh celebrities, and then I make little trading cards for WriMos to post by their writing station to help give them that little kick in the pants to get moving.

Daniel Striped Tiger Trading Card
My favorite one from this year was Daniel Striped Tiger from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. I try to pick celebrities that most people will recognize, but of course, part of the fun is trading with the people at your table, so I encourage that as well.

This year, I handed out folders as well, containing some useful plot sketch sheets, a word count tracking sheet (I use an Excel spreadsheet for this, because I am a nerd), a ‘Novel 911’ card (a little business card that says “In case of plot emergency, contact the following person for tough love” and allows the writer to put in the name and phone number of a friend or family member who will hold them accountable), and a ‘Get Out of Event Free Card.’ It’s like a MadLib version of the Get Out of Jail Free cards from Monopoly. I was pretty pleased with those. :)

Get Out of Event Free Card

I love making the Goodybags, but they take sooooooo long to put together! And each year, I find myself thinking of things I could have added after the fact. Also, since I am a bit anal about all of this, I save and catalog all the files that I use on my harddrive, so that when someone decides to take over our region as ML someday when I step down, I can just hand them a CD with all of the stuff that I have, so that they will *hopefully* have an easier transition than I did!

~ Set up Adopt-a-Newbie. This is also something new that I started this year. We have a ton of first-timers in Pittsburgh, so I used some of the tools that the NaNoLanta MLs have made (that’s Atlanta NaNoWriMo) to set up a program for us old-timers to ‘mentor’ Newbies throughout the month.

NaNoWriMo is a serious undertaking, and back when I started in 2002, there were not nearly as many resources available to us. I had a really dear friend named Christine, who went to college about an hour and a half from me, and the two of us were the only support group around. There weren’t forums and Write-Ins and events like there are now, so we would use AOL Instant Messenger to check in on each other and ask things like, ‘WHERE IS YOUR WORD COUNT?!?’ at 3am.

But now, we want our Newbies to have the best experience possible, so that they keep coming back. So, with this in mind, I set up our Adopt-a-Newbie program. I had Newbies and Mentors fill out forms, and then used the information to try to match them up as best as possible. This is the first time I’ve tried this, so it will be interesting to see how it works. The idea is that the Mentors will check in with their Newbies, answer any questions (since I imagine it’s a little anxiety-producing to go straight to the ML for all your questions), and hopefully get to meet up in person at some point during the month. I know that some of my very dearest friends and I met through NaNoWriMo, so I like to try to foster that kind of connection.

~ Balance life! And this is where it gets tough. Once November starts, we kind of all settle into a groove, and HQ helps us keep our writers on track with posts and e-mails, and we MLs get a better chance to focus on our own lives and novels. But in October, it’s quite a balancing act to keep things in order. For me, October is particularly busy because it’s my birthday, and we always seem to be traveling somewhere during the month. Plus, of course, balancing work, and keeping up with Achievements for our blog, and this year, trying to work on my query and send it out.

But you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love the craziness. I love feeling like ten thousand things are going on all at once (because, of course, they usually are), and I love my writers. I know I say it all the dang time on our forum, but Pittsburgh really is the best region around.

So, hopefully, this gives you a little insight into the crazy life of a Municipal Liaison in the weeks leading up to NaNoWriMo. And, if you’ve been on the fence about writing this year, I hope that you really consider it. One of these days, I’m going to write my ‘why you should do NaNoWriMo’ post in response to all of the people out there who feel it necessary to write anti-NaNoWriMo posts on their blogs, but the best way to see why it’s a great experience is to sign up and get involved. Even if you aren’t in Pittsburgh, feel free to subscribe to our region, because my writers are truly the best, and in true Yinzer style, we will take in anyone who needs and wants our help.

Now, if only I had any ideas about a plot, I would be feeling pretty damn good about November 1’s impending arrival!