Once Upon A Time There Was Rain, A Story Teller, and NaNoWriMo …by Susan Lute

This is how Oregonians roll. It’s October. School sports are in full swing. The oldest kidlet, who’s five, is playing soccer. So Saturday we’re at her game, and it’s a misty, cloud laden morning. It starts raining. The kids continue to play. Some of the parents put up a canape and invite the other parents to take shelter. In the 18 years I’ve commuted the 28 miles – translate that to mean one hour – to work and back with sometimes just enough time to lay my head on the pillow, then start all over the next morning, there’s been no time to be part of my little mountain community. At least not until I took the job that allows me to…as you all know…work from home. Now I enjoy these frequent, random acts of kindness, attend kid’s soccer games, work on my house, and in a strangely odd twist of fate write every morning.

I’m not sure how it happened, but I have written every morning for a full week, and today I wrote 4¾ hours, almost without stopping. I know. You’re saying, but yeah, that’s what a writer’s supposed to do. Write. I agree. It’s just that it’s never been a routine thing for me, and a whole lot frustrating that I had to write whenever I could. That could be anywhere or anytime. Now I get up, shower, briefly check email, and write. Admittedly the project I’m working on is a Christmas short story that I’m revisiting after sending out to the first reader, and getting notes back that read something like…you can do better. That too is part of the writer’s life. You write a story, let your first readers get their hooks into it, revisit, dig deeper, check in at Goodreads and Facebook, maybe tweet, retweet, take another pass at the story, send it out to your next readers and so on from there. You can not abbreviate this process. Believe me, I’d love to 🙂

And then there’s National Novel Writing Month, known lovingly as NaNoWriMo. This event happens every November. You’re supposed to turn off your editor and keep your fingers on the keyboard. There are other rules, but I haven’t had time to discover where they’re kept. This will be my first year doing NaNo for real. I’ve signed up, gotten intimidated by the website, the goal, the idea of continuous writing, and never really participated. This year I’ve got the nudge. You know, that internal push that says, you should do this, whatever this might be. So off I went to the website, discovered I have an old account, but it’s a bit…wonky, so I started a new one. For the intrepid, and brave, writers out there, you can find me as sidella3. Look me up. We can cheer each other on.

Warning, Will Robinson, for the month of November I’ll still show up on my blog days, but posts will be short and to the point; how NaNo is going; what books I’m NOT reading, films I’m NOT watching, food I’m NOT cooking…okay that’s not a surprise for those who know I’m a huge fan of the deli. The novel I’ll be working on is KEEPER OF THE DRAGON, Book Two of the Dragonkind Chronicles. And I’ll have some rules of my own.

There’s one thing I’ve learned since ‘coming’ home. I don’t want to write frantically and I don’t want to end up spending the next year fixing what my internal editor would have caught in the original draft, so even though I won’t go back each day and edit what I’ve written, I will stay within the story structure, jot a few notes each day to plant the novel’s tent poles. The three-act, eight sequence structure, with setpieces and climaxes as taught by Alexandra Sokoloff will be my BFF. In fact she’s doing NaNoWriMo Prep blogs as we ‘speak’. Each sequence will have scenes and sequels. Each scene will have goals, conflicts, and disasters; sequels, their reactions, dilemmas, and decisions.

Are you thinking of participating in NaNo? If you are, what are your rules? Maybe you’re more interested in giving out those random acts of kindness.

** Note: hands and feet are courtesy of urban fantasy author Jessa Slade. She let’s me use them once in awhile. If you haven’t read her Dark Hunter’s Touch you’re missing a real treat.


About Susan

Author, wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, dreamer.

Posted on October 22, 2012, in General and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. This will be my third NaNo after a hiatus of two years..where I had two novels, a novella and a children’s book to work on…! I’m excited, nervous and plain out of my mind thinking that I’ve signed myself up yet again. However, with so many great NaNo buddies to keep me company I’m sure it will be an experience worth having.
    Good luck to you and know that once your fingers start there will be no stopping them. I always ‘free’ write so that part isn’t a problem for me. I go with my gut instinct initially and very soon my characters take hold and the story channels through me.
    My tip – don’t worry about the small stuff – i.e. housework or family meals – you’ll be surprise how resourceful they are.


  2. Happy for you, Susan, that you’ve got some new time to write. Hoping it will continue for you.


  3. “…today I wrote 4¾ hours, almost without stopping.” You go, girl! I’ll be interested to see how you like NanoWriMo. Love the pic of colorful feet too. Looks cozy.


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