Category Archives: Challenges

NaNoWriMo 2017


It is that time of year again! NaNoWriMo is right around the corner and this year is going to be a serious challenge for me. For those of you who have no idea what NaNoWriMo means, it stands for National Novel Writing Month. It is a challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in a month in November.

I have been doing NaNoWriMo since 2012. I have only “won” twice, in 2014 and 2015. I have written a number of draft for novels though none have quite gotten past the initial draft stage. I use NaNo as a time to get as much of the idea onto paper as I can. Sometimes the stories just get stuck and I have to place them to the side until I can determine if they have anything to them.

Winning NaNo is difficult. You start off full of determination but as the month wears on you realize that writing a novel in a month is not easy. Many people get stuck in the middle and have no idea how to move forward. You get that beginning moving and when you hit the middle everything comes to a screaming halt.

Or you set up a schedule and in the end figure out that it just will not work for every day. One you miss that first day of words you find yourself trying to catch up and sometimes it just seems nearly impossible. The two times I have “won” I have been working until the last day. The years I have not won is because I get behind and can’t close that gap.

I love doing NaNo because I love the challenge. It pushes me to get as much of my novel done as I can. I need to get as many words down as I can throughout the month. I also make it more of a challenge for myself because of the fact that I hand write everything then type it up. Sometimes I think that makes it that much harder for myself.

This year will be my biggest challenge because I currently work two jobs and finding time to write has been difficult. I want to use November to see how I can better use my time. I know that “winning” this year may not be in the cards. I have two major work events in the middle of the month and then there is Thanksgiving and a shopping day with my brother. So I know there will be at least 4 days where I will get almost no writing done. But I want to see what I can do.

The best part of NaNo is that there is no real way to lose, unless you never start I guess. As long you get something written and get that work moving then it is worth the time. You may not get 50,000 words done but getting any words one the paper is what counts. Novels don’t get written by thinking about the story, they have to become physical for anyone to read them. NaNo helps give that push in order for you to get started. Once you have something on paper you have something work with.

This year I am going to be working on the novel I have been working on for two years now. It is about a world where alternate universe are kept in books and timelines, every choice made results is a new life and new world. Callie is in charge of keeping everything in order but once The Voices threaten her life and sanity she runs, leaving things to deteriorate. A group of people whose lives begin to devolve because of her choice must find her and put life right again.

I love the idea and have been struggling with particulars of it. Some pieces don’t fit and I have had trouble explain other aspects. Recently I rethought a huge portion of the story, got rid of a useless character and I now think I have it in a position where it can really roll. I am going to use NaNo to push this story as far as I can and see where I end up.

Who else is taking on this challenge in November? If you need a writing buddy find me on the site, my username is Shmibby. I would love to have some virtual writing friends to work on this with.

Good Luck to all those doing NaNoWriMo this year!

Once Upon a Time X Challenge

out10ishere300I found this challenge through Michelle, Books and Movies Addict while reading through her TBR post. She mentioned it and the title instantly intrigued me.

The challenge is hosted by Carl over at Stainless Steel Droppings. Here is a summary of the event:

                  Monday, March 21st (my wife Mary’s birthday) marks the official start date of the tenth              annual Once Upon a Time Challenge. This is a reading and viewing and gaming event that encompasses four broad categories: Fairy Tale, Folklore, Fantasy and Mythology, including the seemingly countless sub-genres and blending of genres that fall within this spectrum. The challenge continues through June 21st and allows for very minor (1 book only) participation as well as more immersion depending on your reading/viewing/gaming whims.

out10journey-600x256There are a number of different ways to participate. Since this is the first time I am participating I am going to go with The Journey option. This option only asks that you read at least one book in one of the categories, Fairy Tale, Folklore, Fantasy and Mythology. Since these are the main genres that I love, I am sure this will be easy for me. But I didn’t want to commit to more in case something came up.

There are a handful of books I am planning on reading coming up that are Fantasy. After I finish The Lunar chronicles (which would fit the fairytale part, but since I started it before the challenge started I am not using it), I plan on reading the newest Cassandra Clare, Lady Midnight, which starts a new series. I also plan on reading Veiled Souls by Abbie Chandler. And I am sure before June 21st there were will be a few more that I will read.

out10screen-600x256I am also participating in the Quest on Screen as well. One of my favorite shows is called, Once Upon a Time, kind of good fit if you ask me. For the challenge, I think after the season finale, I will write up a post about the way fairytales and mythology is handled on the show.

First Review was for the book Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare.

Second Review was for the book The Reflections of Queen Snow White by David Meredith.

Review for Quest on Screen: Use of Fairy Tales Vs. Mythology in Once Upon a Time. 

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