National Novel Writing Month, revised

How to write a book in a month

How to write a book in a month, otherwise known as National Novel Writing Month, affectionately called NaNo, is traditionally held in the month of November.  (go to My writing group unanimously agrees that November is the second suckiest month to write a book (superseded only by December).

Traditionally, we pick the dullest, dreariest part of the year to host our own writing challenge, Winter NaNo.  This month, from the February meeting (2-11) until the March meeting (3-10), participants challenge each other to write 32K words.  No editing, no revising, nothing but pure stream of consciousness writing.  The internal editor is locked in a dark closet, and we all have each other’s keys.  We’re so serious about this, we’re bringing our laptops to the February meeting to kick off the event and will spend a dedicated amount of time writing on our projects.

A minimal donation is made, with the pot split between the organization and one lucky winner.  Writers who can’t make the goal pay a small penalty.

Sharing a goal like this is invigorating.  You know everyone’s in the same boat, so there’s no excuse not to write.  The competition is fierce, especially to be the first to claim “I made it.”

Several NaNo projects written by my fellow authors have been sold and published.  More motivation.

What are you hoping to write this month?  What is your motivation?

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Stuck? In life? On the page? There’s an app for that



If you’re the owner of an iPad, you’re in luck in getting unstuck.  Whether personally or professionally, this app is great for diagnosing your problem, getting to the root cause and giving you manageable, workable action steps to get unstuck.

If you’re a writer, have your characters answer various questions to give you answers as to why they aren’t behaving.


Here are six action steps to take to get you unstuck:

* First, download the program (FREE) and register (you can use your Facebook logon).

*  Pick 3 of 18 cards that best describes how your stuck moment makes you feel, ranging from afraid to up in the air.  Let’s say you pick “Lost” as your stuck emotion.  Unstuck will ask a variety of questions such as “What are you stuck on?” and “I’m stuck because_____”

*  Use the diagnostic tools.  One is a pack of 20 cards with statements on them which you sort into “So me” and “Not me” piles. From your answers, you’ll assigned a category (ie Avoider) and given action steps, tools, tips, and a cyber kick in the butt.

* Set a goal, give yourself a deadline and outline consequences for not following through.

* Post your goals and deadline on Facebook or connect to the Unstuck community for motivation and accountability.

*  Follow through on your plan and get unstuck.

It’s a great tool, and way lots cheaper than therapy.

What things are you stuck on?


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Sorry, sorry, but now it’s better

For those who have been waiting for “What Do You Say to a Naked Elf?” to be a “real” book, it’s now available as trade paperback on  The price is based on the number of pages, and “Elf” is long, so the price is higher than I’d like, but from now until 1-20 you can take off 20%.  Here are the details:

Enter coupon code PRICETHAW305 at checkout and receive 20% off your order. The maximum savings for this offer is $100. Sorry, but this offer is only valid in US Dollars and cannot be applied to previous orders. You can only use this code once per account, and unfortunately you can’t use this coupon in combination with other coupon codes. This great offer expires on January 20, 2012 at 11:59 PM PST, so don’t miss out! While very unlikely, we do reserve the right to change or revoke this offer at anytime, and of course we cannot offer this coupon where it is against the law to do so.

I apologize for not having it available sooner.  I thought I’d put it up in October.

On the bright side, “The Apprentice Fairy Godmother” and the sequel to “Elf”, “Robert’s Rules Undone” are also on and can be purchased using the same discount code.

And if you’re the person who recently bought two dozen ebooks of “Elf” for Kindle, I’d love to hear from you!


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