Posted tagged ‘Nanowrimo’

U.S. of Hey (Also Bonus From Mitch McConnell)

April 15, 2015


U.S. of Hey!

What you say
we build enough bombs
to blow the sky
That’ll save the world!

And how’s about we sell
a ton of tons!
Light a fire
under the economy!

Hell, we’re kind of an empire
(only, you know, the good kind)–
we can just give
a bunch away! What the hey!
(Especially to anyone sired–get it?–in oil!  Heh
(Even anyone just near

Wait a sec!
That guy might have bombs!
And oil!
Let’s bomb him!
That’ll sure keep us from war!

(Treaty, schmeaty!
Accord?  BORing!)

Oh yeah!  And for those of you
at home–did I mention all
the spare tanks?!

Here’s a quick one for the incomparable Hedgewitch’s very informative prompt on Real Toads to write about folly.   My 15th for April, this 2015 National Poetry Month.

Okay–and here’s one more:


From Mitch McConnell–Re Coal

Who cares that all of its processes
are vastly destructive
of the earth
when we can save bad jobs
in Kentucky where the poor people’s
ecosystem is already
irretrievably degraded, and they are well-used
to black lung?

Besides, the companies are paying me
a ton.


PS the above pic was taken in Kashmir in the Himalayas a few years ago, shows the soot on the snow, part of the process that causes the melting of glaciers.  (I’m sorry that it does not totally fit the post, but hey, it’s April!) 

Pearl Wants to Help Me Jump-Start

November 21, 2012

Pearl Gets Thoughtful About Nanowrimo.

Pearl is eager for me to me to move more quickly on my Nanowrimo project. I really do have to be careful of her advice though.  She has an extremely poor understanding of U.S. copyright laws.

Doing What It Takes (Pearl Just Doesn’t “Get” Plagiarism)

(Thankfully, she has no copy of Shades of Grey.)

Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) Off the Computer – Writing by hand…errr… (Pearl!)

November 20, 2012

It can be hard to write in a notebook, once you’ve gotten used to a computer.

But it really can be done if you put your mind to it,

and sink in your teeth.


I am reposting these pictures from a prior Nanowrimo when my dog Pearl was a bit younger and a lot more helpful.  

I am, in fact, writing my novel by paw (errr… hand.)   At the moment, however, I can hardly imagine transcribing it – first, because my vision is pretty bad, and secondly because the story is so slow!   Oddly, I know where it is supposed to go, but it does not want to go there very rapidly.  I worry this is also fall-out from writing poetry – poems- mine anyway – tend to get involved with the moment, memory, reflection – not so much with, you know, chase scenes.

And then there’s Pearl’s refusal to help out!  At seventeen and a half, she’s not very involved in chase scenes either.  Agh.

Not Sure Where I’m Going (Nanowrimo)

November 4, 2012


Working, sort of, on Nanowrimo in between kvetching about the election and missing blogging and now back in NYC without Internet access (except through iPhone) and can’t quite believe in my new “novel” yet.

So, a bit, frustrated.

Tired! A (not) Novel Sensation!

November 1, 2012

Tired! But Ready To Write! (Maybe!)

I am very tired.

I have always thought of myself as a novelist (not poet!)

It is November 1.

All of these factors lead me to say I hope to substantially cut down on blogging over the next few weeks.

November is “National Novel Writing Month.”  (The original Nanowrimo, invented by Chris Baty – not napowrimo or nablopowrimo or any of the weird na-mo’s.)  The idea is that if you just have a deadline you can write a novel in a single month.

I have, in the past, continued blogging while also trying to write a one-month novel.  But this year, I know that I do not have the time or mental space  to devote attention to both a new novel and an ongoing blog.

So, I’m really going to try to discipline myself this month and not blog so much.

All that said, please do check in on this space every once in a while!  My discipline is extremely faulty.  I will terribly miss you!    Also, I’m still on the dVerse Poets Pub staff and will be doing an upcoming prompt this month (and probably participating in some.)

Before I sign off (and I’ll probably end up saying more about this before Tuesday) – please do VOTE!   Personally, I support President Obama:  because I am a woman who wants equal pay and the control of my own body, because I have a close relative who is about to go to Afghanistan as a serviceman, because I care about the environment, because I believe in science and public education, because I live in a City that is on the front lines of foreign policy bluster, because I live in a City that will need FEMA aid, because I am close to persons who deeply and romantically love others of the same sex.   There are a zillion other reasons, including jobs.  

Two very compelling endorsements of President Obama:  Larry Pressler, Republican South Dakota Congressman and Senator, Vietnam War Vet, here.  Also the Salt Lake City Tribune endorsement of Obama is very enlightening, called Too Many Mitts.   Read here.  

P.S. MANY THANKS TO ALL OF YOU WHO HAVE EXPRESSED CONCERN ABOUT THE WELL-BEING OF MYSELF AND MY FAMILY AND OTHER NEW YORKERS IN THE WAKE OF SANDY!  I still have not been home, I’m running out of clothes, but I am so very grateful for your support, and especially for the support of the online poetry community.  Thanks Thanks Thanks!  


Why Revising A Manuscript During Nanowrimo Month Is Just Not The Same–Where are the Pheromones?

November 9, 2011

You Have To Be Really Dogged About Revising

We’re almost all familiar with the pleasures of “new car smell” (even if just in a rental.)

Even more attractive is the zing of a new relationship.

For some of nerdy types, even more compelling is the engagement of new creation.  I don’t mean procreation here (although that might fit in too.)  I’m talking about a new idea, a new piece of writing or work of art.

How uncritical we are in the face of freshness!   Sure, we can see kinks, but they feel trivial in the flow of inspiration–detritus in the stream, texture!

Now that I think about it, working on a new piece is remarkably like a new relationship.  In the charge of fresh pheromones, we feel somehow certain that we’ll fix any problems, the person too.  Later.  (Note to self–fat chance.)

Rewriting, in contrast, tends to bog down.  The flaws are about all we are conscious of; the flow feels like a house on stilts rather than any kind of river.

Sometimes we want to change the whole thing, start almost from scratch.  This may be the best approach, but it’s also important to stop and take a breath.  Are we really just trying to do something new, different?  Something whose flaws we don’t have to deal with just yet?


(P.S. – for those who don’t follow this blog, I promised myself to take this Nanowrimo–National Novel Writing Month–to work on revising old manuscripts rather than writing something new.  Ahem.)

Apologies. Breakthrough? Push through.

January 24, 2011

Pearl Does Not Believe in Contests

My apologies for a somewhat desultory blog of late!

I have been working on entering a novel contest. It is one of those sort-of-hopeless endeavors that one tells one’s self is nonetheless worth doing.

In this case, it’s the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest (called ABNA Contest.)  I have been busy (among other things) revising an old novel that was written during another sort of contest–Nanowrimo, or National Novel Writing Month.   This was not the novel I wrote this past November (which needs more than revision), but an older one, which I have been working on sporadically for some time.

The odd thing here is that over the last year or so I spent a great deal of time cutting the novel to streamline it.  I had gotten it down from 52,000 words to less than 42,000.

Then I realized that ABNA contest rules require a novel of over 50,000 words.

When you cut things, you really can’t just add them back in.  It’s a bit like hair.  You can grow new, but you can’t somehow just paste the old back on.  Even in the age of computers.  It doesn’t somehow work that way.  You made the cuts because you thought the stuff should be cut.

So now… so now….I had to figure out what was missing.

Yes, I could just have kept the novel short and not entered the contest, but things were, in fact, missing from the novel.

At any rate, I have more or less finished it now, at least gotten the book to the necessary word count.

I’m not sure I can yet call it polished, but the entry got in on time.

Silly!  (Probably.)    Unlikely to be a commercially successful endeavor.  (Who knows?)  But doing this type of thing offers a deadline, a standard,  a goal.  It gets one moving, forces one to push through obstacles, burn the midnight oil.  Right now, for example, it is past 1:30 AM on a work night.


(P.S. – if you are interested in writing, check out “Going on Somewhere” by Karin Gustafson, Diana Barco and Jason Martin on Amazon!)

Tired at the End of November? (National Novel Writing Month)

November 30, 2010

Horse Cart? Horse Cab? So Much To Brush Up Against

Back in New York City and find myself tired tired tired.

All that physical energy that seemed so boundless in the fresh and cooked air of a Thanksgiving break in the country now seems sadly dissipated.

What has sapped me?

The grind/stress of the job?

The lack of frolicking!?  (Unpopulated spaces somehow lend themselves to dashing and dancing in ways that don’t quite work in most urban settings.)

Or, I wonder, as I drag myself to the subway through all the faces and vehicles, bodies and clothes, concrete and glass, is it the entropy of brushing up against so many different beings and energies–all that collected history, mortar, CO2?

I could point to the end of Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month).  Am I tired simply from having scribbled and typed 50,000 extra words over the course of November?

And then I look about me on the train and see that a whole bunch of people have a slumped (non-)edge to them.    Were we all plotting throughout the past month?

(Is that why we’re plodding now?)

Did they also do Nanowrimo?

Mouse Plotter(?) on Train???

Nanowrimo Up…. Date? (Made It Through Thanksgiving)

November 28, 2010


So, what time is it?

What day is it again?

Some day at the end of November.

Thanks have been given without unpleasant incident.  Even as I say that, my ever gloomy mind comes up with mishaps and disappointments that loomed large a couple of days ago (a child who couldn’t make it, a parent who fell en route to a video call).  Even so, the holiday came and went with no regret for never having mastered the Heimlich maneuver, and with a fair amount of tap and other dancing.   That has to count as a win.

Speaking of “winning,” I amassed today the 50,000 word count for “victory” in Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month.)  I cannot pretend to have written a novel,  but only a relatively large number of words.  This may account for the lack of ebullience, I feel today (whatever day it is).

Still, I have learned something important this Nanowrimo month:  that I, that you, that probably almost all of us, have a lot more free time and imagination than we generally think we do.

My gloomy side chimes in: ‘yes, and possibly we have a lot less time than we think as well.’    (Darn you, gloomy side!)

So, what time was that again?  Time to get going.


Nanowrimo Update – Thanksgiving

November 25, 2010

Nanowrimo Participant At Thanksgiving (And Pearl)

Finally, a free day (well, putting aside chopping, cooking, washing dishes, socializing and trying to get some air!)

What I truly mean is that I am getting down to the wire with my Nanowrimo novel and I should focus today on upping the old word count.

(Nanowrimo, if you are new to this notion, is National Novel Writing Month–a time when would-be novelists/masochists devote themselves to their dream activity.  Sort of.)

The problem is that I suddenly can’t summon the will.

Is it Writers’ Block crashing down? The other side of the ManicD equation?  Simple fatigue?

Is it the fact that I find myself in the middle of a family gathering, with an expectation that I will do something other than work on my computer?

Is the old September NYT crossword at my side really so fascinating?

All of the above is true.

But, oddly, the main cause of my current withdrawal is a kind of success.  As I wrote a couple of days ago, I finally discovered the connection between the disparate characters in my nanowrimo novel, a connection that has some kind of emotional “rightness” (if not, resolution.)

This connection has taken the manuscript (the potential manuscript) to a whole different level.

All of this is good (I guess), but also daunting.   Suddenly, the proposed novel does not feel so much like a what-comes-next game, a free-fall through the unconscious, but a project.  Something that could be worthwhile if I could just devote about a year or more to it.

The coincidence of Thanksgiving brings me to the only helpful response I can come up with:  isn’t the human mind amazing?  All those nooks and crannies where stories, characters,types, lurk.   I readily admit that mine are all stolen–from life, reading, the heard, experienced; only somewhere in this dreamlike process of making one’s self write madly, a mishmash has occurred, a regrouping.

I don’t know if I will have the luck or drive or year (or so) that it will take to actually write the novel that started through this rather random exercise.   It’s another huge leap of faith to think that anyone will read it!   Still, something to be thankful for.