National Novel Writing Month Begins...Again! (And Update on Bout of Books)

I'm participating in National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo) again. Last year you may recall that I failed miserably at it. You can see my bevy of excuses here. The aim last year was to finish a new idea I had been tinkering with but 1/3 of the way through I just did not like what I was writing and went back to my passion project--yes that short story collection you keep reading about!

This time I have a plan. For over a year I have been mulling over the side story of one of the characters from my collection. In realizing that an additional 'coming of age' story wouldn't work as a short in the collection I decided to write a companion YA contemporary novel centered around this character where the collection ends. While I was away at my artist residency at Jentel I wrote an outline for this YA novel. I've tinkered with it since but have steadily not written a thing (though have made copious notes) in preparation for NaNoWriMo. I figure that since I do love the characters in this collection and this particular character, Kayla, very much (hell, I've been living with them for 4+ years at this point) that it made sense to delve into something I wanted to do and reserve a set amount of time to do it. And having a framework for the story arc(s) will help me so that I won't be scrambling for ideas of what should happen next like I was last year.

Like always the premise for NaNoWriMo is to write a 50k word novel (or more) in 30 days taking place throughout the month of November. There are write-ins where you can participate with other NaNoWriMos and a large online community.

While I anticipate I'll have much on my plate with a full-time job, freelance work, and social outings (it is wedding season after all!) I hope to be able to focus on this piece while also dabbling with others during the month. But we'll see. I aim to get a completion badge dang it!

If you're also on the NaNoWriMo site feel free to tag me. My username is jenn.bakerhenry.

Bout of Books Read-a-thon update

On October 23rd I posted about being a part of the Bout of Books read-a-thon.

Results: I read all three books I had listed and enjoyed Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self and Wonderstruck very much. Eve I was lukewarm about. (You can see my reviews on Goodreads.) But, the kicker is that I read Wonderstruck in 2 hours the day before the read-a-thon officially began. So my total count from October 24th to October 30th was actually two whole books. Not bad, but I could've done better had I had my weekend free for just reading.

Pluses: I met some great people and one of the entrants in Bout of Books organized a Twitterchat a couple days in which was fun. We talked about what we liked about read-a-thons and books in general. Connecting with avid readers and all-around cool people.

There were also some cool giveaways and contests held during the read-a-thon and I think in general it was nice to see other writers and book reviewers sites to see what they were reading, are reading, intended to read and were excited about.

I'd definitely do it again and have already signed up for another read-a-thon, a holiday one, set for December 2nd-4th. So hopefully I'll be able to block off time to actually read.