National Novel Writing Month: The Sixth

That's right. This is my sixth time particpating in November's National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). If all goes to plan, it will be my sixth win, too. This year, I'm participating as a Rebel -- meaning that instead of generating 50,000 new words toward a novel, I'm spending my NaNo time editing my work in progress.

Being a data nerd and Virgo, I calculated the average number of hours (based on my first five NaNos) that it takes for me to write 50,000 words. 20 was the magic number, so I rounded up, and now I'm in the middle of my 25 hours of editing for November.

My favorite part of NaNoWriMo is, as ever, the Reference Desk section of their forums. I've written about them before -- how the questions asked within the forum consistently renew my faith in humanity. The fact that human beings are writing books that require questions like these:

  • Goats! And spinning goat hair into yarn
  • What are some common activities at a Presbyterian Youth Group?
  • French murder trials (19th century, but modern info gratefully accepted!)
  • Climate on a planet with little to no axial tilt
  • Long distance call in 1938
  • Monk's Room Furnishings in the 1600s

Dear Novelists: I love you. Keep writing.

I've noticed a sweet subset of questions from clearly younger writers this year on the forums. The perspective inherent in these questions strikes me as particularly poignant:

  • How do you feel when you find out someone has died?
  • Why would a well-educated person be in financial difficulty (besides unemployment)?
  • Details of the divorce procedure
  • Is This A Realistic Parenting Tactic?

Dear Novelists: I love you. Keep writing, and also living.


New, Improved Green Smoothie Recipe up on Mommyish

For your light Monday reading in the middle of some pretty dire national and world news, here's my latest piece, up on Mommyish: Making Smoothies is a Total Hassle.


"Danube Revisited" on Burn Magazine

Another place I'm pleased to see my writing about the "Danube Revisited" project: Burn Magazine.

The project's Kickstarter reached both its original and push goals yesterday, so the photographers will be on their way to the region on July 7th. Best of luck to them!


Danube Revisited: The Inge Morath Truck Project


I'm excited to be on TIME LightBox today, writing about Danube Revisited: The Inge Morath Truck Project, an ambitious photographic road trip along the entire length of the Danube River, retracing the footsteps of pioneering photographer Inge Morath.

9 photographers, 35 days, 24 cities and villages, 10 countries, 1,777 miles of river, and one mobile art gallery... continuing Inge's work.

You can also read more about the Kickstarter campaign to support the project here.


Avoid the Worst

Literature has low enough standards. But we can avoid writing the worst literature if we make ourselves ask ourselves, every two or three sentences we write, 'Is that what I really think?'

--Carol Bly, born today in 1930