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It is NaNoWriMo Prep Time with Procrastination 101: Check Lists

For your final days of procrastination I made two lists, one for the Plotters/Planners and another for the Pantsers among us.

Print out the one that works best for you…although I fully expect the Planners to print them both out just in case they might have missed something. :)

Also if you haven’t got a copy of my NaNoWriMo Word Count Calendar just click here and you can print that out too.  Above all else remember to have FUN!!!



It is NaNoWriMo Prep Time with Procrastination 101: Final Days

This post is for my friends who are jumping into NaNoWriMo with both feet this year. Several of you out there have said to me in the last few days of NaNoPrep that you are nervous, hope you don’t fall on your face, or choke…Oh, Dear Friends lets dispel the negativity with some great ideas from professional writers.

Maya Angelou:
What I try to do is write. I may write for two weeks ‘the cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat.’ And it might be just the most boring and awful stuff. But I try. When I’m writing. I write. And then it’s as if the muse is convinced that I’m serious and says, ‘Okay. Okay. I’ll come.’

So what Ms. Angelou is saying to you, Sugar, is sit your booty in the chair, and write. Even if all the things you write for a solid two weeks are mere drivel–Do it. The words will come. And the best part is for NaNoWriMo it is all about the word count not the quality of the prose. So get your coffee pot fired up, grab a mug, and get yourself to typing!

James Patterson:
I’m always pretending that I’m sitting across from somebody. I’m telling them a story, and I don’t want them to get up until it’s finished.

What Mr. Patterson suggests is a trick that I use myself. When I get stuck or the words aren’t coming I’ll type to my muse about where I thought the story was going or how I don’t like this or that of where the story went. This always get my thoughts moving and I leave the thoughts in the document, I’ll edit them out later. Just keep moving forward with your word count. I cannot stress how proud you will be of yourself and how encouraged you will be when you look at your word count on Nov 29th and you, my friend, have crossed the 50K finish line.

Ray Bradbury:
Quantity produces quality. If you only write a few things you’re doomed.

Mr. Bradbury is calling on you to produce a large body of words. Story writing is in the editing, dear friends, not in the production of words called writing. You cannot edit a thing that has yet to be produced. NaNoWriMo is your time…get out there and make a body of words that you can polish in the New Year. You can do it!

So for your #NaNoPrep print out these quotes and place them where you can see them when the going gets rough.

30 Indispensable Writing Tips From Famous Authors

30 Indispensable Writing Tips From Famous Authors

30 Indispensable Writing Tips From Famous Authors

30 Indispensable Writing Tips From Famous Authors

30 Indispensable Writing Tips From Famous Authors

30 Indispensable Writing Tips From Famous Authors

Are you ready?!? NaNoWriMo here we come!!!

It is time for #NaNoWriMo 2014!!!

Computer man

Join me and my friends for a month of words, rhyme, onomatopoeia, and wild, untamed adventure!

To all those indomitable souls who travel the NaNo byways with me, I salute you! #NaNoWriMo2014 #NaNoPrep

To all those indomitable souls who travel the NaNo byways with me, I salute you! #NaNoWriMo2014 #NaNoPrep

It is NaNoWriMo Prep Time with Procrastination 101: Whip it Up!

sad kittySo you have made it through your NaNoPrep and believe you are ready to harness yourself into your desk chair for the long haul of NaNoWriMo…I’m here to tell you that dedication at the outset is nothing compared to the nitty gritty of week 2. We must prepare for the onslaught of doubt, negativity, and whining made by lonely pets and loved ones.

So what do we do? How do we get through the mire of 2nd week? I’ll tell you how I cope…Knitting. Now, I know not everyone can knit or even want to, but the point is I keep my hands busy with something that lets my mind wander. That is the really important part of Procrastination 101: Keep the mind free to think. You don’t want to fill these precious moments with TV or movies, you need time and relaxation to get the mind ready to write more of your novel.

So here is the “homework”—What craft or hands on project can you set up right at your desk to work on when the words just won’t flow?

Rebuild a Carburetor!

Rebuild a Carburetor!

Scrapbook like there is no tomorrow!

Scrapbook like there is no tomorrow!

Cross stitch all your favorite Pokemon!

Cross stitch all your favorite Pokemon!

Paint your cares away!

Paint your cares away!

Get crazy and get loose, churn your own butter with a jar and few of those misplaced marbles you lost when you decided to do NaNo!

Get crazy and get loose, churn your own butter with a jar and few of those misplaced marbles you lost when you decided to do NaNo!

It is NaNoWriMo Prep Time with Procrastination 101

Today’s NaNoWriMo Procrastination 101 tip: Buy a box of Christmas Cards during ‪#‎NaNoPrep‬… every time you want to do anything other than write your novel, do a card. By the end of NaNo you will have your Christmas cards ready to mail.

christmas cards

The Snap of Fall Means NaNoWriMo!

Participant-2014-Twitter-ProfileEvery fall season writers across the world connect in person and online to do what some have called the impossible…Write a novel (50K words) in the month of November. What do we call this madness? National Novel Writing Month, or for short NaNoWriMo!

This year I am doing a paranormal mystery that I have decided to call: Operation Xander.  You can check out the link and follow my progress. Or if you want to join me in the wonder and craziness that is NaNoWriMo add me as a buddy and join a local community of writers. Of course you are welcome to join my local group even if you live on the other side of the planet. We call ourselves the White County NaNo on Facebook.

Don’t get overwhelmed with the thought of that many words in one month. You have time to prep! Check out #NaNoPrep on twitter or Facebook, and the prep page on the NaNoWriMo site.

Join me and all by NaNo Buddies for the best thing going in the Month of November, NaNoWriMo!

operation xander meter


Interview with Elise Stokes — Cassidy Jones and the Luminous

Elise Stokes lives with her husband and four children. She was an elementary school teacher before becoming a full-time mom. With a daughter in middle school and two in high school, Elise’s understanding of the challenges facing girls in that age range inspired her to create a series that will motivate girls to value individualism, courage, integrity, and intelligence. The stories in Cassidy Jones Adventures are fun and relatable, and a bit edgy without taking the reader uncomfortably out of bounds. Cassidy Jones and the Secret Formula, Cassidy Jones and Vulcan’s Gift, Cassidy Jones and the Seventh Attendant, and Cassidy Jones and the Luminous are the first four books in the series.

 Interview with Author Elise Stokes Elise.Stokes1.crop5x7.0045
author of Cassidy Jones and 
the Luminous.

I was wondering where you get your story ideas?

I don’t know. :)  Usually brainstorming with my husband at a coffeehouse.  He’ll say something, or I’ll say something, then my imagination grabs hold of it, and goes wild.

1What is the usual process for your fiction writing? Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I wish I was a plotter. I’d think being organized and working from a nice, convenient storyboard would move the writing process along much quicker. I always plan on creating at least a skeleton outline. However, once I start working out the plotline in my head, I just want to get on with the writing. So I go for it and do a lot of backtracking when the story I thought I was going to write veers in another direction, or I have to meld in an inspired twist or turn, and I usually have to thumb through previous installments to refresh my memory about names, physical descriptions, places, etc. I forget a lot.

Once you have an idea that sparks your imagination do you research your idea or do any world-building exercises, or do you just begin to write and see where the Muse takes you?

I usually just begin writing, and if need be, do light research.

What is your daily writing time like?2

I write whenever I have a spare moment, and hopefully those moments are quiet. Unfortunately, I need silence to write, which doesn’t happen often in a household of six. In fact, at this very moment, my seventeen-year-old is recording her latest original song in our dining room, my husband is talking on the phone an arm’s length away, and I’m having a very difficult time answering this question, lol. The earplugs I’m wearing are useless!

Are you a full time writer? If so when did you make the decision and what factors led to the decision? If you are not a full time writer…Is your plan to one day being a full time writer?

I would love to write full-time. Currently, I squeeze writing in bet3ween homeschooling, a part-time job, book promotion, and household duties. Perhaps I’ll have the opportunity when my kids are grown.

Can you tell us about your experience working with your current publisher? (Any other publishers?) (Or your self-publishing experiences?)

I’m self-published, which isn’t for the weak. Writing the book is the easy part. The selling is tricky. Marketing is a full-time job. I’ve accumulated over 177,000 tweets in four years. How many novels is that equivalent to? Like, ten! Actually, that’s my fault. I love the Twitter community. I’ve met some great folks through it. Who says you can’t make friends in 140 characters? :)

4What is your current release and (without spoilers) tell us about the new book or series.

Cassidy Jones and the Luminous is the latest installment in Cassidy Jones Adventures.  Summarizing Book Four without spoilers— tough to do. So much happens in this adventure! The Luminous has a slightly darker storyline than the previous installments; relationships get more complex, a new, insidious adversary is introduced, and my young superhero’s life is turned upsidedown, once again, my favorite pastime. :)  Essentially, The Luminous changes the course of the series. I certainly didn’t see it coming!

Can you tell us about some of your other writing (fiction or nonfiction) and any appearances or signings that you have planned?

I started writing Book Five a couple of days ago. I’m really jazzed about the plot and can’t wait to see where it goes!

As an author what inspiration or advice would you give to a writer who is working to make the transition to Author?

My first bit of advice: just write. I don’t care for the term “aspiring writer.” You’re either a writer or you’re not. If you have a story tumbling around your head, flip open your laptop, or grab a pen and paper, and go for it.

My second bit of advice: be open. I hadn’t planned on self-publishing, yet here I am. It’s extremely difficult for an unpublished (unproven) author to find an agent willing to represent them, unless they happen to be Snooki or a Kardashian.  I’m well acquainted with the music industry, and it’s very sad to see publishing walking in the same footsteps. Publishing has a broken business model; agents and publishers don’t know how to make money anymore, and are unwilling to take a risk. That’s why there are multiple takes on familiar brands in literature and film. How many versions of Snow White are there?CASSIDY JONES 1 2 3 4

Who is your favorite author, and can you recommend a book by that author?

I don’t have a favorite author per se. In fact, I rarely read anymore. I don’t have the time. But whenever asked this question, East Of Eden always comes to mind.  When I did devour books— before four kids and I complicated my life by becoming an author— the characters in that particular work of John Steinbeck’s hooked me and wouldn’t let go. To this day, I still think about them.

If you would like more information about Elise Stokes you can find out more about her and her books on Amazon, Barnes & NobleTwitter, Facebook, Facebook CommunityG+ and on her website.



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