NaNoWriMo, AKA It’s Not Like Anything Important Happens in November Anyway

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Ah, it’s that time of year again. The time to snuggle into a warm blanket, watch the snow fly outside your window, settle your laptop into place, and wonder how the hell you’re going to come up with 1,667 words every single day during November. The stress, the writer’s block, the inevitable falling behind: it’s magical!

NaNoWriMo, in case you’re not up on your arbitrary contractions, is National Novel Writing Month, an online contest that challenges writers of all stripes to get 50,000 words down during November. This will be year #4 for me, and the third novel I have attempted. The only year I completed the challenge was year 1, where I just squeaked over the 50k mark on the last day. Ironically, that novel remains unfinished, while the novel I worked on during years 2 and 3 actually did get finished! (I mean… there will probably be more revisions before it actually gets published, if it ever does, but there’s a polished draft out there in the world.)

I’m starting fresh this year on a new idea that’s been tumbling about in my noggin for the last month or so. It’s a fantasy, naturally, and it plays with some of the ideas of religion vs. science that fascinate me so much. I’ve got a good setting and workable first act outlined, and I know where I want the story to end up… but there’s this big gaping hole in the middle that may trip me up if I don’t shovel something in there. I’ve still got a few days for outlining. Here’s hoping that inspiration strikes.

In other news, I’ve been accepted to the Futurescapes Writers’ Workshop at Sundance for 2018! I don’t have any idea how competitive the admissions are, but it felt nice to get the thumbs-up. It’s a spot where you spend a few days in very small groups led by an established author, editor, and agent to help you polish and refine your material. They’ve got some great folks (Scott Lynch! Mary Robinette Kowal!), so I’m hopeful it will be worth the money I’m dropping on it. That will be happening this next April. Applications are open until March 9, 2018 in case you’re interested.

I’ve also applied to be a part of Brandon Sanderson’s writing class at BYU this coming winter semester. I figure, I already teach at the university (in psychology), and he’s pretty much the top of the field at this point, so it’s sort of a no-brainer to try to get in. I’m not going to lie: I got super-stressed sending that application in. I want to take this class badly. They are only accepting 65 applications this year, so I rushed to get mine in early the first day applications were open. As of yesterday he tweeted that they’d already received 2/3 of that number, so if anybody reading is local to Utah Valley and interested in applying, best hop on it!

That’s it for now. What I want to go do is binge the new season of Stranger Things or else dive into Super Mario Odyssey, which is currently downloaded and waiting for me on the Switch… but no! Outlines first. Play later! If I want to be a writer, I better actually, you know, write something.

Later, everybody! Do what you love!

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