Archive | November 2016


NaNoWriMo. No, it’s not a voodoo curse, although it might as well be. National Novel Writing Month, which begins on November 1 of each year, is when writers all around the world sit down at their keyboards will a common goal: to write 50,000 words by the end of the month.

The results don’t have to be a polished novel; on the contrary, the idea is to simply complete a first draft, no matter how rough it might be. The editing and polishing come later.


NaNoWriMo began in (1999) with 21 authors in the San Francisco Bay area. The latest figures available (2013) show the following:

NaNoWriMo 2013 counted 310,000 adult novelists, plus an additional 89,500 young writers. There were 651 Municipal Liaisons in 595 regions, 650 Come Write In libraries and bookstores, and 2,000 YWP classrooms. We also had a darn wonderful Night of Writing Dangerously, with the first non-staff keynote by NaNo-novelist Gennifer Albin.

Here in Rochester, you can hook up with other writers via the Facebook page.

I’m trying something new this year: my depression makes it hard for me to keep focused on my writing for a full month, and so I’ve never been able to complete a novel. So this year I’m going to capitalize on my mental state and incorporate it into the makeup of my protagonist.

I’ve always viewed depression as a challenge rather than an obstacle. I’m pretty sure I could have given in to it years ago and qualified for a Social Security disability pension, but that would be letting the depression win, and that’s something I’m not ready to do yet.

Instead, I’m channeling my depression into The Melancholy Vampire.

I’ll post the link when I’m done.

Dead Trees, or Pixels?

I don’t follow the debate over printed books versus electronic readers. I made my choice long ago, and have never regretted it.

The reason for choosing an e-Reader was one of practicality: in my old apartment, I had very little storage place, and I have a voracious appetite for books. My Nook was the ideal place to keep my 2,000+ volume library. And now that I’ve given up the apartment and live in a rented bedroom, it’s even more of a necessity.

So saving space was my primary motive. Having something to read whilst waiting in doctors offices, waiting for the bus, and similar situations was only secondary.

Of course, the abundance of free books didn’t hurt, either. There are daily offerings from BookBub and other sources, and even Project Gutenberg has gotten in on the act and is converting all of their holdings to eBook format.

But still…

There’s still something about the smell of old books, the feeling of pages between your fingers.

A Nice Surprise!

Today’s mail brought a pleasant surprise. I recently changed my Medicare insurance provider and they told me I’d be getting a book in the mail explaining my benefits.

There was a book in today’s mail, along with a letter from the insurance company, so I assumed it was that book. But when I opened it, it turned out to be a mystery novel from St. Martin’s Press, along with an explanation of what they were asking me to do. Basically, they’d like me to read and review the book, as well as advertise it on social media.

And that brings us back to why I still like bound books: there’s always the chance that I’ll get one in the mail along with a request for a review.

So my plan for the next couple of days is to finish the book (I’ve already started it), and post a review both here and on my social media accounts.

I’ll keep you posted!

Robyn Jane