Stories Need Telling.

They're all true, especially the fiction.

This is what 242 manuscript pages looks like when it’s printed out (single sided) and put in a three-ring binder:

Black binder full of printed pages

A not entirely complete draft of my current novel project

As much as I love working in Scrivener or Notepad or whatever other writing program I’m using at the time, there reaches a point where I have to be able to print something out to get a sense of where I am.

Also, there’s nothing like flipping pages to find that point of information you need to reference.

I first did Nanowrimo back in 2002. I wrote a chick flick kind of novel, something that would have then been classified as chick lit, only there was no sex.

I mostly wrote it so I could make jokes about laying pipe; the main male character was a specialty plumber.

It was a super fun month, in no small part because my friends were engaged and encouraging — they wanted me to write and they wanted to read the outpouring of pages. I wrote every single day, and often went over the day’s output with a friend up at the local Steak ‘n’ Shake or Denny’s. I typed — but I also wrote longhand, on legal pad pages, in my cramped and loopy scrawl.

Now that I’m not even sure I know where that manuscript is, I’m actually kind of sad about it.

In 2002, I was a school teacher, with a still-fresh degree in Creative Writing. I wrote that novel just to see if I could, to see if I had that many words in me. When I won, I surprised myself. And then when I did it again the next year, I was just as shocked.

In 2012, I’ve got a day job but I’m also published enough to consider myself a professional writer. It’s primarily nonfiction, and a lot of it is centered around body issues. But I don’t think I’d be here doing this if I hadn’t gained the confidence that came with surprising myself, with doing something I didn’t think I was going to be able to do.

I owe my agent this novel manuscript I have open on another screen. That definitely wouldn’t have happened without my first Nanowrimo experience.

That’s why this year, I’m participating again. I’m marianne over on the Nanowrimo forums — if you see me, say hi and ask me how my word count is. I don’t know if I’ll finish this year, but I know that whatever I write, it’ll be a good time and it’ll make me a better writer.

Hope to see you there.

Two new posts over at xoJane, for your enjoyment and commentation:


Please do come and leave your xoBook Club suggestions!

Where could you find me in October? A couple of places:

I could also be found at my local coffee shop, but that only helps you if you’re in the MCO.

Oh, I’ve been around.

In truth, I’ve been swamped and overwhelmed. The past year has been an interesting exercise in juggling way too many balls in the air, including work stress, my husband’s health issues, and my own end-of-summer writing slump. There’s been a lot of work going on, but it’s mostly been the boring kind, the long slog of keeping things together when you feel like everything is just a little bit out of control.

Some of it’s been fun though; I’m a fairly regular contributor over at xoJane. I’m back to writing the occasional piece for Comment Is Free. And there’s a novel that, well. More on that later.

Follow me here to find out where I’m at right now and where I’ll be next!

It’s good to be back, even if I never really went away.