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Bring on the literary abandon! It’s time to prepare for 50,000 words in 30 days or less. Can the industrious Lady Ozma do it? Heck yeah she can!

What is NaNoWriMo? It’s a writing exercise built upon sheer insanity. With a goal to write 50,000 words in 30 days or less, the task is daunting to say the least. It’s not quite a novel, which typically can be around 80,000 words, but almost there. (Note of nerdiness: The average words per page in a novel is 250. Thus 80k would be your average 320 page mainstream book. This means that 50k is 200 pages, give or take.  Note of nerdiness now over.)

I will fully admit that 50,000 words in 30 days means roughly 1,666 words per day and that is most definitely quantity over quality.  In no way does any NaNoWriMo participant think they will end up with a finished, polished, work of art guaranteed to be the next great American (or enter country of origin here) Novel.

My first NaNoWriMo year: 2006.  I heard about NaNoWriMo in the very end of October. This led me to a November 1 moment of pure panic. I opened my word processor and stared at a blank screen for a good hour. No plot? No problem!  That’s the slogan, yet I felt nothing but a load of problems. I finally began. I decided to write the cheesiest line ever just to get words on the screen. Hoping it would maybe spark something.

In a galaxy very far away, millennia ago, there was a great space battle.

Holy disaster that was BAD.  The good news – it set me off. I worked like a fiend and in the final hours of November 30th, I wrote word number 50,000. WIN!

Glutton for punishment that I am, I returned in 2007 to try again. I enjoyed the character created the previous year and decided to work on the sequel. A sequel that included the Chesapeake Bay Monster, Chessie. Hello, she’s a Bay Monster. How do you NOT write about her? I did better, and finished a few days ahead of schedule. WIN!

During NaNo in 2007, I entered LJ Idol. Don’t ask me why. It started out to support a friend and became a wild ride. In the early part of 2008, one of our writing challenges sparked an idea that led me to write several chapters for the contest. Then I didn’t do anything else. When it was time for NaNoWriMo to start, I decided to become a NaNoRebel for the first time ever, after all, I had two wins under my belt already.

What’s a NaNoRebel? The official rules of NaNoWriMo state that your 50,000 words must be in a new project. I decided to pick up my “Juan of the Dead” where I left off in the early spring and ADD 50,000 words to it. I opened a fresh document so that I could keep a proper word count and worked feverishly for the month. The words flew from my mind, through my fingers, and onto my laptop screen.

So in 2008, I logged another win. Even as a Rebel.

Last year I thought I might skip NaNoWriMo, but my friends dragged me back in. I volunteered at my high school with their NaNo group. I couldn’t mentor a bunch of teenagers and ask them to do something I was not willing to do myself. So I wrote the sequel to Juan, which I wanted to do anyway.  In 2009, I saw my 4th attempt at 50,000 words and logged my 4th win.

Now it is 2010. It has been an insane  year for me. I have the idea for Juan book 3, but I want to finish another project. It just so happens that said project has roughly 25k in it already. Meaning that 50k should take me near the finish mark. It’s a project with such a limited market, that I don’t care to attempt to mainstream publish it. I just want it done. I will use November to add 50,000 words and hopefully finish it up. Then I can go through some minor edits and publish it through LuLu.

My hope is that seeing my name on the cover of a book will give me the impetus I need to properly encourage me to do what I need with Juan so it might one day be published.

Once again, I volunteered to aid the local high school group.  Today I get to meet with them for the first time and talk to them about the fun of NaNoWriMo. I couldn’t be happier!  You might not reach me easily as I sink into a world of writing and I might seem a little frazzled… but I’m REALLY enjoying myself. I promise!

It’s almost Novemeber. National Novel Writing Month… here we come!

If you are participating in NaNo this year, friend me!

–Lady O

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