NaNoWriMo has officially begun…am I ready?

For those of you wondering “what the heck is NaNoWriMo?”…let me explain.  It is 30 days of writing abandon where writers challenge themselves to complete a 50,000 word novel.  It can be ROUGH.  The point is to get you into the writing mode even if some of the content is complete drivel.  I have friends that have tackled this for a few years now.  They have given advice and explained the stages of NNWM with regard to the ups and downs.  I won’t know what to expect until I am fully immersed.

I have decided to stick with young adult content since that is my passion.  The piece has to be original and written during the month of November.  I have outlined a story that is a post-apocalyptic world full of zombies, scientifically engineered assassins and a group of maniacal leaders pulling all of the strings.  I was drawn to a zombie story when I dug into my Halloween reads for  I noticed a trend toward this type of genre when I heard about the PA panel that was held in October.  “Panel discussion and signing featuring four accomplished authors in the growing genre of “post-apocalyptic teen fiction.” Panelists were James Dashner, Michael Grant, Carrie Ryan and Scott Westerfeld.  Carrie Ryan and Scott Westerfield are two of my favorite authors.  Having just finished Carrie Ryan’s debut novel, The Forest of Hands and Teeth…I was hooked.  (Check out my blog on Examiner for my review.)

I can do this.  The storyline is complex, visual and combines twists on the classic themes of the God complex and segregation with a little bit of Frankenstein’s monster thrown in for good measure.  The protagonist is not entirely human, but feels the pull of humanity around her as it changes what she knows of life, lot and free will.

Will I end up like one of the undead…glassy eyed and unable to focus on anything around me other than word count and moving the plot forward?  Things will be challenging because life will go on around me.  I can’t and won’t spend every waking moment in front of the keyboard.  There will be dinners to cook and little ones to tend to.  In the end, I will commit and drive myself crazy in the process.  That is what writers do and that is what I am.

Word count:  392NaNoWriMo


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Reluctant readers…

While tackling new articles for, I came to the realization that I LOVE to read.  It’s a sickness really.  I have multiple books going at one time.  One in my bedroom and one in the family room.  Part lazy…part “so much to read, so little time”.  We have instilled a love of reading with our girls since they were old enough to sit still and look at the pages.  Bookshelves are crammed full of colorful picture books and beginner readers.  My youngest clambers to climb in my lap demanding two books every night.  My Kindergarterner is constantly sounding out words and letters as she tackles the concept of learning to read.  I read recently that children of writers have a tendancy to love the written word and might in fact gravitate toward some sort of career that involves writing.  How cool would that be? 

Then I thought about the children whose parents don’t make the time to read to their kids.  How about the children that would rather play video games than pick up a book?  Where is the disconnect?  Where does the fear of or aversion to reading come from?  I sat down for my latest article to research and tackle the topic of reluctant readers.

There is such adventure packed in the pages of a book, it’s a shame to think of all the kids out there that are missing out.  Check out my most recent post and add comments.  I’d love suggestions for getting kids to read.