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NaNoWriMo 2009: The Blogger Rebellion

nano_09_blk_support_120x90I’ve mentioned before on this blog that I was planning to do NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this year. Well, I’ve made the commitment elsewhere so it is time to make it official here. 50,000 words by midnight, November 30th or else I turn into a pumpkin. Or something.

NaNoWriMo, for those who don’t know, is a yearly challenge to write a minimum 50,000 word novel during the month of November. What started 10 years ago with 21 participates in the US has grown into an international event with over 150,000 participants! For the month of November, I am dedicating my blog to NaNoWriMo. I urge you to visit the website, sign up, and/or make a donation to the Office of Letters and Light to help them make this and other great writing events possible. I have set up a sponsorship link in the sidebar if you are so inclined.

The Messy First Act
This is my second year fighting for NaNoWriMo glory. In fact the predecessor of this blog (Single Stitch Studio) was where I first starting writing about the activity. It gave me an outlet besides the forums to express my struggles and elation at this new and strange artistic endeavor. For the first time in a long time I was positively vibrating with the pleasure of writing a novel and I lead my steampunk archivist on a winding adventure of pirates, archaeology, and mad scientists in search of a legendary airship. I won the competition by writing 50,000 words and by the end of December had a 80,000-something word manuscript of really terrible prose and poorly planned plot points. The novel now languishes in a drawer somewhere, but I must have liked the blogging part or else you wouldn’t be reading this.

And Now?
For NaNoWriMo 2009, I was torn between writing fiction and my blogging obligations so I’ve decided to cut down the middle and join the NaNo Rebellion. “Rebels” are simply people who commit to writing 50,000 words in a month (still a lot of work), but chose to write something besides a novel.

For fiction this year I thought I would try my hand at some shorter fictional prose in the form of six short stories about Dashiell, a cat detective who solves the animal crimes the humans of his world miss. I’m not the sort of person who is overflowing with plot ideas, so I take what I can get. I think its cute.

For the blog I hope to commit about 25,000 (edited) words. If my average blog post is about 500 words long, I should be able to get about 40-50 blog posts out of the activity. Either that or a bunch of very long articles. We’ll see. Hopefully these posts will give me a bit of a buffer going into the holiday season so Maastricht Minutiae will continue to update even while I’m busy with family.

Are you interested in National Novel Writing Month? You can find me on the website as Locusta. Also, Scrivener, a novel writing software for the Mac, is offering a 50% discount to all winners. I’m testing it out the month and will be buying it weather or not I “win”. It makes organizing my blog posts and research easier.

Ok, off to write the next post. See you all soon.

Renaming My Blog


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I’ve been thinking of giving my expat blog its own space and name. I’ve been blogging here fairly exclusively about expat life and my travels, but the name of this blog “Single Stitch Studio” really doesn’t reflect that content at all. It would make more sense to change the name now for traffic and so I’m representing content accurately.

So I need your help. Below is a poll with a few suggested blog titles. Please vote and then comment on this post with your thoughts or suggestions. I have my own thoughts on all of these of course, but I don’t want to share those until you have the chance to vote.

What will happen with Single Stitch Studio? For now of course I will still be doing all my expat blogging here until I get the new space set up. Single Stitch Studio will be reorganized as an online portfolio for my professional and creative self.

July Projects & Work Update

manuscriptWith all the posting I’ve done about vacationing, I thought it was high time to talk about what I’ve been doing project-wise.

I’m really pleased to note that I’ve started working on a real (paying) freelance project. I’m doing copyright research for a publishing company on a new edition of a textbook. Its actually pretty interesting, I’ve always found the complexities of copyright rules intriguing, and its good to be working on something that really exercises my brain and research skills.

The other paid work I was doing for a few weeks was “title proofing” for Demand Studios (an article creation site). They by all exclusive rights to your articles, which I wasn’t willing to give for $5, so I worked on their titles instead. Its not bad work (its related to applying taxonomies and SEO), but at the moment its dried up. Hopefully the titles will begin flowing again since I did earn enough the first month to pay for my student loans that month.

I’ve also been trying to build a website for a webcomic project my husband is working on. I’ve promised it done for his birthday at the beginning of September, so I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me. I finished up the design in PhotoShop and have set up a WordPress install on our own server space, but now I need to bring the pieces together.

Writing-wise, I’ve been working on copy for a secret project, research for a possible Crossroads project, and trying to update this blog. I’m getting the itch to try fiction again, but maybe I’ll wait until November when I have NaNoWriMo to push me. I’m trying to become more prolific so I can take on more writing projects and maybe grow that revenue stream.

SYNC3 Project Focus Group

Last Friday I participated in a Focus Group for a new project intended to bring together so-called “traditional” news resources with blog posts on similar topics to make blogs more accessible. I found it to be an interesting discussion, although to a degree i felt out of place as a non-news blogger. The editor of Crossroads Journal pointed me to a video of the focus group online. If you’re interested in you can watch it here. Also, check out the host, the European Journalism Centre.

Hopefully I don’t do anything too embarrassing.

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