Keep the Mo!

For years I have participated in NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month. With some embarrassment, I have admitted that I call it NaNoCheatMo, because I work on a novel in progress instead of starting with a blank page. I am also prone to live-stream self-editing, a no-no for Wrimos.

But this year, as I noted in my last blog, I found out that the Wrimos at Nano HQ don’t consider me a cheater. They even have a badge for me: The Nano Rebel! This tiny shift in mindset gave me a boost in motivation. I wrote almost every day during the month of November.

But the momentum and motivation could not be stopped just because NaNoWriMo was over. I continued writing on my novel-in-progress throughout December, and happily shared my completed draft with my sister (MZT1) on December 31, 2019. It only took me 15 years, but the feeling of satisfaction was that much deeper because this story has been a labor of love for so long.

Sometimes, after finishing a full draft (I realize this is not the final draft!), I go into a slump. Not this year! Twenty-twenty isn’t only hindsight; it’s the year of looking forward. In January, I joined Storystorm, the wonderful brainchild of the ever kooky and inspiring Tara Lazar.


Formerly called PiMoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month), Storystorm ( was rebranded to include all children’s authors. It takes place in January, when participants come up with 30 story ideas in 30 days. Since I had just completed the draft of the first story in what I envision as a trilogy, my first idea was a quick blurb about Book 2. Using inspiration from Tara’s daily guest bloggers, I came up with more ideas. In fact, I’m already at 30 ideas and am now fleshing out those ideas. Some will never see the light of day. But they served their purpose: They spark creativity, call my muse from her nest (hear that, dear Kingfisher of Ochlockonee Bay!), and lead me to the next story or stories.


Be a rebel! If you participate in Storystorm, keep going in February. You have an extra day since it’s Leap Year, to write down more ideas or polish some of the ones you’ve started. Now for some chocolate…



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