Monthly Archives: October 2013

Oct 30 T minus 2

I woke up with my mind abuzz with Nano Last Minute Prep Ideas.

  1. Last night SJ and I worked on our homework on separate computers in the spare room.  Today I brought a second desk in the room to allow her (or another family member) to work in proximity with us in the room.  I think we will writing together to be a motivation, although it my also present distractions.  *SJ told me that she would prefer to work on her laptop sitting on the bed in the spare room/office, but I brought a desk up anyway.
  2. I know that on the hard days I will need a barrier free setup to writing so I’m doing several things to achieve a quick transition from– “I should be writing” to “actually writing words towards my goal”.
  • I need to set up my novel file in scrivener, start blocking out some blank chapters and having some of the housework and organizational things set.
  •  I need to see if I can get scrivener to automagically export  a working document of my novel to dropbox or google docs several times a day.
  • I will leave scrivener open and ready to write when I put my computer to sleep at night so I just need to awaken it from suspend and start typing. (This will be important because I have blocked out 6ish to 7:30m  for my main writing time).
  • I bought a bluetooth keyboard for my tablet so I can easily write with it wherever I am.
  • I also set up a special schmancy paper writing folio that I can write in longhand if all tech fails me.

Goals:  My daily writing goal is the same as any wrimo 1667 words spread out over 30 days to achieve fifty THOUSAND words.  I am going to try for 2000 a day to give me some buffer.

SJ has set her goal at 10,000 words or 333 words a day.  She thinks this may be on the low side so I challenged her to a DORG (Day One Ridiculous Goal) of 1667 words on November 1.   This will help give us  baseline of what she can reasonably write in a day.



October 29- T Minus 3 days and Counting

TimeForTheFair-CoverThis evening I entered my novel idea into my NanoWrimo page, mocked up a title and cover for my book-  working title: Time for the Fair.   Here is the synopsis I posted.


This summer I entered a contest to become one of 10 official CNE bloggers. I was successful and my family spent over a week enjoying all that the Canadian National Exhibition has to offer. My daughter and I also went to our first FanExpo dressed as Dr. Who characters. In late September, my daughter gave me a challenge I could not refuse- “If you do Nanowrimo, I will do Nanowrimo”.

My novel idea is sort of a combination of all the good times we had together this summer. It is about a boy (Billy) who goes to the CNE and finds himself travelling through the history of the fair and unable to get back to his home timeline. The one sentence pitch “It’s a time travel story that take place mostly on the grounds of the EX”.

It’s my first time attempting to tell a novel-length story. I am drawing from all sorts of other time travel stories including The Oddyssey, Back to the Future, Dr. Who, Bill and Ted, a couple of Lewis Shiner’s books, Forrest Gump and more.


It’s either TBA or trapped in time and space.


I also helped SJ set up a wordcount widget from Sarra’s Word Meter, and we recorded a short pre nanowrimo vlog.  We may do this again in November.

I have also added all sorts of inspirational stuff and widgets to the blog including the daily NanoToon by Errol and Mur Lafferty’s daily special Nanowrimo, I Should Be Writing Podcasts.



Youtube Nanowrimo Inspiration

The other night I watched the wonderful, cheesy NaNoMusical:  A Musical about NaNoWriMo, co-written by the oft-mentioned Errol of Debs and Errol.

Here it is:

For a more serious bit of Nano inspiration, here is a speech by Nanowrimo founder Chris Baty:

Today’s Nano Inspiration

Today’s Nanotoon drawn by the perpetual motion machine known as Errol Elumir.  Here are the latest.

October 18– Word Fight!

Over the past few days, I have been monkeying with scrivener, I signed up over on the Nanowrimo Young Writer’s site, so that SJ and I can be buddies over there.  I am MrMcG on the young writer’s Site and ductapeguy on the main Nanowrimo site.  I took some time perusing the nanowrimo forums.  There I found out about word wars and challenges.  On FAWM and 50/90 I love the song skirmishes so word wars seemed intriquing.  Basically a word war is a timed writing exercise where you challenge others to write as much as they can in a fixed period of time.  To help us prepare for nanowrimo, this morning before school, I challenged SJ to a 10 minute word war.  I forgot to set the timer so we did closer to 15.  I did 334 words.  She wrote 369 words.  I knew she could type faster than me, but I wasn’t expecting her to beat me on our first writing challenge.  Good for you SJ.

One of my favorite books from when I was 13 was The Mouse That Roared by Leonard Wibberley.  My favorite quote from the book was

Though the pen is mightier than the sword, the sword speaks louder and stronger at any given moment.

Seems like an appropriate motto for a word war.


Oct. 15

  • Listened to Stephen Paige’s CNE GhostWalk on the way to work.  Great stories and pretty cool from a podcast production perspective too.
  • Did a bit of CNE research.
  • Worked my way through the Scrivener Tutorial.  Yup it looks like a powertool for NanoWrimo.  I do believe I’m going to use it.
  • Bought the new Humble Android Bundle and spent waaay to much time playing Ticket to Ride.

October 14- Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day IconUh Oh.. My month of NanoWrimo preparation is almost 1/2 completed and I have been 5 days since my last daily post.  Life and work intervened.   Thursday I went to a concert by Deborah Linden and Leslie Hudson aka Sinderella.   Friday we hooked up our trailer to go spend Thanksgiving at Bass Lake Provincial Park.  Unfortunately Bass Lake closed for the season on September 23.  We ended up at McRae Point Provincial Park southeast of Orillia and it was wonderful.   We had a fantastic camping weekend.

Nano preparations:  I spent a couple hours reworking some of my timelines and plots in Freemind.  I did alot of headwork on my story.  SJ and I spent alot of time walking through the woods at the campground and talking about the ins and outs of her story…  but I’ll leave her to write about that.

Things I need to do:

  1. CNE research on the CNE Archives site.
  2. Maybe some basic historical research for several of my characters including post vatican II changes to religious orders, summer of love, rock music of the 70s and some other significant events.
  3. Keep working with learning how to use Scrivener.  I think it will be a very useful tool.
  4. Oh, and these CNE videos hosted by Stephen Page will also help with my research.

Oct. 9

typewriterGood morning

  1. Made my first introduction post on the nanowrimo forums.
  2. Filled in my profile on my Nanowrimo page.
  3. Wrote yesterday’s blog post (too busy outlining last night).

At pre-nanowrimo, we geeks do more before breakfast than some people do all day.

Good Evening:

I had a good chat with Drew about the some of the developments in my story, and set up an account for him on this blog.  Welcome aboard Drew.

I am considering using Scrivener to write my Nanowrimo novel.  Pros:  It has the all kinds of research and outlining tools and is designed to write a novel in a non linear way, in bite-sized chucks.  It was also designed with Nanowrimo in mind so it has some great baked in word count trackers.   The non-linear part of it appeals to me because my story will be told in a very non linear (out of time) manner.  It is also free to try through to the end of November and after that, there are some good discounts off it’s regular $40 price tag for NaNoWriMo participants.

Cons:  I would be partially tied to the one computer scrivener is installed on.  I have become quite accustomed to working with whatever tool is in my hand… my command centre workstation (netbook attached to keyboard and mouse), tablet, handheld (htclegend) or even work computer.

Now to install smart ideas and scrivener onto my command centre.

Goodnight Interwebz

P.S.  Just watched the 10 minute Scrivener Intro Video.  I think I am convinced. Installing it now.

Oct. 8 Update

  1. I tossed and turned my story over in my head.  I had some insights both when I was dreaming and awake.
  2. Added some links to the blog in the morning.
  3. While we were doing our family bonding exercise (aka watching Dr. Who) I googled outlining software and writing tools.   I bookmarked the ones I liked at
  4. I started a timeline for my story using SmartIdeas software, because I need to teach one of my classes how to use SmartIdeas.

More Pre Wrimo Resources

Today I printed two copies of the NanoWrimo Young Novelist’s workbook, and made SJ and I each a writer’s notebook for our pre-wrimo activities. They make versions for elementary, middle school and high school.  We chose the middle school one because SJ is in eighth grade but they all seem quite similar.  It’s a Free Download from the Young Author’s Program at Nanowrimo.

I discovered the Nanowrimo Community on Google+.  From there, I read a great blog post called something like “You are NOT going to write a novel in November”.  I can’t find it again. I will have to look for it tomorrow.  Update: I found it:  Nanowrimo Tips – You Will Not Write A Novel During Nanowrimo. It was on a blog called The Write Turn, which on first glance is a resource chock full of daily writing tips, exercises, and nanowrimo preparation posts.

Oh, and SJ and I set up this blog and I back dated a week’s worth of more than 100 word daily posts.  Well, at least I know I can write in quantity, and my journal is complete for my first week of nanowrimo prep.

Good Night Intenetz