Thursday, November 17, 2011

Last year during NaNoWriMo, "Write or Die" ( was all the rage. It's basically a box that you can write in, and it will punish you if you stop writing. Depending on the setting, it may punish you by beginning to delete the words that you've already written. Apparently, some people find this motivating. I just find it frightening.

This year, however, there's something that I think really might work. "Written? Kitten!" ( is a similar box in a webpage that you write in -- except, this one rewards you with pictures of kittens! I had to test it out, you know, to see the first kitten picture. It turned out to be an old-timey style drawing of a little girl clutching a gray kitten above a Valentine's heart. Excellent motivation! I'll probably try doing some of my real writing in the Written? Kitten! box later, but, for now, here's the 100 words I wrote to earn that first kitten:

Once upon a time, there was a princess named Elaine. She was young and clever. And oh so terribly mischievous! She lived in a house with three loyal dogs and five wise cats. Of all these pets, the one she loved best was Kelly, an orange and black Halloween cat. Kelly's stripes blended from orange through gray to the deepest midnight. So, sometimes when she curled up in a ball to sleep, she looked like a pumpkin. Other times, she would stare at you with her golden eyes, and the black in her fur would shine with the darkness of her heart. For she was an evil cat.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Watching the word counts go up all around me, as various writers I know tackle the behemoth that is NaNoWriMo, makes me wish that I could be playing that masochistic, addictive game again. However, I've decided that it will be better for me overall if I give NaNoWriMo a skip this year. I've had a very busy year, writing-wise, and I don't think I have the energy for another all-out push at the word count right now. (I already played that game this summer with writing several short stories for anthology deadlines.) I do have a number of projects that I desperately need to make progress on, but I think they'll all be better served by a more fluid, flexible pace.