Posted in writing

Writerly wisdom

Write 50 words. That’s a paragraph.

Write 400 words. That’s a page.

Write 300 pages. That’s a manuscript.

Write every day. That’s a habit.

Edit and rewrite. That’s how you get better.

Spread your writing for people to comment. That’s called feedback.

Don’t worry about rejection or publication. That’s a writer.

When not writing, read. Read from writers better than you. Read and perceive.

~ Ajay Ohri

Posted in writing

Limping through 50,000 words with Honey Boo Boo

Image from Office of Letters and Light at

First, just a quick note to my Camp NaNoWriMo buddies: I finally figured out how to get us all into the same cabin. Here’s the word sent from “above.”

A couple of quick tips:
1. The best way to get our processing system to bunk you in the same cabin as a friend’s is for all of you to opt out of your cabins (the link should be on the same page as your cabin message board, at the bottom).
2. Next, you’ll want to go to your “Cabin Settings”, and hit “Request Specific Campers”, and input each other’s names within the same 24 hour period. Make sure everyone has defined a novel for August as well.

3. Cabins are reassigned daily at around 4 am PST. Make sure to request each other during the same cycle, and your chances will be good!

So, I’ve made my changes and my request for a new cabin with all of you in it and hope this works out. I could use the encouragement right about now!

As to the my novel itself, however . . . I’m limping along (a pun for those of you who know I’m dealing with a torn medial meniscus on my left knee). Writing through pain meds is, uh, interesting, and provides unique characters and plot twists. But, I’m also easily frustrated, have a short attention span and my resulting word count is feeble. I’m hanging in there, and as I shared with fellow camper and blogger, Sarah (Introverted Blogger), this may be the first time I actually lose one of these challenges.

Alas, enough with the pity party! I’m off to the gym today to get some upper body work in (before everything goes to mush) and buy some bright yellow flowers for my desk. Then I’m going to sit down to catch up on reading blog posts here. It’s time to re-enter the real world and live off something other than chocolate and trash TV.

Sorry to inflict the following on you, but even a commercial from the depths of trash TV seemed better than a picture of a torn medial meniscus.

Posted in this&that, writing

Can pants really cause temporary insanity? Yes.

Reblogged from Kirsten Lamb’s blog. The Pants of Shame

The picture is worth a thousand words. However,

The Pants of Shame are rumored to have been forged in the black bowels of Hell, created by the most unholy of unions–the Knitting Needles of the Damned and the Yarn of Infernal Intent. No one truly know the origin of the POS, we just know their powers can be used for great good or great evil. Currently, a religious sect of highly caffeinated writers known as the Cult of #MyWANA are in possession of The Pants, harnessing their powers to help writers focus on their WIP lest they be forced to gaze upon the Pants, which have been known to cause temporary blindness and permanent insanity.

Read more at The Pants of Shame.

Posted in books, writing

What to write? The clock is ticking.

Every November I take part in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) which most of you who write know is an insane and fun way to kick your writing mojo into gear by writing a 50,000 word “novel” in just 30 days.

It’s always been a really fun part of my writing and I look forward to it every year. I’ve met great writers from all over the world, played goofy games with other writers on the NaNo boards and even managed to finish seven or eight of the annual challenges. I’m a big fan of it, can you tell? Many writers aren’t, thinking it a waste of time or something. But, for me, it’s perfect — by November of every year my writing desire is sagging. NaNo gives me that boost I need to move on.

Image from:

Last year the great folks at Office of Letters and Light (NaNo’s parent) decided to initiate Camp NaNoWriMo, offering the same contest to “summer campers” who were just itching to make their fingers bleed and their brains go zombie. I got through the challenge last year, barely. My novel was, as is true with most of them I’ve produced through NaNo, trash. I couldn’t even make something of it after the month was finished. At least some of the others I’ve gone on to edit and rewrite and rewrite some more. They have, or had, potential.

This year Camp NaNoWriMo was offered in June and will offer a second session in August. Since I’m off in August and likely to be slammed with work in November, I’m going to give it my best effort this summer. Which always prompts the question as to what to write.

Image from http:

I think I’ve said here before that I’m seriously plot-deprived. I struggle, seriously struggle, to find a plot every year. The challenge is fiction and that’s just not my forte, which is probably one of the reasons the whole process is really good for me.

So, I’m open to suggestions. Help, the clock is ticking and I don’t have a story. What do you think I should try to write about this time around? (No zombies, please.) And, I’m curious to know if anyone else is packing up their gear for the August session of Camp NaNoWriMo.

PS, Lots of related articles posted here, because, well, lots of people have been writing about Camp NaNo.

Posted in humor, writing

Writing “real good” and sneezing

Chicken soup helps you feel better when you have a cold. Maybe this chicken can make the writer below write a little better.

Firstly, I’d just like to ask who the heck invented summer colds? It’s not even summer and I’ve had two! In fact I’m currently “enjoying” one and, I swear, I never get colds. If you know the perpetrator, please send him my way; I have a little plague I want to give him.

Secondly, since I’m feeling so punk, I decided to “lift” something I read this morning and share it with you. Aside from teaching us “how to write good,” the author gives great examples and a few snickers. Writers, take note! Continue reading “Writing “real good” and sneezing”

Posted in writing

Repost: Confessions of an Obsessive List Maker

This is a slightly rewritten version of an entry I posted on January 9, 2012, called “Obsessive list making and where it leads.”

Some time ago (July 10, 2010, to be precise) I wrote a piece on HubPages called “Confessions of an Obsessive List Maker.” Looking back, I think it was more of a way to procrastinate than to publish, but it led, recently, to the latter and one of those once-in-a-lifetime stories. (The original HubPages post was written under the name “selenabee.”)

I’m a compulsive list and note person. Notes to remember what to get at the store, phone numbers, lists of things to do. The latter is the bane of my existence. Not only does it serve as a way to keep track of all the niggling little things I have to do, it serves well to leave me in a continual state of frustration.

How a woman’s brain works! Source:

The publishing part of the story started with an email a few weeks ago from Sue Shellenbarger, the Work & Family columnist at the Wall Street Journal who had read the post at HubPages and was interested in interviewing me for a piece she was doing on people who made lists. We corresponded and then talked and the result was a great column she wrote for the WSJ on December 28, 2012, in which I (named as Kim Bauer) was briefly mentioned and one of my daily lists (cleaned up for public consumption because who wants the world to know that I needed to shop for new underwear?) was printed along with one of Johnny Cash’s! (He, by the way, thought it important to remind himself to pee; I, on the other hand, thought it prudent to remove my need to shop for underwear.)

I guess I can now claim I’ve been published in the Wall Street Journal. (Let me have my fantasies!)