Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday NaNo Interview

Today I am interviewing the lovely Lola from Sharp Pen/Dull Sword. For those of you who aren't familiar with Lola (I'll be shocked if you all aren't), she is cake and shoes and hot pictures and oh my! As you can see, she's one of the blogs I follow and I check in whenever she has a new post up because I know it will be full of the following: inspiration and fairy dust. With a bunch of other stuff thrown in.

Let the interviewing commence...

Is this your first NaNo?
Nope. I did it officially last year and 'won'. It was a blast.

How did you prepare?
I am not a plotter at all. Last year it was the evening of Nov. 1st when I finally sat down with my laptop. I had NO CLUE what I was going to write. Not even a 'feeling'. Zip. But when I sat down with my laptop a female character came to me and away we went. This year isn't looking to be much different. I've been focused on revisions on another project and haven't had much (any) time to think about Nano. But, yesterday, while in the shower, a seed of an idea I've had niggling for months began to sprout. I haven't written anything down (I'm still trying to focus on those revisions). It's just the smallest bit of a sprout, the smallest sign of life peeking out of the seed. That's more than I had last year, and it's not even Nov. 1st. Score! I do make other preparations the days leading into Nano: a big grocery shop, letting friends and family know I'm going to be sequestered for the month of Nov., and a major preemptive cleaning of the house.

How did your family prepare?
My husband and daughter know how I work, and they've been through Nano with me before. They are good about shoving food, quietly, under my cave door and fending for themselves. I make a point to come out of my cave and give them my full attention once in a while. (note: my daughter is in high school now, so this is easier. But, strangely, she does still want me. And Husband wants me too. They are very supportive, but when I sense they want/need me, I come out and spend quality time with them.)

Did you pants or plot?
I'm definitely winging it.

What is the oddest place you've found yourself writing so far?

Well my MacBook is happy to let me play with it anywhere. I write out by the pool frequently in the summertime. I've written entire scenes on the backs of receipts on the side of highways before, because way too often I have writing breakthroughs while driving. I once got out of the shower with shampoo still in my hair and wrote on the side of a tissue box a solution to a plot problem. I've written many chapters in a (paper) notebook while soaking in a bathtub...many times. But my favorite place to write (in the winter) is in my bed. I don't know why, but writing late at night while under the comforter puts me in a zone.

What has been your can't-write-for-NaNo-without-it snack?
I snack all the time, year round. I'm a snacker. Lately it has been 2-alarm Doritos and Halloween candy (Reese's).

Are you consuming mass quantities of the following: coffee, tea, soda or energy drinks?
Coffee. Always. With cream and sugar. Keep it coming.

How many hours of sleep are you averaging a night?
I normally average around 5 hours/night year round. That remains my average during Nano.
(Um, WOW! I wish I could go on that little sleep and still be functional - how much does she ROCK!?!)

What is your word count?
I make it my goal to write a minimum of 2,000/day 5 days/week on all my first drafts, but for Nano I do that number 6 days/week. I try to do more than 2,000 when I can, especially early in the month, to 'bank' extra word count for any emergencies that may pop up. (Her current word count is 51,021!).

When you finish, what is your reward?
Husband always buys me good champagne, takes me to dinner, and buys me little goodies. He's the best. But I usually reward myself when I finish any major writing goal with a trip to the book store and buying an armload of yummy books while sucking down a caramel frappe.

Any parting words of wisdom, encouragement or insane babbling?
Have fun! Because it IS fun. I hope you attend some of the meet-ups in your area and make some new local writing friends.
And really, if you are planning on being a career writer, putting out a book a year-ish, you need to get used to writing 2,000 words/ day 5 days/week , so this is a good exercise on writing daily.

So there you have it, my friends! We will have another interview on Thursday with Liz at 8-Bit Words. That will conclude our NaNo interviews!

How is everyone's writing coming - NaNo and non-NaNo? Did you have a great weekend??

NaNo Word Count (me): 36,012

Feral cats trapped count: 4 out of 6 (and only because I ran out of traps!)

I'd say a very productive weekend culminating in a very productive Sunday night!


  1. You're making awesome NaNo progress! And way to go on those trappings.

    I had a very uninteresting weekend, but it was kind of nice not to run around for once. I'm starting to enter Relax Mode... yay!

  2. Yay for such great NaNo progress! I guess only sleeping five hours a night is the way to go, but I don't know if I could survive like that :)

  3. My Nano is okay at best. I might hit 20,000 words with a big push. I can relate to pulling over to write a scene. Been there. Looking feverishly for something to write with and to write on. Ideas can be fleeting, and sometimes once they're gone, they're gone.

    And thanks for stopping by Karen Gowan's blog and saying hi!

  4. Lola is awesome! Great advice from her too!

    Congrats on the trappings so far! You're a great lady for it. And way to go on your own word count!! Almost there!

  5. CONGRATS, Jennie, on your word count. You're right on track. And congrats with your wild-kitty-quest. You're a sweetheart.

    As for my sleep pattern, I have never required a lot of sleep. My husband and daughter, however, are 9 hour/night sleepers. If they get less, they are cranky.

    Thank you for having me and for being you, Jennie.

  6. You have an award, forgot to mention earlier.

  7. Great interview! LOve these! And great job on your word count. I got a lot in this past weekend! Gosh, I need my 8 hours of sleep. I'm a zombie if I don't.

  8. Why do all the best ideas come to us in the shower?lol Weird.

    I get maybe 6 hours of sleep a night but I really, really want more. I think I am still functional but that's just my opinion. Great interview.