Surprise! I'm doing NaNoWriMo//ft. my NaNo kit + me not really telling you anything but dropping a lot of tantalizing hints

Most of the images in this post were taken on my phone because I don't have a way to transfer photos from my camera to my laptop. *facepalm* This one is an old one from April which was pretty. XD

Okay, so at the beginning of the month when Kenzie started her Preptober post series, I thought to myself "Ha, it would be so crazy if I did my first ever true NaNoWriMo my freshman year of college! Wouldn't that be funny? But it would be insane, so I'm not going to."

Famous last words.

Because the idea of doing NaNo this year just wouldn't leave me alone. Problem being, I had no story ideas. Nada. Zilch. And I most emphatically did not want to work on editing my 98k behemoth, aka Project Megan's Godchild, which I haven't even reread since I finished it *nervous chuckle*, and the only other thing I have going at the moment is a novella that's already over 10k. (Which...yeah, I haven't mentioned at all. That was sorta on purpose and sorta not.)

The only idea I had was something that had been kicking around in my head for oh, a good couple of months, that was literally just a very minor twist on a trope that I wished someone would use. Even saying that makes it sound like more than it was. Maybe we can call it a mental image, a moment, a thing of beauty.

But I had nothing else. No characters, no setting, no plot, no theme, NOTHING. Again, Nada & Zilch.

The minor idea, though? I loved it. So, I made perhaps the smartest decision I've made this month, and took the idea to Adoration. 

And God gave me more. In fact, He gave me so much that this idea is so real in my head that it's not even funny. It also totally distracted me during Mass like twice

I'm SO excited to start writing it. I've been working on worldbuilding and voice and other aspects in a notebook (more on that in a second), and every time I think about it, it makes me happy. (Oh, and you know what's really nice? My MC told me her name. STILL haven't gotten that vital piece of info from Project Megan's Godchild's MC. *facepalm*)

(For the record, doing NaNoWriMo this November? Still 100% insane. I'm just getting a new job, I have four exams, a quiz, three writing projects for school (between 1 and 5 pages each), and my normal homework, I'm helping out on a weekend retreat with no technology for that weekend, and I'm going to be on the East Coast for a week for Thanksgiving. I'm probably going to die, but everything will be fine. XD)

As usual, I hate divulging details about my projects, BUT I did another possibly insane thing and got on Pinterest. And made a Pinterest board. Plus a Spotify playlist. So I'll be sharing those with you in just a second. :) 

What does this mean for the blog? I have no idea. Hopefully I'll be able to answer that question in my last post of October or first of November.

Onward! Because I'm not sharing a lot about the story, I thought I would share, again inspired by Kenzie, my NaNoWriMo survival kit! Not all of it is assembled yet (I have time right? right? XD), but I definitely know what's going to be in it.

1. My laptop
I have done Camp NaNo by hand before, and once was enough for me. My mostly trusty laptop will be getting a whole lot of use this coming month! (Also, I don't have a name for it yet, and I feel like I should. Any suggestions?) The only issue is that it's HEAVY. I want to take it with me everywhere so I can write anywhere, and while that's easier on this than with a's still really heavy, guys. XD (Also, the stickers, in case you're curious: one is a "nevertheless she persisted" sticker with four of the Marvel women on it, and the other one is an Aia Maria sticker from Rebecca Gorzynska. :))

2. My project notebook
Isn't it cute? I love that it's small enough that I can take a couple of pages and jot down little details, and unlike my usual taste in notebooks, it's unlined and unbulleted, so that I can both jot down lines of dialogue in my character's voice AND make maps if I want to. And everything in between. It makes me happy, and I have no plans to stop using it for little plot details, characterization, and map drawing, even when I start NaNo. (Until I run out of space in it, of course.)

Here's what my bujo looks like currently, WITHOUT NaNo. *dies*
3. My bullet journal, with both a detailed tracker spread and a detailed schedule of when I'm going to write
I basically live in my bullet journal, and especially with everything that's going to be going on in November, I'm going to need to know when I can write and when I can't, and block out time for writing. 
I'll probably be getting up a lot earlier and setting an alarm, too. And even though I track writing progress via that NaNo website, it's so satisfying to write down the ever-increasing numbers in my bullet journal, as well.

4. Candy
It is nearly impossible to do NaNo without candy, I've heard, and I have no plans to try. 'Nuff said.

Credit to owner
5. Chai tea
My mom sent me a box in a recent care package because she is The Best, but since my travel mug was holding a bouquet at the time (long story), I haven't actually had any yet! But I think it'll be just the thing to get me in an autumnal writing Mood.

My October reading list. Apologies for the white-out, I have a beta read going that I shouldn't share the title of probably. XD
6. A reading list
I don't know if you know this, but I actually construct a reading list for each month, which I can expand and contract as needed, purposefully making it balanced and the right number of books for the month. (Sometimes I freak out and read all of them in the first two weeks. It happens. But I try. XD) I need to make myself a minimal and light reading list for November, NOT in the genre I'm writing it, to remind myself that, with getting so much writing done, it's ok if I don't get a lot of reading done.

7. My project playlist
...which is a bit of an interesting mix. I hope listening to it gets me in the mood to write this was certainly inspired by this story, but sometimes I end up just listening to Andrew Peterson when I write, rather than whatever my project playlist is. XD Also, it is in no order whatsoever, with songs clumped every which way, because I'm just going to listen to it on shuffle anyways.

8. My project Pinterest board
(Please look at and admire this and tell me it's beautiful. It was my first attempt and I love it very much. XD)

I was trying to take this picture in such a way that my face would naturally be hidden, but HA obviously that failed. But isn't the flannel cute? XD
9. Flannel shirt

This was inspired by Kenzie's writing hat, which is a hat that, as the name would imply, she wears when she's writing. I don't really like hats, but something I do like and find very autumnal and writing inspiring is flannel. Plus, it's a bit part of the book's aesthetic, so, #win. I found a super cute recycled flannel shirt at a used clothing store near one of my classes that I'm planning on carrying with me to slip on at a moment's notice. :)

10. Rewards for hitting my word goals for the day AND hitting the 10k milestones
Do I know what these are going to be yet? No. 
Actually, that's not true. The word goal rewards are going to be the aforesaid candy. And now I just have to come up with five big ones for word goals. But they're going to be good, I can tell you that much.

11. My sister
That sounds weird, but it's not, I promise! I convinced Legolas to do NaNo with me this year, and I'm so excited to compete with her cheer each other on to our goals! We're already planning weekly Word Wars via phone (where we'll sit silently next to our respective phones, with little interjections every so often, and see who can write more words in a certain amount of time) which are going to be VERY fun.

12. The chapel
This definitely is, as the good ones of my projects always are, apparently, a God project. And thus, I expect to spend a certain amount of time working on it *in the chapel*. It'll be good. :)

13. A patron saint
This is something I've recently started liking to have for a writing project. The patron of Project Megan's Godchild is St. John Paul II, for instance. I'm still working on finding a patron saint for this project, but a few of the ones in the running are Bl. Jordan of Saxony, St. Mary Magdalene, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Peter Martyr, and Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati. (Yes, there is a unifying theme in all of those but the last one.) If you have an opinion, I'd love to hear it in the comments! :)

14. A font
I still don't have this one yet, and it's making me a bit itchy...I find that when I work in Calibri in Word, it makes all my writing sound the same, but if I change fonts, I can find my character voice better. I do have one project in Calibri right now, but the other one is in Georgia. So, I need to find a font for this project, and I haven't even started trying yet, but it's still giving me hives. XD

So tell me: are you doing NaNo? Tell me all about that! What do you think of the combo of my Pinterest board and Spotify playlist? Any guess as to what my project is about, or even what genre it's in? Do you have a NaNo kit? If so, what's in it? Who do you think should be the patron saint of this project?


    I am so, so excited for Nanowrimo this year! Especially since you'll be doing it. I'm honored that you've included me in your kit, although I'm also slightly unsure if that's a compliment or not...?
    Okay, I love that your writing project really solidified while praying in adoration. Recently, I've been trying to bring my writing life to prayer more often, and it's really helping both, I think. It's funny that I hadn't thought of praying about writing before, since both are things that I do on a daily basis. So, it's very cool to hear about you doing it too.
    I love your Pinterest board and Spotify playlist! The fantasy/dystopian/Catholic/Autumn/Life/action movie/BUNNIES vibe is huge, and I now need to go and add a whole bunch more to my project board, which is currently just a bunch of pictures of the moon. So. Good job!
    I've never thought about having a patron saint of a writing project before, but that's such a cool idea! How did you decide on Pope John Paul 2 for Project Megan's Godchild? (And happy feast day, too!)
    You're awesome! Good luck with all the school.

    1. I'm excited toooooo! We are going to be the most excellent squad! (Being included in my writing kit is most certainly a compliment, don't worry. :))

      I love that, too! I find that my writing is intrinsically connected to my spiritual life, which kind of scares me, but also it makes certain things a lot's nice to have God in your corner. :) I'm glad that you're finding writing + prayer to be helpful!

      Awww, thanks!! (Wait. I need to see your project board! Send me a link.)

      Pope John Paul II just seemed like a good fit, him being a huge supporter of artists and all. I don't know that I ever really thought deeply about it, I just was like "I don't want this to be a train wreck, St. JPII?" XD Happy feast!

      Thanks m'dear! You are awesome as well. :)

  2. OH MY GOSH WOULD YOU LOOK AT THAT PINTEREST BOARD. It's gorgeous. It's gorgeous. There's Catholic stuff all over the place and it's MODERN and there are FALL VIBES and BABIES. *flails* ...also the bunnies. ....also the academia. Is it a college story? With pro-life themes?

    I don't know much (as in, practically anything) about Bl. Jordan of Saxony or St. Peter Martyr, and I'm having a difficult time coming up with anything St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Mary Magdalene have in common other than the obvious devotion to Christ and the less obvious connection with the Dominican order. *scratches head* I don't think you can go wrong with picking a patron saint. But just going off the Pinterest board and my vague ideas of what it might possibly be about, I want to root for Bl. Pier Giorgio? Just cuz he's modern and young and....lay? And awesome? In a very unique way?

    (HAPPY FEAST OF ST. JOHN PAUL II. Unrelated, I wanted to read some encyclical of his to celebrate but I've put off tonight's homework for....too long already and it's getting late, heh.)

    A NaNo survival kit is such a good idea. And one that's entirely new to me. I don't think I'm organized enough to put one together, ha. (Also I'm not....technically doing NaNo this year. I'm not. I'm not I'm not. Totally not.)


    1. ACK MEGAN, THANK YOU!!! It's kind of a college story? Ish? It's actually pseudo-dystopian, which I probably should've mentioned, lol. Hence the people with guns and menacing boots and bloody hands and stuff on the Pinterest board. XD

      You have picked out the connection--the less obvious one is the key! Bl. Jordan of Saxony was the second Master of the Order (Dominican Order, in case that wasn't obvious), and he was so good at getting vocations that mothers would hide their sons when he came to town! And St. Peter Martyr is the first martyr of the Dominicans. So........yeah, there are major Dominican connections in this story idea. We'll see...

      (Yay, happy feast! Don't feel bad, I didn't read anything by him either, and I don't even have the excuse of homework--I was busy watching Megamind. XD)

      I know, isn't it an excellent idea? I have Kenzie to thank for that one. (MEGAN you should. I am being a terribly influence but you shouuuuuuld.)


    2. Um, Megan. I just found out that Pier Giorgio was actually a member of the Dominican Laity??? SO.....I may just go with him for patron. :)

  3. HI SAM! The Phantom of the Chat strikes again! Ok, first off, your playlist looks about as fun at eating a sack of sand. Jus sayin. But I am actually doing NaNo too! YAY! So I thought you might want to know that.

    1. Hello, Eomer! M'dear, if you say anything more disparaging about my playlist, you will be blocked. Just because there's no Weird Al or Home Free on it (although if you can suggest a dystopian-sounding Home Free song for it, I will add it) doesn't mean it's bad.
      Yay! I hope your NaNo goes well!!

    2. Sam, look up Brothers in Arms by Home Free. It's gorgeous and I think semi-fits the dystopian theme.

    3. Thanks for the tip! I agree--and I added it to the playlist. :)

  4. Whooo hooo!!!!!! That is EPIC that you're doing NaNo for the first time!!!! And in your first year of college, too! You are a brave soul. Last year my whole idea was to really enjoy it because I wouldn't be doing it this year, but now I really want to. Past me had a clearer head. XD And the fact that you got Legolas to do it, too? Fantastic! If you ever need someone else to talk about it with, then you know how to find me. :)

    THIS STORY? It looks terrific! The Pinterest Board is 100% awesome and it looks like something that 1. I will love and 2. is so fitting for this time! And always! I LOVE that this idea really came to fruition through Adoration! <3 *muffled screams bc it's early in the morning* This kit looks set for success! The stickers on the laptop are awesome, and a writing flannel? GENIUS. I have lots of tea but now no hot water boiler which has already made me less keen to write, which is bizarre considering I just started drinking tea again at the beginning of this month when I hadn't for over a year. Come on, brain, you made it through NaNo without it last year!! I know where stores are so I might have to go and get a hot water pot of some kind...

    1. I hope I'm a brave soul and not just a foolhardy would have made more sense to do it last year, but here we are! XD I mean, if you wanted to do it and wanted to cheer each other know where to find ME! ;)

      Oh, thank you!! I'm really glad you like the Pinterest board, and it looks like something you'll love! :) It was lovely that it ended up coalescing during adoration. :) The writing flannel was an inspired idea, if I do say so myself. XD I have the same situation, lots of tea and no hot water pot! I was just thinking about finding myself one, because I don't know if I can do NaNo without tea...

  5. I haven't decided if I'm going to do Nano or not, I will be doing a lot of writing hopefully.
    Love your Pinterest board it's very aesthetic!

    1. November is a good month for writing, even if you don't do NaNo!
      Thank you so much!

  6. Good luck with Nano! It's such a big undertaking I'm always impressed when people do it especially since you're doing college at the same time.
    I love the Pinterest board!

    1. Thank you! I'm doing my best to juggle everything...and so far I haven't dropped any balls, but we'll see how the rest this month goes. XD

      Thank you!!

  7. I totally agree with the addition of candy to the list. And I also agree with the writing by hand (Not that I couldn't read my handwriting, it's just that you don't want to count every. Single. Word. Ever.)
    And WORD WARS! I LOVE THEM!! Yes, I occasionally do word wars, but I haven't done one recently :( (I did write 750 words in 20 mins, though, so I am a force to be reckoned with)
    Have you tried using Centaur as your font? That's what I'm doing, and I really like it because It's not just the boring calibri all the time. :|
    Catch ya next time!

    1. I'm glad you approve! (Let me tell you, counting every single word was THE WORST!)
      That's quite a few words in 20 minutes! You are a force to be reckoned with! :)
      I'm using Arial this time, but I will certainly consider Centaur in the future! It's a pretty nice font.


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