Monday, October 24, 2011

NaNo and the guest Blogger Sidney Bristol

National Novel Writing Month-the True Madness of it all-with Guest Blogger-Sidney Bristol

For those who don’t know about NaNoWriMo, is one month, 30 days, of sitting in front of your computer and writing. The goal is 50,000 words, unedited, and completely insane writing. In its 13th year, NaNoWriMo has been the culprit for sleepless nights, over-indulgence of caffeine, and a layer of dust on the stove. It’s madness, I tell you, but don’t take my word for it.
I’ve asked Sidney Bristol, a fellow NaNo inmate, to stop by and answer a few questions that may or may not prompt you to join the insanity.
Sid, When was the first time you sat down and joined NaNoWriMo, and WHY?
Well, I wanted to join NaNo years before I did. My best friend participated when she was in college and told me about it, but it wasn’t until ’09 that I finally joined. I needed something in my life that I loved. I had to retire from roller derby earlier that year because of injuries and family obligations.  Faced with way more spare time than I should be allowed, I fell back into doodle writing ideas. I remembered how much I enjoyed writing as a teen. I think I joined in June or July of ’09 and began practicing my writing and sculpting the troll that would be my NaNo ’09 book, which is The Book We Don’t Speak Of.
Aside from Chris Baty—the creator of this craziness—who was your inspiration to keep on the path of 50,000+?
I learned about NaNo thanks to my high school best friend, Zibby. No, that’s not her real name but her nickname that’s still sticking to her all these years later. She did NaNo while in college, and was the person who got me to write in middle school. I honestly started writing because I wanted to be like her. I loved it. When I started NaNo I thought that if she could do it, then I stood a good chance of doing it too.
We all, as in the NaNo inmates, know that the word count average per day is 1667, what was the largest number of word you’ve written in one sitting? And why couldn’t you just get up and shower?
Oh man, I hate answering this question. People always look at my hands to see if I’m sporting double rows of fingers or something. Okay, so my biggest day for totals this last year was November 1st. I wrote about 5,000 a sitting and it took about three hours. Over the course of the whole day I wrote about 15,000 but the last 10,000 came slower, and I did get up and do other things. The reason I could do that 5K? Every year we have a midnight kick off at an IHOP, no internet so no distractions, and I knew where the story was starting and where it was going. I really had nothing else to do but write, so it did it!
After November 30, what was the first thing you did?
I planned my birthday party week. My friend Suz and I have back to back birthdays that first week in December. As soon as NaNo was over we were trying to contact scalpers for hockey tickets. I don’t think I wrote for a few days.
How many years have you checked in to the NaNo asylum, and how many years did you escape with your hair intact?
I’ve only participated in Nano for two years, but I think they checked me in for life. Something about talking to the voices in my head. I don’t know what that’s about. My hair has fared decently. There was an incident when this lady gave me a twenty-four inch “trim”, but we’re working past that.
Has any of your NaNo Novels been published? If so, would you like to share a little about your work? (web-site, buy link, cover art)
I submitted one of my NaNo projects from last year. Sadly it was rejected. I have hopes of revisiting it and reworking some plot points for my current publisher, Ellora’s Cave. My first release with them has yet to be scheduled, but I’m knee deep in the process.
Have you already planned what you’ll write this year? Or, in the case that we’re already knee deep in the insanity, what’s your word count to date?
I’m a notorious planner. Ask anyone who has seen my laptop what my planning notes look like and they’ll hide. I’m very goal oriented so I like to have concrete plans for what I’m going to write and how things will go. It allows me to gauge what I can do in a given month or year. I had about four or five projects in mind a month ago, and I’ve whittled it down to one. I’ve shied away from writing anything involving roller derby, but I think I’m ready to tackle it. So this year I’ll be writing what I hope is the first book in a new contemporary romance series involving the Derby Dames.
Any last words to someone just pondering stepping into the NaNo Pool?
Have fun. I got into NaNo because I was depressed and unhappy. I challenged myself to not only write, but go to writing events. I’ve met wonderful people, and others who I hope will be life-long friends. NaNo is more than just a writing event, it’s an opportunity to connect and have fun. Don’t forget to write, but have fun!

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