Friday Review: Let’s Look at NaNoWriMo, Shall We?

It’s the end of the year- well, almost. I have finished and overshot my reading goal for this year, so I have slowed down on that a bit, and am catching up on some things I’ve needed to, so book reviews are going to be a bit sparse from now until next year.

What I thought I’d do this week is just a quick review of how my NaNoWriMo is going this month. For those unfamiliar, that is National Novel Writing Month, when a whole bunch of folk get together through an online site ( and write 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days. Now, 50K is a bit short for a novel these days, unless you are writing maybe a middle grade book. Some light mystery genres can run that short, also. But for those of us who do scifi and fantasy, 50K is pretty light. But what it gets you is the bones of the story- a beginning, middle, and, hopefully, end that you can flesh out and build on in revision. It also helps you establish the habit of writing every day, which we all tend to lose at times, I think. It’s not for everyone, and if your preferred method doesn’t fit with NaNo, it’s fine. It’s not some sort of magic wand or guarantee. It’s another tool. Use it if it fits; set it aside if it doesn’t.

That said, I like doing NaNo. As I stated above, it helps me get the bones of the story in place. And that is something I can have trouble with. I can tend to get bogged down in tweaking, and trying to make everything perfect from the start (impossible task with a first draft!), and then I never make any headway. Even though I am more of a planner, and need an idea of what the story is going to be before I start, I get tangled up in the details, rather than concentrating on the story itself. So, with the need to get a set number of words in every day, it forces me to keep moving forward.

Okay, so how’s it going this year? For a few days, I didn’t think I was going to come even close. I am doing what we in the NaNo world call being a Rebel- I am not starting from  word 0. I am working on a story I started last year, and didn’t get very far on. I had a vague idea about some sort of conspiracy plot, but that bogged down pretty quickly and I kind of gave up. I had an inspiration a few months ago on how to change things so that the plot works much better, so I decided to work from that this year. But, it meant going slowly through what I’d already written to change things to the new idea. A couple sentences here, a paragraph there, but I was editing out almost as much as I was adding. Add to that the mother of all colds that I came down with which shut down my brain for a few days, and I was pretty far behind. But, this past week, I managed to knuckle down and just write. Far more than I usually like to write in one day, just because the poor brain gets overworked, but things were moving along, so I went with it.

How did I do? Well, the total is sitting at 41,435 right now, which is a bit over the projected count on the NaNo site as of Friday, and still just a smidge behind my projected goal. I always try for 2000 words a day, which is my usual goal even outside NaNo. The NaNo goal is 1667 words a day. And that means I am pretty much caught up and I feel confident I can make the 50K by the end of the month.

Of course, even getting that done means the work has just begun. I already have a few notes on things I need to work out later, and I know a lot of it is messy and loose. But that’s what revisions are for- to take that skeleton and add muscle, organs, and flesh so it becomes a complete entity. At least, it is getting together now. And that makes this a successful NaNoWriMo, even if I don’t make that magic 50K.


Coming in December 2018: Two’s Company, a sci-fi novel in the space opera tradition.

Medusa “Deuce” Grainger is smart, confident, and as good a pilot as she is a poker player. A freelance shuttle jockey working for an independent terraforming company, she’s left her former life, and her father, behind. Mostly.

Now, her AI has downloaded another Personality off a wrecked ship, and he’s acting oddly ever since. Someone wants to sabotage her friend’s company out of business, evidence of tampering is being corrupted, and people have died.  With an investigation looming that could shut down the company and cut off her main source of income, Deuce needs to figure out what’s going on. And she needs to do it fast, because there’s more at stake than anyone realizes.

Two’s Company is listed on Goodreads. If you like what you see above, I’d appreciate you adding it to your Want To Read list. Thanks!

Available now :

tn_Circle Unbroken Cover (eBook)

After five years away, Kaili is coming home for the ceremony to install her sister as head of the family business. When an old rivalry threatens the family, Kaili and her partner need to use all their skills to save the sisters’ lives. Learn more here



tn_Six of One

A collection of six short fantasy stories set in varied worlds of magic and mayhem. Learn more here.




tn_Survival of the Fittest (Front Cover)

A short novelette set in a dystopian Earth after the final environmental collapse. Sam is a genetically engineered chameleon who may hold the key to mankind’s survival. Learn more here.





In a world reeling under the effects of severe climate change, food shortages are common, and arable farmland is scarce. Unscupulous distributors like Beni Oligowma take advantage of the shortages for their own gain. When a promising new technology for growing food even under the harsh conditions is unveiled, grocery store owner Frank is determined to see that everyone is able to benefit from the results, not just the Benis of the world.
Feed My People is a short story, set in a dystopian science fiction world, and is free. Learn more here

Five and Daemonthumb

Demon hunters Johnny and Cerise travel to the small town of Carroll Fork where they find a demon-possessed thrift store, a sweet old lady who is more than she seems, and an army of underworld inhabitants. Can Johnny and his trusty yo-yo save the town from a devil of a problem?

Five and Daemon, the Yo-Yo Files #1, is a short novelette in an urban fantasy setting, with elements of the supernatural and humor. Learn more here


Things have been quiet. No demonic possessions, no otherworldly intrusions, nothing. And then Lucifer shows up in Johnny’s living room, claiming that two archangels are missing, and something is definitely not right in the heavenly- and other- realms. Saying he has nothing to do with it- this time- he asks Johnny and Cerise to help him find out what’s happening, and who is behind the disappearances. While they are trying to do just that, Lucifer is devilnapped by a larger-than-life serpent. He manages to get a clue to Johnny before he disappears. Johnny and Cerise are left to puzzle out the disappearances and try to find the missing angels. Oh, and stop what could mean the ultimate destruction of pretty much everything.

Snake’s Alive, the Yo-Yo Files #2 is an urban fantasy novelette with elements of the supernatural and humor. Learn more here.