“Writing is the dragon that lives underneath my floorboards. The one I incessantly feed for fear it may turn and devour my ass. Writing is the friend who doesn’t return my phone calls; the itch I’m unable to scratch; a dinner invitation from a cannibal; elevator music for a narcoleptic. Writing is the hope of lifting all boats by pissing in the ocean. Writing isn’t something that makes me happy like a good cup of coffee. It’s just something I do because not writing, as I’ve found, is so much worse.”
― Quentin R. Bufogle

“…writers are a savage breed, Mr. Strike. If you want life-long friendship and selfless camaraderie, join the army and learn to kill. If you want a lifetime of temporary alliances with peers who will glory in your every failure, write novels.”
― Robert Galbraith, The Silkworm

“I think there are two types of writers, the architects and the gardeners. The architects plan everything ahead of time, like an architect building a house. They know how many rooms are going to be in the house, what kind of roof they’re going to have, where the wires are going to run, what kind of plumbing there’s going to be. They have the whole thing designed and blueprinted out before they even nail the first board up. The gardeners dig a hole, drop in a seed and water it. They kind of know what seed it is, they know if planted a fantasy seed or mystery seed or whatever. But as the plant comes up and they water it, they don’t know how many branches it’s going to have, they find out as it grows. And I’m much more a gardener than an architect.”
― George R.R. Martin

Last year we had our inaugural bake sale fundraiser, and it was absolute success.  It’s time again to turn bread into bread! 

There are TWO dates for this event: the drop-off day, and the sale itself.  If you are interested in participating, the drop-off day is the important day for you! That’s: Saturday, October 5.

How it works:  The drop-off is at Minion Erika’s House, 22111 Edmunton, SCS mi 48080, from 12pm-4pm.  You bring your contribution to the drop-off, and leadership will take it to the bake sale.  Easy peasy!

What Should I Bake?  Good ideas are:

  • Family size desserts, such as whole cakes, pies, tarts, cobblers, etc
  • Big fat cookies, brownies, lemon and pecan squares, other sorts of traybakes, etc
  • Breakfast pastries like scones, whole coffeecakes, pans of cinnamon rolls, etc.
  • Breads: whole loaves, bags of rolls, quickbreads like pumpkin, banana, etc
  • Your grandma’s super special something!

What’s not so good an idea?

  • Teeny tiny individual things (unless they’re bundled together in a package.)
  • Anything that needs refrigeration.
  • Cupcakes, rice crispy treats, muffins, cake pops (they just don’t sell for some reason)
  • Anything store bought.

Things to Remember

  • Include a label or note with your offering of what it’s called.
  • Cut traybakes like brownies into large squares (like the size of a nano sticker!) rather than tiny squares.
  • You need to bring your offering in/on something, and you won’t get that dish back, so don’t bring your favorite baking pan.  Cake circles and disposable paper baking pans are available where baking supplies are sold, or a dollar store plastic plate can look very nice.

I want to help, but I can’t bake!

That’s okay!  Maybe someone can help you!  Do you have a mom or granny who’s the baker in the family?  A brother who went through culinary school you can trade some computer repair for help?  A friend or fellow Wrimo that brings the BEST stuff to potlucks?  Maybe you can buy the ingredients and learn a valuable skill in the process.

No, seriously, I will poison someone.  There will probably be fire.

If you really want to help out, you can bring cash money to the drop zone instead of a baked good.  We will be getting some ribbons and packaging and printing thank you notes and info cards, and a little cash will help cover those things.

Can I come to the bake sale?

Sure!  The address for the church is: 20475 Sunningdale Park, Grosse Pointe Woods, MI 48236.  The sale will be from 9am-1pm on Sunday (the day after the drop-off.)  We just have to be sure to be courteous to the parishioners and not disrupt their space.  NOTE:  If there is an emergency at the church, we will be postponed until the following Sunday, and we will make an announcement.

These are the last words that I will write this month.

I hope that everyone enjoyed the magical journey that is Nano this year.  We had a lot of wonderful moments.

Our first ever Team Championship has been such a success, and I’m so happy about it.  We have had so many people get so excited and so into it, and that’s so great.  There’s less than six hours of nano left and I have no idea who is going to come out on top in the end.  Minion Laura and I worked REALLY hard on the poster, and a bunch of people  bought them!  So validating!  Speaking of validating…

I personally had a great nano and set all kinds of new records for myself.  I beat my previous highest word count by a LOT.  I finished faster than I ever have before.  I crushed my previous record for words in one day.  And the really exciting thing is that a lot of the people I have talked to have also blown their goals away.

We won’t have the final numbers until sometime this weekend, but let us consider this:  Nano as a whole has a finish rate somewhere in the high teens.  The Detroit region finishes somewhere in the low twenties.  This is all in percents, by the way.  Now, that’s already an awesome thing, that proves that Detroit is way cooler than everyone in general.  But the teams, as of this moment FORTY PERCENT.  Do you realize how awesome that is?  It’s awesome.

This year was also the Year of Swag.  You guys asked for more swag in the last yearly survey, and boy howdy, did we deliver.  There was something in the neighborhood of twenty brand new pieces of swag.  So much swag that it’ll take at least another year for a lot of folks to collect it all.

We had some truly grand events.  Hugely productive Midway.  Boot Camp came back for its second year and we all had a glorious time that was EXACTLY as productive as Midway, but with about half the people.  First hopefully of many, Night Owl events at Joe and Dev’s house, that was so fun, and now here we are, sitting at the One Last Push, just having a nice quiet time chatting and getting a few last words in.  Of course the Productivity Gulag is fully operational in the basement, where there are sure to be cheers erupting any minute as those desperate souls churn out the last of their words.

We had some great potlucks!  I’m here for the food, really.  Both to eat it and to make it.  The Midway church made us breakfast.  Super cool.  We had pizza at Boot Camp that was possible because of our fundraising.

Fundraising might just turn out to be a record year as well, and for that, we are so grateful to everyone.  People dug deep into their pockets in so many different ways, and without those contributions, we would not be able to do all of the things we do.  So thank you.

We had a lot of fun times with friends.  Some of whom we do nano with because they are our friends, and some of whom we are friends with because we do nano with them.  Both of those friendships are good.  The community that makes up nano is it’s defining feature.  Victory is sweeter when your people are there to cheer for you.  Failure doesn’t sting as much.  The clack of the keyboard is better in unison with twenty other keyboards, and the coffee tastes better at your favorite writein.

People have made some amazing stories, and some terrible stories, and some terribly amazing stories.  But they are our stories, and they are all good.  Because they didn’t exist before this month, and now they do.

Things exist now, because of this thing we have done, that did not exist before.  And no matter whether you are excited about revising what you wrote, or plan to burn it so that it never sees the light of day, it is still a thing you did, and you should be proud of it.

It’s the end of the year.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

The Last Events

The end is in sight!  There are only two more chances to surround yourself in kindred nano spirits this year.  The times and places and all those deets are in the forum threads and on the calendar, so head over there to set your clocks and check your maps.

The first is the One Last Push party, hosted as always by the gracious ML Eric.  Ever been to the Push?  It’s pretty awesome.  I’ve only been once myself and am very much looking forward to going back this year.  Bring a snack, if you’re so inclined.  Bringing a power strip isn’t such a bad idea, either.

If you’re sitting comfortably, you might find yourself a nice little spot in the living or dining room where you can chat and share your battle stories.  If you need every second to get your words in, head on down to the basement where it’s nothing but word wars and silence in the Productivity Gulag (Patent Pending).

Then Sunday, once it’s all over with and you’ve taken Saturday to sigh and rest and lick your wounds, we have the Thank Goodness It’s Over Party in Royal Oak.  Trying out a new location this year, you’re welcome to bring snacks to share for a little potluck.  If you’re feeling especially brave, bring an excerpt of your novel and you could win the Most Likely to be Published award.  We’ll hang out and have a nice, chill time.

EXCEPT for the part where we’ll announce the first ever winners of our first ever Team Championship!  Members of the winning team will receive their congratulatory buttons and sign their names in the Golden Notebook.  We will not be officially announcing the winner on ANY of the online things until AFTER we announce at the TGIO.  So be there or be informed late.

Good Luck, everyone!