Every October and November the writing world loses its mind! NaNoWriMo, the largest writing competition, starts in November. Thousands of people have achieved their dreams by writing a book in one month. That’s just one of the exciting writing updates this month.
During October and November, I’m providing my tips to help you write your book too. This is the first time that I’ll be having a private writers group dedicated to providing tips to help you succeed. Writing can be fun if you know how to play.
NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, is aworld-wide writing challenge that keeps writers encouraged, accountable, and writing 50,000 words by the end of November.
It’s not just novel writers that do this challenge. There are thousands of writers, screenwriters, poets, memoirists, and more who participate each year.
This is a FREE challenge. I’m hosting the “Fun & Focused First Draft” group where you’ll get tips to keep you motivated throughout the challenge. NaNoWriMo tracks your word count and at the end you receive an award for winning (completing your 50,000 words).
To participate,download the Preptober BFF Planner! The planner provides the steps to signing up for NaNoWriMo and accessing my private writers’ group. (Space is limited to the first 20 writers that sign up.)
It’s no wonder Georgia O’Keeffe came to Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico for over 50 years to paint, eventually making it her permanent residence. I was so inspired by the awe-inspiring topography, on a whim I submitted an article to Trailer Life about the timeless enchantment that reigns in New Mexico’s 150 to 200-million-year-old cliffs and canyons. (Look for the article in Trailer Life this November, 2017.)
(PHOTO COURTESY OF GHOST RANCH)
New Mexico feels ancient. It feels like a place out of time, as if New Mexico was present when time was created. For hours, I sat in a rocking chair on a perfectly positioned terrace at Ghost Ranch, talking with Daniel, a Native American, whose grandmother was a healer in his tribe. If you’ve ever been to Ghost Ranch, then you know the exact terrace of which I’m speaking — you can’t mistake it. There I rocked, staring off into the distance at the mountain ahead, talking with Daniel about how old New Mexico feels. The closest feeling I’d had before was traveling through Savannah; it feels like people of the past are walking around in the present — you can easily imagine Civil War soldiers and ghosts at every turn. New Mexico is close in it’s unique vibe, but it’s different than Savannah. New Mexico feels ancient, as if the land still resides in the time of its birth, millions of years ago.
We rock, much of the time in silence. It’s the same view that besotted O’Keeffe for half a century. She was enamored by the mountain; it held her heart. In Georgia O’Keeffe a Life in Art, she mentions in the film that God told her that if she painted the mountain enough times that he’d give it to her. I imagine that if someone artistically meditates a lifetime on thing of such serene beauty, the subject can’t help but somehow become a part of the artist.
(above: the mountain God gave O’Keeffe)
God definitely gave her gifts—her paintings, life and residence. When visiting Ghost Ranch in person, it’s easy to see why O’Keeffe was captivated. With it’s mythological, checkered history, transforming from Ranch of the Witches, a hide out for cattle rustlers, a dude ranch, location for films such as City Slickers and dinosaur stomping grounds, one has only to sit rocking on the terrace at Ghost Ranch to know that we are only a small part of something bigger than ourselves.
On Monday, we spent the night in the sky! We were looking for air fairies and swear we heard them on the top of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The air is so pure. It sounds strange, but, hand to heart, it is the best smelling air. It is intoxicating.
To get this view, I spent 30 minutes backing up inch by inch, leaving us less than a foot of wiggle room…or else we were going over a cliff. A blissful, beautiful cliff, mind you. But a cliff, nonetheless. I was neither keen on that, nor was I certain about the guidance from the man holding a downing beers, who was guiding me in the spot. It was touch and go for a while. Finally, we backed in and called it a night.
The next morning, we were up early, communing with the air fairies along the road. Can you hear their blue grass tunes in the wind?