I wrote my first book in 1978 and haven't stopped writing since.
NaNoWriMo 2011 will be my 8th year at NaNo. So far I've had 7 years and 5 wins and this year I'm going for my 6th win (or 7 wins going on 8th if you count the 2 Script Frenzy wins too) .
I signed up the last week of Nov 2004, but never actually got started writing anything. Though it was the year I actually signed up, I don't count it as my first year, since I never actually started writing anything!
I failed my "official" first year (2005) ...did like 2,000 before I got bored with my plot. I was confused with the whole "contest atmosphere" too, and had not really gotting into the spirit of the whole write 50k as fast as possible thing, because I was too busy trying to write at my best instead of a my fastest, so I just fizzled out big time.
Big changes: a flood in May took out our house and left us homeless, we started rebuilding, but a fire on October took that too. I moved into the now world famous "tent of Old Orchard Beach", which was a tarp over a wood pile, and was buried on October 27th by a blizzard that dumped 3 feet of snow in a single night. With no heat, no electricity, no lights, no running water, no toilet, and only a sleeping bag, a tarp, and 9 cats to keep out the cold, I set out to join NaNoWriMo once again, writing by hand by flashlight at night and typing it up online at the library by day.
In the 2006 relaunch of the site, the 2004 archive got deleted, along with the accounts of many members who had joined in 2004. My account was one of the thousands that vanished in October of 2006. :( Luckily, because the system was wiped clean it had no memory of the deleted usernames either, thus allowing us to start new accounts with the exact same usernames. YAY! So, now my account says I signed up in 2006 instead of 2004, like it is supposed to say (many of us whose accounts now say 2006 as our join date, actually joined in 2004, btw.) However, by that time I had spent most of 2006 in the local libraries posting on the forums and had figured out that the contest was all about writing lots of words and hope they come out as a novel, rather than write a smooth polished publishable novel in 30 days, and so by the time November 2006 rolled around I was ready to toss my inner editor aside and try it again.
The result? I did 183,000 word longhand, my first win (2006) ... kind of to make up for failing the first year, but than never went back to edit it. =P
Script Frenzy 2007:
In 2007 I joined Script Frenzy, than life got in the way and I never wrote a word.
I reached 75,000 third year (2007), but I never finished the story, because my computer ate large sections of it the following December! ***screams*** ***pulls out hair*** Lesson learned, I now know to make copies of my draft and save it on a blog I created specifically for saving my drafts on.
Script Frenzy 2008:
Singed up once again for Script Frenzy 2008, and again, real life went down the toilet and I never wrote a single word.
In 2008, I did the unthinkable and changed my goal from 50k to 200k. YOW! But I did it and finished out the month with my biggest total ever: 238,153 words in 30 days!!!! (spaced out over 5 different books btw - none of which I totally finished, but one of which "For Fear of Little Men" was published February 2010. YAY!) I broke a lot of personal writing records that year, including to reach 50,000 words on day 3 of the contest!
Script Frenzy 2009:
In June 2009 I returned to Script Frenzy ready to write what I never got to write the year before, only to learn the contest had been moved to April and was already over! ARRGH!
NaNoWriMo 2009 rolled around and I did not start because I had a stroke October 19th and than got N1H1 a week later. I was determined not to let anything stop me from joining the contest though, so on day 14 of the contest I was back and attempting to write double time, in spite of the fact that my stroke had affected my ability to use my hands and legs. I dragged on very, very slowly, however, in spite of my efforts, and by the last week it was looking like I wouldn't reach 50k by November 30th; but than suddenly in the last 5 days I just sat down and wrote steady none stop day and night and shocked myself when I made it to 114,000!
Script Frenzy 2010:
In 2010, in order to make certain I actually wrote something this time around, I did the unthinkable and took over as the ML for Script Frenzy in both Saco and Portland and went crazy shuffling write-ins between the 2 regions, but still ended up writing 12 plays each between 10 - 30 "theater minutes" long, meaning I wrote enough for THREE Script Frenzy contests instead of one! YAY!
Now NaNoWriMo 2010 is bearing down upon us and I've decided to try to beat my highest total and try for 250K or more. YIKES! It's a dream, but not my "actual" goal. It was REALLY HARD to reach 200k before, and it had me writing night and day to do it. Don't know if I'll have the time I had that year, and this year I want to focus on writing slower to write a publishable novel. So this year my goal is 75k, and if I go over - great.
Broke my hip on October 28 and was stuck in bed for weeks on end (though still dragged myself to the meetings which were a 2 hour drive one way, for me). Unable to walk clear on into January (due to developing arthritis in hip as a result of the broken bone) I found I was unable to do all of the things I normally do, including I was unable to return to my annual Christmas temp job at Macy's, and suddenly instead of worrying I had no time to write, I ended up with more time to write than I knew what to do with and ended the month with a whoping 238,000+ words, beating my own record by only a few dozen words. Made a mental note to remind myself to aim for 250k in 2011.
Script Frenzy 2011:
Second year of ML-ing and second win! Did an out-side-of-the-box-rebel-script and wrote the java script for a web site! LOL!
I also wrote a few scattered 10-minute plays.
I finished the month with 150 pages instead of 100. Cool!
Camp NaNoWriMo 2011 - August Edition Beta Test run:
Only a few of us long running NaNoers got the invite to this (basically just us MLs), "set your own goal and write" contest. I wrote 35k, but did not feel the warmth of the usually contest comradely, seeing how there were only about 1,000 writers spread across the world. This really shouldn't have been betaed - just let everyone join straight from the get go.
Big changes in 2011 - I am now a college student, a writing intensive English major, working my way to transferring to Harvard in 4 years. I now have a driver's license. I'll soon be moving into a motorhome and will no longer be homeless for the first time since May 2006! I'm back at Macy's for yet another insane Thanksgiving/Christmas selling season. It is the day before NaNoWriMo begins and I have no plan, no plot, and no idea what I'm going to write, much less how I'm going to write 250,000 words in 30 days while juggling college and the holiday rush at Macy's. We'll see where this month takes us...
Script Frenzy 2012:
ML-ing again! Loving it!
Got slowed up a lot by homework! Yowsah! Only made it to a mesely 88k this time. Oh well, at least it was over 50k!
Is somewhat pissed that ALL 5 of Maine's MLs live a good 100 miles away, all live within a 5 minute walk of each other, and all meet at ONE place, where it's basically an ML pow-wow as none of Maine's writers live anywhere's near them. Our local ML quit due to family health issues, and now there are no local meetings. Sad, there are no local meetings anymore.
Script Frenzy 2013:
Majorly pissed that because Chris Baty retired, the new heads of NaNoWriMo cancled Script Frenzy. Pissed. Pissed. Pissed. So pissed. Screnzy was far better than NaNoWriMo ever was. Did I mention I was pissed?
Camp NaNoWriMo 2013 - April Edition:
I've been doing NaNoWriMo since 2004 - done every NaNo, Screnzy, and Camp since that time, which is about 15 or maybe 17 contests now (I lost count). Obviously I love the contests or I wouldn't keep coming back. Unfortunately, Camp Cabins suck. Every time I join one it's the same ting: me and 5 other folks chatter for the first day or two, than for the next 25 days it's just me daily posting "Is anyone online today?" with no answer. It's frustrating for some one as active as me, posting dozens of forum posts every day, to get stuck with inactive cabin members. As a result, this year's Camp, I have decided to opt out of cabins and just use the regular forums instead, it's just easier and less stressful and allows me to talk to people who actually WANT to talk.
I write both horror and romance blended together. Sometimes it comes out a gruesome bloody slasher with romantic elements, and other times it'll come out a lovely-dovey romance with bad ass vamps, demons, and shifters for characters. Usually the heat level is highly sensual to erotic, though rarely could it be classified as erotica. This time it's a romance, not seeing any horror yet, but demons are running rampant, and the heat level has already reached erotic levels, so it seems the end result here is going to be paranormal erotic romance.
writing goal: 75k (at 18,163 as of today, day 6)
activity level: very active ML - very, very, very, active
time zone: I'm the ML of the Southern Maine region, face to face Write-Ins are held at Southern Maine Community College
novel synopsis: It's 1500s Nepal, war is raging with China, Dawa's village was razed by Chinese soldiers, she is the only survivor, and now she is forced to become a thief to survive. In her travels she meets a man who is also on the run, but unlike her, he is not running from enemy soldiers, he's running from a band of demon slayers, but he keeps this secret from her, and she thinks him a common criminal running from the law. The two of them travel higher into the Himalayas to escape their enemies, and find true love only to have that love shattered when she discovered the man she loves is really a demon. At this point I have no idea how it's going to end.
Info about me outside of NaNo? Well . . .
*** I am Wendy C Allen, Author, Artist, Doll Maker, UFOlogist, Faerie Folklorist, Minister, and Independent Avon Sales Representative.
*** I love Eels. Bobcat. Roosters. Cats. Ranchu. And all animals in general.
*** I believe in Faeries, Phookas. & Aliens.
*** I am a CosPlayer.
*** My favorite actor is Vincent Price.
*** I also like Johnny Depp, Alan Rickman, Tim Curry, Tom Baker, David Tennet, and Martin Short.
*** I am madly in love with Liberace`
*** I obsess over Liberace`, Serj Tankian, and David Bowie.
*** I dress like Liberace` and it really, really scares people.
*** I've been known to dress like David Bowie too.
*** I am a Whovian, who wears Tom Bakers scarf, David Tennet's coat, and Sylvester McCoy's umbrella.
*** I have the world's second largest Uncle Scrooge comic book collection and am going for the world record.
*** I sometimes dress like Uncle Scrooge McDuck.
*** CosPlaying is not a hobby for me, it is a way of life. No, I do not own any "normal" cloths, no, this is NOT a costume, this is the way I dress every day.
*** I love reading and writing and spending time with nature - I thus do lots of my reading and writing in the forest, on the beach, or in my garden.
*** My favorite author is Keith Laumer and his best book is Retief & the Warlords. Of course that means I love 50's and 60's sci-fi.
*** Did I mention how much I love Liberace` and David Bowie and Doctor Who?
A Few Other Things You Might Want To Know About Me:
*** I am a 15th generation Native Mainer.
*** I am a Native American of the Kickapoo Tribe.
*** I have Autism.
*** I am a 3rd generation Mormon.
*** I am a LDS/Mormon and have been for 35 years.
*** I took 12 years of Bible Seminary through the Calvinist Church.
*** I took 3 years of Bible Seminary through the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
*** I believe in aliens and UFOs, but I do not believe they are of extraterrestrial origins.
*** I am the author of the long out of print Twighlight Manor series.
*** Though I am a Mormon, I also attend 15 different religious denominations (mostly Christian, but a few non-Christian too).
*** Though I am Mormon, I am also a non-denominational ordained minister.
*** I own New England's "Smallest Church".
*** I run a "Prayer Warrior Chapel" in Old Orchard Beach, Maine.
*** I lead silent Sunday Candle Services at The Little White Chapel of Laughing Gnome Hollow.
- Old Orchard Beach & Biddeford, Maine, USA
- reading, writing, pets, Disney, comic books, roosters, birds
- Favorite noveling music:
- C*C*DeVille, Poison, Alice Cooper, Liberace, David Bowie, Tin Machine, Edvard Grieg
- author/writer, artist/illustrator, editor/publisher, dollmaker, art car designer
- Favorite books or authors:
- The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, Retief and the Warlords, Hichhicker's Guide to the Galaxy, Jane Eyre, Phantom of the Opera, Harry Potter, Don Rosa, Cal Barks, Keith Laumer, Douglas Adams, Edgar Allan Poe, Orson Scott Card