CampNaNOWriMo Participant Bagde 2012

 How has NaNo changed my Life?

 Yes. I NaNoWriMo. It’s made how and what I am today.

 I’ve Nano‘d,12 years. Script Frenzy‘d, twice & CampNano‘d both last and this year.

I use a motto from a early novel in my Nano Profile signature:

Chance is just Fate using a pen name.

Here’s my journey:

In 2000 I was a week into November when I read about this event. And I asked for and took two weeks vacation from the 15th on and wrote 26K words of my first novella by the 30th – a win of sorts.

In 2001 I wrote the entire month’s effort while working full time as a software engineer – a win, which I eventually turned into a longer complete work by editing the heck out of it.

2002, I took a month’s vacation and did it again – A win – same with the editing – nothing of mine remains in it’s original November 30th state.

2003 to 2004, there was RL work while writing and I won each time.

2005 I fell in lust – and though I took the month off to write – never got a word on the page.

I decided to pursue things in earnest: So I sold my house, and stopped working in software to go back to University for a BA & MFA – (I figured the house money would get me into my first year of the MFA) in the back of my mind: the decision to be a novelist and creativity coach for the rest of my life.

Of course, the economy was due to tank in a few more years, and I changed majors – delaying the undergrad work. But I kept on writing.

2006 to 2007 – two more novel wins.

2008 I shifted things and began a “How-to Write Fiction” book – a win that year

2009 My first loss – I tossed this one and don’t intend to do a thing with it ever again.

2010 a win, Plus, I started my online site – Bridge to Story – for novices eager to write fiction. In September,  I was accepted to a MFA, a Creative Writing program, but because it was a distance program out of Vancouver BC, I found that student loans wouldn’t cover things( and well, you know how the US economy was). No MFA for me. I opted for a Graduate Certificate in Online Teaching and Learning, and created an interdisciplinary Masters program for myself states-side.

2011 – a loss – only 25.8K written. I did try Script Frenzy too, that year. And also a Camp NaNo event that August. I think I lost it.

Surpringingly – in the time it could have taken me to clear that dreamed of MFA in Vancouver – I was working at getting Claiming One, my first short story collection, accepted by Inspired Quill Press, ready for its 2012 PUBLICATION.

Yes. Someone wanted to publish my work.

Several of the 17 stories were culled from the existing NaNo novels written since 2001.

This year, there might not be a 2012 November NaNo – because, well,  I’ve become a working-writer.  But I am reworking the 2010 (& maybe the 2011) novels during 2012‘s Camp NaNo’s June & August Months >>>> while I’m also working on my next book – that “How-to write fiction” book. Manuscript due to the publisher by Aug 29th.

That’s the HOW of it.

The Whoa of it is what amazes me on a daily basis:   NaNo changed my life by giving me a place for me to be who I’ve been meaning to be, here in the last part of my life.

Are you a almost writer? Want to try a chance at life changing joy? Try Camp during June or August, Script Frenty during April, or  NanoWriMo in November.


I recently had a lovely chat with a reader who found my book via the national novel writing month website,

We got to talking on Skype, and he confessed this that I was the first author ever tried to contact. Mario is also someone interested in writing. He was surprised to find out, from reading my blog, that I was raised in East Los Angeles. He said he could recognize that in retrospect in a lot of my stories, even though as he was reading them from Catania Italy, in his mind the character’s accents were more like his than mine… He had visited the states in the 1980’s at a teen and he’d spent a summer in Los Angeles.

One of the things we spoke about was how to take that leap from giving the facts of what you want your character to do on the page, and actually getting them to do real things on the page , as Mario put it,

“That are worth a reader watching for the entirety of the story.”

And that’s when I told him that the answer to his dilemma was right there in his question. He used the word watching. And that,  I told him, is what a good storyteller is capable of doing.

Not telling his reader the facts of his character’s life. But showing them that life visually, viscerally, and physically; line by line in what he chose to omit and include.

That took us to the topic most dear to my heart. What we storytellers omit.

Edited writing, many omisions

image borrowed from Classira Draper’s website

I tried explaining that his favorite story, Going to Emergency, was an exercise in brevity. The object being, how fully could I tell Rikki’s story in the least amount of words. And the trick to it, was not to be brief and all in the first draft.

That first draft, had close to 1,800 words that I had written and then decided could be dropped to create the finished version of the tale.

That’s what turned it into the story that led him to contact me and talk about the craft of writing.

Imagine yourself writing a single story that causes someone halfway across the world to decide to reach out and speak to you about it.

Storytelling at its best. Thank you Mario.

Before beginning today’s blog, I’d like to thanks the 200 readers who downloaded Claiming One in e-book  form when it was offered free on It was such great news to know the book had made that kind of dent.

For any of you taking the time to read this blog, if you’ve already read any of the stories in Claiming One please try to find the time to post a review online.  Also, the Inspired Quill marketing team is working on a blog tour next. I’ll keep you posted on those events as they’re set up.



  Why Author blogs sometime bog down…




As you may have noticed it’s been a bit since I’ve posted my last entry. The only reason for this is that I’ve been doing other writing. For one thing I participated in April’s Script Frenzy from those wild and crazy folks at The Office of Letters and Light. Although my personal goal was a script of 120 pages, I did make it up past 100 though not to my goal. Some years it just doesn’t happen. But there’s so much joy in making the trip anyway.

For another thing I’ve started in on my 2nd book, which is a How-to for novice fiction writers, modeled after my website Bridge to Story, which is being proofread this summer and all typos will be eradicated. It’s never easy being lysdexic, Luckily I use a dictation software for a bit more accuracy now.

So. Between Script Frenzy, the new book, and life in general, the blog posts have been lagging. My apologies, especially since the blog stats show that  folks in 15 various counties are making visits here, thanks go out to all of you, but specifically to  India, Malaysia, Germany, Finland, Turkey, Bangladesh, Rep.of Korea, Italy, Australia, Bulgaria, and Saudi Arabia readers for your interest in my work.

If any of you following this blog or simply coming here to read it for the 1st time, would like me to post specific topics about writing you’d like to read and comment on please post your suggestions in the comments, I’d love posting about topics which you’re most interested in reading.

That’s my update for today. It’s good to be back. And thank you all.