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Mutual Events

I’ve never won NaNoWriMo.

I’ve taken part in National Novel Writing Month several times but never written the 50,000 words needed to win. There isn’t a prize. Everyone who writes the required amount gets to call themselves a winner. My friend, and local coordinator for the event, Amy Flugel, encouraged me to take part but … maybe next year.

Kyle Pratt speaking at the Chehalis Public Library

Perhaps in recognition of my NaNoWriMo failure, I scheduled a talk for November titled, So, You Have a Manuscript, Now What? The occasion, at the Chehalis Public Library, was scheduled for November 3rd. I figured it might be helpful for those that can and do win the event. Only later did I learn that Amy had scheduled a “write in” at the same library that afternoon.

Our two events mingled together. Amy started with writing sessions and moved on to word wars, where individuals compete to write the most words. After an hour of writing, I talked. I discussed critique groups, beta-readers and what an editor can and should do for a manuscript. Then I explained the different routes to publication available today. I’m not sure whether some of the audience were taking good notes or continuing to write while I talked. I stayed around and answered questions while Amy continued with another writing session.  

Like many authors, I’m an introvert and would enjoy just staying home and writing, but the path of growth, both as an individual and a writer, requires getting out of your comfort zone. I enjoyed the day and, I think, the people there did also.


Click on the following links to read my author bio, or read more about current writing projects.

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Night of Writing Dangerously

 

I may never win NaNoWriMo, but I enjoy taking part.

During the month of November, several hundred thousand people worldwide take part in National Novel Writing Month or simply, NaNoWriMo. The annual writing event started in 1999, but I didn’t hear of it until about eight years ago. That year I joined with others and started typing away at midnight of November first. A bleary four hours later I went home. I typed at home and went to other NaNoWriMo events, but never finished the 50,000 story required to be a “winner” of the event.

Kyle Pratt receives a halo at NaNoWriMo event, November 2017

Freelance writer Chris Baty created NaNoWriMo in 1999. That first year the event was held in July, but the next year it moved to November “to more fully take advantage of the miserable weather.” Living in the Pacific Northwest I totally understand miserable November weather.

In November 2007, NaNoWriMo organization hosted a fundraising Writing event they titled, “The Night of Writing Dangerously” in San Francisco. Like NaNoWriMo, this event has grown and today hundreds of writers attend, drink lots of coffee, socialize and write.

Friends around the table at the NaNoWriMo event, November 2017

The pictures you see here are from a NaNoWriMo event held earlier this month by the Lewis County Writers Guild. The guild usually hosts at least one event during November and there are often more.

Over these last few years I’ve realized I’m not a fast writer, but I enjoy writing and being with fellow writers. So I continue to take part, even if I never win.


Click on the following links to read my author bio or read more about NaNoWriMo.

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Now No to Meetup

I continue to get emails from politicized organizations.

I’ve tried to use a website called Meetup to find writing groups in and around my area. It never worked well. I found networking with other authors led me to far more people than the website, but I never deleted my membership with Meetup.

In a recent blogpost titled No to NaNoWriMo I spoke of my disgust with the National Novel Writing Month organization for stating they “join with the many voices standing against the presidential executive order that bans refugees and people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.” The NaNoWriMo email also stated that they were “concerned about … the President’s desire to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts.”

Sports organizations like the NBA, NCAA and recently the NFL have all deemed it wise to get involved in local debates regarding the transgender bathroom bills. Now Meetup sends me an email declaring, “after the recent executive order aimed to block people on the basis of nationality and religion, a line was crossed.” They went on to state that they created more than 1,000 Resist Meetup Groups.

From athletics to bathrooms to social gatherings, liberals want everything to be political. I don’t and none of these groups speaks for me. I resist such politicization and political correctness. I’ve deleted my Meetup account and, as much as I like the Seattle Seahawks and other local sports teams, I may be spending a lot less time watching them and much more time writing.


Click on the following links to read my author bio, read more about my political views or learn more about NaNoWriMo.

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No to NaNoWriMo

National Novel Writing Month (often shortened to NaNoWriMo), is an internet-based writing event that encourages people worldwide to write a 50,000-word novel during the month of November. This is a fantastic and fun event which I have participated in and promoted for the last few years.

However, yesterday NaNoWriMo.org, the organization behind the event felt, compelled to send me an email in which they stated, “Because of this core organizational value, we join the many voices standing against the presidential executive order that bans refugees and people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.”

Why is National Novel Writing Month involving itself in issues of immigration, foreign policy, and national security?

The email went on to state, “We are also concerned about upcoming issues that may affect people’s self-expression, like the President’s desire to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)….”

The National Endowment for the Arts is the government agency that used tax dollars in support of Piss Christ an art exhibit consisting of a crucifix immersed in a glass of the “artist’s” urine. I don’t know why that’s even considered art, but in the halls of our federal government, it’s worthy of $20,000 in National Endowment for the Arts funds. Imagine the outrage if it had been a Koran in urine. The NEA views Piss Christ and other anti-Christian art as acceptable uses of tax money. I do not. I support defunding the NEA and NaNoWriMo should stay out of the controversy.

In America, citizens can, and should, debate the merits of the government policy. I am very capable of speaking for myself. I do not need, nor do I want the help of NaNoWriMo in voicing political opinions.

Let me be clear, NaNoWriMo does not speak for me. The non-profit organization should confine itself to the promotion of the writing event and stay out of politics.


Click on the following links to read my author bio or read more about my political views.

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NaNoWriMo & Friends

I love National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

During the month of November, the NaNoWriMo goal is to write 50,000 words of a novel. I have a strong internal editor that always wants to correct or improve what I’ve written, so I’ve never been able to write 50,000 words in a month.  But, I love the comradery of fellow authors and enjoy watching as they work to achieve their writing goals.

Author and friend Lisa Brunette wrote a full page article titled, The World Needs Your Novel, for our local paper. The article focused on a local write-in at the library and quoted my friends Amy Flugel and Jennifer Vandenberg. The article also included a nice picture of Jennifer.

I didn’t attend that event, but a few days later Jennifer came to my house for a critique meeting and I was able to get this picture with her.

So, another year will pass and I won’t “win” NaNoWriMo but, the good news is, several friends, including Jennifer, have.

NaNoWriMo Kickoff!

National Novel Writing Month Began Today at Midnight.

Holly Straw, Paula Gill (Municipal Liaison for NaNoWriMo) and Kyle Pratt

Commonly shortened to NaNoWriMo (na-noh-ry-moh), the event challenges authors to write 50,000 words of a new novel from November 1st until the deadline at 11:59PM on November 30th. That’s about 1,666 words every day of the month. I’ve written that much in a day before, but not every day for a month. If I take my birthday and Thanksgiving off, I would have to write 1,785 words a day. I’m not sure I can do that, but I’m going to see how much I can write in one month.

The kickoff event for my area of Washington State was at the Matrix Coffeehouse in Chehalis. I arrived at 10:30 Friday night and joined with about ten other writers. Until midnight we socialized and watched the strange people, some in costumes, walk by outside. It was during that time that introduced myself and learned everyone’s name and what they were writing. Unfortunately, when I awoke this morning I couldn’t remember most of it.

Just after midnight we began our writing projects. I wrote about 800 words before I left just after two this morning. That combined with what I wrote after waking this morning brings my total to 1695. A good start, but I’m going to have to do better to achieve the 50,000 word goal for the month.