An Excerpt from YWP Nanowrimo

A couple of years ago, c.a. from over at Southern Sinful Bliss, sent me an email with a link in it to something called “NANOWRIMO”, with the instructions to pass it on to my littlest (aka “Mary”) who, like c.a., loves to write (I don’t know where she gets it!).  I forwarded it to her with a note that it was a link that she “might find useful for writing” (side note – translated:I haven’t looked at it yet). Later, I asked her if she’d gotten my email and had she checked out the link?


“Sooo… what was it about?” I asked.

NANOWRIMO (NAtional NOvel WRIting MOnth) is a annual event that encourages writers from across the writing spectrum to meet a 50,000 word novel goal, beginning November 1st and ending November 30th.  The website offers helpful hints, user forums, etc. in an effort to bring together a disparaging group of novelist and novelist-wannabees, with one common goal – to let the literature flow!

If you’re in K – 12 you can set your own goal of number of words written- sort of like in school, but without having to worry about a grade! But the obvious purpose is to set a goal and then write, write, write!

Last year, like most things in the harried and over-committed world we live in, Mary started with a BANG!, but got derailed by holidays and mid-terms and day to day STUFF that tends to distract. She was disappointed, but knew there was always next year.

Well, this year IS next year and last night, around 10:45pm, she bounded into the room with a “Guess what?!”

“What?” I laughed, mirroring and delighting in her barely controlled excitement, without a clue as to what it could be.

“Wait! Don’t tell me …you’re all done with all your Christmas shopping and you want to do mine? …no… You cleaned up your room!? …that’s it, isn’t it?!”

I did it!! I finally finished NANOWRIMO!! I actually DID it!!”

“That is AWESOME!! Congratulations, Babygirl! What was your goal?”, I asked, figuring it was a couple of thousand words – you know, like an essay.


Wow. I mean wow. Seriously? I can’t imagine writing that couple of thousand in a month, much less thirteen thousand! When would there be time to do so much writing? I can’t even really find the time to post on my blog regularly…and even that is questionable, since I like to use quotes so much!

13,000 words.

“Have you finished your homework then?” I just had to ask, given the sheer number just thrown at me like it was no big thing.

“Er…almost! I just have a couple of math problems left, but I wanted to finish on time and tonight was the last night.  I’ll get right on that math. I just wanted to tell you about it – I’m so excited!! And the best part is that if you finish on time, you get a certificate to get your story printed into a paperback book!! So once I finish the story, I can get it printed!”

Whoa. Tap the brakes there.

“It’s not finished?! You wrote 13,000 words and you’re not done?”

“Well, I finished 5 chapters, but I’d like to add more to the story. I already know where its going to go,” she said matter of factly.

“That’s fantastic, Honey… it really is, but I know where YOU’RE going to NOT go if you don’t finish your math!”  (Hey! Its my job as a mom to redirect…)

Congratulations, my Mary! You GO, you NANOWRIMO-crazed girl! I’m very proud of you and excited for you!!



With the author’s permission, here’s a small excerpt from the story (Chapter 3):

Suddenly, Madelyn smiled – and it wasn’t a friendly one.

“Well, then, Dylan, since you’re so interested in the woods,” She said coyly, putting her hands on her hips. “Why don’t you go do the squirrels a favor and collect some acorns, since they can’t, due to the rebuilding, because of the damage you caused?”

“B-but…” Dylan blanched, picturing the thousands of acorns strewn across the woods.

“I agree,” Shaniya chimed in, reaching down to pick up an empty paint bucket, which she handed to him. “Don’t come back until this is completely filled, okay?”

“And don’t pick up any wormy, diseased, or broken ones.” Madelyn added, still smiling.

Dylan looked from girl to girl, realized he was outnumbered, sighed, and started towards the woods.

The first step into the woods, and Dylan crushed a couple of acorns under his feet. He ignored them, and got on his knees disdainfully, starting to pick through the multitudes of leaves to find clean ones. The work was, unsurprisingly, monotonous, and, soon enough, Dylan found himself muttering random song lyrics to entertain himself:

“Cause there ain’t no rest for the wicked,

And money don’t grow on trees…

Got bills to pay, got mouths to feed,

There ain’t nothing in this world for free…

Ya know we can’t slow down, we can’t turn back,

Though you know, we wish, we could…

No, there ain’t no rest for the wicked-“

“Till we close our eyes for gooood!”


Dylan glanced up, surprised at hearing somebody else finish the chorus, and found wide, hazel eyes peering back not three inches away from his face.


Dylan lurched backward, throwing his hand forward in a punch instinctively. Another hand reached up and stopped it, and laughter soon bounced off the trees, slightly nervous.

“Woah! Slow down there, dude, my singing’s not that bad.”

Dylan looked at his attacker frantically, only to find there wasn’t much to look at. While the voice made it obviously a female, the only piece of them that was really visible were the eyes, in between two pieces of teal cloth covering the rest of their head. The rest of their body was covered in the same colored outfit, stretching down to even cover their feet and hands – tight-fitting, but not obnoxiously so.

Holy crap. Dylan thought, recognizing the uniform. I’m fighting a ninja.

Somehow, that didn’t reassure him whatsoever.

“Let go!” He yelled, kicking at her. The ninja jumped back, but somehow maintained a grip – one that yanked Dylan forward and onto his stomach.


The ninja quickly let go, eyes widening in surprise.

“Ah! Sorry, I didn’t mean to hu-“

But Dylan was gone.


4 Responses

  1. That is SO awesome Mary! You go girl. I love the story.

  2. that is GREAT!!!!

  3. Wow! Very impressive. Way to go Mary. Keep it up!!!!!!!!!

  4. That was great fun to read, wish I could keep going! Way to go, Mary!

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