Life, Teaching, Teaching Writing, Uncategorized, World War 2, Writer's Life, Writing, Writing Inspiration

2021 NaNoWrap-Up and an Interview

We’ve made it to another weekend! If your December is like mine, it’s flying by in great leaps. Before it gets away from me completely, today I’m taking a moment to pause and update you on the results of November’s NaNoWriMo challenge and to share a lovely opportunity I had to visit another writer’s blog.

NaNoWriMo 2021: Yes, I Had to Wear a Costume Again

As promised: my interpretation of The Noble Platypus. That’s my baby platypus in my pouch.

Having just released a new novel November 1st, I honestly did not feel the drive to start a brand-new project already. It’s not easy to switch gears from one group of ficitonal characters to another!

However, my students started off the school year asking for another NaNoWriMo challenge, and I couldn’t very well let them down.

For those of you who are new to my classroom challenges, this is how it works. My 5th-6th and 7th-8th grade Reading classrooms each have the month of November to try to write 50,000 words as a classroom group. If they make 40,000, they get a day off of Reading class for a little classroom party. If they make 50,000, they get the party, and I will come dressed as an animal of their choice.

Both rooms made over 55,000 words, and they voted that I ought to come dressed as a platypus. At least the costume I rigged up was cozy! And what’s the loss of a little dignity if it gets kids to write?!

The kids also had a chance to set individual goals. If they made 1,500 words on their own, they’d receive a free pass off of one Reading assignment. If they made 3,000, they’d get the pass, plus a snack one class day. (I’ll have to pick up doughnuts next week.) If they made 5,000, they got the pass, a snack, AND a pair of fuzzy socks.

I got to hand out a dozen pairs of fuzzy socks this year. One eighth grade student made it over 10,000 words!

My second grade Reading class had smaller goals, but as a group during journal time they made over 5,000 words, with my own little second grader leading the pack.

It was a good November for writing. 🙂

My own NaNoWriMo project… Well. Friends, it’s ugly. Uuuuuuugly. The plot is squishy. The characters need developing. I have a ridiculous amount of research to do on the Philippines in general and World War II there in particular.

But, it’s 50,000 words further along than it was at the beginning of the month. And, as Where Shall I Flee? started out as a very ugly 2018 NaNo project, I have hopes that, in the end, this month of crazy writing will pay off.

The Second Half of My Interview with Dennis L. Peterson

The interview continues

Non-fiction author Dennis L. Peterson was kind enough to have me over for an interview on his blog. The first half of it, where I talked a bit about juggling responsibilities as an mom/teacher/author and just how I fell into this Writer’s Life, went live last week. If you’d like to check it out, here is the link.

In this second installment, I talk a bit about how I go about researching the real history behind my stories, how I take that and turn it into a book, and my greatest struggles and rewards as an author. It went live yesterday, but with it being the second-to-last week before Christmas break at school (insanity!), I’m running a day behind on sharing it.

Here is the link for the second half of the interview.

Thanks again to Dennis for inviting me over to his blog, and thanks to all of YOU for stopping by!

Looking for some new reads? Here are new releases from the Second World War Club. Mine is the one on the right. 🙂

25 thoughts on “2021 NaNoWrap-Up and an Interview”

  1. That’s quite the costume Anne. 🙂 My wife, Peggy, as an elementary school principal, used to challenge her students to read books each year. In the years she did it they increased their numbers from 25,000 to 35,000. Like you, she had to do what the students requested if they met the goal. One year she was a Sumo wrestler, another she had to sit in a dunk tank. And one year she had to eat worms, including a live one! Should I forward some ideas to your students? Grin. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m working on a series. Editing book one, drafting book 2 and 3. Plus writing a 40-day devotional. Noodling a 1000 word shirt story. After this series, I plan to concentrate on novellas! Ha!! 🤣

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ha! Fair enough! Yeah, I think I am strictly a ‘stand-alone’ girl – keeping track of all the threads in one book gets crazy enough!!
        What’s the genre? (Unless you’re not ready to share! 😊)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. A ha! I browsed through your previous challenges for your students too and I think it’s so cool to have a teacher like you (I wish I had). And did you make that costume yourself? Because it’s snazzy as heck. Thanks for being such an inspiration to the next generation of authors, and I’m also going to hop on over to check out your interview too!

    Liked by 2 people

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