Saturday, October 31, 2009


November is National Novel Writing Month That's 30 daze and nights of wild literary abandon!

You can sign up and register for NaNoWriMo or not. Wildcatting is OK.

Some pointers

1) write at least 2000 words a day; the more the merrier during the first week, makes weeks 3 & 4 easier. You need 175 pages or 50,000 words. Deadline—and I do mean dead line—is Nov 30.
2) find a NaNoWriMo group in a coffeshop near you. Writedriver captains (AKA Municipal Liasons) will flagellate and goad slaphappy and punchdrunk participating procrastinators with proverbial whips and spurious words. Oh my Captain...
3) never revise
4) don't worry about plot or storyline. That comes during revision.

A little something from the NaNoWriMo site:

Launched in 1999, NaNoWriMo inspires its 120,000 participants with email pep talks, a huge and supportive online community, and a host of web-based writing tools. Additionally, volunteers called Municipal Liaisons (MLs) in 450 regions organize local writing events and get-togethers that transform novel-writing into an achievable and fun community endeavor.

NaNoWriMo’s sister event, challenges participants to write a 100-page movie, play, graphic novel, or television show during the month of April. Script frenzy also boasts a wealth of online and ML-led resources designed to demystify scriptwriting and help everyday people became actively engaged in the writing and the arts.

The Young Writers Program offers educator-friendly versions of Script Frenzy and NaNoWriMo for kids and teens. In 2008, the Young Writers Program had 22,000 participants.

If you want to write in a participating independent bookstore, check out these sites. NaNoWriMo is brought to you by The Office of Letters and Light. Check out their blog too. You can follow progress on the site and there's even a Procrastination Station!

and you can follow events on Twitter @NaNoWriMo

2009 Tally as of Oct 31 at 3 PM: 100,335 authors signed up. WOW! $116,887 on the fundometer.

Posting your entire NaNo novel on your blog as you write it? Tried it before? Up for being interviewed? Email

and there's even a tiny URL to follow the progress of other Noveling gamesters.

I admit I bailed/failed miserably after the first week because I just couldn't step away from #3) never revise... I blew several days on revising my first few blog entries alone. Writing 2000 words is a challenge, but I probably wrote 10,000 words if I counted all my revisions... I ran out of juice. I fell so hopelessly behind, I never regained my momentum. But I had fun-fun-fun-fun and I got some interesting poems & blogs from it. I have an unnatural fear of novel writing. Fear of structure, fear of plot, fear of storyline.... I admit am novelistically challenged. I'm also a glutton for punishment.

Then for the poetically bent, who prefer reading between the sheets–er—lines, there is also Robert Brewer's Writers' Digest second annual November PAD Chapbook Challenge.

This is not to be confused with the Writers' Digest April PAD Poetry Challenge—which I did participate in as well. I got some good work from the prompts. One poem was selected for the upcoming California Poets in the Schools (CPITS) Statewide Poetry Anthology.

1) write a poem a day from posted prompts
2) don't revise a thing until December. You will have 31 poems to revise & choose from. You need 10-20 finished poems.
3) enter contest by Jan 5. 10-20 pages total.
4) win-win —even if you don't enter!

Sounds more doable than 175 pages. Maybe I'll do a bit of both and hear about that music of what happens...

And last year's winners were... (Gawd, how I love posting these hyperlinks! Talk about feeling like a godling!)

Here is the list in its entirety. What are you waiting for?

2009 November PAD Chapbook Challenge Rules & Stuff
Posted by Robert

First off, the November PAD Chapbook Challenge is all about the fun and poeming! During the month of November, don't worry so much about finished drafts; just get the rough drafts cranked out each day. After all, you've got December (and the rest of your life, for that matter) to edit.

That said, let's bring on the bulleted list:

  • You do NOT have to register anywhere to participate in the challenge. (Though if you want updates from the blog each day, you can sign up for an e-mail update or via RSS in the upper left-hand corner over there.)
  • The Challenge will begin sometime on the morning of November 1 (Eastern Time U.S.). The time can vary, but don't worry if your day is ending as this blog's is beginning, because...
  • The Challenge will continue until noon (Eastern Time U.S.) on December 1.
  • Beginning December 1, all participants will have the month of December to revise and organize their November poems into manuscripts of 10-20 pages (no more than one poem per page, though it's okay to have one poem that runs for multiple pages).
  • By midnight January 5, 2010, poets will need to e-mail their manuscripts (saved as either .doc or .txt) to me at with the subject line: My 2009 November PAD Chapbook MS
  • Poets do not have to post their poems to the blog to participate, BUT it's a lot more fun for everyone if you do. (And remember: This is all about fun and poeming, yo!)
  • I'll go through the manuscripts with the assistance of my wife, Tammy Foster Brewer (who's actually had two chapbooks published now, so she's kinda like an expert), and we'll announce a winner on Groundhog Day 2010.

There may be other rules, details, etc., which I've somehow overlooked, added later, but this gives a pretty good idea of what to expect. Can't wait to see everyone on Sunday morning!

Maybe this will be easier to handle. Write on!

PS OK so I completely fell off the wagon before I even boarded it...distracted by the demise of the Nazca for a couple of days (which lead to reading someone's Ph.D. thesis online) and whatnot.

Here's some interesting blogging advice: How to Be Wildly Successful in Blogging -

Thursday, October 8, 2009

It's a canary egg omlette kind of morning

Hey, the Blue Angels are in town (er, in the sky), & I heard it through the grapevine that the Rolling Stones will play at Treasure Island for Oracle employees, no one else is invited, meanwhile Apple dropped out of US Chamber of Commerce, and childhood friend Adair Lara's canaries had unsafe sex, leaving eggs in their seed bowl. Cheeky little buggers. What a wacky morning—think I'm gonna find me some musical stairs. Gonna break me some tiny eggs. Make me a tiny canary egg omlette & I haven't even Twittered yet.  

added 10/17