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NaNOWriMo and MS


Good Monday morning!

The skies are rather gray in Monongah, WV, and there is a definite chill in the air. That's fine with time. I love fall and I love early mornings to myself. Soon this time of selfish peace will hold a stressful tension that I anticipate early.

In seven days the BIG event is happening. NaNoWriMo is coming! On November 1, writers all over the world will commune in a thirty-day word race to capture 50,000 words. November is the month of gratitude honoring my favorite holiday and my favorite past time: Turkey Day and writing! 

I'm what is referred to in the writing world as a Pantser. I rarely plan my stories, other than to jot down character names. I pretty much shoot from the hip. Since committing myself to Church of Go, my young adult series, setting and character goals are pretty much already in place. It's just my job to fill in the blanks.

Church of Go started with my award-winning Bombs Bursting in Air and continues with recently published Praise Petals which is adding up its own award trail. The Day Ted Williams Came to Town will be (fingers crossed) completed in by the year's end. Just finishing up some minor details, but shelving it until NaNo is over.

So, what am I writing for NaNoWriMo 2020? The working title is Realties of Being a Momma's Boy. Want a little excerpt? Too bad. Here it is:

Alice: The Last Day of School

    It’s weird how after years at staring at Samuel Brown’s head how today of all days I noticed just how blond his hair is. It must be due to the severity of the cut. I could see the pink scalp beneath his nearly shaved head.

     I hope he doesn’t have lice!

     I shuddered at the thought and felt myself recoil.

     I didn’t really know Sam Brown but his backside had been in my vision since first grade since the alphabetic seating chart placed us here every year. It was a standard policy that once the teacher knew us all, we were allowed to move around. That surprisingly didn’t happen very often. What did surprise me is that neither Sam Brown nor I had ever made an effort to be more than row companions. We nodded when he passed back a class assignment. That was it.

     Now with the possibility of him being infected with head lice, I wasn’t sure now was a good idea to remedy the situation. The next school year will be here soon enough.

     “Well, class, it has been a remarkable year and I hope to see you back for the third year of French class in the fall.” Mademoiselle Bouffant’s smile held us breathless, even following a final exam. “If you plan to join the conversational French class for your junior year, I have some summer activities for you. Please see me on your way out. Have a memorable summer!” Her light accent charmed anyone in her presence and I couldn’t imagine returning in the fall to not be in her class.

     “Are you taking French three?”

     The voice that posed the question was not familiar and it took a minute to realize that Samuel Brown, AKA Momma’s Boy, AKA Lice Boy was talking to me. In that instant, his icy blue eyes erased any judgments concerning his closely cropped hair.

    “Uh, probably,” I replied without sincere consideration. Actually, my junior year class schedule had been finalized for weeks with French my number elective.

     “Yeah, me, too.” Sam Brown didn’t appear anxious to conclude this strange interaction. “What are your plans for the summer?”

     I hope I didn’t look as stunned as this attention made me feel. Why was he talking to me? After all these years?



I'm going to do something different with this story and write from the first-person perspective of two different characters: Sam and Alice, high school sophomores who find themselves in some sort of weird relationship. I don't know what it is yet. the characters haven't started talking to me yet. But I know they will. They always do.

November is a busy month for me while I'm busy honing my trade. With the Pandemic, the events I normally participate in have been forced to rearrange themselves in a more realistic format; thus will I not only be playing word count for the entirety of November, but I am also excited to announce the Headline Books Christmas Virtual Event that its taking place November 14-21. Here's the schedule:


12:00 - Children's Book Panel and Readings

Suzanne Alexander

Sabrina Runyon

Diana Pishner Walker


3:00 pm ET --Children's Book Panel and Readings

Kelsey Clark

Melinda Chambers

Susan Harper


7:00 pm ET – Children's Book Panel and Readings

Dreama Denver

Krystian Leonard



Sunday November 15


12:00 pm ET - Middle Grade Readings and Discussion with

Barry Kienzle

Jan Thornton Jones

Lisa McCombs


3:00 pm ET - Middle Grade Readings and Discussion with

Danny Boyd

Dave Shelton


7:00 pm ET -- Thriller Night with

Dennis Hetzel

Joel Burcat

Eliot Parker


Monday November 16


12:00 - Christmas Piper the Elf Series with

Colleen Driscoll


3:00 - Hopping to America Series with

Diana Pishner Walker


7:00 pm ET -- Thriller Night with

Rick Robinson

Don Helin

Tony Hylton


Tuesday November 17


12:00 – Possum-mania Series with Grant Maloy Smith


3:00 pm ET --Children's Book Readings

Len Eckhaus

Bucleigh Newton Kernodle

7:00 pm ET -- Historical Fiction and Drama with

Karl Stewart

Kevin Miller

Lee Doty


Wednesday November 18


12:00 pm ET -- The Ascension Series - Middle Grade - with

Lauren Hudson


3:00 pm ET – Fiction Writers and Editors Discussing COVID-19 and our Books

Joel Burcat

Don Helin

Jason Liller


7:00 pm ET -- The Venus Rising Series with Dr. Raymond Keller


Thursday November 19


10:00 am ET – Lynn Salsi – The Appalachian Jack Tales Series


12:00 pm ET – Self Help Authors

Heather Dugan

Joy E. Held


4:00 pm ET – David Selby reading


7:00 pm ET – Music and Movies 

Jeff Weber

Don McLeod



Friday November 20


12:00 pm ET - Back to Nature Series with Melinda Chambers


3:00 pm ET - Chicks and the City with Matt Browning -- Urban Farming


7:00 pm ET - Dreama Denver with guest interviewer Burke Allen


Saturday November 21


12:00 pm - Christmas Children's Books with

Grant Maloy Smith,

Colleen Driscoll, and more


3:00 pm ET -- Matt Dragovits


7:00 pm ET - Music, Music. Music! Panel Discussion with

Landau Eugene Murphy Jr,

Joe Coleman,

Joe Blunt,

Pat DiCesare

Jeff Weber


This event promises to be an absolute hoot! I hope you join us on Facebook live aka Zoom aka YouTube. Since in-person holiday shopping promises to look a bit different this year, do yourself a favor and order some of these award-winning books for stocking stuffers. You'll be glad you did.

Okay, if you are a returning reader to this blog, you're most likely wondering what any of this has to do with multiple sclerosis. It has everything to do with my relationship with the MonSter. Writing is my coping mechanism. I write when I'm in denial of the disease. I write in celebration when I reach a personal accomplishment. I write when I'm scared, sad, or in a wretched mood. I write when I can do nothing else. Writing is a therapy for me and we all need a personal therapy regime. We all need something to spur us on. We all need a NaNoWriMo to look forward to. 

To reinforce the accountability in my writing life, I'll be posting snippets of this year's NaNo project, so feel free to don your editors cap any time. I would LOVE to hear from you, readers! Come be a part of NaNoWriMo and the writing process with me!

To learn more about NaNoWriMo, visit

To see my Church of Go series thus far, visit

For all of my Headline publications go to

Have a wonderful week! I've got o get busy stocking the house with food, dusting, washing clothes, etc. November is barely a week away and I need to be ready!

Lisa, The Lady with the Cane



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