Hey, Mo!

November 9, 2018 § Leave a comment

Normally, the month of November is a month of writing for me. It is National Novel Writing Month, after all.

While I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo in the past—and found it useful—I haven’t written much lately. Which is a good reason to participate, honestly, but I’ve got too much going on to be able to sit down and write 1,667 words a day. Hell, I intended to write this blog post on November 1, and I’m only just now getting to it nine days later.

So instead of tackling a novel, I’ve started in on a project that’s a bit more organic—literally.

I’m growing a mo. A ‘stache. A lip warmer.

In other words, I’m participating in Movember.

I’m not really doing it to raise money, so this isn’t a funding pitch. I’m growing a ridiculous bourbon strainer A) to prod my guy friends to think about their health, and B) because I’ve wanted to grow a mo for a long, long time.

Not Why, But Which?

So the question for me isn’t really “why the hell would you grow an ugly lip mat,” but rather “which uncomfortable face merkin should I grow?”

Because there are so many wonderful options.

My first thought was to adopt Sam Elliot’s recently orphaned nose caterpillar.

The Sam Elliot

That reminded me of the movie Tombstone and Kurt Russell’s fabulous Wyatt Earp handlebar.

The Kurt Russell

Once I was in a Wild-West-Lawman frame of mind, however, I recalled Timothy Olyphant’s Seth Bullock in Deadwood, and man, do I love his kisser tickler.

The Seth Bullock

But then I started thinking about the primary reason for Movember: to stop men from dying too young.

Too many people I’ve known—men and women—have left our mortal party too early. They died from cancer, from random illness, from suicide, from overdose. They died in accidents.

And with each bright flame extinguished, the world grew a little darker.

So I thought I’d honor their lip brooms. My dad had a walrus once, but that seemed overreaching for my first foray into facial foliage. And Bardi’s crumb catcher wouldn’t be the same without his signature gray.

But then I remembered the photo of my brother Rich, taken at 20,000 feet as he piloted a Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia for Comair. Rich, who died when he was only a few years older than I am now.


So that’s the mo I’m going to try to grow. That’s going to be my nose neighbor for November.

If my furry face ferret can get the people I love to think about their health, maybe I won’t lose more. Maybe they’ll get a checkup for that weird pain that’s been bothering them. Maybe they’ll get a regular health screening.

And by “they,” I mean you.

So laugh at my lip wig. Mock my mouth brow. Snicker at my snot mop.

And then make an appointment to get a physical, ask about that cough that just won’t go away, and get that weird mole checked. See a therapist, if the world has been pressing down on you too hard.

Because I like having you around. And I want you to see the glorious Seth Bullock I’m going to grow next November.

Learn more about Movember and men’s health at Movember.com.


Write by Hand: NaNoWriMo Tip #8 (via GalleyCat)

November 8, 2012 § Leave a comment

A quick post just to point to this article: Write by Hand: NaNoWriMo Tip #8 – GalleyCat.

I’ve toyed with the notion of writing a novel or story by hand (first draft, of course). Neil Gaiman writes all his first drafts by hand, and then has demons or trained cats or cat demons type them up for him (at least, that’s what I’ve heard.) And the article linked to from GalleyCat makes some salient points about why writing by hand might help the creative process.

Do you write by hand or use a computer for your first draft?

November means NaNoWriMo!

November 3, 2012 § 4 Comments

I have been remiss, dear reader. We are three days into the month of November, and I have not yet plugged National Novel Writing Month, a.k.a. NaNoWriMo.

I have also been remiss in not giving you all a big THANK YOU for voting up my entry into the StumbleUpon contest. Thanks to you, Pangaea made it into the finals!

There’s a connection between these two things, my novel and NaNoWriMo. And if you guessed that the connection is that I wrote the first draft of Pangaea for NaNoWriMo, you’d be correct!

Although I am not doing NaNo this year (because of Reasons), I am a big fan of the event, and I’ve participated for five years. With one exception, every novel I have completed was born during NaNo.

The goal of NaNo is simply stated but difficult to accomplish: write 50,000 words in 30 days, beginning on November 1 and finishing on November 30. If you do the math, you’ll find that NaNo forces you to write 1,667 words a day, or roughly six and a half typed, double-spaced pages.

It sounds like a lot, I know. And in some respects, it is a lot. The only way to maintain your word count is to write like the wind, and writing like the wind involves gagging that pesky internal editor and giving yourself permission to write crap. The goal is to get that book idea of yours down on paper, not write deathless prose. Don’t worry about it being terrible. It’s going to be terrible, guaranteed. But that’s where the rewriting comes in, and you begin that phase on December 1.

For the month of November, it’s just about getting it all out, beginning to end.

Pangaea was a steaming pile of stolen movie lines, cliche dialogue, cookie-cutter characters, and lackluster exposition at the end of November. But it was a complete story from beginning to end, and one I thought wasn’t too shabby. Several layers of rough covered the diamond, and some of those layers cling to it yet. But it would not be contest finalist if I hadn’t put my butt in the chair on the first of November and started banging on the keyboard.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Likewise, a book of 50,000 words begins with a single word. Head on over to the NaNoWriMo website and check it out. They’ve got a lot of helpful tools and inspiration from a few really great writers. Join up with your local NaNoWriMos for write-ins, or go it alone. Either way, make it a goal to write those 1,667 words every day and you, too, will end up with a first draft of your novel at the end of the month. It’ll be an early Christmas present to yourself.

So are you convinced? Gonna do it? Let me know and I’ll cheer you on!

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