NaNo and LaVerne Clark


It is my distinct pleasure to have my TWRP sister and friend, LaVerne Clark on the ranch today. It has come and gone without my participation once again. Not so for LaVerne! She took on NaNoWriMo for the first time this last November and came to share her experience.

Welcome, LaVerne! Why don’t you start by telling why you’re here?

My name is LaVerne and I’m no longer a NaNoWriMo virgin. Whoo, boy! Does that ever feel good!

Each year, November came and went without my participation or even the possibility I’d sign up. You see, here is the ugly truth…I’m a lazy writer and the Queen of procrastination. I loved the idea of writing furiously for a month with other like-minded madmen and women, but there were always reasons why I couldn’t. My three-year old needed mummy’s attention; I was helping with school excursions for my son; the dog needed a walk or my house needed tidying – oh – and I needed my sleep. All very valid excuses, but that’s what they were. Excuses.

One day, a couple of online writer buddies of mine mentioned they were going to do the upcoming NaNoWriMo and would I like to do it with them? Out came the excuses – and I had a new good one too. My second book had been accepted and I was expecting edits sometime during the month of November. Why start something I may not be able to finish? And then it hit me. I was being negative! I’ve always prided myself on being a positive person, and the reality I wasn’t when it came to one of my greatest loves gave me a start. So without thinking too much more on, I found myself signing up. Gulp! Now there was no going back, at least in my mind. Have I mentioned I hate to leave anything unfinished?

Well – it was the best thing I could have done at that stage of my writing career. I wrote religiously every day and night and finished with just over the 50K requisite. What a buzz! And I was so thrilled to celebrate with those special writing buddies who’d succeeded too. One had even powered through to over 100K! We’d done it!

So, did I write the next bestseller during the month of November? Uh, no. Definitely not. But that was not the point of the exercise for me. Instead, it taught me a great deal about what I was capable of and reminded me of my love for the written word. Even though the pressure was on – I had so much fun! Maybe one day I’ll revisit my novel and rework it, or maybe not. Either way, it doesn’t really matter. All that matters is I proved to myself I can make time for myself each day to write and to make realistic goals. Now I know what I can achieve, suddenly the idea of writing three books a year is more than doable. How exciting is that? Bring it on!

How about you? Are you a NaNoWriMo virgin? What’s holding you back? Or are you an old pro and what was the experience like for you?

I’ll be giving away an e-book of my first book, Guardian of the Jewel (a romantic suspense) to a lucky commenter.:) Good luck!

Woot! A give away! Where can readers find you?

Blog:  Novel Natterings


That is a great cover, too. Thanks for visiting LaVerne!

Come back next Tuesday, Feb 7th when I’ll have Soulmate Publisher author and my critique partner, Donna Shields, back to share her latest release!


About Calisa Rhose

I'm a mother of three daughters and wife to a wonderful man of 35+ years. I'm also an avid seamstress, polymer clay artisan and die-hard crafter, always coming up with things to make with, and for, my six granddaughters and two grandsons. Check out my craft site when you have a moment. I'm also a small online business owner of Okie fLips on Etsy and Poshmark (eBay/Merkari coming soon), and I'm a published author of sensual romance. I write about stubborn men and women who don't take no for an answer, and there's always that golden HEA. Cowboys and first responders are my favorite contemporary heroes to write about. My light paranormal heroes are strong men ready to protect their women--not that they need protecting, since they are capable of caring for themselves.

Posted on 01/31/2012, in Pen of the Dreamer and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 28 Comments.

  1. And the winner of LaVerne’s book, Guardian of the Jewel is… Vonnie Hughes! Congrats girl! LaVerne will be in touch with you!

    On a side- I regret Donna won’t be with me this week due to unforeseen problems with her new release. I’ll announce when she will be here.


  2. Congratulations on being a winner Jo! It is such a great feeling isn’t it? 🙂
    I’m enjoying this habit of writing and because I could let the fear go (the fear of writing rubbish) íts brought the joy back again. The sole reason of why we write after all!

    I commiserate with you about the extensive re-work. I’m not sure if I’m up to that yet! I took advantage of the free printing and have the draft of my NaNo novel sitting on the shelf mocking me. One day soon I might just be up to that challenge to make an actual story out of it 🙂 Good luck with yours!


  3. You summed it up, LaVerne. In winning NaNoWriMo, it taught me what I was capable of if I put my mind to it. I’m now much better at committing to write every day (although shame that Christmas/New Year comes soon after!)

    The down side is that I have a first draft now that needs extensive re-working. But at least I’ve thrashed out the storyline that was giving me trouble.

    I would recommend NaNo to every writer as a lesson in self awareness. And if you get a good idea out of it, all the better.


  4. I tried NaNo for the first this year, too. Normally, I write 6 days a week, 2000-4000 words a day. So, this exercise should have been no different for me. Right? One would think so, but my mind, warped creature that it is, decided to go into hybernation in November. I wrote a 38,000 word short story, but no way could I meet the NaNo goal. The goal hanging over my head was too much pressure.


    • 38,000 is nothing to sneeze at! But I’m reeling at the 2-4000K days Vonnie! I might have to follow your example and start writing at a cafe – except I won’t have my handsome hubby sitting across from me to keep me inspired like you do Vonnie 😉

      Funny what pressure does to us isn’t it? I love it. Mind you – I LOVE the editing stage too…maybe theres something wrong with me?

      Thanks so much for stopping by my friend 🙂


  5. Joanna Aislinn

    What a great story, LaVerne, and great perspective for me re: NaNoWriMo. (I can come up with excuses too.) I liked that NaNo became an exercise–never thought of it that way. Thanks for sharing your perspective.

    Hi Calisa!


    • Hello Joanna! Lovely to see you here!
      I’ve often read your blogposts and thought our writing habits are so similar. I hadn’t realised NaNo was an exercise until I’d finished the novel and re-read over it a few weeks later. Wow! It wasn’t great 🙂 But it broke the procrastination habit I’d developed over years.


  6. Well done, Laverne! I’m so glad you ended up doing Nano … I hope you make it a regular thing and one of these years I’ll join you! 🙂 xx Batsy


    • Yay! Thanks for popping by from all the way in Australia Batsy 🙂 I love the internet! I’m so glad I did it too. I ummed and ahhed for ages, then finally thought, ‘why not? I can always chicken out halfway through’. Then the other girls kept me on target and accountable. It was so much fun! xx back at you 🙂


  7. Glad you had the experience, LaVerne. I’ve never done NANOWRIMO but I done several BIAW or BIAM and does it sharpen the thoughts and get words down! Although I’m a conscientious writer, I do run out of steam. I know I should have done NANO, damn it.

    Anyway, good to see a fellow NZer taking the bull by the horns.


    • Hi Vonnie!
      Did you manage to get any of those books published? Or are they workable? Did I read that right? A book in a week??!??! That is amazing!
      We’ll have to do a Kiwi group thing for NaNo this year. There are a few of us who could be bullied into it I reckon 😉


  8. Awww, Shirley, thank you!

    I don’t know who the model on the cover is, but he is definitely a good likeness to Gabriel! I was thrilled when I saw it for the first time 🙂


  9. La Verne you are one gifted lady…good on you for finishing NaNoWriMo it is a huge acheivement in itself. Look forward to reading your Guardian of the Jewel. Mind you with a jewel like that who wouldn’t want to guard it!!


  10. Never done Na No, yet, but this November I think I might just hibernate. If I say it enough in September (you know…the I CAN DO THIS thing) it’ll kick start me. i gave myself a wee challenge last Nov so i’m sure i can do it. Will it be a cheat if I think about the plot in July, the characters in Aug, the locations in Sept???? MMMM.


    • Hehehe – Nah… thats not cheating Nancy – just being clever! Go for it – you can DO IT! (did that help at all?) 🙂


  11. Hi Loretta, for me, it was the kick in the pants I needed. That rush of ‘needing’ to get something done, and having friends keeping me accountable while they toiled away was what did it for me I think. I don’t think its quite so easy without that (not so gentle) prodding. 🙂

    Lovely to see you here on the ranch!


  12. Hey there, LaVerne:) Fantastic that you finished Nano! I didn’t join this year…for one of a million reasons, but admire anyone who does:) I may give it some serious thought next year:) (I have a whole year to get ready, so surely I can get some umph in my giddy up and get it done:)
    I think you’re right, these things can show us just how much we can accomplish if we set our minds to it:)


  13. Congrats on finishing Nano! It’s a big accomplishment. And your first book. Wishing you much success.


    • Thanks so much Gale! Heres hoping for many more books to come! I feel like I’m starting to hit my groove now and Nano helped me understand and trust my ‘voice’.


  14. April London

    YaY!! *giggles* I popped my Nano cherry this year too! 🙂 Beautiful cover!
    April London


    • hehehe – isn’t it a great feeling to get that monkey off your back April?
      Thanks so much for stopping by and good luck with the draw!


  15. Gotta luv those jewels! (smile). Great post, great cover! I’m still a NaNo virgin … thought about it and maybe someday. BTW, Martha Alderson, the Plot Whisperer, follows up after NaNo with help refining the thousands of words writers get down during that month!


    • That’s interesting news Nancy. Thanks.


    • LOL! Yeah – not a bad set of jewels are they Nancy? 😉

      Sadly, I think my Nano novel is far beyond any kind of help – but there are glimmers there I might steal for other books in the works. I’ll have to check out Martha’s follow-up to see if there is any hope though. Thanks!

      Meant to say – thanks so much for having me here Calisa! I feel right at home here on your ranch 🙂


  16. Isn’t that a fabulous cover, Christine? Thanks for stopping by!


  17. Hi Calisa! Great to meet another TWRP author LaVerne! Enjoyed your post. Like you I’ve thought about NaNo each November but always had some excuse as to why I don’t do it. LOL After reading your post, I might have to rethink my excuses and just jump in.

    Great book cover too! Always enjoy a good romantic suspense!


    • Hi Christine, lovely to see you here! 🙂
      Excuse the late reply, its a whole different time-zone in this part of the world (New Zealand).

      Ooo – I hope you do jump in this year – it’ll be so cool to have another buddy egging each other on!
      And isn’t that cover gorgeous?! TWRP do the best covers 🙂


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