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50564 words so far Winner!

To make it easier for folks to keep up with our regional mail, we'll post things here in this thread.

Hello, Illinois::Naperville affiliates and homed participants!


I am Tim Yao aka NewMexicoKid, one of your three volunteer co-ML's. My co-Municipal Liaisons are Katherine Lato (aka KatherineWriting) and Dave Dean (aka TRRDEDEAN). We are here to help you succeed in your novel writing for NaNoWriMo. Feel free to NaNoMail us any questions you have; or you can post your questions, ideas and things you want to share in our regional forum:

First prep workshop!

This weekend (Saturday, Oct 6th) is our first of three preparatory workshops from 1-3 pm at the Nichols Library (Naperville). Come out and join us for this interactive workshop on how to connect with your readers to achieve a greater emotional response.

We have new hipster PDA's this year; and, in honor of the NaNoWriMo artist trading cards and our nanobot theme for the year, I've created a series of original nanobot illustrations for our hipster PDA's.

RSVP for our prep workshops and the fun kick-off party!

Please RSVP for our events at

The second workshop is Saturday, October 13th, 1-3 pm at the 95th Street Library in Naperville. Tom Ostler will lead participants through a fun deconstruction of the plot of a popular movie, focusing on character, character development, primary and secondary story arcs and the tension that drives the story to its conclusion. The second half of the session will look to apply what was just learned to develop a new, community inspired plot.

The third and final workshop is Saturday, October 20th, 1-3 pm at the Nichols Library. Roger Lubeck will help writers complete their preparation for NaNoWriMo through a self assessment that identifies important writing behaviors, habits, skills and tools that they will need.

All workshops are open to all interested participants.

There will be a fun-filled pot-luck lunch kick-off party Saturday, October 27th at the Naperville Municipal Center.

Introduce yourselves

Come introduce yourselves in our Welcome thread:

Come visit our website!

We have a blog, a wiki and many resources available at

You can find our cafepress store here as well:

Join us in our jabber chatroom

NaNoMail me if you would like a jabber account. You can also use your google or gmail account to access the jabber chatroom. We use this in November for virtual write-ins. See

Other events

See our events list at -- we have write-ins at various locations and on various days in November. These are also in our google calendar and displayed in our regional forum.

50564 words so far Winner!


I'm Tim (aka NewMexicoKid). Along with Katherine (KatherineWriting) and Dave (TRRDEDEAN), I am one of the three volunteer Municipal Liaisons who help answer questions, stage local events and coordinate our region of Naperville that serves the cities and suburbs west of Chicago. Please feel free to NaNoMail or e-mail any of us if you have any questions or suggestions.

Preparatory workshop #2
This Saturday is the second of the three preparatory workshops we are hosting in our region for National Novel Writing Month. Writer Tom Ostler will be leading this workshop.

In this session the group will deconstruct the plot of a well-known popular movie, focusing on character, character development, primary and secondary story arcs and the tension that drives the story to its conclusion. The second half of the session will focus on applying what was just learned to develop a new, community inspired plot - one worthy of the full NaNoWriMo treatment.

The session, from 1-3 pm Saturday, October 13th, will be held at the 95th Street Library in Naperville.

Notes from prep session #1
If you missed the October 6th session, don't worry--the notes are posted up on our naperwrimo blog.

RSVP for the October 27th Kick-off Pot-Luck Lunch Party
Please be sure to RSVP for our kick-off pot-luck lunch party, October 27th, 11:45 AM-3 PM in rooms BC of the Napervile Municipal Center.

Share your thoughts with others in the region
While, as Katherine wrote, some writers prefer not to talk about their NaNo plans, others can gain energy and ideas from the interaction. It's okay for you to follow what works for you. If you have some thoughts on preparing for NaNoWriMo, helpful sites or tools, or if you are in need of some plot doctoring help, feel free to post in our regional forum. Our local community is friendly.

Do introduce yourself to the region!

I have been crafting NaNoBots to serve as inspirational prizes for the word wars at our write-ins.


  • word wars are fun contests that we hold at our write-ins. They are timed-writing sessions when participants try to write as many words as they can for their novel.

  • write-ins are live events where participants bring their laptops (a few work longhand) to a set location to work on their novels.

50564 words so far Winner!

From Katherine's 10/25 region e-mail:

One week and we'll all be typing like mad demons. So, are you ready?

If not, don't despair. There's time. If you're looking for a story idea, or if you're stuck on your plot, or your characters, take a look at our regional forum, or the general forums. Post a question, ask for advice, or just read to see what others are doing. You can also find links to the prep sessions that were held. All in our wonderful regional forum.

Don't forget about our awesome October 27th kick-off party this Saturday, a pot-luck lunch and activities from 11:45 am-3 pm at the Naperville Municipal Center. It's in the lunch room. If you haven't RSVPed, please do so. Don't forget to bring your favorite stuffed animal for the group photo!

Also, start marking the write-ins in your calendar. These are on the Google Calendar, mentioned in various forum threads, and listed on our events page.

If you've never attended a write-in, I suggest going early in the month to see if you find them helpful. Many people do. But you don't have to attend write-ins. You just have to write.

So, are you ready?

Katherine (KatherineWriting)
-- volunteer co-Municipal Liaison

50564 words so far Winner!

Can you feel the excitement in the air? National Novel Writing Month is about to begin for our region. Officially, writers all over the western suburbs and greater Chicago-land area will be able to start writing their novels at midnight tonight. Of course, those of us who have to be awake Thursday morning will likely wait a bit to begin writing.

Hello. I'm Tim Yao, aka NewMexicoKid. With Katherine Lato (KatherineWriting) and Dave Dean (TRRDEDEAN), I am a volunteer co-Municipal Liaison. Confused? New to NaNoWriMo? See our FAQ and feel free to send us NaNoMail through the nanowrimo site.

We have a ton of local write-in events this year that we are able to offer thanks to our partnering libraries (Naperville, Woodridge, Carol Stream) and generous volunteers like Cee-Bee, Carly, Squiddish, Corrupted Flame, Sapphire, Cableshaft, Awake, CJGEV, Addison and many others. If you are new to write-ins, please read Katherine's explanation of what these are and the advice of many writers on why you should come out to write at a write-in.

You can see all of these on our Google calendar (visible in our Naperville regional forum) or our wiki.

Coming up this week (through Sunday):

  • Nov 1 (Thursday) 11 am-2 pm @ Caribou in Wheaton (ThePiratess)

  • Nov 1 (Thursday) 3-9 pm @ Caribou in Naperville (KatherineWriting)

  • Nov 1 (Thursday) 8-9 pm @ our jabber chatroom (contact NewMexicoKid if you need a jabber account)

  • Nov 2 (Friday) 6:30-9 pm @ Starbucks in Aurora (Awake and TRRDEDEAN)

  • Nov 3 (Saturday) 10-noon @ Carol Stream Public Library (Sarah Kovacs)

  • Nov 3 (Saturday) 1:30-4:30 pm @ Woodridge Public Library (Cee-Bee)

  • Nov 4 (Sunday) 1:30-4:30 pm @ Nichols Library, Naperville (NewMexicoKid)

  • Nov 4 (Sunday) 5-10 pm @ Caribou in Wheaton (ThePiratess, Cableshaft, Squiddish)

NaNoWriMo site
In the past, the site has gotten a little slow or even crashed the first few days of NaNoWriMo under the relentless traffic. Please be patient, work on your novels and stay tuned to our naperwrimo site for updates.

Regional wordcount graph
Follow your progress with other regional participants in our NaNo Faces page. You can sign up for this graph in this thread.

Remember the basics

  1. Update your wordcount when you can each day through the little box at the top of every nanowrimo page.

  2. Back up your novel frequently! E.g., through dropbox or google drive; there are other mechanisms.

50564 words so far Winner!

So here we are: day 8 (or what remains of it). We are over a week into NaNoWriMo. If you're on the 1667 words per day track, you should have 13336 words written by the end of today. And if you are on or above that track, you've made it past the dreaded 10000 words barrier. And it is a barrier that every novelist faces. Can they write their way out of the beginning of the story and into the meat of their novel? Do they have more than just a long short story to tell?

If you are behind schedule, don't give up hope. Never forget the tales of folks like Brian (Cableshaft) who long ago overcame a week-long illness (with no writing) to come back and win. If you have a story burning within you that needs to be told, you will find a way to get it down on paper (or MS Word as the case might be; or even written in ViM ;-) ).

So what can you do to maintain your motivation and forward progress? I think for those of you who have been visiting our USA::Illinois::Naperville regional forum that you've read what other wrimos have written. Come out to a local write-in! We have, with the help of many volunteer wrimos, filled out our local events list with write-in events. Don't be shy! Write-ins are a way for you to:

  • gain energy from being in the same room with other novelists working on their novels

  • strive to win little goodies like the NaNoBots I am giving out at the Sunday write-ins or the plot creatures Katherine is offering or the nanobot cards from Dave (TRRDEDEAN) or the origami plot bunnies from Carly (thePiratess)

  • focus your energy in timed writing sessions that are designed to free you from your internal editor

  • change your perspective by writing in a different environment

For those of you who didn't see my posts, folks at the last Naperville Public Library write-in last Sunday averaged over 3100 words written per participant across the three hours.

This Saturday is our region's first ever Progressive Write-in. Katherine has organized what should be a fabulously fun and productive day of write-in in multiple locations, including a lunch and a dinner. You don't have to attend the whole event. Looks like we have over twenty people signed up so far! I will have a few NaNoBots to offer in word wars (though I probably will not lug around my whole set).

This Sunday, we'll have write-ins at the 95th Street Library in Naperville (bring your stuffed animal, and possibly an extension cord and power strip) and the Caribou in Wheaton (hosted by thePiratess, Cableshaft and Squiddish).

Do you have questions? Feel free to nanomail KatherineWriting (Katherine), TRRDEDEAN (Dave) or me (NewMexicoKid). You can find other introductory information and past posts in this thread.

Want to see how you're doing relative to others in the region? Add yourself to our word count graph and check out your progress!

Going to TEDxNaperville tomorrow? Keep an eye out for Katherine and me--we'll be there!

--Tim (NewMexicoKid)

50564 words so far Winner!

Can you believe it?

Nano weekend #2 is now history!

The good news is that although it feels like November is half over it is only November 11! We still have 19 days left in our month of literary abandon. We have enjoyed write-ins; that progressive write-in was something else! What a novel idea. Add to that word wars, the jabber chat, gallons of coffee (or in my case tea), the promise of cookies, writing buddies, and that interactive graph and we've fortunate in this Region to have all kinds of motivational resources. I'm glad to be part of the Naperville Region.

I know for me right now the initial excitement of starting Nano I'm hitting the reality that sometimes writing is work! When that happens I remind myself that I can start the day with a clean page or blank screen and I can start new right now! Now is not the time to regret what I've written. I'll have lots of time for that in December, and January, and February. You get the idea. For today I will write something new.

My wife shared this quote with me today and I hope it helps you as you write your next page:

"Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new end."

May you have a brand new end today as you write.

Have a great day.

Dave Dean, ML


50564 words so far Winner!

Today is day 14: we're two weeks into NaNoWriMo and one day away from the halfway point. First, hearty congratulations go to KatherineWriting (114K), WritingStudent (84K), The Peddler of Dreams (69K), sepiahistory (68K) and mongrelvw (57K) for crossing the 50K words boundary (don't forget, starting 25 November, folks will be able to validate their wordcount to officially have their wordcount bars turn from green to purple!). Not on the graph but want to be? Just post in this thread to add yourself to the graph.

Today is also momentous for another reason--it is Donation Day. While there are no charges to you to participate in NaNoWriMo, there are costs that the Office of Letters and Light incurs to provide the online forums that help you track your wordcount, give and receive help on novels, etc. Donation Day lets you get a chance to win a Kindle Fire or Kindle Paperwhite (provided by CreateSpace) and other awesome hourly prizes.

I know that times are tough; but if you have a little money to spare to help defray the OLL's expenses, it would be really appreciated. The OLL not only sponsors National Novel Writing Month but also has a Young Writers Program to encourage students in their writing.

Looking at our events calendar, I see we have write-ins every day for the rest of the month except for the day after Thanksgiving (November 23rd); and I expect there will continue to be gatherings in the jabber room most days/nights (nanomail me if you want an account).

Is anyone interested in meeting up for a lunch before the 1:30 pm Woodridge write-in this Saturday?

--Tim (NewMexicoKid)

P.S. Lost? Just joined NaNoWriMo? See our archived region postings and feel free to NaNoMail NewMexicoKid, KatherineWriting or TRRDEDEAN (your volunteer Municipal Liaisons)


Hi, everyone. I am in this group but wanted to let you know I am not participating in NaNoWriMo. Unfortunately I had to have some surgery on Oct 30 and was not able to do much of anything til the past couple days. I will put this on my calendar for next year. -Julie

50564 words so far Winner!

juliearmstrong wrote:
Hi, everyone. I am in this group but wanted to let you know I am not participating in NaNoWriMo. Unfortunately I had to have some surgery on Oct 30 and was not able to do much of anything til the past couple days. I will put this on my calendar for next year. -Julie

Sorry to hear about your surgery, Julie. We look forward to seeing you participate next year.


50564 words so far Winner!

Looking at our regional graph, I see our median wordcount is 22,681 and our mean is 23,990. Those of you who are above this aren't doing so poorly. Those of you who are below this are a bit further behind but you shouldn't give up.

Sometimes in this start of the third week of NaNoWriMo, people encounter problems with their novels. It is not uncommon to feel a little lost, to encounter rough patches where you lose the connection with what you've planned, or to fall out of love with your novel. There are various solutions to these problems. Sometimes it helps to talk with other novelists (e.g., in the jabber chat or forum or at meet-ups). Sometimes it helps to go take a walk or a drive. There is an excellent plot doctoring forum that can be very helpful. Just realize that you don't have to face these problems alone. One of NaNoWriMo's strengths is in helping bolster your efforts through the power of the community.

Tomorrow (Saturday, 17 November), some of us will be meeting up for an informal lunch at Clara's Pasta in Woodridge (11:30 AM-1 PM). It's not too late to RSVP or join us.

There will then be three write-ins in the afternoon, including the Woodridge Public Library, Yorkville Panera and Hoffman Estates Caribou. If you haven't come out to a write-in before, bring your laptop (and optional other stuff)--write-ins can be a motivating, energizing experience. And, who knows, you may win a plot critter or NaNoBot prize in a word war.

Sunday will bring other write-ins at Nichols Library in Naperville (1:30-4:30 PM; NaNoBots!) and Caribou in Glen Ellyn (5-10 PM).

Congratulations to: YeungJeans who has joined KatherineWriting, WritingStudent, The Peddler of Dreams, sepiahistory and mongrelvw across the 50K words line. I see others are closing in: TRRDEDEAN, Asreena, David L Hayes, waking521 and Cee-Bee are all at or above 40K words.

--Tim (aka NewMexicoKid)

P.S. Lost? Confused? In need of help? Send NaNoMail to NewMexicoKid (me), KatherineWriting (Katherine), or TRRDEDEAN (Dave); we're the volunteer Municipal Liaisons for our region. Check out the archived region posts and our regional blog and FAQ.

P.P.S. Come visit our regional forum to stay up to date with latest events, find helpful resources and connect with your fellow novelists.

P.P.P.S. Check out the NaNoBorg bot that I will give away at the November 25th write-in at the 95th Street Library:

50564 words so far Winner!

This is it, the home stretch. We're entering the final seven days of NaNoWriMo 2012.

I can imagine for some of us that this has been a very tough slog. Even for me, a veteran of 9 successful NaNoWriMo's, it has been (and continues to be) difficult.

If you need some motivation to take you through this Sunday, check out Katherine's challenge and view the progress being made by these brave souls.

If you need motivtion to write through the 30th, consider participating in the 7 day, 18k+ words, 20 nanobots challenge I just set up. You can track folks' progress here.

Party time December 8th
We will be having our Thank Goodness It's Over pot-luck lunch party December 8th in the Naperville Municipal Center. You don't have to win to come join us and have fun but you do need to RSVP to let us know that you're coming and who (friends and family) and what you're bringing.

We still have write-in events ahead of us. I'll be joining Melissa (ziplizard) and Carly (thePiratess) at the Caribou at North Aurora Road today 1:30-4:30 pm, with origami plot bunnies and nanobots for folks to win. Dave (TRRDEDEAN) is hosting a Yorkville Panera write-in 1:30-4:30 pm Saturday; and the final 95th Street Library Naperville Write-in is 1:30-4:30 pm this Sunday. In addition to cookies and nanobots, I will be bringing some Dove chocolate (dark and milk chocolate) to provide fortitude to the writers! Oh, and I will be offering the first nanoborg:

Don't forget to validate!
Don't forget: once November 25th rolls around, the validator will become available. When you make it to 50K words, you should validate your word count (those of you who are hand-writing can invoke the Luddite clause). This will turn your wordcount bar purple and set your winner's status for this NaNoWriMo (which can be important if you want to take advantage of the CreateSpace offer of five free books if you publish your book with them and pay for shipping and a book proof; alternately, if you just want a copy of your book you can use Lulu to get a relatively inexpensive copy).

Do be sure to see Heather Dudley's excellent post on publishers, queries and agents, which also has cautionary notes about potential scams.

Thanks for listening and good writing to you!

--Tim (aka NewMexicoKid)

P.S. Lost? Confused? In need of help? Send NaNoMail to NewMexicoKid (me), KatherineWriting (Katherine), or TRRDEDEAN (Dave); we're the volunteer Municipal Liaisons for our region. Check out the archived region posts and our regional blog and FAQ.

50564 words so far Winner!

First, congratulations to all those in our region who won. KatherineWriting (201228), The Peddler of Dreams (125713) and WritingStudent (122222) finished with the top three wordcounts in our region's wordcount graph.

The other winners from our region's wordcount graph: KatherineWriting, The Peddler of Dreams, WritingStudent, writertodd07, mongrelvw, TRRDEDEAN, Larry72367, waking521, Asreena, sepiahistory, David L Hayes, sarastirsyou, Cee-Bee, kheartsfan96, tireddadx3, Eternal Light, Nidia.Ceylon, mochomito, Sapphire, Dreamhigher2010, scrapacat, Qberty, Conceptually, Anobi, Alura Embrey, midwestraised, PBJ63010, YeungJeans, MMMoreau, Corrupted Flame, brosenb2, TeenWriter, Basil Cliffside, cableshaft, TogetherAgain, ThePiratess, Suenor, tregina12000, EmilyAdelle, Juliette06, samcadams, ziplizard, fdahlman, jen.e.moore, Easily-Amused, Archon_Huskie, NewMexicoKid, Roger Lubeck, Antivard, RobinM, Phoenixica24, nowhereliz, Amy33,, adavaughan, ethompson299, Bessie Spot, MelissaDuncan, skowar, horatio, ashesonfire, LemonFairy, osruipurple. For those of you not on our region's graph, congratulations to you too--alas, we don't have any visibility of your result if you aren't on the graph (not too late to sign up).

Statistically, the folks on our region's wordcount graph achieved a mean of 45K words written, with 63 of 96 winning: a 65% win percentage!

Thank Goodness It's Over Parties
We have two fun options for the TGIO Party. The main one is our traditional pot-luck lunch party Saturday, December 8th at the Naperville Municpal Center (rooms BC in the lower level), 11:45 am-3 pm. Please RSVP if you are planning to attend so we can prepare your certificate and enter you in the raffle for the NaNo poster(s). You can also let us know what dish you're bringing and any guests who will be coming (it's fun--bring your friends and family!). Don't forget to bring your stuffed animal for the group photo and games for the end of the afternoon!

For those who can't make it Saturday, Katherine is organizing a dinner out at the East China Inn in Warrenville, 6:30 pm, Thursday, December 13th. Please RSVP so Katherine can make the reservations.

18K NaNoBot Challenge
Congratulations to all who signed up and wrote for the 18k NaNoBot Challenge! Alex (mochomito) won the NaNoBorg by writing 39985 words in the final week of NaNoWriMo. Robin (RobinM) came a close second (you should see her wordcount graph!) with 37845 words. Katherine (KatherineWriting) followed with 34562. Twenty of twenty two participants won NaNo; sixteen of the twenty two wrote more than eighteen thousand words in one week. If you've won a nanobot, don't forget to let me know if you want eyes and arms on yours. Thus far I've heard from tireddadx3, TogetherAgain, RobinM, TRRDEDEAN, Sapphire, KatherineWriting with their preferences.

Existing and new members of the Journey: please post in this thread and fill out the survey form. The Journey is our year-round writing group and we have an exciting slate of Paths that are already starting to shape up for 2013.

One thing I've seen over and over again in our forum is that folks love the cameraderie and support of the members of our great region. You all are great people! This is one of the driving reasons why we created the Journey; it gives us continued opportunities to interact throughout the year.

Artists in our region should also consider the Journey as we are adding an Art Path in 2013.

Continuing to Write Your Novels?
Eternal Light has posted a support thread in our forum for all those who are continuing to write their novels.

If I get some time over the break, I want to write the external wordcount tracking tool that will allow us to set up arbitrary duration projects (Paths) and show people's progress on joint wordcount/progress charts. If anyone has php (I'll be using the Yii Framework), CSS, web design and/or javascript expertise and would like to help out, please NaNoMail me.

Donations still needed
Our region has donated a total of $1185 (which, if you consider the 496 participants, comes to $2.39 per wrimo) thus far. I hope you will consider helping out.

I want to thank my co-MLs Katherine and Dave for all of their tremendous efforts this year. Thanks also to all the wonderful volunteers who helped to organize other write-ins in our region: Cee-Bee (Woodridge), SarahK06 (Carol Stream), Sapphire and Corrupted Flame (Downers Grove), The Piratess and Squiddish (West Chicago/Warrenville/Winfield/Wheaton/Glen Ellyn), midwestraised (Hoffman Estates), CJEGV (Lombard), sepiahistory (Kane County), PBJ63010 (Orland Park), ziplizard (Naperville), Addison Sheffield-Clark (Downers Grove). Thanks also to Scrapacat and The Peddler of Dreams for hosting so many of the jabber chat write-ins.

We also want to gratefully acknowledge the wonderful support by Lisa West of the Naperville Public Library, Denise Murray of the Woodridge Public Library and Mary Kay Biernacki in the City Manager's Office in Naperville.

Thanks also to Roger Lubeck (Roger Lubeck) and Tom Ostler (tomster) for facilitating two of the three October prep sessions.

Please keep an eye out for our survey; we'll send a brief one out soon. In the meantime, feel free to let us know if you have any suggestions for how we can improve the experience for folks next year.

Thanks for reading to the end!

Tim aka NewMexicoKid, with Katherine (KatherineWriting) and Dave (TRRDEDEAN), one of the three volunteer co-Municipal Liaisons for USA::Illinois::Naperville that represents the cities and suburbs west of Chicago.

50564 words so far Winner!

As the year winds down and NaNoWriMo 2012 becomes a cherished memory, I just wanted to remind folks that this doesn't have to be the end; our year round writing group, the Journey, will ramp up again beginning in January. Just as with our NaNo events, there are no membership fees. The Journey is a cafeteria-style writing group--people propose and participate in various Paths that can be as simple as an individual social outing (like our January 6th (Sunday) outing to go see the Les Miserables movie) or as involved as a short story anthology that our group self-publishes. Other Paths include editing activities, online Jabber meetings and a new novel analysis track. We may organize another writing retreat.

Our first group meeting is January 12th (Saturday). If you're interested in being a part of the Journey, be sure to post here and also answer the survey (note: you may get prompted for a login and password; just cancel out if that occurs).

The NaNo forums will remain up during the year, even though the traffic will be significantly reduced. There are threads in our regional forum that you might be interested in if you are continuing to write or are editing.

As always, don't forget to consider donating to the Office of Letters and Light, the non-profit organization that runs NaNoWriMo.

Peace and joy to you and your family this holiday season.

--Tim, aka NewMexicoKid, co-ML (along with KatherineWriting and TRRDEDEAN) of the Naperville region that represents the cities and suburbs west of Chicago

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