The NaNoWriMo Fantastic Tag

See, here’s the funny thing: today’s post was supposed to be about writing blocks but, ironically, I’m still struggling to write that post. I puttered and pondered and rearranged some stuff on my post plan, and then, lo and behold, Kenzie made a tag. As you do.

A NaNoWriMo tag, for those of you who don’t read titles.

Thing is, as of last Thursday when she tagged me, I hadn’t committed to NaNoWriMo. Dark and Deep continues to be a belligerent child who won’t be mastered (read: I have no willpower), which means kaput goes all plans and I don’t know if I’ll be done by November like I intended.

And then there’s still a puny chance that some twist of fate sees me with a mentor for Pitch Wars. (There isn’t really a chance, but I’d rather not make a call until the 12th.)

I had been saying that, whatever happened, I was going to take a break from NaNoWriMo. Get some reading done, recharge my creative juices, crochet another blanket….

Image result for hercules gif and then along came zeus

Oh, look, a nifty character with a mysterious backstory and some cool sidekicks! This could be the no-pressure, write-it-for-yourself project I need to decompress after all of Dark and Deep‘s characters went bonkers. Right?

As of Saturday, I was still undecided, and told myself I wasn’t going to stress over it. I could even afford to hold of on a decision until well into November, since I once wrote most of 50,000 words from the 14th to the 30th, so it’s cool. With that in mind, I told myself I would only answer this tag hypothetically. Because tags are fun, even if I’m a commitment-phobe.

Guess which characters wouldn’t shut up once I gave them permission to speak.

New Plan: Find willpower like unto what got me through two weeks of Soar revisions, get through Dark and Deep, and be ready to write purely for fun come November. If someone could occasionally kick me in the shins I’d be much obliged.

. . .THE RULES. . .

1. Insert the tag graphic into your post. . . done, sadly without Kenzie’s request of Franny the bunny.

2. Link back to the original post post. . . here

3. Answer all — or as many — of the questions as you like. . .which is honestly such a nice thing, given that some people don’t want to answer all of the questions.

4. Refer to our communal family bunny named Fanny at least once in your post. . .*points up*

5. Eat three cookies. . .

6. Post a clean list of ALL of the questions somewhere in your post. . . per Kenzie: this is so that everyone you tag will be able to see the full list of questions easily, even if you decide not to answer all of them.

7. Tag as many friends as you want!. . . which is difficult when KENZIE TAGS ALL OF THEM. So I’ll tag the one Writing Group gal she didn’t tag, who I’m not sure is doing NaNo, and one more person, and call this a free-for-all.



. . .THE TAG. . .


PART ONE. . . Get to know me

Cookie #1

What is your NaNoWriMo Username?

Phoebe Ava. But don’t try to communicate with me on the NaNo sites. I don’t make a habit of checking my messages. (I’m all for friends, just not DM’s.)

Are you a plotter, pantser, plantser, or planter? (because you are actually a plant, but SHHHHHH. no one can know this.)

Usually a pl- er, plantser, but this year, if I participate, I will be a complete pantser. Or at least, that’s my aim, but all of these plot bunnies keep popping up….

How many years have you done the NaNo? How many times have you won?

The November event: ’08, ’09, ’11, ’15-’17. I, somehow, won every time, though ’16 was a toss-up until the end, what with funerals and Wendy’s chili.

For Camp, I honestly don’t know how many times I participated. Once I dropped out right at the beginning, but the others I won, even if barely.

What is your NaNoWriMo Origin Story?

I honestly cannot recall where I heard of NaNoWriMo. I can tell you that my first year (sweet Lord, ten years ago) saw me write my first and last sequel to a story. I was very enthusiastic, and the story was a trainwreck.

Do you have any writing “lucky charms”? (a stuffed dragon, a favorite pen, a paperclip that fills you with all of the inspiration???)

I don’t, but I should, because every time I open my laptop I mutter “pleaseworkpleaseworkpleasework” under my breath.

What is your absolute favorite NaNoWriMo memory?

The one I most clearly remember is a sleepover at Calli and Fay’s where we stayed up until midnight on the first, listening to the soundtrack for HTTYD and eating snacks; and then the next day we spent a good portion of it writing.

How do you pronounce NaNoWriMo? (Na-No-RYE-Mo, or Na-No-REE-Mo?)

It’s Na-No-RYE-mo, obvis, don’t be a dunderhead.


Cookie #2

What’s the name of your NaNoWriMo Project?

Here There Be Kittens. Has nothing to do with the non-existent plot, but it came to mind while I was at work and there you have it.

What is your project’s genre?

Fantasy, as always.

Introduce us to your cast!

  • Lady Mathena “Thena” Carling of Eldmore and Hadeport
  • Princess Sedrina Dansy Elyenora “Nora” Althorne, Last of Her Name, First Heir to the Crown
  • a hound named Holdfast, possibly a witch’s familiar, modeled after either a Groenendael or a Dutch Shepherd.

These are the only people (and a dog) I’m positive about. I have other names but haven’t yet assigned them to characters.

What is your novel’s theme?

Friendship? First impressions? Duty? I’m not quite sure. It’s a mess.

It might end up being duty and first impressions. I know that has a lot to do with Thena’s inner conflict.

What are your novel’s main settings?

So far, I have a castle. Possibly a camp outside a battlefield, but who knows? I- hang on. Plot bunny.

Are you using any plotting/story structures for your project, or are you just winging it like the beautiful pixie that you are?

A beautiful pixie I am not, but I am winging- pause. I just got the pun. Nice one, Kenzie.

Hem. I’m winging it. Which is terrifying. It may all end in tears. Per usual, I know how the story ends (beautifully, with many twists, in my mind) but now really how to get there, considering I’ve never successfully planned a rebellion.

What are some ways you prepare for The NaNo? (mentally, physically, eating five bars of chocolate at once because #energy)

Ordinarily I would mock up a basic outline and set up a Scrivener file with notes on the major plot points. This year I’m simply going to clear my calendar once I decide whether or not I’m actually participating. Hopefully I’ll have blog posts queued up beforehand, but who knows?

What’s in your writing toolkit? (pictures are encouraged!)

My computer, the notes app on my phone, and my headphones. I use notebooks and post-its and whiteboards for brainstorming, but it’s honestly whatever writing surface is nearest to hand. And regrettably the lighting is horrid in my room, so no pictures. (I’ve posted some in the past….)

PART THREE. . . Inspiration

Cookie #3

Note: I skipped some questions because I didn’t have answers.

What was the initial inspiration for your NaNoWriMo novel?

A line of dialogue:

“Did you ever stop and ask yourself what actually happened to her husband?”

Which introduced me to my main character, and ended up being inspiration for an opening scene.

What’s your absolute best advice to new (and old!) NaNoers?

The rules are more like guidelines, anyway.


There you have it. Now to buckle down on Dark and Deep until November.

Also, in case anyone is wondering: No I have not forgot about Undersong. It’s just that particular story is giving me the writer’s version of stage fright and I don’t quite know what to do about it. I’m focusing on getting other projects squared away and then clearing everything so I can write a proper first-ish draft.

For those just joining us: don’t forget that I have a Q&A bit going on right now! Ask me all the things!


. . . THE QUESTIONS. . .

PART ONE. . . Get to know me

What is your NaNoWriMo Username?

Are you a plotter, pantser, plantser, or planter? (because you are actually a plant, but SHHHHHH. no one can know this.)

How many years have you done the NaNo? How many times have you won?

What is your NaNoWriMo Origin Story?

Do you have any writing “lucky charms”? (a stuffed dragon, a favorite pen, a paperclip that fills you with all of the inspiration???)

What is your absolute favorite NaNoWriMo memory?

How do you pronounce NaNoWriMo? (Na-No-RYE-Mo, or Na-No-REE-Mo?)


What’s the name of your NaNoWriMo Project?

What is your project’s genre?

Introduce us to your cast!

What is your novel’s theme?

What are your novel’s main settings?

Are you using any plotting/story structures for your project, or are you just winging it like the beautiful pixie that you are?

What are some ways you prepare for The NaNo? (mentally, physically, eating five bars of chocolate at once because #energy)

What’s in your writing toolkit? (pictures are encouraged!)

PART THREE. . . Inspiration

What was the initial inspiration for your NaNoWriMo novel?

What’s your NaNoWriMo Novel’s Word Aesthetic?

Share your Pinterest boards and music playlists!

What’s your absolute best advice to new (and old!) NaNoers?

8 thoughts on “The NaNoWriMo Fantastic Tag


    And now I am going to continue reading this but seriously. I can’t believe I missed Remi.


  2. Gah, this is making me hyper for NaNo! And those cookies look super delicious.

    Also, I did not catch the pun on the pixie winging it, so thank you for pointing that out. xD

    I’m with you on the NaNo-RYE-Mo. >:)

    Eee! Good luck on your current writing and for NaNo! Also, may the plot bunnies not reach an overwhelming flood.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right??? I didn’t intend to get pumped up but I am now!

      I didn’t get it until I was literally typing it, lol. You’re welcome!

      Oh, good! People who support “wree-mo” are so touchy about it.

      Eep. Thanks! You too!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. All right!! I am officially here to squeal at your. Please prepare yourself however necessary.

    THAT ZEUS GIF IS FANTASTIC, OH MY WORD. XD And also…I seriously need that post on writer’s block? Like YES. GIMME. WRITE THE THING AND POST IT BECAUSE I NEED. (honestly, though, how ironic is it that you’d get blocked on a post for writer’s block??? That is kind of scary…)

    ALSO YOUR NEW PLAN FOR OCTOBER/NOVEMBER SOUNDS AMAZING AND I SHALL HAPPILY KICK YOU IN THE SHINS IF NEEDED. (but also I am so sorry if I forced you to participate in NaNo!!! please don’t get burnt out on writing because of me, Phoebe!!! i would feel awful!!! take all the time you need with all the projects you need. NaNoWriMo is always around, but your sanity is precious.)


    *accidentally clicks Fay’s link* *accidentally begins stalking* *accidentally continues stalking for rest of day*

    I’m absolutely awful at communicating on the NaNo sites, too. WE ARE TWINS. XD (also….did you really eat three cookies??? OH MY GOODNESS I AM SO HAPPY RIGHT NOW. XD but also I think I might have failed my own tag because I had no cookies when I wrote mine. XD [and might I just say that that cookie looks absolutely DELICIOUS, oh my word, I want…])

    I don’t think I’ve ever COMPLETELY pantsed a novel, but with the way my project outline is going. . .ahahahahahaha I MIGHT BE PANTSING WITH YOU THIS YEAR, PHEEBS. XD

    “…though ’16 was a toss-up until the end, what with funerals and Wendy’s chili.” <<< Um….I think I'm going to need a bit more information on this one, actually….
    WAIT. You've been participating in NaNo for a SUPER long time!!!! Man, I feel like such a newb compared to you!!! I only found out about it in '15, which would have put me. . .*quickly counts on fingers*. . .SIX STINKIN' YEARS BEHIND YOU. Holy Guacamole…. YOU ARE THE MASTER. PLEASE TEACH ME YOUR WAYS.

    "I was very enthusiastic, and the story was a trainwreck." << #storyofmylife (but also you wrote a sequel!!!!!! This is something I have NEVER done. I am muchly impressed…)

    Aaaaaand I just laughed out loud at the "pleaseworkpleaseworkpleasework" thing. XD XD XD (does your laptop have a name??? and also is it super slow and kinda glitchy? Cause even though Moriarty is newish [I got him last year, but he's not exactly the newest model available. XD ] he is very small, and VERY slow and glitchy. XD)

    Oh my goodness!!! You're writing memory!!! Oh my word, that is the most precious thing…. And THIS is why I wish I knew writer's in real life. XD But seriously, though!!! That is the most adorable memory ever and I love it. . .

    I DEFINITELY AGREE ON NANO-RYE-MO. Apparently I am not a dunderhead. XD


    I am still in love with your NaNo Project name. . . XD

    Um….um….um…..okay but like….how did you come up with such perfect names?? Because like each one of those characters has like EIGHT NAMES and I stink at coming up with ONE. Last names are the bane of my existence, and here you are just flinging them out onto the page and making them look STUNNING and that is it. You are henceforth naming all of my characters. Don't even try saying no. (and YES PLEASE to that adorable hound. He sounds amazing and I want ten.)

    Oooooh. Duty and First Impressions sounds like an AMAZING theme!!!! And unfortunately I cannot think of First Impressions without thinking of Pride and Prejudice, so like…IS THIS A PRIDE AND PREJUDICE RETELLING??? But with…..ASSASSINS???????????

    Lol!!! Getting a plot bunny right in the center of writing a post is something I do all the time. XD And CASTLES!!!! MEEP. I LOVE castles!!!! Especially when they're big and shiny with giant turrets and snapping flags…

    Um…unfortunately I totally did not mean to make that pun. Buuuut this just means that I am getting SO GOOD at puns that they come to me naturally now!!!! YES!!!! I HAVE FINALLY BREACHED THE POINT OF SUBCONSCIOUS PUN MAKING!!!!! *is excited* (also that's a super clever pun. wow. look at me making clever puns unconsciously. XD)
    WAIT. There's a rebellion in this book? I seriously need this more than ever now… And winging it is extremely fun. I do it all the time. (does it end well? aha. no.) BUT IT MAKES FOR AN INTERESTING MONTH!!! XD And what are you TALKING about?? Of course you are a beautiful pixie!!!! *slaps you with pixie dust*

    AHA. HEADPHONES ARE A -MUST- FOR NANO. And using a whiteboard for brainstorming sounds awesome… I've never tried this before? I bet it makes for easier changes, though, cause then you can just wipe away whatever you don't like and replace it with something you do.


    OKAY BUT LIKE. THAT LINE OF DIALOGUE IS PERFECTION AND I LOVE IT. I know it's super early in the process for this but…can I please please please beta read this story someday??? PLEASE????

    "The rules are more like guidelines, anyway." << BARBOSSA. XD XD XD Also not deleting anything is very solid advice, and I heartily approve…

    ACK!!!! Phoebe!!!! THANK YOU SO SO MUCH FOR PARTICIPATING IN THIS TAG!!! Your answers were absolute perfection. YOU are absolute perfection. I found myself laughing way too much while reading this, and I am just SO IN LOVE with this story. I can't believe NaNoWriMo is only 11 days away!!!!! ACK!!!!! THIS IS GONNA BE SO MUCH FUN!!!!! (assuming you actually ARE participating in NaNo. I don't want to force you to do anything!!!)


  4. Isn’t that gif the best! It fit so perfectly! (The irony is terrifying. BUT! I did finally write it. It’s scheduled and ready to go!)

    Please do kick me. I need it. I’m still behind. Perpetually. (My sanity is scant, and there’s no point scrabbling to preserve it now. But I appreciate your concern. It’s too late, though, because NOW THESE CHARACTERS WON’T SHUT UP and I simply have to write their story.)

    “Accidentally” my foot. Be kind to her, Kenzie. She doesn’t blog much….

    I bought cookies JUST SO I COULD DO THIS. I win!!

    Aha. Yeah. That story is…sad. And desperate. And dramatic… But not really. Oi, it was a bad year.
    I have, but on and off. (Also, I think I got some of the dates wrong, because I found my NaNo certificates back when I actually printed them.)

    We don’t speak of the sequel, Kenzie. We just…don’t.

    Her name is Aubergine, after a character in a book and not after the…fruit? Vegetable. I think. I’ve had her for several years and she never did work quite right. (I say as I type on Aubergine, risking life, limb, and this comment.) She has a touchscreen, which may be the issue. I don’t think she’s up to having a touchscreen.

    Lol. Yes, the title still gets me. Um…. I googled “Old English names for girls”, modified a few, and tacked them all together until it sounded right. Because princesses MUST have AT LEAST three names. I know one is her mother’s and one an ancestor’s, and the last is her given name. Sort of. The rest is just titles. I absolutely did it to be ridiculous. And I REALLY don’t think you actually want me naming your characters, mwhahaha…. (Holdfast is excellent. I’ve been waiting to put him in a story.)

    I didn’t think of Pride and Prejudice until you capitalized it like that. Unfortunately, no, it is not. Though I do have a few gents who are a little like Bingley and Darcy…. Sort of.

    This castle is not big and shiny. It is ancient and drafty and full of intrigue and wicked men. But it DOES have turrets!

    THE PUN WASN’T ON PURPOSE???? HOW??? I don’t believe it. It’s just so PERFECT!!!
    There is a rebellion, even though I’m rot at plotting them. It’s going to be a long month. *spits out pixie dust* I don’t like pixies….


    Um…. That depends on how November goes. This story isn’t MEANT to be anything particular, so I may not even finish it. *avoids eye contact with-* *wait, how is the BLIND one staring me down?!?!* But I will share whatever I end up with! It’ll be a disaster….

    Wait. What.
    WHAT?!? ELEVEN DAYS??? I’m not ready, Kenzie….


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