The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Friday, October 26, 2007

NaNoWriMo - 2007

by Melissa Bell

It's close...

That special time of year, my friends. Some of us dread it. Some of us (Hello, me!) are incredibly excited for it to begin. But one thing seems certain – those who throw ourselves into the madness of the upcoming month can't wait for it to end so that we can get back to our 'normal' lives.

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is nearly upon us, people. 50,000 words in 30 days beginning midnight, November 1. And this year, given my current stay-at-home status, looks like it could turn out to be an extra exciting foray into the whole NaNo experience. (Want more info? Here ya go!)

I'm a non-smoker this year. And I've also pretty much retooled my entire eating regimen (oh yes, such a regimen!), so no more sitting hunkered over the PC (I'm a Mac girl now!) inhaling a box of Ritz crackers through nasal tubing while I pound out the next chapter. It will be an interesting experiment to see how this year's healthier body and overall lifestyle handles the creative stress. I'm looking forward to whipping up batches of lemony hummus and blueberry-soy smoothies. I've decided, just to mix things up a tad this year, I would go vegan for the 30 days as well. Can't hurt. Which means before this coming Thursday is over I'm completing a taste comparison of traditional blood pudding for a Toronto foodie blog (I kid you not) so I can indulge in some of my ancestors' old-style fried flesh-love before I get me all purificated and PETA-friendly. None of the previous blah-di-blah has anything to do with NaNo, really. But I'm hoping that at some level it does.

I've been unsuccessful NaNo-ing during odd numbered years so far. 2002, 2004 and 2006 saw clean finishes. 2003 and 2005 I stumbled in the 30,000 range. I'm hoping this year to reach 75K seeing as I don't have the handicap of a full-time job at the moment. If my employment status changes, I'll lower my word count expectations. But I really don't want to. If it's think-able, it's do-able.

So. 30 days of vegan-ism and 75,000 words. My secret wish is the gift of levitation. Now that would make up for no flying car!

Have a lovely weekend, people. :-)


Blogger Anne C. said...

Wow! Now that's courageous. Will you still drink coffee?

Fri Oct 26, 12:22:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger tamara said...

Ha, you do like challenges, you! If you are going vegan, and you are a gourmet-ish sort, you really must get the Millennium cookbook. It's bril! And also, how it all Vegan, by a couple of BC gals (they've another, I can't recall the name off-hand), from the BC publisher Arsenal press.

Good luck with NaNo this year! And with that blechy blood puddin'...

Fri Oct 26, 02:40:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger MelBell said...

I haven't had a coffee for three and half months, Anne. I'll probably go through a lot of green tea. And tomato juice. I love tomato juice.

Fri Oct 26, 02:41:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger MelBell said...

T, I saw both those cookbooks in the PETA brochure I got in the mail the other day. Thanks for recommending them. When I'm spending money on actual things again, I will be sure to get them.

Fri Oct 26, 02:45:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Antonios Maltezos said...

Have a great time with your novel, Mel.

Fri Oct 26, 03:06:00 pm GMT-4  
Anonymous Larry said...


I'm a fellow fiction-writing pal of Tricia, so I read your blog regularly.

I've been vegan for several years (am now raw, as well) and have cooked through every vegan cookbook I could get my mitts on. Everything that's been mentioned to you is top drawer. BUT - he humbly opines - the absolute BEST BEST BEST vegan cookbook is VEGAN WITH A VENGEANCE by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. She has a cupcake book, too- but, the one I mention covers more generally useful culinary territory. Don't know what your budget is, but in case it's tight, she has a website with all of her recipes available for free: ( - as well as homemade videos of vegan cooking/prep tips)

She's recently moved off that site to a blog - haven't we all? But, check her out. She's quite a social activist, as well.

Best of luck.

Fri Oct 26, 03:35:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Chumplet said...

Better you than me, kiddo. Good luck, and if you fall off the veggie wagon I won't blame you one bit (with apologies to Larry).

Do you like V8?

Fri Oct 26, 07:26:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger MelBell said...

Thanks, Tony! Can't wait for your next instalment on your own novel journey.

And thank you Larry for the recommendation - and for "coming out". Raw? I've thought of that - that must be a huge challenge. Eventually I figure I'll be reduced to eating rocks. (Is it Charlie Trotter who was involved in writing a famous cookbook on raw cuisine? Have you read that one?)

I've seen Moskowitz's site and her cupcakes. I'll be a frequent visitor, you can bet on it. My budget is so tight it squeaks; doesn't mean I'm poor, Larry - I'm just really cheap.

Sandra, always a pleasure to see you here. :-) I love V8, but I've been avoiding root vegetables (such as carrots) because of the glycemic index so I just go straight for the big cans of Heinz TJ. And so cheap. I mix in some hot sauce, some lime, some worcestershire, a dash of celery salt and some ice and I think it's a cocktail. It's so easy to fool myself these days, I can hardly stand it.

Fri Oct 26, 08:50:00 pm GMT-4  

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