USA :: Montana :: Butte

Notes Notes

9 months ago
ATTENTION: There has been a change in the schedule for the TGIO for SUNDAY, December 4th. It will be held at the BUTTE HAMPTON INN BREAKFAST ROOM from 2 until 5PM. Our Previous location has fallen through. Please plan on coming out to celebrate you accomplishments from 100 to 50,000 words - you did something many people talk about doing but never attempt. TREATS ARE PROVIDED so just bring yourself.
9 months ago
Welcome to Week 3 --

The famous story of a race between a rabbit and a tortoise ends with a moral: "Slow and steady wins the race". Is this moral actually correct? I mean, this story recommends to be Slow & Steady. I think the moral should be "Never underestimate your competition". Don't you think the original moral is wrong?

Here's my take! In life you need not be a genius to achieve success. What you need is focus; rather than focusing on how strong your opponent is, focus on your own strength and do things in your own way, at your own pace rather than trying to emulate others. Even when you outdo your previous best, that's also a success. And always play to your strengths. NANO is much the same.

But the story continues, the hare was disappointed at losing the race and he did some soul-searching. He realized that he'd lost the race only because he had been overconfident, careless and lax. If he had not taken things for granted, there's no way the tortoise could have beaten him. So he challenged the tortoise to another race. The tortoise agreed. This time, the hare went all out and ran without stopping from start to finish. He won by several miles. The moral of the story? Fast and consistent will always beat the slow and steady.

However, not everyone can be fast and consistent -- especially with NANO. That takes planning or at the very least the hard core drive to plop your butt down in front of a computer or notebook and scribble out a story that needs to be told. It may mean that you give up fun things to do, in order to get done in 30 days. With NANO, your competition is the calendar and it is going to get to the end no matter what you do to try and stop it!

Finally the story doesn't end here. The tortoise did some thinking this time, and realized that there's no way he could beat the hare in a race the way it was currently formatted. He thought for a while, and then challenged the hare to another race, but on a slightly different route. The hare agreed. They started off. In keeping with his self-made commitment to be consistently fast, the hare took off and ran at top speed — until he came to a broad river. The finishing line was a couple of kilometers on the other side of the river. The hare sat there wondering what to do. In the meantime the tortoise trundled along, got into the river, swam to the opposite bank, continued walking and finished the race. The moral of the story? First identify your core competency and then change the playing field to suit your core competency. In otherwords, within the perimeter of the 30 days, set up your time and space to encourage a win.

There are more lessons to be learned from this story. Note that neither the hare nor the tortoise gave up after failures or setbacks. The hare decided to work harder and put in more effort after his failure. The tortoise changed his strategy because he was already working as hard as he could. In life, when faced with failure, sometimes it is appropriate to work harder and put in more effort. Sometimes it is appropriate to change strategy and try something different. And sometimes it is appropriate to do both.

So, if you have already crossed the 50K line, (or are darn close to doing so) be a team player and cheer on the rest. If you are still working towards the 50K mark, KEEP GOING! Change your direction, employ a new time or place to write, PLAY TO YOUR COMPETENCIES!

Your story needs to be told and ONLY you can tell it in your very unique voice. We've got 10 full days to get this done!!!!!!

I’ve got the pom-pom’s out and an on the sidelines cheering you on!!!!!!
You have SOOOOOOOO got this!
Debi
9 months ago
{Cheering and doing the Happy Dance}

We are #7 in the whole world!!! Day 16 and we hit #7!!!!
We ROCK!!!!!!! We are Amazing, Astounding, and mostly VERBOSE!!!!!!!

KEEP GOING!!!! You have 14 days -- 2 full weeks to write everything inside of you. YOU CAN DO THIS!

{waving the cheer leader pom-poms again}
You Peeps continue to inspire me-
Debi
9 months ago
BUTTE is #12 in the WORLD!!!!!!!

YOU PEEPS ROCK!!!!!!!!!

Keep going! Can we break into the top 10 in the world? I think we can!

HUGS~~~~ Debi
9 months ago
This is another really OLD Pep talk from 2013 -- This was sent to help us in the second week of the Month long challenge. I find this as the boost and kick in the pants I need to keep going! I'm sharing it with you in hopes you will get teh same out of it....

KEEP WRITING! We've been in the top 50 since day 2!
Debi
**********

Dear Fellow Writer,

There are many myths about writing (writers are tortured artists; writers are drunks; writers are drunk, tortured artists). But in my opinion, one of the most insidious of those myths is the idea that you must be inspired to write. I’ve heard writers say things like, “I just wasn’t inspired to write today,” and “I’m waiting for that burst of inspiration, you know?”

I’ll let you in on a little secret. If you wait for inspiration to strike before you sit down to write, you’ll probably never finish a damn thing. Inspiration is like that hot girl or guy you met at a party one time—and when you talked to him or her, it seemed like you totally clicked. There was eye contact; there was flirting; maybe there was even a bit of casual brushing of your hand over theirs, right? I know. I’ve been there. At the end of the night they asked for your number and said, “I’ll definitely call you. We should hang out.”

But then they never did, and you were left waiting for a call that never came, feeling increasingly like a fool.

That’s what inspiration is. It’s seductive and thrilling, but you can’t depend on it to call you. It doesn’t work that way. The good thing is, inspiration is irrelevant to whether or not you finish your book. The only thing that determines that is your own sense of discipline.

Here’s what happens when I sit down to write. First, I turn off my access to the internet by engaging Freedom. (The internet is the number-one killer of writer productivity!) Second, I open Scrivener. (Substitute whatever word-processing program works for you.) Third, I force myself to sit there with my work-in-progress until Freedom says I’m done. (I always set it for at least one hour, and often three.) I don’t allow myself to get up to make endless cups of tea (one will do). I just sit there. That’s all.

How often am I filled with inspiration before I start writing? Pretty much never. Instead, I usually stare at my work-in-progress with a vague sense of doom. I often think to myself: What the hell am I doing in this scene? I don’t understand how to get my characters from Point A to Point B! I really want to check Twitter!

The trick is this: As long as I sit there with my work-in-progress, at some point I will write something, because there’s nothing else to do.

Whatever I write may not be any good, but that doesn’t matter. When you’re writing a first draft—which most of you are doing this month—the most important thing is to keep moving forward. Your first try will be riddled with mistakes, but that’s what revision is for. Right now, you only have to put those ugly, wrong words on the page so you can fix them later.

So, inspiration isn’t what gets your book written. Discipline is. However, inspiration does sometimes pop by for an unexpected visit. Picture this:

You’re sitting there with the internet off. You’re writing some horrible words, thinking this is surely the most miserable dreck ever typed into Scrivener. Suddenly, something you wrote will seem to leap out at you, as if the words themselves came to life and shouted at you to pay attention. You’ll look at that sentence you wrote and think, Oh. Wow. Is that what this scene is about? And then things will accelerate. It’ll feel like you’ve miraculously tapped into what’s meaningful about this novel you’re writing, as if you’ve been able to glimpse where you’re going and why you’re going there.

It’ll be as if that person you gave your number to—the one who never called—finally did.

Inspiration is fickle like that. It shows up when you least expect it, all sexy and exhilarating and reminding you why you put your butt in that chair and turned off Twitter (and the rest of the internet) and forced yourself to trudge through the valley of no-good, very-bad first drafts.

Enjoy that inspiration while it’s there. Enjoy it thoroughly because it is rare and precious.

Just don’t expect it to show up every day. The only thing that needs to show up every day is yourself—and your determination to see this through to the end. You can do it.

Malinda



Malinda Lo is the author of several young adult novels, including Adaptation, Inheritance, Ash, and Huntress. She is a co-founder of Diversity in YA.
9 months ago
Today, Saturday November 5th is Double Up Donation Day --

The Challenge is to Double your Word Count AND to make a Donation to the Office of Letters and Lights (for double to donation incentive gifts).

Per our agreement with the Butte Copper Quills the writers approved a DONATION. Therefore one has been made to the Office of Letters and Light in the amount of $130 (26 people x $5).

Let's keep the trend going!
~~ Debi
10 months ago
WOOT WOOT WOOT!!!!!!!

Butte just made the TOP 50 Writing Places on the GLOBE! They are still fixing a couple errors form places like Brazil and Montreal but WE HIT IT!!!!! IN DAY 3!!!!

WE ARE SOOOOOOOO AWESOME!!!!!!
10 months ago
Another of the old PEP TALKS -- This one from Chris Baty from a LONG LONG Time Ago. But it's still relevant.

It’s time to talk geodes.

Geodes, for the geologically disinclined, look like normal rocks on the outside. But when you cut them open, they’re filled with all sorts of wonders—bubbly layers of agate, sparkly crystals, elves.

As a kid, I was obsessed with geodes. The highlight of my year was a visit to Dick’s Rock Shop in Fountain, Colorado. The owner of the store, Richard Stearns, had a crate of dirty, unremarkable, tennis-ball-sized rocks in his Geode Bin. You’d spend an hour hunting through them until you’d picked out the perfect dirty, unremarkable rock.

Richard would then fire up his slab saw and cut the thing in half for you. The machine screamed and spit water to cool the blade, and it was messy and slow. Most of the time, Richard would lose a finger in the process, okay, not really.

That’s how I remember it anyway. The details are a little fuzzy after so many years.

When he was done, Richard would present you with both halves of your geode. They’d be wet, and sometimes you’d gaze down into a glittering concavity of purple or green. Other times, you’d cry because you’d stupidly picked one of the geodes where the all the crystals were caked with a calcified layer of elf spit.

As we head into NaNoWriMo, I’m reminded of the feeling I got standing in Dick’s Rock Shop, watching as that year’s mystery stone revealed whatever magic it possessed. After nine NaNoWriMo novels—most of which have trended more towards elf spit than gemstones—I still get an excited stomach-flutter at the start of November. I can’t help but feel giddy as I ponder questions like: Will this be the best novel I’ve ever written? And, secretly: Will this be the best novel ever written in the history of humankind?

Because it really could be.

Then the writing starts, and by the second sentence, two new questions have occurred to me. Namely: What am I doing? And: Could this be the worst novel ever written in the history of humankind?

And you know what? It really could be. But that’s fine. Trust me on this. Don’t waste your time measuring the success of your NaNo novel by the sparkle of your prose or the rock-solid genius of your plot. The books we write in November won’t start out like the novels we buy in bookstores. Because the novels we buy in bookstores didn’t start out like bookstore-novels either.

Nope. They started out as way-less beautiful, way-more exciting things called first drafts. These are the dinged-up cousins to final drafts, and they’re packed with crazy energy and laughable tangents and embarrassing instances where a main character’s name shifts six times over the course of a single chapter.

Creating this reckless, romantic, and potential-filled beast is the first step in writing a great book. It’s also a fantastic workout for your imagination, and monkey-barrels of fun. There’s a catch, though. Getting through a first draft will require you leave perfectionism and self-criticism at the door. Fear not: We’ll keep them both safe and return them to you in December.

But in November, you are beyond criticism. Because you are doing something that few people in the world have the guts to try—you’re packing a huge creative challenge into an already-hectic life. You’re juggling work and home; family and friends. With all of that going on, you’ve signed up for NaNoWriMo. Where you’ve spent the last few weeks hunting through the bin of possible novel ideas, trying to pick out the perfect one. Maybe you’ve got yours already. Or maybe you feel like you’re not quite ready.

You’re ready.

It’s November 2, writer.

What say we fire up the ol’ slab saw and find out what’s in there?

Chris Baty
10 months ago
I found this PEP TALK in my OLD Nano-mail folder and decided to share it with you. I hope that it inspires and encourages you to JUST DO IT!!!!! From Rainbow Rowell October 29, 2013:

Dear Writer,

I was very skeptical about NaNoWriMo at first.

It seemed like something that amateur writers would do. Or young writers. People who needed to be tricked into finishing their books. I’d already written two books by October 2011, and sold them to publishers, and I couldn’t imagine writing either of them—or anything good—in a month.

That’s not writing, I thought, that’s just piling up words.

But then I thought about how wonderful it would be to have a pile of 50,000 words…

Maybe some writers enjoy the first draft—the part of the writing process when anything is possible, and you’re out there forging your own path. I hate that part. All I can think about when I’m starting a book are all the words I haven’t written yet. I actually feel them, hanging around my neck, tugging at me. First drafts always make me feel anxious and a little desperate—like, “Oh God, I just need to get all of this out and on paper, so that I have something to work with.”

I like having something to work with.

That’s why I eventually decided to try NaNoWriMo—to fast-forward through that desperate, blank-page phase and get to the good stuff. I told myself that it didn’t matter if my first draft was bad. All my books have required major revisions, anyway. And even if NaNoWriMo was a complete waste of time—if I ended up with a chaotic mess—a month isn’t much time to waste. (Not compared to the five years I worked on my first novel before showing it to anyone.)

Maybe because my expectations were low, I didn’t have a detailed strategy for the month: I took a few days off work, and warned my husband and kids that I was going to be gone a lot until Thanksgiving. And I set three goals:

To write every day.
To write at least 2,000 words every day.
And—this was crucial for me—to keep moving forward.

Normally I start each writing session by rewriting whatever I wrote in my last session. With Fangirl, my NaNoWriMo project, I picked up wherever I’d left off and kept moving. I never looked back.

What I noticed right away was how easy it was for me to pick up. One of my challenges as an author is staying inside the fictional world I’m creating. I have to write in blocks (at least four hours at a time, at least four days in a row) to make any progress. During NaNoWriMo, I never left the world of the book long enough to lose momentum.

I stayed immersed in the story all month long, and that made everything come so much smoother than usual. I got a much quicker grasp on the main characters and their voices. The plotlines shot forward…

I mean, I still didn’t know whether what I’d written was any good. (I hadn’t even read it all in one piece!) But I was so excited about the novel, I wanted to write every day. And even when I wasn’t writing, my brain was still working on the story.

So… I didn’t actually finish my book that November. I met the word goal, but was only about halfway done with Fangirl. I continued working on it through January, then did a pretty heavy rewrite the next spring. Here’s something that really shocked me during my revisions: I kept almost every word I wrote during NaNoWriMo.

That 50,000-word pile I made wasn’t a mess at all. It’s some of the bravest writing I’ve ever done, and it includes my all-time favorite character, a guy I think I would’ve second-guessed to death under normal circumstances. NaNoWriMo helped me push past so many of my doubts and insecurities and bad habits. And I think that’s partly why I love Fangirl so much now—because I remember how swept away I felt when I was writing it.

Pretty neat trick.

Rainbow



Rainbow Rowell is the author of Attachments and Eleanor & Park. Her third book, Fangirl, was a 2011 NaNoWriMo project.
10 months ago
Hello Buttians and Remote Buttians--

Did you know that we are 13 days away from NANO 2016? It’s almost here!

Have you started your prep work for this year?

Your main character’s back story?
Your outline or story map?
A short blurb about your story?
Restocked your caffeine supply?
Invested in Halloween candy not to pass out but to keep close for writing treats?
Hired a laundry fairy and House elf to do your chores?


Okay, so maybe I’m going a bit overboard on this…. I know that I’ve been working on a story map but right now it is just a general thought - like hmmm, I think I should take a vacation to the Mall of America in June and I know I need a car that gets decent gas mileage and I need cash to go shopping but I haven’t really got it figured out how to make that happen. But I’ve got a week, right?

If you’re a pantster, you think all of this is horse-pucky and you know that on November 1, you will put your amazingly talented fingers to the keyboard and the story will just flow from you. Or at least that is the plan.

Whatever you choose to do, this is your GET READY TO GO NOTICE to get your ducks in a row and be ready…. November 1 is almost here!

Get Ready? Get Set?
11 months ago
WOOO HOOOO!!!!! IT's FINALLY HERE!!!!!!

NANO 2016~ Can you tell I'm just a little excited about this?

OKAY, so this note has a couple purposes:
1) To send you all a big HAPPY WELCOME to the NANO Butte Region. Jean and I are all thrilled that you are here and we have some fun events lined up for you, and

2) To give you all the new scoop on the CHANGES that happened to Montana over the summer in the NANOWRIMO land.

In this region, our SINGLE goal is to help keep all of you inspired to reach the 50K finish line BEFORE 11/30/16. We are your cheerleaders (waving pom-poms and doing high leg kicks and other cheerish things).

There is very little that compares to the feeling of accomplishment when you hit that 50K mark and know that you did it!

It's not an easy feat; and that is why, statistically, only 25% of the people who start will finish. With the right support, encouragement, number of write-in opportunities, and caffeine, we have found that we can boost that number to over 65%. But, wouldn't it be COOL and AMAZING if Butte actually hit 100% in finishing? We'd be legends in the NANO global community.... okay, so maybe I'm a victim of gross exaggeration and I know you've told me eleventy-million times not to exaggerate. But it's hard not to when I'm this excited!

Over the Summer, NANO realized that MONTANA is the 4th largest geographic state in the union and that it is virtually impossible for single region ML's to be at everything that is happening. So they decided to split us up into some smaller bits. That means that there are now several regions in Montana: including one JUST for Butte and SW Montana. Even with the change, each of these sub regions still covers a vast geographical area (the size of some small states).

So welcome to your NEW HOME REGION. Explore. Converse. Share. Participate. WRITE like you plagiarized it! But mostly come on in and be part of this hectic, frustrating, brain-sucking, inspiring, creativity-boosting, self-motivating challenge. WE KNOW you can do this! We have GREAT FAITH in you!

JUST DO IT!

HUGS to you all!
Debi

Calendar Calendar

Meet your MLs

Debi Hall Winner!
  • Joined October 23, 2011
  • Role Municipal Liaison
  • Location Butte, MT

About us

It's been said that "Butte is a drinking town with a history problem" and we like it that way. So here we are, rest of the world, come on in and stay a while. We will share a story or two and listen attentively and support you as you write yours.
30 novelists • 1,081,619 words written • 36,053 average wordcount • $0.00 donated

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