USA :: Montana :: Butte

Notes Notes

11 months ago
Except for the Thank Goodness It’s Over Celebration next Wednesday (12/6/17) at the Chateau at 6:30 where we have food and drink and cookies and celebrate our achievements, NANOWRIMO 2017 is now in the books.

As a team, we were spectacular! You ALL simply ROCK MY WORLD!

Some of our Highlights include:
• Butte Montana finished as #13 in the WORLD! We were #1 in the state of Montana!
• We had 17 team members surpass the 50K benchmark – that’s 53%! The National Average is 21%.
• Our winners crafted 90% of all of the words our team wrote and we wrote LOTS! Our team closed with 1,189,337 words crafted towards the stories that only we can tell.
• We had 5 people who signed up and never launched (not even 1 word) so our adjusted average words per writer were 37,167. That’s up 3,000 words from last year!

More than anything else, we learned something about ourselves, our commitments, our drive and determination, and just how powerful a team of like-minded creative souls are to giving us encouragement and support. It was an AMAZING November. I hope that all of you will consider writing with us all year with the Copper Quills (facebook: and that you will all be back again next October when we launch and start back into another NANO adventure.

Wishing you ALL the very best the rest of 2017 has to offer and an abundance of opportunities in 2018-

Your Faithful ML~~~
11 months ago
How and when do I validate my writing project to win?

Once you've hit your project goal for NaNoWriMo, make sure to validate your project to officially join NaNoWriMo's winner's circle.

Typically, you are able to validate your project to win starting on the 20th of an active event month and through the end of the month. The closer to the deadline, the longer it takes to run the validator. PLAN AHEAD!!!!!! Here is HOW to do it!

On NaNoWriMo

Hover over your word count at the top of the site, then click "Claim your official win!" (You can also find a text link on the dashboard in the "My Novel" panel.)

Copy the entire text of your 50,000-word novel and paste it into the validator box.

Click "Validate."

Questions? Here is the official LINK:
11 months ago
It’s NOVEMBER 29th….. Do You Know Where Your Novel is?

For those of you that have crossed the 50K challenge goal line, CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! You are AMAZING!!!!!

For those still writing -- YOU CAN DO THIS! It isn’t easy, but you know that you have the drive, dedication, and the ideas to make it happen. Besides, if it wasn’t for the last minute much of the discoveries in the world would never have been made or discovered. Necessity is the mother of invention and all that other stuff. I BELIEVE in you! KEEP GOING!

There are still 37 HOURS left! We NEVER quit!

Just because we can BRAG, our little region made the top 20 writing areas ON the GLOBE! That means we are not just in the middle of Nowhere -- We are on the MAP!

Cheering and wishing you an abundance of new words-

11 months ago
YOU HAVE 5 DAYS LEFT --- 5 full days!!!! What are you going to do with them?

I posted this pep talk last year as well but I think it deserves repeating: Tortoise or Hare -- it doesn't matter!

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!
11 months ago
The HALF WAY MARK -- Or close enough...

We have passed the halfway point of the month and are solidly into the third week of NaNoWriMo. I’m going to split this post into two parts. First I am going to talk to all of you who are kicking ass and taking names. You are doing great. I hope you are half as proud of yourselves as I am of you. You have met every challenge the month has thrown at you and have found a way to make your word count anyway. Maybe you got a cold or a flat tire or you just really wanted to blow off writing to go to a movie. But you are still on top of your story, humming along at a fantastic clip and ready to hit 50,000 words after Thanksgiving. Take a minute to pat yourself on the back. Hey, maybe even brag a little at your stellar writing prowess. Now get back to writing, those words aren’t going to magically appear on your page.

We have passed the halfway point of the month and are solidly into the third week of NaNoWriMo. I’m going to split this post into two parts. First I am going to talk to all of you who are kicking ass and taking names. You are doing great. I hope you are half as proud of yourselves as I am of you. You have met every challenge the month has thrown at you and have found a way to make your word count anyway. Maybe you got a cold or a flat tire or you just really wanted to blow off writing to go to a movie. But you are still on top of your story, humming along at a fantastic clip and ready to hit 50,000 words after Thanksgiving. Take a minute to pat yourself on the back. Hey, maybe even brag a little at your stellar writing prowess. Now get back to writing, those words aren’t going to magically appear on your page.

All right, this one is for the rest of the group that didn’t really how hard it was going to be to write 1,667 words a day for thirty days. Maybe you have written a grand total of 100 words and are staring up at the mountain of words and it makes you want to go take a nap, have a cup of tea, or drink beer and watch movies all afternoon. I understand. Maybe your life has gone sideways and November just hasn’t been your month. That’s OK. You can still do this.
I don’t have any doubts in my mind that you can all hit 50,000 words by the end of the month. But, if you’re way behind, you have to really want it. You have to be willing not to go see that movie or go to the bar or play video games. If that’s stuff you aren’t willing to give up for the next twelve days, then it might be time to readjust your goal for the month. That’s totally OK. Pick a goal you can meet and then bump it up a little. So you think 5,000 words is reasonable for the rest of the month. Super. Set your goal to six thousand and see if you can’t blow it out of the water.

Regardless of whether you are ahead or behind on your word count, some of you may be worrying that your story just isn’t working. Maybe you just hate it. I know I have spent most of the month cursing my stupid story and wishing I was doing anything but writing it. Around this point in the month I think I’ve made a massive mistake and should just pack up my pencil and go home. Who was I kidding? This story is too hard or complex or just more than I can manage to write. Someone else, some better writer, should write it instead. Surely my idea would be better off in those more accomplished hands.

But then I read somewhere that a story chooses the person to write it. It may be a bunch of codswallop but it’s an idea I have grown to love. Just like the wand choosing the wizard in Olivander’s shop, a story could choose the writer. No one can write the story in your head except for you. That story appeared in your brain through magic or divine intervention or through a confluence of events ranging from what you ate for dinner last night to your favorite book as a child mixed with a hint of that song you got stuck in your head when you were in second grade. Whatever the reason the story came to you and it’s your job to get it on the page. I can’t do it for you. No one can pry it from your brain and plaster it on a page. It’s up to you. Without you, your story dies.

Whether you kicking ass this November or looking to recalibrate your expectations, remember that your story needs you. You’re the only one who can make your idea come to life. You’re a writer, dammit! And writers don’t leave stories stranded. So get back in there and keep writing.

11 months ago
When Life Gets in the Way

This pep talk is not for the people on track with their novel, and not for those fantastic souls who have already won. This talk is for those who don’t think they’ll win this year.

There are times, when I stop and look at all the things I have to do, that the only thing I can think is that there is no way I am going to be able to finish everything on time. I like to accomplish what I set out to do. That overwhelmed feeling, like there is no way I can succeed and I’m going to have to let somebody down is the worst feeling I ever have to combat. It makes me want to give up. But, after I take a moment to scream and breathe and vent to friends, I realize that giving up is not an option.

So I sit back at my desk, and I do what I can. If you’re behind, here are some tips for catching up:

Sketch out a dedicated time to write and stick with it. These middle of the month days are crucial.

Write in your spare moments. Standing in line at the grocery store, while you’re waiting for the food on the stove to cook. You’d be surprised how 50 words a dozen times a day will add up.

Cut back, but don’t cut out your relaxation time! Being too stressed will only make things worse.

In fact, it sounds counterproductive, but sometimes you need to step away from the desk and do something completely different. Don’t write. Don’t think about your writing. This is a day to recharge your batteries, and I’ve often found that by taking a day like this, I write more afterward than if I’d pushed through and slowly petered out.

Get out of the house. If you can’t fall back on your regular distractions, you’ll have no excuse but to write.

Come to the Live and Remote scheduled Write-In's (Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday)! If you need that extra push, we’re here for you.

Do what you can, and don’t beat yourself up about what you think you should be able to do. Whatever words you get are amazing words added to your book! It's MORE than you had last month.

Just keep writing! You have SOOOOOOOO got this!

I BELIEVE in you!

11 months ago
Hello My Darling Buttians!

Just because I know you like to be kept informed, Butte is #11 in the top 50 writing places on the globe (even with 2 places were their stats are wrong). We are SOOOO close to cracking the top 10...


12 months ago
Pro Tips from a NaNo Coach: Help! I’m 10,000 Words Behind!

NaNoWriMo is well under way, and whether you’re at 5,000 words or 50, you may feel like your word count—and your morale—could use a little boost. Today, author and podcaster Mur Lafferty reminds us that NaNo isn’t just about reaching 50K:

So you started strong, and then fell off. Or something came up. Work happened. Car broke down. Cat got pregnant. Neighbor died. Life happens.

Or, maybe, you JUST found out about NaNoWriMo and thought it was a great idea—but then you looked up, saw it was already November, and are kicking yourself about missing the grand launch.

Oh well. Might as well quit. You can’t possibly catch up. But next year, right? You will totally be there.

Hold on there, camper. Just listen to me for a second.

The stated goal of NaNoWriMo is to make it to 50,000 words in 30 days. That’s what the event is on the surface. But in reality, it’s so much more.

NaNoWriMo gives you permission to write whatever you want, at whatever quality you want. No one cares how good it is; you just need to get some words down. It gets you moving, gets you writing, and moving toward that feeling of accomplishing a heck of a lot of words.

And here’s the deal: whether you write 50,000 words in November, or 5,000, those are words you didn’t have last month.

If you quit now, because you’re behind, or you’re starting late, or you’re discouraged, then there are many words you won’t write just because you feel the event has moved beyond you. Don’t let that stop you!

Confession time: Last year I didn’t hit 50,000 words. I was stressed out because of travel and current events, and only made it to 45,000 words. Some might say AUGH, YOU GOT SO CLOSE! But I didn’t feel regret, or even failure, at all. I wrote 45,000 words that I didn’t have in October, I got a good way into a new project, and I was very proud of myself.

You can move forward with your project if you’re on word 5000, or word 0. Write as much as you can every day. You can be involved with the community, you can go to an event, you can update your word count, you can still participate in NaNoWriMo. If you want to do the math and figure out how you can write 1667 + (missing words / days left) a day, do that. Or you can write 500 words a day and look proudly on those 15,000 words at the end of the month. Fifteen thousand words. That is a solid start to a project that you didn’t have before!

If you quit because you don’t think you’ll get those 50,000, then you won’t even get those 15,000. Or 10,000.

Don’t look at this as an all or nothing, like if you don’t hit 50,000, then you’re a failure. That’s simply not true. Whatever you write today, you will have more words than you had yesterday. And that’s the whole point of this.

I’ll be honest: I’m traveling to a wedding this month, hosting Thanksgiving, going to multiple shows, and doing a daily podcast to support my patrons who are attacking NaNoWriMo themselves. Will I make the 50,000 words? I honestly don’t know. But that uncertainty isn’t going to stop me.

What I do know I will have a lot more words at the end of the month than I have now. And that is a win in my book.

Mur Lafferty is a podcaster, author, and editor. She has two podcasts on writing: I Should Be Writing and Ditch Diggers. In 2017, her book based on ISBW came out, with the same title. When not supporting writers, she co-edits the Podcast magazine Escape Pod and publishes science fiction and fantasy with Orbit Books and Serial Box. Visit her website at
12 months ago
Pep Talk from Brian Jacques

Dear Writer,

Never write just for yourself. Allow me to explain. There are countless would-be authors, with shelves and cupboards packed with deathless prose that will never be published. They think it’s good, but do other people? I’m not just talking about loving family members, and best friends. I mean the world at large. What I’m saying is, think of the audience, the class, the age group, for whom you’re writing. If they could enjoy your work, then you’re on a winner matey.

Read the stories of authors you admire, study them, analyse them maybe. But never copy them. Reading helps you to develop your own personal style. When you have that, then you’ve made it. However, authors are born, not made. Again I’ll explain. The spark must exist, with learning, and experience, it can be kindled into a flame, nay, an inferno in certain rare cases. If you don’t possess the initial spark, then a teacher may lend you a match, this can ignite a fire. Though I do find that in many cases, without that first God given spark, a tutored interest tends to fade after awhile. Then who knows, mayhaps you find your own, different, talent. To paint, dance, act, or be brilliant at something miles from writing.

The advice I continually give to young writers is this “Learn to paint pictures with words.” Not just once upon a time, but… In the long secret dust of ages, beneath a blue forgotten sky, where trade winds caress the sun bleached shores of unknown realms… See, as much as there are words in poetry, there is a poetry in words. Use it, stay faithful to the path you have set your heart upon and follow it. How many times have you heard someone say. ‘Oh I’m going to write a book someday!’ Meet up with them again on that nebulous “someday”, my bet is that they’re still talking about it.

Do it! Start now! Don’t make excuses to yourself, that’s the easiest way of admitting failure. There’s nothing wrong with a touch of modest ego to go with writing talent. I never attended college, or university. I had the most basic education that an Elementary School in a working class dockside area could provide. I left school, with no formal education at the age of fifteen. So (here’s my little bit of ego). Look at me now baby! You are living in America, one of the worlds greatest countries. With superb education, devoted teachers, awesome libraries, and everything they entail. With all that, imagine what you could achieve!

You know, you’ll disappoint me, if in a few years time, I’m not standing on line at a bookstore, waiting for you to sign my copy of your book. Come on, all it takes is you, and determination, self belief, and of course, the flame, which came from that first tiny spark.

Your pal,

Brian Jacques
12 months ago

It's DAY 4 and Butte JUST made the top 50 places to write on the GLOBE!!!!!! YOU ALL ROCK!!!

Remember to keep your word counts up to date and we'll stay there as well.
What an AWESOME accomplishment to reach in the first week.

How many days can we sustain it?

12 months ago
Hello To the MOST AWESOME Writers in ALL of Wrimo-land!

You have started and are moving into Day Three so your end-of-day goal should be 5100 words and THAT will give you your FIRST “N” on the tracker board! You can SOOOOOO do this. Tonight we have a REMOTE Write In that will occur in the forums (info will be in there by noon today - if the edit button doesn’t work, just do a reply to your original post - there seems to be a minor glitch). The BIGGEST thing is to KEEP WRITING! Just keep putting words down on paper - even if you are stuck, force yourself to push through because it’s priming the pump for something amazing to come out. You can edit in December but I promise you that in all the words that you think are drek, there will be brilliant, shining, perfect little gems that make you sit back and go “WOW! I really AM a writer.”

I know that in all the media and info we have distributed, we told you that joining and participating in NANOWRIMO is free. That IS true. However, the Office of Letters and Light (the non-profit that is the funding source behind NANO) each year does a Double Up Donation Day and that day is TOMORROW, Saturday, November 4th. What that means is if you CAN afford to make a tax-deductible donation to the cause in the amount of $25, you can get the gifts as if you made a $50 donation (or if $50 then gifts from $100….etc). This money keeps the servers that host:
Over 575,000 Adult Participants
In over 914 communities WORLD Wide
80,000 students and educators
5,000 school classrooms and afterschool writing programs
That, my friends, is a HUGE challenge. And they do it year after year.
Those servers and the software and the people to keep it all running smooth cost money.

IF you can donate, I STRONGLY encourage you to do so. You will immediately see a little gold halo around your profile picture and be a part of the greater good. $25 is LESS than a dollar a day for this program to continue into the future.

Mark your calendar for tomorrow and let’s make some serious donations!

12 months ago
Hello My Peeps!

It's snowing and blowing and the PERFECT day to be inside starting your NANO project. I wanted to share a pep talk with you from 2014 -- I hope it rings true with you the way it did for me.

Hope to see you tonight!

Pep Talk from Chuck Wendig:

Imagine being allowed to do something you’re not supposed to do.

Imagine you’re given the keys to a mud-bogging Bronco, or a dune buggy, or a Lamborghini. And then, you’re pointed toward a field. A soccer field outside a high school, or maybe just a wide open grassland. Nobody there. No kids playing. No animals frolicking. In fact, right now, nobody is here to see you at all.

You have total freedom to rev the engine, slam the pedal to the floor, and gun it through that field. You can do donuts, spinning the car wildly about, flinging up mud, leaving tracks that look like the calligraphy of an old, mad god.

You can slop mud on the car. You can get out and dance in the grass.

You can do whatever you want.

This is not something we’re particularly used to, as adults. My toddler gets it. He isn’t fenced in by the boundaries of adulthood—which, okay, yes, that means he doesn’t necessarily know not to shove a ham sandwich into a whirring fan (instant ham salad!) or not to climb the tallest thing and leap off it like a puma.

But it also means he doesn’t know why he can’t just pick up a pen and start drawing. It means he has no problem grabbing a blob of Play-Doh and creating whatever his fumbling little hands can manage. It means that he’ll grab a Transformers toy and half-transform it into some lumbering robot-car monstrosity—and when an adult might say, “No, no, it’s like this or it’s like that; it’s a robot or it’s a car,” he’s like, “Uh, yeah, no. Go back to your tax forms and your HGTV, stupid adult, I’ve just created a Frankencarbot and you can go hide your head in the sand-swept banality of grown-up life, sucker.”

His entire creative life is the “Everything Is Awesome” song from The LEGO Movie. Because he doesn’t know what he can or can’t do. He doesn’t know about art or form or criticism or any of that. He can do whatever he wants. (Ham sandwiches and fan blades aside.)

And you can do whatever you want, too.

The blank page is yours. Cast aside worries over art and criticism. Imagine a land without rules. Imagine that nobody has ever told you that you cannot or should not do this thing. Those people were wrong. Forget those voices. Because, for real?

It’s an empty field and you’ve got the keys to a freaking Ferrari.

It’s a white tablecloth and you’ve got ketchup, mustard, and relish.

It’s a blank page and you’ve got all the letters and words you need.

Rev the engine and take the ride. Paint with all the colors the condiments at your table allow. Create whatever robot-human monstrosities your mind cares to conjure. Crack open your chest and plop your heart onto the page.

Right now: just write. Donuts in an empty field.

Leave your mark.

Chuck Wendig is the author of the Heartland Trilogy, the Miriam Black series, and The Kick-Ass Writer.
12 months ago
It's ONLY EIGHT HOURS until the Monkey Barrels of FUN starts..... Are you ready?

Gearing up to Novel-
12 months ago
It’s the Last 72 Hours before the Kick Off…..

Pink Floyd, Jim Croce, and The Chambers Brothers have all composed wonderful classic rock songs about our friend and enemy: time. You can’t look at it, hold it, or examine it; time exists without form. Yet, time is incredibly valuable. For every day, and for the whole month of November, time will be prevalent in the minds of any would-be indie author racing for the finish line during NaNoWriMo 2017. So how to make the best use of the time you have for writing? I’ve summarized some of Chris Baty’s great ideas.

A Study in Thirds

It all starts with planning. In the final week of October, try logging everything you do over the course of a day. Identify everything according one of three criteria: Need, Delay, and Avoid.

Some Things Must Be Done

You shouldn’t avoid certain daily necessities during NaNoWriMo. Our days are filled with a laundry list of mandatory tasks, including laundry. And personal hygiene, feeding the cats, feeding the baby, cooking, cleaning, shopping at the supermarket…you get the idea. Put off what you can, but give yourself permission and time to do the essentials!

These tasks should not be avoided or delayed, or things get ugly. Let’s say that author Bill stops showering and uses that time to write. Other local authors may use his lack of hygiene to their benefit. Imagine the following phone call.

Local Author John: “Hey, Bill. I hope you’re coming to the write-in tonight.”

Bill: “Wouldn’t miss it.”

John: “Good. Because I’m writing a scene that takes place in a foul-smelling bog. And Susan is up to a scene where some survivors find some rotting food.”

Bill: “I’ll bring my thesaurus.”

John: “We don’t need a thesaurus. We just need a quick whiff of you. Then you can leave.”

(Sorry for the tasteless jesting, but I couldn’t resist.)

Some Things Can Be Delayed

Yes, there are some tasks that should be done, but let’s face facts, putting them off for a month isn’t going to bring ruin to your life. Does the trim in the living room need a fresh coat of paint? So what? The house is not going to collapse for want of paint. Got some wood that needs to be stacked? It’s outside and drying out anyway. Does the back of the TV need to be dusted? No, it can wait. The TV will not explode from dust (although unattended Penguins on the Tele have been known to go up in smoke).

The Things to Avoid

Study your list of daily activities. Look at the amount of time spent watching TV, commenting on humorous Facebook memes, Twitter, watching YouTube videos, or online shopping and gaming. If you’re going to implode because you’ve missed an episode of The Big Bang Theory or Once Upon A Time, use your DVR and watch it after you’ve done some honest-to-goodness writing for the day. Regard it as a reward for a job well done.

Consider Yourself Armed With New Knowledge

Come November, I hope you sit your butt down and get some serious NaNoWriMo writing done. If you don’t, you’ll never achieve your goal.

And Now for Something Completely New

I’m now going to reveal how to personalize your NaNoWriMo 2017 project, get into your personal “Comfy-Zone” and enjoy your writing instead of feeling pressured.

Let’s Get Personal

I’m sure you have a laptop and/or a desktop. However, you’ve been using them for a while now. You should acquire (and I heartily recommend this one) a new thumb drive or external hard drive for saving your writing.

As you may know from experience, writing involves more tools than computers and other electronic goodies. There’s nothing like having a small notebook and a pen on your person at all times. You have a few days left, go and purchase those items. After all, you’ll take firm ownership of your writing project and make it more personal. Of course you do not have to spend a proverbial arm and a leg for these items either. Just make sure you don’t use them for grocery lists. They should have only one purpose.

I’ve Got the Time if You’ve Got the Place

You don’t need a laptop to write outside your home (although it’s nice to have one). If you have a notebook, you can write anywhere. Coffee shops are a great place to park and pump out some verbiage. Remember, you must keep your NaNoWriMo writing project special. Therefore, once you’ve picked a foreign nesting area for writing, don’t go there unless you plan to write.

The Company You Keep

Although NaNoWriMo is about your novel, the idea started from a dozen would-be authors in San Francisco. There’s an element of group camaraderie baked into the idea. Make that coffee shop time to write and hang out with other NaNoWriMo indie authors. You’ll learn how others help to refuel and recharge your creative batteries. Just bear in mind that you’re there to write or have a “write-in”, not to have some author group therapy session.

During the “Timed Word Wars” please be courteous and keep noise and chatter to a bare minimum. Once the alarm bell rings, we all sort of talk at once!

If you don’t have other authors in your area, you can always use the NaNoWriMo Forum site for finding writing buddies.

Have you used any of these “Comfy-Zone” strategies before? Going to try them now?

The final countdown is ON!
12 months ago
Hello Again Butte Peeps!

We are 1 skinny little week away from being able to START writing the novel we've been dreaming of and focusing on. With that in mind, I professionally STOLE this article from Lit Reactor Magazine (an article by Robbie Blair). I hope it helps you during this last prep week.

Keep doing the homework and getting ready --


12 Vital Preparatory Steps for NaNoWriMo

Thanks to the Office of Letters and Light, November poses one of the greatest challenges for writers: drafting an entire novel in one month. With a 50,000 word threshold, NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) completion represents dozens of hours of work. To be sure, the challenge shouldn't be taken on lightly—which is why October is the perfect time to start preparing. Here are 12 vital preparatory steps for nailing NaNo this year.

1. Decide Your Level of Commitment
Fifty. Thousand. Words.

Many initiates into NaNoWriMo fail to realize just what that means. It's easy to think back to that one time when we wrote a 15-page paper in a night, or that day of binge-writing that added 30 pages to a novel. There's a great difference, however, between a single binge session and the sort of consistent, substantial writing that's required for NaNo.

It's a great project. An impressive accomplishment. A good way to get that writing habit ingrained. But it is not easy. Decide now if you're ready for this. There's no way you'll conquer this challenge if you aren't committed to it.

2. Clear Out Time in November
Once you've decided to tackle this project, you'll need to figure out where you'll find your writing time. During November, you'll learn to write in a variety of tight timelines and awkward positions—while waiting for a friend at a cafe, while sitting on the bus, or when your boss is away. You'll be doing yourself a great favor if you also manage to clear out solid chunks of time.

Setting aside specific writing time is especially important in the first week of November. If you fall behind in the first week, you're doomed. If you get ahead, the momentum will carry you.

3. Let People Know
You can give yourself a motivational boost by being public about taking this challenge. More importantly, your friends and family should probably be warned that you're going to be a hermit (and sometimes a rather stressed hermit) during the month of November.

4. Get Started on the NaNoWriMo Website
The NaNoWriMo website has improved immensely over the last few years. These days, it includes a blog, forums, help pages, and much more. It's free and simple to get started, so why delay? Get over there.

Whether you've written a novel before or not—whether you're a NaNo newbie or veteran—writing 50,000 words is no small feat.

5. Get Connected with a NaNo Community
The best way to connect with a NaNo community is to find one in your local area. Look at this list of regions to find which group is closest to you. If you can't find a WriMo community in your area, you can hunt down online support via the NaNoWriMo forums, the Facebook group and official page, Twitter, or even through LitReactor's forums.

The major benefit of being connected with a WriMo community is that it provides you with opportunities for “write-ins,” where you're surrounded by other people who are dedicated to writing. Online write-ins can also be found via the web sources mentioned above.

6. Organize Your Team
Beyond whatever WriMo community you get involved with, it's useful to have a close-knit group who will help you. Know other writers? Enlist them as part of your NaNo writing squad. Have a spouse, partner, or best friend who doesn't write? Ask them to be your cheerleader this November.

7. Lay Out Your Ideas
There is no one “right way” to prepare your ideas. Some people like detailed outlines of their work, while others prefer free-writing a few paragraphs about their core plot points. Pick whatever method works for you. At the end of the day, the reason to lay out your work right now is that it gives you time to daydream about your plot and get pumped about your novel.

8. Flesh Out Your Characters
The more developed a character is in your mind, the easier it will be to move your plot forward organically. While there are plenty of ways to get a better sense of your character, this in-depth character questionnaire was built with NaNoWriMo in mind.

9. Develop Your Setting
Think about where your story will be set. Is it a fantasy world? If so, it's a good idea to make any core decisions on the religions and magic system of that world. Is it a story taking place in Chinese opiate dens? Then do your research in advance.

Don't be so detailed that you paint yourself into a corner, but don't put yourself in a position where you'll need to take a major break to answer core questions about the world of your story.

10. Get Into the “No Edits” mindset
Editing is fine if it helps you keep your novel on track, but finding the “right word” should be left for later. This can be tough, so I'll try to put this even more bluntly:

Be prepared to write crap.

I firmly believe that every writer has about a thousand rubbish pages in them. Before you get to anything good, you have to get those pages out of your system. At the equivalent of roughly 200 pages, the 50k words for NaNo put you well on your way. If that's all NaNo accomplishes for you, it's worth it. There will be plenty of time to edit after November is over. For the duration of NaNo, however, just focus on giving yourself materials to work with in the future.

11. Put Together an Emergency Kit
Caffeine. A favorite playlist. Chocolate. You get the idea. At some point, you'll be ready to break under the pressure of this month-long writing marathon. Give yourself a resource to help you out of those difficult situations.

12. Get Pumped
This is an awesome project. Whether you've written a novel before or not—whether you're a NaNo newbie or veteran—writing 50,000 words is no small feat. Beyond being an accomplishment in and of itself, it also helps you network with fellow writers, develop a writing habit, and get your creative wheels spinning. NaNo may be hard, but it's well worth getting excited about.

12 months ago
Hello Butte!

We are 10-days away from being able to start NANO-2017. We’ve had our first prep meeting and all of us are starting to put a focus on our writing. Some of us are comfortable KNOWING that we are Writers – artistic beings and creators; and some of us are newly awakening to that idea. No matter where we are right now on that sliding scale, we need to embrace our individual creators before November 1.

I found this pep talk by Grant Faulkner from his new book “Pep Talks for Writers - 52 Insights and Actions to Boost Your Creative Mojo. I hope you take the time to read and understand what Mr. Faulkner is trying to tell you. You are exactly what you think you are!

I BELIEVE in you~

You Don’t Need Permission to be a Creator –

Each year I talk to hundreds of people who have perfected a peculiar and disturbing art form: the art of telling themselves why they can’t jump in and write the novel of their dreams.

“I’ve never taken any classes. I don’t have an MFA.”

“I have lots of ideas for stories, but I’m not a real writer.”

Or worst of all, they say “I’m not the creative type.”

I call this the other syndrome; as in “other people do this but not me.” We’ve all been there, right? We open up the pages of a magazine, and we read the profile of a magnificently coiffed and coiled artistic being – a twirling scarf, moody eyes, locks of hair falling over a pensive brow. We read the witticisms and wisdom the celebrated artistic being dispenses while drinking a bottle of wine with a reporter one afternoon in a charming hamlet in Italy. The artistic being tells of creative challenges and victories achieved, and then drop in an anecdote or two about a conversation with a famous author, a good friend. There is a joke about a movie deal that fell through, then an aside about the one that won an Oscar. There’s talk about a recently published book, which called to them and gave them artistic fulfillment like no other book ever has.

And, as we sit in our house which is so very far from Italy, and we look across the kitchen, over the dishes on the counter, to the cheap bottle of wine from Safeway, and the phone rings with a call from a telemarketer, just as a bill slides off the stack of bills, we tell ourselves, “Other people are writers. Other people get the good fortune to be born with a twirling scarf around their neck. Other people get to traipse through Italy to find a fantastic novel calling them. Other people get to be who they want to be whether it’s through family connections, blessed luck, or natural talent. But that’s not me. That’s other people.”

And you know what, we’re right. The life of an artist is for others – because we just said so, and in saying so, we make it true.

But here’s the rub. Even after negating our creative potential, we’re bound to wake up the next day to the tickle of an idea dancing in the far corners of our mind, a memory that is trying to push the door open, a strange other word that is calling us. We wash those dishes, we pay that stack of bills, we drink that cheap bottle of wine, but we know there’s something else – we know there’s something more.

And there IS something more. There’s the creative life. You don’t need a certificate for it; you don’t need to apply to do it; you don’t even need to ask permission to do it. You just have to claim it. You might not wear scarves in Italy, but you can make your own version of the artistic life, no matter where you live, or what demands of life you face.

It’s not always easy, of course. There will be naysayers, those people who think it’s silly or trivial to be a “creative type,” those who think it’s audacious or pretentious for you to write a novel, those who think you can’t do it because you lack the qualifications. You’ve decided to escape the mire of your creative slough, and sometimes that threatens others. But you’re not embracing your creativity because it is the easy path. You’re doing it because you have something to say. And no one gets to tell you that what you have to say doesn’t matter, because it matters to you.

The arts don’t belong to a chosen few. Quite the opposite: every one of us is chosen to be a creator by virtue of being human. If you’re not convinced of this, just step into any preschool and observe the unbridled creative energy of kids as they immerse themselves in finger painting, telling wild stories, banging on drums and dancing just for the sake of dancing. They’re creative types just because they breathe.

And you are a writer just because you write. There is no other definition. Don’t fall into the common trap of hesitating to call yourself a writer if you haven’t published a book. It can easily happen. Agatha Christie said that even after she had written ten books, she didn’t really consider herself a “bona fide author.” You earn your bona fides each time you pick up a pen and write your story. So start by telling yourself you’re a writer. Then tell the world. Don’t mumble it, be proud of it, because to be a writer takes moxie and verve.

Your task as a human being and as an artist is to find that maker within, to decide that you’re not “other”, you’re a creator. Honor the impetus that bids you write – revere it, bow to it, hug it, bathe in it, and nurture it. That impetus is what makes life meaningful. It’s what makes you, you.

TAKE THE PLEDGE: First, tell yourself, “I am a creator.” Then tell someone else. Tell them you write. Tell them why writing is important to you. You don’t have to tell them your story. Just be proud to call yourself a writer. Practice asserting it.

------- a Pep Talk by Grant Faulkner, 2017

about 1 year ago

NANO 2017~ Can you tell I'm just a little excited about this? Our FIRST PreNANO Prep session is in 10 days!

OKAY, so this note has a couple purposes:
1) To send you all a big HAPPY WELCOME to the NANO Butte Region. I am thrilled that you are here and there are some fun events lined up for you. Kelsey (K.D.Chase) is my Super Secret Squirrel Ghost ML this year so feel free to direct any questions to her as well -- she is more tech savvy than I am.

2) To give you all the new scoop on the CHANGES that happened to Montana over the summer in the NANOWRIMO land. Jean moved to Oregon over the summer but she PROMISED to be in here in the forum to cheer all of you on and visit. In our world, Buttians can be from anyplace as long as they want to play here.

In this region, the SINGLE goal is to help keep all of you inspired to reach the 50K finish line BEFORE 11/30/17. We are your cheerleaders (waving pom-poms and doing high leg kicks and other cheerish things). We can't do it for you, but we'll be there to celebrate every milestone!

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!

Since MONTANA is the 4th largest geographic state in the union NANO Brainiacs 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. That's where you are right now.

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!


HUGS to you all!

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Meet your MLs

Debi Hall 0
  • Joined October 24, 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.
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