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Last November I signed on for NaNoWriMoNational Novel Writing Month is a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants approach to writing a 50,000 word (approximately 175 page) novel by 11:59:59, November 30.  It’s pretty much about quantity, as in lengthy (and often laughable) prose. I had plenty of that. Quality? Not so much. The website’s FAQ says if you believe you’re writing a novel, we believe you’re writing a novel too. The whole idea is to make you take a risk without obsessing about perfection. It’s the BIC (Butt In Chair) technique, but with lower expectations.

NaNoWriMo teases you ~ You’ll be able to make obscure references to passages from your novel at parties. It tempts you ~ You’ll stop being one of those people who say, “I’ve always wanted to write a novel,” and become one of those people who can say, “Oh, a novel? It’s such a funny story–I’ve written three.

How could I resist?  So I blogged about NaNoWriMo and jumped right in.


The “no plot,no problem” mantra got me started and the deadline as incentive kept me going until the day…

… I quit.  I didn’t reach 50,000 words.  I didn’t make it onto the Winner’s List.  I didn’t receive a certificate or an icon to display here.

Looked at the calendar lately? It’s almost November again.  I see outside my window what Emily saw outside of hers.

“The morns are meeker than they were,
The nuts are getting brown;
The berry’s cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.
The maple wears a gayer scarf,
The field a scarlet gown.
Lest I should be old-fashioned,
I’ll put a trinket on.” 
Good advice, Emily.  I stumbled on my trinket here….



It’s Robert Lee Brewer’s November PAD Chapbook Challenge.

Here’s the deal ~ you write a poem each day, based on a prompt.

During the month of November, you don’t think about finished drafts; just crank out rough drafts each day. December is for editing.

poetry magnets

Robert’s current official rules for the challenge:

  • No registration is required. You just show up each day, take a look at the prompt, and poem away.
  • Challenge begins on morning of November 1, 2011 (Atlanta, Georgia, time). I’ll post a prompt, my own attempt at a poem, and then you’ll be free to write a poem of your own.
  • Challenge continues until noon on December 1, 2011 (again, ATL time). The last prompt will appear on November 30, but I like to give a little extra poeming time for poets on the other side of the planet.
  • Beginning December 1 (or earlier, I suppose), poets revise and organize their poems into poetry manuscripts of 10-20 pages. The 10-20 pages does not include any TOC, bio info, etc., that a poet may wish to include; that’s all considered “extra stuff.” Manuscripts can only include one poem per page, but one poem can run on multiple pages.
  • Deadline for submitting manuscripts this is December 31, 2011, at 11:59 p.m. (Atlanta, Georgia, time).That’s slightly earlier than in the past, but most poets have submitted by this deadline in previous challenges–so we’ll try it out.
  • Any poet can participate. Published, unpublished, American, Canadian, Australian, Brazilian, Russian, etc. Last year’s winning manuscript, in fact, was written by a citizen of India.
  • Poets do not have to post poems to the blog to participate. However, it does make it more fun to share poems and feedback throughout the month. But it’s totally your call.
  • Winner announced on Groundhog Day 2012. That’s February 2, 2012, for those who are not familiar with the most important holiday of the year (in the Brewer household anyway). As always, manuscripts will be judged by Tammy (poet and wife) and myself. It’s a great excuse to break out the hot chocolate and read other poets’ poetry to each other. Thanks!
  • FYI : Robert Lee Brewer is the editor of Writer’s Market, Poet’s Market and WritersMarket.com, in addition to maintaining the Poetic Asides blog

So, Readers, who’s in? Crack your knuckles, roll up your sleeves,

and Just. Do. It.

One poem at a time.

Hey, it’s November….Put a trinket on.

Toni 10/24/11