Do you NaNoWriMo? November brings lots of excitement to the year. Arriving on the sugar high of Halloween, it’s true pumpkin spice season. The fall colors are almost spent and the gardens are brown and withered. My little sailboat, forlorn and abandoned since the first chill in the air a few weeks ago, awaits its winter vacation in the marina’s dry storage. No doubt about it, we’re slouching toward winter.
But do you smell the cinnamon and cloves, sage and thyme, pine and woodsmoke in the air? For me, it’s prime baking season. The Thanksgiving turkey–and the more important dressing–doesn’t head to the oven without my help. Those Christmas cookies don’t make themselves. The tree and the wreath for the front door won’t be here for weeks but I’m already thinking about them. (I don’t decorate until just before Christmas.)
So what does this have to do with writing?
If it’s November 1, I’m not thinking about anything other than National Novel Writing Month and the first draft of the novel I’m about to write.
My project this year is a cozy mystery. And this year, for the first time, I have a writing partner. My daughter Gina, who was the one that nudged me into this crazy November project in 2012, and I have plotted out the book we plan to write.
We can do this. By the last day of the eleventh month, we’ll have 50,000 words on paper. We have a setting and a time frame, a couple of charming suspects, a sleuth and her sidekick, a scheming victim with a secret and a killer who doesn’t want to get caught.
Cozy mystery huh? Yes, that’s a far cry from the other books I’ve written. In the past nine Nanowrimos, I’ve written mostly historical novels–with a couple of romances tossed in. So far, four of the books have been published. Another historical novel, my 2016 project, is ready for queries and I’m polishing the last few chapters of a modern romance I wrote during this past summer’s Camp Nanowrimo.
I decided to try cozy mystery and enlist my mystery-loving daughter after a presentation at the Maryland Writers Association‘s annual conference. Andrea J. Johnson, a novelist and author of How to Craft a Killer Cozy Mystery, made writing a whodunit sound like such fun, I knew I had to give it a try. Maybe I couldn’t write a book as witty as Julie Hyzy’s White House Chef series, Foreign Eclairs was such fun. But it was worth a try.
Having an expert partner will help too.
Counting down the days to National Novel Writing Month. Who’s with us? Let me know what you’ll be writing in this crazy month of writing furiously.