Shake and Bake 9: The 51K in 30 days NaNoWriMo Edition

Take it in Stride - the road.

Wherein Pam does a happy monkey dance and waves a fond farewell to the NANO rush of 2012.

Happy Saturday, and Happy December to all!

… I hope your week was full of beauty and adventure …

In homage to Havi’s Friday Chickens over on the The Fluent Self — This is the place I review my week – in an attempt to track some things – like progress on my novel and… living intentionally. I shake out my week and lay it out. Let the hard burn off and the good sink in. Call it an experiment in paying attention. Feel free to join in.

wpid-ShakeBake1-2012-10-19-14-23.jpgThe Quick Chicken (The Doings that help me with the Being):

Work on NIP: Whew. More below.

Walks: Oh yes… and some dancing too when I had the “hairy faced kid” who doesn’t love the long walk anymore in the cold, but will come to the top of the hill with me.

Guitar: A sad neglectful week for Pree my beloved purple guitar. Oops

Yoga/Meditation: Outstandingness! Serious Mat love this week.

THIS WEEK’S EXPERIMENT: For one hour each day – go lie down.

THE RESULT: I didn’t make it EVERY day – but I did try…

I made it to a prone position 3 times in the early afternoon.
I read – mostly, but I did close my eyes once and just relax.
I believe it DID help with the tiredness this week. I sure feel better than last week.
I also crawled into bed quite early with a book on a few nights and oh… that was lovely too.

And…the rest of the week…


– Composting toilet trauma…. oof. Ahhh the FROZEN northlands…Trouble with the umm… liquid run-off. Nuff said.

– It was a struggle this week to keep the words flowing “fast enough” for the nano. I’m glad that I did nano but … well… It is a strange exercise in some ways. The crazy making WORD COUNT focus leads to all manner of … strange behaviour. Heh heh. But I do understand that the main challenge and opportunity is to use the month as a time to sit down and work and to do it… In company. This is good. The pressure that can result…well… not so good, I fear. But we can talk about that some other time.

So WHY was I there? Exploration of a new way of working. Using the word count GOAL to… free myself up actually. To slip away from the over active critic who lives in my head.

To confess…. I actually ADDED to the madness on this front by heightening the experiment a tad. I wanted to see if I could get the word count within an even more stringent CONTAINER of time. I worked on the nanothing for two hours Monday to Friday. There was one day “missed” because of… life jazz. So… I crammed my nano (51,397 wds) into… less than 44 hours.
I don’t really recommend this 😉
Unless you take it on as a playful challenge to yourself.

I’m not really sure why I did it this way. I just … wanted to see if I could and also see what would come of that sort of… break-neck writing. It isn’t really my style at all.

Let’s say – I found a lot, and had some fun, but will be glad to return to my usual methods on Monday.

I found my characters careening into the larger events of history – which is cool and leaves me with A LOT to research to do. There was no time to edit, no time to second guess that left turn into the Suffragette movement on the prairies… I just went with whatever came up – much like I did in the fall with the 3day Novel Contest.

Do we see a theme here?

I am exploring and reaching and enjoying the surprise of this sort of… free fall fiction. It is freeing me up and it is also leading me places that were previously outside of the “plan”. I like this.

Doing it for a month was harder than doing it for three days.

As in everything, I hope to aim for balance in my way of working. The days of thoughtful slower work, the blasts of trance-talk, all working together to get this first draft completed.

And then will come the fun of revisions. When I will see what I have created and … find the real story within.

Ooh – gives me shivers! I am full of inspiration, fascination and determination. Huzzah! Guess this is also a TASTY BIT, eh?


++ Yes indeed it is a PLUSFinding so much in the “book within a book” experiment of this whole month. Both in the way of working and the CONTENT and FOCUS of the piece. Working on Ira’s book has opened up some things and revealed many an interesting tid-bit about Asiloverde and the townsfolk…. especially the ones who live up on the hill….(yes…I’m still evasive about the NIP – sorry. Still a bit … skittish around revelations and talking “too much” about a work in progress).

+ And yes… I am Celebrating “finishing” nano and getting that purple “winner” banner along with all my 3-day cohorts. There were 7 of us playing this year and we all wrote over 50, 000 words. Woot Woot!

M gazes in amazement at the snow on a branch up the way

+ Receiving beauty and joy on my walks through the snowy land we live in. Full up happiness as I trudge up the lane in my ski-pants and big boots.

+ Allowing rest. Welcoming rest. Resting by the fire. Resting on the couch. Resting under the covers with a book. Rest.

+ Gathering warmth and comfort from the morning sessions in front of the wood stove on the yoga mat.

+ Grateful for the final session of The Compassionate Brain The whole series was great. I will miss my Monday night dates with Rick Hanson. Maybe I will listen to them all again. Actually that is a grand idea – there is so much to glean from each conversation.

+ Also Grateful for flannel pj’s, red wine, hot water, good books, icicles in the sunshine and our resident fox who leaves us tracks through the snow each morning.

NEXT WEEK’S EXPERIMENT: Learn a song on the guitar.

I have been very focussed on the practice aspect of learning guitar and I would like to have a bit more fun on the playing guitar front. There are some songs I am stumbling through as I get the hang of strumming and teach the fingers to move move move on those chord changes. I don’t sing along yet. I’m not sure why. Well I am sure why, actually. I’m having a hard enough time learning to keep time – can’t tap my foot and play at the same time. Working more with the metronome, which is helping and I do know that SINGING will help too. Maybe I am just to shy to sing. Hmmm.

I hereby decide that this week I shall choose a song and have fun playing and singing along.


That’s it for me…. I’m off into town to attend a tea and help my MiL decorate for Christmas. Yay tinsel!!!

Thanks for stopping by.


go easy -p

3 Comments on “Shake and Bake 9: The 51K in 30 days NaNoWriMo Edition

    • It could/might be………. I Walk the Line 😉

      INSANELY simplified… which goes without saying.

      I shall report back next week and let you know if this is INDEED the song.

      I shall NOT post a video.
      You will thank me for this.

      One day… may we be gathered together around a fire…
      And may a purple guitar be there….
      and may I be
      And may we sing

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Cathy Standiford

Historical fiction, poetry, essays

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