Tag Archives: National Novel Writing Month

My Writer’s Bible, Bullet Journal, and Notebook

My Camp NaNoWriMo Spread, including a word count tracker, April's calendar, tasks, and some inspiration.

My Camp NaNoWriMo Spread, including a word count tracker, April’s calendar, tasks, and some inspiration.

Back in April,  I started my Writer’s Bullet Journal in a large (well, it’s the Master) Leuchtturm 1917, but it was just too big to handle easily. Forget taking it anywhere. And it didn’t fit in my Writer’s Bible, which is a custom Jonelifish TN (traveler’s notebook). I tried the softcover Leuchtturm 1917 and loved it, but it became harder and harder to find, so when I got down to the last few pages of it I decided to use a Midori A5 grid notebook I had, since it could also be housed in my Writer’s Bible and replace the filled softcover Leuchtturm1917.

get shit done

Self Explanatory

With NaNoWriMo quickly approaching, I needed to get things together. I had 6 weeks to prepare for November 1st and when I really thought about it–that just didn’t feel like enough time, but HEY! a writer’s gotta do what a writer’s gotta do. So I got my butt in gear and started preparing. My husband said, “It’s not November yet, why are you doing Nano stuff now?” I looked up at him with my serious face. “It’s almost the end of September. I’ve got to get things ready…” I said.  And then I looked down at my Writer’s Bible and said, “I’m excited and there’s a lot of work to do.” And like Jake at the end of the Gunslinger, my husband nodded and said, “Well go on and do your NaNo stuff then.” It’s not as good as “there are other worlds than this,” but it made me happy. And since I’m using Arwen’s 33 Days to Finish Your Novel course again I knew I’d need to start at least 33 days before NaNoWriMo. I really do love using Tarot and the Hero’s Journey to outline.

amwriting april 22

Camp NaNo April 2015 (?) Writer’s Bible, Laptop, and Starbucks’s White Chocolate Mocha

So here I am, preparing for NaNoWriMo once again. Only this year, I know so much more than I did the previous years… with each passing year I learn more about myself as a writer. I’ve learned more about writing, outlining, pantsing, branding oneself, the writing community, editing videos, taking pictures, planning and using a bullet journal, what works best in my Writer’s Bible, and what I need in order to survive NaNoWriMo. Not that I don’t aim to write between 1000-2000 words per day during the rest of the year, but there is something about NaNoWriMo and the various writing communities that pushes you do do more, to try new things, to expand your horizons, and to get your ass in the chair every day and WRITE! And the planning community, especially the bullet journal community has given me such great ideas for how to plan out things in my Writer’s Bible and Writer Bullet Journal.


NaNoWriMo 2016: Writer’s Bible, which includes my Writer Bullet Journal, my Writer Notebook, a few supplies, Tarot Cards

When I first talked to Jonel Imutan about making me a Writer’s Bible, a TN specifically for my writer stuff, I knew I wanted something unique, functional, and that fit me. I told her what I wanted, and left it up to her which style of typewriter to engrave on the front, and how to coordinate the colors, and once it was done I got to name it–Shakespeare. Thought I’d have named it something from a Stephen King novel, huh? Nope. Though I love King’s works, and he’ll always be my favorite and he’s a genius, there’s something about Shakespeare that has always spoken to me.

I have done numerous videos that have featured Shakespeare (my Writer’s Bible), and over time it has become even more supple and pliable, more functionable because I’ve learned what works best for me, and it’s always subject to change if I find that something isn’t working.

Midori A5 Grid Notebook that I'm using as my Writer Bullet Journal

Midori A5 Grid Notebook that I’m using as my Writer Bullet Journal

Inside my Writer’s Bible, the first notebook is the Midori A5 Grid Notebook that I’m using for my Writer Bullet Journal. I printed what you see on the cover, which I found on Pinterest. I love what it says: Punch Today in the Face. Some days you just have to do that… and I know there will definitely be days during November when I am going to feel like punching something in the face. 😀 Don’t get me wrong, NaNoWriMo is awesome, but it’s chaotic. I’ve tried pantsing during NaNoWriMo, writing by the seat of my pants, and I failed. I love the idea of pantsing…of writing intuitively with no outline, just writing, but I was flailing around like a fish on land by the middle of November when I did that. Since then I’ve been working on the method of planning that works best for me. It feels like I’ve found it–using Tarot and the Hero’s Journey, Arwen’s method specifically, has really helped me find my groove with outlining. I used it last year and I’m using it again this year. I’ve also tried the Save the Cat method, along with a few others.


On the inside, the cover page, I pasted a picture that I got from NaNoWriMo 2015 for inspiration… it reminds me of what I’m supposed to be doing… WRITING, plus it has fun things in the picture like Coffee, Pens, Ink, a Notebook…and let’s not forget my Coffee magnet bookmark. I love how this picture makes me feel. So below is a gallery I created of the rest of the inside of my Writer Bullet Journal. I hope you enjoy looking at the pictures. It’s still a work in progress though.. and I made a few boo boo’s…  but overall I like it. I can live with the mistakes, it just gives my Writer Bullet Journal character. 😀


Next is the Index, and then the Future log. Nothing complicated about either of those. I have been working on this new Writer Bullet Journal since September 20th and so far I’ve gotten a few things done, but there’s still much more that I need to work on. I’m trying to stay organized. There’s so much to keep up with that I had to get organized if I want to get things done, especially if I want to be efficient. It’s about working smarter not harder.

The next notebook in my Writer’s Bible is the “new shiny ideas” notebook for writing. If I get an idea about a character, a novel, a scene but I’m not sure it goes in the current WIP then I write it down in this notebook.

Shiny New Ideas Notebook

Shiny New Ideas Notebook

And here is the third notebook in my Writer’s Bible.

NaNo YT and Blog Insert

NaNo YT and Blog Insert

The first page is my NaNo Prep YT video list

NaNo Prep YT Video List

NaNo Prep YT Video List

And the next page is the NaNo Prep Blog Post List:

NaNo Prep Blog Post List

NaNo Prep Blog Post List

And the last notebook in my Writer’s Bible. Its a Clairefontaine notebook and I use it as my Writer Journal. I write down how my writing or outlining is going. What I think, etc.. The pages are wonderful for fountain pens. 😀

Clairefontaine Notebook

Clairefontaine Notebook

And last but not least, is my Writer Notebook. It is where I write out what I’ve learned from using the outlining method. I am not sure of where I got this notebook. I believe it might have been Walmart. I love the paper for writing. And I love that the pages are sectioned by different colors, and that at the top it has a little section where you can either write the date or the page number. I’ve chosen to write the page numbers.

And that’s it… at least for now. I have a lot of work to do this afternoon and this evening to write down what I learned about the Call to Adventure. I go back through my notes from my Writer Bullet Journal and then summarize it in the Writer Notebook.

Links to some of the things I’ve mentioned are below. Note:

**This post contains  some affiliate links. In plain English, this means that I might receive a small commission (this doesn’t cost you anything) if you subscribe or purchase something through some of the links I’ve provided. You will never see me post a link to a product or service that I haven’t used myself and love!**

Arwen’s YT video using Tarot for writing:

Arwen’s Course Info:

Tarot for Writer’s by Corrine Kenner :

Wizards’ Tarot Deck by Corrine Kenner:

Rider Waite Tarot Deck:

My Writer’s Bible:






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Writing Life during NaNoWriMo

Me During NaNoWriMo... Running on Coffee

Me During NaNoWriMo… Running on Coffee

I’ve been busy writing, drinking coffee, reading, changing my eating habits–trying to be a healthier me, writing, procrastinating, drinking coffee, reading, and writing. Oh, yeah! Did I say procrastinating? I did. I’ve also been going through a bit of anxiety over self-doubt already, as well as a bit of the overanalyzing dialogue, etc…….

What else is new though? I did a video in April about this very same thing–Self-Doubt. Why do we doubt ourselves? Our ability? Our right to create? To be creative? Our talent?

this is impossible

I decided after last year’s NaNo and the Camp’s over the summer, that when this NaNo came around I was going to do something about it. So I’m in the process of reading “The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity,” by Julia Cameron. The book was reccommended by several people over the course of the last 6 months, and last month I finally ordered it. Well… It finally came in today. YAY!!!!



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Where the magic happens

One of the things I love about preparing for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is that I usually make sure that I have my writing area (room) clean (for the most part), which includes my desk. That might not seem like such a big deal, but for someone like me who tends to be a creative clutter (aka stacks of books everywhere, along with pens, notebooks, sticky-notes, coffee cups, etc) it is a big deal. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on October 21, 2015 in NaNoWriMo, Writing


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Day 3


Today hasn’t been a great writing day for me, but I’ve persevered. And that’s the thing–no matter what if you start writing then you’ll keep writing. One word at a time. AND, that has been my day in regard to writing today. I had to literally sit myself down at the computer armed with a large cup of coffee, my cigarettes (I know it’s a horrible habit), and just make myself write the first word.

start writing no matter what

My husband left to go back on the road this evening and I wanted to spend as much time with him as possible. After he left I felt a bit down. :(. I wanted a nap. I didn’t take one. I wanted to curl up in the recliner and watch some mind candy on the television. I didn’t. Instead I looked at some pics of the hubby, the grandbaby, and then finally just wrote. Now I’m taking a short break so I can write my post for today for NaBloPoMo and then I’m off to continue writing for NaNoWriMo.

Writing on a bad day

What I really want to do is crawl into bed and go to sleep watching something on Netflix, but I have “miles to go before I sleep.” I think what helped me today was that my husband is so supportive of my writing. He doesn’t think I’m crazy for participating in NaNoWriMo or NaBloPoMo. He commends me and motivates me to fulfill my dream of one day publishing a novel. “You can do it, baby. I believe in you.”

one word after another

So I’m here at my computer putting one word at a time down, until the words become sentences, and then the sentences become paragraphs…leading into chapters, and then into a novel. And after I’ve written for at least another hour (I break my time up usually. A solid hour of writing then a fifteen minute break. Then another solid hour of writing…), I’ll have a glass of water and then crash early and tomorrow, day 4, will be a much better day.


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Posted by on November 3, 2013 in Coffee, Life, NaBloPoMo, NaNoWriMo, Writing


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Write. Write. Writing. Wrote. Write some More.

nablopomo_november_small 2013-Participant-Facebook-Profile



Busy month for me!!!!!!!




It’s the beginning of Day 2 for NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo for me.  YAY me!

ready to write

I’m off and running. Meeting word count goals and writing a post. 😀  So far it’s been great as far as the writing goes. Me, personally, however, is a whole other story. Off to the emergency room yesterday morning. Pain in my arm and shoulder and collarbone so bad it felt like someone was snapping my bones in half. This doctor says it is arthritis in my neck and a pinched nerve. The last doctor says it’s an injured or torn rotator cuff. (I’ll be glad when I can see the specialist, but that won’t be this month. I don’t have time–especially since I’m participating in both NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo.

I’m thinking that now would be a great time to win the lottery–a million dollars! What would I do with a million dollars???? Hmmmm… Thinking really hard.

Up to no good face

I would:

Pay off all my bills, including my almost $30K worth of student loans.


I’d buy a house.

2000 Pontiac Firebird

2000 Pontiac Firebird

Fix the damn pop up lights on my car

purple writer's shed

I’d get my writing cave. I LOVE THIS!!!

I’d buy my husband a brand new Dodge Challenger. And we’d need a new truck since ours is Kaput…Gone bye, bye!

I’d get my shoulder fixed, whatever the hell is wrong with it.

I’d buy a new computer, a new laptop, and a tablet. (Maybe go over the to the Mac side)

I’d donate to the Cancer Society and to Hospice.

I’d get lasik surgery on my eyes so I don’t need glasses anymore (I’d still most likely need reading glasses but no more bifocals at least).

I’d take my husband on a real vacation. Take a train somewhere. I’ve never been on train unless the subway in NY counts, and to me that doesn’t count. Take a cruise from there (my husband has never been on either a train ride or a cruise).

Send my husband to school to do what he really wants to do so he doesn’t have to be on the road. I respect the hell out of truckers. My dad was a trucker a long time ago and then went into construction. But being away from your family is hard and though he’s awesome at his job, he can drive the hell out of an 18-wheeler, and he loves driving, he hates being away OTR (over the road, which means away from home anywhere from during the week to weeks at a time, depending on what company you work for, where you go, etc). Though I’ll be going with him some, and of course I’ll be bringing my laptop and camera, I won’t be able to go all the time. I have a young grandson that I NEED to spend time with and watch grow up so I won’t want to be away all the time.

I’d donate to NaNo.


Buy my sweet young grandson all kinds of things.

winning lottery ticket

AHHH the dream… Give me a hammock and a winning lottery ticket 🙂




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Day 1 of 30 for NaNoWriMo

scariest moment s kingWell it’s day 1 of NaNoWriMo and I’m 1945 into my word count for the first day. And it’s nowhere near midnight on the 1st so I have hours still to go before it’s the second day if I feel the urge to write more. Errands to run, bills to pay. prescriptions to get, groceries to buy (namely coffee) and I’m feeling pretty good (so far).

untold story

Switching novels at the last minute, after having spent almost 2 months plotting a novel only to put it on the shelf in the closet for a different day, I’m excited about the new one that came to me in a dream. I’ve got a book about historic Charleston with lots of goodies 😀 to use if I get stuck or for more information that I already know about it having grown up there. And I’m also quite certain that although I haven’t plotted this novel at all, and don’t even have an actual synopsis yet I’m pretty sure that I know where I’m going with it. The idea is there. The main character is speaking to me. She’s a lot like my grandmother was. Only she’s a modern day version.

every secret of a writer's soul

Here in the South there’s a saying, “You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl.” Well, I tried to make my home in Plotterville, but it just wasn’t the right fit, so back to Plantser Land I went.

look in your heart and write

So here I go. Drinking my cup of afternoon coffee on a Friday afternoon, imagining how I’m going to get my MC to live in her grandparents townhouse. Do I kill off the grandparents? Have them hit the road in a camper? Put them in an old folk’s home? I waiting for the MC to let me know as I research a few things necessary for her trip to visit her cousin after catching her b/f of 5 years in their bed in her house with her friend…Nasty bit of drama there. Gotta hate when that happens, but she really needed to kick his ass out a long time ago she was just set in her “comfort zone” with him taking the easy way out because she thought she could change him, instead she was the one making all the changes.

If you want to make God laugh tell him about your plans

One bit of writing advice you always hear about is, “Write what you know.” Well, I know bad relationships. I know heartbreak. I know what it’s like to be cheated on. I also know what it’s like when you finally find someone that calls out to your soul and accepts you, loves you, likes you, and makes you feel like a better person and strive to be better at the same time. I also know what it’s like to lose a parent when you’re young. What it’s like to lose multiple family members in a short period of time. What it’s like to have an uncle murdered. What it’s like to have an aunt and then an uncle die of different kinds of cancer within a year of each other. So I’m going to write about what I know.


If I take any one of those real life experiences, like finding out that your significant other is sleeping with your friend, or losing a parent at a young age, or having your uncle murdered and the murder still isn’t solved 4 years later, well there ya go… Add in the fact, that the MC undergoes emotional and mental changes because of those things, as well as a geographical change, and maybe the house she moves into is haunted, WELL…


And all of these are based on real life events (however, the names and events have been changed or altered to protect the innocent as well as the guilty).


By the way, I’m also participating in the National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) for November. So when I’m not posting about NaNoWriMo I’ll be writing about something from one of the NaBloPoMo prompts. Hope you have a great November 😀


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Happy NaNo Eve

Night before Nano

Here in SC it is a little less than 9 hours before NaNoWriMo begins. I decided when I went to bed last night that I was changing things completely. Different novel. Different character. Different setting. You name it, it’s different. It has to be the pantser in me. Has to be.

Ray Bradbury pantser quote

I’ve spent almost two months plotting a novel only to find that it is not THE novel I feel in my bones right now. A new idea hit me yesterday when I was napping. I saw the character, saw the plot. I woke up and I KNEW that was the novel. It’s based on a phrase my grandmother used to say when you were in trouble or trouble was lurking in the dark waiting to pounce.


So I’m now finding character names, now figuring out the name of the town my novel takes place in is actually the town I grew up in–Charleston (South Carolina for those of you not in the US or who think maybe it’s the Charleston that’s in VA). Downtown Charleston to be exact. The haunted townhouse my grandparents used to live in when I was a child. Yes, it was really haunted. I saw the ghosts and heard them myself. Many of us (cousins, aunts & uncles, my grandparents) did.

last minute change

So I need to get back to the basic stuff so I can start the good stuff at midnight. YAY! NaNoWriMo starts in less than 9 hours. 😀 And I’m truly excited. Changing things up at the last minute has me stressed out but relieved at the same time. I was becoming burdened, weighed down by all the plot/outline/structure stuff and it was taking most of the fun out of it for me.

only the plot


Posted by on October 31, 2013 in Life, NaNoWriMo, Outlining, Writing


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