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Nanowrimo – Present: the Mini Mo

This year, I’m trying out yet another of my alternate versions of National Novel Writing Month. A NaNoWriMo subversion, if you will. I call it: Na No Mini Mo. I find this acronym delightfully fun to say and, if you don’t think about it too hard, it almost makes sense. Instead of 50,000 words –50,000 awful, sloppy, silly, embarrassing, and sometimes enthusiastic words to comprise a novela (novelette?)– I’m committing myself to 5,000 words. Don’t laugh. It’s a respectable number, especially if you’re as tired as I am, and especially if you have too many jobs, (I do). So! 166 words per day. Sure I can write more, and I may, but only 166 words count. 

Nanowrimo –  Past: 🐶

Why take on this exercise (this sprint) if you’re gonna reduce a mastiff to a maltese, you ask? Well, for one, maltese probably drool less, and I hear they fit in your lap. This November, in Our Year of the Pandemic Cont’d, I’m not rocking mastiff energy but I know I could make it to the end of the block with a maltese. 

Besides, between 2001 and 2012 I raised up four mastiffs. I gamely appreciated the shaggy first, lost the second to a data crash (goodbye Orange Julius the clamshell MacBook), hate-wrote the fourth (that was an experience), and continue to feel great affection for the third, whom I’ll hopefully unconventionally publish once someone launches the type of platform on which it could thrive. (That third nanowrimo is a real pleasure pup.) . . . and NOW this metaphor has run its course!

I’d also like to make note of several NaNoVariations I’ve tried over the past three or so years:

  • NaNo: Steering the Craft writing exercises edition – “For this round, I’m interested to devote time to masterclass lessons from the indisputable, indefatigable, inspiring, pragmatic, kind, and kinda hilarious Ursula K. Le Guin, via her slim, powerful book, Steering the Craft – A 21st Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story.”
  • NaNoZineMo / ZineNoWriMo – Thirty mini-zines in thirty days (harder than it looked! So. much. drawing.)

While the real NaNoWriMo has a deservedly sizable following, my variations are engaged by essentially just me*. I’m sure there are other variations out there, too, like how I know at least one writer takes part in visual-arts focused Inktober (Hi, Erin! Check out her 2021 spooky Inktober micro-fic here.) I’d be curious to see who else is doing what NaNoWri-wise during November. Maybe this means you? What are you up to? Share with us in the comments!

*Update: a buddy-colleague and his teen daughter have now signed on to NaNoMiniMo