Hey friends and family! I’ve just returned from a fun filled weekend at America’s first national park (Yellowstone for those not in the know). I’ve been going to this wonderful freak of nature since I was a young lad, but had not visited in over a decade. It was like reuniting with an absent friend. We were a bit uncomfortable with each other at first, but after a few hours, it was like we’d never separated. I have photos galore to share, but will save them for a different post.

It’s the first Wednesday of the month, and that means the Insecure Writer’s Support Group is gathering for our monthly blog hop. If you don’t know who we are and what we do, go here http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/p/iwsg-sign-up.html

Sign up, blog up, share your stories.

We are a supportive, clever, funny, attractive bunch of writers with hopes and fears, insecurities, failures and successes, just like the rest of you who haven’t joined yet. Quit wallowing in your own misery and let us wallow with you.


On the writing front, I finally submitted the poetry chapbook. As I expected, the moment I clicked send, I was certain there were millions of typos, or worse, I’d sent the wrong document. I quadruple checked. It is the right document. I’m not yet ready to check for typos.

But I’ve talked about this contest already. It’s time for a new (old) topic. I’ve made an executive decision considering NaNoWriMo. I’ve unofficially competed for the last three years, making my word count goal twice (the third book didn’t reach 50,000 words), and because of that, I’ve debated actually entering this November. It seems that having a concrete month, clear word count goal has been essential to my completing projects. The hard part- November is an awful busy month to be writing every day. I struggle to write around my birthday, my sisters birthday, and Thanksgiving. Last year, I was in NYC the first week and never really caught up. I still want to write the first 50,000 words in 30 days, just not those 30 days.

Looking ahead, October is a really great month for writing. I have fewer commitments. The weather is nicer. Days are a bit longer. Kids are in school more of the days. Yeah, this seems like a winning scenario.

For the novel writing readers of this blog- I’m curious as to your writing schedule. Have you competed in NaNo? What sorts of goals do you set for yourselves?

For the rest of you schmucks- Thanks for reading and leave a nice comment below about how wonderful you find me and how grateful you are that we are friends.

I couldn’t resist sharing at least one Yellowstone picture. Gosh we are cute.



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About fenster

There are some who call me, Tim?

29 responses to “IWSG-September”

  1. cluculzwriter says :

    Welcome to IWSG Wednesday. Yes, you both are cute. Looks like a fascinating place. I asked my husband if we could go, but he thinks the drive is a bit too long. We’re in BC. We have taken the Oregon Trail a few times. Great scenery.

  2. jmh says :

    You two *are* cute.

    I’ve considered moving NaNo too, but found I missed the check-ins and informal competition with other writers. Seeing my writing buddies “beat” me always gave me a kick in the butt.

    I’ve “won” NaNo three times now, and will be going in for a fourth time, as far as I know. Good luck next month! Let me know how it goes.

    • fenster says :

      I think if I had officially entered, I might feel the same. Participating without participating makes me think that any 30 days will work. If I get a week in and find differently, I will change the plan and do November again, this time by actually entering.

    • Liesbet says :

      You two are so darn cute! But, I find Yellowstone cuter. 🙂 It seems like one needs a lot of time to do it justice, so justice we will do it, one day. In the meantime, it is time for our first vacation in 7 years: five days in Acadia NP (Maine), starting Friday. I am very excited. We will also be so cute there (especially, since I just came back from the hairdresser – the first time in many years as well.) I just realized that none of this comment has to do with writing, so: “Write on, Ryan! Congrats with the chapbook submission and good luck with the NaNo thing.”

      • fenster says :

        Acadia is beautiful! And yes, you need need need to see Yellowstone. It is best if you have many days, but even a few is a good start. It was more crowded this trip than any in the past, but that likely had to do with it being Labor Day weekend than anything else. I haven’t done much backcountry there (it scares me some. Bears.Hot springs and the like), but friends tell me it is epic. The thermal features alone are worth the trip, and the waterfalls…sigh. So much beauty.

    • Liesbet says :

      Holli, do you write/work on a new book/story every year for NaNo? Or, are you allowed to keep working on the same one?

  3. Chrys Fey says :

    Congrats on submitting your poetry chapbook!!!

    I’ve never attempted NaNo, but doing it in October sounds much more convenient. Who thought of doing it during a month with a busy holiday that leads to an even busier holiday?

    Good luck with your writing! 🙂

    • fenster says :

      Thanks! Win or lose, I feel I’ve created something worthwhile. It will find a home somewhere.

      As for NaNo, yeah, November is an odd choice. Something always gets in my way. This October experiment might be a good idea. I’ll know soon enough, I guess.

  4. J.L. Campbell (@JL_Campbell) says :

    The insecurity never seems to go away, no matter if it’s our first or 10th book. I’ve done NaNo several times with success.Not sure about this year. The month always seem to turn crazy.

  5. elsieamata says :

    I agree. You two are cute. I’m glad you posted the picture. I’ve never been to Yellowstone. I really need to get there one of these days. I’ve never entered anything. Too scared. I’m a big baby! Good luck!

    co-host IWSG

  6. rxena77 says :

    You two look like you are having so much fun. I am an anti-NaNo person. It’s not how many words you write a day, but how many GOOD ones. Throwing down as many words a day as you can, and then saying you will edit out of that a good novel ,,, is like saying you will slap as many boards together as you can to build your home and THEN go back and make the foundation sturdy. 🙂

    But I am in the minority … which is a good place to be if you listen to the ghost of Mark Twain! I write daily all year not just for a month, It works for me. Have a great October writing!

    • fenster says :

      I agree that writing words for the sake of words isn’t all that great, but I do think a focused daily (or monthly or yearly, or whatever) word count can be helpful. I don’t believe that quality and quantity are necessarily mutually exclusive. Speed does not mean sloppiness, and good or bad is always subjective and relative. I write as often as I can, not just for NaNo, but for me, the 50,000 word goal was something that helped me attack a larger project.

      Before I committed to NaNo, I would be write, then edit myself out of idea after idea, trying to compose the perfect draft. Unfortunately, the perfect draft doesn’t exist. That doesn’t mean I quit writing with focus and just threw up on the page and hoped. Instead, I fought through confusion and difficulty by changing the scene, or writing ahead rather than editing and staying stuck. I may be delusional, but I think I ended up with a quality first draft, and after editing (and editing, and editing), it feels even better, to me that is.

      Thanks for the encouraging words about October. I will have a great month of writing, but there are a few projects to finish before then.

      I’m glad you stopped by,

  7. Michelle Wallace says :

    Glad to hear that you’ve submitted the poetry chapbook!! 🙂

    With regards to NaNo, I completed my very first CampNaNo in July (only 15,500 word goal) It was very convenient for me, as we have a three-week school holiday at the end of June going into July.
    I don’t think that NaNoWriMo will work for me. There are two reasons. As a teacher, November is a hectic month and we’re wrapping up the school year. The 50K word goal is SCARY! As a slow writer, I’m not sure I can do it.
    Happy IWSG Day!

    The photo is super-cute! 🙂

    • fenster says :

      That 50k word goal is insanely frightening. Even thinking about it again makes me nervous and maybe I have to break the block in my brain that says I can’t write the larger works without the pressure. I never finished a work in the month, but reaching the halfway point, or the 3/4 point was a nice feeling.

      Thanks for the help with the poetry. I’ll send you the completed work, but for my sanity, please don’t point out any typos! HAHA!

  8. Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor says :

    That’s the worst when you send something and then start to panic that it was the wrong thing or that it’s full of errors. I failed at NaNoWriMo last year, but am contemplating giving it another go this year.

  9. Diane Burton says :

    I’ve had that dreaded feeling after submitting something many times. Never been to Yellowstone. It’s on my Bucket List. Great pictures.

  10. Alex J. Cavanaugh (@AlexJCavanaugh) says :

    Been years since I went to Yellowstone. Bet it was amazing.
    Make October your NaNo month. I’ve done one in June because that’s when I needed to write the first draft.

  11. Mason T. Matchak says :

    Haven’t been to Yellowstone since I was a kid, but I remember it well. It’s good to see it again. ^_^

    I’ve never done NaNo, but I write really quickly, so it’s not really a challenge for me – my last book’s first draft was 98000 words in thirty-two days. But if having that set requirement of word count and time period works for you, go for it. I know some people say having a deadline helps them write, so this could be the same sort of thing for you.

    • fenster says :

      It does help me. I don’t usually finish the draft in the 30 days, but that jump start is so motivating. Seeing those 50,000 words inspires me to finish the draft.

  12. Crystal Collier says :

    Sounds to me like you need to do Camp Nano in July. I participated in Nano one year, and completed the greatest train wreck of my writing career. Definitely not the approach for me.

    Yellowstone! I worked a summer in West, and I adore the area. I can’t think of Yellowstone with out smiling and reliving that amazing summer.

    • fenster says :

      July would be hard as my kids are out of school. They are teens, but somehow that means they need more attention. I can see how NaNo might not work for everyone. What I really need to do is try and write without that monthly word count goal and see how I do.

      Yellowstone! I always wondered what it would be like to work there or in West. We stayed in West Yellowstone for the first time. Not much of a town, really, but it was nice to have a swell hotel room to come back to each night.

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