NaNoWriMo.org (external link):
At the encouragement of a dear friend, I began participating in NaNoWriMo back in 2003. Each November,
participants in the "National Novel Writing Month," which is actually an international event now with
over 310,000+ participants (as of 2013), attempt to write 50,000+ words of a novel / script / epic poem / etc.
in 30 days or less.
The prize for doing so is the warm fuzzy feeling of accomplishment. The word count
is the goal, it doesn't matter if it's not edited, polished, or even finished by the end of the month,
just as long as you reach the 50,000-word mark before 11:59pm on November 30th (local time). It's a fun
challenge, but not nearly as easy as it might seem to some of you. I've only reached the 50,000 mark three times
(in 2004, 2011, and 2016) in my decade-plus of annual attempts. The 20,000+ words of 2010 was my next best finish.
My NaNoWriMo attempts are as follows:
- 2003: Bleecker Street High (version #1)
- 2004: PriCon III (the
only first one to hit 50,000+ words)
- 2005: Untitled
- 2006: The Mines of Goltsan
- 2007: Untitled Melodrama
- 2008: Untitled Melodrama
- 2009: Untitled Melodrama
- 2010: Bleecker Street High (version #2)
- 2011: The Mourning Meadows - WINNER! 50,293 words
- 2012: Paradise, In Theory... Cover Art
- 2013: HMS Traveller -- Cover Art
- 2014: Journeying Down A Lonely Path -- Cover Art -- attempt derailed due to death in the family.
- 2015: Untitled Steampunk Novel
- 2016: Untitled Steampunk Novel - WINNER! 54,509 words
The Dragonriders of Pern®: Although I've been writing stories for most
of my life, it was Dragonsdawn by Anne McCaffrey, which I read in the winter of 2000/2001, that
has had the greatest impact on both my writing and reading habits. Within days, if not hours, of finishing
Dragonsdawn I was searching the internet for more books by Anne about Pern. Thus I discovered
her vast body of work on the Dragonriders of Pern series, and the even larger fandom community.
I can't recall if I read any other books in the series before joining my first Pern writing club (Seaside
Weyr), but I was so enamoured with Anne's Pern that I wanted to write in it (if not live in it!). Jumping
forward to today, a decade has passed since I first read that book. In that time, I've written for 75+/-
personae and 200+ NPC characters in a 1000+ stories at nearly 30 Pern clubs -- several of which I either
owned or co-founded, or where I was one of the founding writers. I may never get to live on a planet like
Pern, but I can honestly say that I honed my writing skills there!
The following is very tiny sample of my vast body of Dragonriders of Pern® writing and personae:
UPDATE (14-aug-2012): I have proof that history repeats itself! After an absence of
fandom writing for several years, I'm
active very active in writing again, and it is at one of
first clubs I joined back in 2001: Seacrest Weyr (https://sites.google.com/site/seacrestterritory/home).
How active am I, you might ask. Well, active enough that I've had to resort to creating a database to keep track
of what characters I have at the various locations in the club. See for yourself:
my personae as of July, 2014.
Genealogy: Truth is stranger than fiction, or so the old saying goes. The older I get,
the more inclined I am to believe that this is true. Several years ago, the term project in my upper level
core English class at college, we had to pick a relative and write a research paper on their life. I
picked my maternal grandmother, and my expectation was that it was going to be a fairly straight forward
paper without any surprises... WRONG!
The research did not turn up anything unexpected about my grandmother; however, it did turn up some
unexpected, interesting, and quite puzzling things about her father and about her eldest sister's
heretofore unknown about (by my mother and I) first marriage. I truly regret not having done something
like this paper back when my grandmother, or one of her siblings, was still alive to help explain some
of the mystery that now hangs over my knowledge of that part of my family tree.
Gertrude Kraier Kleipass: A heavily Abridged Biography
The Kraier Family Tree (a work in progress)