WEbook "nano" Writers Race Toward 50K

Think you've got what it takes to write a 50,000-word novel?  Well, how about doing it in one month?  Broken down into digestible chunks, that's 11,627 words per week; or 1,677 words per day; or 70 words per hour; or 1.1574 words per minute.  No matter how you chew it, it's a mouthful of writing.


November is National Novel Writing Month, and several prolific WEbookers have switched off their internal editors and sunk their teeth into this month's 50,000-word novel campaign.  With just five days to go Pythia, Tkain, Dean_Draven, May_Birchcroft, Lugh, senoritaburrito, Copperdragon, HorrorPunk, and Leland_Janson all have crossed the 25K threshold and are pushing their "nanos" toward the finish line.


I interrupted several of them for a quick round table Q and A.


So, what's your "nano" about?


Leland_Janson: Fantasy -- a genre I would never normally touch.  My story follows a band of warriors as they fight their way from tragic survivors to peace-restoring heroes.


senoritaburrito: I decided to rewrite a Welsh mythology.  This action is as yet unexplained and slightly regretted at the moment.


HorrorPunk: My title is "Agoraphobia."  A recovered agoraphobic tries to grow closer to his ex-therapist-cum-girlfriend by sharing her love of nature.


What's your writing routine?


Lugh: This year I have an ASUS Eee netbook: it's making writing on the go so much easier.  I can write on my breaks at work, or at soccer games, or wherever.


HorrorPunk: I took a couple of days to scribble together an outline; luckily it's held up pretty nicely.


senoritaburrito: I already write about 3,000 words per day, so adding another 1,700 on top of that at the end is just icing on the cake.  I tend to write every day except Monday and catch up on my Monday loss throughout the week.


What's kept you going this month?


senoritaburrito: Coffee.  Lots and lots of coffee.


Leland_Janson: I rarely eat when writing, or if I do it's mostly sugary snacks.  Perhaps I shouldn't be doing this because I might wind up suffering from malnutrition.


HorrorPunk: I've become addicted to pumpkin seeds and instant iced tea.


Lugh: Hah!  I'm the king of procrastination, which might explain why I'm so far behind.  And I'm still trying to regroup from my garage being blown up!


Listening to any inspirational music?


Lugh: Chistian pop -- and a lot of Pink Floyd.


Leland_Janson: Sometimes an angry tune from Linkin Park or Rage Against the Machine can inspire fast keyboard acrobatics.  For more sensitive parts and detailed description the music has to go off.


HorrorPunk: If my son is with me, I'm usually listening to SpongeBob or the Smurfs in the background.


Did I miss any nano writers out there?  If so, pop into WEbook's nano forum thread to update us on your progress, swap stories, or provide some words of encouragement.


Good luck during the stretch run!


Start reading, writing, and feedbacking today.  Sign up now for WEbook.


TsungChi



WEbooker of the WEek Lives Life to the Fullest

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One of the coolest
things about WEbook is the diversity of
our writing community.  We’re home to
writers from all over the globe, young and old, from all different
backgrounds. 




Nrhatch, today’s WEbooker of
the WEek, is on her third career.  She
always wanted to be a writer, but somehow she ended up in law school.  After thirteen years as a defense litigation
attorney, Nrhatch had a wake
up call – in the form of a tumor – which reminded her that “it doesn’t make
sense to postpone happiness, since life is inherently uncertain.”




So she gave it all up
and became a writer – right? Well, not
just yet.  First, she spent ten years
working in the non-profit world.  She ran
a domestic violence crisis intervention team, and then an AmeriCorps program.





Then, last spring, Nrhatch quit her job and
was preparing to sell her house and move to Florida, when, in her words:  “The contract on our house fell
through, just as the real estate market, the economy, and my
computer hard drive all crashed.” 
She lost all the writing files she’d been working on in her spare time,
and didn’t know what to do.  Then she
found WEbook, and decided to start over again as part of this writing
community.




Nrhatch is involved in many
projects on WEbook, as a writer, reader, proof-reader, editor, and project
leader.  Her favorite projects are those that make her laugh.  Says
Nrhatch: “I've seen enough
negatives in my life . . . now I want to focus on
positives.  So, my writing tends to veer from the seamier,
steamier issues of life to focus on love, laughter, happiness, peace,
and contentment.”    



She is most proud of her
semi-autobiographical novel, Back Stage Pass,
which is nearing completion of its first draft.  The book is not open
for feedback just yet, but Nrhatch
promises to make it available as soon as she gets through some preliminary editing and proofreading.




To get to know the real Nrhatch , I asked a few tough
questions:




Q: If you could choose between a long phone call
with someone you miss, or a surprise letter in your mailbox from the very same
person, which would you choose? 




A:  Letters are nice, as they can be read and
re-read.  But for someone that I really missed, I'd prefer a phone call,
with the opportunity for immediate back and forth, and laughter. 




Q: What are 3 things that inspire you to write?




A: Sharing what I've learned about life, love,
and the pursuit of happiness with others.  Spreading laughter. 
Helping people to keep the ups and downs of life in perspective by reminding
them that "how you relate to the issue, is the issue."  





Q:  What's your greatest writing weakness?




A:  My greatest writing weakness has been the
fear of success.  I love being anonymous -- no one cares what I do or say
as I go through my daily life.  Loss of anonymity is the price paid
for fame and fortune.  Ideally, I'd like people
to read what I've written, without caring too much about who wrote
it. In other words, I'll take the fortune, without the fame. 




Q:  How
about your greatest non-writing weakness?



A:  My greatest non-writing
weakness has been trying "to please all of the people, all
of the time" -- an impossibility, of course.  This summer, I
gave myself permission to stop trying to please others at the expense of my own
happiness.  It's been liberating for me . . . and frustrating for
certain "acquaintances" who no longer get exactly what they want
from me, exactly when they want it.       




Q:  Name one thing you know now that you
didn't know 10 years ago.  How about 20 years ago?




A: I can't say exactly
when I learned the following, but they are integral to my increasing happiness:





Ships are safe in
harbor, but that's not what ships are for.  In order to discover our
purpose, and pursue it with passion, we need to stop playing it
safe.  We need to let go of the shore, and let billow our sails.  We
need to let life unfold, rather than trying to read from a script that we wrote
for ourselves when we were younger, and less experienced.





We have as many
reputations as we have acquaintances, and none of them is accurate.  If we
try to correct these inaccurate impressions, we won't have energy
left for our creative endeavors.  So, instead of wasting time
worrying about what others think about me at any given moment of
time, I focus my efforts on being able to say, with confidence,
"Who I am is who I want to be!"



WEbooker
of the WEek




Do you
have a line on the wonderfullest writer on WEbook?
The fantastickest feedbacker? Or anyone else who goes above and beyond to make WEbook the best writing, reading, and
publishing community on the internet? Drop me an email, or visit my profile and send me a
message with the title "WEbooker
of the WEek
" to nominate your favorite WEbooker and he or she will
have a shot at joining the ranks of the immortals -- and getting a free WEbook T-shirt to boot.



Join WEbook Today



Sign up for WEbook today and
start reading, writing, and feedbacking.



-- Melissa



What's New on WEbook: Personalized Project Recommendations and More!

Have you felt strangely compelled to spend more time than ever on WEbook today, doing all the things the site is so great for: reading, writing, and getting involved with other people's projects?  Have you found yourself saying, "Man!  Another great project that's right up my alley!  WEbook sure is on the money today?"  Have you nearly gotten caught reading WEbook projects when you should be organizing your boss's staple cup a dozen times since lunch?


If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you, my friend, have fallen victim to WEbook's new Jedi master mind-reading powers.


You might like


Yes, it's true, WEbook can read your mind.  But only if you let us.  As of today, WEbookers who have filled out the "What I like to read" and "What I like to write" fields in their profiles will be treated to personalized suggestions in the "You might like..." box of their homepages.  To help us help you, just fill out your profile.  You can get to it through the my WEbook tab at the top Profile_wizard of any WEbook page.  From there, the handy Profile Wizard will guide you through the steps.


But wait!  There's more!  WEbookers in need of writers, readers, editors, inspirers, and plain old friends can now search for people based on what they like to read, what they like to write, and what they like to do on WEbook.  Click on "Advanced search" and  select "Member" to start finding your WEsoulmates.


Finduser


Start Writing Now!


To find people and projects you'll love, sign up for WEbook today.


-- Melissa



Featured WEbook Project: Write the Story of Someone Else's Life

One of the joys of writing is using your imagination to bring to life situations, events, places, and people you've never actually encountered in real life.  But this imaginative work isn't always easy.  Suppose your main character suddenly decides she wants to spend a few weeks in Taos, New Mexico -- but you've never been west of the Mississippi.  How do you get the details right? 


What if you're writing about a love affair between a prep cook and a busboy at a greasy spoon -- but you've taught high school English for twenty years?  Where do you go to find out the flavor of the day-to-day life of a diner worker?


Maybe you just finished writing your 300th draft of your novel telling the story of the summer you spent working on a fishing boat in Seattle -- and you'd like to work on something that's not about you, for a change.  How do you find inspiration and information to get you writing outside the "box" of your own life?


The solution to these dilemmas (and more) can be found in a new WEbook project, Need an Expert for a Plot Problem?  In Need an Expert...?, WEbookers are pitching in to trade life experiences and expertise with their fellow writers.  Whether you're a writer in need, or a volunteer willing to talk to someone about your life -- or both -- Need an Expert...? promises company, inspiration, and not a little bit of good, old-fashioned learning.


Here's how it works:  Altruistic WEbookers visit Need an Expert...? and make a deposit in the "experience bank" by creating a submission that briefly describes either a place, a career, or a life event that they know something about.  Writers come along and scan the submissions.  When they encounter something that piques their interest -- or meshes with a current project in progress -- they send the author a private message to find out more.  A correspondence develops, and before you know it, the writer knows everything he or she could ever hope to know about what it was like to be in Memphis on the day Elvis died.  Voila!  A story is born.


Need an Expert...? currently contains 75 offers for information, ranging from court reporting to surviving spinal meningitis.  Visit the project today to submit your own experiences, and to get inspired by the rich lives your fellow WEbookers have led!


Featured WEbook Projects


Know a really great project on WEbook? Want to spread the word? Send me an email or visit my profile and drop me a message to nominate it as a Featured WEbook Project!


Start Writing Now!


To get started, sign up for WEbook today.


-- Melissa



WEbooker of the WEek and the Other

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If you’ve been paying attention to WEbook’s recent voting
cycle
, you may have noticed a book called God and the Other
hovering around the top of the vote rankings. 
The project first caught my eye in the early days of voting, when I
noticed that the author, KristinaMeister,
had apparently brought along a posse – dedicated fans who’d followed God and the Other
on its journey through cyberspace.  What
an awesome use of social networking! 
(And the book ain’t bad, either.)



I had to know more about KristinaMeister, so I
named her WEbooker
of the WEek
and gave her the third degree.



KristinaMeister
KristinaMeister
grew up in a small town in California. 
She’s been obsessed with writing since high school.  She started
writing her first book in my freshman year of college, and, amazingly, has
written about one per year ever since.  In addition to being a writer, KristinaMeister  says she is “a geek who could beat or match
anyone’s knowledge of any sci-fi cannon; a funky dresser who never has ‘normal’
hair; an avid traveler who’s taught English abroad in Thailand; a massage therapist;
and a one-time cast member on the reality TV show The Search for the
Next Elvira
.”  (Seriously.)  
She climbs rocks, lifts weights, mountain bikes, and loves to sit around
reading comic books and debating which Captain of the Federation was the best.  (KristinaMeister votes
Picard all the way.)



God and the Other is
dedicated to Kristina’s best friend Shane, who passed away from testicular
cancer three years ago, at the age of 24.  Several weeks after his death,
Kristina had a dream about a boy being chased by an angel.  According to
Kristina, “While grieving, I realized that that dream could be turned into a
story -- not just any story, but the philosophical thesis of my best friend’s
life: Man must, in these rapidly changing times, push aside old ways of
perceiving the universe, conquer his doubt, learn to rely upon himself, take
responsibility for his actions, and never lose sight of the joy that can be
found.”  The character Shawn in God and the Other is
based on Kristina’s best friend. 



To find out more about KristinaMeister, I
asked her a few probing questions.



Q:  Where do you see yourself in five years –
using only five words?



A:  Preferably,
hop-scotching around the world



Q:  What is your least favorite word?



A:  You might suppose
it would be an expletive, but no -- I have a fine appreciation of
cussing.  My least favorite word is vet,
used as a verb.  It bothers me.  To me, vetting is something my
animal doctor does, not something that should be said in lieu of investigating.



Q:  I see from your profile that you’ve visited
many places in the world.  What is the
one thing you miss most from somewhere you’ve been?





A:  I think I miss the
beer in London.  There’s nothing better than English beer.  Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the way it should be, served at room temp, no bubbles, and
thick enough that you could dip your bread in it, if you needed to eat bread
after having one.



Q:  What do you hope to achieve with your
writing?


A:
I have always hoped that my books would be tools for helping people achieve
their potential, just as my favorite books have been for me.

WEbooker
of the WEek




Do you
have a line on the wonderfullest writer on WEbook?
The fantastickest feedbacker? Or anyone else who goes above and beyond to make WEbook the best writing, reading, and
publishing community on the internet? Drop me an email, or visit my profile and send me a
message with the title "WEbooker
of the WEek
" to nominate your favorite WEbooker and he or she will
have a shot at joining the ranks of the immortals -- and getting a free WEbook T-shirt to boot.



Join WEbook Today



Sign up for WEbook today and
start reading, writing, and feedbacking.



-- Melissa











WEbook Vote Closes

Vote
The second WEbook voting cycle is officially closed!  Books marked with a "Top 10%" icon will be carefully considered by the WEbook team, along with a few books that didn't make the top 10% of total "thumbs up" votes, but got a high percentage of "thumbs up" votes out of total votes.

Congratulations to all who made the top 10%, and to the authors of Corona, The Thirteenth Sign, The Colour Caster, Ex-Pat Journal, and The Summer House.  Stay tuned in the coming weeks to find out which books get the green light for publication.

Want to get published?

At
WEbook, our users write, read, and decide which books get published. 
Submit your book to a publication cycle -- if the WEbook community
likes your work, you'll have a shot at being the next published WEbook
author.  Publication cycles run every 3-4 months, so start preparing
your book for the next cycle now!

Sign up for WEbook today to work on your book, get feedback, and prepare for publication.



Last Day of the WEbook Vote: Let your Voice be Heard!

Vote
Thousands of WEbookers have spent the last two weeks helping WEbook choose its next published books.  Today is your last chance to vote for your favorite books!  Check out the books up for publication here.  When you find a book you like, give it your seal of approval by voting "thumbs up." 

Voting closes tonight at midnight Pacific time.  Once the voting ends, WEbook will choose its next published books from works that make the top 10%.  We will announce the final winners in the weeks to come -- keep your eyes open!

Want to get published?

At WEbook, our users write, read, and decide which books get published.  Submit your book to a publication cycle -- if the WEbook community likes your work, you'll have a shot at being the next published WEbook author.  Publication cycles run every 3-4 months, so start preparing your book for the next cycle now!

Sign up for WEbook today to work on your book, get feedback, and prepare for publication.



Celebrate National Novel Writing Month: Join WEbook at Writer's Brew in NYC

Brewwriter_sm November is National Novel Writing Month, and WEbook wants to lend a hand -- and a free cup of coffee.  If you're working on a writing project, you'll find plenty of virtual company on WEbook.com -- and this Thursday, November 20, New York City writers will find plenty of real company at Writer's Brew, an all-day event at the Hungarian Pastry Shop in Morningside Heights.


If you've ever dreamed of being like Ernest Hemingway, surrounded by literary luminaries in the cafes of Paris, or like C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien sharing ideas as members of the literary salon "Inklings," you'll have a blast at Writer's Brew.  Meet other writers, sip some coffee, and write  to your heart's content.  You bring the laptop and the endless fountain of ideas; we'll supply the coffee and pastries.


What:  Writer's Brew, a gathering of New York City writers.  Bring your laptop and work on a current project, and get free coffee and pastries.


When:  Thursday, November 20, 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM


Where:  The Hungarian Pastry Shop, 1030 Amsterdam Avenue (at 111th St.)


Why:  Because WEbook loves writers.



Unique WEbooker of the WEek

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I love a WEbooker who brings writers together -- like DomUnique, WEbooker of the
WEek.  “Dom,” as his friends on the site
call him, is the leader of seven poetry projects that are open to all WEbookers
– several of which are currently vying for publication in the WEbook Voting
Cycle.



Po-me Poetry and Po-me Poetry II
collect “empathic poems that people can read and relate to their own problems.”  According to DomUnique, “Po-me stands for
"Poor me" and it's like my spin on the "Chicken Soup for the
Soul" series. Everybody has a story to tell and I put no rules or
restraints. I like to allow people to be themselves and the members like that
and come back often. Vent, cry, plead, yell. My goal is to get various viewpoints
on different issues so that those who can relate to these stories can find
peace of mind that what they are feeling is normal and they are not alone.”



In 2 Words, WEbookers have
written a series of poems with only two words in each line. 



And, for those who thrive on a little friendly conflict, Battle Me invites
WEbookers to direct their wit and way with words against their fellow
writers.   Visit the project to see
your favorite WEbook poets go head to head – and, if you’re feeling brave,
write your own submission and challenge another WEbooker to come out and play.



Domunique
So how did DomUnique
become such a great leader of group poetry projects?  In his own words:  “I'm the oldest of 11 so I learned to be a
good listener/counselor. I didn't have anyone to relate my problems to so I
held a lot in and began to write. I didn't really consider myself good until I
was 15. Four novels, two screenplays, and many poems later, writing is still my
therapy.”



Find out more about DomUnique
by visiting his profile and reading his work on WEbook.

WEbooker
of the WEek




Do you
have a line on the wonderfullest writer on WEbook?
The fantastickest feedbacker? Or anyone else who goes above and beyond to make WEbook the best writing, reading, and
publishing community on the internet? Drop me an email, or visit my profile and send me a
message with the title "WEbooker
of the WEek
" to nominate your favorite WEbooker and he or she will
have a shot at joining the ranks of the immortals -- and getting a free WEbook T-shirt to boot.



Join WEbook Today



Sign up for WEbook today and
start reading, writing, and feedbacking.



-- Melissa



Self-Published Park Bench Writer Named WEbooker of the WEek

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The first I heard of michaeldeshazer was
through an email he sent to WEbook. 
Michael said he spent his afternoons in Union Square Park writing and
promoting his self-published books.  He’d
just discovered WEbook, and he wanted to know if we could give him some fliers
to hand out to folks he met in the park.



What a way to get noticed!



WEbook sent an emissary to Union Square Park to meet michaeldeshazer and
give him some schwag.  Since then, I’ve
received no fewer than five (5) messages nominating Michael for WEbooker of the
WEek
– a record for a single WEbooker. 
So, who is this masked man?



To begin with, michaeldeshazer is the
author of Pieces, a “non-linear”
novel currently in contention to become the
next published WEbook
.  He is also
the project leader of Kick
the Bucket
, a collection of imagined last words by WEbookers far and
wide.  This project is also vying for
publication.



Michael has been writing poetry since middle school, and he
started writing fiction in high school. 
He wrote his first novel the summer before his senior year.  In 2006, he moved to New York City to attend
college, where he met author Karen
E. Quinones Miller
.   Karen advised him to live only to improve his
writing.  Says Michael, “I did just that.”



What happened next is a little unusual.  Michael moved in with five of his best
friends, “who just so happened to be strippers,” and started taking Karen’s
advice. The summer before his sophomore year, he wrote a book of
thought-provoking jokes called NC-17.
 His novel Pieces
is his most recent work.



Because he writes and sells his books from a park bench in
Union Square Park, Michael calls himself the “Park Bench Writer.”  However, he says:  “Even when I don’t have to sell my books on
the streets and in the park, I’ll still be the Park Bench Writer, because the
park bench represents the lowest point of my life – when I slept on them – and the
greatest period of hope in my life – selling my words and my dreams on park
benches.”



Speaking frankly about his experiences with self-publishing,
michaeldeshazer
says, “It sucks.  Don’t do it unless you
really believe in your writing and you absolutely can’t see yourself doing
anything else.”  Michael hopes to get published through
WEbook
, but, more importantly, he also hopes to improve his writing through
the community’s critiques, and to build relationships with and learn from
people who love writing as much as he does.



In the meantime, he kindly answered WEbook’s inane questions:





Q:  What's the last funny joke you heard?
 



A:  Waitress: What do you call a cow with
no legs?



Me: I don't know (even though I did).



Waitress: Ground beef.



You had to be there.



Q:  When was the last time you lost
your temper?



A:  I was doing
laundry at 3:00 a.m. a couple blocks from my apartment. After I put my clothes
in the washer, I decided to go home and twiddle my thumbs there as opposed to
the musty Laundromat. En route to my
apartment, I witnessed a drive-by shooting. When I arrived home, I called 911
and reported it. I knew the approximate location, but I wasn't sure of the
address of the house it occurred in front of. For this reason, the dispatcher
explained, she could not send any units to the scene. I lost my temper when I
realized I was trying to convince the police department to investigate a murder
scene.



Q:  What are your daily writing
habits?



A:  I take notes on
everyday occurrences, and then once a month or so, I sit down with those notes,
and  create some form of prose.  I also blog semi-regularly.



Q:  What's your favorite WEbook
project not started by you?



A:  6 Word Stories,
the Sequel




Q:  Describe where you see yourself
in 5 years – using only 5 words.



A:  Eye wanna right
reel whale.

WEbooker
of the WEek




Do you
have a line on the wonderfullest writer on WEbook?
The fantastickest feedbacker? Or anyone else who goes above and beyond to make WEbook the best writing, reading, and
publishing community on the internet? Drop me an email, or visit my profile and send me a
message with the title "WEbooker
of the WEek
" to nominate your favorite WEbooker and he or she will
have a shot at joining the ranks of the immortals -- and getting a free WEbook T-shirt to boot.



Join WEbook Today



Sign up for WEbook today and
start reading, writing, and feedbacking.



-- Melissa



What's Happening: WEbook Vote

Vote
After months of anticipation, the big day is finally here.  Millions of Americans will be casting their votes for the next President of the United States -- and here at WEbook, thousands of writers and readers from all over the world will weigh in on the next hot published book.

Check out the submissions here.  Each WEbooker can vote once for each book -- just give it the thumbs up (publish!), thumbs down (don't think so), or thumbs "neutral" (not sure).  Voting runs until November 18, so take your time and take a look at a few books every day.

Not sure where to start?  Check out the WEbook Spotlight offerings, at the top of the voting page.  These WEbook staff picks will change each day, giving exceptional submissions a chance to shine, and helping voters focus their efforts.  Don't forget to browse the rest of the listings by vote rank, title, genre, or author, to find other books you may be interested in.

And, because the WEbook staff isn't perfect, we invite you to nominate any extra-fantastic projects you come across for the WEbook Spotlight -- just visit my profile and send me a message with the subject line: Spotlight. 

Happy voting!

Join WEbook Today



Sign
up for WEbook today
and help pick the next published WEbooks!



-- Melissa



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