Throw-Back Thursday

I’ve always wanted to do one of these.

Gosh, when we were kids, we came up with some of the dumbest stories. I wish we could write better back in those days and had recorded what we created, because it would be wonderful entertainment now.

Let me tell you a story from my childhood. Now, my sister and I are only 17 months apart – I always wished we were twins, she sometimes wished we were from different families. She has a brilliant gift for storytelling, and to be honest, she cultivated my imagination otherwise I would have been terribly dull. Another thing you need to know is the eldest always had to play the boy character (because there was always a boy and he was always older.) But then she surpassed me in height, and it turns out the boy always had to be taller, so for the rest of our lives, I got to be the girl.

This is neither here nor there. I’m just saying our stories were roleplays.

Cue the characters:

Mark was attractive, charming, and way strong. Like he could lift 100 pounds easily.

Marcus was even more attractive and more charming. He could lift 200 pounds!

It’s important to remember we were 11 and 12 years old here.

Then there are the girls. Cindy was pretty and sweet, and surprisingly strong too. She could lift 50 pounds.

Sidney was even more pretty and sweet, and, you guessed it, could lift 100 pounds!

This is a great cast of characters already.

Then comes the villain…

Barlow. Bully Barlow. You know he’s a villain because it’s in the title. Bully Barlow was tough stuff. He picked on kids and had a gang and a right-hand man named Joe (I had to be Joe because I was short.) But it’s important to note Bully Barlow wasn’t just mean. He was misunderstood. He had a bad habit of never being mean to girls, and rumor had it he had a crush on Cindy (or Sidney. I could never keep them straight.)

Marcus and Sidney (Cindy) weren’t really in the picture much. They were probably off fighting crime or something. Mostly they showed up when eye candy warranted it or to face off against Barlow.

Oh, I forgot something important! Bully Barlow could lift 150 pounds. Math geniuses, us.

Welcome to a glimpse into the past.

This has been,


P.S. My word count is sadly lacking… Poor Mo.


NaNo Update

Well, I got off to a decent start the first TWO days, and then I don’t know what happened!

Life happened. That’s what. Also, lack of motivation. I might tell my darling husband “I am writing for an hour today,” but as soon as he looks at me with those puppy eyes and says, “Watch a show with me?” all perseverance goes out the window.

Another aspect of the story I’m currently writing is I’m just not feeling very inspired. It was so cool when I conceived it, but now that there’s work to be done, meh.

What we have accomplished in the place of writing this month:

  • Finally hung wedding pictures (over a year later.)
  • Rearranged kitchen decorations
  • Cleaned the entertainment room
  • All the laundry
  • Replaced the dingy shower curtains
  • Began work cleaning the garage so we can store vehicles again.
  • Started watching The Order on Netflix

So we HAVE been productive! Just not with writing…

What are your struggles this year and what have you procrastinated in the place of writing?

This as been,

The Procrastination Station


Special Post

Friends, NaNoWriMo is upon us…

Tis the season in which we forsake realty, reason, and relative socialism. We writers remain holed up in our huts brewing something magical and mysterious.

If you are participating in National Novel Writing Month 2019, drop me a line on my profile page here.

I will continue updating my blog biweekly as usual, but keep an eye (or both, as often as you can spare them) for Special Posts just like this one in which I record my adventures through what will be my SIXTH NaNoWriMo. My first year in 2013, I wrote Clockwork Dreams and published the following year. What an exciting time!

This year’s story is about a witch – golly is it a problem I write so much about witches? A good witch, a kind witch, a woman who has lived endless time but whose heart still breaks when she is unable to save a missing lamb from her beloved fold.

The Witch’s Treehouse follows Mo as she finally settles down from an adventurous life, only to find her troubles have followed her. When the children of her tiny, innocent village are threatened, she must take up her mantle once again and be the hero. But time and fortune are no longer on her side…

Join me! Let’s play writers!

This has been,



The End is Near

I distinctly remember that day in October when my friend texted me. It was early in the morning. I opened the message to read her giving me an update, as she had been doing all month, on the approach of November. This time there were only four days before NaNoWriMo. The same fear and anxiety that plagued me then has returned, because you see…

There are only four days LEFT of NaNo

I’m about 8,000 words away from completing my goal, which isn’t a difficult task to accomplish. I have been known to write 5K words in a given day – given enough time, that is. The main obstacle I’m encountering now is trying to figure out what would be the next step in my timeline. I have only dropped a few minimal clues for my murder detectives, certainly not enough for them to solve the mystery, and I’m honestly stuck trying to figure this out myself. I mean, I know who did it. I know how they did it. I know why they did it. And gosh darn it if they weren’t so good at concealing themselves and planting clues not even I can find fault with them.

Writing is tough business. It just is. No one realizes how much work you put into your projects, but that knowledge is solely for your benefit. You reap the most reward from sitting back and enjoying a work well done. When you pick up another author’s book, you don’t just admire the cover and flip through the pages. You don’t just become immersed in the story. You take a minute, wonder how many years were put into the pages, admire the clean look and feel, and maybe even give a nod of appreciation when you find a small typo – because everyone has one. We wouldn’t be human without typos.

I initially began this blog post with a song stuck in my head from the animated movie for The Return of the King. It speaks of roads and goodbyes and sad, sweet things. But now I’m not feeling the message (and I can’t claim the song for my word count anyway.) I’m actually feeling fairly positive.

Wrimos, we can do this. We showed up, we came to the game, and we got in and played. It’s only fair to ourselves to keep charging ahead toward that finish line as if we were in a race competing with a runner who we’ve been neck-and-neck with all month. It’s nearing the end. We can see the red tape. We just need to stay the course, inch passed our competitor, and claim the goal. Now, our competitor is Time and the course is NaNo, but the sensation of flying across a track is the same.

Minus the severe cramps, fatigue, blisters, gasping wheezing breaths…

And if you have these symptoms now, you should consult your doctor. It sounds serious.

So where are you on your journey? Are you word-stuck like I am? Are you stressing a little bit? Or are you blazing hot; on fire with words and material and imagination? Whatever the case, no matter the word count, you have accomplished something here this month. You’ve accomplished writing. And if that isn’t something to celebrate, then I’ll just shut down this blog and we’ll all go back to our black-and-white society.

Because words are real. Words are magic. And words light up the world one syllable at a time.

Happy writing, folks. It’s been a tremendous journey, and I’m proud to have come alongside you for one more year. (Google’s trying to tell me “alongside” is one word, and it’s making me cry. I just need the words!)

This has been,

Fanny T. Crispin


NaNo Week 2


Good morning!

How are all my happy writers this morning? We’re entering Week 2 of NaNoWriMo, and the challenge is real. The heat is getting intense. Ideas are dropping to a trickle. I would say “the end is near,” but we’re far from it. Far, far from the end…

It’s about this time that reality sets in for many of us. Whether we’re running out of story to write, or we haven’t been able to write at all, Week 2 is defined by the anxious fretting that we’re all about to become losers.

Yes, losers. That’s the thought rolling around and around – our inner editor voice. “You can’t stay on track. Look at you, you’re a mess. You’ve run out of things to write about. You know what, your story isn’t even that good. I mean, let’s be real – your plot is faulty, your timeline is a mess, you’re going to have to go back and overhaul everything you’ve been writing, and just think about that overhaul. I mean, thiiiiiink about it. You’re doomed before you even begin. Your main character is an idiot. You should just get rid of her. And what’s will all these empty supporting characters. You’re terrible at writing people. Boooorrrriiiiiinnnnnng!!!”

That is the voice of our inner editor. It’s brutal. Especially during the creative process. This is why our amazing TEAM at National Novel Writing Month encourages – and urges – us to put our silly little inner editor in a box, lock the box, put the key in a safe place, put the box in your closet, and bury it in clothes (you know, so you can’t hear the muffled screams and accusations.)

This year, I have a small band of writing buddies, but we check in with each other every day. That’s super important to me. I get a few texts in the morning: “147 words before noon!” or “32. I got 32. I fail.” And we encourage and boost each other forward. Some days I need the encouragement, and they never fail to come alongside me with advice and enthusiasm. Sometimes they need it, and I’m quick to step up to the plate. You know, I honestly wish life was like this. Every day, we touch base with our team and talk the real talk.

NaNo teaches me to be honest. I can’t lie to my team saying I’m making all these words, when the word count on my NaNo dashboard clearly states otherwise. And why would I lie? There’s something about claiming false glory that festers inside you, eating away at your conscious in a most unsavory manner. We tell little white lies all the time – ones we can brush off and have no lasting effect because they cover our butts at work, or save us from humiliation around family or friends (who, if we’re very honest, we don’t like anyway.) But there are some lies we can’t tell, because they defile our character. They leave a lasting tarnish, one you can’t scrub away with all the classic home remedies in the world.

NaNo teaches me to be honest, even when I’m failing. I can handle failure. It’s scary at first, but I know I’ll survive it. I can’t handle dishonesty. At it’s core, it’s just ugly. Dishonesty harms you. Even if it affects no one else, it tears you down from the inside.

But what is failure? Let’s look at that one. My mentor and friend always tells me failure is the unwillingness to even try. I’m sorry, Yoda, but “do or do not, there is no try” doesn’t work in the real world. Because if you don’t try, you never end up doing. When I was tossing around the idea of publishing my books, she looked at me point blank and said, “I don’t care if you sell twenty books or twenty hundred. If you never try, you’ll never know, and that is where you will fail. The fact of the matter is, you were willing to put yourself out there where other people only talk about it.”

Success is the act of doing. So maybe Yoda was right after all? If we do it, we’ve done it! But if we never do, we’ll have done nothing.

So go out there every day and try! Write 2 words, or 5 words, or 1,667 words! And do it every day! Because at the end of a month, you’ll have 60 words, or 150, or 50,000 words!

And that, my dears, is how you write. You just do it.


This has been,

Fanny T. Crispin

(Side note, it was soooooooo tempting to split up all my contractions for the sake of word count… The struggle is real.”