French Cloche Cap Writing Totem for NaNoWriMo 2013

Winner-100x100-2NaNoWriMo founder, Chris Baty, defines a “Writing Totem” as “wearable, writing-enhancing objects…helps you transition…into the fictional realms you’ve created” and demonstrates that writing 50K words in 30 days “is a fun, somewhat ridiculous creative exercise.” It also “provides a visual cue to anyone you’re living with…that you’ve slipped away into the shadowy Realm of the novel.” (No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty)

My art teacher taught me how to loom knit in January.  From translucent, dilapidated socks, I’ve evolved into a competent knitter—creating over 20 hats per month for the USO and for holiday, hostess, birthday and Get Well gifts—all preparing me for the all important search for the optimal writing totem for November’s National Novel Writing Month.

French cloche hat for NANOWRIMOI positively froze in the design process trying to create something so crucial to the writing process.  Then I decided that an old, worn, comfy, light, and stylish favorite would serve.  In the early days of my knitting when I had not yet learned how to make a brim, I used the largest circular loom I could find and a half skein of spice homespun yarn—rich consistent shades of burnt orange, light orange, and white.  The brim rolled slightly up and with the exuberance of a novice, I knit too many rows.  It hung past my eyebrows, creating the perfect cloche hat.  The perfect NaNoWriMo totem.

For eight years, I’ve written a novel every November and facilitated a cohort of like-minded fanatics. I like having travel companions for shared griping, celebrating, and friendly competition to spur us each to glory.  As Chris Baty (founder of NaNoWriMo in 1999 and author of No Plot? No Problem!) wrote:

“The goal, ultimately, is to move your novel from the realm of private suffering to a matter of public record.”

50,000 words in 30 days.  For these 30 days, I’ll send out a few words of encouragement and the current tally of words for each member.  It’s almost a rule that you start November 1st with a fresh idea, a token stab at a few characters, and the barest outline possible.  See the website and/or Baty’s book for more information.

Who would like to join me?  I guarantee a rollercoaster experience.  For the mighty ones who finish?  A glorious euphoria like no other.  As added incentive, you then can say at holiday parties: “Me?  I wrote a novel in November.  What’s new with you?”

Please let me know by October 25.

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About mlknowlden

In 2011, I left engineering to write full-time. Between the years 1992 and 2011, I’ve published 14 stories with Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine that have featured the hypochondriac detective Micky Cardex and two stories that did not. The 1998 story “No, Thank You, John” was nominated for a Shamus award. Many of these stories have been included in anthologies and translated in multiple languages. With Neal Shusterman, I’ve also published a science fiction story for the More Amazing Stories anthology (Tor) published in 1998 and co-authored with Neal Shusterman an X-Files Young Adult novel (DARK MATTER) for HarperCollins in 1999 under the name Easton Royce. For Simon & Schuster in July 2012, we published an e-novella UNSTRUNG in Neal's UNWIND world. I have graduate degrees in English and Electrical Engineering.
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9 Responses to French Cloche Cap Writing Totem for NaNoWriMo 2013

  1. Lori Jean Sherlock says:

    So perhaps the socks you knitted for me will be my perfect totem. They are colorful, creative, warm and special. And being november, well they are just speaking to me. On Oct 17, 2013 4:47 PM, “Michelle Knowlden writes…” wrote: > > mlknowlden posted: “NaNoWriMo founder, Chris Baty, defines a Writing Totem as “wearable, writing-enhancing objects…helps you transition…into the fictional realms you’ve created” and demonstrates that writing 50K words in 30 days “is a fun, somewhat ridiculous creative ” >

  2. Rebecca Lang says:

    Count me in. 🙂 I can’t wait for NaNoWriMo. And I like your hat.

  3. dayya says:

    Gearing up! d:))

  4. Kaye Klem says:

    Not up to NaNoWriteMo. But all who are have my admiration. I really laughed at the brim to the hat that dropped down over your eyes! You’re creative in so many ways. Kaye

  5. Pingback: T-minus Z-plus | pendrifter

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