Category Archives: NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo is coming and announcing a new course

October 1st! You know what that means? That there’s only 1 more month before National Novel Writing Month begins!

Are you planning to participate this year? I will be. This will be NaNo number 8 for me. I have completed the 50,000 words to win every year since 2010, and I expect this year to be no different.

Maybe you would like to win NaNo, too!

My online course just launched, How to Win NaNoWriMo. These are my strategies that I use to make sure I fit my 50,000 words into 30 days. I do things differently now than I did when I was a NaNo fledgling back in 2010.

Maybe these tips will help you, too!

I wanted to be an author for years and years. I wrote drafts and partial drafts and outlines and overviews but never turned anything into a completed draft of a book.

And then I found National Novel Writing Month.

It turned out that structure is my friend! The NaNo structure helped me get it done. The first drafts of both of my novels came from National Novel Writing Month.

All the details are here: How to Win NaNoWriMo.

Whether you want to take the course or not, I would still love to know if you are a NaNoWriMo-er. Comment below if you are! What year(s) did  you win?


A friend of Kevin

I was lucky enough to be invited to be on Kevin Willett’s TV program, Business as Usual. I met Kevin on Facebook when I responded to a video he shared. I started following his page because the topics he was discussing resonated with me. One day, he mentioned that he had a TV show, and if anyone was interested in being on it, message him.

Was I interested in being on his TV show?


I messaged  him. The next thing I knew, I was driving to Dracut. My husband came with me and watched from the booth. We arrived several hours early, as is my way, so we scouted out places to eat. I wanted Italian (so what else is new?) but Bill wanted the Chinese buffet, and when I saw that they had a dance floor, I was intrigued. We went.

The best part of the meal was the Hot and Sour Soup. And the Fortune Cookie. Isn’t this the best fortune ever?

Too bad it wasn’t mine.

Bill kindly agreed to share it with me with me.

Taping the show was so much fun! Kevin put me at ease right away, and the 28 minute taping went by in a blink. We talked about writing, publishing, and selling books. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to be a guest on the show. If you live in Dracut, you can watch it on DATV! If not, I will have a link to it at some point and will post it here on my website.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

P.S. The dance floor had a DISCO BALL!!! I couldn’t convince Bill to dance with me, though.


My new book

My new book started out as something else. I published my first novel, One Brave Thing, last year. Over the course of the year of doing talks and readings, I thought a lot about my characters and the story. One day, I had the thought: What if Bebe stays with Steven? How would her life have been different? I got excited re-imagining how the story might go.

What_if_Bebe_Stays_with_Steven_Karen_CreamerI decided it would be nice to write a couple of bonus chapters to give away at my book signings. I started outlining what I wanted to write. This was last October, and I thought I would take advantage of National Novel Writing Month in November to write it. This gave me plenty of time to work on the outline, and as I added to it day by day, I realized that hey, this wasn’t a couple of bonus chapters.

This was a book.

So, I wrote my second novel the same way I wrote the first. What if Bebe Stays with Steven? was birthed during NaNoWriMo 2016, edited over the winter, and will be launched this month.


To celebrate, I am running a special on the Kindle amazon-coverversion of my first novel. One Brave Thing will be 99 cents from March 13th (my mother’s birthday :)) to March 20th, for one week only.

And then my second novel, What if Bebe Stays with Steven? launches March 21, 2017!

Doing the thing

I have been working feverishly, madly, to design the cover of my new novel. My publication date is 3/21 (as in: 3-2-1 liftoff! 🙂 ) and I am determined to make it.
frontcoverbolder-2-7-17I originally planned to use my own photos for the cover, but then I started looking around on Canva, you know, just for fun, and one image caught my eye. What drew me about her is that she looks like she’s trying to go forward, but is letting herself be pulled back.
Like Bebe. In the new book, What if Bebe Stays with Steven?, Bebe is thinking, should I stay or should I go? I also like the little bit of backpack showing, since she is a student. This one image captured all that for me.

Here’s the most important part of this story. Right after I saved and downloaded the image, one of my favorite quotes by Eleanor Roosevelt popped up on the computer screen!

“You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

I took this as a sign that this was exactly the right image for my cover. Of course, that was at midnight last week, and the next day, after I smacked my head into the corner of the huge mirror over my couch and hematoma’d my head, I started second-guessing it all.

 But I am going forward anyway. Like Nikki Groom said in her recent podcast (with Jodi Flynn on Women Taking the Lead), “Just start.”

NaNoWriMo 2016

Well, I began Day 1 of NaNo 2016 quite on the ball. I had my outline done–first time ever, and I’ve been doing this compsince 2010. I had a Google doc ready to go. I told the fam that after I finished work, I would start writing until suppertime (thank you, thank you, husband who did the cooking) and after eating, I was going right back to writing until I hit 2000 words. I didn’t want a repeat of last year, when I didn’t even start writing until, like, Day 5.

(Last year I was ambivalent)

Anyway, I was at about 2000 words (I had just checked my word count-yay!) when I noticed something odd happening with my mouse, and the document scrolling rapidly upward. I stopped it, but didn’t think much of it, until I went back to the document to continue writing…and it was almost GONE. I only had about 700 words left.

And on Day 1!

It’s important to say here that I am working in Google Docs because it supposedly saves your work every 5 seconds, so you don’t have to worry about losing it if your computer dies, or if other acts of God occur…well, I am here to say that there is a ghost in that machine.

Anyway, all was not lost. After frantically trying Control +Z over and over to no avail, I did what all self-respecting computer users do as a last resort: I googled: how to recover lost work in Google Docs.

There was one lonely comment in that thread: File/See revision history

So I tried it.

And it worked. Sort of. I got back about 1500 words. Still lost a lot, but not everything.

Onward. It can only get better from here, right?

PS: Now I am backing up frequently in Word, too.


NaNo Midway

Often, in years past, when I am in the thick of NaNoWriMo, I am (of course) writing a lot. I have often found that the bestsellermore I write, the more I write. Period.

Not so this year. It has been a struggle.

After a strong start on November 1, I slacked off and (OMG) didn’t write for four days.  I have never done this once, in all my years of NaNo’ing.

I recovered, fortunately. I spent a weekend writing a million (it felt like) words until I was at goal. After that, I had too much invested. If I didn’t finish, then I wasted all that free time not going to the craft shows I wanted to go to, not reading the books I wanted to read, not watching the movies I wanted to watch.

I am keeping up with my 2000 words per day goal most days, but am not writing much else. I realized that my blog was languishing last week, but it took me until today to actually do something about it!

I will finish my NaNo 2015. I will publish a book this year.

The End.