I won Camp NaNo + first draft of Chasing Nonconformity complete!

Fellow bloggerites, I have officially won Camp NaNo and completed the first draft of Chasing Nonconformity (the sequel to Imminent Danger). Huzzah and rejoice, my friends!

would say that today’s a huge day for me, writing-wise, except that would be a blatant lie, as I actually accomplished all the aforementioned accomplishments yesterday. Ah well. Victory tastes just as sweet the next day. But not the day after tomorrow. That’s when the ice storm hits and we all freeze to death in the New York Public Library whilst fending off a starving wolf pack.

Right! So Camp NaNo was a rousing success, possibly because I only attempted to write 20k words instead of the traditional 50k words. Meh. The point of going to camp was, of course, to finish the first draft of Chasing Nonconformity, which I did. So … woo!

Here’s some stats on Chasing Nonconformity for you, because who doesn’t love stats? Crazy people, that’s who.

Total word count: 114,340

Total page count: 308

Total usages of the word “ZWOOSH”: 41

Total references to someone being kidnapped or abducted: 59

Total of alien planets/space stations/colony ships visited: 5

Total level of awesomeness: Over 9,000


To celebrate my success, I acquired a slice of cherry cheesecake, a bacon pizza, and a peanut butter chocolate cupcake. The cheesecake was delicious, the pizza was meh, and the cupcake hurt my stomach because I was full from all the cheesecake and pizza. Intestinal discomfort has never tasted so good.

In other news, tomorrow marks the beginning of the LA Times Festival of Books, where Blackbird LSD will be representing me and my book since I don’t have the moola to jaunt off on a jet plane to California for the weekend. They’ve got 51 copies of my book (I know, weird number, don’t ask), 3,000 bookmarks, 2,000 stickers, and all the enthusiasm they can muster! Three cheers for Blackbird LSD! Hip hip, hooray!

That is all.


Unrelated media of the day: “Scumbag Candyman”

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 90 Comments

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90 thoughts on “I won Camp NaNo + first draft of Chasing Nonconformity complete!

  1. Congratulations!

  2. Congrats Michelle! Nice work!

  3. Congrats on your win and that delicious sounding cupcake. I never noticed that scumbag candy-man.

    • They hide it cleverly in the movie — and plus, he gives away candy during a music montage, which doesn’t technically count as real life. And for all we know, he tracks down those kids after he gives them candy and forces them to pay up.

      • Probably has some muscle hiding in the back. The candy business in that world was definitely cut-throat.

        • Considering they’re willing to bribe children to spy on their enemies? Definitely. I’m pretty sure you can go to jail for that sort of thing. Or maybe in the Wonka universe, candy companies ARE the government. That would explain a lot …

  4. Congratulations, Michelle! I love the picture that showed up in my reader. It looks as if you jetted off to Rome for your celebration, and you are awesome! I hope the LSD guys sell all of your books and give away all your swag.

    I was surfing the net a couple of days ago, and I landed on a site that takes aerial views of farms. There was a Barnes and Noble ad at the top of the page and books were scrolling through the ad. What a nice surprise to see Imminent Danger go by in the advertisement. Girl, you are taking over the world!!

    • Thanks 😀 Wait … my book was in an advertisement? That’s so cool!!! I had no idea. I guess they just chose books at random and stuck them in the ad reel … unless my book is doing a lot better than I had expected? I guess I’ll find out when iUniverse finally sends me my sales stats at the end of May, lol.

  5. Well done! I was squinting as I read this, hoping there were no spoilers. I’m at 95% of Imminent Danger. Prepare for Imminent Danger-related post in coming days. 😉

    • Excellent! Hahaha I was sorely tempted to give some spoilers, but then I realized there’s no point, because half the book is going to change by the time I’m done editing it anyway. And if I don’t change it, my mother definitely will, so … 😀

      • As long as it changes for the better. 😉
        You know what? I usually only read on the train to and from work. This is the first time in ages that I’ve been tempted to read on a weekend to find out what happens next! You’ve done well. But I must resist. Weekends are for writing. And blog reading. And fixing heating ducts. And mourning the loss of a fatally damaged, brand new lawn mower… ;( But life is good. There are always good books to read! 🙂

        • You lucky man. Weekends for me lately have involved catching up on all the work I didn’t do during the week because I mistakenly took weekdays for weekends. Sigh. And poor lawn mower! You didn’t haze it, did you? Lawn mowers notoriously crack under social pressure.

          • I like the idea of a 2 day work week and a 5 day weekend. We’re lobbying the state government as we speak. Not making much progress. Their argument is that if we succeeded, any further attempts to get the government to do things would take 2.5 times as long as it does now. Most of us would die of old age waiting for a result. They have a good point.
            The lawn mower can get stuffed. It’s my poor wallet that’s bleeding to death! If haze means bending the engine shaft on its first use by hitting something solid in the ground, then yes. A good thing is I’ve learned one of the main differences between a badly and a better designed lawn mower. FYI, make sure it has a disk with small blades attached. Not a single blade-bar bolted directly to the shaft. That’s why I write software and fiction. I can’t deal with physical objects. 🙂

            • Lol. Isn’t that why we all write? To avoid reality 😀 And excellent lawn mower tip, although I doubt I’ll ever need to put it into practice. I’ve grown quite fond of apartments, and should I ever acquire a house, I intend to have my grass mowed by either my army of servants or a small herd of goats. The herd would be small, not the goats — although miniature goats would be adorable.

              • Ah, the old “Small herd of goats” vs “herd of small goats” dilemma! Both are clear and unambiguous, unless you say “heard of small goats” in which case there is a missing question mark and the answer is “No, because they eat literally anything and therefore never stay small”. I read that in a book about colonising Mars. The writer joked about breeding goats for food outside your kevlar habitation dome. But he warned of not letting the goat too close to the dome because he might eat it.
                I’d go with the servants. Apparently they’re easier to train! 😉

  6. More kidnapping! More Zwoosh!

    More cupcakes!

  7. Congrats! Now it is time to revise. Rock on girl!

    • Time to revise? Nooooooooooooooooooooooo …

      I’m trying to force myself to set aside editing for a few weeks — to gain perspective and whatnot — but it’s HARD. I just want to dive back into the story, especially the first half, since I’ve spent so much time over the last few months focusing on the second half. But I must learn patience. As Yoda would say, Do or do not. There is no try. I’m not sure how that relates to my lack of patience, but there must be a connection somewhere.

      • I know, I love writing the first draft, but revising is only slightly more fun than a root canal.

        • Now, technically this is actually the *second* draft, as this draft involved me re-writing pretty much the entire second half of the book. So in that sense, hopefully I’m one step further up the editing staircase than I would have been with a first draft. Then again, the higher up the stairs I am, the farther I have to fall …

  8. Total level of awesomeness over 9000!! That’s impossible!! 😀

    (And grats too! You deserve your cupcake victory)

  9. Congrats! 😀

  10. Yay! You did it:)

  11. Hurrahs for your AWESOMESS! “Total word count: 114,340” is about 114,000 more than I care to write in a year. We’re all ecstatically happy for your success. When is the third book due?

    • Oh geez, you want book three already??? 😀 I figure I’ll get started on book three once book two is in a bit better shape than its current extremely rough first draft state. Oh, and once book two is about 20k words shorter than it currently is.

      • Great, no rush, just saying a trilogy is good, six (Star Wars?) is better, right? Hey Michelle, you’re young, smart and let’s not forget AWESOME. Wish you all the success you deserve.

        • Haha thanks. There will definitely be at least a trilogy, but I suspect I won’t be able to stop there 😀 I’m one of those people who, when I find something I like, I can’t get enough of it, and I suspect that shall create to any book series I write as well!

  12. So awesome! Incredible accomplishment! I feel bad about your celebratory gastro issues though 🙂

    • Lol, I don’t know why I felt compelled to share my gastrointestinal issues with the internet. Apparently my brain to fingers filter needs more work. And thanks 😀 I’m really excited to start editing this puppy — well, excited by the *idea* of editing, at least. The actual editing will undoubtedly be a pain. Such is life 😀

  13. W00T!

  14. That is so awesome, congratulations!!

  15. Wonderful 🙂

    • 😀 I’m not sure which I’m more thrilled by — finally winning a NaNo event, after my several year dry spell, or finishing the book draft. Ah, who are we kidding? Definitely the book draft!!!

  16. Your post made me smile as ever! You must be great fun to be around! Love the way you write, wish I could write such fab posts!! Well done on your achievement (although being on the other side of the world and a newbie, some of the references escaped me! Lol) 🙂

    • Hahaha oh no! I suspected I was laying on the references a little thick this post. Ah well. Live and learn 😀 And thank you so much for your multiple compliments! I never know how to respond to those. Reading them in writing is difficult enough — you should see me when someone compliments me in person. I immediately deny it and then make a joke about a random nearby object in a sad attempt to distract attention away from my complete inability to accept compliments. Anyhoo, thanks 😀 You’re awesome 🙂

      • Ah, now on that I can relate. I am the master of distraction and sarcasm so if anyone happens to say something like ‘You look nice today’ (which they don’t very often!), I’ll always deflect by using something like ‘But not as nice as Mary…’ (I don’t know who Mary is by the way!).

        So, from one non-accepting compliment person to another – take it!! Your posts are fab and I wish you every deserved success with your ongoing book projects.

        Now off to find a sense of humour somewhere, in a bid to post more interesting blogs…! Lol 🙂

  17. Wow this is so awesome! Congrats 🙂 You’re a very determined writer, keep it up!

    • Thanks 😀 Determined? Lol. Well, determined in the sense that I totally blew off work to finish the draft, yes 😀 Then again, I’ve been working on said draft on and off for two years now, so I’m not sure how well “determined” applies to me!

  18. Yahoo! Most excellent. You’re an inspiration! 🙂

  19. Congratulations! *applauds heartily and throws confetti*

    And if you need another cupcake consultant, I cheerfully offer my services. Especially if they’re chocolate. 🙂

    • Mwahahaha. Excellent. Soon I shall have an army of cupcake consultants … and then I shall rule the world …

      • If it involves chocolate, there won’t even be a need to fight. Everybody will just sit around in carb comas.

        • Clearly I need to acquire a chocolate company. Where’s Willy Wonka’s factory these days, and do you know if he’s hiring?

          • I believe he is hiring — all the Oompa Loompas created a union and went on strike, joined by the squirrels.

            Not sure about the factory’s location these days. According to Google Maps, Willy Wonka is in Illinois, Brazil and Norway.And don’t even get me STARTED on what Mapquest said.

            • Wow, good for Wonka. Expanding to get access to foreign markets. Hopefully he’ll open a branch in Canada soon. Until then, I shall practice my chocolate-eating skills. It will be hard and onerous work, but I shall overcome!

              • Michelle, forget all those places. Soon after arriving in Colombia I discovered Corona, Cocao Superior. Only one ingredient: 100% Cocao. Now you know my second love in the world.

  20. I give this news five ZWOOSHes out of a possible four. Yay!

    As for that candy man…UGH. I’ve always thought he was a jerk (“always” meaning since I first saw the movie just a few years ago). And don’t even get me STARTED on Grampa Joe,,, -_-

    • Hahaha what’s wrong with Grampa Joe? He was a nice old man who … pretended to be bed-ridden for several years to get out of helping to support the family and then almost got Charlie disqualified by his ridiculous need to drink soda. All right, fair point 😀

      • Exactly. His daughter (in-law? I can’t remember) worked her arse off to feed him and the others, and the old SOB just laid in bed for years, smoking his pipe and being like, “yeah, I could get up, but I can’t be bothered unless there’s a golden ticket involved. Up yours, daughter-thing.”

        Oh, and I just thought of this: The fact that his muscles hadn’t atrophied leads me to believe that he was probably up tap-dancing every night after Charlie and his mom went to bed, and then in the morning he probably said that the noises were made by rats. And complained about it, too.

        • Well, he has trouble standing at first … but then he’s walking around no problem a few minutes later, so yeah, definitely the tap-dancing thing 😀 Although candy is apparently magic in the Wonka world, so maybe the golden ticket really did work some magic on him and allow him to stand up after many hears of bed-ridden-ness?

  21. *claps enthusiastically* Congratulations on completing your first draft! I always admire people who are able to finish their novels so quickly. xD And your celebratory snacks sound great! Sorry about your meh pizza though; I know all too well where you’re coming from. 😦

    • Lol I seem to have fooled people into thinking I’m a fast writer. I’ve actually been working on this draft for two years 😀 I had to do Camp NaNo for the last 20k words to push myself to finally get it done, lol. Meh pizza indeed! I’ve recently become very fond of putting creamy garlic spread on pizza instead of tomato sauce (so delicious!), but the woman I ordered from apparently thought that when I said “no tomato sauce please, use the creamy garlic spread instead”, that I meant “just slather tomato sauce all over that sucker and give me some garlic dipping sauce on the side”. Le sigh.

      • Well two years is not bad at all! Then again, I’m comparing that with my own five years. 😉
        And even though I’m not a big fan of garlic, a garlic spread instead of tomato sauce sounds oh so delicious for pizzas! It makes you wonder how those people who receive orders can mix up clear instructions… like turning a margherita into a veggie pizza.

      • Awe, shucks, now you gave away your secret. LOL

  22. Fantastic, Michelle – congratulations! What an achievement 😀

  23. supernova

    Brilliant Michelle, congratulations. That is a tremendous achievement 🙂

  24. I LOVE numbers and stats! Maybe that’s why we get along so well. Congrats and can’t wait to read. Seriously, just send me the preview. I need a little fix to get me through. And yeah, I can stop anytime. Hehe. Way to go!!!! Swoosh . . . i’m off to edit.

    • I’ll definitely add you to my beta reader list 😀 It’ll be a while yet, though 😀 Hopefully not 7 years like last time … I think I’ll try to get it down to 7 months, that way I can keep the 7 theme going …

  25. WooHoo! Well done for finishing the draft. I like the fact that Camp NaNo lets you pick and choose your word-count target this year.

    I hope your 51 books get snapped up at the festival. Happy editing 🙂

    • Thanks! Well, 7 of the books got snapped up, so … progress? 😀 The rest are still in the hands of Blackbird LSD down in California, and they claim to have a plan of attack, so I leave the book sales in their capable hands 😀

  26. Pingback: The First Draft Edit … She is Complete, Captain! | Michelle Proulx - The Blog

  27. Congratulations, Michelle! Victory certainly is sweet. I haven’t completed my draft but I’m a lot closer than I was. Woohoo! Celebration in order! And this means chocolate. 🙂

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