Monday, November 5, 2007

Austin NaNoWriMo Nature Write-In

Deanna Roy, a photographer and writer in Austin, Texas, and National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) participant, sent in these amazing photos and the commentary that follows from a nature write-in she organized for this year's National Novel Writing Month. These writers are among 300 or so Austinites who are posting word counts with headquarters. At the time of this 2007 write-in, Austin was ranked 17th in the world.

Down the short hiking path to the hidden waterfall, the breeze picked up a chill from the water, reminding us that despite recent 80-degree days, we were indeed noveling in November. A few writers shivered, but most of us pulled on our hoodies, exhilarated just to be outdoors with our books-in-progress.

Two of us were writing scenes that took place out in nature, so we eagerly listened to the calls of birds and the errant splash of a frog among the rocks in the shallow parts of Bull Creek. We captured every tiny detail to shamelessly pad our word counts, as is necessary when writing 1,667 words per day to make the goal.

LazyM in Her Hidden Spot
After an hour, we all walked around and talked a bit, complaining of numb body parts from sitting among boulders and tree roots. LazyM, the Austin municipal liaison, walked down from her hidden spot a distance away to chat with the others. Everyone agreed that the lack of internet access and the inspiration of nature were significantly impacting their word counts.

Silver at Her Bull Creek Desk
Silver (we call each other by the handles we use on the NaNoWriMo forums) set up a desk in the middle of Bull Creek. Her stuffed penguin took a tumble in the stream, but this made for another story to add to the mythology surrounding the Austinites' NaNoWriMo mascot.

We wrote on laptops, on Alphasmarts, and even by hand. Writing outdoors was a little painful, a bit out of the way, but definitely productive and a refreshing change from dark coffee shops and going it alone long into the hours of the night -- by Deanna Roy

A parting shot of NaNoWriMo participant Quasky, writing by hand.

[Ginny Wiehardt /]

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