Wednesday, November 30, 2011

National Novel Writing Month - The Wagner Report

This is the 5th year I've participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and the 5th year I've won! For those not in the know, the goal is to write a 50,000 word novel (or the start of one, since most novels are longer than that) in 30 days (the month of November).

The kids have been participating along with me as part of the NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program (YWP) for three years now. This is actually David's fourth year! All of them met their goals this year! WTG kids! I am so proud to see you writing!

Suzy wrote 4,500 words!

James wrote 18,536 words, exceeding his goal of 13,000 words!

Emily wrote 32,311 words, exceeding her goal of 30,000 words!

David participated in the adult challenge this year - he wrote 50,000 words!

Isn't that awesome! I am so excited they've done it again!

How did I get them to do it? Well, I don't assign much other language arts work during NaNoWriMo - no Spelling, no Vocabulary, etc... This year they actually did more language arts than I've required in the past.
Suzy had phonics and reading; Emily and David had their Brit Lit class for co-op (reading and writing assignments), and James and Emily have their Wordsmith (writing class) assignments. James also did his reading assignments. I also did not require any History assignments during the month for anyone. David did not have to do computer programming or ACT prep. Emily did not have to do her Spanish lessons.  If they chose NOT to participate in NaNoWriMo (which is an option), they'd have ALL their regular work.

I also reward them periodically - setting goals at 10%, 20%, 30% and so on. Sometimes small rewards, sometimes larger ones. Even when we've been basically penniless, I was able to offer free or low cost rewards. Some would include computer time, movie rentals (even from the library), sleepovers, chore-free coupons, etc... I was able to offer more lucrative rewards this year, but it's not necessary for participation.

So, basically I bribe them and make it so attractive to participate that NOT participating would be a poor choice. But, hey, it works!

NaNoWriMo YWP has some of the best fiction writing curriculum I've ever seen and it's FREE. You don't have to even participate in NaNo to use it. It would be great in any situation where you'd like to motivate children (elementary through high school) to write fiction. If you go to the website, also check out the Resources and Educators sections. There are lesson plans available, though I haven't used them so I can't vouch for the effectiveness or lack thereof.

Editing will happen in January.  This is the place I usually lose my motivation with the kids. I have a plan in place though; it may or may not include bribery! LOL I'll keep you updated.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lisa's Logbook - November 29

Oh, lookie, another of the Tuesday editions - not so rare anymore. ;-)

Current Mood: Grumpy and feeling a bit icky
Outside: Windy, winter storm warning, rainy, No Snow Yet
Wearing: PJ's, robe, wool socks
Tunes: Christmas Music
Kids Are: 1 is getting ready for bed, 2 are writing, 1 is doing Who-Knows-What
Hubby Is: puttering around getting ready for bed
Something New: Waiting on new flannel sheets, pillows, and towels to arrive - thanks to Black Friday ONLINE
Something Yummy: thinking about making Nanaimo bars
Blessings:  Bob being able to re-roof the barn rather than having to hire that done
Reading: A Praying Life by Paul Miller. Recently finished 3 books that I was reading all at the same time, but haven't started a new one.
Watching: Super 8 (liked it!), Metropolitan (1990 indie movie - boring), and some other stuff I can't remember right now....
Considering: how we can make a "built-in" storage area upstairs where there USED to be a closet
Working On: The Rollicking Readers' Guide to Jane Austen (my NaNoRebel Book)  
Accomplishments: Finished my NaNo book - 50,000 words, Read my book club book for the month already
Looking Forward to: staying in a hotel with the kids in a couple weeks

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Lisa's Logbook - November 20

Current Mood: I have a headache, so a bit down... 
Outside: Overcast and low 40's 
Wearing: jeans, Browncoats tee, pink hoodie, slippers, wet hair 
Tunes: Mandisa, Straight No-Chaser, Wicked soundtrack 
Kids Are: 3 are outside and 1 is working on a robotics fundraiser. 
Hubby Is: puttering around in the dining room 
Something New: bought a "new" fluffy pink robe at the thrift store yesterday and also a Panthers football tee, as well as a couple pair of navy pants. I've needed navy pants FOREVER! 
Something Yummy: Had a couple slices of pumpkin creme roll at the ladies craft day yesterday - I love that! 
Blessings: I love Netflix instant! and fast internet! 
Reading: A Praying Life by Paul Miller. Jane Austen: A Life. Lady Susan by Jane Austen 
Watching: continuing my Austen theme with Northanger Abbey (2007), Emma (2009), Pride and Prejudice (1995), Mansfield Park (2007), Mansfield Park (1999) & The Jane Austen Book Club. Also watched The Change-Up (HORRIBLE! BLECH!) and Gamer on DVD, and The Immortals in the theater. 
Considering: the differences in convictions between Christians who all believe in the same God and are saved by the same Savior! Interesting thoughts... 
Working On: The Rollicking Readers' Guide to Jane Austen (my NaNoRebel Book) Accomplishments: finished teaching Oliver Twist 
Looking Forward to: Brit Lit movie night, Thanksgiving weekend - calm and quiet!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Lisa's Logbook - November 13

Current Mood: Relaxed
Outside: Dark, 58, and really really windy!
Wearing: PJ's - flannel pants, wool socks, tee shirt, sweatshirt
Tunes: No tunes except in the car
Kids Are: Emily is here with me at the B&B and the other 3 kids are at home with Bob
Hubby Is: probably in bed - he worked hard this weekend on the barn roof. David helped too!
Something New: "Bought" a whole bunch of free Kindle e-books on writing. Enough to keep me busy the whole rest of the year. LOL
Something Yummy: chocolate/peppermint fudge at book club last night - delish!
Blessings: spending the night here at a local B&B with my daughter - a little writing retreat for us
Reading:   A Praying Life by Paul Miller (continuing my re-read - I HIGHLY recommend this book!). Oliver Twist (for Brit Lit - on the last 6 chapters of the book). Jane Austen: A Life.
Watching:  Pride and Prejudice (1995 - yeah, Colin Firth!), Bright Star, The Secret Garden (1993), Sense and Sensibility (2008), Sense and Sensibility (1995) (Do you sense an Austen theme here? lol)
Considering: whether or not I really want to break wood at the Break-a-thon for charity tomorrow. What if I hurt my hand? I need my hands!
Working On: The Rollicking Readers' Guide to Jane Austen (my NaNoRebel Book)
Accomplishments: Hit 21,000 words this afternoon! Finally my bar graph has caught up!

Looking Forward to: watching more Jane Austen movies, going to the theater sometime this week

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Lisa's Logbook - November 8

This is the rare Tuesday Edition of the Logbook. :-)

Current Mood: Stressed
Outside: 50 and overcast with rain coming
Wearing: brown pants, pink and brown striped long sleeve top, slippers
Tunes: nothing
Kids Are: working on their lessons
Hubby Is: at work
Something New: a new 10" skillet; had to throw my old one out as all the food would stick. I am trying to replace my kitchen tools bit by bit as they are looking a bit old and grungy.
Something Yummy: Halloween candy! Mmmm.....
Blessings: my job
Reading:   A Praying Life by Paul Miller (Re-read - 50% done). Oliver Twist (for Brit Lit - on the last 1/3 of the book). Jane Austen: A Life. Watching:  Parenthood, Glee Season 2, Emma (Paltrow, 1996), Persuasion (2007)
Considering: going to see a movie soon! But what?
Working On: The Rollicking Readers' Guide to Jane Austen (my NaNoRebel Book)
Accomplishments: Hit 10,000 words this morning. Way behind, but plugging away.
Looking Forward to: the Leader Dog field trip later today, watching Pride & Prejudice, book club on Saturday