story prep workshop

story prep workshop. links for nanowrimo; hurray nanowrimo is coming, 17 days left! woo-hoo! can’t wait, yay yay yippee.

well, maybe i did have a little too much coffee today. but you get the idea–get ready for nano with these awesome story planning links.

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prep your story

prep your story. Today on PeoWriMos, I talk about first plot points and how to not be afraid of them.

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Regional Newsletter


News from PeoWriMos! We have writing events! Whee!

Originally posted on PeoWriMos -- Peoria Writers' Group:

Here’s the latest news from PeoWriMos:

Dear Writer-Types,

We’re working hard to come up with some awesome events for PeoWriMos this year. The calendar isn’t blocked out completely yet, but as we get reservation confirmations from local businesses and libraries we’ll add them. What’s new this year: we’re partnering with libraries big time. I sent a spy in to Peoria Public Library’s North Branch location (and by sent a spy, I mean a WriMo works there), and she is setting up some great stuff for us, and for the young writer’s program! Oh, and we have another ‘spy’ at Fondulac Library (that would be me). Now that FDL has a nice big building, they have space and brainstorming ideas to make this NaNo the craziest ever. Check out our calendar at to see the events we have so far! (link:  )

In other news, who’s this we I keep mentioning? I’m…

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review: write your novel in a month

review: write your novel in a month. I wish I could give this book all-around marks, but some ignorant, poorly-executed comments made this book hard to read.

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what changes you bring


More thoughts on mission-driven scene execution on the PeoWriMos blog

Originally posted on PeoWriMos -- Peoria Writers' Group:

I’m writing by the seat of my pants this summer more than I ever have. It’s a lot of things–weird, wonderful, exciting, terrifying, roundabout, experimental, liberating, and slow-going.

Every novel I’ve written teaches me something. Sometimes the lessons came in failures. Others were simply in the practice of doing.

This pantsing summer for me has taught me much in the practice of doing (there’s plenty of lessons via failure, as well, I’m sure). How it feels awkward and stumbly, a bit like blindfolding myself over a tightrope of questionable stability.

There’s lots for me to cling to, to reinforce my sense of balance, of direction, and trust. After all, I’ve written a scene or two before. And dialog, physical conflict, emotions, all that good fictiony stuff. Now, instead of having a lot of these juicy bits planned out, prepared for, researched, and imagined, they come out as they come out.

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emotion, experience, empathy

emotion, experience, empathy. On the PeoWriMos blog, I share some thoughts about how fiction gets us through the day.

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sunbaby diapers – a review

052Cloth diapers can be really overwhelming.

I took a leap of faith and bought 24 Sunbaby diapers before T was born, because stuffable diapers seemed like the way to go.

They’re the cheapest name-brand diapers on the market. I’m sure some would still insist Sunbabies are China Cheapies, but the fact remains: they are affordable, and I can’t judge a Mama for choosing affordable. Cloth diapering can be stupid expensive if you let it, with designer prints and accessories–especially if you don’t know where to start, and wind up trying a ton of different types before settling on something that works.

After 20 months of hard, every-other-day use and as many washes, I’m still happy with them. And here’s why:

The Bad

Most of my Sunbaby diapers look ‘sloppy’–the snaps aren’t in perfect lines, some of the seams are crooked, and at least six of the snaps on 24 diapers came off within the first couple months. I bought a pair of snap pliers to fix them.

These diapers are bulky. On smaller babies, they make for funny-looking butts. In the summer, the extra amount of lining in them makes T sweaty and sticky.

The Neutral

Only two sizes and when prints are announced, some of them disappear awful fast as Sunbaby addicts flood the website on release days. However, two sizes is plenty flexible–T wears the same size at 20 months that he did at 3 weeks, with different snap placements.

There’s a flap of fabric at the back of the diaper to prevent blowouts from crawling up the baby’s back. I’m ambivalent towards the flap, mostly because I’ve never noticed it come in handy, but it could come in handy for disastrous poops.

The Good

These diapers hold lots of poop. Never once had a blowout with these, and I can’t say that for the actual China Cheapies I picked up from a co-op, or any disposable ever.

These diapers are easy to use. Even my dad can figure them out. As far as entry level diapers go, this is a good one.

The elastic on the back and hips are longer than other brands, so they stay snug. The downside of this is that there is more fabric all around–lining, back flap, and shell.

The Great

I came to new appreciation of Sunbaby diapers when I converted one into a PUL-only shell. Essentially, I took one apart–pulled out the liner, removed the elastic, and I loved what I found:

The elastic is put in so professionally, slip-case style. That’s why they fit so well–the elastic is attached at each end, and not sewn directly into the diaper along the hip like the other diapers I have. The result is fewer pinch points, as the elastic remains uniformly tight as those chubby legs move.

Better yet, the elastic is the good stuff–a full half inch and braided. The elastic has held up so well that even though I pulled it out to remove the lining, I put it right back in.

tl;dr: Sunbabies are a great stuffable diaper. They’ve held up well to hard use, and grown up well with T.

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