Saturday, November 30, 2013

The end is nigh

Well, it's been a whirlwind November, and I can't believe that the end is already here. Looking at the HMS Young Writers page, kids are finishing up their word counts and hopefully celebrating their success. Unfortunately, my month of NaNoWriMo ends tonight at just 41,767 words out of 50,000. Despite a few 4,000+ days, I just won't be able to make those final 8,000 before midnight.

I'm okay with that. These last few days have been spent with the family celebrating the holidays, and while I could have locked myself in a room and finished, I realized I'd be missing some special things.

I got to go out with my daughter on her first boat ride ever in Port Aransas, TX while we went dolphin watching. She had a great time, and one that I would have missed if I had skipped to write. Am I disappointed not to make it? Sure, but I've helped introduce a whole new group of kids to writing, and that's what's more important.

So despite these things being constant companions throughout the month,

NaNoWriMo will ends without me being a winner once more (but it was fun trying).

And this may be a couple of days late, but I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. Please keep coming back to the sight as we start to post winners, start giving away the prizes donated by our sponsors, and share some of their stories written during November. Please take time to visit their sites or drop them an email to let them know just how much you appreciate their support of our kids.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

In to the final week

I can't believe that there is only one week left in this flurry of writing (no, seriously. I can't believe it. There's only one week left and I'm behind. Waaaaaay behind...). The kids have been furiously writing away on their novels, and some have even met (and greatly exceeded) their word count goals. We start counting words for real tomorrow, so I'm hoping to see a number of "verified" winners start to pop up on the HMS YoungWriters classroom.

The good news about this week is it's Thanksgiving, and that means that everyone (me included) who is behind on their word counts can (maybe) get caught up. The scary part, is that after Tuesday, I won't see my writers until NaNoWriMo is finished and the word counts finalized. No more encouraging words, writer's block jumpstarts, etc... They'll be completely on their own. And I bet they're going to be amazing.

As for me, after a wonder dinner of Lamb Pot Roast and mashed potatoes cooked up my by wonderful wife (and personal chef) Tammie, I was able to knock out over 5,000 words just today! Unfortunately, I'm still 7,000 words behind...


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

It's been 13 days already?!

Interesting fact: I learned not long ago that the ?! is called an interrobang, and is not a standard punctuation mark.

Really? 13 days? Wow time flies. Kids are writing (and I'm trying to catch up to my own word count) and having a great time. In fact, three of my sixth graders are actually finished with their word count goals! There have been over 59,000 words logged on to the HMS Young Writers page, and not every student writing has had an opportunity to update.

In talking with the kids, there has been a good mix of typing and handwriting (some of the kids are doing both). I hope to have all of them signed up and official before we start verifying word counts. I'd love to see as many purple "Winner!" tags show up by their names. And once we're done with November, it'll be time for a breath, prizes, then back to work on editing.

I just hope I make it too...

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Only day two?!

Yep, only the second day, and I've had to work extra just to get back on track (I'm ahead right now. Let's see how long THAT lasts...).

As of last count 96 kids have signed up to write this year, and a few of them are already updating their word counts over at It amazes me each year that I do this, the number of kids that choose to write. Even more so are some of the kids that join up, kids that I never would have pegged to want to write. What's that saying about a books cover?

Thank you again to everyone that's helped me make this happen. I'll try to get pictures up of the kids' writing process when I get some.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Ready? And WRITE!!!

Day one, and we are off on this writing month with 96 kids signed up. 96! That's 38 more than last year (and 12 more than I have pens for...), but these kids are excited and so am I (now if this football crowd would quiet down so I could work on my own word count...).