You too could be a novelist!

Nshield-nano-blue-brown-rgb-hiresational Novel Writing Month begins November 1. NaNoWriMo (for short) encourages writers of all ages, including school-age kids, to write a novel in one month. How it works is simple: register your novel idea on the website, keep track of your novel as you write and compare your progress with others taking the challenge, and earn merit badges along the way.

The ultimate goal: write 50,000 words in 30 days.

Think that sounds like a lot? Think you’re too busy? Famous words of a procrastinator.  Excuses have no place in NaNoWriMo. The first draft of anything is going to have flaws. As William Faulkner said, “Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything good.” So forget about the notion that you must have a perfect draft the first time; there is no such thing.

Another benefit of this worldwide program is it’s for anyone; novice writer, experienced writer, first-time writer, everyone is invited! Last year, 310,095 people participated in the challenge. Why can’t one of them be you?

Stop in the store to get your NaNoWriMo bookmark, and to come use our writing space – for those of you who like to hand write your character sketches or plot lines. Find more information, and start your own novel at http://nanowrimo.org/.

Writing To Do

20141016_123703Most of us feel pulled in multiple directions at any given time in life. We have work, school, kids, spouses, friends, and (gasp!) personal hobbies or activities we enjoy.

As a graduate student, college instructor, wife, sister, and homeowner, it is no wonder I need a system to keep myself on track. My multiple identities must live somewhere – and it’s all in the to-do lists. I use a paper calendar and planner to keep track of personal and professional obligations, as well as copious lists of to-dos ranging from teaching reminders, grocery lists, house tasks, and otherwise.

Writing these lists is not simply a task in remembering what I need to get done. It is a mental process of organizing my thoughts and filing away things which are complete (thank you, brain, for clearing up some space). And of course, list-makers know the familiar feeling of accomplishment when we can check, cross out, or scribble away a line when the task is finished.

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This is what writing can do for us – it allows for mental planning, doing a service to ourselves and those around us. That act of writing down your list is stress-relieving. It takes the world off your shoulders and puts it on paper, where it can live much more freely. We have beautiful, new notepads in from The Printery, Pineider, and Dempsey & Carroll if you’re a “rip a piece of paper off the top and take it with you” kind of person. Or, if you like to have all those lists in the same place, one of the new, felt Rustico journals could do the trick. Clear your brain, give yourself some relief, and write those lists on paper.

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Add Beauty to Your Home and Gifts – Take Our Calligraphy Class!

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The word “calligraphy” translates from the original Greek into “beautiful writing” (Merriam-Webster). And beyond the beauty of calligraphy is the craft, of creating something unique which requires skill. No one can pick up a calligraphy pen and simply start writing – instruction is necessary. When you see calligraphy you can understand why it may take a lifetime to try to perfect this art form.

Luckily, we have an expert in calligraphy who can teach you enough in three hours so that you can add this special detail to your holiday gift cards, place cards, or other simple projects. Dena Bellows has been practicing and teaching calligraphy for over 30 years. We are fortunate to have her teach this class where you will receive personal attention and instruction right in our store.

For many of us, giving gifts around the holidays is not just about what is inside the box, but how it is presented. The wrapping paper and ribbon are important, and so is that gift tag. When your recipient sees their name in stunning, curvy script, they will know how much effort you made to ensure it was personal and thoughtful.

We have three classes in October. Click here to register and see more details. Make sure to reserve your spot early, as this class has filled up quickly in the past! Class fee includes a beginner’s calligraphy pen, nibs, ink, and practice paper. Contact us at 847-277-0073 if you have further questions.