Friday, October 28, 2016


NaNoWriMo sounds like the babbling of a toddler but it actually stands for National November Writing Month. And yesterday I said I was thinking about joining in...

Well, I signed up. 

A few questions that I'm trying to resolve as October winds down:

1. Is the story going to be in first-person or third-person narration? 

For the non-English majors out there, this is the difference between "I went to the store" (1st person) and "Jilly went to the store" (3rd person). If I do first-person narration, will people think the story is about ME?? If I choose third-person narration, will people really connect with the main character?

2. From what point in the story is the action happening?

I'm not sure what the term is for this, but it's the idea that the story could be something that has already happened and is being re-told at a later point, with the advantage of hind-sight, versus a "this is happening right now" live-action story.

3. How do I start? How will it resolve? What are the big crises that drive the storyline?

4. What will I name the main character?

5. Where does the main character live? Is it a real place or a place I make up?

I guess that's not soooo many questions. One thing I have decided, I don't expect it to be good. I don't even want it to be the next great American novel or a best-seller. Low expectations, right?? This is supposed to be fun. I'll say that again. This is supposed to be fun!!!

I do love to read, however; so maybe all those books I've read will have rubbed off on me just a little bit. No matter what I hope this story will be something people enjoy and that they look forward to checking in with every day in November.

The goal of NaNoWriMo is to write 50,000 words between November 1 and November 30. That's about 1,500-2,000 words per day. I'm not sure how many pages this works out be. Maybe about 90?? So I'm thinking it's more of a novella (a word I love). Also, it's worth noting that this post is only about 500 words. I've been praised in the past for my brevity so we'll see how I do with the word count goal...

The story that I plan to tell is about a woman whose life has hit the skids and how she perseveres. Oddly, it's a story I've been telling myself since I was a little girl. I remember telling it to myself at bedtime forever. It was what I used to help myself fall asleep at night.  It always struck me as being a little weird (how many 8-year-olds do you know who enjoy cleaning so much they make up stories about it?!) and it's nothing I ever told anyone about. Why would I have? I thought it was totally boring. It put me to sleep.

Whenever I would think about NaNoWriMo in the past, trying desperately to think of a story for this challenge, I would come up empty. Then this past weekend, I started remembering this story, using it to soothe myself the same way I did when I was a little girl. It occurred to me then that this was perfect timing for NaNoWriMo. Obviously, there is some appeal to this story. Maybe there are others who would enjoy it or otherwise benefit from me telling it.

So, the deal: I am going to write my 1,500-2,000 words here, on the blog, every single day for a month, beginning next Tuesday. You can sign up on the right to follow this blog by email or "like" the page on Facebook. I'm getting super stoked to get started!

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? Have you ever written a novel?

Thursday, October 27, 2016

What's Up, Buttercup?

It's been a minute since I declared I was back...

The fall has been particularly busy with running kids to after school activities, reconnecting with old friends, and a lot of travel. In one four-week period, there was only one Thursday night when I slept in my own bed, not in a hotel room. For a homebody like me, that's a lot of time away.

As for design, things are picking up there, too. 

This fall Erica and I have been tag-teaming on a home office revamp for a busy mama of three littles. Erica is a brilliant professional organizer. She's like a ninja with a label maker. My role has been to style bookshelves, make recommendations on where to hang art, and to advise on furniture purchases. We chose the Dayna chair from Ballard, and I was gratified to hear that my client would not have thought of it herself but it totally reflects her style!

Last week I taught a class to a group of former teachers and one retired State of Michigan employee. The title of the class was "Decorating your Downsized Space." I have always been nervous about public speaking, but not this time. Besides the subject being something that I'm passionate about, the group was so delightfully nice! We talked about using rug pads and repurposing old things in new ways.  

The Makerista / Hunted Interior

One of the things I told the class was that I think dark deep green is the next big thing. Isn't that color so moody and perfect? It reminds me of the early 90s when I was a beatnik teenager. I've noticed that all of my fashion "wants" lately are things I wore back then (ripped boyfriend jeans, a mulberry wool sweater, under an army jacket). Nothing is really new anymore, is it?

I'm also starting a new project with a dream client. We grew up in the same small town and were friends in high school. While we were having coffee and discussing details of her design plan, this song came on. Did you know that when The Graduate was made Anne Bancroft (Mrs. Robinson, the older woman) was only 36 years old?!?!?!? Seriously. That's five years younger than I am now.

Anyway, we bonded over the concept of Hygge. She has Norwegian roots and is a fan of the simple joys in life. It was fantastic to walk into her home and see the colors that I'd been dreaming of for her kitchen were on special pieces she already wanted to use. Also, my outfit totally matched the color scheme... I'll have to post it on Instagram later. The above image was my inspiration. Of course, the gold floral wallpaper at the top is this one from Hygge & West.

There's still been plenty of time for TV watching this fall, too. I am probably the last person on earth with a design blog to start watching Chip & Joanna Gaines' Fixer Upper, but let me tell you, I am their new biggest fan. I'm also watching This Is Us (tear.jerker, don't you think?) and can't wait to check out Joey from Friends new sitcom. How you doin'!

Because I like to keep myself from thinking too much, I am sort of -- maybe just a little bit --  contemplating joining in with NaNoWriMo next week. The National November Writing Month is a chance to write daily for the entire month of November along with thousands of other people around the world, resulting in a 50,000 word novel at the end of the month. The story would resonate with my loyal readers and so for that reason I am thinking of writing it right here on the blog. Why not, right? I can't promise I'll get to 50,000 words. I don't care too much about the official aspects of the challenge. But there is a story in my soul and I think it would be fun to share.

What's up with you? Does anyone even still read this blog? Leave a comment below! XO


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