Tag Archives: summer

Heading to Camp NaNoWrimo

Moonday Mania

a blog for the writer in all of us

camp nanowrimo 2014 participant badgeIt’s summer time here at Jessica Aspen Writes! Okay, it won’t officially be summer until the middle of July, but for the rest of us, summer starts Memorial Day Weekend. The kids are out of school and it’s starting to get hot. Time to think about heading off to summer camp and for writers that means Camp NaNoWrimo, or Camp Nano for short.

I’ve done regular NaNoWrimo before. In November all the Nanoists try to write 50,000 words. In 2012 I counted my Nano experience successful because I wrote 30k and mostly completed the rough draft of Goldi and the Bear. (You can find Goldi on Amazon HERE)

Not a win by Nano terms, but a win for me. A novella in a month while I was working full time? Success!

But summer time is a time when we can relax and Camp Nano is just that. They have one in April and one in July and at Camp Nano you don’t have to write a novel, you can write whatever you want! Your dissertation, your memoirs, poetry. They don’t care.

Goals are different too. Instead of the community setting 50k as everyone’s goal, you get to set your own goal. I’m still going to set mine at 50k, since I’m planning on writing a novel that will eventually top 80k, so 50k is a good start.

In NaNoWrimo you’re divided up by your location, and you choose your friends. At camp, there are cabin assignments. You can choose your own cabin if you want to, or you can see who ends up in your cabin. As a child I went to camp many summers. I loved meeting new friends in all my cabins, and in fact I’m still very good friends with one of them. (Waves, hi K2!)

This is my first Camp NaNoWrimo experience so I’m going to try to let them pick a cabin for me. I tend not to be very social when I’m trying to get that many words done in a month, and I’ll be working part-time in July, as well as dealing with having my kids at home, so adding a social piece may or may not work, but I’m going to try!

The cool thing about this year is I believe both my daughters are going to Nano with me. Maybe we should ask to be in the same cabin?

Are you thinking about writing during July? If you have never written before, Camp NaNoWrimo sounds like a great place to start. You can choose your own project, set your own goals, and have a supportive group of writing friends to help you along. Let me know if you are thinking about participating and what your project is. We can support each other along the way!


Filed under Moonday mania, Nanowrimo, Writer's Journey, writing organization

A Little Cool Air, Please!

Thursdays Bite

a blog for the first days of summer

Writing spicy romance can get to be a hot job and I work in a house with no air conditioning. That’s right. None.

Now I know for all you people up North, this is likely a no-brainer, but for the Southerners I’m not sure they can conceive of buying a house without central air, or even those tiny window air conditioners. Nope, we don’t even own one of those.

boulder flatirons chataqua parkI grew up in Colorado and no one had central air. Not even the rich people. We all just opened our windows and used box fans, ceiling fans, and tiny desk fans, to cool off. At night the air temperature drops nice and low and you pull in all that cool air. In the morning, you shut the heavy duty blinds and keep the hot sun out and the coolness in. Houses stayed comfortable, for the most part.

I do remember sweating through some hot July’s and August nights, but before it got unbearable the evenings would be cooling off again. Then the out of state-ers started moving in. Things got crowded and they all needed air conditioning. Frankly, so did I. Summers seemed to get hotter and dryer and we lived in a neighborhood without the big trees of my childhood. A little air, please!

We finally installed air conditioning at our last house and used it sparingly. First of all, we kept the inside temp around 78°-80°. Second, we only ran it during the day- at night we would open the house up and pull in that free, cool air. And third, we only ran it during the really hot months. So the bill wasn’t too bad.

But then we moved.

And this house stays reasonably cool. We don’t have a ton of direct sunlight and we do have a basement. (That’s the other secret. Pull in cool air from the basement during the day when the house is closed up.) But I miss the air conditioning. I miss being comfortable during the day, and I’m really not looking forward to those hot nights in July or August.

But is it worth it? Is it worth it for only a few weeks of heat to spend all that money and replace the furnace, add all the pipes and things necessary for a house that has never had air conditioning?

My husband (who goes to work during most days and isn’t home in the heat) says he doesn’t think so, but I’m begining to think it needs to move to the top of the list. Meanwhile, I’ll be drinking my homemade iced coffees and cooling off in a mid-day shower.

How do you stay cool? Do you have air? Do you have a swamp cooler or a whole house fan (ours died, sad)? When does something change from being a luxury to being a necessity? Should we just let our bodies adjust?

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Filed under About the Author, Thursdays Bite