Artist's Way

Camp NaNoWriMo starts in a few hours

by Wenona Gardner

I can’t believe July is almost upon us. I will be celebrating my birthday July 11 so this Camp NaNoWriMo I am feeling very excited. Networking with WordPress bloggers continues to include a steady stream of comments on WordPress and Camper Messages at Camp NaNoWriMo. My cabin is completely silent leading up to the couple days before NaNoWriMo which concerns me. I spent a lot of time early on to fill my cabin and now I am afraid people have lost interest already.

I am debating counting my Morning Pages at 450 words per day as part of my 10,000 word count since my average poem is 100-200 words. I am also wondering how many words I can crank out during the day. I started a new Peer Specialist job full time, the first full time job I have had in 20 years since I have been on disability. I sometimes wonder why I never finished writing a book during all those hours I had on disability and then I realize I was struggling with my mental health recovery to write. Now since I am working I have posted 43 blog posts the most I have posted during the seven years I have had this blog. I seem to actually be much more productive with my writing now I have the structure of a full time job. I carry a notebook in my purse so I can write my Morning Pages on the fly.

I brainstormed a list of ideas for possible poems, but some part of me feels like just going with the flow. I wonder how much I can write during the day. I don’t really know. My Camp NaNoWriMo t-shirts are being shipped to my house. I just need to check the mail on Tuesday to see if they arrived. I am happy today because I got paid. I was frustrated though I called Jimmy John’s to place an order, gave them my work address, and paid for my order with my credit card. But then I get a call back saying the can’t deliver to my area and they already took the money from my bank account. The manager was really rude to me claimed he was doing me a favor by putting my order in the nearby Jimmy Johns and I am like how is that a favor when you should have told me about not being able to deliver in the first place before you took my money. I asked for an apology and they refused to apologize. I was so frustrated.

I still haven’t bought my computer yet. The bank put a five day hold on my paycheck and they did not tell me. So I spent the available balance thinking I had a full check when I didn’t. I have been having money problems lately. I went to the vending machine to get licorice and the machine took my money but the bag of licorice got stuck and wouldn’t drop down the bin. I felt very frustrated. Other money problems. I thought working full time my money problems would go away. Guess not.

I heard of one cabin that everybody is just an hour away and they are planning to do face to face meetups. I would have loved that. I don’t know how to get my cabin going again. Like I said earlier I wish I could visit other cabins like at real camp.




Artist's Way

Camp NaNoWriMo… 2 Days

Well this is the first year my private Cabin Enigma is full! I am so proud that I was able to connect with so many diverse writers. The sad thing though is I am meeting new people who are inviting me to their cabins and I have to turn them down. Sometimes I wish that Camp NaNoWriMo had a feature where you can be in more than one cabin or at least visit other cabins to socialize. There was a cabin out there for Wiccan Writers and one for YouTubers which I  would have loved to have joined as well.

I just got my email from Office of Letters and Light that says that my Camp NaNoWriMo and NaNoWriMo winner’s t-shirts have been shipped so I am about to get them soon! I was going to buy a computer but my bank put a five day hold on my first pay check because my bank account is brand new. The thing is the teller told me my money would be available next day. If I had known about the five day hold I would have been much more conservative about my money. So I am broke even though half my paycheck is sitting in my bank account inaccessible to me. Frustrated.

Lately, I have been reading blogs by other Camp NaNoWriMo WordPress bloggers and they are talking about planners versus pantsers. I fall in the punster category. I was going to sit down and brainstorm ideas of potential poem ideas, but I haven’t gotten to that point yet. I am not sure if I will actually do that. I know time is running out. I have new online Camper friends that I have been emailing at Camp NaNoWriMo, which is a good feeling.

Artist's Way

Camp NaNoWriMo in 6 days!

I am writing poetry at 10,000 words for Camp NaNoWriMo and celebrating my birthday July 11. I have a cabin called Cabin Enigma. Do you have a cabin yet? I would like to be NaNo writing buddies with you.

Today, I spent time going through the posts with the Camp NaNoWriMo tag on WordPress. In the past I have tried to connect with YouTubers who were doing Camp NaNoWriMo. This year I thought I would try tapping into the WordPress community and boy was I glad to do so. So far I have three new followers to my blog that I found tapping into the Camp NaNoWriMo tag. I found a new Twitter buddy who is doing Camp NaNoWriMo. I have a new Camp NaNoWriMo invited to my Cabin Enigma. I had 16 people respond to my comments.

I was happily received my first pay check from my new Peer Specialist job and promptly ordered a NaNoWriMo Winner’s t-shirt from my previous win and a Camp NaNoWriMo t-shirt for 2016. I really wanted to order a specific Camp NaNoWriMo t-shirt I had once before, but it wasn’t there. 😦

I shared with my co-workers that I was writing in Camp NaNoWriMo and I began to explain what it was. I thought it was a good idea to let people know. I asked my former roommate to be my writing buddy.



Artist's Way

Sponsor Wenona at Camp NaNoWriMo’s fundraising page for Camp NaNoWriMo


Sponsor Wenona at Camp NaNoWriMo’s fundraising page for Camp NaNoWriMo at:


Dear Friends, Family, and Righteous Supporters,

This month, I’m going to camp. It’s a virtual creative-writing camp called Camp NaNoWriMo. While I’m there, I’ll be knocking out a memoir titled “Two Step” a story of a Native American woman from the Mohican tribe finding herself, her higher power, and true love this April.

Take that, archery classes.

Camp NaNoWriMo is run for free by a nonprofit called the Office of Letters and Light. They believe that everyone has a story inside of them—a lesson I’m taking to heart. Every dollar I raise will push me that much closer towards realizing my creative goals.

Your donation will also help fund the Young Writers Program and the Come Write In program for libraries and independent bookstores. As part of this community of inspired writers, I know that encouraging people of every stripe to tell their stories will help build a more engaged, diverse, and inspiring world. With your help, we can make sure the unvoiced stories in classrooms, libraries, and communities all across the world are brought to light.

Thank you so much for your support!

Wenona Morning Star Gardner

aka Buffy

Artist's Way

Camp NaNoWriMo Rebel

We are in the last gasp of summer and the final week at Camp NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) where the campers are writing 50,000 word novels in one month. In my cabin of 5 people and one dog named Waffles, I am a memorist hiding out among the novelists. This first time I have been writing my memoirs during Camp NaNoWriMO going against the grain. I am writing my memoir “Two Step” a story of a Native American woman finding herself, her higher power, and true love.  Behind closed doors it is strange to talk with the novelists. They describe elaborate fictional characters and daring plots to unravel the challenges they are in. While I describe to them the challenges of revealing intimate details of my life and how to oraganize it. But maybe it’s not too far off. I once read somewhere that your memoir must read right like a novel so perhaps my background in writing novel drafts may serve me well as a memoirist too.

As a Camp NaNoWriMo Rebel, I redefine Camp NaNoWriMo as a camp for writing where my goal is to reach 50,000 words by the end of August. I started off with a blast! To get into the spirit of Camp I went and watched a bunch of camp movies. I went through my old journals and got inspired with posts that included details that I had long forgotten. I used on trial period to try out Scrivener software that was very helpful to organizing the details of my story through easy to use index cards and and the binder. Several Camp NaNoWriMo campers highly recommended Scrivener to use for writing my memoir. For most part, Scrivener has been invaluable though it took me a while to learn how to use it. I went through all the tutorials and watched several videos on how to use the software effectively. When I had a problem compiling my document the tech support for Scrivener were awesome in providing a quick response to my request that helped correct my problem quite easily. I have one glitch that recently surfaced that I am going to need to write to them about though. All participants in Camp NaNoWriMo get 20% off of Scrivener and those that validate at 50,000 words can get 50% off of Scrivener.

I have been writing in NaNoWriMo in the original month of November since 2007 generating mulitple drafts of novels. Camp NaNoWriMo first appeared in 2011 and I participated in both June and July of that year. I also participated in June this year and in August. However, this is the first time I have ever written in any NaNoWriMos and gotten sick for a whole week. Yes, for Camp I was in bed with swollen tonsils. That puts a big damper on all the summer festivities. Right now I have managed to reach 40,004 words in my memoir. It’s the final week of Camp NaNoWriMo. The last chance to reach my goals. I just received my Camp NaNoWriMo t-shirt after a few weeks waiting and I am proudly going to wear it at work tomorrow. No matter if I reach the goal or not I will remember the fabulous experience I had with my cabin mates, and taking the time to invest in my creative dreams. Being in Camp NaNoWriMo has taught me the value of surrounding myself with writers and sharing writing challenges and accomplishments together. Already, I can say that my experience with Camp NaNoWriMo has been a success!

Warm regards,


Artist's Way


Greetings fellow travelers,

First week of Camp NaNoWriMo which is the challenge to write 50,000 words in a month. I am being a Camp NaNoWriMo rebel working on my memoirs. I reached 33,000 words. I have been going through my journal collecting details and poetry from and then organizing them in a writer’s software called Scrivener. I am happy to have the code to get 20% off Scrivener after I finish using the 30 day trial.

For my Culinary Artist Date I went to Golden Corral. I believe I made good choices like tacos and salad. Then I had a plate of fruit such as watermelon, strawberries, and oranges. There was a lot of people on Saturday night. I steered away from the fountain of chocolate and bowls of ice cream. I did have some small cotton candy because it reminds me of summer and I haven’t gone to any festivals to get any.

I wrote 6 out of 7 days of Morning pages. I realized how I have been recording my life in Morning Pages for a long time that I am going to read over them for my Memoirs I am writing during Camp NaNoWriMo.

I walked four days of 20 minute walking and I need to improve more on drinking more water instead of soda. Progress not perfection.

Warm regards,