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Summary of September 25, 2021 Meeting with Lynne M. Spreen




I used to call this talk, “Write a Book in a Month with Nanowrimo.” That was before the 2020 experience, and what we all learned together. 

But first, of course, the announcements:

Next Month: Elections! 


Just a reminder from Jim Hitt, Guild President, that his position, as well as that of Treasurer, will be available to fill at regular elections this October. If you’re a member and interested, be ready to throw your hat in the ring at our October meeting. The board meets six times a year for two hours to plan programs, handle routine business, and yack about issues. If you’re curious and would like to talk with someone about it, please feel welcome to contact Jim, JoLynne, Michelle, Karen, Lynette, or Lynne at DVWritersGuild@gmail.com for more information.

A Note about Next Month’s Program

On October 23, 2021, our last meeting of the year, we’ll be presenting the 2nd Annual Prose Readaround. Guild member and Treasurer JoLynne Buehring will lead the festivities. 

Interested readers should send essays, short stories, and story excerpts by OCTOBER 15 to JoLynne1@Live.com.

Writer’s Corner

At this meeting, Sandy Schuster shared a suggestion that the Marcel Proust questionnaire be used as a tool for exploring your fictional characters. She said you’ll discover greater possibilities in those deeper “why?” questions. The Proust questionnaire is here.  

Straitjackets Magazine

JoLynne Buehring, Editor of Straitjackets Magazine, let us know that the submission deadline for your short story, poem, or article is this Friday, October 1. For submission guidelines, click on the link.




Michelle Bassett, the Guild’s Vice President for Membership, told us there are now more than sixty paid members in the Guild, quite an accomplishment for operating in an all-virtual environment (for now.) While membership isn’t a requirement for attending meetings, it helps us keep the lights on. For twenty dollars per calendar year, you’ll receive these benefits among others:

  • eligibility to submit your writing for consideration to Straitjackets Magazine.
  • Have your book(s) listed on our Member Books Page, with links to the purchase location.
  • Enjoy a 10% discount off the list price of new books at Cameron Books in Hemet, California.
  • Eligibility to vote for and hold board positions.
  • Know that you are supporting one of the few local writers’ groups in the area

Two Ways to Join:

  • Using PayPal (click on the Home tab at the top of this page, and find the Buy Now button on the left margin), or
  • Send your check to PO Box 1154, Hemet CA 92546.

Lynne Spreen


This Month’s Speaker:

Lynne M. Spreen

Supercharge Your Writing Practice with Nanowrimo



I’ve done Nanowrimo a half-dozen times, always ending up with a book. Three, I’ve published. The others are waiting for a final edit.

For years, I’d heard about Nano (it’s been around for two decades, growing every year), but never checked into it. Then a friend invited me to try. I’m a process person, and I realized there was no way I could sit down on November 1 and blurt out 1,667 halfway-decent words. And continue that for another 29 days.

So I invented a process, and I use it every year, slightly refined each year. In this talk, I share my strategies with you. In essence, my process consists of four steps:

  1. Decide on your goal
  2. Get an idea of your story (I recommend using a structure).
  3. Create a 30-scene outline (i.e. 30 days of writing prompts)
  4. Create a logbook with one page for each day of November. In October, look ahead and make notes on each page to prepare yourself for the challenges of those upcoming days. Know which days you’ll be able to write for long periods, and which will be more difficult. After each day, leave prompts and notes for the upcoming day.

The PowerPoint deck is available here if you’d like to review the slides, which go into more detail. As soon as the video is available on YouTube, I’ll add it here.

You know how they say being a writer is a marathon, not a sprint?

Nano is a sprint. Prepare well.


For more about the Guild, including frequent tips and interactions with fellow writers, check out our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/diamondvalleywritersguild/


This blog post was prepared by Lynne Spreen, author and one of a team who founded the DVWG. Lynne writes women’s fiction with positive aging and romantic themes. You may access her website here and her books here.


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