The Mighty Pens would be nothing without our volunteers. We wanted to make sure everyone got the recognition they deserve. Each week, we’ll be spotlighting one or more of our volunteers and they can tell you in their own words a little bit about them and why they are a part of the Mighty Pens team.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself
A: I am a writer and cognitive researcher with an emphasis on conscious and unconscious decision-making, which I hope will one day explain why I owns so many books I haven’t read yet.
Q: Tell us about your pets! Or dream pet, if you don’t have one.
A: Two cats! Eponine, an adorable dirty street urchin who just wants to be loved, and Satine, a regal courtesan who only accepts affection on her terms. I named them before I knew their personalities but honestly. They’ve lived up to them. (Tuxedo = Satine, Tortie = Eponine)
Q: What are you currently reading/watching? What was your last 5 star read?
A: Most recently I finished The Guinevere Deception, a fun YA retelling of Arthurian legend with a focus on the women of legend rather than the knights. There’s intrigue, magic, and yes, a few battles! And when I get a chance for TV, I’m on a long term Star Trek project – I’m halfway through The Next Generation!
Q: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
A: A pantser who is trying to reform into a plotter. I think pantsing was a valuable way for me to learn how to *finish* a story, and it’s still a fun way to explore a narrative. But I’m excited to try my hand at outlining!
Q: What’s your favorite writing snack or beverage?
A: Anything peanut butter for snack, and TEA. So many teas. black currant tea is probably my favorite, but I am a tea fiend and enjoy many, many types.
Q: What’s in your ears while you write?
A: I’m a bit chaotic, so I like putting on Spotify’s Discover Weekly and seeing what the algorithm provides.
Q: What do you write? And if you can, tell us what you are working on now or will be working on for NaNo.
A: I write fantasy – urban, epic, portal, etc – and I primarily write for the YA age bracket! I have two ideas for this year, and I haven’t quite settled on which one I’ll be diving into on November 1.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about writing? Least favorite?
A: My favorite thing is getting to line edit and read back those paragraphs and scenes that I’ve managed to make truly delicious. My least favorite is convincing my brain that garbage is fixable, whereas a blank page is not, ha!
Q: Have you participated in NaNoWriMo before? Have you won? Are you participating this year?
A: I participated and won NaNoWriMo four years in a row, 2015-2018. I took last year off but I’m excited to participate again this fall!
Q: Any advice for someone who is joining the Mighty Pens or NaNoWriMo for the first time this year?
A: Eyes on your own paper! Comparison is the thief of joy! Basically any colloquialism telling you to focus on yourself, and your own progress, instead of looking at anyone else. We all have different speeds and settings! We’ll all get there in the end! Even if it isn’t 50,000 on Nov 30, or your $500 donation goal – that progress sets you up for later successes.
Q: Are you a Mighty Pens vet or a newcomer? Why did you decide to become a volunteer?
A: I’m a newbie in every way! I had never heard of TMP before this year. But I do get Susan Dennard’s newsletters, and when she included the call for volunteers, I jumped at the chance to participate! The concept, the mission, and the timing all coincided well with my own plans and values. I’m grateful to get to help out!
Q: What’s your favorite part about the Mighty Pens?
A: The entire concept DELIGHTS me. Since this is my first year with TMP on my radar, I had never considered the idea of sponsoring word counts the way charity races sponsor miles. It makes perfect sense! And it makes the whole process even more fun!
Q: Do you have a special connection to Every Mother Counts? Or just like raising money for a good cause?
A: I’m the result of serious medical intervention during my mother’s pregnancy and ensuing birth – an experience my mother still finds difficult to talk about, almost three decades later – and it’s heartbreaking to think about how little progress has been made in terms of positive maternal outcomes in the US. Every Mother Counts is doing essential work.