Word by Word

Practical insights for writers from Jessica P Morrell

For NaNoWriMo Scribes

Written By: Jessica Morrell - Oct• 31•21

I’m always thinking in stories, aren’t you? Yesterday I visited a nearby farmer’s market, not imagining it would be overrun with merry kids in costumes. I’d just heard that there was a shortage of costumes because of global shipping slowdowns, but this wasn’t in evidence as the witches, superheroes, and ghouls dashed around accepting treats, trailed by adults trying to keep them in sight amid the crowd.

I’d stopped in because I’m running low on local honey and had a chance to chat with a beekeeper. He explained his wares, gesturing at the rows of jars winking amber in the sunlight,  pointing out which ones were harvested in spring, mid-summer, and late summer. I chose a late-summer wildflower jar and another gathered from fireweed. The honey in the fireweed jars was pale, almost like melted butter.

Chamareanaion angustifolium or fireweed, is often the first plant that sprouts after a forest fire. It’s found in the Pacific Northwest and a few other regions of the world. He explained that fireweed grows mostly at higher elevations in the Cascade Mountains. Ever since we talked I’m trying to remember where I’ve seen it while hiking. I live  near old forests and  wild regions and am going to be on the lookout for this plant. This year he was required to pay $500 fee to place his hives near the plants and his equipment needed to be bear-resistant. Trouble is, the bears got in anyway. More than once.  I drove on to my next errands thinking about the scavenging, destructive bears, the pink blooms bringing new life to a scarred region, the beekeeper driving his hives into the mountains. I remembered how a few years ago a bee colony arrived in the cypress trees in my former backyard. I found a couple through a local beekeeper’s organization who captured the queen and then watched the colony follow her into a special box. They took them home to begin their hives, their faces  as happy as children on Christmas morning.

Speaking of busy creatures….Thirty days has November….And for thousands of writers around the world, it also means National Novel Writing Month, usually called NaNoWrMo. As you’re buckling in, stocking up, or outlining, I’ve got you covered.

Check out  this  practical article on Hacks and a Bit of Tough Love, because it’s all about survival when you have a 50,000-word, 30-day goal. There are more than a dozen articles stockpiled here if you’re in need of inspiration, just use the search feature.

Good writing to all. Believe in yourself. Be kind to yourself. Don’t forget to hydrate and get adequate sleep.

Stay curious. As you go about your days away from your computer, notice, notice, notice. And allow big and little stories to land within. Don’t brush them away; follow the wisps and threads and memories.



You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.