The road ends, but the journey continues...

My NaNoWriMo Signature Quotes

One of the fun things about doing NaNoWriMo (besides being a month devoted to writing and a great excuse to down gallons of coffee) is all the geeky stuff that’s available for use during the event.  There are word count widgets (yep, got that!), banners and badge buttons (done those, too) to install on one’s website/blog.  On-site, there’s even push-button access to upload images for use as one’s novel cover (pretty cool, but haven’t done that yet; maybe this year) … just to name a few techie toys.
Then there’s the personalization of one’s NaNo presence.  Along with the usual profile set up, there are numerous ways one can do this.  Over these three years of participating in this creative endeavor, I’ve pretty much kept my moniker (desertmountain) and gravatar (a photo of me and Leggy Lady on the compound, sized-down real teeny tiny) the same.  Mostly just to maintain a sense of continuity within and between each year’s NaNoWriMo.
However, each year’s signature quote has been different.
Interestingly, they reveal something about that year’s novel/project while not specifically chosen as such…a sort of foreshadowing of whatever wanted to be written/worked on during that year’s NaNo.
For NaNo 2012 I pulled a favorite quote from a snippet of Carl Sandburg’s poem, Lesson. peaches in tree 
“Come clean with a child heart.  Laugh as peaches in the summer wind.  Let rain on a house roof be a song.  Let the writing on your face be a smell of apple orchards in late June.”  – Carl Sandburg
Little did I realize my novel for that premier year would revolve around the lessons and seasons of life within The Peach Orchard Project or My Life as a Peach.
My second NaNoWriMo,  I found a quote revealing the effectiveness of fiction as a form of literary social commentary from a favorite author.

“A book, too, can be a star, ‘explosive material, capable of stirring up fresh life endlessly,’ a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe.” – Madeleine L’Engle

I plunged deep into the realm of my characters.  They cried out for justice in an unjust world while I grieved the passing of the ugliest and hardest of my street people characters who died a hero, defending The Woman Who Didn’t Belong.
This year’s signature quote jumped out at me while reading, When Women Were Birds by Terry Tempest Williams.  It gives me hope that the creation of (he)art as truth is an important endeavor; one which compels me to soldier-on in doing.

“To withhold words is power.  But to share our words with others openly and honestly is also power.” – Terry Tempest Williams

Me & Leggy Lady on the compound ~November 2010

Me & Leggy Lady on the compound ~November 2010

Honesty is an undeniable foil, it flashes whether bidden or not.  In order to be true to myself, I have to speak.  I must share my words, my music, my (he)art, my Musical Non-Fiction, regardless of whether or not it is seen, heard or read.


  1. deborahbrasket

    I loved this post! I didn’t do NANO this year–still working on final drafts of a novel that worked on during NANO a couple of years ago. But I remember that challenge and the joy of that experience. I love your quotes here and will be adding them to my list of favorite things. Especially that last line of Sandburg’s poem. I’ll be looking forward to reading your “peachy” novel when it’s done.

    • laura bruno lilly

      I have a feeling you’d ‘get’ my peachy novel! Some do, some don’t…but I do love my Peach-Characters!!!
      I’m impressed that you’re in final draft mode of any NaNo Novel. I find it very difficult to sort through the NaNoDrafts and get back into gear with the next drafts. Any advice?
      So glad my signature quotes resonate with you, too. The Sandburg one has been with me since High School.

  2. Anna Scott Graham

    Oh so much beauty in this post! And truth too, which must be spoken. Love these words, and that word count too, whoo-hoo!

    • laura bruno lilly

      That word count is an enigma to me right now. I find myself hesitant to blast through my final 6226 words (love that it’s a palindrome! quite unintentional I assure you) over the weekend…even though I could do so easily. I know in my head that 50k is an arbitrary ‘winners’ word count number, and that I can and will continue onward in my Rebellion…there’s just something about officially reaching the finish line that’s making me slow down…geesh.
      Good thing I wasn’t in track and field back in the day. 😀

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