Another Weekend, Another Novel…A Picture Perfect MNM2012

So, about the last week and a half. It started out like this:

Franny Frannerton of the Frannington Frannies.

A week in the lake with our girl. She swam beside us to make sure we survived our swim. She’s extremely good at splashing cold water on you when you’re trying to acclimatize to the frigid waters of Lake of Bays too.

There was a lot of this:

♪ ♫ “Ooh, heaven is a place on earth.” ♪ ♫

Everybody should just spend a week in a Muskoka chair sometime in their life. I think the answers to some of the universe’s biggest mysteries could probably be worked out in a Muskoka chair. Don’t look at me for those answers, though. I’m always too busy just sitting when I’m there.

So, there was that. Battery recharging, if you like. Though a couple of those canoe trips with my son had me thinking I may just drop dead one day really soon.

Next, the weekend.

There’s this groovy little club that meets once a year in downtown Huntsville, Ontario:

Sadly, not Studio 54. Oddly, gold lamé was still in abundance.

Studio 54’s nextdoor neighbour. So, this is the secret passageway at the back of the wardrobe. Or, if you like, a side door to the rabbit hole. Once you’re inside…you can check out, but you can never leave.

Before you enter Club 55, though, feel free to play the nearby piano:

Whenever I see a piano sitting in the street, I picture a scene from The Kids From Fame. Oddly, that moment did not transpire on the MNM weekend. )-:

At every Muskoka Novel Marathon, there are great Out of the Blue moments. Like, for instance, Saturday night. Somebody had the idea to run out into the street and have a spontaneous Tai Chi break. Well, it was a fantastic idea, but because we were all tired…it was slightly miscommunicated. We ended up having a Tie Tree break, instead. Confusing…but very pretty.

But seriously…we actually had nothing to do with the Tie Tree. Turns out Huntsville was rocking it with the Nuit Blanche North art installations Saturday night. (:

And I’m not sure we could ever have a 72-hour novel writing marathon without stilt walkers and fire jugglers again. They really are inspirational story prompts.

The benefit to the writers who participate in the MNM

The Muskoka Novel Marathon: 37 Writers x 72 Hours = 821,500 Words.

The benefit to the YMCA literacy program for those fighting the good fight against illiteracy

The Muskoka Novel Marathon: 37 Writers x Generous Donations from Family & Friends = $14,572.00

This fundraiser is such a win/win for everybody. Any writer can understand the gift it would be to earmark an entire weekend to writing. That there is actually an opportunity to also be a part of the WRITERS HELPING READERS fundraiser…that’s the icing on the cake. Where would writers be without readers. Who understands the amazing gift that the ability to read can be to a person more than a writer does? We live in a world of words. They are our passion. Knowing that the marathon brings the gift of reading to others–it’s the most powerful awe-inspiring thing about the entire weekend.

We Did It!

My own stats for the weekend: 70 hours. 191 pages. 40,487 words

Fighting Illiteracy One Word at a Time and Book Birthday!

As I prepare to head to Huntsville for my 5th Muskoka Novel Marathon, I am hit with the same nervous excitement that glommed onto me just before I began my first four marathons. There’s an Adrenalin rush knowing I’m going to be sitting down for an entire weekend to write a complete novel…and there’s the fear that I will sit down and have nothing to say. And there’s also the excitement of seeing my fellow marathoners again. Some of whom I only see for one weekend a year—but a very intense weekend that kind of makes us a weird family of sorts. There are highs and lows and every emotion in between at a novel writing marathon. There’s the support of your peers and the support you give your peers. There’s the joking around, the breaking bread together, the snoring, the goofing off, the tearing your hair out when you’re tired and frustrated and trying to get words to come out when you feel like all of your words have dried up. It’s like cramming a year of a writing life into 72 hours. The craziness is there, the self doubt is there, the blush of accomplishment is there. The coffee is there!

This nomadic ‘family’ of travelling writers meets up once a year and joins forces against illiteracy. We don’t do it only for the writing. The writing is a huge benefit to the benefit, though. We won’t lie and say it isn’t. But we really come together to pool our resources and raise funds to help spread awareness of the problem of illiteracy AND to actually help DO SOMETHING about illiteracy. All funds collected go right to the source. Our marathon sponsors know that every cent is put to work in the fight against illiteracy. Every dollar goes into combat.

If you would like to donate to this most worthy of causes, you can do so online. My GIVING page will be open for accepting donations until JULY 9th. You can access it here:


The marathon starts Friday July 13th and will run until Monday July 16th. Please think of all those writers (approx. 30 at the venue and another 10 or so online joining us remotely!) during that weekend and wish us luck–both with our fundraising and our writing. We’re gonna need it! (-:

While I’m here, I thought I would mention that I’m having a book birthday tomorrow. Musa Publishing will be releasing my MUSKOKA NOVEL MARATHON 2007 BEST ADULT NOVEL AWARD winning novel SEBASTIAN’S POET. As of tomorrow, you will be able to order a copy (for the low price of $3.99) directly through the publisher here:


You can also enter the GOODREADS GIVEAWAY for Sebastian’s Poet, if you’d like to try to win 1of4 signed limited edition print copies!