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Word S4 E4: Halloween And NaNoWriMo Part 1 – ‘Plotober’

It’s nearly Halloween.

And, almost time for  NaNoWriMo.

As we close out October, we welcome back a writer from last year’s National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) competition. 

Plus, we catch up with another NaNo veteran who’s not fond of planning a manuscript during a month that’s often referred to as “Plotober.”

Finally, we’re joined by a NaNo veteran who is experimenting with a new genre this go-around.

But first, fellow podcaster Pamela Rogers has a long connection to the Valley and hosts a show called Buttons and Figs — a fun literacy program for kids, parents, educators, librarians and anyone who values wordplay.

One of the popular attributes of the show is song.

And since it’s nearly Halloween, Rogers has released the seasonal tune, " Halloween is Coming!"

It's the first song in a three part Halloween musical series written and sung by Mark Pena and Rogers, with audio engineering by Blaise Collins. The songs are semi-autobiographical, pulled from Pena's childhood memories of Halloweens spent in Glendale. Pena and Rogers both attended Glendale elementary schools and Glendale High School in the late 1980s.

Of course, the month of November means many things to different people.

Maybe it's looking forward to Thanksgiving.

Or, holiday shopping.

Or, just no longer leaving the Valley every weekend to get out of the heat.

But for many fiction enthusiasts, November means writing 50,000 words in a month for the annual NaNoWriMo contest.

We’re happy to welcome back Theresa Munroe from Youngtown to talk about where she's headed in this year's quest following last year's appearance. She’s expanding on her 2019 novel and hopes to complete a sequel to it this year.

Also, NaNo enthusiast and writer Kendall Pack is a transplant to the Valley from Utah. He talks to us about his plans, or lack thereof, this November and the pleasure of taking leisure in not planning a manuscript for NaNo.

Finally, Quinlyn Shaughnessy is a 2020 graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at ASU and Valley resident. She’s a longtime NaNo fan and practitioner. We talk about her NaNo writing process and the difference between writing fiction and news.

Portions of Word have been nominated for an Edward R. Murrow award.

We appreciate your continued support of the literary arts in Arizona and the region.

Thanks for listening to Word and sharing on social media!

Tom Maxedon was the host of KJZZ’s Weekend Edition from 2017 to 2024.