This Summer, at Writing Camp: A Letter Home from NaNoWriMo


It’s July, and many of us authors are packed off, some kicking and screaming, with our manuscripts to virtual Camp NaNoWriMo for a marathon month of “focus.” Lisa has fallen behind, so she is cheating by posting her required letter home from 3 years ago (with updates). Please cheer her on–and for the love of Fluffernutters, don’t tell her counselor! 

Dear Mom and Dad,

How are you? I am okay but I have had enough of writing camp. Can you please come get me? Every time I ask you keep telling me that writing camp will be fun and good for me. But you are wrong. I would rather be doing something more fun, like summer school or cleaning my room.

This will be a short letter, because it’s after Taps. I’m writing this under the covers with my flashlight and my batteries are dying. They took away all our cell phones.

Our counselor Ashley said we had to write letters home so she can mail them in town tomorrow. That’s when everyone who made their word counts goes for ice cream. I wasn’t going to get any, but Ashley said if I write this letter I can add the words to my word count and get a small twist but no sprinkles.


My cabin mates all made their word counts today. They are sleeping now, so they can get up early and write even more. Except for one girl, who is eating crunchy candy. I don’t remember her name, but she is my best friend. I just call her Candy. Why don’t you send me those kind of care packages like her parents? Maybe if you did it would help me write more.

All the other campers here brag a lot about how fast they write. I hate them.

I can hear Ashley and her boyfriend from the camp across the lake outside. If I lift the cabin shutter really slow, it won’t creak and I can spy on them. I hope her boyfriend took a boat here so he doesn’t have to swim back across the lake. Otherwise that psycho counselor who drowned last summer will get him.


I am not going canoeing in the morning. Not because of the ghost but because all my fingers have really bad blisters from typing. They are getting worse. So come get me PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE. Those extra PLEASES make four more words, so now I have about 315. I keep counting them, just in case it’s actually higher.

Uh-oh. Ashley just came in and waved her cell phone flashlight at me. She looks really mad. Gotta go. But here is a picture of me with my cabin. I am the blonde one on the left at the top, in case you forgot.


Lisa (PLEEEEEEZ come get me! Or at least send candy.)

Readers, do you have any inspiring words for Lisa? (She doesn’t really hate her cabinmates, by the way.) What would you ask for in your care package?


17 thoughts on “This Summer, at Writing Camp: A Letter Home from NaNoWriMo

  1. Ouch. This comes very close to home, as I’m trying to finish my WIP and I think I’ve been checking my word count after about every fifty words.

    Could I get some inspiration for a pesky plot point in my care package? Oh yeah, and a bottle of Aviation gin…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We can have a campfire plotting session! (For your book, of course. Not for some kind of coup.) I am trying to imagine gin here at camp. Probably only for counselors who have to deal with us.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I may have exaggerated my writerly woes and whining just a teensy bit for dramatic effect. In truth, I actually like my manuscript so far. It’s those other camp activities…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lisa, Candy has to sleep sometime. Break into her stash. She won’t miss one piece of candy — much! Glad to hear the manuscript is on track. Lotion those fingers and keep typing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m technically doing Camp NaNo this month too, although I haven’t started my project yet. Meanwhile, some of my fellow campers are already at the 50K-word mark (no joke). In my defense, there’s still two weeks left. Plenty of time, right? Send candy! I’m going to need it.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Late chiming in, but loved this–ha ha!! I don’t have any words of wisdom, other than to wonder if writing “All work and no play makes Lisa a dull girl” a la Jack Torrance would go toward your word count. In any case, I second taking a (small bit) of Candy’s candy. You need writing sustenance!

    Liked by 1 person

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