NaNoWriMo Easy Meals

I don’t know about you, but somehow I get surprised by dinner time more often than not. I’m not sure how it happens, but it sneaks up on me and I am left scrambling for something to feed my family. They’re HANGRY, I’m frustrated, it’s not a good time.

Since I know this happens on the best of days, I am positive that it could easily be a daily occurrence in November when I am neck deep in NaNoWriMo. I need a plan. So, I’m compiling a list of meals that I can throw together quickly. And since I am making them for myself, I figured I would share here.

Easy Red Beans & Rice
This isn’t an authentic cajun recipe, but it is mild enough as a base that my kids will eat it. I add some additional Tony Chachere’s and hot sauce for my husband and me.

BBQ Marmalade Chicken
This one can be made crock-pot style or in the oven. I recommend crock pot. Throw some quick cooking rice in a pot at dinner time and heat up some mixed veggies as sides.

Alfredo Chicken Tortellini
Another quick recipe. I serve this with some french bread. You can buy the stuff from the bakery and heat it up or the stuff in the dairy case in a can. Either way, it’s quick!

This recipe makes FOUR POUNDS of taco meat in the crockpot. Great! Tacos tonight for dinner with some Mexican rice. Then have taco salad the next day for lunch. Nachos can be dinner the next night. Or portion the cooked meat and freeze for later this month. You can’t beat batch cooking during NaNoWriMo

NaNoPrepMo 2015

For the second year, I am participating in NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month in November. This is important because today is October 1st, or the start of NaNoPrepMo (or NaNoPlanMo, whatever. You get the idea).

NaNoWriMo is all about writing that novel. You know what I’m talking about – that one great book that’s been bumping around in your head for years. In one month you sit down and bang out 50,000 words. Boom! Book done. It sounds terrifying, but if you break it down, it’s only 1,667 words per day. Or 2,000 words per day if you don’t write on weekends. It’s totally doable (just silence that inner editor for now, okay?)

This month is all about prepping for NaNo. Since that’s the case I thought I would share a little bit about my plans for this month running up to the busiest month of the year!

Finish The Damn Book

This month I will finish out the first draft of my current work. I need to finish this book. I want a clean slate for NaNo and I want to be working on something that’s exciting to me again. Plus, the excitement of having a finished first draft in the drawer will be a great push going into November.


I am writing a series of books. The plan is for seven books in total. Each book is set in a different time period, so there’s a LOT of research for the series as a whole. The book I am currently finishing up is set during the American Revolutionary War. Book 2 will take place during the lead-up to the Great Chicago Fire. I mean, totally different time. Totally different place. So I have a LOT of research to do on the times and what life in Chicago was like then.

The good news is that for NaNo I only really need a general feel. I’ll use brackets for questions and ideas that need further research and just really focus on the story and plot. Getting that down during NaNo will allow me to go back and add layers of information and detail in the editing phase. So, I’ll be researching, but it won’t be exhaustive.

Plot Overview

This month I will sit down with my handy dandy note cards and work out some plot tangles and points. This general outline will be my guide for NaNo. I already have the question – can they stop the fire? – I just need to fill out the rest of the plot and disagreements and conflict and sub-plots. You know, the easy stuff. Ha!

Character Sketches

Since this is book 2 of a series, many of my characters will carry forward. But, the location is changing drastically so it will require the introduction of new characters specific to the time. They’ll need their own problems and voices and conflicts.

So, this is how I am getting ready for NaNo. What are your plans? Are you a plotter or a more pants?