NaNoWriMo News: How to Survive the Thirty Day Lexical Challenge That is NaNoWrimo

nanowrimo news books keep me sane

NanoWriMo News is a feature in Books Keep Me Sane that will give you updates and news about Farzy’s lexical bout in the name of novel-writing throughout November.

How to Survive the Thirty Day Lexical Challenge That is NaNoWrimo

Last September I mentioned that I am going to join the NaNoWriMo. To be honest, it was just a spur of the moment decision, I didn’t think of it much at the time. But now that November and NaNoWriMo is fast approaching, I realized what a huge feat this is. I am not sure if I can make it through November with my sanity intact. 30 days, 50 000 words, 16667 words a day. That is crazy.

But then I am known for doing crazy stuff.

For my first NaNoWriMo News post I’m going to share to you the things that I did to prepare myself for this. From choosing the right writing tool to rewarding yourself after NaNoWrimo, I’ve got you covered.

Choose the right writing software for you

MS Word – Ah, the good ol’ MS Word. Most, if not, every one of us is familiar with MS Word. It’s an excellent word processor and has a wide array of features.


  • You probably already have it in your computer so you don’t have to seek the internet to download it
  • Robust software with wide array of formatting tools


  • Can be difficult to organize a manuscript with a lot of chapters/ volume of texts
microsoft word 2013 interface

The user interface of the MS Word 2013

WriteMonkeyWriteMonkey has a very clean, minimalistic interface. This is perfect for those who don’t want too many things to clutter their virtual writing space and just focus on the writing process itself.

writemonkey splash screen

I love WriteMonkey’s splash screen because there’s always a funny quote every time you open the software.*

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writemonkey with text and menu

WriteMonkey in fullscreen mode

As you can see WriteMonkey basically consist of just a text area. You can access all the features of the software by right-clicking your mouse. (Shown above)


  • It’s portable, which means you don’t need to install anything. Just download the zip file and run WriteMonkey.exe and that’s it! You can easily copy it to another PC or a thumb drive.
  • Perfect for people who wants a writing software with minimal clutter


  • Rather limited formatting options
  • Doesn’t have a rich text engine

ScrivenerThis is probably the best writing tool I’ve encountered. It’s so full of features that are helpful to different writers, from novelists to screenwriters. It can be overwhelming when it’s your first time using the software but fear not, it has a very comprehensive tutorial and user manual.

scrivener nanowrimo template

This is the NaNoWriMo template in Scrivener. How cool is that?


scrivener binder

This is the Binder, where everything from research notes like PDF, doc files to images can be organized


  • A great organizing tool when you’re writing
  • The NaNoWriMo Template in Scrivener is perfect for NaNoWriMo participants


  • You have to buy the software but there’s a 30 non consecutive day trial version
  • It can be overwhelming when it’s your first time

Your Notebook – Technically not a software but it’s a writing tool all the same. Some of us just can’t turn away from our trusty notebooks.


  • You can bring it with you everywhere
  • You don’t need to worry about battery life


  • You have to type in your computer what you have written before you can validate your word count

Choose your caffeine fix

Be it a six pack diet coke, a bottle of sports drink or a cup of pumpkin-spice latte (perfect for the fall season!) be sure to stock up on caffeine-rich drinks because more often than not you will have to stay up late just to meet your daily 1667 (or more) word target.


Be social

According to the famous adage, writing is a solitary thing. Well, I say that’s crap. During NaNoWriMo everyone’s helping out everyone to meet their 50,000 word goal. Seek like-minded people because they will help you and encourage in your writing endeavor. Trust me, there will come a time during NaNoWriMo that you’ll question yourself if your story is really good. That’s normal. I also thought I was the only one. Heck even The Great Neil Gaiman sometimes doubts his writing prowess. And that’s coming from a man with tons of hit books, mind you.

Be sure to follow NanoWrimo on Twitter, participate in @NanoSprint and the #NanoPrep tweet chat.

Reward Yourself

Some of the things that motivate me the most are books, food and clothes. NaNoWriMo is the perfect time to reward yourself—if you reach a particular milestone. Here’s my personal rewards list:

3 000 words – Oreo cookies

5 000 words – Monster McFloat + Twister Fries

10 000 words – McFlurry + Crispy Chicken Sandwich

15 000 words – 1 liter Nestle Chuckie

20 000 words – Big Mac

30 000 words – Pizza

40 000 words – a book

50 000 words – Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Writers/ Cara Delevingne X Penshoppe sweater

chicken soup for the soul inspiration for writers books keep me sane Penshoppe-x-Cara-Delevingne-1











I’m not yet sure what I would get for myself once I reach my 50,000 goal. The Cara Delevingne X Penshoppe sweater looks fabulous and it’s perfect for the cool pre-Christmas weather in the Philippines but I am also dying to get my hands on Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Writers. Sigh. I have the rest of December to decide what to get myself when I achieve my Nano goal though so I am not worried about that right now.

Are you joining NaNoWriMo too? Any advice or tip you want to share with us?



popcorn review - books keep me sane

Popcorn Reviews is a feature here @ Books Keep Me Sane which gives me a chance to share with the readers of this blog my reviews of movies/TV series that are related to books.

Maleficent-2014-Movie-PosterTitle: Maleficent

Director: Robert Stromberg

Writers: Linda Woolverton

Genre: Fantasy

Release Date: 28th May, 2014 (US)



A vengeful fairy is driven to curse an infant princess, only to discover that the child may be the one person who can restore peace to their troubled land.


Growing up, I was not a fan of fairy tales. I never understood the logic behind true love’s kiss. Is one kiss really enough for a girl to marry a boy? Is one kiss enough to solve all the world’s problem? From a young age I knew that love is not supposed to be instant, that there’s more to it than spark. Love should be worked on, to be built upon and worth fighting for.

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REVIEW: Alex Cross, Run (Alex Cross #20) by James Patterson

alex cross run books keep me saneTitle: Alex Cross, Run (Alex Cross #20)

Author: James Patterson

Genre: Mystery Thriller

Release Date: February 18th 2013

Purchase: Amazon (Paperback, Audiobook)




Top plastic surgeon Elijah Creem is renowned for his skills in the operating room, and for his wild, no-expense-spared “industry parties,” bringing in underage exotic dancers and models for nights of drugs, champagne, and uninhibited sex. That is, until Detective Alex Cross busts one of Creem’s lavish soirees and ruins his fun. Now Creem is willing to do anything to avoid going to jail. DON’T THINK, ALEX CROSS But Alex doesn’t have time to dwell on that case. A beautiful woman has been found murdered in her car, a lock of her hair viciously ripped off. Then a second woman is found hanging from a sixth-floor window with a brutal scar slashed across her stomach. When a third mutilated body is discovered, rumors of three serial killers on the loose send Washington D.C. into an all-out frenzy. JUST RUN Alex is under so much pressure to solve these three grim cases that he hasn’t noticed that someone else investigating him-someone so obsessed and so twisted that they’ll do anything-ANYTHING- to get the vengeance they require. Alex Cross, Run is James Patterson’s most unrelenting story yet-a white-hot, sensational thrill ride with the most extreme and gripping characters Patterson has ever brought to life.


James Patterson is one of those authors whose books I keep seeing in every single bookstore I visit, and it’s not just one or a few books either but almost always different titles every time. For a long time I wondered if Patterson’s books are that good. But it wasn’t until now that I read one of his novels.

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Hello October

ramblings keep me sane

When I started this blog my focus was on book reviews but now that it has grown, I want to share some stuff other than book reviews. Ramblings Keep Me sane is essentially about, well, ramblings. It could be book-related ramblings… or not. It’ll be like a discussion post where readers can share their opinion about anything under the sun.

hello october

I just realized this is my first post in October! I apologize for being MIA in the last two weeks. I was mostly preoccupied with my undergrad thesis and final exams in all my seven classes. I really hope I do well in my exams and that I pass all my classes this semester. Fingers crossed! Continue reading

Sunday Post #27: Honey You Should See Me in a Crown

sunday post

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme

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Freebie Friday: Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger [INT]

freebie friday 1

Freebie Friday is a feature originally by Jen @ YA Romantics. Be sure to visit Books Keep Me Sane every Friday for a chance to win books, swag packs and other awesome stuff!

September is full of giveaways in BKMS! Let’s celebrate the last Friday of September with another giveaway, shall we?

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Just to recap the giveaways this month, on the 12th we had Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door, on the 19th we had a special edition of Freebie Friday sponsored by L.A. Rose and now I’m going to give away a copy of Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger! Click here for the link to my review of Etiquette and Espionage.

ettiqutte and espionage books keep me sane
As always, the giveaway is international. But if the winner is from the Philippines he/she will receive my paperback copy of the books, if the winner is international he/she will receive a paperback copy via The Book Depository as long as TBD ships to the winner’s country.


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REVIEW: Miss Mabel’s School for Girls (Network Series #1) by Katie Cross

miss mabe's school for girls books keep me sane Title: Miss Mabel’s School for Girls (Network Series #1)

Author: Katie Cross

Genre: YA Paranormal

Release Date: March 27th 2014

Purchase: Amazon (Paperback or Kindle)



Never underestimate the power of a determined witch.

Letum Wood is a forest of fog and deadfall, home to the quietly famous Miss Mabel’s School for Girls, a place where young witches learn the art of magic.

Sixteen-year-old Bianca Monroe has inherited a deadly curse. Determined to break free before it kills her, she enrolls in the respected school to confront the cunning witch who cast the curse: Miss Mabel.

Bianca finds herself faced with dark magic she didn’t expect, with lessons more dangerous than she could have ever imagined. Will Bianca have the courage to save herself from the curse, or will Miss Mabel’s sinister plan be too powerful?

Miss Mabel’s School for Girls is the first novel in The Network Series, an exciting new fantasy collection. A gripping tale about the struggle to survive, it will take you to a new place and time, one you’ll never want to leave.


I don’t read that many YA Fantasy books but when I do, I fall for the book, hard. And that’s exactly what happened to me after reading this Miss Mabel’s School for Girls.

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Top Ten Tuesday #20: Books in my Fall To-Be-Read List


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme/original feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Click the link to go to their site to see the original list.

Here in the Philippines we don’t have fall or autumn since it’s a tropical country. But that doesn’t stop me from making a fall TBR list haha!

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Sunday Post #26: The World Needs Your Novel

sunday post

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme

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Freebie Friday Special Edition: Adrian Lessons by L.A. Rose

freebie friday 1

Freebie Friday is a feature originally by Jen @ YA Romantics. Be sure to visit Books Keep Me Sane every Friday for a chance to win books, swag packs and other awesome stuff!

Hi and welcome to a special edition of Freebie Friday, sponsored by L.A. Rose, author of Adrian Lessons.

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Adrian Lessons is a new adult romance book and I gotta admit, I am SO in love with the book. Just yesterday I posted a 4-star review of Adrian Lessons, click here to read it.

Here’s the cover and the blurb of the book:

adrian lessons books keep me sane

If there’s one thing Cleo Reynolds knows, it’s that she’s not into Adrian King.

The son of a model with the looks to prove it, the experienced author of her school newspaper’s sex advice column, the cocky playboy with a hint of darkness. That Adrian King.

Nope. Nuh-uh. No way.

The problem is, he’s very into her.

After accidentally flashing him, and slightly-less-accidentally-but-still-totally-unintentionally making out with him in front of the whole class, she expects to be called crazy. Instead, he asks her out.

Cleo’s determined not to end up as another notch on his bedpost. Except she hasn’t done…you know…it in a while. (Read: ever.) And as a girl who pays her tuition by writing all the sex scenes in her roommate’s bestselling romance series, the lack of inspiration has served up a fat slice of writer’s block.

Until her roommate proposes that Cleo and Adrian act out all the steamy scenes in her book.

It’s just research. No feelings involved.

Nope. Nuh-uh.

No way.


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