The number four in orange on a parking lot wall
Photo by Jordan Graff (

Fourth Time’s the Charm

November looms once more! Has it been a whole year? Well, I’m going to give National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) another go. Victory narrowly escaped my grasp in 2021. This time I’m going to smash that fifty-thousand word goal! No excuses. No missed days. I want it. I need it!

So yes, this year marks my fourth anniversary as a participant. I have not officially “won” any previous challenge except in 2020 when I set a modest goal of 25k for “The Ballad of Reginald Rosy.” I’m proud of the accomplishment, but I’m not wild about the story. Almost nothing happens in it. By the end, the characters are only just gearing up for an adventure.

Hopefully, this year will be different. I want to succeed by reaching my goal, but I also want to tell a complete story. You know what they say: fourth time’s the charm! OK, they don’t say that, but maybe they will after I popularize it.

Here’s a breakdown of my previous NaNoWriMo efforts and my goal for 2022.

The Old Railroad (9k of 50k)


  • Doors to the Past (6k of 25k)
  • The Ballad of Reginald Rosy (25k of 25k)

The Colors of Magenta (49k of 50k)

The TALENT: Some Assembly Required (50k)

So, what’s “The TALENT” you ask? In a nutshell, aliens are real! Superheroes are real! Naturally, Uncle Sam wants them fighting for the good old US of A. Follow the stories of several characters before and after they are recruited by a secret government agency to help defend Earth from otherworldly threats. “The TALENT” is short for the Terran-Alien Law Enforcement Negotiations Taskforce.


  • A washed up military general is tasked with recruiting and training a team of unusual folks to defend the planet.
  • An elderly Russian-American scientist is studying to apply for citizenship. She endures the company of her talkative, nosy landlord who has delusions of being a spy.
  • A high school English teacher is abducted (and safely returned) by aliens who want to emigrate to Earth. Can he broker a deal to grant them safe passage?
  • An intergalactic bounty hunter has been living on Earth in secret, waiting for her quarry to make a move. When the moment arrives, will she be able to capture it without exposing her own identity?
  • A self-absorbed superhero who is also a movie star must decide between serving himself or the greater good.

Wish me luck! The countdown begins.

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