From top to bottom, left to right:
- Noveling Soundtrack Badge, for creating a playlist that either inspires writing or provides a soundtrack to your novel
- Secret Noveling Badge, for writing in secret when you’re supposed to be doing something else (like school or work)
- Blogging Badge, for keeping a blog chronicling your NaNo experience, or for posting your novel online as you go
- NaNo Socializing Badge, for attending official NaNo events, competing in word wars, or convincing others to join NaNo
- Superhero Badge, for performing superheroic acts of noveling while juggling massively time-consuming non-novel projects
- Creative Nonfiction Badge, for incorporating barely-disguised aspects of your real life into your novel as fiction
- Caffeine Abuse Badge, for consuming ridiculous and/or dangerous amounts of caffeine in your pursuit of novel victory
- Rally Day Badge, for writing 5,000 words in one day or overcoming a 10,000 word deficit
- Word-Count Padding Badge, for writing out contractions, quoting lyrics, giving characters three names, etc.
- Easy Button Badge, for inserting acts of deus ex machina to get yourself or your characters out of accidental tight spots
- Procrastination Badge, for doing ridiculous things – like cleaning your house – in the name of procrastination
- Pillage and Plunder Badge, for re-using at least 1,000 words of previously-written (by you) material
- Eureka Moment Badge, for having a moment when everything in your plot suddenly fits together
- Random Ending Badge, for having an off-the-wall or crazy ending to your novel or a chapter therein
- Victory Badge, for writing 50,000 words in 30 days
Obviously, I didn’t earn them all this year. Most, I earned in 2004… but I’ve re-earned badges 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 9 already this year, and have plans to re-earn #12 before things are all over.
If this wasn’t something I was going to wear at school, I’d probably have to add the Adult Beverages badge from the Boy Scout Store. There’s usually a little bit of wine during my Novembers; this year, I’m rewarding myself with a glass of champagne for each 25% (one of which I am enjoying at this very moment). Hey, whatever works, right?
I probably wouldn’t go to the trouble to make a merit badge sash if it weren’t for the Young Writers’ Program. Being a YWP facilitator gives a person a little bit of leeway to embrace their inner dorky kid, I guess. (My mom and my husband are currently rolling their eyes and muttering, “As if she needs an excuse!”) My sash has YWP on it, in what I think is a perfect font, especially considering I just found them in the iron-on letter section at Michaels.
I’ve bedazzled my sash with buttons, which are like badges only re-positionable and a lot easier to lose. Up top I’ve got a “We Can Do It” and the two YWP buttons that come with the teacher kits. Below the badges, I’ve got a bunch of others; the Count and the “Books, Not Bombs” ones are probably the most NaNo-y on there, although I tried to keep them all relevant.
The spider broach is one I wore to my senior prom. I reckon the spider is the patron beast of writers – being a spinner, and all that, hello Charlotte – and this one looks like it is whispering ideas into my ear when pinned here on the sash.
Here’s a close-up of the back of the sash. Each star represents a year that I did NaNoWriMo. A gold star means I won – I wrote 50k in 30 days. A white star means – well, not so much. (And some of those white stars ought to be more gray or something – I was truly pathetic some of those years!) I’ve left enough room on the back for me to do NaNoWriMo until approximately my 97th November, so that’s good. Plus, I now have additional extrinsic motivation to win this year; I’m out of white stars. 🙂
Here I am posing in front of the YWP display across from my classroom. We are so never going to make 100% by the end of the month. 🙂
Hey – I may be behind on my word count, but at least I’ve got goofy accessories to wear while trying to catch up. Merit badgers are fun!