I am a Merit Badger

I have merit badges! For noveling! There are ten official NaNoWriMo badges and five that I picked from the Boy Scout Store’s spoof category.

Me - front  Sash2

From top to bottom, left to right:

  1. Noveling Soundtrack Badge, for creating a playlist that either inspires writing or provides a soundtrack to your novel
  2. Secret Noveling Badge, for writing in secret when you’re supposed to be doing something else (like school or work)
  3. Blogging Badge, for keeping a blog chronicling your NaNo experience, or for posting your novel online as you go
  4. NaNo Socializing Badge, for attending official NaNo events, competing in word wars, or convincing others to join NaNo
  5. Superhero Badge, for performing superheroic acts of noveling while juggling massively time-consuming non-novel projects
  6. Creative Nonfiction Badge, for incorporating barely-disguised aspects of your real life into your novel as fiction
  7. Caffeine Abuse Badge, for consuming ridiculous and/or dangerous amounts of caffeine in your pursuit of novel victory
  8. Rally Day Badge, for writing 5,000 words in one day or overcoming a 10,000 word deficit
  9. Word-Count Padding Badge, for writing out contractions, quoting lyrics, giving characters three names, etc.
  10. Easy Button Badge, for inserting acts of deus ex machina to get yourself or your characters out of accidental tight spots
  11. Procrastination Badge, for doing ridiculous things – like cleaning your house – in the name of procrastination
  12. Pillage and Plunder Badge, for re-using at least 1,000 words of previously-written (by you) material
  13. Eureka Moment Badge, for having a moment when everything in your plot suddenly fits together
  14. Random Ending Badge, for having an off-the-wall or crazy ending to your novel or a chapter therein
  15. 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?


Sash1  Sash3

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.

Sash4  Me - back

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. 🙂

Me with display 

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. 🙂

Thermometer Chart   Progress charts2   Update slips2  

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!


One thought on “I am a Merit Badger

  1. bwahaha – and you really DO have an “out of the blue” methodology in there, don’t you?

    Damn you for that boys scout spoof site. I wonder if mom kept my old girl scout sash…

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