Every fall, thousands of people sign up for National Novel Writing Month (or, if you like, "NaNoWriMo"), which happens each November, and which was founded by our guest today, a freelance writer and writing coach in the Bay Area named Chris Baty. Baty's program has helped countless people -- over the last 15 years or so -- finally write that elusive novel and/or get down a workable first draft of said novel to the tune of 50,000 words.... Now, Baty offers a book to share the secrets behind his long-running novel-writing course -- which are, in effect, the secrets to belting out such a novel. With weekly overviews, pep talks, practical suggestions, grounded approaches, and survival tips, this book -- it's called "No Plot? No Problem!: A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days" -- offers all would-be novelists a results-oriented, quick-fix strategy to finally getting the dang thing down on paper. And per Library Journal: "Every November, tens of thousands of people sign up for National Novel Writing Month and attempt to write a 50,000-word novel. Baty, the brains behind this competition, has produced an uproariously funny motivational manifesto so readers can get a leg-up in his race or in the larger publishing game. The key is to lower your expectations 'from "best-seller" to "would not make someone vomit,"' says Baty, who maintains that stress and a deadline are important parts of writing. Aimed at the non-serious, with an emphasis on summoning creativity and having a life-changing experience, this original approach will appeal to anyone up for a challenge." Also on today's ST, commentator Barry Friedman is thinking about a friend -- who also happens to be a writer, actually -- who went on food stamps recently, and then got off of them.