Thursday, October 16, 2014

Dracula's dungeon discovered

Did you know Dracula was a real guy?  Not a vampire, necessarily, but a real 15th-century man whose legend may have influenced Bram Stoker when he was writing his famous novel.

Archaeologists in Turkey Say They've Discovered Dracula's Dungeon

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014 is coming!

In just over two weeks, NaNoWriMo will be here.  My region already has a kickoff party and a number of write-ins planned (I live in a fairly active and social region).  The website and forums have been reset, and there are a number of sponsor offers for participants, including free ebooks from Kobo and BookBaby.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Rough start back to school, and an upcoming surprise...

The kids I nanny for are back in school now, and have been for a month, but my life has thrown one obstacle after another in the way of me getting settled back into a freelancing and writing schedule during the day while they're at school.  The latest was that I was very sick for the past week.  I got sick last Monday night, and was virtually unconscious for the next 36 hours.  Although I went back to work on Wednesday and Thursday, I was still very sick up until Saturday, and spent the weekend resting and recovering.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Back to school! (but more delays)

The kids went back to school this week, but so far my schedule is still in a jumble.  That's partly because the kids actually only had a half day on Monday, meaning I basically still worked summer hours, and partly because I've been working on some other projects around the house that have been taking up time.

I'm setting myself a deadline for getting back to work on fiction, though.  The client work has to be maintained, no choice about that, and I'm trying to maintain my blogs at least a little more during this interim period, but I think I should be able to settle into my new schedule by the second week of September.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Please excuse the delay...

I will be getting back to the business of writing (and blogging) soon, but this week I'm grieving for my kitty, whom I had to put to sleep over the weekend.  It still seems surreal that she is gone.  You can read about her illness and her passing on her blog, which I first start writing back when she had fatty liver disease as a young cat.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Favorite vampire books

What would be your favorite vampire books, or the vampire books you would consider the best of the genre, if you were asked?  This article, The Five Greatest Vampire Novels Written in the Last 100 Years, gives a few great ones.  Sadly, I've only read one on the list (Interview with the Vampire -- the one that began my addiction to the genre), but I'm interested in reading some of the others, especially the last one, Let the Right One In.  I've seen the Swedish movie and loved it, although I haven't seen the American version yet.

What would be on your list if you were to write a similar article?

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Camp NaNoWriMo fail

Despite my excitement for having finally started working on my Camp NaNo novel during my vacation week, I never got back to work on it after that first night.

I'm disappointed, but I did get a lot else done that week.  However, I am now faced with the dilemma of how to reintroduce working on my fiction every day with my new, busier schedule.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

My first hour of work on my novel

Finally, 22 days into Camp NaNoWriMo, I put my first hour of work into my project for this month.

It was more difficult than I'd expected.  I woke up with no motivation today, perhaps from being on vacation.  I finally got going on some client work in the afternoon, and got into quite a routine of writing my client's blog posts, working on those until my motivation started flagging again -- too many posts in one day, I'm sure.

From there, the plan was to work on my novel, but I couldn't even wrap my head around how I was going to get started.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Bestselling books in the 1920s

Yesterday I never got around to working on my novel.  It still remains to be seen whether I will manage to do so today, but in the meantime, here is a fun article on the bestselling books of the 1920s.

Do you recognize any of the titles?  The only one I recognize is The Sheik -- the movie was referenced in some of the books I read about the 1920s during my research phase, so I watched it.  I found The Sheik streaming online for free (the music track isn't original) thanks to Archive.org.

I'm tempted to read some of these books, especially The Mysterious Rider, The Sheik, and The Plastic Age.  Nothing shows you what the 20s were like better than reading or watching actual literature and movies from the time!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Getting started on Camp NaNoWriMo (finally)

I am off work all this week -- except for my freelance work, of course -- so the plan is to get my articles out of the way and get to work on my novel at last.  And with eleven days left of Camp NaNoWriMo!  Better late than never, right?

I have some ideas I'm tossing around in my head as to how I want to handle the rest of the month, especially my word count goal.

Monday, July 14, 2014

In the blink of an eye...

...Camp NaNoWriMo is nearly half over, and I've achieved exactly nothing.

I blogged at the beginning of July, right after Camp NaNo started, and at the time I was feeling so optimistic I was planning on raising my word count goal.  I did end up raising it, from 10,000 words to 30,000 words, with the intention of working on it for at least an hour every day -- and counting each hour of revisions and timeline work as 1,000 words.

Unfortunately, that didn't happen.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

July session of Camp NaNoWriMo begins!

Yesterday was the first day of the July session of Camp NaNoWriMo.  My NaNo friends and I held our own little mini-kickoff at IHOP, and although they had varying levels of productivity, I was not productive at all -- at least not on my novel.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Camp NaNoWriMo in one month...

On Friday I was notified that the Camp NaNoWriMo website was ready for us to sign up for July.  So I'm checking in again, technically a day late since the first of the month was yesterday, but better late than never!

Unfortunately, I am late... very late.  I haven't worked on my novel at all this past month, as I've been busy with some very time-consuming changes in my personal life.  I'm not so sure, either, that I'll be able to finish my NaNo '13 novel this month, so that I can get back to Ruby Ransome revisions next month, as I'd originally planned.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

40 days left to go until Camp NaNoWriMo

Today marks 40 days left to go until the next session of Camp NaNoWriMo starts on July 1st.  My plan has been to finish revising, writing, and establishing a timeline for my NaNo '13 novel before then, so that I can get back to revisions on my first Ruby Ransome novel in July.  Will I make it?  I'm not sure -- I'll have to step it up a little if I'm going to finish the NaNo '13 novel by then.

Friday, May 2, 2014

My questionable win

Well, I won Camp NaNo -- right under the wire (validating at 11:59pm last night), and with a questionable "word count," but I won.

I did succeed in spending a lot of the day working on my novel, though perhaps not quite as much as I had intended -- I got distracted for a little while after I got home in the evening, and as a result ended up with an hour or two fewer to work on my novel than I had wanted.  But I still worked on it for a long time, and was quite pleased with myself for getting back on it.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The last day of Camp NaNoWriMo

Today is the last day of the April session of Camp NaNoWriMo, and even having revised my word count goal, I'm behind.  I need to do the equivalent of 3,000 words by the end of the day (since I'm doing revisions and outlining, that's not a precise science) in order to "win."  Since I don't have an actual manuscript with which to validate, I'll use a lorem ipsum generator to create a block of text the correct length for validation.  (I did this last summer too, when I worked on revisions instead of actual writing.)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Revised word count goal

Before April began, I set my Camp NaNoWriMo goal at 30k words, which I felt at the time might be a little overly ambitious -- but decided to try it anyway.  I really wanted to finish this novel in April so I could get back to work on Ruby Ransome -- that was the main reason why I wanted to push myself so hard.

Unfortunately, then April happened.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

We don't really have any plans for today, so I'm making full use of the day off as a writing day (and maybe a riding day, too, if I can tear myself away -- it's sunny and gorgeous outside!).  Entire days to write are precious, as any writer who is juggling other work and responsibilities knows.

Speaking of the Easter holiday, though, I have a debate for your consideration...

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Weekend catch-up

I never did get going on my novel again after my tax return marathon Monday night and Tuesday morning.  Although I was (surprisingly) not very tired on Tuesday after my three-hour nap late that morning, I was quite tired both Wednesday and Thursday.  It wasn't until Friday that I finally started feeling like myself, and I was too busy that day to work on my novel for Camp NaNoWriMo.

So I am hoping to do some catch-up work tonight and tomorrow.  We aren't really doing anything for Easter (although I might visit my horses and ride), so that will hopefully leave plenty of time for writing!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Back to work on my Camp NaNoWriMo novel!

I got stalled on my novel revisions and timeline a little over a week ago -- I got really busy, and then had taxes to do.  The last few years, I've been getting progressively worse about keeping up on my bookkeeping throughout the year, and in 2003 I kept up on it not at all.  That meant catching up on the entire year's worth of payments and receipts all at once.  Even though I did some of it here and there throughout the week leading up to Tax Day, I was still up all night Monday night in order to finish my bookkeeping and do our tax returns.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Camp NaNoWriMo update: Revising and outlining

April is shaping up to be a fairly nontraditional NaNoWriMo for me, which is fine because it is Camp NaNoWriMo, after all.

Of the first five days of April, I worked on my novel for four, putting several hours of work into it each time.  I haven't actually written new material and tracked work count in typical NaNo style, though.  Instead, I've given myself 1,000 "words" every day I've worked on the novel.  If I'd spent as long writing as I did working on outlining, revising, and researching, I'd probably have far more than 4k on my word count right now, so I consider this fair.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Camp NaNoWriMo ahoy!

Yesterday was the first day of Camp NaNoWriMo.  My wrimo friends and I got together in the evening for a mini camp kickoff, and I ended up getting roughly four hours of work in.  I didn't do any writing, though -- I spent all my time working on my novel's timeline in Aeon, the software that I bought after NaNo ended last year (I got a 40 percent off code in the winner goodies).

Monday, March 31, 2014

Anomaly Con follow up

I got home from Anomaly Con last night, thoroughly exhausted but also extraordinarily motivated and inspired.  I took lots of notes this year -- in fact, I bought a little notebook just for that purpose -- and I intend to blog a little bit about the various panels we attended.  There were quite a few good ones this year -- more than last year, I thought, judging from how few breaks I had where there was nothing I was interested in -- so it should make for some good posts.

Friday, March 28, 2014

The night before Anomaly Con

I'm so excited!  I've been doing a little packing this evening, getting things ready for Anomaly Con this weekend.  My friends and I are staying at the hotel, so we'll be checking in tomorrow afternoon.

There are going to be a lot of great things for writers going on at the con.  Several of the authors whose panels I enjoyed last year will be there again, and there will be some repeats of panels, too (several of which I plan on attending anyway -- you never know what new material might come up).

Saturday, March 22, 2014

But before Camp NaNoWriMo...

Before Camp NaNoWriMo, I have one other thing to look forward to -- and I am hoping that, like last year, it will help motivate me to write in April:

Anomaly Con!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Now... where was I?

Now that Camp NaNoWriMo is coming up, and I'm gearing up to finish my NaNo 2013 novel during the April session, I'm working on doing the planning so that I'm ready to start writing on April 1st.  And I'm finding that the hardest part about picking up where you left off is figuring out where you left off.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Camp NaNoWriMo 2014 approaches!

Camp NaNoWriMo 2014


This has been a rough year for writing so far -- "rough" as in "not happening."

Actually, if I am honest with myself, this has been going on for longer than just these last few months -- I actually worked on something other than my Ruby Ransome series during NaNoWriMo 2013, because I had lost my motivation while working on revisions.  I was intending to make my NaNo novel more of a novella, finish it during November, and go back to work on revising my first Ruby Ransome novel.

What actually happened was very different.