Showing posts from November, 2012

Luddites, False Starts, Amazon Reviews, and Random Inspiration Sources

t's coming! It's coming!

The Attack of the End-of-NaNo jitters!

Two days to go, officially, but I'm hoping to finish tomorrow, to give me time to attempt the Luddite validation:

"How do I verify if I'm writing by hand?

Invoke the Luddite Clause! What you do is write your 50,000 words, then have someone you trust verify that it is, indeed, 50,000 words. Then using something like the Lorem Ipsum generator, submit a file of the exact number of words of your handwritten manuscript to our word count validator."

Be warned, I'll be posting some random photos of my three (!) messy notebooks. The thing with NaNo is that it provides the conditions I work best in: a prompt or two (in this case my original story idea), a deadline, competition from others, and limited time that requires writing spurts. I can get 600 words on the 10 minute train ride home, knowing I won't have time to write the rest of the evening.

I will certainly NOT vouch for the quality of any…

Shortest Neil Gaiman Story Ever? and Blogfests!

inda trying something nuts this weekend...

NaNo validations start tomorrow, so I've gotten it into my head to try to finish NaNo early.

The sooner I get the last few thousand words, the sooner I can tweak the opening pages of Out of the Water, based on feedback, and return to querying. Which was the other half of my ROW80 goal...

Is anyone else finding all sorts of unexpected twists in their stories as they barrel through NaNo? So far I've had a rival love interest, a merchant with busy hands, a ball and a moonlit boat ride, a duel, and a raid by soldiers, all on the path to trying to get my hero and heroine to the altar. I'm that close. If Santiago wins the duel, everything might be okay for him and Mawdlen...

By the way, if you care about libraries, help support the Save Newcastle Libraries campaign.

Hey, look at this! I stumbled on a super short Neil Gaiman story.

I have to confess, I can't quite follow the plot:

"Untitled by Neil Gaiman
It's lonely where I li…

Whole Lotta Books!

a gotta go see Nutschell's awesome post about stationery.

I love drooling over notebooks and pens and sticky paper supplies. I don't have a home office, but if I did, I'd have a massive corkboard, covered in inspirational images. For now, at least I've got Pinterest and tumblr.

And now on to books, which I also drool over... If you haven't yet, read Amanda Palmer's post about her friend Anthony. I got my copy of Anthony Martignetti's book Lunatic Heroes yesterday and started it this morning - already teary, and marking all kinds of quotes. The stick in that drop cap is for him and Amanda, and all of us.

I also just read Diana Gabaldon's The Space Between, available right now in her anthology A Trail of Fire:

"In LORD JOHN AND THE PLAGUE OF ZOMBIES, Lord John Grey is posted to Jamaica to assist the Governor as he faces a most unusual kind of uprising among the colony's slave population.

In THE SPACE BETWEEN, Jamie Fraser's step-daughter, Joa…

Classic Doctor, London Markets, and Laurel Garver's Never Gone Blog Ramble!


"No power in this universe can stop the Daleks!"

I've been reminiscing, watching the first ever Dalek episode.

"Don't act without thinking!" says Nicholas Courtney, and William Hartnell as the Doctor replies, "I never do and I never shall!"

Well, I won't keep quoting. Apparently, we've passed the halfway mark for NaNoWriMo! I'm still a mite worried that my story will end before the month is out, but the writing has been going smoothly (yay for ROW80 goals!), so I try to keep worries at the back of my mind. On the other hand, I have started to devolve into writing "easy" scenes again. Anyone have tips for upping the stakes and sending my characters into further trouble?

Okay, one more quote:
Courtney: "You're a very brave man."
Hartnell: "Rubbish. I'm only doing what needs to be done."

I also think it's funny that the Daleks used to say Eliminate! and Execute! before they settled on Exter…

False Start Snips, Mistletoe in Manhattan, and Defending Bands You Like

oday's post is brought to you by the letters P and J.

By which I mean, Pearl Jam.

Yes, if this post seems short, it's because blogging time was interrupted by emphasising-how-great-Pearl-Jam-are time, as I came face to face with a reluctant fan.

Also, in keeping with my last post, I forgot to link to Claire Gregory's other blog, The Road to War and Back.

I distracted myself from NaNo the other day by reading Talli Roland's latest, Mistletoe in Manhattan:

"As Little Missington's first Christmas baby in fifty years and the daughter of Christmas When You Like It party-planners, Holly West has been surrounded by the holiday spirit since birth. Trouble is, she's not exactly filled with festive cheer. In fact, Holly can't wait to ditch the tinsel and Santa suits for champagne and celebs, and become a party-planner to the stars. When British TV star Dean Layton hires her parents' company to throw his holiday bash in Manhattan, Holly jumps at the chance to…

Short Check In, Belated IWSG Notes, and Some Plates

orgot to post for Insecure Writers Support Group day!

Rather timely, actually, because NaNoWriMo has been on for a week already (and ROW80 Round 4 is about halfway through) and I think I hit the wall this past Friday. I pushed for more words than the daily average, to make up for fewer words the day before, and I could tell that by the end, even though I was still in a frenzy of drafting, the words were growing increasingly repetitive and silly. I hope the second week is better.

Anyone have interesting writing prompts/questions to share?

Today is Remembrance Day, so I'm going to link to two specific bloggers:

Claire Gregory, with a post on her family in WWI, and research she did about another family in WWI.

Private Lamin's experiences in WWI.

For WWII, I just discovered this site: A Dutch historian juxtaposes photographs taken during WWII with modern-day photos of the same places.

With this year's NaNo, I'm close to having, at least, drafts of all my major story ideas …

Two New Releases, a Famous Cat, and Updates


ROW80: So so. I've been writing, but the editing front is not moving. And I haven't sent a query in a while.

NaNoWriMo: Awesome. I hope I can keep up the momentum. So many unexpected twists and turns happening in Captive of the Sea, Santiago and Mawdlen's story. And, I hope, the dreaded middle isn't so dreaded because I'm hoping there'll be some bedroom scenes round about then...

Life: Steady as it goes. I've been keeping up my schedule (having switched the Friday and Saturday tasks so that weekends are completely unplugged) through the first week of NaNo, and even managed not to get overly distracted by joining Twitter.

Exercise: I add this just to note that I've joined a gym for the first time in my life. No time like the present, right? Michael and Alex had some great exercise and health tips the other day. Anyone have gym advice for me?

Two new books out now-ish:
And the Crowd Goes Wild!, A Global Gathering of Sports Poems: an international anth…

A New Sherlock Holmes Collection!, YA Competition, Minimising to 100 Things

herlock Holmes and Dr Watson are back!

Sort of. I read the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stories for the first time a few years ago and then last month I read Anthony Horowitz's The House of Silk, the first ever Holmes novel approved by the Doyle Estate.

And this week I got to read this:

The Perils of Sherlock Holmes by Loren D. Estleman "The first single-author collection of Sherlock Holmes stories to appear since Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes in 1927, these thrilling stories and essays have been approved by the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle literary estate. "The Serpent's Egg," is revealed here for the very first time.
In this adventurous collection of Sherlock Holmes mysteries, you will find yourself right by the legendary detective's side as he investigates a whole new series of crimes. This entertaining book also includes three previously published essays, "Channeling Holmes", "On the Significance of Boswells&…