Showing posts from November, 2009

What's the Date Today?

es, that’s right, it’s the 27th of November. There are three days left in the month. And what happens at the end of the month? Drum roll in the distance... NaNoWriMo comes to an end! Now, guess who completely forgot about NaNo in the last few days? That’s right! Me! Having pushed myself through Jen’s marathon (with perhaps not the highest number of words I could have obtained, but at least I was writing everyday and getting entire scenes on paper) I then accepted an editing task at work, for overtime pay, and devoted the next few nights to that, with a resulting sleep deprived headache occasioning an early night last night. Which brings me to today, three days before the end of NaNo, with only c. 30000 words; it’s hardly worth bothering to have anyone verify my handwritten word count (see Luddite clause in the post below). My loftiest goal was to have the SFD completed by the end of the year. This may or may not happen, but what I really need to do now is head for the l

Greeting Card Giveaway!

discovered this giveaway in roundabout fashion. Here are the steps to follow: 1. Go to the giveaways blog to find out which bloggers are hosting contests and giveaways. 2. Follow the link to Audrey's Giveaway Blog , where she's featuring a draw to win greeting cards courtesy of Stacey, whose a crafter on Etsy . 3. Check out Stacey's own blog and her Etsy site as part of the giveaway. Here's a cute snail magnet for Snail's Tales !

Marathon Wrap-up and Award!

riting marathons, where would I be without them? Jen 's marathon on the forum wrapped up today; without it I wouldn't have had a word written all week, between our trip to New York City to see Blue Rodeo (as the border guard asked, "what's a blue rodeo?") - where we met Jim Cuddy! - friends visiting from out of town, and family and friends hosting parties for my birthday. But when Jen cracks that whip, you'd better get writing, and I did! Is there a provision in NaNo for a notebook full of handwritten scenes? Perhaps I can scan them and add them to my total word count... Only one week left and I've got lots of overtime coming up at work in the next few days. Not to mention more bread to bake. Hey look - I just found out, there's a Luddite clause! "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, su

Born of Hope

ery excited! Born of Hope , the story of Aragorn's parents, is coming on the first of December!

My List of Research, So Far

ere're some of the items for which I need to hie me to the library: The Inquisition - hierarchy, major dates, etc. The Ottoman Empire and its welcome of Jews during the Inquisition Travel in 1492 - overland? ships on the Meditteranean? passports, papers, etc. between countries? Foods readily available when travelling on foot across Spain - loquats? oranges? berries? fish? Flora and fauna in Spain in 1492 Columbus' journey - ports and dates Judaism in 1492 (other) Major events in 1492 - art, books, etc. Cistercians vs Benedictines (I've got a monk, and don't know what order he belongs to yet) Daily schedule in a monastery Holy days in Judaism and Catholicism throughout the year If I have the energy, I might even look up moon phases. I was pleasantly surprised to see that, after I had written it as taking place on a Tuesday, I found out that Columbus really did sail on a Tuesday!


ictoria's hosting her first contest . eaturing a vlog about her bookshelves. in a free book! hanks to kcdyer for the drop caps!

Ready... Set... Write!

Jen's hosting a writing marathon on the forum, starting today and running past my birthday, into Sunday. As if NaNo wasn't enough of a push - I'll take all the nudges I can get. Rose's story is moving along but I'm still missing the crux of the tale, the point of the major scenes; I know her reasons for doing the things she does, but the eucatastrophe and the denouement are still lost in the haze. Writing every chance I get, every day, will, I hope, reveal more about Rose's future.

"It Was Twenty Years Ago Today..."

Roughly speaking, at any rate. Yes, twenty years or so ago, I read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings for the first time, and the direction of a lot of things in my life changed. As far as I remember, I'd already read The Chronicles of Narnia as well, and with that introduction to the Inklings, I never looked back. Since then, I've read all of Tolkien's works, most of C S Lewis', as well as some of the writings of Charles Williams, Owen Barfield, Dorothy Sayers, George MacDonald, and many others revered or reviled by, or otherwise connected with, the denizens of The Eagle and Child (aka Bird and Baby) pub. Many of my other interests - the history of the British Isles, love of Welsh, the time In Between Wars, etc. - were solidified by or heightened after my discovery of Tolkien's writings. I had started writing my own stories long before that, but I wonder if I would have kept it up, without such masterful examples to follow? Embarking today on what I guess

Because There's Really Only Today

I'm meme-ing myself from Cindy's Because There's Really Only Today post: Today I will write a new scene for the WiP Today I will eat a healthy supper to help fight my cold Today I will not forget to add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk to my Amish Friendship Bread starter Today I will not stay on the computer past 8 pm Today I will try my darndest to catch up on the Forum snippet thread and Part B of the October X Yet... Today I will not stay on the computer past 8 pm Today I will sort out all my knitting projects Today I will search very diligently to find the ring that I lost yesterday

National Bookstore Day

The official Publishers Weekly National Bookstore Day was yesterday, but the Facebook group Buy a Book, Save the World! 's 2nd Annual International Holiday Bookstore Bookpush is on until the end of the year! Pledge to visit your local bookstore and purchase a book to give as a gift. That's the easy part! But they do ask that you try to give preference to independent stores if you can. Happy shopping!

Writing Tips

Scott Westerfeld's first NaNo-related post for this year's NaNo offers a great suggestion: "Many writers use the so-called “dialog spine” as a way of mapping out a scene. As a sort of “zero draft,” they write just dialog, with no setting, action, or even attribution. It’s a quick once-over of conflict and resolution in a scene, without any tricky bits to slow you down. This, of course, assumes that you find dialog easy. For some people, writing the action/description/whatever first might make more sense. In any case, you don’t have to make your dialog (or whatever) perfect. It’s just a way of mapping out the main beats in a scene. But there’s another trick that I use the dialog spine for: blowing out the cobwebs. And by cobwebs, I mean “writer’s block,” “general ennui,” or “an idea that just needs to be written down, but I don’t have time.”" NaNo tip number 7 lists some craft-related ideas from Raymond Chandler (who used the word Google way back when, albeit as

Author Round Up

Jen and I were recently discussing why we write YA, and now Susan 's weighed in as well. Click here for Marsha 's links to my 24 Hours in Istanbul and Montreal posts, and take a look at the other contributions for 24 Hours in Tuzla, Horsham, etc. Not that it applies to me yet, as I'm not published, but this post on the Google Partners Program was an eye-opener; here's the relevant bit: "Some publishers, however, are doing the Partners Program with Google, with the ad links turned on, and are receiving income from Google but none of this income is reported on statements and therefore not being shared with the authors." This is why authors need agents!


A sampling from Istanbul! Please note that directions are not provided for these items, as they are either really obvious (the Grand Bazaar) or really obscure, and would involve a paragraph to describe (how to find the Crazy Lady’s Place inside the Grand Bazaar). 8 am – Find a bakery, any bakery, and enjoy a poğaça (pastry filled with white cheese ) and tea for breakfast. 9 am – Stroll seaside in the Ortaköy district and check out the booths and stalls selling local handmade items. 10 am – Visit Deli Kızın Yeri (the Crazy Lady’s Place) in the Grand Bazaar, run by expat American Linda, and featuring gifts, housewares, and more from across Turkey. 11 am – Browse the well-stocked Pandora bookstore in Taksim for titles in English, French, German, Turkish... If they don’t have what you’re looking for in-store, it’s bound to be on their website! 12 pm – Take a ferry up the Bosphorus to the Sakıp Sabancı Museum . 1 pm – Take in Ottoman culture at the Pera Museum . 2 pm – S

24 Hours - London, Montreal, Istanbul - and Marsha's Book Launch

24 Hours London by Marsha Moore is out on Wednesday! A fellow Canadian, writing a brand new guide book about one of my favourite cities, with a twist: this guide covers London 'round the clock! Marsha's hosting a contest prior to launch day, and a 24 hour Twitter marathon (look, I mentioned Twitter twice in two posts in a row and I'm not even on it!) on the day itself. My first entry for the 24 hours in your neck of the woods contest (win a copy of the book and a t-shirt!) covers a few hours in Montreal. Enjoy! 7 am – breakfast at l’Avenue – show up early as the lines grow quickly! (922, Mont-Royal East, Plateau, Phone: 514-523-8780, Metro Mont Royal) 8 am – stock up at Jean Talon Market, in the geographic centre of the city. (7075 Casgrain Avenue, Little Italy, Phone: 514-277-1379, Metro De Castelnau/Jean-Talon) 9 am – stroll along Monkland Avenue, visiting chocolate shops, bakeries and pubs. (Monkland Avenue, Notre Dame de Grace, Metro Villa Maria) 10 am –

Book Contest!

In celebration of Susan's 500+ Twitter followers, she's giving away one of the following: LOOKING FOR ALASKA, John Green EVERMORE, Alyson Noel BLUE MOON, Alyson Noel CROSS MY HEART AND HOPE TO SPY, Ally Carter THE DISREPUTABLE HISTORY OF FRANKIE LANDAU-BANKS, E. Lockhart REBEL ANGELS, Libba Bray THE HUNGER GAMES, Suzanne Collins SOMEONE LIKE YOU, Sarah Dessen Wanna win? Enter here . Not sure which one I'd take, but I've already "got" a copy of Looking For Alaska ! Thanks girls !

NaNoWriMo Starts Today!

As part of NaNoWriMo and in solidarity with Cindy's nail-on-the-head post about building better writing habits (and Jen too ), I managed to steal ten minutes out of a family filled day and wrote about 300 words. Yay, me! NaNo, of course, calls for 1,667 per day, but for me, the month is more about developing consistent habits; we'll see if I manage even 1,200 (my usual one-sitting highest amount) per day. More importantly, I finally started typing up all my longhand scenes last week; another task I need to keep up. Kait's wrapped up the Novel Push Initiative ! Here's how I did: "Deniz Bevan: A pal of mine from Mission:Accountability, Deniz was shooting for 250 words a day. She had a little difficulty with the daily writing thing, but she still turned in a total of 6979 words! That works out to a daily total of 225 words a day. Goal not quite met, but she still wrote, so go Deniz!"