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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Go NaNo!

And so begins the 30-day marathon of writing! I'm tired already...

Good luck to all the other participants!


Friday, October 22, 2010

The Results Are In!

After weeks of INTENSE voting, it's time to tally up the scores!

As it stands now, "Undead Delivery" is in first place with 3 votes, while "Indigo" was a close second with 2 votes and "Romero Strain" made it a race with 1 vote. But wait a minute...what's this...

Much like in Harry Potter where Gryffindor House is woefully behind in the standings, some last minute changes have occurred.

There has been the aforementioned "Mom can't work the internet" vote: Indigo +1
A co-worker vote: Indigo and Business of Murder +1 each
And finally, a split vote from the comments: Indigo and The Romero Strain +1 each

So, if we tally the votes again:
"Dark Rebellion" and "Crock" have zero votes (sad face)
"Business of Murder" has 1
"The Romero Strain" has 2
"Undead Delivery" has 3
and the winner, with 5 votes, is.....................................................
"Indigo!" (Take that, Slytherins!)

Thanks to everyone for voting and for your interest in my NaNoWriMo project! To be honest, I was hoping it would be "Indigo." The other ideas are all things I could work with, but "Indigo" has been keeping me up nights. I've been getting bursts of plot, dialogue and scenes out of literally nowhere. I'll need that creative energy to burn through the month of November and frankly, the other projects just don't have it at the moment.

So thanks again! I'll update you on "Indigo"'s progress throughout the month.

Oh! And I know I mentioned a contest earlier this month, but I had to scrap it. Not quite enough time to finish up "Blackwatch" and get "Crawl" properly edited. So much to do and so little time!

Have a great weekend!


Monday, October 18, 2010

Truer Words

Do yourself a favor and read this short post by guest blogger Christine Fonseca.

If you're a creative type, it'll remind you that you're not alone when you start to question the quality of your work.

If you're not a creative type, it'll help you understand your friends that are, ie "why we freak out a lot." :-)


Friday, October 15, 2010


That poster has little to do with today's post, but who can resist a platypus playing the key-tar?!

Now for my own little Venn diagram:

So, yeah, the basic idea is that I'm smack in the middle of three projects at the moment. One I just finished and am currently awaiting feedback. Another I'm pulling off the dusty shelf and seeing just how much work I still have to put into it. And the last is awaiting a final vote by you helpful bloggy-type people! Right now I'm deadlocked at 3-3 for "Indigo" and "Undead Delivery." Yes I know the poll doesn't reflect it, but there's an uncounted "Mom vote." She still has trouble with the internets so this will be a hanging chad of sorts.

Just wanted to keep you posted. Please vote if you haven't yet! Only two weeks until November and NaNoWriMo! If you're participating, please let me know in the comments!

Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Excitement is Contagious

Came across this vlog post today and had to share it:


Go wish her a congratulations on her book and upcoming publication!

I'll sit here and plan how I will share the news when I:
- get an agent
- get a book deal
- get an ARC shipped to me
- get published
- take the literary world by storm


Monday, October 11, 2010


No writer is perfect. A great writer of dialogue may struggle with conveying action. A master of description could have issues with pacing. One person's strength could be another's weakness.

My weakness is openings. Well, particularly, first chapters. I'm all right with hooks and first lines. But I fall into the trap of "setting up" the rest of the book in that very important first chapter. They tend to be fact-heavy and reek of backstory. I dress it up with heavy doses of characterization and I introduce some of the more vibrant elements of the story. But overall, it's my weak point.

And I'm sure my beta-readers will point that out very soon. Oh, haven't you heard? My first copies of "Blackwatch" should be printing/shipping as we speak. As soon as they arrive I'll get them into the hands of my readers and start sweating bullets while I wait for their opinions. Maybe while I wait, I'll work on revising that pesky first chapter.

Nathan Bransford's guest blog post has given me some good pointers for doing just that. I'd suggest checking it out if you have the same difficulties as I do!


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Finalists

As promised, here are the final six story ideas I'm considering for National Novel Writers Month in November! Please take a look at the brief descriptions and vote for which one captures your interest the most! Any comments you have will be most helpful.

Dark Rebellion (fantasy):
A young orc, banished from his homeland and left to survive in the wilderness, finds unlikely hospitality in a band of woodland elves. In the midst of a war, he must return home and choose sides: his family who abandoned him or his elven friends, whose human allies have enslaved his people.

Indigo (sci-fi):
Detective Umber must work with fellow agents of SPECTRUM, a privatized police force, in order to solve the mass kidnapping of children who are rumored to have psychic abilities.

The Business of Murder (thriller):
Junior follows in his father’s footsteps when he starts an internship at the Academy, the world’s foremost corporation for assassins. Their business is murder. Business is good.

The Romero Strain (horror):
A scientist wages a personal war against a deadly virus that has turned 90% of the world into the living dead, but his research suggests their salvation may lie in the creation of an even worse abomination.

Undead Delivery [horror/humor(?)]:
Finding a summer job is infinitely more difficult when your neighborhood is overrun by zombies. Luckily, the pizza delivery guys are still hiring and they just so happen to be the best zombie killers around.

Crock (literary):
Twelve-year-old Finn goes in search of the legendary pot of gold at the end of a rainbow in order to save his family’s farm, while aging train-robbers return to claim their long-buried loot. Finn encounters Irish fairy folk along the way as he and the robbers inch inevitably closer to the treasure they all seek.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Will a fire, once rekindled,
sustain a man one winter more?
Or should he seek the firestarter
on some distant southern shore?


The Phantom Tollbooth was where I first learned of a term to describe that sleepy, no-energy, depressed feeling: the doldrums. We call it a lot of other things: the blues, the mopes, seasonal affective disorder, depression, apathy. Whatever you call it, the feeling ranges from acute to clinical. It could occur because of a gray, rainy Monday morning (welcome to Pittsburgh) or even during a bright summer day at a picnic surrounded by friends. It's funny that way.

And for writers it tends to be more prevalent. Do we experience the doldrums because we're so tuned into everything and experience intense emotions on both sides of the mood meter? Or do we gravitate to writing to escape these feelings?

How do you deal with them when they arise? Do you tough it out? Crank the melodramatic emo music? Binge on food or shopping to take your mind off of it? Or is it when you're at your writerly best?

My problem is silencing that little voice that, for some ungodly reason, tries to convince you that everything you're doing is wrong. This can come up in your writing or just your daily life. How do you get rid of it?

From 's Blog comes a new approach. It's a bit new-agey and touchy-feely, but at least it's a more active way to defeat the inner-critic. And to address it, they've brought in the big guns:

Carolyn Kaufman, PsyD writes fantasy, scifi, and nonfiction. She loves helping writers "get their psych right" in their stories, and her book on the same topic, THE WRITER'S GUIDE TO PSYCHOLOGY: How to Write Accurately About Psychological Disorders, Clinical Treatment, and Human Behavior
Here is Part 1 and Part 2

I need to try this out as I've been in a bit of a slump lately. Let me know if it works for you. Good luck escaping the doldrums and silencing that critical voice!


Friday, October 1, 2010


Happy first day of October! I love everything about this month: autumn colors, piles of leaves, football, cool nights, football, hayrides, pumpkins, apple cider, jack o'lanterns, football, HALLOWEEN, and contests!

*The Oatmeal sums up the stages of Trick 'r Treating quite nicely
*Somewhat offensive language/themes, ie not for kids

But what was that I said about contests? Well I'll have more info on that (hopefully) this weekend. I'm thinking of running a very-short-story contest based off of a prompt. Mostly for fun, yes, but there will be a prize...of sorts.

My previous project, after which this blog is named, was a horror story entitled "Crawl." Some of you have read it, most of you have not, but any of you could win an autographed copy!
*"Crawl" is also pretty adult in nature with some offensive language/themes/scenes. Maybe it'll make it onto a banned booklist someday!

Like I said, more details to come...and I should probably get to revising "Crawl" and printing some copies so I actually have something to GIVE the winner!

Now, quit reading and go rake some leaves!