Are you starting to panic yet? NaNoPrep talk.

National Novel Writing Month is only a few days away!

I must admit, I am getting a little nervous. This year is going to be especially difficult because we are in the process of moving to a new house.

Add the Crazy of the Holidays plus Packing/ Unpacking (Yes that gets a Capital letter) while juggling 6 boys, one 80lb black lab, two senior citizens (my parents) and a Husband with various daily life schedules…Well, if you see a mushroom cloud over Western Washington, that is me and not the mountain or a bomb of some type.

I do plan on making it through NaNoWriMo. If I can write a novel this November without my eyeballs exploding or someone in my family dying, well then, there will be no more excuses for me NOT to be successful at this writing thing.

I know over the past year I have had many rambles of various things on the blog, but I always come back to writing and my journey to make a go of it. I try and post interesting things that other ‘would be writers’ and even established writers may find funny, interesting or helpful. Seeing how someone else made the journey helps you learn what you may or may not want to do on your own way.

Getting my butt in my chair is the hardest part for me.

I don’t know if that is a common writer problem or just an Iniriba problem, but there it is. My biggest issue with getting things written.

The moment I sit down I am either interrupted or think of something that HAD to be done RIGHT NOW. Mind you, it is usually not something that NEEDED to be done by ME, but as any mom can attest, sometimes it is just easier to do it yourself…

In between all the things that have to be done when moving from one place to another, I am doing my NaNoPrep. Packing does not take much brain power so it allows me plenty of time to go through different plot ideas I have had spinning in my head this past year.

When I get to the point in an idea that I need to write it down or lose it, I take a break, grab the pen and notebook every writer had within arms reach of them and write down everything I hashed out as I packed. Now I have a good stack of notes for the book and am about ready to outline everything 😀

Last years Nano taught me that I write best at night after everyone is asleep (or suppose to be anyway) so the plan is to do that again this year. The only foreseeable issue is going to be making sure I have munchies.

So there you have it. I guess this year will be the deciding factor in exactly how serious I am about this ‘writing for a career’ thing. Thankfully I am blessed with an entire family that wants to see me succeed at this as much as I do.

Hope you all have a happy NaNoWriMo!

Advertisements

Things don’t always go as planned.

That being said, I have decided to put the crowd funding campaign for Lost Hope on hold until further notice.

I want this book to be worth your time and money. In order to do that, I have to make sure it is truly ready to send out into the hands of an editor.

After much thought and speaking with a few people about it. (My husband and a couple readers who have opinions I value) I chose to withdraw my crowd fund.

PubslushPubslush1, the platform I chose to use for the crowd fund, has been more than awesome in helping me make sure that I have everything exactly as I want it.

From changing the time limit on the project from 60 days to 30, and now allowing me to stop the funding process without having to delete the entire project to do it. They have sent me emails making sure I am prepared as well as encouraging me as I head out on a new adventure with my novel and my dreams of publication and success.

I strongly encourage any writer to check out Pubslush. It is a BOOKS ONLY Crowd Funding platform. Think Kickstarter for your novel, short story, children’s book, Photo album etc.

 

Adventures of a Busy Mom: Meal Planning

Today’s adventure involves Meal Planning.

Something every large family takes very seriously.

When you average $2000 a month on groceries it is a very serious thing.

I like to plan ahead. I don’t mean plan so that we have Chicken on Monday and Pork chops on Thursday and don’t break from the plan damn it or you will screw it all up kind of planning. I like to be a little more fluid in my choice of dinner.

I found this fantastic Pin on Pinterest that (Yeah, I drank the Pinterest Koolaide) has some awesome crock pot meals. I tried a few of them last month and WOW! It was sweet!

ringaroundtherosies.net

Go there. I did the Chicken Teriyaki and the Savory Chicken. They were melt in your mouth!

So back to meal planning…

I write down a list of about 13 or so different meals for the month. I try to make it things that are filling or that have sides that fill the tummies of 6 growing boys and a lumberjack of a husband. Things I can double up on filling out the meals for the entire month. Yeah, there will be repeats but Hey, Budget.

After figuring in leftover nights you should come out even for number of meals vs days in the month (unless it is August or one of those weird 31 days months. Whatevs.)

Now that you have the list of what you want to make, get your list of what you need to make them with.

Ingredients.

Be sure to check your pantry and freezer for anything you had left over from the month before. You might not need to get some items because you already have them on hand. I like to keep certain things stocked regardless so I always have extra. Rice, Pasta, Canned foods (green beans, spam, corn, soups)

If you go the crock pot route like I am thins month you can get everything, including the produce.

I love Costco because I can get bulk everything, including the produce at decent prices.

If you chose NOT to freeze meal plan then try to hold off getting any of your produce until either the day you need or 2 days before. You don’t want your tomatoes or peppers to get squishy before you need them. (HINT: DO NOT put Tomatoes in the fridge! It will cause them to get all mealy and they go bad faster.)

I finally took the time to do a “Meal Prep Day” getting everything put together on one day. One mess.

It was the best thing EVER!

EVER!

Serious ladies and gents, try it once. You may think at the time ‘What the hell, This is a giant pain in the ass!” But Trust me, when you are exhausted from a day of work, be it at home or out at a job, when all you need to do it wipe out the crock pot you will do a dance as you sip your box wine!

My FOOD! Pinterest Board.

Published and panicking!

FullMoonStationCoverWell not really Panic.

OK maybe a little. But really it is anxiety over whether or not people are enjoying the story! I have received one tweet from a friend who complimented the work. As grateful as I am, I am paranoid about the other people who have grabbed the book while it is in free promo. No one has posted a review as of writing this. Good or Bad. And I have read some awful degrading reviews for some of my fellow writers!

Full Moon Station is a short story in the Shifters and Sorcery Series that I will be uploading to Amazon on a regular basis. The story is about two college age guys on the road back from a concert who stop by a gas station in the middle of the desert. After Mark heads in to the station to grab cigarettes and coffee, a werewolf begins to tear the place apart. Ted must use the skills taught by his detective father to help his friend and stop the monster.

The next book in the set is called Beast Within. This story comes at werewolves from both sides. Beth is a young high school girl from Minnesota who has recently moved to Tacoma, WA to live with her mom. She starts her first day of school feeling outcast and alone. After the main bully and his girlfriend prey on her in the cafeteria, Beth is befriended by a young witch named Skye who sees great potential in her new friend.

On the flip side of the story is a sociopath werewolf who has gone around the town killing people. He fails to connect his humanity with the people he murders when he is a wolf. The killer has caught scent of Beth and her special abilities and has decided he wants her as his mate.

With the help of The Silver Moon Society, an organization made up of witches and other supernatural beings, and Mark (from the short Story Full Moon Station) Beth must learn who she really is to help stop the werewolf from killing again.

I hope to have Beast Within available for purchase around Halloween.

I hope you all get the chance to grab Full Moon Station while it is still free for another day! Please, if you do, stop and leave a review! If by chance you read this after the promo and still wish to support my efforts, the story will be available for 99 cents until the 90 days is up then I will make it available for free on other media. That should help drop the price to match 😀 Until then, know that I appreciate your love and support!

Thank you all

I hit the “Save and Publish” button.

Today I set out on a new adventure.

I hit the “Save and Publish” button in KDP.

If you have been following me for a while, you will recognize the story.

Full Moon Station. The short story about a couple of guys making an innocent stop at the gas station who end up running into a world of trouble when a werewolf kills everyone in sight.

I wanted to make it available for free because it is such a short piece but that was not an option. It is $0.99 and should be available sometime tomorrow morning.

If you choose to purchase the story, THANK YOU! Any money made from this will go toward helping finish Death’s Hope. I want to professionally edit the novel length story. Making sure you all have the highest quality book available.

I chose to publish Full Moon Station because I wanted to familiarize myself with the way KDP works. I don’t want any surprises popping up when I publish DH!

Again, to all who have chosen to support me, Thank you so much! SHARE the book with a friend.

Full Moon is just the start of another series I have in the works called Shifters and Sorcery. These books are going to be available through KDP as well. Keep an eye out for “Sunrise” (the story of a sorceress named Charlene Talon, the last living descendant of Merlin and prime suspect in several murders of supernatural people) and “Beast Within” (the story of an Alpha Shifter named Elizabeth new to her powers. Her town is being terrorized by a sociopath werewolf who wants Beth for his mate.)

Writer tips, tricks and fun.

I have come across many tips, tricks and cheats for assisting the would be author on the road to publication.

I have shared a few of these over twitter and thought it would be a great idea to add them here as a blog post.

One I found that was fun is a picture of editing marks. Common and not so common.

20130901-070828.jpg

Who can wear the badge of writer without knowing the basic keyboard shortcuts?

20130901-070941.jpg

And the most helpful thing I found was this…

20130901-071053.jpg

Rewriting is a…

Bitch.

Blast.

Thing.

All these words are accurate. If you are writing your first novel or even your 101st then you know exactly what I mean.

I am learning the hard way the rewriting your work is a must. Unless you are God giving the law to Moses on Stone, you will HAVE TO rewrite.

Especially if you are a pants-er like me.

I wrote 50k words for NaNoWriMo last year. 50,000 words. How?

One action sequence after another. My characters fought, had sex, fought some more and no one was really sure why or who they were fighting or screwing!

So now during the rewrite I have to untangle the bodies and figure out who is killing who and who is sleeping with who (or what).

It is Gloriously Aggravating!

I hope to have a decent book out of it by the time it is all said and done. I have taken out the sex for now. It may go back in depending on what the Beta Readers have to say. If they are not needed in the story then great! If the readers like the idea of some hanky panky time (And I am able to write a decent sex scene) then I will include them.

Mostly I just hope the story is good enough that people will want to spend their hard earned dollars on it.

Everything you have ever read, that was worth reading was NOT a first draft.

Rewriting in a MUST.

When gamers cry…an NPC is Born.

Do gamers cry?

Do they feel anything for their fellow players?

Who else but another gamer can understand some of the things we go through? YouMadBro? Dodging Trolls. Hours spent getting through dungeons to get that slot item or crafting the best gear! Making it to the top of the PVP lists! Mad skillz bro!

I read an article linked to Twitter today about a little girl who was honored by “MechWarrior” after she lost her fight with cancer.  A specially designed ‘mech chassie’ you can purchase for $10 was created. The money goes to the Canadian Cancer Society ( here is the link to the article http://t.co/hP1wveNIbI).

I took the time to read through the forums and found dozens of comments from gamers of all walks who shared their story of a friend, loved one, co-worker, who had been honored by their game of choice in a similar manner.

I myself have experienced 2 unexpected deaths of fellow gamers. One of which was a very dear friend of mine who I had never met in person but considered to be family.

His name was Bilin. (His given name was Chris.) He has an NPC named after him in the MMO game Dark Age of Camelot. h-Bilinhttp://camelot.allakhazam.com/db/search.html?cmob=3944

He died suddenly when his gall bladder burst. My husband and I received a phone call from his sister telling us the news. Our number had been in his favorites listed as Family.

The other was a guild member in World of Warcraft. Our guild was always thought of as our gamer family so when someone from his family took the time to log in and explain to the rest of us about his sudden passing it was like hearing a cousin or aunt had died. I was grateful that they understood how important this extended family was enough to inform us of his passing.

We RIP’ed his characters Information in the Guild Roster letting future members know his status and informing future guild leads to leave them on the roster.

I hope the the friends and family who don’t game learn what a wonderful community of people there are that play video games. That we are willing to come together in support of each other when times are difficult. Being a virtual shoulder to lean on during times of grief.

Most people see just a bunch of lazy boys sitting eating chips, doing nothing but staring at a computer or TV all day long. They don’t catch the social interaction that happened, because until just recently most of that was done through text.

Regardless of what game you happen to play, if you learn someone is also a gamer, your ideas about them shift. Gamers come from all walks of life (Take the woman who ran for political office who was a WoW player). So before you get the idea in your head that we are all lazy slobs who don’t have jobs and are too fat,ugly, stupid for society to want us, remember we are people (and some studies show we are SMART people!) Flesh and Blood Humans.

Video games have been a social outlet for the social outcast to the celebrity. The bonds forged in the Field of Bone on  Kunark, or the Triumph of Defeating DeathWing are made in the fires of a Dwarven Forge! Allowing people to be who they are and not judged by how they look or what job they have.

We are Gamers! We are Family!

So, Do gamers cry?

Yes, we do.

Do gamers care about flesh and blood human beings?

Yes, we do.

Racism/Sexism in Nerd/Geek Culture

I know what you’re thinking.

What?! No way are nerds/geeks racist/sexist!

Are you sure about that? I know that those public figures in our awesome fandom of geeky goodness all preach abolish hate and love thy human next to you.

Take a moment and think about racism/sexism and the last Con you where at?

Superman, Batman, Wolverine, Spiderman, Captain America, Ironman, Wonderwoman, BlackWidow, Storm. (How many of you thought that a Black Green Lantern was weird? I thought it was cool and mentally High Five’ed them for it.)

I am not saying that we should reinvent any of these Iconic figures into the “Black Version” or the ‘Chick Version” That can end up just as insulting as saying something rude and bigoted.

What we can do is ignore color/sex as we move forward. (And I am not just talking to the White Guy in his Grandmas basement either. I am talking to Every Person who claims the Title of Geek/Nerd/Dork/Human.)

Background, Life, CHARACTER. Focus there instead of highlighting the things that scream RACE. Search for things that are common across the board. (There are just as many absent white baby daddies out there. And just as many  picket fence Black Families.)

I love watching BBC programming because they have decided that it does not matter what color a person is or what their sexual orientation is. What matters is WHO a person is. Doctor Who, Primeval, Torchwood, Being Human. All these are Big Hitters for BBCAmerica television and the biggest thing I notice is that Race is Never a Problem.

What is a Problem, In my opinion is when people make it a problem.

Now I know that is a touchy subject these day but Ya know what? Get over it! Both Sides! There shouldn’t be Sides. White/Black/Yellow/Purple/Gay/Straight. It should never come into the picture. EVER.

There is Culture. Certainly there is a difference there. Maybe that is why Britain has less issue with color on TV than America does. We like to think of ourselves as a ‘melting pot of culture’ while still clinging desperately to what makes us unique. What makes us who we are. (  I am sure Britain has there share of ‘culture issues’ but I don’t live there so I don’t know.)

Maybe that should be the focus of some of the New Hero. From Great Adversity Comes Great Hero. Overcoming Terrible Things is a common theme among Superheros. Maybe the new heroes should ignore those things we seem to keep focusing on that make us diverse and start highlighting the things that make us all HUMAN.

My Favorite show for abolishing Race is Star Trek. Where RACE is E-Raced and Culture Is Highlighted. Can we be more like That?star-trek-tos

Image

Plot/Pants Eh? Thanks @MikeWellsAuthor

Long day on little sleep, Can feel myself winding down.

Feel accomplished however with 1,079 words of new idea that is Very clear 😀 DigitalQuillInk

Should be an easy write (until 30k words where I beat my head against the desk asking God Why is this CRAP?!)

However, it should be easy to rewrite as well because I actually have plot outline (GASP!). So would be refining and perfecting.

With that said, I have been struggling with the rewrite of Death’s Hope simply because I sat down and wrote whatever came to mind for a month. Granted it was all about the same character, but there was no order. No reason behind the things that were happening beyond “Hey! This will really F*** up her day!” I have a dozen great scenes full of action and mayhem but nothing binding them all together.

So the task at hand for that book has become, TA DA! PLOTTING!

Thanks to the helpful tweet of a Mr. Mike Wells I found his Advice For Writers and  a wonderful bit of learning entitled “A ‘Secret’ Formula for Creating a Short Synopsis For Your Book.”

I have now managed to come up with a reason the main character is suffering. I even have a bad guy (or do I?) who is behind the mayhem. I have a way for her to get out of said troubles but it will require some serious soul-searching on her part. (I love stories of personal growth and discovery)

But! (You knew there was a but…) there is SOOO much more going on! I ended up with a tragically long synopsis of All the mayhem (ALL THE THINGS!) that I felt smothered by it.

I needed to get away from Hope and the world of the Pantheon for a while. I had stopped writing anything new because I was working so hard on finishing something I had already started.  Feelings of guilt would overwhelm me because I love this 50k of words and want to make them into a story people will actually want to read.

I am happy to say that again Mike saved the day. I started writing synopsis for the next two books I want to write involving Hope and the Crew. I am excited that they will have more focus and less mayhem when they are started.

I also managed to start a new book idea. Not sure if it will be short story or full novel. It has a great synopsis. The outline is coming smoothly and best of all?! I Don’t Feel Guilty!

Hope is not on Deadline. No one is tapping their foot at me waiting on the manuscript. I can ‘shelf’ her and move on to a different project that is better thought out.

The quote “Writers write.” (No I don’t remember who said it. Yes I am terrible for not remembering. Comment if you do please! I want to give credit where it is due!) is something I need to keep above my desk.

If you are not on deadline and a book is holding you back, it may just be that you are not in a place to understand what the characters need from you. Take a step back from it. Write something else. It can be another book about the same people. Or an entirely different genre! Just WRITE!

Don’t Let the Vampires Bite! Werewolves are Awesome!