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Showing posts from November, 2012

End of NaNoWiMo

Warning: this is not an acutal cover for any book. This is a cover that I made up for the one I wrote in November. I finished it on the 27th of November, but it still has a great deal of work to be done.

When we started out with NaNoWiMo, I mentioned that you cannot wait until inspiration hits when you write. I still hold to that statement, however, I suppose that I should clarify it: when inspiration does hit (for it will) use that inspiration for as long as you can until you need to start working.Thomas Edison said that "Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration." Often that inspiration is what triggers the idea, but it is the discipline of doing what you do day in and day out that completes the project when inspiration dies off.

So, how did you do with writing your novel this month? Did you make it to your 50,000 words? Currently, Constrained is in the 100,000 word range, but since I still have to edit and add considerably to the last chapt…

Thanksgiving Week 4

Now that it nears the Christmas season, technically we are in Advent which is that time before Christmas Day dedicated to remembering why Christ came to Earth, I'm adding my last Thanksgiving post.

There are a great many thing that I am thankful for: family, friends, home, my church family, and the gifts that the Lord has given me over the years, but it does all boil down to one overwhelming thing for which I give thanks, and that is the gift of eternal life.

I admit, Christmas is not my favorite holiday, partly because it seems so very ... sweet, I suppose. But, the reason we celebrate Christmas, the fact that the Triune God-head knew of our depravity; knew that we could never merit any good works on our own; knew that we would never be able to reconcile ourselves to a perfect God, sent Christ, fully God to become fully human as well so that we might be reconciled to God - that is why I am thankful that the Advent season follows the Thanksgiving season.

As much as it is the st…

Thanksgiving Day

Hope you are all having a Happy Thanksgiving. Some will watch the game; some will prepare for tomorrow; some will simply enjoy the food. Whatever it is that you do, enjoy this day.

I came across this quote in a writing e-mail that I receive. It seemed appropriate to post it in the middle of National Novel Writing Month. Keep at it for you almost near the end of the month. December or January should become National Novel Editing Month.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Thankfulness Week 3

This week's thankfulness is for our military and their families. I come from a long line of Americans, and my ancestors have fought in most all of the wars: American War of Independence, American Civil War (Confederacy) World War 2 and both Iraq wars.

Connected to this thankfulness is our almost 200-year peace with Canada to our north, which is part of the reason I chose a photo taken at Fort Niagara. Two hundred years ago, we were in the middle of a war: the War of 1812. The Niagara Frontier was part of the front lines. My father's side of the family comes both from Ontario, Canada as well as Western New York.

As we look towards Thanksgiving this week, do not forget those who will have empty seats at the table of plenty. There are those who have died and there are those who are gone. My own sister will be away from my family this year as she will be going to Afghanistan with her Guard unit.

Thank our Lord and Savior that He has allowed us to have people willing to defend …

Azure Maris - Chapter One

So, folks, in honor of my soon-to-be-released novel, Azure Maris, here is the first chapter for you all to read. I will add more about the book as I go. Enjoy. My whole body was throbbing, and I wondered if I had broken anything. Terrible does not even begin to describe the pain I felt—or the fear that gripped my gut. I probably looked like something that had washed up in the tide, but I was alive … for the moment. I looked at my body. My fins had been lacerated, but the saltwater had cleansed the wounds. Scrapes and bruises covered my arms and torso, but I could feel no cuts or scraps on my face or scalp. My gills ached, but they would soon recover, though breathing was a bit painful. I knew that I would have to find some location where I could change … and heal, but the wave that pushed me across the Indian Ocean had left me disoriented. I was out of my own kingdom of Deep Waters, but where I was … well, that remained to be seen.
The wave had pushed me into some sort of underwater mou…

Week 2 Thankfulness

This week, I want to focus on another item for which I am grateful: technology. Not only the ability to use computers, digital cameras and automobiles, but simpler technology like floor looms and sewing machines.

Technology is simply using tools for our purpose. Humanity has used oral culture to convey stories and information; now most of us use written culture to transmit the same idea. Where would a writer be without technology? Not only are we able to use computers to write our thoughts down, but we can use it to tell others about our books, and keep in touch with one another. The arts can sometimes be a lonely vocation, and the ability to connect with people is a benefit.

What about you? Do you appreciate technology - the advanced or the simple? Have you ever considered where you would be if we didn't have the technology that we had?

By the way, the photo above is one of my grandma's floor looms. This loom is probably seventy years old now, and still works. Old technol…

Writing outside the Box

So it sounds odd to say "writing outside the box", I realize, but sometimes that is precisely what we need to do when writing. It's been ten days since the month began; how many words have you written? I have been writing around 2500 words a day between two novels, so my count isn't as high as I would like it. Part of the reason is because the two novels while not related, bring difficulties in writing.

Most of the time when we consider writing a novel, we think of it as a straight line, kind of like the warp in the above photo. You write one chapter then the next and repeat until the end. Unfortunately, that sometimes breeds frustration, especially if a chapter isn't quite working. If a line tangles in my warp, then winding it up onto the loom becomes more of a hassle than it should be. Trust me when I say that I have considered throwing out an entire warp because of that very knotted reason.

With a warp, I need to untangle the mess, but in novel writing, I d…

Write, write, write

You all know the old saying: practice makes perfect, right? Think about it in writing as well. The more you write, the better you become. The more you write, the easier it is to write.

One of the great things about forcing yourself to write a novel a month is that you develop the ability to write better. Common mistakes are discovered and perfected; words that you struggle with become easier to write (I still have problems with ie/ei words like receive - that rhyme just doesn't help always ); and you find that ideas are generated.

When I was younger, I opted to write when inspiration hit, but I learned quickly that finishing a novel took longer when waiting for inspiration. I also had more projects left unfinished because of waiting for inspiration. When I finished my first novel in ninth grade, I felt as though I had accomplished something. It was a thrilling experience - a writer's high, if you will.

Last year, when I finished a novel a month for five months, it was the …


November is one of those months that has the month dedicated to an emotion, an abstract. Much like February and love, November is dedicated to thankfulness. So on the Tuesdays of this month, I'm going to focus on something for which I am thankful.

The first one is words. Any sort of words: nouns, verbs, prepositions, adverbs, adjectives and the like. Without words we wouldn't be able to communicate as well. Written words, from printed to digital, are another thing for which I am thankful. As the above quote from C.S. Lewis reminds us, literature adds to our lives. A good book can challenge people to change their direction. Literature, as in our classes in high school, is not limited to fiction, but includes all the realms of written word: poetry, plays, histories, and novels.

As much as I sometimes struggle with my second languages, I am thankful for the languages of the world. English, with its rich variety taken from the Celtic, Germanic and Latin roots, cannot describe e…

National Novel Writing Month

Have you decided to sign up for National Novel Writing Month, or, like me, just going to write it anyway without signing up? The 2011 NaNoWiMo is what restarted my writing. I finished my first novel that month, then Azure Maris the following month. The discipline to write is hard to keep, and it is an important part of writing, especially professionally, as I am discovering.

NaNoWiMo shoots for 50,000 words in a month; I prefer longer books, so I shoot for 90,000 words in a month. Is it always easy? No, but the point is to simply write. I will admit that I have gotten stuck on two books that I'm writing - stuck enough to have to step back and not work on them everyday. Sometimes that allowance is needed.

If you're going to write a novel in a month what are some things that you should have before you begin?
Main Characters. It sounds rather obvious, but you do need to know who the story revolves around, and who is telling the story. The main characters also include the antago…