Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Hope your day is Spooktacular!!!

For fun, I thought I'd share one of my son's homework assignments with you.  Play along in the comments.

Use rhyming words that fit the following definitions.  Follow the syllable rules listed and have fun!

1-Syllable words

Halloween Evening  ____________ _____________

A spook who flew too close to the fire ____________ _____________

A hag who rides a solid gold bloom ___________ ___________

Bubble gum for ghosts _____________ _____________

2- Syllable words

A pair of monsters _____________ ______________

A skeleton ___________ _____________

An awkward country Jack-O-Lantern _____________ _______________

A party for demons _____________ _________________

3-Syllable words

A bone framework made from jello ______________ __________________

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Value of Trunking

Last year I had a finished manuscript (MS)  (edited and critiqued) that I sent queries out to a few agents on.  I heard back from those agents with no.  I set the MS aside and began a new MS for NaNo.  Then, part way through NaNo, I thought I knew how to fix my MS, so I went back to it, but it still didn't work.

At this point, many would think I was completely discouraged.  I had over two years of work into this novel and it still wasn't right.  Instead, I put it away and started working on a companion novel for it.  As I worked on this new MS, things started to shift in my mind for the original MS.  And then, I had the breakthrough on how to fix what was wrong.  Not only that, I had a way to better connect all three companion novels my brain was spinning.

I learned the value of walking away from a project, letting it sit while I worked on something else.  How about you?  Have you trunked a novel?  Why and do you plan to go back to it?

Monday, October 24, 2011

My Eee

I love my Asus Eee netbook.  It is light, portable, the battery (when it's not in the end of its life) lasts a long time.  The drawback, it was taking too long to do things (of course, I was overloading the poor thing with all the windows I had open).  So, when the battery started to die, I started using my husband's laptop to write from.  It is bigger, not too heavy, and can easily run Open Office, Mozilla, and either my Zune software or Media Player all at the same time. It took me a few weeks to adjust to the flat keys, and it isn't as nicely portable as my Eee.

Enter hockey practice.  An hour or two where I can write.  Do I take the netbook or the laptop?  Well, I decided the netbook (with a few hiccups due to dying batteries).  I have been writing with my Eee at hockey practice the last two weekends, and remembered why I fell in love with it to begin with.  So, yesterday while I was Skyping with my awesome CP's my dear hubby ordered a new battery for it and did some research on a new OS that will help it to run quick again.  (Sorry, Windows 7, you just bog me down too much.)  I will be trying the Linux Peppermint OS, and from what I've seen so far, it should be just what my Eee needs.

I am still hoping Santa brings me a tablet PC, though.  I want to use it for e-reading as I have books from both Barnes & Nobles, and Amazon, and this way I can run both software apps.

How about you.  When you write away from home, what do you use?

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Quick post today as I forgot it was Thursday already. (Where did the week go??)

I have decided not to participate in the third Platform Builder's Challenge as I am working at finishing Lost Princess before NaNo.  I had an outline of where I wanted to go with my chapters, then I started writing them and my characters brought out some things that need to happen, so I let them, but it threw off my outline.  I then spent the next few days avoiding writing because I wasn't sure where to go.  Finally it came to me, and the dam unlocked.  So, I am hoping to make big progress the next few days and get this draft done so I can get ready to work on Quest for NaNo.

Hope you all have a wonderful, productive weekend!

Monday, October 17, 2011

To NaNo or not to NaNo

That was the question.  Last year I participated in NaNoWriMo and "won", and with November quickly approaching this year I needed to make my decision on participation again.  It was a tough one.  See, last year I was working part time when NaNo started and easily able to write 2,000+ words a day.  Then I went full time, and well, things changed.  Some weeks I have time to write.  Others, well, not so much.  So, what to do?

I really enjoyed NaNo last year, and decided I will participate, but I will not try to kill myself to make the 50,000 word count.  I am hoping to finish with my re-writes on The Lost Princess before NaNo starts so I can focus Quest of the Hart (the predecessor to Lost Princess).

Disclaimer: I am re-writing Quest, so I will be trying to use parts that have already been written (as long as the voice fits).  I will not be counting those words in my word count.  I will only be counting the ones I write during the month.

So, how about you?  Are you NaNo-ing???

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Inspirational Music

Last week I listed some of the music groups I listen to.  Today, I thought I'd share a few more whose music inspire me, especially the songs that tell a story.

Ed Guy-  The entire family likes this group.  Dear son's favorite song for the longest time was Save Us Now (which he called Alien Drum Bunny because of one of the lines in the song.)

Avantasia- This group was formed by the Tobias, the lead singer of Ed Guy, and features guest appearances with musicians from many well known bands in Europe.

Place Vendome- Fronted by former Helloween singer Michael Kiske, this band's album Streets of Fire is one of my favorites.

Saint Deamon- Their album, In Shadows Lost From the Brave, tells a really great story.

What groups do you find inspiration from?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Happy Columbus Day!

Hope you all had a great weekend.  We sure did!  My son had early ice time for hockey this weekend (on ice at 7AM both days).  We decided Saturday would be the perfect day to go to the PA Renaissance Faire, and it was.  The weather was gorgeous, and the crowd was HUGE!

We wandered around and watched a few shows, looked at the shops, played some games (my hubby was declared a king by Queen Elizabeth after winning the test of strength).  But for me the most two most interesting things were the Royal Falconer show and the Artillery Demo.  I learned about the Trained Band (which I had never heard of) and experienced the feel of a shock wave when they fired the artillery.  And learning about the way birds were used for hunting made me thirst to know more and incorporate that into a novel (I have the perfect character and story line to put it in with!)

So, what did you do this weekend?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

What's in Your TBR Pile?

I have a confession to make.  I love to read, but haven't been doing as much of it lately as I usually do.   I haven't found a way to work, have family time, write, and read all at the same time.

Normally, I will read a book cover to cover.  I can't help it-- it is an obsession.  One I am trying to re-train.  This week I began reading Kim Harrison's Pale Demon.  I've been reading a few chapters a day, even when I want to just sit and devour it.  So far, it is working well.   I am about half way through after 2 days of reading, and I will be making my TBR pile smaller over the next weeks.

What's on your TBR pile and how do you read through your books?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Awards and Music

Last week, while I was away for work, I received the Versatile Blogger Award from Michelle Pickett and Crystal Collier.  I listed seven things about me here, and am passing it on to any of you who have not received it before.  Take your award and display it proudly.

After listing my songs for the Soundtrack of Your Life post, I had some people asking me who these groups were as they had never heard of them.  So, I thought I'd share with you some of the artists I listen to most often.

Nightwish- This Finnish band has an incredibly talented composer.  My favorite album has an instrumental version I use often when writing.

Christian Kane- An up and comer in the Country Music world, he is also seen weekly on TNT's Leverage.

Steve Carlson- In addition to playing guitar with Christian Kane, Steve has his own band.  I would describe him as a modern day James Taylor.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra-  Formerly the group Savatage, this band takes classical music and mixes them with rock.  Their Christmas show is a must see for my family every year, and Beethoven's Last Night is a springtime favorite.  Two years ago they released Night Castle, and there is talk of new works coming soon.

Within Temptation-  This is a great Dutch group.  Currently Dear Hubby and I are really enjoying their new album- The Unforgiving.

Delain -This group was formed by a former member of Within Temptation, and is also Dutch.  (What can I say-- the overseas groups are really calling to me!)

I am always in the hunt for new music, and my tastes run from Gregorian Chant to Hard Rock/Heavy Metal.  Who are you listening to???