Thursday, October 31, 2013

On the Eve Before...

   Sugar-crazed activity here today amid NaNoWriMo-prepping, getting the porch ready for trick-or-treaters, and going through the piles on my desk.
     A few things Nano-related: if you like all of the side distractions that go along with committing yourself to a chair and screen for the next 30 days, you'll like what I've found. A calendar with a quote or prompt, and that word-count earmark built into every day of November. Also, see Laini Taylor's 'Calendar of Cuteness for extra incentive ideas if coffee and chocolate don't do it for you. And thank you, thank you, Gypsy Karla for finding that prompt jar link for me the other day. If you get stuck anytime in the next month, having one of these next to your laptop might help shake things loose.
     There is still time left to enter the Spooktacular Giveaway; today's the last day.
     Oh, and Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Are You Ready for NaNoWriMo?

     This morning I visited my usual blogs and then ended up at the National Novel Writing Month site. While updating my profile, I saw a related link about a writer who keeps a jar of popsicle stick prompts next to her computer. Each stick posed a question for your character (s). They were great questions to think/write about if you stall at any time during November. I thought I copied the link, but then I copied something else and LOST IT! So if anyone comes across my missing popsicle stick prompt jar article, please forward!
     Since I mentioned the NaNoWriMo profile, does anyone else hesitate to give the title and synopsis of their intended project before you even begin? Sure, I have ideas but they're little inklings of ideas. To me, it's almost like inviting a terminal case of writer's block into my head if I were to commit to a title and summary of a project before it even began. I'm leaving both areas blank for now.
     If you need an inspirational phrase or motto for the month, visit Enchanted Inkpot for a selection of wise words. My favorite: 'When your work speaks for itself, don't interrupt.' Henry J. Kaiser
     Also, the Spooktacular Giveaway is winding down. The last day to enter giveaways at the participating blogs is Thursday, October 31st. Click on the Spooktacular link in the right sidebar to go to the full list of blogs.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Off Days

     Yesterday was an 'off day'.
     Everything I wrote sounded stilted. But it happens. When the creative well runs dry, it's not permanent. There's just a little hiccup in the process.
     I sat at the computer for an hour, powering through my initial word count before I got up. Then I tossed a load in the washer. Folded what was in the dryer. Parked myself in the chair again and type, type, type.
     That half hour produced some of the most uninspiring prose ever written. It was almost as bad as the first hour. The words were so off I was surprised the delete key didn't take control of the whole mess.
     During the summer of 2007, our family took a trip to the Southwest. Our ultimate destination was Albuquerque, where our boys would happily sweat their guts out during a four-day football camp organized by Brian Urlacher, now-retired linebacker for the Chicago Bears.
It's almost practice time. First-aid tent ready and waiting
On the first day of camp, our youngest complained his head hurt. He was the first one to sit (in the shade!) in the first-aid tent. He parked himself in a folding chair, drinking Gatorade and mopping his forehead. Minutes later, Mr. Urlacher walked over.
     "What's wrong with you?" he asked.
     Our son rubbed his forehead and related the problem.
     Mr. Urlacher patted his shoulder. "Take two Tylenol and get back out there."
     I thought of that day as I sat down yesterday for the third attempt at writing something usable. Again, the muses were not being kind. I was convinced that they took the day off. After lunch, I took the day off from writing as well. I knew I'd be back at the desk this morning. And I am.
     Sometimes half the battle is just showing up.
    Take two Tylenol and get back out there.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Bookshelf Dilemma

 You've probably seen the t-shirt, maybe in one of those museum store catalogs mailed around the holidays. It reads:
This is what FULL looks like!
      There’s no such thing as too many books.
     The first time I saw one I thought, Yeah, right. 
     Whoever came up with that lived in a library.
     With enough money in the budget to build an additional wing. 
For the past few years, I've steadily gained more books
than I've given up. To anyone who doesn't
love books, this is not a problem. So give some away, they
say. What's the big deal? 
Ohhh, but they have no idea the seriousness of that
notion, do they? Give some away like it's as
simple as recycling the morning newspaper? I want NEED
them all.
As if nine bookshelves isn't enough, I've come to realize
it's time to add another. They are full.
Books lie horizontally on top of the vertical ones. And
they're two rows deep in spots, hiding the titles
behind them.
So I've embarked on a desperate attempt to convert an old oak entertainment center into a bookshelf.The lightbulb
moment came as I moved said entertainment center into the catch-all room which is the
stopping point before it (eventually) makes it out to the curb. The piece owns a new coat of stain and
sealer, and awaits my husband to cut and install two extra shelves. But he'd better hurry: three books
made their way home with me last night after a Barnes and Noble stop. And the release of four books
later this month will need room, too.
Full shelves are good for the publishing industry, mind you. I feel no guilt. 

      And speaking of bookshelves, The Bookshelf Muse (one of the best writer sites EVER!), has moved to a new location on the web and is now Writers Helping Writers. Site overseers extraordinaires Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi, authors of The Emotion Thesaurus and the soon-to-be released Positive Trait Thesaurus: a Writer's Guide to Character Attributes and its companion, The Negative Trait Thesaurus: a Writer's Guide to Character Flaws, want to assure writers that the Bookshelf Muse 'is not going away! It's just moved over to a different corner of the internet.' 
     Their two new books release October 21st. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Giveaway Time!

     First, thanks to I Am a Reader, Not a Writer for sponsoring the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop this month. It runs Oct. 15-31, and almost 400 blogs are giving away books, gift certificates and other prizes! Check out the LinkyList below the Rafflecopter entry form.
     Since one of my new favorite author's is Kendare Blake, I'm giving away a paperback copy of her paranormal title, ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD (loved this book)! And if you enjoy it as much as I did after reading it, I'm also throwing in a $15 Barnes and Noble gift card so you can buy her second book in the series, GIRL OF NIGHTMARES.
     Thanks for stopping by! a Rafflecopter giveaway


Friday, October 11, 2013

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop

It's not too late to sign up for this gigantic hop, my friends!
 There are nearly 400 bloggers giving away gift cards and books - how can you pass on that?
 Visit I Am A Reader Not a Writer by October 13th to get on the list!

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