Giving a Little Thanks

Posted in Event at 12:35 am by Amber

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the United States.  As usual, I will be celebrating the holiday with my husband’s family.  My parents make the drive from the middle of nowheresville to join us for the holiday.  For many years it was the same people around the table with an addition or two as a cousin or sibling got married.  Well, now they are having children of their own.  What was once the children’s table is now full of men and women in their 30’s.  We still feel like the kids, though.  The holiday has been hosted by the same relative each year and we’re all assigned an item to bring.  I enjoy baking and this year I am bringing my most ambitious dessert yet – pumpkin cheesecake.  Now I just need to train the Resident Corgi to stop barking and jumping on me when I use the food processor. 

I am thankful for many of the people and things I have in my life.  If there is a person in your life that you have not spoken with for a while because life has kept you both busy, now is the perfect time to pick up the phone or send the person a card.


NaNoWriMo 2008 Progress – Weeks One and Two

Posted in Event, Writing at 8:56 am by Amber

Week One – Dated 11/04/08

Right now I’m on track for completing 50,000 words by the end of the month.  I’ve not reached my daily word count goal but some writing sessions are more productive than others.

One thing I’ve been disappointed in is my lack of NaNoisms.  These are funny, unintentional typos.  Sometimes a word is misspelled or the wrong word is used.  This will frequently happen when writing while a conversation is happening nearby.  Instead of typing up the train of thought, the writer will begin to transcribe the eavesdropped conversation.  When the resulting sentences are a combination of the conversation and the action of the novel it can be a hoot!

During the first week is when our characters come alive.  They do or say things we don’t expect.  For instance, my main character was widowed six months prior to the break-in of her home.  And now she appears to be falling for the police officer that was sent to check on the security alarm.

Week Two – Dated 11/12/08

Since last week I’ve learned my key to getting new writing done.  I make the mistake of approaching it the way I do my editing.  Slow and steady.  So much thought is put into getting the right words onto the paper (or word processing program) that few words actually make it.  The tool that has been screaming through the NaNo world this year is Dr. Wicked’s Write or Die!  You enter your time or word goal and then pick your mode of prodding.  An html window opens up that keeps a running total of the number of words written.  Once you pause in your writing, the background screen changes color until it is red and then your punishment for not continuing kicks in with annoying sounds.  I admit to not using the sounds but the changing background color is enough of a clue to get me writing again.  I manually copy and paste the words written into my Word document so if I lose words it is my fault and not Dr. Wicked’s.

My story keeps making twists and turns.  I always include a Pembroke Welsh Corgi.  This year Sammy has found a place in the novel.  In a matter of two days he went from sacrificing his life to save a little girl to being an actual fairy steed.  I think he’s going to survive this novel after all.


Where Has the Time Gone?

Posted in Event, Writing at 12:48 am by Amber

The NaNoWriMo forums are broken up into many topic areas.  Under Life During NaNo novelists can discuss how well it’s going for them.  For the novelists in distress there is an area titled “NaNoWriMo Ate My Soul” but what I am really feeling is “NaNoWriMo Ate My Time”! 

Right now I have about a half dozen posts begun about NaNoWriMo, writing and book reviews that are just waiting for me to finish them up.  I even picked out a Story of the Month for November as promised in October!  This year during NaNoWriMo I’ve learned my most productive writing time is when I do “sprints” or timed writing.  Something about it frees me from thinking unnecessarily about the words I am writing.  I don’t use precious time trying to find the exact word I am looking for.  Instead I use the first one that comes to mind and move on.

I think Jamie Grove of How Not To Write had one of the best ideas I’ve seen this month!  As part of his NaNoWriMo Halo Giveaway, he offered guest posts to all the people that signed up.  Now that is really thinking outside the box to bring fresh content to his site while he’s working on his novel.  Kudos to Jamie!  The guest posts have been fun to follow.  He’s decided to expand it to all year long.  See the details here.


2008 Weblog Awards

Posted in Event at 9:18 am by Amber

I have to thank Natasha of Maw Books Blog for the 411 on the Weblog Awards!

The nominations for the 2008 Weblog Awards have begun pouring in with actual voting for the 48 categories set to begin on December 1st, 2008.  It’s always neat when bloggers find out people like their blogs enough to tell other people about them.

It is super easy to nominate a blog for any of the categories!  All you need to do is leave a comment under the category heading.  The comment should contain the name of the blog, the main URL for the blog, and (if possible) the URL for a RSS/Atom feed.  Don’t be shy – you can nominate yourself!


November Giveaway

Posted in Giveaway at 9:06 am by Amber

Now that the US election is over, many people will have freetime on their hands.  They don’t have all the election stuff to follow like they did over the last few months.  How better to utilize that time than to go searching for some free books?

Some of your favorite or soon-to-be favorite authors may be visiting The Writer’s Chatroom.  They keep their schedule up to date and host chats with authors.  I haven’t been able to stop by The Writer’s Chatroom in a while but author chats I’ve attended on other sites do often have giveaways.

Bookroomreviews is hosting a Book Giveaway carnival through November 9th.  The link to see all of the giveaways in one spot is here.  Over 100 books are being given away so there should be something to suit the taste of nearly everyone.  Some are open to international addresses too!


October 2008

Posted in Status Report, Writing at 11:34 pm by Amber

Sorry about posting this a day late; I spent most of yesterday driving back to Ohio from North Carolina.  To be honest, I didn’t do any of the driving.  Mostly I read and slept.  My beach vacation is over. 

These statistics are all for short stories, poems, or contest entries. Book reviews are not included.

  1. Sales in October: 0
  2. Rejections in October: 0
  3. Submissions sent out in October: 1
  4. Total stories/poems pending responses: 2

Yes, my drabble has been out 248 days waiting to be acknowledged.  If I don’t hear something this month I will definitely go ahead and consider it rejected.  The market still has a backlog of submissions to sift through but they are also sending out acceptances for pieces that arrived after mine. 

This month I attended the Muse Online Writers Conference.  The short story I was hoping to edit and send out based on the feedback I received at the conference didn’t happen.  It needs a lot of work and I’m not entirely certain where to begin.  But the good news is that I was able to edit another short story and it’s what I sent out in October.  I also updated my bio page with feedback I received from the conference. 

Without a doubt, there is more to last month’s writing progress but my brain is a bit mushy at the moment.  I’ve been writing off and on today in order to catch up to the daily word count needed to complete NaNoWriMo this year.  I’m about to begin writing Chapter Four and I’m not sure yet what’s going to happen.  Hopefully my Inner Editor will stay away and I’ll get to see what happens.