Wednesday, December 15

Write 1 Sub 1 in 2011

Well, I'm still plugging along at finishing my NaNo WIP (okay I took a little break) but I hope to finish my first draft in January. In fact, in January I'm starting a few new exciting projects.  I made my writing goals for 2011 and one I'm really pumped about is Write 1 Sub 1.

I first heard about it through Story a Day's Facebook page but the idea of committing to 52 stories and submissions in the year was a little too much for me. Not because I wouldn't want to do it but I'm easily distracted and hate not finishing what I've started. Enter their Monthly version! If I complete all 12 months I'll get the Light Ray award, named after the muse of the project Ray Bradbury. You want to join in on the fun too don't you? Here are the details and whether you decide to enter the weekly or monthly challenge it is sure to be a productive and fun year.

Here is my monthly chart:

Last Sunday     Story          Word Count     Submission
1/30/2011        Road Rage    First Draft           Jose's Strain (250 WC) to Glimmer Train on 1/24

Tuesday, November 30

Hit 50,229 Last Night!

Just past midnight I, with bleary eyes and fingers sticking from making magic bars, won my first NaNoWriMo!
It felt great, I wanted to scream and shout instead I ate a magic bar and went to bed.  If you're still working towards your goal keep it up you've still got 12 hours if you live in Eastern Time like me.  It was a great year and not unlike last year I've learnt so much but also have a list of things that this month has taught me.

I'll share it with you later now I think I'm going to take a nap.

Saturday, November 13

First Major NaNoWriMo Head Bang

Arrg, eep, roar.

Thanks, I feel better now.  I planned on starting my story in 1814 when my MMC comes home from sea and is reunited with his family but I happily jumped into writing backstory from 1805 and 1809 plus hinting at a change in his relationship with his wife 1811.  I wasn't planning on using these parts in my actual story but now I feel like I should start my story in 1809 when he marries his neighbor as an arranged marriage.  I've been wasting time scouring the internet today because I was curious if my first chapter started in 1809 and the next was 1814 would that be too much of a time jump.

If I start with his homecoming then I'd have to weave all their past subtly into the story and I just don't know how subtle I am.  Plus, I'm too clumsy to be a good weaver.

I rambling but instead of letting this hang me up more than it already has (thankfully just the past two days) I'm going to keep writing.  I can always edit it later right?

Nanowrimo panic setting in!

Thursday, November 11

NaNoWriMo 2010: Day 11 approximately 10,000 short

Well vacation went wonderful and even though I am about 10,000 words below the suggested 18,334 by day 11 I am happy with my progress.  WHAT? No really, I planned with no writing while hanging in Florida but I managed at least five hundred words while on the plane so that is five hundred more than in my figuring out that if I can write at least 2,000 words a day with a few 5,000 word crams then POOF I'm a goon I'll hit my goal of 50,000.

Sorry between writing my nano novel, coming up with PiBoMo ideas and singing children songs to my friends adorable friend for a few days I feel like little bunny foo foo.  I want to hop through the forest, scooping up the field mice and bop them on their heads.

Oh right and if you can't tell, I went back to work last night!  Time to play catch up on my story that is after I finish unpacking, go shopping and make some food.

What about you?  Where are you in the NaNo or PiBoMo stream of time?

Monday, November 1

NaNo Starts Right Now

At least here in New England.  No I am not writing this now, but much earlier in the day.  I tried not to think about my story too much today but little nigglingly's kept pestering me until I had to search through my list of links until I found the answers I needed.  By the way, nigglingly's is most likely not a word although I found it in some dictionaries but it is working for me right now.

My Alphasmart that I bought 18 days ago is STILL not here so I'm trying to get used to using my sis's laptop.  That is what I'll blame all my typo's on anyways.  I'll have no excuse for my grammar issues.

Enough words, kick back and enjoy this NaNoWriMo video & get writing!

Sunday, October 31

PiBoIdMo 2010 & NaNoWriMo

Tonight at midnight my creative juices will be percolating... if I'm still awake by then.  Over the next month, I decided to add the Picture Book Idea Month to the mix.  I first heard about it last year over at InkyGirl and wished I had signed up then.  It was my first nano experience so I didn't want to overload my plate.

But this year is another story!  In fact, I hope to come up with an almost complete first draft to a novel, thirty picture book ideas and at least 2 short stories!  Are you doing both too?  What creative challenges are you signed up for this November?

Friday, October 29

NaNo Countdown & Links

October is almost over and the yearly writing challenge is so close I can feel my fingers itching to start my story.  I've been researching quite a bit and really loving my library lately but I wanted to share a few links to great nano posts and not open one book today.  I was really tempted too peek into the Dictionary of Napoleonic Wars by Stephen Pope but I resisted!

NaNo Posts
One site that I have been following for quite some time is Paperback Writer.  Every Wednesday she posted great resources to pump us all up for Nano.

Nathan Bransford has been doing NaNoWriMo Boot Camp.  I really like the idea of boot camp, especially one that won't make me sweat!

Yingle Yangle, a blog I found through the NaNoWriMo blogchain, has a series of posts preparing for nano.  Here is the most recent Countdown to NaNoWriMo Part 7: Why NaNoWriMo Naysayers Should Please Shut Up.  

StoryFix has some last minute NaNoWriMo tips and I found #3 on chapters and #4 story structure very helpful.

I've already linked to it everywhere but you need to head over and check out NaNoWriMo now if you haven't already.  Two days to go and while I'm anxiously waiting for my first AlphaSmart it is time for me to fill as many plot holes as I can.  Compared to last years "pantser" NaNo I'm extremely prepared but there is still so much I'd like to do before starting the book, like describing my main settings!  Now it is truly all about doing.  Oh and having fun.

Thursday, October 21

Regency Names

I've gone a bit mad.  I've been thinking and daydreaming about NaNoWriMo for months and really pulling a story together for about a month now.  Now 11 days away I'm trying to tidy up my loose ends, ignore gaping holes and give myself time to breath and remember that it is supposed to be fun even if it is a challenge.

I've really done far better in the name department this year.  Last year all my characters had ill-fitting names, if they were lucky to get one.  Even main characters were called NAME!  On my characters post from last year there are a few links to names.  I love the Regency Name Generator and the site has a few other generators that would can while away hours on.  But wait! If that doesn't sidetrack you here are a few more ways to help you name your dragons heroes and maids.

Read through The Peerage of England, Scotland and Ireland by Debrett.  I read about it on a few different boards and looked through it filling a page or two of possible names.  Since these were real people in the same time period I deconstructed my names by doing mashups and in many cases using surnames for first names, which after seeing Henry, George, John and James realize that most regencies I've read use surnames.  After skimming the book for five 20 or so minutes I got back on track and scoured the Internet. 

Here are a few posts that you might want to check out too.
Historical Hussies:  Regency Names
Diane Gaston: What Is In a Name?*
Word Wenches has quite a few posts.
What's In a Name?  August 2010     April 2010     January 2007    
What's Not In a Name?  Post by Edith Layton back in 2008.

Don't forget one important thing
Keep track of names used.

Now I really need to get back to productive things, I'm building my hero's study in Sims3!

*After rereading this post I am going to get rid of one of my characters extra names.  My heroes father and an in-law will have less names which means now I can make more characters!

Wednesday, October 13

Regency Research: The Writer’s Guide to Everyday Life in Regency & Victorian England

Writer's Guide to Everyday Life in Regency and Victorian England from 1811-1901
The Writer’s Guide to Everyday Life in Regency & Victorian England (from 1811-1901) by Kristine Hughes was the first of many Regency research books that I requested from the library.  Separated into three sections the 241 page book is full of tidbits that are useful to writers or others enthralled with these unique time periods.  It tries to give the reader an overview of what life was like; when gas lamps where first used to light London or what a middle-class family budget encompassed.

What I liked about the book
The introduction, appendix, and the end of each chapter are chock full of sources.  Not only does the appendix contain a bibliography that could keep me searching through books for ages but has a list of museums and societies.  It is now clear to me that I just need to plan a trip to England.

What I didn’t like so much
The book was an enjoyable read my only quibble is due to my own expectations.  I expected the book to have a clear division between the Regency and Victorian eras.  Since my story I am currently researching primarily takes place in 1815 I read a lot of interesting factoids that took place years after my story.  But like I said, that is just me!

Have you read this book?  What did you think?

Part of Regency Research Book series

Monday, October 11

Regency Research: Finding sources in unexpected places

Today I stopped by my grandparents for a quick visit and while I didn't get a chance to pick apart my grandfather, hobby historian that he is, I browsed through his shelves and found at least two books that I added to my wish list via the local library.

Apparently, I gushed like my teenage cousin would over a Hannah Montana movie and am still smiling over my unexpected finds.

ShipThe World Of Jack Aubrey Golden Age of Sail (Golden Age of Transportation)  

I haven't been able to crack them open yet, almost time for my nap before work, but am chomping at the bit to get started.  Don't overlook your family and friends as helpful sources to get you on your research path!
I'm finding instead of focusing on the social customs of a retiring country lady I keep getting drawn to the dirty and dangerous Royal Navy.  I've requested a few books on that subject but until then I think I might watch one of these movies also "purloined" from my grandfather.
Horatio Hornblower: Collector's Edition  Master and Commander - The Far Side of the World (Widescreen Edition) 

*FTC disclosure:  All images are linked to Amazon of which I am an affiliate.

Sunday, October 10

I joined a Nano BlogHop

This is only my second attempt at a bloghop so we'll see how it goes!

Finally got a title for my Nano story!

Albeit a tentative one.  I wanted to put One Man's Duty but kept giggling, talk about maturity.  Instead I went with Sir Rycroft's Duty.  Okay, so I'm still chuckling.  This title is just my working one for a few reasons.  One of which is because I still haven't decided if Sir Rycroft will be his name.  What do you think of Sir Sebastian Rycroft for the second son of a so far unnamed lord (I was leaning towards an Earl but need to check my peerage information) who is an officer in the Royal Navy?

Here is a picture I took downtown Salem, Mass the other day and used it as my book cover over at Nanowrimo.  Excitement is building and I'm getting to know Sir Sebastian (who until a few hours ago was named MC) after I interviewed him.  Now I need to spend a bit more time getting to know FC whose age ranges from 12-22 throughout the story.

After November is through I'm planning on going through all my old stories and working on a few children series before I tackle anything of this magnitude again.

Currently reading:  1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue by Francis Grose

Saturday, October 9

Signed up for Nanowrimo 2010

I started this blog over a year ago just for the national novel writing month and as you can see my posting since then has been less than spotty.

But I back ready for another attempt at the 50,000 goal. Will I make it? I'll be away for about a week on vacation and find it very unlikely that I'll get any writing done then but if I write 2,000 words a day plus a few 5,000 bonus days I'll make and surpass the goal.

I'm going down the historical fiction route again, yes it is a regency too. I've been researching quite a bit, it has been exciting to request books from all over the place and read biographies, history books and the like.  Last night I stumbled on some online books through google that are free to read. A big plus when you're writing something from so long ago.

Like last year I'll attempt to share what I learn on the way. Which means I'll need to update my getting started page.

Outlines     Characters     Research     Grammar

My handle on Nano is C.McKane

Wednesday, September 1

Research can be Overwhelming

Gearing up for NaNoWriMo a bit early this year I felt that I didn't complete 50,000 words last November for a few reason, my lack of research ahead of time being a main one. Although I've been reading and loving Regency Romances for years trying to write one that is somewhat historically accurate has been another tale. Last year’s story, well-meaning and awesome in my mind just had too many gaps when I got down to writing it. While this works great for a lot of writers I realized fast that I'm not one of them.

So I've been brainstorming off and on for about two months. I filled emails and OneNote pages full of online links to check out but had yet to delve into old-fashioned offline resources.  After checking links for suggestions over at Absolute Write (which I just signed up for this month) I began adding books to an Amazon wish list and checking prices.

Being rather cheap I decided to bite the bullet and pay my horrendous fines at my local library and check out their books. Sadly for me they were closed for renovations but as life randomly throws you a rope (to pull yourself out of a well and not hang yourself with) I was able to kill time at the local community college library while waiting for my sister.  An hour and a half and pages full of dates, quotes and names later I stumbled upon a cart brimming with free books.

Free is my favorite kind of book and I left with four huge books.

     Poole’s Index to Periodical Literature: Vol 1. (Part 1) 1802-1881
     Poole’s Index to Periodical Literature Vol. 1 (Part 2) 1802-1881
     Chamber’s Biographical Dictionary
     Ten Thousand Wonderful Things

In all I spent around two hours researching yesterday without rhyme or reason and it quickly made me realize I need a plan. Otherwise, NaNo will come and go and I'll still be researching obscure tidbits.

Currently my goal is to work on my stories 2-4 hours two days a week. Until the actual writing in November I will break up my time half towards research and half towards the collection of strange short stories that has been slowly piling up.

I think I’ll break it down into categories. For example, right now I’m brushing up on historical highlights up until 1814 where the bulk of my story takes place and am jotting down anything I want to dig deeper into. Fashion, Historical dates, wedding customs, daily life for women, steamboats, drowning and school life for boys are all topics I’ll be focusing on.

What is your research strategy?

Friday, August 13

20 Regency Romances: eBay Listing

Okay so out of about 200 I've boxed up around 100 Regency's.  Aren't you proud!?  I thought of doing the Paperback Swap, but that means I'd be getting more books in and I'm trying to weed them out.

I listed these books, they're in good to acceptable quality because many are as old or older than me!
Check out my sale here or look at the list below.

Do you have any of these too?
Gayle Buck
Lord John's Lady

Julie Caille
Change of Heart

Marion Chesney
The Banishment
Black X on cover
Marilyn Clay
Felicity's Folly

Corinna Cunliffe
Play of Hearts

Megan Daniel
The Reluctant Suitor

Marian Devon
Defiant Mistress

Zabrina Faire
The Romany Rebel

Ellen Fitzgerald
The Heirs of Bellair

Elsie Gage
Your Obedient Servant

Barbara Hazard
The Royal Snuff Box

A Surfeit of Suitors

Valerie King

Judith Lansdowne
Just Perfect

Nancy Lawrence
Delightful Deception

Alice Chetwynd Ley
A Conformable Wife

Alicia Meadowes
Sweet Bravado

Freda Michel
The Price of Vengeance

Judith Nelson
The Merry Chase

Clarice Peters
London Tangle
Tear in cover

The Royal Snuff Box
There were some good ones in this batch.
And Barbara Hazard is always a great read.

15 Zebra Regency Romances: My first eBay Listing

I hope I don't sound spammy for gushing about this everywhere but I am so excited to be selling instead of Regency's on eBay for a change.  Here's the listing.

Originally, I planned to review the 200ish books in my collection, none of which have shown up here.  But I've written about 25 so that is a good okay really bad percentage. Maybe it is time for me to make a list to keep track of all my regency's because I'm watching one auction right now but out of 50 books I have 20!  Scary, huh?

First Ebay Listing!
Have you read any of these?  Is one a favorite story or author?
15 I've read...

Jo Ann Ferguson
His Lady Midnight
Maria Greene
Captain Hawkins' Dilemma
Karla Hocker
The Impertinent Miss Bancroft
Kate Huntington
Town Bronze
The Merchant Prince
Martha Kirkland
That Scandalous Heiress
Nancy Lawrence
Miss Hamilton's Hero
Laura Paquet
Miss Scott Meets Her Match
Julia Parks
Fortune's Fools
Cynthia Pratt
The Black Mask
Joy Reed
Lord Caldwell and The Cat
Jeanne Savery
A Handful of Promises

An Independent Lady

Smuggler's Heart
Hayley Ann Solomon
My Lady Luck 

The Merchant Prince

This one from Kate Huntington was a bit unique

The main character had a crush on a priest! But it isn't what it seems.

Thursday, March 25

An apology to my starving blogs...

My poor, sad neglected blogs have been reproaching me with looks of guilt that only your mother should be able to accomplish. Where have I been? How could I forget them?

I say to all my blogs (okay, I may not talk to my blogs but I've been caught unashamedly begging my camera not to die during its long terminal illness) that I'm sorry, truly, I haven't forgotten them but lately life has forced me to put them on the back burner, or maybe the microwave.

I'm hopefully going to graduate from a 9 month course this summer and most of my classes are online. It is easy for me to get distracted and with less than two months away from finals I've really needed to buckle down and when I'm not studying I'm working.

What do you do when you hit a blogging slump? Do you put up a hiatus notice? Every time I decided too I would pump out a few more posts. Do you reevaluate why you're blogging? What your blogging goals are?

Any kernels of wisdom would be appreciated... I've been reevaluating and reworking my blogging goals for at least three blogs. It feels a bit like spring cleaning, I'm reorganizing and it is refreshing, but the actual cleaning won't begin well into the summer.

Until then I'll keep my notebooks of posts and ideas filled.

Your sleep deprived blogger-

Tuesday, January 26

Monthly Word Count

500words-150wThis month was very unproductive in relation to my NaNo 09 novel.  I haven’t made my goal of 500 words 6 days a week yet this month but with school starting yesterday I’ll be counting my articles and that should beef up my word count.

Last week I wrote four days on stories, all short, and three of those days I made my 500 words goal.  Yay!

Things that made me happy:

  • I wrote four teeny, tiny tales for a friend’s newest family member.  In fact, writing about the little princess while she was being born was pretty inspiring.
  • I don’t usually write short stories for anyone other than five year olds but two more adult themed came out and surprised me.

Things to improve:

  • My grammar! 
  • I’ve tried to work on my NaNo novel but I cringe whenever I open my notebook.
  • Repetition, repetition, repetition.

Questions I’m wondering.  Perhaps you know?

  • How short can a short story be?
  • What do you do when your main characters make you sleepy?

That is all for now.  I’ll be working hard… or hardly working.

Sunday, January 24

2010 Challenges: Read the Book, See the Movie Challenge

Here is another blog challenge that I just couldn't resist.  Hosted by C.B. James over at Ready When You Are, C.B. the Read the Book, See the Movie challenge is right up my alley.

Here is a bit about the challenge but check out C.B.'s site for more info and suggestions.

Select a challenge level.  Post your level in a comment on the post linked above.  I'm starting on the Double Feature: two books/movies level but think I'll be upgrading it.  

started 1/1/10 and lasts all year.  You can count it with other challenges (great since I'm using two Jane Austen books from another challenge).  

You don't have to write a full review on both but can write a brief bit about the book or movie at the end of your full review of the other.  
I'll be writing a review on the book here and a short bit of a full review I'll post on another blog, Opinionated Ant.

My list so far

1.  Pride and Prejudice/ Bride and Prejudice
2.  Persuasion

Friday, January 8

To Be Read Pile 2010

Between different challenges and going through my enormous box of regencies for a second time I thought it might be brilliant to keep track of what I read this year. That is I thought it'd be brilliant after I saw so many more savvy bloggers being so organized!

So here it is for now, that is what is front of me and what is off the top of my head.

Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen Challenge, Movies from Books)
Persuasion (Jane Austen Challenge, Movies from Books)
North and South (Movies from Books)
Jamaica Inn (Movies from Books)
Howl's Moving Castle (Movies from Books)
Alice in Wonderland (Movies from Books)
The Scarlett Pimpernel (Movies from Books)

I'll add more once my befuddled brain gets over a head cold. Achoo!

Thursday, January 7

2010 Challenges: Jane Austen Challenge

This year on top of trying to write consistently I have a few blogging challenges on both my sites that I'm using to update my sites on a more regular basis.
What better way than to sigh over a great book. I found the Jane Austen Challenge over at the Life (and Lies) of an Inanimate Flying Object. Check the site for all the challenges details but here are a few of the basics.

• Books by Jane Austen (at least two) and any spoofs, re-writes or the like of her works (at least two)
• It can overlap with other challenges
• You can change your level throughout the year

There are three levels and I'm starting with the Newbies. I've read her books before but am looking forward to reading them again. Plus, the two I'm reading with also serve for my other challenge, Movies from Books.

My list as it stands:

1. Pride and Prejudice
2. Persuasion
3. Suspense and Sensibility (a Mr. and Mrs. Darcy Mystery)
4. Probably a spoof but it is hard to choose!

Can't wait to get reading!
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