Sunday Salon: Coming down to the wire with Nanowrimo

Fine food, fine wine and a fine family.
What else can you ask for.  
Maybe a giggle or two or three. 

Hello, I'm still alive.  Coming down to the finish line with National Novel Writing Month and sitting at 46,420 words.  Will hopefully hit 50,000 tomorrow, however "Red Thief"  will not be finished. There are about another 25,000 words floating around in my brain to get it from here to there.  My internal editor has been screaming at me the past couple days.  I had to let him out long enough to write my class papers and then stuff him back in the box again.

However, he managed to get a few words in edgewise giving me some Aha, that would sound better, moments.  I have to keep making notes because it's evolving a bit differently than expected.  Just as soon as I finish a scene, the characters then change their minds in which direction they want to go, taking me in a slightly different direction.  Which just means I either go back and change the scene or  type up the scene again, keeping the old scene so that I keep my word count.  It will all be fixed in the edit.  I can see already this one is going to evolve with the edits. 

When all is said and done, I'll be typing up lessons learned this year from Nanowrimo.  It's amazing what you discover when you challenge yourself. 

The Sunday

Words, words, words.

Hello, my darlings. How are you?  Me. I've been busy. November always turns into a busy month for some reason.  I'm plugging away on "Red Thief and managing to just barely keep up with the daily nano goal.  But it is all worth the ride right now because I am loving my characters and the story is unfolding a bit at a time.  I know it is the right story to do right now because it sits in the back of my mind at all times, bits and pieces coming to me while I'm in the midst of doing other things.   David Baldacci said something similar at the Bouchercon convention.  He's constantly writing, even when he isn't.  The story is always in the back of his mind.  "Eyes in the Ashes" was like pulling teeth and the characters hid and I had to really stretch to finish that story.   I may have 50,000 words by the end of November, but doubt the story will be done.  And since I write the story in longhand, trying to keep up by typing my output daily but you know, some days that just doesn't work out. 

My short story class started at the beginning of the month and I'm discovering that I've actually read quite a few. So I'm having some "oh, yeah, I remember that story."  It's a bit more time intensive than expected as well since the professor expects journal responses to questions by Thursday and response to discussion questions by Sunday.  Lots of analyzing and writingOther than my short story class,  I haven't been doing a whole lot of reading.  I may have read one book in the past two weeks which is pretty much a record for me.
I just realized today, that my birthday ... "hello 51!" ... is on Sunday.  Seriously, I almost forgot about it.  Now I need to come up with a list for Father and James.  I really don't need more books, do I?  Ahem....  I don't have the foggiest idea because I have everything I need. Hmmm!  Maybe some cool notebooks and a supply of fat, festive pens.

James is now officially a huge Harry Potter fan.  We've read almost all the books together. He read a couple on his own.  We're currently reading "The Deathly Hallows."  I've been reading it out loud to him and we are taking it slowly, a chapter or two a day.  When you add that in with the rest of his lessons and all the other stuff we're reading, my voice is shot by the end of the day.  James helps. He likes doing the voices of various characters, so he interjects here and there.  The story is giving James all kind of interesting dreams.  No, I won't be taking him to see the movie in the theater.  It's just a bit too much for him. We'll wait til it comes out on DVD. 

Father has given up the Chairman reins of the local AES professional section and is concentrating on finishing his mic preamp design.  The prototype had a successful test run in a local recording studio in which they ended up using it to record an album.  Thumbs up from the local musical community is always a plus and he has lots of folks champing at the bit for him to finish the thing, so they can buy it.  Talk about pressure....

Time for me to get back to writing.  Hopefully will have an update on my nano numbers by the end of the week.  

The best time for planning a book is while you're doing the dishes.  ~Agatha Christie

Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton


Kersten Hamilton

Back Cover:  Teagon Wylltson thinks her best friend, Abby, is joking.  But Abby swears that she's psychic.  And she's dreamed that horrifying creatures--goblins, shape-shifters, shadows, and beings of unearthly beauty but terrible cruelty--are hunting her friend.  Abby is always coming up with crazy stuff, though, so Teagan isn't worried.  Her life isn't in danger.  In fact, it's perfect. She's on track for a college scholarship. she has a great job.  She's focused on school, work, and her future.  No boys, no heartaches, no problems.  Until Finn Mac Cumhaill arrives.

Finn's a bit on the unearthly beautiful side himself.  He has a killer accent and a knee-weakening smile. And either he's crazy or he's been haunting Abby's dreams, because he's talking about Goblins too...  And about being The Mac Cumhaill, born to fight all goblin-kind.  Finn has survived alone on the streets since he was twelve, so he knows a thing or two about fighting.  Which is a very good thing, because this time Abby's right.  The goblins are coming.

Sixteen year old Teagan loves her family. Her father, the librarian who says he's descended from Merlin the magician. Her mother the artist who illustrates children's books and likes to draw scary goblins and her genius, electronic game wizard of a 6 year old  brother.  Everything starts going a little crazy after Abby's dream and her long lost cousin Finn comes to live with them.  Teagan starts seeing shadowy figures, her mother suddenly  gets sick and goes into a coma, her father disappears and a social worker thinks Teagan and Aiden need to be removed from their home and taken care of.  Suddenly Goblins are after her family and Finn. Teagan and Aiden set off on a journey to save her family and Teagan learns more than she ever thought she could about her family and their history.   The story is fascinating, full of Irish mythology, dark and scary with plenty of action.  It's considered a young adult book, but adults will be equally entranced and entertained by the story.   

Thank you to Amy Riley for asking to review the book, the publisher for providing with me with a courtesy copy of the book and Kersten Hamilton for writing such a fascinating story with well drawn characters.

Pages:  320
Publisher:  Clarion
Release Date:  November 15, 2010

Other Thoughts:

"I actually loved every character written, even the bad ones if you can believe it. Each character had his/her own thing to make him/her stand out."

"I loved the Celtic mythology at the root of much of the story. Tea is incredibly real — earnest and likable. Abby is a great counterpoint. I appreciated all the characters, actually."

"Kersten Hamilton has written a grand adventure with danger, suspense and a touch of romance thrown in. The characters are rich and full of personality. I also loved the sidhe, goblins, shape-shifters and the world building."

Sunday Salon: Nanowrimo and distractions

The woman in the picture, standing on the pier, looking off into space. This is me, this saturday evening as I sit, think, ponder and work on my Nanowrimo novel. Bit of random things flow through your head sometimes as you write and you don't know whether it's you, your subconscious or one of your make believe characters creating spillage in your brain. Writing is an interesting process. There is are two quotes which says it all

"There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein."  ~Walter Wellesley "Red" Smith

"Ink and paper are sometimes passionate lovers, oftentimes brother and sister, and occasionally mortal enemies." ~Terri
Sometimes it flows and other times it is like pulling teeth.  During the times you feel like pulling teeth, is when the distractions win and earn your attention.  The new computer became a big distraction, then decluttering became a favorite past time, and wandering about the blogosphere another.   My new beautiful windows 7 laptop arrived with all its bells and whistles Monday morning.  Yep, Monday morning, right before I had to leave for work. *sob*  UPS has changed their route and we get morning drops now.   I got about an hour's worth of writing done though.  When I returned home from work, spent the evening backing up the system, changing settings, trying to find all my old programs.  I finally got everything set up the way I liked it by Wednesday afternoon. 

Come Thursday morning, my old laptop decided to give up the ghost.   I tried everything and it just went belly up.  Poor James.  He had been so looking forward to having his own laptop.  I went online to Amazon and found a preconfigured Toshiba triple core processor with Windows 7 for $500 available through Amazon prime.  I ordered it and it was delivered Friday morning.   By the end of the day, I had the system running smoothly.  All our laptops are now window 7 and networked and connected and we can share files and the homeschool programs will work on James computer and...  happy, happy, joy, joy!  Life is great! 

Now add into the mix, the start of my short story class which as it turns out is going to involve a lot of reading and writing.  Journal responses due by Thursday and discussion questions by Sunday. And I get to do this neat project in which I write a sequel to one of the short stories we read.  That will be interesting.   

So ask me how much writing I got done?  I'm at 5361 words now and according to Nano should be at 10,000 by the end of today.  The nano site graciously advised me I'd do fine as long as I wrote 1859 words a day for the next 24 days.   I think I can manage that.  

Last but no least, Halloween was a trip.  James wanted to go as Mario and he talked me into going as Luigi so we could be The Mario Brothers.  

It'sa me - Luigi.  anda it'sa me - Mario

The Sunday Salon.comDon't forget to turn your clocks back an hour!

2010 Reviewing Policy

2010  Review Policy

The majority of books I read and review on My Two Blessings are books I purchased for my own personal enjoyment.  The remainder of the books are review requests and advanced reader copies.  I generally will not mention who I received the books from unless they are review requests or arc's from authors, publishers or distributors.

I am open to review requests from all sources and if you would like to send me a book to review please contact me by email: rlmccormack59(at)gmail(dot)com.

I read a mixture of young adult and adult main stream and christian fiction genres including but not limited to:

Historical Fiction
Paranormal Romance
Romantic Suspense
Science Fiction and Fantasy
Thrillers and Suspense

I don't read nonfiction, self help books or poetry nor do I like true to life, tear jerker stories or stories involving child abuse. Rarely do I read horror but there are exceptions. Please see the list of books I'm currently I currently have on my Nightstand  and  2010 Books Completed which will give you an idea of the books I like to read.  I will consider books not only from traditional publishers, but also self published books as well.   I prefer receiving books but will consider books in e-format as well.  I do not listen to audio books. 

In accordance with FTC Guidelines, I do not receive any compensation for reviews on my blog. the reviews are based solely on my opinion of the story and extremely subjective.  I do not sell the books or receive any compensation from any of the links to online book sellers, authors or publishers. The links are for informational purposes only.  I don't sell or auction the ARC's I receive. Occasionally, I will do a give-a-way, but only with the permission of the publisher or author.
Reviews are done on a voluntary basis and I can't guarantee I will review every book sent to me. I will post reviews for ARC's within the specified time period requested by the publisher.  Otherwise, if the book has already been published, it will be read and reviewed in a timely manner.