Friday, August 28, 2009

NaNoWriMo - Are you ready?

NaNoWriMo, originally uploaded by mysterywriter.

I know November is still two months away, but I'm getting prepared. I bought my third copy of No Plot? No Problem! along with the novel writing kit. I like to play with "extras" like this - I'm a geek that way.

I first found out about NaNoWriMo in 2007. My friend L and I were attending class in Knoxville, TN in the spring and we were hitting all the local bookstores while in town for the weekend. Our class was online, but actually met 4 times during the semester. I know it was a Borders where I bought my first copy of Chris Baty's life-changing book.

In May 2007 L and I had our own NaNoWriMo - We challenged each other to write 50K words that month. We also had a side bet - whoever had the least amount of words had the buy the other one dinner. I "won" and had to buy dinner. I tried that November to complete another novel, but I was only able to make it to 11K.
In November 2008, I was able to official "win" NaNoWriMo.

I'm looking forward to this year's writing experiences!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The ultimate work space

I just came across this article from Writers and Artists (UK) about the ultimate work space. Exactly what I need.

The photograph is of a set of blueprints I bought from Southern Living (no longer available) several years ago. It's a garage with an apartment overhead. I had planned to build this on my parents farm (still working on it) and move into it. But I think now I'll change the plans and turn it into a writing area. I can write upstairs and use the downstairs for my library to house all my research materials.

All I need is a couch for naps, a small dorm fridge for cold drinks and a microwave for the popcorn and I'm good to go.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Blue books

Yes, those dreaded exam books from your college days. I recently picked up a few while I was in Knoxville at the UTK bookstore on campus. Those were green, but I have many of the blue ones as well.

Why do I buy them? For notes and outlining. If I'm researching a particular topic, I'll write the topic on the cover, along with the date, then makes notes inside of information I might need. I will also make detailed notes inside for future plot ideas. My most recent one is dated August 7th and is titled "bank robberies" where I've listed thoughts and ideas and possible story arcs. Their thin, wide ruled (even though I prefer college ruled paper) and I love them.

If you live near a college or university, go buy some now. If you don't, visit one on your next vacation or business trip. All if not most bookstores have maps to their location and usually have visitor parking nearby. If you can't find a way to get to one, check out their online presence or call and see if they would be willing to mail you some.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The new desk...

....doesn't really look that big, but I think it will be perfect for what I need. I do most of my writing on the Macbook so I plan to use the iMac when I want to actually sit down at a desk and write.

Until I have one entire room dedicated to my writing, with custom cabinetry, this desk will be home for the iMac. Home for the TARDIS as well.

Friday, August 7, 2009


T.A.R.D.I.S., originally uploaded by mysterywriter.

They say patience is a virtue. Not sure whether or not I believe that, but my patience was finally rewarded today with the arrival of my very own TARDIS.

I ordered this thing on March 31 from the BBC America shop online and I was afraid I was never going to receive it. The delivery date kept being pushed back, and back, and back - you get the picture - but I kept the order, hoping that one day....

This TARDIS is a USB hub. I'll eventually hook it up to my iMac, but I just had to take a photo of it and share.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I so want to buy this poster and hang in it my cubicle.

The month of August is what is known as "blackout" - no one takes vacation/annual leave and any sick leave must have a doctor's excuse to go with it. It's not as bad as it sounds. I'm used to not taking time off. Before I took a few days off in June and July I had over 40 days of leave time saved up.

Anyway, the problem with August is the graduate students who apparently wake up on X morning and decided to go to graduate school. I really don't want to hear all the whining about why official transcripts, test scores, reference letters and writing samples are needed for X program. A few of them have even asked why they can't be admitted without sending ANYTHING!! The closer we get to the August 24th start date of the semester, the worse it gets.

I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

new month and new ideas

I hate to be so disorganized. My friend Lisa over at AllAboutAlton is always quoting "Organization will set you free" to me whenever I can't find something. I was looking tonight for some unique character names. I came across a map of wrecks of the Outer Banks. I have a copy of this map somewhere in a box. Somewhere. Sigh.

Anyway, I found a partial image through Google and wrote down a few names and the dates of the shipwrecks.

1. Helen Benedict, 1914
2. Harriet N. Rogers, 1873
3. Isabella Parmenter, 1925
4. Annie Blackman, 1889

I had thought at one time to create characters with these (and other names from the map) and see if anyone would ever notice the connection. Guess I'll have to dig out my map and make note of a few more names.

My NaNoWriMo for July did not end like I wanted it to. All I will say is that my word quota did not reach 50,000. I'll try again.

I've started making notes for the NaNoWriMo for November 2009. I'll need to reread my novel from last year, since the character I'm using for this year's novel, Zero, was a major supporting character. He's a computer hacker, a loner, but will find himself involved in helping out others so he won't be able to hide behind his computer screens.

Until November gets here, I'll be working on character development for Zero. I don't want to do too much, since it seems that I write more when I don't plan ahead of time. Apparently the writing part of my brain likes the seat-of-the-pants approach.

I'm also going to work on some new ideas. I was reading a recent issue of Threads and came across a tip someone had submitted. The tip was about using two different colors of thread when you didn't have the correct color - by using a darker color and lighter color, they blend together, and as long as you're not too close, you won't be able to tell the difference. I marked the page with a sticky and made a note to put this on a clue list - a clue that would show the button had come off and been repaired that might later be used to solve a crime.