Showing posts from November, 2019

#Fi50: Forging Ahead

Fiction in 50 has been a regular feature in the last week of every month here for several years now. It was founded by Bruce the Bookshelf Gargoyle , and when he retired from blogging in 2017 I decided to take over the hop. Now, I'm throwing in the towel. I really enjoy writing these ultra-short stories, and reading those Jemima Pett writes. But the hop has no traction, no momentum and (navigating way from hackneyed metaphors to the concrete problem), no members. The December post will be the last official Fi50 post. So... if you want to participate, time is running out! Read the instructions below and hammer out your 50 words!       What is #Fi50? In the words of founder Bruce Gargoyle, "Fiction in 50: think of it as the anti-NaNoWriMo experience!" Pack a beginning, middle and end of story into 50 words or less (bonus points for hitting exactly 50 words). The rules for participation are simple: 1. Create a piece of fictional writing in 50 words or less, ideally usi

Writer's Wednesday: NaNo Update #3

... And a Happy Thanksgiving!   With only four days left in the official NaNo month, how's your writing? I've hit the "winner" mark and kept going. I feel like I've been struggling with the book, though I've been able to hit my word goal almost every day. The strange thing is... I've been getting those words in the evening. I have always believed myself to be a morning person, and that I'm usually pretty much incapable of thought by evening. And yet here I've been, day after day frittering away my mornings, and finally sitting down in the evenings and writing like a mad thing. And it works. So am I no longer a morning person? Or has procrastination reached a new peak? As for the outline that was going to make it a breeze, well, I am still more or less on the outline but the writing is coming hard in any case. Stats: Around 57,000 words Attended three write-ins, where the peer pressure really helped Several gallons of coffee.   Don't forget--sig

Photo Friday: Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

Yes, I know, Photo Friday is happening on Saturday this week. I've been very busy writing that new novel! This will probably be the last of the reports from New Zealand, freeing me to start in on the travels we've done in the US since returning! As we made our way up the North Island to meet our flight home from Aukland, we were able to explore one of the most striking New Zealand landscapes: Tongariro National Park. Picking just enough photos for a blog post was very, very hard. New Zealand's oldest National Park, Tongariro is also a World Heritage site preserving Maori culture. We would look into some of that later. For our time in the park, we merely tried to be sensitive about hiking around a mountain sacred to the Maori people (Ngauruhoe). The Tongariro Northern Circuit, most of which we hiked, starts out between Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe, and circles the latter. Part of the hike, along the northern side of Ngauruhoe, is also part of the insanely popular Tongariro Crossing

Writer's Wednesday: NaNo update #2

Battle of the Brains: Planning Vs. Pantsing   Hey, everyone! I'm coming up for air (from the depths of my new MS) and wanted to let you know how it's all going--especially that extensive outline I started with! We're three weeks in, which means most of us are in the doldrums. At least, that's where I am. I've been managing to meet my word counts every day, but I feel like I'm forcing it out. Like I have constipation of the imagination. This, of course, is famously where the outline helps. So is my outline helping? Have I stuck to the plan well enough for it to have any meaning at all at this point? Yes and no, on both counts. I've wandered a bit--things I planned for one point have ended up happening earlier, which leaves me with holes, or a lack of a point for a planned scene. But I do still have a more or less chronological list of the the things that need to happen to get to the solution of the mystery, and I can consult it when I'm flagging. I also h

Launch spotlight: The Chronicles of Marsh

The Ninja Librarian is delighted to announce the release of a new addition to the Princelings series!   The Chronicles of Marsh , by Jemima Pett (#9 in the Princelings Series) was released Nov. 14! Genre: fantasy/history/memoir/MG/crossover (yes, it really is all of these things!) Length: 59,000 words Triggers: one sad death scene Recommended: for children over 10 with advanced reading skills Publisher's Blurb: The Princelings of the East are now King Fred and Prince Engineer George.  Gone are the years of innocence when they travelled for adventure and uncovered time tunnels and pirate plots. Now Fred, assisted by his queen, Kira, has the responsibility for his people, his lands, and for persuading the lords and kings of the Realms to act together for the common good. George just has to work on his inventions, always thinking of a final goal: to fulfil the promises made to Lord Mariusz so long ago. Neither has an easy task. Fred decides to write this history of his reign

Favorite Holiday Memory Blog Hop

Running a little behind here... Blog Hop Question: What is your favorite holiday memory? (This includes Hanukkah, Kwanza, Yule/Winter Solstice, Christmas, etc.) My Memory: I have a lot of good holiday memories. I admit I love Christmas, from opening stocking in our jammies to big family dinners (and pie! I like pie!). A couple of favorite memories stand out in my mind, though. When I was about 5, my mom got creative on a budget. She sewed each of the three of us a patchwork snake (thus thriftily using up scraps of fabric, some furry, some not) and put it in our Christmas stockings. The kicker? Those snakes were 6' long! We know that, because my middle brother got a tape measure in his stocking as well, so of course we measured them. Mom stuffed the snakes using cut-up scraps of fabric, and I remember that she was sitting around snipping the scraps into little pieces, and I got worried that she was wasting good fabric! She just gave that mysterious mom look and said she thought she

Writer's Wednesday: NaNo Update #1

  I like to do a weekly update during November when I'm doing NaNoWriMo (it's another way to procrastinate, right?), to say how I'm doing and see how those of you who are swotting along with me are coming along. By the way, if you want to be buddies on NaNo, I do it under my own name :) So how's my NaNo going, after 12 days? Stats: 23,922 words as of 7 p.m. last night (really hoping as I write this, at 7 p.m. last night, that I can up that before bed). Consistency: Yup. Every day. Average output: around 2000 words, which is my minimum goal (2K/day gets me an 80K draft in 40 days...) Most words in one day: 2967 Fewest, excluding yesterday because of hopefulness: 1069 Less numerically, I'm in the mid-book doldrums. Like my sleuth, JJ MacGregor, I'm flailing around looking for clues as to where all this is going. So, you ask, what about the extensive notes and outline? Still more or less on, and still helpful, but the holes in it you could drive a train through! Ti

Cozy Review: Tell Me No Lies

    Title: Tell Me No Lies Author: Shelley Noble Publication Info: November 5, 2019, Forge Books. 368 pages. Source: ARC provided through Great Escapes blog tours Publisher's Blurb: Rise and shine, Countess, you're about to have a visitor. Lady Dunbridge was not about to let a little thing like the death of her husband ruin her social life. She's come to New York City, ready to take the dazzling world of Gilded Age Manhattan by storm. The social events of the summer have been amusing but Lady Phil is searching for more excitement---and she finds it, when an early morning visitor arrives, begging for her help. After all, Lady Phil has been known to be useful in a crisis. Especially when the crisis involves the untimely death of a handsome young business tycoon. His death could send another financial panic through Wall Street and beyond. With the elegant Plaza Hotel, Metropolitan Museum of Art and the opulent mansions of Long Island's Gold Coast as the backdrop,

IWSG: Writing and planning

  The first Wednesday of every month is the Insecure Writer's Support Group posting day, where writers can express their doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It's a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! Check it out  here  and join if you want support with your writing.  Let’s rock the neurotic writing world! Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG. Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.  Remember, the question is optional! November 6 question - What's the strangest thing you've ever googled in researching a story?    The awesome co-hosts for the November 6 posting of the IWSG are Sadira St

Cozy review: Robbery at the Roller Derby

  Title: Robbery at the Roller Derby (Mollie McGhie #0) Author: Ellen Jacobson Publication Info: independently published Source: Give-away Publisher's Blurb: When Mollie joined a roller derby team, she thought she only needed to worry about bumps and bruises. But when something valuable is stolen from the locker room, she decides to investigate and find the culprit. In between identifying suspects, working at a mind-numbing temp job, and skating practice, she also meets a guy who just might change her view on blind dates. As Mollie pursues her investigation, not everyone is thrilled when she starts asking one too many questions. Can Mollie skate her way out of danger? Or will her nosiness be the death of her? Robbery at the Roller Derby is a prequel novella to the Mollie McGhie Cozy Sailing Mysteries, a whimsical series with a nautical twist.    
 My Review:   This is another book from an author I probably shouldn't be reviewing, as I have beta-read several of her books

Spotlight and guest post: C. Lee McKenzie’s Not Guilty

I’m delighted today to welcome author C. Lee McKenzie to my site to talk about her latest release, NOT GUILTY , as part of her MC Book Tour Blog adventure. After you find out more about this intriguing new YA book, and read some fun tips from the author herself, be sure to enter Lee’s giveaway featured below. * Not Guilty * by C. Lee McKenzie * Publication Date: October 25, 2019 * Genre: Young Adult        A blood-smeared knife. One young man’s word against another. A lifetime dream crushed.        The evidence points to Devon Carlyle. He was there when it happened. Everyone knows he had it in for Renzo Costa. And Costa says Devon was the one. In the judge’s rap of a gavel, Devon’s found guilty of assault. The star of the Oceanside High’s basketball team loses his shot at the one thing he’s worked so hard for—the championship game where college scouts could see how good he is.        Now he makes his great shots in Juvenile Hall with kids far different from those that have always been