Writer's Update: How's Your NaNo?

It's almost the halfway point in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), and I'm well past the 25,000-word midpoint of the standard NaNo target. I'm hoping to have 34,000 or even 35,000 by the time you are reading this, and to hit the actual midpoint of my draft by the end of tomorrow (the middle of the month). Death By Library is growing fast, and I'm having fun tormenting JJ, especially with teen drama. I think I hit a good balance between planning and letting things develop as they will, and I'm having fun with my characters. I know I'm writing too much daily detail, but I've made my peace with that: I seem to need to write those details to get to what's important. I just have to be ready to deal with the mess of deleting them when the time comes (I think that also means I should probably aim for closer to 90K words than 80K for a full draft, but I'll just see how the story arcs). November can be a difficult month for the NaNo project (I have wo

Cozy Mystery Review &Tour: Thread Herrings, by Lea Wait

    Title: Thread Herrings Author: Lea Wait Cozy Mystery , 7th in Series   Kensington (October 30, 2018) Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages   ISBN-10: 149671671X   ISBN-13: 978-1496716712   Digital ASIN: B079KSZ92D   Publisher's Blurb:   Angie's first auction may turn out to be her last—when she bids on a coat of arms that someone would literally kill to possess . . . Tagging along to an estate sale with her fellow Needlepointer, antiques shop owner Sarah Byrne, Angie Curtis impulsively bids on a tattered embroidery of a coat of arms. When she gets her prize back home to Haven Harbor, she discovers a document from 1757 behind the framed needlework—a claim for a child from a foundling hospital. Intrigued, Angie is determined to find the common thread between the child and the coat of arms. Accepting her reporter friend Clem Walker's invitation to talk about her find on the local TV news, Angie makes an appeal to anyone who might have information. Instead, both women receive

Photo Friday: Baldface Mountain, New Hampshire

As we move into November, it's hard to cast my mind back to mid-September, when it was still quite warm, and the trees were mostly still green. It's nice to think about being warm, anyway, as I'm trying now to hone my cycling wardrobe to allow for at least short rides in temperatures down into the 30s! We spent the night of Sept. 14 at the Basin Pond campground in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, in order to make a very early start on the Bald Mountain Loop, since all the accounts we'd read suggested it was a long and strenuous--and the weather forecast said there'd be rain before the end of the afternoon. We drove past the trailhead on our way to camp Sunday afternoon, and the cars were parked for quite a ways either side of the lot. But at 7 on Monday morning, we had the place to ourselves. The sun was up--somewhere. We started our hike under a low layer of clouds. It took a little looking to find the trail, but we eventually got started in the right directio

IWSG: Writing and a creative life

Purpose:  To share and encourage. Writers can express 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!  Posting:  The first Wednesday of every month is officially  Insecure Writer’s Support Group  day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time - and return comments. This group is all about connecting!  Be sure to link to the IWSG page and display the badge in your post. And please be sure your avatar links back to your blog! If it links to Google+, be sure your blog is listed there. Otherwise, when you leave a comment, people can't find you to comment back. Let’s rock the neurotic writ

Non-fiction review: The Glass Universe, by Dava Sobel

It's happened again! Lost track of the days of the week, but there is a review for you today, and my clock says it's still Monday :) Title: The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars Author: Dava Sobel Publication Info: Viking, 2016, 336 pages Source: Library Digital Resources   Publisher's Blurb: In the mid-nineteenth century, the Harvard College Observatory began employing women as calculators, or “human computers,” to interpret the observations made via telescope by their male counterparts each night. At the outset this group included the wives, sisters, and daughters of the resident astronomers, but by the 1880s the female corps included graduates of the new women's colleges—Vassar, Wellesley, and Smith. As photography transformed the practice of astronomy, the ladies turned to studying the stars captured nightly on glass photographic plates. The “glass universe” of half a million plates that Harvard am

Photo Friday: Acadia National Park

Way back in September, when we first arrived in Maine, we headed straight over to Acadia National Park so that we could attend the Night Sky Festival--a celebration of Acadia as one of the few "dark sky" places in the NE, and a chance to learn some more about astronomy, etc. We didn't fail to take advantage of being in the park, though, and we hiked and biked a lot of miles of trail in 3 days. Lots of parts of the community of Bar Harbor come together to make the Night Sky Festival happen. The classic Criterion Theater was the site of a fantastic performance by Galileo's Daughters, with readings by Dava Sobol (author of The Glass Universe ). We followed that up with some star-gazing through telescopes hosted by about 30 volunteer amateur astronomers. Seeing the rings of Saturn was definitely a treat! I don't have photos of that, of course, nor of the lectures/presentations we attended on things like Mars and the sun. We also took a "night sky" cruise on

Writer's Wednesday: Are You Doing NaNo?

(Hey, I might finally have found an alliterative name for my writing posts that actually makes sense!) Before I talk about NaNo ( National Novel Writing Month ), I want to share a blog post I found helpful and inspiring. Aliette de Bodard wrote this as a guest post on Chuck  Wendig's "Terrible Minds" blog: Cannibalizing a Draft . Take a look. Okay, now that we have a link to something to help us when we finish that crappy NaNo draft, are you participating? Tell me why or why not! I'm doing it again this year. I'd like to think that I'm fully capable of preparing and writing a draft in a month or 6 weeks without any outside motivators... but the truth is, that community of writers, the little word-count ticker, and just the idea that there's a deadline does a lot for my ability to prepare well and write hard. It's all about deadlines, I think. I am motivated to work on my outline/writing plan for Death By Library because I know I want to star