Friday, June 29

Note the new addition

Yes, I have added a NaNoWriMo countdown clock onto my blog. I am addicted to NaNo: I started participating in 2004, when I first heard about it. I started 4 days late and finished 2 days early: 52,000 words in 25 days! My 2005 story was a bust, but I learned a lot by not winning. In 2006, I wrote 54,000 words in 30 days, and realized that I was totally hooked. I participated in the forums for the first time, got to know other NaNoers in my region, and went to the Thank God It's Over party.
And now I'm re-writing last year's NaNo (excerpts available upon request--manuscript now at 64,000 words and counting), lurking in the forums, and generally just waiting for November to roll around again. This year's story will be about a monk with super-powers (no, I'm not kidding. I'm working on the outline already).
Go to Check it out. Sign up for a reminder. Discover that you really can write a novel. Go for the gusto!
We who are about to write salute you!
(note: Yes, I am aware that NaNo has eaten my soul. I'm perfectly okay with this.)

Thursday, June 28

My map!

I love Google. I really do.
Here's a map of my world! I'm currently adding locations mentioned in Sanctus: those are all marked with little red flames. Adding photos slowly. Enjoy, and let me know what you think!

Update on story

Well, I have been reworking my NaNoWriMo novel. Well, reworking may not be the right term, more like re-writing entirely. For instance, I'm on page 25 of draft two. That part of the story used to be on page 4 of the original. So, yeah....expanding the story, a LOT.
Anyhow, I'm trying to stay inspired with this thing, which is hard, because rewriting STINKS. I'm hoping to have draft two finished some time this year, and I want to self-publish a few copies, and give them to friends and family to read over, and see what they think.
So, if you are reading this, and are interested in reading the story, and giving me feedback, that would be GREAT! Just let me know, and I will send you a book when this draft is done. I can't say how soon draft two will be finished (again, I'm on page 25 out of 170, and expanding a lot), but knowing that people are waiting for it might help encourage me to get it done.

Monday, June 25

A good laugh

I have recently discovered (thank you, Miriam, for the heads-up!) one of the most delightful, most clever writers I have ever read. Jasper Fforde's books are not only well-written, but have more jokes per page than almost any other book I've read. And not just any jokes: puns, similies, characters contacting one another through the footnotes, and many jokes that depend on having read classics of English literature. For instance: in his alternative world of 1985 London, you don't get Mormons coming to your door--you get Baconians, who try to persuade you that Sir Francis Bacon, not Shakepeare, wrote the plays.
Aside from his Thursday Next stories, he has a series of Nursey Crimes, with investigators Jack Spratt and Mary Mary. In the first book in the series, The Big Over Easy, the team puzzles out who killed beloved social presence, womanizer, and philanthropist Humpty Dumpty? This is a seminal case for Inspector Spratt, since his last case, in which he tried to convict the Three Little Pigs of murder, fell through because of the all-pig jury.
These books read a little like the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by the much-missed Douglas Adams; however, there are two key differences.
1. Adams' jokes cna be understood by virtually anyone reading the book, no external sources are necessary. If you are reading Fforde's The Eyre Affair, you'd better have read Jane Eyre, Shakespeare, and Poe's The Raven. A good grasp of grammar and punctuation is also helpful.
2. The Hitchhiker's Guide books are extremely funny, but also highly cynical. Fforde's work is full of a delight in words, great books, and life in general. His lead characters are highly moral people, though never preachy or dull. While he pokes some fun at the great literature of the Western world, he obviously loves the books, and the jokes are the sort that bibliophiles tell.