Flailing/Panic/Denial/Cupcakes

ccake

Helloooo blogosphere people…

I was going to have a book review post up today, but, PLOT TWIST: I haven’t read the book yet! Heh. Heheh. I’ve had no time to read this month, it’s crazy…

So, instead, you get a flailing-around post of a sort of update of what I’m doing just now.

Because we’re in the last week of NaNo prep. And as everyone knows, the three stages of NaNo prep are: Flailing, Panic, and Denial. I don’t know what order they go in, as I appear to be doing all three of them at once…? So there’s that. (I don’t actually know if those are actually the three stages, but we’re just going to pretend I know what I’m talking about.)

Anyways! What I’m up to.

Firstly, I’m at a cupcake place. Why? Well, because cupcakes. (Do we need another reason?) But actually, it’s because there is internet here and my internet has gone ka-boom due to storms. YAY. *insert heavy sarcasm here*

I happen to be internet-less right when it’s almost the start of NaNo, which is causing extreme doses of panic ’round this here brain of mine (especially as I’m supposed to be being a good ML and all that which largely involves… you guessed it… INTERNET).

Secondly:

SilverForestCoverFinalI’m also panicking about NANO PLANNING. Or rather, lack thereof. I need to have my novel plotted BEFORE November 1st at midnight hits, otherwise I’m basically doomed. So I’m currently flailing around trying to untangle all the gajillions of plot threads and character arcs that is supposed to make up my Twelve Dancing Princesses NaNo retelling. Who knew that there would be so much complicatedness?

Kingdoms being taken over + complicated curse including my favorite character slowly dying + dancing princesses mystery + a dash of timey-wimey because why not + four or five or a dozen romances + a thief running around trying to steal the story + 32 characters to keep track of = confusing complicated mess.

If I can actually plot/survive this, it’s going to be the awesomest thing ever.

I say “if”.

(…RIP me…)

Thirdly:

(Pinterest)

(Pinterest)

Oh yeah, and I’m ALSO panicking (noticing a theme here…?) over my so-called possible Rooglewood contest entry, that old Sleeping Beauty retelling I mention sometimes, The Rose and the Raven. Because I’ve written 5k, which means on the plus side that I’m theoretically a quarter done. But on the MINUS side (we’re talking 40-below, here… Brrrr. *shivers*) it means that I still have give or take 15,000 words left, plus who knows how much extra, plot-wise (meep), AND all of this right before NaNo; i.e. I don’t have time to write it before (unless I decide to be utterly insane), I don’t really want to write it DURING since I’d be liable to mix up my two fairytale-retellings-with-dash-of-romance-and-princes-and-princesses-and-faes-and-with-strong-emphasis-on-fairytale-curse stories, which would be bad, and after NaNo I’ll likely be too dead to write it, and/or not have time. So there’s that. 😉 I’ll just sit here in polite denial and ignore all of this, because that’s how I roll.

Oh yeah. And I also may also kinda-sorta-maybe-possibly be camping-ish. Just another plot-twist in there. Because who needs sanity? NOT ME. HA. HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAA. *spirals into insane manic laughter* (Ahem. >.> That wasn’t me, in case you were wondering…)

WE MUSTN’T PANIC

WE MUSTN’T PANIC

Basically, it’s NaNo in 4 days, 8 hours, 6 minutes, 10 seconds (less, now that you’re reading this…), I’m insanely busy, have no internet, am not even remotely close to ready for said NaNo in less than 4 and a half days, and I’m doing a lot of flailing, panicking, and denialing (totally a thing).

If I’m not around, you will know why. XD

If you are in much the same boat as I, I wish you the best of luck with your NaNo prep and/or other busy madness. (And if you are all prepared, congratulations: you are a step above us poor mortals and I bow to your superior planning/time-management skills.)

WE CAN DO THIS! (?)

Tip: Cupcakes help. Because cupcakes.

…To be continued…

Tags: Loyal Dragons to Infinity and Beyond!

(Warning: This post is being was written late at night. I am not responsible for the shenanigans my sleep-deprived brain gets up to. Thou art warned.)

I was tagged! By Raychel Rose for the Dragon’s Loyalty Award, and by Madeline J. Rose (wait… ALL OF THE ROSES. :O Are you two related…? *eyes suspiciously* I’m waaatching you…) for the Infinity Award. Thanks so much to both of you!! ❤

I’m doing a double tag post ketchup catch up in a single post, because a) I am lazy, b) I’ve been blogging too much, and c) let’s be honest, “Loyal Dragons to Infinity and Beyond!!!!!” is a fabulous title (even without all the exclamation points). Can we agree on that? Yay!

Okay! So tags. Right. Onward!

Dragon’s Loyalty Award

dragonaward

Gaaah, what a prettiful blog award!! ❤ I love it. *clings affectionately*

Ruuuules

  1. Announce your win with a post, [check] and link to whomever presented your award. [*drrrumroll* Raychel Rose]
  2. Post 7 interesting things about yourself. [Um. I’ll see what I can do. Ahem.]
  3. Present 15 awards to deserving bloggers.
  4. Drop them a comment to tip them off after you’ve linked them in the post.
  5. Display the award certificate on your website. [See my newly-updated Badges page with other awards and aaaall the NaNo participant badges. Yesss.]

7 interesting (?) things about this dragonish blogger

  1. I love Toothless and he is possibly my favorite dragon ever.
  2. I do not love Smaug because he is evil but at least he is clever. (BOOK Smaug! We do not speak of movie-Smaug. Ahem.)
  3. Some of my favorite dragonish books are proooobably the Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede, specifically Searching for Dragons BECAUSE MENDANBAR! Ahem. Kazul is cool too.
  4. I own a little golden dragon figurine which is glued to a turquoise rock. It once fell off so I re-glued it on. Yes you needed to know that. I would take a picture but I am lazy.
  5.  Sorry, scratch number 3, I just remembered how much I love The Reluctant Dragon by Kenneth Grahame. ❤
  6. Also the dragon stories by E. Nesbit. I LOVE THEMMM. (I still love the Enchanted Forest books though! I just remembered… other… dragony books. Dragony. Dragony is a wonderful word.)
  7. I have not read Eragon. Oops?

OH WAIT THOSE WERE ALL FACTS ABOUT ME ABOUT DRAGONS. See what I did there.

Tagging?

I verily awardeth you this veritable Dragon’s Loyalty Award if thou lovest dragons! (I’m looking at YOU, Lauri and Sarah and Cait. 😉 And YOU. Yes, you, in the dragon t-shirt.) You can dragon-theme it if you want. *shrug* But obviously nobody has to do it. XD

Infinity Award

Which is… apparently?… different than the Infinity Dreams Award…? Not sure.

Anyhoo!

This one has interrogations questions!

*dons monocle* Proceed.

*cymbals*

Who is your best blogging friend?

Can I not answer this. Pleeeeease? *makes adorable puppy eyes* I don’t like the saying “best friend” because it shows others that THEY are not. Which is not fair to ANYBODY. And makes them sad. Or is that just me. And this question sound suspiciously like that. HOWEVER. If a) you’re reading this and therefore (apparently?) read my blog, or b) if I comment on your blog aggressively obsessively, or c) both… then you may rightly assume you are one of my bestest blogging buddies. GROUP HUG, C’MERE. ❤

What is the best book cover you’ve ever seen?

SO MANY. Umm… Five Enchanted Roses or The Captive Maiden? POSSIBLY. I’m not sure. Let’s just say I’m partial to the color blue and girls in gorgeous dresses.

What’s your favorite slang word?

Y’all. Does that count? It’s super useful (and not only to alert people to the extinguishing excruciating distinguishing fact that I am… wait for it… a TEXAN). For instance, if you don’t say “y’all” to address a general group, you probably say “guys”, or “people”. Example: “Hey, guys!” “Hey, people!” This can be problem if a) there is a girl present (or, more likely, if there is not actually a guy in the group. Which happens a lot), or b) if not all those addressed happen to be people. What if they are aliens? Elves? Dragons (me, me! …Oh, right. That tag’s over… *sad face*). Cats. Noodles. Or other serendipitous sentient or not beings/creatures/items. THEY MIGHT TAKE OFFENSE. And we wouldn’t want that. Especially if they had sharp claws. Hence, y’all = solves every problem ever.

If you could have any animal as a pet, what would it be?

DRAGON. GRIFFIN. Oh right, I already have those… Okay, a puffin AND an otter. Naturally. Because they are the most adorable things EVER. (I also want a hummingbird to ride on. *makes even more adorable puppy eyes* PLEEEEEASE?)

Favorite flower?

Roses!

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(Especially if they come with BOOKS…!)

(Wait a minute. Roses AGAIN. That’s it — it’s a PLOT.)

(And we all know that plots are needed to have books. SEE ABOVE!)

(Wait. I’m going in circles. This is getting confusing.)

Scariest roller coaster/ride you’ve ever been on?

Haven’t. (Unless you count the above question.) Nor do I intend to. Duuuh. I’m not CRAZY. O_O (Heh… heh heh… Oh, right, you caught that, did you? *sidles subtly sideways and slips self in serious siding hiding place*)

Favorite Disney movie?

Ow! How do I decide? (Was Prince of Persia Disney?? *is too lazy to check*) …Okay, Tangled.

Book you want made into a movie?

Illusionarium! (See my Illusionarium Fangirling Babbles post from earlier this week…) It would make the positively coolest movie EVAR.

Also one of the scariest.

lfsacrificewillintomake

Favorite piece of jewelry?

The One Ring. My Celtic-cross necklace. ❤ ‘Tis my fave.

Savory or Sweet snacks? Which ones?

ALL OF THE SWEET THINGS. I’m good with chocolate. And cookies. With chocolate chips in them. And mushrooms. (Why did I say mushrooms. I hate mushrooms. Unless they are from the Mushroom Planet books. Umm… CHOCOLATE MUSHROOMS.)

All time favorite movie?

The Avengers/The Return of the King/How to Train Your Dragon/Prince of Persia. IT’S TOTALLY ONE MOVIE I SWEAR. (Actually that would be the coolest thing ever. *brainstorms* *finds thing on pinterest*)

THE END.

P.S. AND NOW WE KNOW HOW CRAZY DEBORAH O’CARROLL IS WHEN SHE IS FOOLISH ENOUGH TO BLOG LATE AT NIGHT. ISN’T IT EXCITING, FOLKS.

Audience: *round of applause mixed with horrified stares*

Me: *giggles hysterically*

Me: *quickly erases your memories*

P.P.S. You are tagged if you want. ^_^

Illusionarium Fangirling Babbles

You may remember that I keep occasionally babbling incoherently about how much I liked that book Illusionarium. If I liked it that much, I should actually review it and tell people about it, right? Or at least explain to my poor blog readers what on earth (or possibly off of it… in an alternate world, perhaps?) I was talking about.

Well, I’ve vaguely been meaning to review it, but was kind of overwhelmed by the idea. That happens to perfectionist me sometimes… But then! I realized that I had done a rather long and in-depth excitedly-flailing ramble to a good friend about it in an email soon after I had read it…

That was sort of a review, wasn’t it? So I decided I’d tweak that some and post it as a review. (I also don’t usually reference lots of other books/characters/authors/films/shows in reviews, but there’s a lot of that in this; I’m bolding the references.)

Here is my almost-review incoherent-ish fangirling babble for Illusionarium by Heather Dixon.

My goodness! I had so much fun with this book. 😀

It’s like The Night Circus meets Inception meets Mirriam Neal‘s book Disconnect meets Doctor Who meets Steampunk meets the kind of lively writing and boisterous characters who sound 1000% British of Entwined, (which is about the only similar thing, although it’s by the same author) and it’s also told in first-person from the POV of a guy, and since the last thing I read like that was that Curseworkers Trilogy (White Cat and co.) by Holly Black, it made me think of that, and also a little of Hiccup from the How to Train Your Dragon movie. A little. Just because. So… yeah, wow. Lots of reminders, and yet it was like nothing I’d ever read or seen! Oh, and there’s also kind of crazy outfits in a lot of it, kind of really colorful raggedy steampunkish clothing, I guess, and there’s a ton of masquerade-type mask things for awhile too, so that’s probably where most of the Doctor Who reminding came from — besides a wee bit of timey-wimey ness and the creepy-factor — but it kind of reminded me of The Girl in the Fireplace episode–was that what it was called?

It was also my first steampunk book! *gasp* I’d always wanted to try some steampunk and never got around to it before this. I think the steampunk element in Illusionarium wasn’t an extreme focus of it, kind of more like background… Most of the story was focused on the illusion stuff, which was some weird mix of stuff like the magic in The Night Circus, and science, and hallucination stuff like… like in Batman Begins (ooh, another thing I’m comparing it too. XD) and the Inception stuff about sharing dreams, or in this case illusions, and sort of being able to build stuff with your mind. *shrug* Anyways! Not SUPER steampunky, mostly it was just a whole lot of WEIRD mixed together. XD But I did loooove the steamunk feel and want to read more! I think this was a more fantasy-feeling steampunk and I know there’s more mechanical, realistic type ones, so I don’t know if this is even a really good sample of steampunk. But still. I feel quite excited to have finally officially read my first steampunk and now I really want to get to other steampunk books I have lying around and try them out! (I’ve since only read Broken Glass and Corroded Thorns by Emma Clifton, which I ADORED obviously, and were also extra fantasy versions of steampunk… But that only makes me want to read more steampunk, even more!)

Anyways, like I said, it’s kind of got things that remind me of stuff all over the place, but at the same time, really I’ve just never read anything like it! So much unique! At least for me. It was crazy but awesome. XD

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Pretty much my ONLY complaint was some of the creepy aspects of it… I just don’t get along well with really creepy kinds of things. At first I was creeped out because of this plague thing that turns people’s blood black so their veins make it look like black spider webs climbing up their skin and it just creeped me out… till I got used to it and ran into the rest of the creepiness in the book, which had to do with people kind of splitting and growing extra eyes and fingers etc. Maybe most people wouldn’t mind but IT KIND OF CREEPED ME OUT OKAY. O_O Meep. But aside from those two things, I positively ADORED it! 😀 But if you don’t have much of a problem with slightly creepy stuff maybe you wouldn’t mind, I don’t know. *shrug*

I’ve seen a lot of reviewers complaining about it not wowing them… EXCUSE ME? *splutters* It was breathtaking and edge-of-your-seat! It was… amazing! (Or maybe I don’t read exciting books. *shrug*) But you might have to go in not expecting much, and then just see if it catches you or not. It certainly wowed ME. I had no CLUE what it would be like, going in, so it just sort of wowed me extra because it was so DIFFERENT and I just loved the characters. 😀

The dialog. THE DIALOG. I loved it so much and it was one of my favorite things. Especially Lockwood’s. XD But… I’m getting ahead of myself here. I think I love books with super good dialog that I love to quote, lots of great humor, and characters who are sorta sarcastic and snarky…

And I haven’t even gotten to my favorite part!

Okay, so I LOVED the hero, and thought for awhile that he would be my favorite
character (sometimes it can get worrying with first-person narrators because sometimes it’s just hard to really really like them… unless that’s just me) but he was just so funny and dry but also felt sort of like a “normal” hero, and I just loved watching his struggles as he went up and down trying to find the right thing to do… I loved that and it was great. I don’t think I’ve enjoyed the main character’s “journey” this much in a long while… He also had these really hilarious, dry, witty asides he would put in occasional footnotes. It was so unique and hilarious! BUT. He wasn’t even my favorite!

23

My absolute favorite thing about the entire book had to be this one character, Lieutenant Lockwood, who’s this awesome sixteen-year-old Royal Airguardsman with an eyepatch who has the most outrageous personality and is so amazing and fun and hilarious and epic that I simply don’t have a place for him in my Character Categories! O_O

It’s usually characters like Howl and Chrestomanci [both by Diana Wynne Jones] and Florian [Westmark Trilogy by Lloyd Alexander] and Azrael [Mirriam Neal again] that I can’t pigeonhole, but Lockwood… I can’t with him either! :O It’s so weird… I think the closest I could get would be somewhere in with Peter Pan from Peter Pan in Scarlet, mixed with a pirate guy named Tamo in The Pirate’s Son by the author who wrote Peter Pan in Scarlet (Geraldine McCaughrean; she must be good at that kind of character…) but not quite. I don’t know! It’s quite odd! O_O I mean, Lockwood has the same young-awesome-kind-of-savage-but-also-carefree-and-epic-with-a-pistol sort of feeling as McCaughrean‘s version of Peter Pan, and Tamo, but so much MORE too. LOOKWOOD’S JUST UNIQUE AND I LOVE HIM.

It’s very rare and odd these days for me to find a character that just DOESN’T fit in my character pigeonholes! (Which I need to do a post about sometime…) And it usually means they’re awesome. XD

I just loooove Lockwood and have been going around squealing about him ever since I was like halfway through the book. A few weeks after I read it, I flipped back through the book and reread basically every bit that had Lockwood in it. Yes. I love him that much. And I want to go do it again now! *flail*

Lockwood Lockwood Lockwood.

I just love him too much. I know I’m just fangirling and not making any sense probably, and repeating myself, but I don’t care.

I JUST CAN’T EXPLAIN LOCKWOOD OKAY. HE’S TOO AMAZING TO EXPLAIN IN MY OWN WORDS. YOU JUST HAVE TO READ HIM FOR YOURSELF.

illusionariumback

Basically, Illusionarium had a couple elements that were too creepy for me, but overall it was totally unique and my first steampunk and I really enjoyed it and it has one of my new favorite characters.

And it made me happy. It was kind of terrifying and thrillerish and made my heart beat too fast probably but it just… MADE ME HAPPY. I want to beam and huggle it forever. Just… if that’s not what you want books to do for you, I don’t know what is.

An equation for you. (Ha! Inside joke… Equations are a big part of the book; like… sciencey stuff and all.)

Illusionarium + Lockwood – creepiness = best. thing. ever.

If it weren’t for the creepy aspects, it might be like my favorite book this year (okay so it’s up against some pretty stiff competition… so I dunno. BUT STILL). It was just AWESOME.

(Plus, cover love. We can be shallow and love it for the cover, right? ❤ )

***

Anyways! There is my ramble/babble about Illusionarium, because it’s definitely not coherent enough to quite call it a review. 😉

But if you think THAT was incoherent fangirling… Here’s the “review” I originally posted on Goodreads as soon as I’d finished reading it:

illusionariumreview

Checklist: 30 Things To Do For NaNo Prep

nanochecklist

The NaNo site has wiped and is fresh for a new year, so this means . . .

NaNo season is upon us!

*cue excited/panicked flailing*

Here’s a checklist for things to do to prepare for NaNoWriMo… This is actually mostly for ME as a reminder of what I should be doing during NANOPREPMONTH (er… I mean October), and sort of in the form of notes-to-self, but I thought you might enjoy it too, so here it is!

It’s a mixture of my ideal to-do list and things I think others might find helpful to do or know or think about. Whether you’re a beginner first tentatively dipping your toes into the NaNo waters, a seasoned writer of a year or three, or a veteran of a dozen years, I hope it’ll have something in it for all of you.

Hope you enjoy! 🙂

The Checklist

(with longwinded explanations and miscellaneous gifs and NaNo-ish pics)

1. Decide what you’re writing

This is harder than you might think. I usually take months to decide… But be it an old plot idea you’ve been planning for years or a newborn baby plotbunny from last night, you’ve still got to decide. Be excited about it!

2. Give your shiny novel idea a title (if it doesn’t have one yet)

This helps. Honest. (And yes, you’re allowed to call it The Epic Novel #293857987 if that’s what you can come up with. But you should at least have a working title!)

3. Write a “blurb” for it

This will help you with knowing what you’re writing, and you’ll also have something for the novel info page on the NaNo site, which is very motivating. I find that I have a hard time writing a story these days unless I’ve defined it in some way and summarized it in a paragraph or three. It’s very helpful.

4. Make a “cover”

Don’t underestimate the inspirational value of a mock cover for your story. It’s like a banner to lead you into battle.

5. Create your novel page on NaNo

(I’m going to assume that you’ve signed up for the NaNo site already… if you haven’t, then do so at once! Seriously, you will not regret it.) This really makes the project “real” to me. It’s an important step. *nod nod*

6. Show off a NaNo participant badge to declare your intention of epically novelling during November

NaNo-2015-Participant-Badge-Large-SquareShiiiiiny.

7. Make a folder on your computer to keep all your nano stuff in

Or a physical one if  you’re a real paper sort of person. Organization is key!

8. Name your novel inhabitants

Names are important. And if you name them MC, Character1, or Bob, they’ll probably stick like that. Believe me. I know it’s a pain, but you’ll thank me later. If you can’t come up with any, there are sites like Behind the Name, and also this name generator site which has specific genres for generating, like Steampunk, Fantasy, Mermaids, Time Lords, Supervillains…

9. Figure out your novel inhabitants

Whether it’s just the main character, or the important ones, or all the minor ones as well, make sure you do some thinking about them. Anything from a word that describes them to full bios… whatever you like.

10. Plan out and roughly summarize your plot — beginning, middle, and end

You can go as detailed or not as you want. It’s up to you and your preferences. I like to be very plotted so that I feel like I know what I’m doing and have some chance of having something to write for 30 days without chronic writer’s block.

I’m also throwing in “setting” and “worldbuilding” collectively into this point because to me at least they’re so intertwined with plot.

  • Note: If you’re a pantser, feel free to disregard the two previous points.

11. Research if you want

If you’re writing a historical or a sci-fi or a fantasy or a contemporary, you may want to look up facts and figures and swords and time-zones. Or even if you think you don’t want/need to research, you may have something to do still… For instance, I’m “researching” by reading different versions of the fairytale The Twelve Dancing Princesses and rereading books that contain characters I like of certain character types which I hope to understand enough to write similar types for myself. Basically whatever you need to feel prepared!

12. Find inspirational pictures

This can be for character faces, clothing, weapons, settings, etc. Pinterest is your best friend if you want to do this. (…It is also the biggest time drain in the history of ever, so exercise caution if you don’t want to emerge decades/centuries later like Rip Van Winkle, wondering how you managed to miss NaNo… and several dozens of NaNos since.) It can be SO inspirational though! 🙂

Whoa, hey, take it EASY! O_O It’s for inspirational purposes, honest!

13. Find good noveling music

Whatever inspires you. Instrumental music is good unless words don’t distract you. Fast music is ideal — those fingers will type faster if the music is exceeding the speed-limit. Epic movie soundtracks can inspire. Make a playlist on your computer/phone/ipod/youtube… I also recommend Pandora and I’ve heard some people like Spotify as well.

14. Make a schedule for NaNo

Both a daily one, and one for your overall month. It may not work out, but having something to shoot for is ideal. (Aim for moon, land in stars, am I right? Naturally. So pay attention. XD ) Whether this is a particular time of day you hope to write, or segments with a projected wordcount, or, for the month, blacked out days when you know you won’t be able to write, and highlighted days when you’ll have extra time for catching up… Whatever works for you, go for it!

15. Fill your calendar with NaNo goodness

Wordcount goals, local NaNo events, NaNo dates (like these). Or be nuts and overboard like me and have a whole spiral notebook with a page for each NaNo day and put all the relevant info for that day, the expected NaNo wordcount goal, my personal wordcount goal for the day, along with a daily schedule/to-do list and all other life events/importantness/reminders to remember in the midst of hectic noveling.

16. Download an awesome wordcount tracking spreadsheet

This amazing person has splendid spreadsheets for free download that are fabulous for tracking your words and other stuff about your NaNo novel. There’s others out there you could find, but these are my favorites. You can also track your daily wordcount on the NaNo site, which is fabulous too (watching the graph climb is one of the great joys in life), but I’m not always on the internet and it’s nice to have it right there.

17. Brainstorm more about your story and characters

You may think your story is ready. But it’s not. There’s no such thing as too much brainstorming. Give your characters new quirks! Add a devious plot twist! More villains! A letter from an unknown sender! Donkeys! Red umbrellas! A suspicious strudel that’s been in the pantry for seventy-three days and has malicious intent! Believe me, there are still more ideas and you’re not going to want to stop planning your NaNo novel just because you think it’s ready…

18. Fangirl* over your novel-to-be

Because it is awesome and you know it and you love your darlings and OH MY WORD THIS STORY IS GOING TO BE EPIC ALDKFJSLKFDLKJLKJSD

*I’m assuming most people reading this are female. I apologize if you’re not. Fanboy if you will, or find a more acceptable verb if you would rather. And please inform me of what it is because I’m curious!

19. Get excited

Because NaNo!

20. Post in the NaNo forums

Because there is so much awesomeness and community at the NaNoWriMo Forums.

21. Find noveling buddies so you can support/cheer/commiserate with each other

Noveling is lonely work but the camaraderie during NaNo is one of the great reasons for writing during November even when you feel too busy for it.

22. Catch up on everything you wanted to do recently, everything you might want to do soon, and everything you might want to do during November

Okay, tall order. But you’re seriously going to want to have your plate cleared.

If there’s something you think you’re going to have time for during NaNo…?

You’re not. Better do it now. 😉

23. Gather your writing fuel (i.e. food, chocolate, and caffeine)

Plan your meals, buy snacks and coffee/tea/beverage of choice. Because food and drink is almost as necessary as chocolate. Also, caffeine is your friend, unless you think you can get enough sleep during the month… Haha.

24. Organize yourself and make your writing den pleasant/liveable

Wash enough laundry for the next month, clean your desk…

25. Manage the fearsome hordes of internet obligation and distraction

Catch up on your emails now instead of later, and plan to turn off the shiny distractions during NaNo (Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, Blogs…) unless they are a) writing related, b) inspirational for your writing, c) rewards for having written, or, d) breaks to keep you sane. (Though really, insanity is much better embraced during NaNo. It makes the noveling process far easier to handle. I now want a t-shirt that encourages throwing the inner editor and sanity out the window together so they won’t be lonely.)

26. Make sure you have a timer and plan to engage in lots of wordwars

Also called word sprints. But I prefer word war. (Alliteration! More exciting! Even if the only person I’m warring against is my inner procrastinator/perfectionist!) Have wordwars with yourself, wordwars with others online, with your NaNo buddies, with people on the NaNo forums, with people at your local write-ins, with @NaNoWordSprints on Twitter, wordwars with your timer, your dishwasher, wordwars with your cat… (assuming dear Fluffy is willing to type). Wordwars pay off. They do. (I personally particularly like wordwarring against myself with a timer. That way I don’t get distracted between wars by talking with people online… But sometimes the companionship is awesome, so.)

27. Join your local NaNo region!

Find your local region from the list here, home to it, and join in the fun on the forum!

28. Go to the local kickoff/events in your region if you can

These events are organized by NaNoWriMo Municipal Liaisons (MLs), who are local volunteers and are awesome (I should know, as I am one. 😉 ). We work hard to support and keep our local regions together, and we love when Wrimos (that’s you, the writer participating in NaNoWriMo) come to events and have fun in the wonderful community of writers during November! Honestly, write-ins and other NaNo get-togethers are so much fun. The local, in-person support. The camaraderie. Meeting other writers. The clacking of typing. (There may even be stickers.)

29. Anticipate November 1st and die a little inside both from excitement and a feeling of woeful unpreparedness

You’re ready now, aren’t you???

…No?

It’s okay. None of us are actually ready, even if we’ve checked off everything on this list and all the lists out there. Just let the whirlwind of noveling take you where it will.

30. When NaNo hits… Write.

Seven is a favorite number of mine, so here are 7 essential tips for when NaNo arrives:

  1. Have fun
  2. Write
  3. Keep writing
  4. Don’t stop writing
  5. Don’t worry about it being perfect
  6. Don’t give up
  7. Have fun

(Oh, did I repeat myself? Well that’s because it’s important.)

Recipe for a successful NaNo: Write with abandon and have fun with it.

Did I miss anything? Are you doing NaNo? How do you prepare?

Was this a helpful checklist? (Or do you know it all already, you veterans, you? ;))nanoprepchecklistgraphic

Into the Silver Forest (Beautiful Books)

Well, NaNo’s just around the corner (lessthan3weeksohmygoodness *hyperventilates*), and the Beautiful People hosts, Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further In are being considerate enough to hold instead a BEAUTIFUL BOOKS post this month… WHICH IS ABSOLUTELY PERFECT TIMING. So methinks it’s about time for me to introduce my NaNo novel!

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(Go join the link-up, do!)

1. How did you come up with the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?

I’d had an idea for a long time that I wanted to maybe write a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses someday, since it’s my favorite fairy tale and I’m sort of on a quest to read all the retellings of it I can find. But I didn’t get the idea for this particular version of a retelling until February 17, 2014 (yes, it’s less than two years old! *pets baby plot bunny*) and the idea was actually from a DREAM. That’s how it started, anyway. It’s kind of expanded a bunch since then…

2. Why are you excited to write this novel?

I am not excited to write it. Nope. Not at all. You know why? Because I am SUPER excited!!! Because it’s a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, and in case you haven’t noticed, it being my favorite fairy tale and me loving retellings as I do, and all… I’m kind of SUPER SUPER excited. It’s going to be a challenge, because I DO love it so much, so I want to do it justice but also do my own spin on it; and there’s also the fact that there are twelve princesses who must be differentiated, not to mention about the same number of fellows, a few romances to follow and keep track of, and several different story threads that I hope will weave together enough to make something plot-like. BUT IT’S BASICALLY GOING TO BE AWESOME.

3. What is your novel about, and what is the title?

My novel is a retelling, as I continue to stress, but I will tell you more about it now since you’re so kind as to ask. 😉

Without further ado, meet my 2015 NaNo novel . . .

SilverForestCoverFinal

(Disclaimer: yes, I made this cover; no, I don’t own either of the pictures I used, and found them on Pinterest.com. No copyright infringement is intended and this “cover” is just for fun.)

The Silver Forest

Escaping an unwelcome suitor, Princess Silver and her eleven younger sisters find a way into Faerie, despite the dying curse of a bitter king which casts a shadow between the realms of human and Fae. Then Princess Sapphire finds her heart captivated by a disinherited prince on the run, who was grudgingly saved by a reckless soldier–the same one Princess Emerald finds in a ditch when she’s out riding and brings home.

That’s only the beginning. Kingdoms are falling one by one, bringing an onslaught of royal refugees seeking shelter in the last undefeated castle, and some wish to court the princesses whose home they find themselves in–from the twin kings of the far North to the enigmatic young gardener who most interests the curious youngest princess. To get away from the stifling tension of a castle filled with the looming threat of war, not to mention suiters royal and otherwise, the princesses nightly visit the beautiful realm of Faerie.

Princess Silver is increasingly drawn by the mystery wreathing the brooding Fae Prince who wanders the silver forest on the boarder of Faerie, haunted by a curse slowly tightening its noose around him. If the twelve princesses can’t unravel the interconnected threads surrounding them and find the right answers, the realms of human and Fae alike may face the same horrible fate.

4. Sum up your characters in one word each. (Feel free to add pictures!)

The twelve princesses first. I don’t have “faces” for them, but since each of their names is a different color of gem etc., and they tend to wear the color in their name — helpful for parents and peasants and readers alike to tell princesses apart — I gathered pictures of the sorts of colored dresses they wear. (Not to mention that this was a FABULOUS excuse to scroll around Pinterest for hours looking at gorgeous medieval gowns. ;))

princessdresses

PRINCESSES:

Silver = leader. Amethyst = gentle. Turquoise = devious. Ebony = reclusive.

Emerald = spirited. Sapphire = anchor.  Ruby & Auburn (the twins) = mischievous.

Ivory = timid. Goldie = bookish. Rosie = funloving. Peach = inquisitive.

FELLAS:

Prince Taghdach (half-fae) = tormented.

Niog (gardener lad) = enigmatic.

Kern (soldier) = reckless.

Prince Finnigan = selfless.

Prince Cothrom = snobbish.

Rory (thief/con) = devious (whoa; he and Turquoise should get together. 😛 ).

5. Which character(s) do you think will be your favourite to write? Tell us about them!

Honestly, I’m excited about ALL of them, including a few I didn’t mention. This is going to be one of the funnest (not to mention largest) casts of characters I’ve ever dealt with! That being said, I’m really looking forward to writing the devious ones. And I think Kern, Niog, and Finn are going to be super awesome to write.

But… yes, Taghdach. My half-fae Prince Tagg. ❤ (I’m sliiightly addicted to T names as you may have noticed. >.>) He’s probably going to be my favorite to write. He’s nephew to the Fae-king, and his own parents are… well… spoilers. 😉 But he lives in the silver forest at the edge of Faerie and he has a haunted past and uncertain future. Plus he’s kind of dying. So yeah. There’s that. 😛 Huzzah for mysterious fairytale curses which make stories so interesting!

6. What is your protagonist’s goal, and what stands in the way?

…Which one? O_O Seriously, I have so many characters who might be considered the “protagonist”. But… okay, we’ll go with Silver for now. Because if it’s mostly about anyone, it’s probably mostly about her and Taghdach.

Silver wants to look after her sisters, which currently includes keeping annoying suitors at bay… which is a little difficult since the suitors are LIVING there. So that’s where the visits to Faerie come in. Her developing goal in the book becomes to try to unravel Taghdach’s problems and how they’re related to an old curse and the kingdoms falling (which would help with getting rid of the suitors…).

What stands in the way includes the fact that curses don’t like to be broken (especially ones made by very angry very evil kings on their deathbed), the fact that Taghdach isn’t one to open up and might not welcome the help of a parcel of princesses, and of course all those suitors, some of whom are up to no good, and the fact that the kingdom may shortly be attacked. Yay.

7. Where is your novel set? (Show us pictures if you have them!)

In a faaaantasy world! (Surprise, surprise.) It’s set mostly in a castle in the human world, and also a lot in the silver forest etc. of the Fae world.

SFcastlesilverforest(pinterest)castleblossoms

8. What is the most important relationship your character has?

The princesses’ relationships with each other. Which are fascinating, by the way. But they’re a fairly close-knit sister package. *nod nod* I’m also throwing in several romances, so those are important relationships. 😉 Also the king and queen, parents of the princesses, are important to them.

9. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?

Again, I wail: Which ONE? I don’t know yet. I’m going to write the thing and I just figure that while I’m writing it they’ll all change over the course of the book… and will never be the same again. Mwahaha! Hopefully they’ll all (most?) be better people. *shrug*

10. What themes are in your book? How do you want your readers to feel when the story is over?

Good versus evil. Love (both family and romantic). Heroism. The ability to change for the better and go beyond oneself to do good. …Fairy tale retelling. (That can be a theme! Honest!)

I want people to come away feeling like they read a good story, a good retelling, and fell in love with the characters and entering a new world. Basically I want it to be a good book and for readers to feel the same way. 😉

11. BONUS! Tell us your 3 best pieces of advice for others trying to write a book in a month.

  1. Don’t go in blind. Know what you’re going to write and figure it out. (And if you’re a pantser, not a plotter, at least KNOW that you are.)
  2. Wordwars. I can’t stress these enough. Even if it’s just wordwarring yourself with a timer, they are so helpful for getting words down.
  3. Have fun and don’t give up.

(I’m actually going to do a post later this week that will be a checklist for prepping for NaNo, so stay tuned for that!)

[PINTEREST BOARD for THE SILVER FOREST]

And there you have a look into what I’m going to (hopefully) be spending next month working on!