Tuesday, November 30, 2010

In Which I Got Picked!

Holy hell guys!

I was the very last cover picked for 30 covers in 30 days!! I can't even believe it! They actually did a bonus cover today and it was me! How crazy is that?!

Here's the link for the post and here's the awesome cover designed for me by Henry Sene Yee:

And here's the synopsis I had whipped up for it:

Glimpse of Another Shore, by Sarah Ahiers:

In a country where one member of each household must serve the navy in the war effort, sixteen year old Pier Arvin is doomed to spend his life as an “exotic” kelp farmer. Lame.

When Pier finds an orphaned sea serpent he decides to keep it as a pet. Everyone knows a serpent will eat a man faster than he can blink so surely the serpent, Rule, will add some excitement to his life.

Joint swims around the reef and close calls with sharks show Pier you don’t have to wear a naval uniform to find action or catch the eyes of pretty girls. But when Rule accidentally injures Pier’s younger sister and then attracts the attention of the enemy navy, Pier realizes the idea of war is very different than the real thing.

Now he has to make a choice, surrender Rule and his town to the enemy, or risk his life in an attempt to free them all.

Yay! Internet hugs for all!

In Which Blogger Is Jerking Me Around

How my post I was working on got published, THEN deleted, I don't know. Sorry for all you people following in google reader. The real post will be up tomorrow as usual.

Monday, November 29, 2010

In Which The Holiday Is Over

Well, here we are, back to Monday.


I actually forgot what I was originally going to post about today. So here's a fun conversation I had this weekend with Twin and Brother while driving over to our parents' to nom on some delicious turkey.

Bro: Look, a hawk in that tree. Where do hawks go in the winter?
Me: Some of them migrate. Some just stay here.
Bro: What do they eat?
Twin: Not all rodents hibernate. Squirrels.
Me: Voles
Twin: Mice
Bro: Well certainly the animal living in my ceiling doesn't hibernate.
Twin: We should get a ferret. That would take care of the problem
Me: Yeah but then we'd have a ferret in the wall, and that would be worse
Bro: Then we could stick a fox in the walls to get the ferret
Me: And we know where to get one
Bro: Then we'd have to put a cougar in the walls to get the fox
Me: No, we're not putting a cougar in the wall. I believe the correct step after fox is foxhound
Twin: Well, a foxhound doesn't actually kill the fox
Bro: Yeah we'd have to get some fox hunters and put them in the walls.
Me: Then we'd hear the fox hunters at all hours and their bugles (side note here, when Brother makes a bugle sound, it drives Tula crazy)
Bro: But then the hunting commissioner would get in the walls to tell the fox hunters that it's not the right season. All we'd hear is "What's this now? The season is over, jolly good and all that"
Me: Then the fox hunters would come out of the wall and tell us they'll be back next season. And we'd still have a fox in our wall

And that's how we spent our time on our drive over.

How was your Thanksgiving?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

In Which There Are Literary Consultants?

Have you ever heard about this? Literary Consultants?

Here's an example:

The Writing Coach.

Someone mentioned she had used a Literary Consultant (this specific one) before she queried her novel, and now she has an agent and a 3 book deal.

I've never heard of someone (or a team) of people you can hire to help you out, a creative or literary life coach if you will.

I think most people can be successful on their own without a consultant, but still, color me intrigued. If it wasn't in the UK, I'd dig a little deeper on this, for curiosity's sake. But clearly it is not cheap.

What about you, would you ever hire a Literary Consultant?

P.S. - being as there is a delicious holiday in the states tomorrow, there will be no Friday Fun Words. See you Monday!

Monday, November 22, 2010

In Which We Discuss 30 Covers In 30 Days

I spoke briefly about this on Wednesday and decided to dedicate a whole post to it since it seemed a lot of people didn't know about it.

30 Covers in 30 Days is a fun little offshoot of NaNoWriMo. The Office of Letters and Light (the peeps who run the NaNo show) get graphic designers to make book covers of some of the NaNo projects. One cover each day, posted on their blog.

Last year was the first year and it was just one graphic designer. He was going to see if he could design a book cover every day for 30 days. He failed miserably. I think he got like 5 done.

This year the OLL decided to ask more graphic designers, 30 to be exact, so they're all responsible for making a single cover in a 24 hour time period. So far for this year, only one cover hasn't been completed.

Anyone's NaNo project could be selected, as long as you have a title and synopsis entered under you Novel Info page. There is also a "Nomination" form you can fill out for yourself or for anyone else you feel has a great synopsis.

Here are some of my favorite synopses and covers done so far for NaNo 2010 (in no particular order):

Day 7 Cover

The Impersonal Business of Death, by Chasia Eidson:

Harold Griswold is the 1100th Grim Reaper in an age where the Reapers use cell phones to do most of their business. The cold technology allows for a more efficient system of carrying souls into the afterlife with no hope for the dying to plead their cases. Feeling a sudden desire to connect on a more personal level with the people he has been assigned to after befriending a small girl with numbered days, Harold decides to start a web blog for his future customers to read. His blog details his interactions with mortals and apologizes for the increasingly impersonal business of dying.

I really like how well this cover matches the synopsis. The cover itself is very impersonal and I love the cell phone bars

Day 8 Cover

Trick’s Millenium, by S.M. Davis:

Don’t pet Trick thinking he’s just your average big black dog…you’d be dead wrong. Trick was once a man…a man named Patrick with a wife and family and the ability to see the dead. When Death came for his wife, Patrick made a deal that would change his life (and death) forever: his life in exchange for hers. Death accepted. Sentenced to a thousand years as Death’s spectral hound, Patrick struggles at first to distance himself from his still-living family and embrace his bizarre new existence in the Between-Lives world. Luckily, his new ghostly friends soon show him the ropes. From avoiding exorcists and Bloody Mary, to scaring the daylights out of the living, Patrick has a lot to learn about the afterlife. Four paws take some getting used to…

This was the first one I saw that I thought would stay my favorite. That changed when some later ones popped up, but still. I absolutely adored the fingerprint paw prints and would probably read this book.

Day 9 Cover

When Camping With Mr. Cod, by Eva Verner:

Danny’s life on the inaptly named Cuddlebug Lane (and before you ask, yes, that really is the name of the street) is only just beginning when he meets his overly eccentric neighbor, Albert Cod, whom he thinks has an uncanny resemblance to the Doc from Back to the Future. Mr. Cod is a writer who spends more of his time trying to get into the shoes of his characters so he can accurately write them than actually writing.

He already knows that the guy is a little more than odd, but when Mr. Cod pesters him endlessly for a few hours to come along with him on a week long camping trip to Virginia, Danny reluctantly agrees. But what Danny soon finds out is that “a little more than odd” is a greater understatement than saying pumpkins are kind of orange.

Not very long into the trip, Danny sees just how extreme Mr. Cod goes to get personal with his fictional characters, including being sprayed in the face with mace (a lot) and convincing Danny’s girlfriend back at home, Laura, to believe that he’s now a polygamist with seven wives.

It’s going to be one long, stressful, and strange week, and by the end of it Danny will most certainly be lamenting the sad lack of bears at the campground.

I think the synopsis sounds kind of interesting, but I mostly posted this one because I think the cover is awesome. I would totes pick this up and give it a look if I saw it on a shelf. I love how it's all glowy

Day 11 Cover

Heroes and Villains and Scott, by Acacia Ackles:

Ezra Gordon. At nineteen, he already leads one of the most successful superhero leagues in New York City. He’s taken down three supervillains, eight major villains, and a whole smattering of vagabonds and ragamuffins. He has the power to generate lightning from the palms of his hands. He owns several bobbleheads of himself. But he is not the main character of this novel.

Donovan Kyle. His very name smacks of supervillainry. He remains one of the only untouched, all-his-limbs-intact supervillains east of the Mississippi. He can freeze anything with a single touch. His wins-losses record is higher than some superheroes. He has absorbed information from comic books, television shows, movies, and past mistakes, and he knows how not to fail. But he is not the main character of this novel.

Scott Benson. His hometown was 95% superpowered - and he was one of the lucky 5%. Ezra Gordon has been his best friend since they were in gradeschool. He has never defeated anyone, even at a game of chess. He cannot shoot lightning from his hands. He cannot turn household objects to ice. He cannot, in fact, do anything but get in the way. And he will do so for the entirety of this novel.

This one is my second favorite (so far, since we still have 10 or so covers to go). I want to read this book and I love the whimsy of the cover.

Day 14 Cover

The Dark Chocolatorium of the Thirteen Santas, by Annie McAndrew:

As a ward of the monks of Antrum, Coll knew he was expected to learn charity, humility, and the making of the fine chocolates that are the monks’ livelihood. He never expected to discover a highly illegal automaton on the doorstep.

The monks, usually quick to investigate things Unknown, show no curiosity at all about the mechanical monstrosity. But Coll is certain they know more than they’re saying. His search for answers the monks won’t give leads him to the Duchy’s most notorious sky pirates, the Shrike and the Dove, who aren’t in the business of “something for nothing”. But their price seems so reasonable – carry just one little message – that he goes along. Too late, he learns that the message concerned the ransom of the Duke’s son; that the Duke responds to such things in force; and that there were in fact more smuggled automatons - a whole army’s worth, now marching against the Duke’s Own.

With pirates fighting soldiers fighting automatons fighting monks through the streets, Coll’s easiest course would be to creep away before the Duke’s Own arrest him or the automatons march right over him. But he still doesn’t know who’s loyal and who’s lying. And he’s not about to leave while a riddle like that remains Unknown.

As it stands right now, this one is my favorite. Not only do I want to read this book based on the synopsis, the cover is AMAZING! Creepy guy, glowing eyes, bar of chocolate? So full of win.

Day 16 Cover

Nano Kid, by Sage Collins:

When the new kid, Dean, saves Caleb from some bullies, Caleb starts to dream that Dean’s come to save him from everything, like his abusive dad. He can’t help it. Dean’s so strong and cool. Why can’t Caleb be like that?

He soon finds out that the reason he can’t be like that is that Dean’s a cyborg. Well, according to him, “cybernatically enhanced” but same thing. Dean’s on a mission—so cool—to find a kid at Caleb’s school who was injected with nanobots when he was a baby. This kid should be super-strong, so that leaves Caleb out, but he still wants to help. He wants to be around Dean.

The more time he spends with Dean, the more he realizes he’s… crushing on Dean. Darn it, like he didn’t have enough problems with bullies calling him “gay” without it being true?

But that’s not the real problem. The real problem is that Dean might not have the same feelings. And that Caleb’s crush might not stand the test when he finds out Dean’s supposed to kill the Nano Kid.

I just like the cover on this one. It really screams YA to me.

Day 19 Cover

The Whale Is A Harsh Obsession, by Viviane Rozsa:

Call her Jezzie.

For months Captain Jezebel “Jezzie” Ezalong searches the universe with her intergalactic crew for the elusive steampunk white whale “Leviathan.” When she finally wounds the creature with her own hands, the space pirate ship Ishmael appears, headed by her rival Elijah. He scuttles her spaceship the Ahab into near destruction, leaving Jezzie with no choice but to let the whale go and retreat.

On nearby planet Mazorgog, as her ship undergoes repairs for the second pursuit, Jezzie saves the life of a socially-awkward, intelligent albino named Melvin. He’s lanky, tall, bifocaled and a nerd, but he sports a deep scar running down his pale face she can’t ignore. Jezzie invites Melvin onto her ship, and a friendship grows between the two as they pursue the white whale… a friendship that blossoms into love.

But there is a secret Melvin holds from Jezzie and the crew, one that could tear the two of them apart should he reveal it. Melvin has no choice when the pirates ransack the Ahab and capture his Jezzie. He will risk everything to save her, even his own life by Jezzie’s own hands.

Herman Melville is rolling over in his grave, and Douglas Adams is cracking up a storm. The story of a whale, a woman and outer space.

Heinlein was right. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. But whales are worse.

I think the synopsis on this one sounds interesting, and I love the cover with the light streaks of space and the thought bubble title.

So those are some of my favs so far, but you should check them all out on the blog, because they're all good in their own way. And make sure you have a title and synopsis entered on your novel page and you may see a cover designed for you.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Fun Words

Hi pals! Yvie's back to provide you with another dose of Friday Fun Words!

Well it snowed here last weekend, and though we all hoped maybe it would melt, it didn't. We're officially into winter and soon not even doggy sweaters and boots will be enough for us to keep up on our morning walks.

But that's OK - snow also means Christmas, which also means presents! So I'll take a little snow.

Onto the words!

*Bions - Ions who find both ion genders sexy

dead sexy

*Frogirsu - tiramisu for frogs. Yes, it has bugs in it.

*Snugglyd - When one is attacked by a Snuggie

*Disherna - When one insults a hernia. Which isn't very nice, they're just doing their jobs by messing up your insides.

I couldn't find a hernia picture that wasn't gross or safe for work, so instead, enjoy this LOLCat

*Haudi - A Saudi Arabian cowboy.

And that's it for this week ape-friends! Stay warm!

*Words and/or definitions provided by Anne Gallagher

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

In Which We Have An Update

So we're a little past mid month which means NaNo is halfway over!

How's it going for everyone else? Are you behind? Ahead? Tell me all about it. I want deets on how NaNo is treating you this year.

I'm ahead by a few days. I wish I was ahead even more than that so I could really slack for Thanksgiving, but I'm not quite there yet. Still maybe I could do something like hard work, and get even farther ahead.

But hard work is hard, and I'd rather be lazy.

Have you been keeping up with the 30 covers in 30 days project on the NaNo blog? If not, you should check it out because there have been some AWESOME COVERS! For reals.

Just a short post today, so here's an LOLCat to zazz things up a bit.

Monday, November 15, 2010

In Which It Snowed

How was everyone's weekend? Did you do anything fun?

We had a mini snowstorm here. It didn't stop Hannah, Teebore and I (along with Twin and Brother) from hitting a NaNo write in on Saturday at the libary, but it did prevent us from having lights in our conference room due to power issues.

Also I've come to the conclusion that I need new winter boots. I stepped in many a puddle and my shoes were soaked. Also Brother and I helped a group push their car out of the libary parking lot, which made my pants super wet.

Still, it looks pretty. I'm just crossing my fingers it will melt for a few days, so we can clean out our gutters, get up our leaves and winterize the asparagus and garlic.

Twin, myself and our Mom hit up Target for space heaters, but ended up buying some Christmas decorations, so that, combined with the snow, gets me all excited.

What about you? Are you excited for the holidays, or is it still too early?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday Fun Words

Hiya all! Yvie is back to provide you with another selection of new words to help you improve your vocabulary.

Good news about Tidus, our kitty we found on the walk. He was adopted by a family with like 6 children, so he's off to enjoy his new forever home.

Wish him luck!

Onto the words!

Cleal - A clean seal

Diskend - the final floppy disk ever made

Lingerms - the germs left over after you do a particularly shitty job of disinfecting something

*Twilint - what one can find in Jacob and Edward's belly buttons. I bet you could sell twilint on eBay and make a cool mil.

*Lyablobs - Blobs that tell falsities. Something like "oh don't worry, I'm not going to devour you" and then they're all "hahaha! Just kidding, I'm TOTALLY going to devour you, even though I have no stomach or other internal organs to speak of. And also, what's my motivation? I'm a blob!"

And that's it for this week ape-friends! I'll be back here next week, same bat-ear time, same bat-ear channel.

* words and/or definitions provided by Anne Gallagher

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

In Which We Discuss Backup Methods

Once NaNo rolls around, I always see a lot of talk about backing up your work. In fact, I think NaNo has a national "back up your novel" day to remind everyone to do so. Not that it helps anyone who loses their novels before then (and I already know of one girl in my region who lost everything and had to start over)

Almost everyone I talk to says the same thing:

I email it to myself
AND I save it on a jump/flash drive so I am safe.

But are you?

I remember once, back when I still regularly read Murderati, one of the writers said he had added a good 10K onto his novel when he experienced some sort of corruption. The corruption erased the 10K not only from his computer and the jump drive but ALSO (and this is the kicker) in his Gmail.

So even though he was super anal about backing things up, his methods still didn't work.

Which is when he discovered the wonderfulness of Dropbox.

Which is, of course, when I discovered it as well.

Dropbox is a free program/website that allows you to save your documents or pictures or whatevs. You can download it on your personal PCs (it uploads a cute little box on your desktop) AND, it's also available online, so you can access your work on a public PC if you need to, no carrying around a flash drive.

One of the best things about dropbox, though, is that it SAVES PREVIOUS VERSIONS.

So if you make a huge change in your novel, save it, and then immediately have regret, well no worries. Dropbox has your older versions saved as well.

I've been using Dropbox for almost a year and I LOVES IT.

It offers so much space (though I'm sure if you upload a lot of photos your space could easily fill up) AND they offer even MORE space for every computer you download the box on. For example, I downloaded it on both my old and new laptop, and Twin's PC and I got an extra 250 MB for each PC. You can also earn more space by recommending it to others if you roll that way.

I have a few photos uploaded, but even with all of my writing stuff saved, along with our board game info and some stuff of Twin's in there, I'm still only using like 5% of the space.

So let's say I upload my novel on Twin's PC (why I'm using her PC, I don't know, but let's just suspend disbelief for the purpose of the hypothetical).
I save my novel in her dropbox and it is automatically updated in all my other dropboxes on my laptops.

OR, I take a fun photo and upload it to my dropbox. Instead of then emailing the photo to someone, I can just share the dropbox folder with them. They can open the folder and see whatever I have stashed in it.


I cannot overstate the awesomeness. Because the best thing about it is, I don't ever have to worry about emailing myself and saving my novel to a flash drive ever again. Which frees up more time, which I can then use to get more writing done.

So, are you still emailing and flash driving your work? Do you have a fun program like Dropbox?

Monday, November 8, 2010

In Which I Share My NaNo Spreadsheet

A few people (or maybe it was just Hannah. I don't remember for sure) expressed interest in seeing the NaNo spreadsheet I created last year.

Now, granted, with some of the new stats on the My NaNo pages (have you SEEN those? Cuz they're awesome!) some of the spreadsheet is superfluous, but nevertheless I'm still using it.

I'll show you the completed one from 2009, since the 2010 once is identical, just not filled out as much since we're only a week into it.

Here's a screenshot:

That's kind of a far away shot, so here's some closer ones:

The yellow days are holidays/birthdays.

The above is where I actually make changes. The document automatically fills in the Red zeroes in the "Words Written" Column. All I have to do is type in the words I wrote that day and everything else is calculated. It also automatically turns green. In the "Over/Under" column you can see how many words I was ahead or behind for that day. So on day 10 you can see I wrote an extra 10 words (it says -10 due to the math involved, but you can see it's green which is good) whereas on Day 11 I didn't write any words, so I was 1667 words behind (red = bad)

The next column is a simple Count Up - it tells me how many words I've written in total up to that point. Then there's the "Total Remaining" column which tells me how many total words I have to write before I reach 50,000

This part of the spreadsheet is just a chart. Mostly I included this because it's a pain to try and see your chart on the website when there's a lot of traffic. Also, I like visible representations. The red bars are what I wrote for that day, the black bars are where I was supposed to be (don't ask me why there's not a black bar for day 30.)

At the top of the Spreadsheet I just keep a running total of how much I've written and how much I have to go, so I don't have to do a lot of scrolling around.

So that's it. It's colorful, which I like, and provides me with a lot of data.

If anyone would like a copy, I'd be happy to email you the blank template. Just send me an email (my email on my profile is up to date)

Anyone else keep a spreadsheet or a NaNo measurement system outside of the website?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday Fun Words

Yvie's back! To provide you with your usual fun words to enhance your human vocab.

Unfortunately, once again words were scarce this week. So I'll have to throw some other fun things your way.

But first, guess what we found on out walk on Wednesday?


We heard him crying outside, so we went to go take a look, since maybe he was just asking for his owners to let him in. But once he saw, he came running across the street to us!

George and Tula wanted to eat him, but I was a lady and said "Do not worry, small furry mammal. I shall not eat you."

Mom and Anne named him Tidus, after one of Mom's character's in her NaNo project.
I wish we could have kept him, but there are people with cat allergies in the fam, so it was a no go.

Anne brought him into her work where he'll be on stray hold for five days and then he'll be adopted. Just like me!

I hope he gets a great home.

Onto some fun things!

See you next week Ape-Friends!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

In Which I Share My (Mosty) Completed Playlist

I spent most of the day on Sunday making my playlist for my NaNo novel. I had a lot of songs I needed to rip to iTunes and also quite a few ones to listen to and decide if I wanted to purchase.

A HUGE THANKS to everyone who gave me suggestions. I listened to everything I could find and added those I liked to my playlist.

BEHOLD! NaNo 2010 playlist!

(keep in mind, this is not the complete playlist because there were a few songs I could get on iTunes or that I ripped which were not available on Playlist.com. Nevertheless, it's pretty close)

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Did anyone esle make a playlist? If so, I'd love to hear it.

Well, we're day three into NaNo. I'm ahead, which is good, but looking at all you crazy peeps with the huge 8 and 10 K word counts is freaking me out a bit.

How are things going for you?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Show Your Space Blogfest

The wonderful, funny, awesome (sexy?) Summer is hosting her first blogfest, a Show Your Writing Space blogfest!

I hopped on that right away, because I love to see where people write (it's along the same lines of why we like to visit open houses and the parade of homes. We love to see the inside of other's homes.)

(On a side note, we checked out an open house on Saturday. Besides being amazingly awesome and making our house look like shit for the same cost, the next door neighbors had a pet fox. For reals. We saw it out in a kennel. The realtor said it lives in the house with them and their small children as well. No fooling, a real fox. Weird)

Back on topic.

I have two writing spaces. One where I do any sort of hand writing (like outlines and editing) and where I make changes on existing pieces. Then I have a space where I actually hunker down and do my writing (like for NaNo).

Here's the actual "sit on my ass and write space":

You can see Miss Bee always has to be close. Often times George will also sit on the other side, but in this picture he's on the right, in that nest of blankets and pillows he created.

It's no big deal. Just a couch, my laptop, my dogs and a TV to the left (I can write and watch TV at the same time. I just get more writing done if the TV is off)

Here's my other writing space, the "editing and outlining space"

This is actually my workspace for my job for "huge health insurance corporation". They let me work from home, and actually provided the furniture.

You can see Yvie's bed on the left where she spends most her time during the day. Tula's bed is on the right.

Here's a close up of the desk.

The notebook on the right is for work. As is the phone and headset. The next one is all that's left for me to line edit on foxfire. The pile to the left of that is the chunk of Foxfire that has been edited but hasn't been updated on the digital copy. Then the huge pile of notebooks contains my blog notebook, My Foxfire notebooks, my short story notebook and a new notebook for NaNo 2010. Then my CDs behind that.

So that's pretty much it, in a nutshell (every time I say "nutshell" I think of the Alice in Chains song by that title. Oh man, SUCH a great song. Check it out when you have some time)

Now, I'm off to check out everyone else's spaces!


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