Thursday, October 27, 2016

NaNoWriMo Top Ten Tip Round-Up


National Novel Writing Month Looms

For you, I should say. Or, more specifically, fellow scribe Roger Eschbacher, who's giving it another go. NaNoWritMo's goal is simple: write a 50k word novel in the month of November. That's about 1,667 words or 7 pages a day, a daunting amount. You could win neat widgets for your website. More importantly, you'll join writers across the world as you stand on the threshold of Christmas with a completed first draft to clean up.

Sure You Want to Write a Novel in 30 Days?

Well, you know your heart. So here, in no particular order, is an information trove pointing you in the write direction. (Bohohoho, you see, of course, the cleverness of my little pun.)

1. From last year over at Writer's Digest, behold 30 big NaNoWriMo pointers.

2. Not to be outdone this year, reedsy offers 38 tips.

3. Penguin Random House presents insights from their authors.

4. From the NaNoWriMo blog itself, here are three procrastination busters.

5. Writers in the Storm offers ten insights that might speed you on your way.

6. Tea with Tumnus has a few first-timer thoughts on the process.

7. If you're in a hurry, The Lexicon Writing Blog has three quick tips.

8. The Book Editor Show unveils six more nifty tips.

9. Eight additional tips pour in from Mother Nature Network.

10. Creative Indi also shows a fondness for tips numbering eight.

Here are several NaNoWriMo cool links and tools from BoHo Berry.
So there you have it. Plenty of info to plow through. Go, do, write your fingers into nubbins, fit for nothing but a keyboard and amusing children. Now is your time!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Artist Fancies Giant Robots and Cavalry

Mechs and Poles Mix in 1920s Landscape

About two years ago, Vice interviewed Polish artist Jakub Rozalski about his evocative work. I only recently discovered Rozalski on Pinterest and found myself drawn to his surrealistic blend of high and low tech. Set in a time known as 1920+, Rozalski's world is based on the 1919-1921 conflict between emerging communist Russia and newly independent Poland. In Vice, Rozalski described his 1920+ series as:

". . .  based on the Polish-Soviet War, the Battle of Warsaw, and the harsh realities of the period. The Battle of Warsaw is considered by many historians to be one of the most important in the history of the world because it changed the fate of Europe and stopped the Russian Revolution [from moving west]." 

Fantasy Art with the Look of Classic Paintings

In CYSE Magazine, Rozalski described his work as the result of experimenting "with style and technique and, at the moment, I can say that this mix of impressionism and realism, in my own way, suits me the best. Through my work, I try to combine a classical painting style, modern design and interesting concepts."

A Slice of Post-War Dystopia in Scythe

The culmination of Rozalski's 1920+ world is the board game Scythe. A product of Stonemaier Games, Scythe is set in the rubble of smashed empires littering Eastern Europe at the end of World War I. The game allows each player to represent "a fallen leader attempting to restore their honor and lead their faction to power in Eastern Europe. Players conquer territory, enlist new recruits, reap resources, gain villagers, build structures, and activate monstrous mechs."

On his bucolic alternate universe dotted with looming, sinister mechs, Rozalski said, "I think there is also some longing for the world and life closer to nature, which has been aggressively taken by technology and civilization."

I enjoy Rozalski's combination of history and fantasy and look forward to his future endeavors. By the way, he also dabbles in werewolves.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Lovecraft Halloween Fusion

Hot Horror Novel Features Fight Against Great Old Ones

Bookangel has me down in the lower right corner. 
My hot horror novel, if you must know. Over at Bookangel, Hallow Mass is being promoted to readers in the British Isles. Show our European cousins that you share their commitment to quality horror tales and snag your own copy of Mercy O'Connor's battles against demons, pc colleagues, her family and herself.  Here's a bit more from the book's extended description:

Fine reading for your Halloween pleasure. 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Intermittent Fasting at 3 Months


Slow Steady Weight Loss News

I skipped my two month update. In September, weight remained the same, but I lost another inch or so around the waist. Lots of exercise during that period, mostly Chi running and walking plus yoga.

Due to poor sleeping habits and a bit of a lingering cold, my exercise has dropped off sharply from the end of September through mid-October. Still, I now weigh 241 with a waist of 43." That's 25 pounds and 5.5 inches off the waist since the beginning of the year. 

(My intermittent fasting August post.)

(My first month update.)

I've included another Hodgetwins video. (Salty language warning.) They point out the importance of not being too overly focused on the scale, keeping an eye on calories (which I don't), and adding weight via exercise.

Unfinished Short Stories Remain Unfinished

Re. a previous post on the subject, I decided to take the advice of Coffee Addicts Unanimous and focus on physical activity as a way to stimulate the imagination. Since then, I have emptied out and/or shredded several boxes of old bills and tax receipts. Talk about mind numbing. I haven't solved any story problems, but I'm becoming motivated once more to tackle a story since most things are better than shredding documents. (Perhaps I missed my calling in government?)

Away, away, to various activities.

You do likewise.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Adrift in a Sea of Unfinished Stories


Haven't finished a short story in over six weeks. Not even a first draft. Zip. I have no idea what I'm waiting for. Certainly not inspiration. Or the perfect metaphor. Or a really ironic Twilight Zone ending. I'm not even pushing the cursor around the screen, filling pages with swill that I'll edit later. Can't be fear. Whatever it is, I'm not producing.

Only a single short story remains under consideration with a magazine. Maybe I should switch to Flash Fiction until this malaise passes. "Death Honk" was fun, a thousand words, and still floating about online in Microliterature. I recall writing it very quickly. Could not other tales be written equally fast?

Back running and walking again, using my new chi running techniques. This morning, a friend called during my post-run stretch. I took the call and finished tasking my hamstrings, realizing that I'd become the person I swore I'd never be: one who combed physical activity and a phone call. At least this transformation took place in Griffith Park and not a gym, where those nearby would be hostages to my infernal chattiness.

Okay. Away. Keep it short.