Posts Tagged ‘announcements’

In an effort to write more, connect more, and have more fun, I am raising @15minfic from the dead. (Cue the chanting, incense, and gothic candle-holders. Mmm, incense.)

In essence, 15 Minute Ficlets is prompt-based spontaneous writing. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, I’ll post a prompt – a word, an image, a quote, some lyrics – and as soon as you see the prompt, you start writing. You only get fifteen minutes to put words down. The prompt will be posted on the forum and on Twitter.

From there, you can do whatever you want. I suggest posting your ficlet in a reply to the original prompt on the forum and/or share it wherever you live on the internet – Twitter (hashtag: #15minfic), Facebook, your blog, etc. I want to help both of us write more often and more freely, and this is my favorite method of doing it.

Wanna play? Check out today’s image prompt!

There are two great events in November.

One is the well-known, well-loved National Novel-Writing Month, NaNoWriMo. Write 50,000 words of original fiction before midnight on November 30th. It is a mad dash into the fray of muse-fueled worldbuilding, characterizing, plotting, and type-type-typing.

The second is something I found just yesterday – National Solo Album(-Writing) Month. Write, perform, and record a full solo album lasting at least thirty minutes in one month. (The performing and recording bits are optional, but the site can host your mp3s should you wish to share them.) This is much, much smaller than NaNoWriMo, and similar to February Album-Writing Month (which tasks you to write 14 songs of indeterminate length).

I have been doing NaNoWriMo since 2003 and have won every year save one; I am certainly continuing the tradition this November! Whether or not I’m brave enough to try NaSoAlMo will be determined come November 1st…

I strongly encourage any and all creative types to participate in one or both of these crazy, wonderful challenges. It’s a wild ride and can really transform your view on and experiences in writing!

This post is meant to help you figure out if you’re one of my Right People – if what I have to say might entertain or help you, if you and I might be awesome friends. My blog is eccentric at best, and I cover a lot of seemingly-random topics, so it’s easier to gear this post at who you are, rather than what I’m saying. (If you just want to read up on who I am, check out my bio or a more unorthodox introduction.)

If you like to laugh and to think, take a walk with me.
If you like story-telling and music-making, you’re in the right place.
If you like figuring out how things work – including and especially yourself – pull up a chair.
If you are passionate about something you do, let’s exult together.
If you’re just a little bit left of center, we have something in common.
If stereotypes, fads, and judgment don’t have a place in your life, I already like you.
If you boldly celebrate your uniqueness, you are one of my inspirations, even if I don’t know you yet.
If you’re trying to be the best you you can be instead some well-made cookie-cutter, I’m right here with you.
If you like learning about new ways to think, while staying true to your own wants and needs, let’s chat.
If the natural world and science fascinate you, come geek out with me.
If you’re creative – in any way, shape, or form – you’re in good company.

If any of this sounds like you, pour yourself a cup of tea and look out the window with me for a while. There are shapes in the sun-dappled leaves that you might not have seen before.

Day 20 is (supposed to be) this month.

But I’ve already talked about the highlights of September: making music, the bass guitar named Kitten, and acquiring all of SJ Tucker‘s music.

So, I’d like to take the opportunity to celebrate the amazing debut novel of A. M. Tuomala, a great friend of mine. Tuomala is a fantastic writer whose story-telling and picture-painting skills I have always admired, and this novel has been a thing of beauty since it began. From publisher Candlemark & Gleam:

For three hundred years, Erekos and Weigenland have fought to hold the borderland between the two nations. As the first storms of the flood season scour Erekos from the swamplands to the feet of the mountains, the Erekoi king discovers a dangerous new weapon that might be able to end the war: the witch Achane, who has raised her sister from the dead.

Achane and her sister, dragged apart on the very doorstep of a temple, must work to find each other again before the magic that binds them also kills them. In the process, Achane must overcome her grief—and the temptation of the king’s plans for Erekos.

Meanwhile, on the mountainous border between the two warring lands, the student Erlen finds his research interrupted by the encroaching conflict. Driven by a militant love for this neutral territory and its people, he determines to defend his newfound homeland at any cost.

In a land where gods walk the earth and myth manifests along the rivers and in the mountains, ordinary men and women must fight to make their own stories before the war unwrites them all.

You can find Erekos by A. M. Tuomala here, read a sample chapter, and purchase a digital copy of your very own. I’ve already got mine.

Guys, I have brilliant and exciting news!

I am turning this entire would-have-been polished-and-professional space into a giant playground. Complete with a ball pit and tire swing.

There’s a story here, of course. (There’s always a story. Stories are What I Do.)

See, once upon a time, I decided to forsake my nebulous ideal of perfection in lieu of being the best me I possibly could. I decided to embrace my quirks, weaknesses, and strengths – instead of denying or overriding them, to work with them and to make them work for me. I was really tired of trying to be something I wasn’t.

And this is the homecoming of that decision. I realized that my idea of a “good author” – or at least the public face of a good author – did not mesh with who and what I was, what I liked, what I wanted to and could do. So I’m tossing my not-me ideals out the window and refocusing on just being me.

I’m a writer. I don’t have to be not-me to be an author. That doesn’t make any sense.

I’m getting rid of all the stiff limitations of professionalism. I’m getting rid of a “posting schedule” and letting myself shrug off the pressure of deadlines. I’m getting rid of the feeling that this place is far too special to sully with my randomness and my less-than-bestness.

And now this is my playground. I get to do whatever I want here. I get to geek out and get excited about worldbuilding. I get to discover Important Life Things and share them. I get to inundate you all with my favorite fiction snips. I get to tell silly stories about my life, like the time my mom asked me if I was going to have a “wicker wedding” and my sister suggested I burn baskets at the four corners.

Ultimately, I get to be me. And that’s a lot of fun.

If any publishing agents or otherwise official people read this post, I may be doomed. But landing a publishing deal is not my goal. Telling stories is my goal. Living stories is my goal.

And I can do that just fine.

Image Credit: Crestock Creative Photos.

If you’re not familiar with the National Novel-Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, please allow me to introduce you to one of the most awesome things to happen to writers since ballpoint pens.

NaNoWriMo is a caffeine-addled, plot-fevered, ever-growing group of people who bridge geographical distances to write a novel in each other’s company. It espouses “exuberant imperfection,” quantity over quality, speed over strength, and the end of the “one day” novelist. (“One day, I’d like to write a book…” Trust me, your ‘one day’ will expand into thirty, and they are fast approaching, my friend.) NaNoWriMo begins at 12:00 AM on November 1st and ends at 11:59 PM November 30th. In those sweet, mind-boggling, too-short thirty days, you are going to write an original work of fiction of at least 50,000 words – 175 pages in your average Word document.

Writing so much in such a short time is bound to produce a crazed heap of scribbling, and NaNoWriMo’s founder, Chris Baty, acknowledges this – and encourages it. You can’t write the story lurking in your head if you’re too afraid of churning out terrible fiction to even pick up the pen or turn on the computer. NaNoWriMo gives you the excuse and the freedom to write whatever comes to mind in whatever fashion you choose, so long as you hit your word count goal by the end of the month. There is no competition – everyone who crosses the 50,000 word finish line is a winner.

The prize? Being able to tell everyone who asks (or doesn’t): Yes, I wrote a novel.

In a month.

Signups have started, and there’s more information waiting just a click away. Come join the madness!

(If you doubt it’s possible to succeed in this epic quest, let me reassure you – it is. I’ve participated six years in a row and won five of them… while working full-time jobs, and once while attending school and still holding down a job. You’d be surprised how easy it is to make time for something crazy in an already-busy schedule.)