Tag Archives: Camp NaNoWriMo

Batten down the hatches, NaNoWriMo 2011 quickly approaches.

28 Oct

Since January of 2007, I’ve toiled away at a project called Fireflies, making sure every interconnecting detail was just right. I did lots of free writing to develop the characters and the world around them. I tried to start writing it a few times. See also every NaNoWriMo/Camp WriMo between 2008 and today. There are a pile of chapter ones saved on my computer as proof. I did write other novels not related to the project and even managed to get one published, but it kills me that I can’t seem to write the story I’ve wanted to share with the world for over four years.

Not anymore, folks! I made it past the dreaded chapter one mark and am proud to report that I’m well into chapter three. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but for me this is a big deal. I found the POV (point of view), the tense, the voice, and more importantly I accumulated enough writing experience to do it some justice.

Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, the time has come for me to batten down the hatches and attack NaNoWriMo 2011. Consider this post my declaration to the world and promise to myself to grab my white whale by throat and tell it who is boss. (It’s me, in case you were wondering.)

I had to do something while more coffee brewed.


Aliens invade Prompty Tuesday

26 Jul

Prompty Tuesday is here once again! I’ve missed a few due to the insanity that is Camp WriMo/ JulNoWriMo, but here is a fun scenario to help you flex those writerly muscles.

A group of extraterrestrials run a tourist trap in New Mexico.

Happy Writing!

Notebooks Anonymous

11 Jul
fancy journal and pen

fancy journal and pen for my work-in-progress

My boyfriend thinks I have a notebook “problem”, but what I have are notebook SOLUTIONS. Okay, maybe I have a special drawer or three full of journals, spiral notebooks, and pocket sized Moleskines, but I need all of these.

Something about scribbling down story ideas and snippets of dialog into a Moleskine makes me feel warm and happy inside. I know my smart phone could take over in the place of a pocket-sized notebook and pen, but it just doesn’t feel the same. I like having a solid object to symbolize my effort and I love the ability to flip through my random thoughts and pieces of description. Plus, there is something to be said for having a special, designated place for things.

Robin notebook

Whatever shall I write in you? Maybe about mobster fairies? Yessssss!

Since I started Camp WriMo / JulNoWriMo, I’ve almost exclusively written my work-in-progress in a fancy journal. It was super handy last week when I had a writer’s retreat at the beach. And while there’s still some sand trapped between the pages, writing by hand helped me clear my mind and silence my inner-editor. I’ve talked about this before, but sometimes switching up your medium can help things flow onto the page easier.

Today, I picked up a couple journal-sized notebooks. I couldn’t stop myself. First of all, I was in love with Robin in middle school. Batman Forever might’ve been a bad movie, but I LOVED Chris O’Donnell. He and I were going to run away together and fight crime. Don’t judge me.


Second of all: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye” – Miss Piggy. She is my number one diva. That pig is fierce.

I must write a short story in this about a sassy young lady. Maybe a southern belle turned zombie? Hellz yes! I can see the character forming in my mind already. Thus is the beauty of notebooks and why it’s totally okay for me to have piles and piles of them waiting in the wings. Besides, you never know when you’ll need a good notebook. 😉

Part One of the 400 DAYS blog tour: Book Review

5 Jul

I had signed up to participate in L. Carroll’s blog tour for her upcoming novel, 400 Days (July 15th). Haley Whitehall gave away a signed copy of my novel, Shapeshifting For The Win, after interviewing Carroll on her website. Today, I will share my review of 400 Days with you and plan to interview Carroll later in the week.

Here are a couple of things you need to know up front. Number One, I didn’t think it through before signing up to be a part of the tour. Taking the time to read an epic fantasy novel while in the midst of Camp NaNoWriMo, wasn’t the smartest thing I’d ever done. But, I was and am sooooo excited to be a part of a blog tour. It’s my first one and I can’t wait to do another.  🙂

Number two, I didn’t realize at first that 400 Days was actually a sequel. My coffee levels must’ve been too low when I read the information packet. With my limited amount of time, I had to skip reading the first book, Destruction from Twins, and let me tell you – it put me at a large disadvantage while reading 400 Days.

Destruction from Twins

Book 1 in the Lor Mandela series, Destruction from Twins

Here’s are the synopses from the book covers:

Lor Mandela: Destruction From Twins
Through the selfish acts of a twin enchantress, the world of Lor Mandela is sentenced to its untimely death. Only one can save it–the appointed Child of Balance, Audril Borloc. All hope seems lost, however, when shortly after her fourth birthday, Audril disappears without a trace. Audril Borloc must be found!

When a group of Lor Mandelan spies travel to Earth in search of the little girl with black hair and bright blue eyes–traits that on Lor Mandela are exclusive to the ruling Borloc family–they instead find sixteen-year-old Maggie Baker. While the age difference between the girls is obvious, Maggie has the Borloc traits–evidence enough for the desperate spies.

Suddenly, Maggie’s mundane existence is transformed into a thrill ride of twists and turns as she begins bouncing back and forth between her hometown of Glenhill, Iowa and the strange and diverse lands of Lor Mandela. Amid battling a ferocious two-headed beast, being abducted by a lawless clan of Shadow Dwellers and falling head over heels for the son of an evil warlord, Maggie soon discovers that her blase reality could be the REAL fantasy, and that the fate of Lor Mandela may depend entirely on her.

Lor Mandela: 400 Days
Maggie Baker has always wished for a more eventful life. Unfortunately, she is about to get it. Following an earthquake that no one seems to have felt but her, her mundane existence is thrown into a roller-coaster ride of twists and turns as she suddenly finds herself bouncing back and forth between her hometown of Glenhill, Iowa and the distant world of Lor Mandela.

On this strange planet, Maggie must learn who to trust, and who to fear. More importantly, she must find a way to convince the Lor Mandelans that she is not the Child of Balance, and her family and friends in Iowa (and herself for that matter) that she is not going insane.

Amid fighting a two-headed creature, being captured by a lawless band of Shadow Dwellers, and falling head-over-heels for the enchanting son of an evil warlord, Maggie sees the lines of the Advantiere unfold around her. It isn’t long before she discovers that her blasé reality could be the real fantasy, and that the fate of an entire world may actually depend on her.

My review of 400 Days
Regardless of the disadvantage I put myself in by reading 400 Days without having read Destruction from Twins, the world of Lor Mandela is a complex one. The time Carroll put into developing this world is self-evident from page one. While this series could be classified as a ‘Portal Fantasy’, a character going through a gateway (such as the wardrobe in the Chronicles of Narnia) to a strange and magical world, Lor Mandela is an Epic Fantasy. Between the world building, creatures, and serious levels of magic going on, Carroll deserves a gold star.

I only have two reservations about 400 Days and I take the blame for the first one since I showed up to the party late. (Bad, Jacquline!) I had trouble connecting to the characters at first, but things clicked for me once I got into the flow of it. Secondly, while Carroll’s descriptions are vivid and her word choices are beautiful, sometimes I found myself scanning though to the meat of the story. Either way, I finished this book, wanting to immediately reread the entire series. Sadly, it’ll have to wait until July is over.

Quick, corral the plot bunnies!

23 Jun

I hope your pencils are sharpened and your coffee supply is prodigious, because Camp NaNoWriMo begins July 1st. The official Camp WriMo website still isn’t live, but JulNoWriMo‘s forums are available for all your novel-in-a-month woes, cheers, and general solidarity.

If seven days aren’t enough time for you to corral the plot bunnies, don’t despair! NaNoWriMo announced via Twitter that you can get shipped off to camp in August as well.

Camp NaNoWriMo

15 Jun

A creative writing teacher told me about NaNoWriMo back in 2003; I’ve attempted and failed miserably every year since then. Between diving 650 miles to see my family, the holidays themselves, and the trip back, I can’t commit to writing 1,667 words a day. But now the people over at NaNoWriMo have something for folks like me. CAMP NANOWRIMO!

The rules remain the same: write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days, which breaks down to 1,667 words per day. The month slated for the festivities is yet to be announced and the website for Camp WriMo isn’t fully functional, but don’t let this dishearten you. Watch out for updates and announcements on NaNoWriMo’s main page.

My prediction is Camp WriMo will take place in August. If you want something sooner, there is an unaffiliated JulNoWriMo to sate your novel-in-a-month needs. They are in their seventh year and would love to have you.

I’m torn between taking the July plunge or waiting for Camp WriMo later in the summer. Maybe I’ll do both. I have a newly started novel that could use the JulNoWriMo boost. Then I could work on something completely different for Camp WriMo.

What are your writing plans for the summer? Will it be one or the other? Both or neither?