Greetings My Peeps!

NaNoWriMo: is it worth it?

Greetings My Lovelies!

 

For years I’ve heard and seen people talk about NaNoWriMo, which stands for National November Writing Month.  The basic premise of this event is for you to pump out a 50k word story in 30 days.  I’ve never worried about it because that seemed like an awful amount of work that I wasn’t sure if I was ready to tackle.  But this year I decided to give it a go.  I mean what’s the worse that can happen?  My writing has been pretty much non-existent lately so I’m hoping that this will help kick my butt into gear and get me back into the habit or writing a little bit each day.  

So here’s what I’ve learned so far.

Setting up is pretty easy.  It’s free!  The daily goal is 1667 words a day.  But there a ton of resources to help you.  There are forums for any and all topics to help you if you get stuck.  They also have this nifty thing called Word Sprints which is basically a timer that you set and try to punch out as many words as you can within that time frame.  When racing against the clock, you don’t have time to worry over every single word.  Using sprints is a great way to really hit the word count.  You can also join up with your region and gain access to write ins around you.  Write ins are exactly what they sound like.  People participating in NaNoWriMo meet up and write together.  It’s a great way to meet your fellow writers.  The region I’m in has their own open chat room where you can join in on word sprints or ask questions and get help in real time.

It’s only four days into it but I’m going pretty strong.  I just attended my 1st write in it was nice to meet writers near me.  At the end of the month I’ll check back in with you guys and let you know what pros and cons I discovered during this process.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo?  Comment below and share your tags!  We can pair up and do this challenge together!

 

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book reviews

Book Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Greetings My Lovelies!

 

It’s Monday so that’s means that it’s time once again for me to do a book review.  Yea! So here’s how this works. I rate books on a scale of coffee cups….because I love coffee.  Also there will be no spoilers in these reviews.

 

0 cups= I hated it/couldn’t finish

1 cup= did like but finished bc I’m stubborn

2 cups= meh

3 cups= Not the best but interesting enough to finish

4 cups= I really like it.  

5 cups=OMG YOU HAVE TO READ THIS

Rating:

4 Cups

 

General Overview:

Claire Randal survived the World Wars to only be trust into the past during a holiday with her husband.  Using only her wits and medical knowledge, she does the best to survive in past all while trying to get back to her husband.  But it’s not easy being a 20th century woman in the past and she soon finds herself torn between two worlds, two lifetimes, and two men who love her.

 

My Thoughts:

I have mixed feelings about this book.  It’s great story telling and really grips you and doesn’t let go.  However, towards the end I really felt like the author was just throwing in shit for the sake of messing with characters and the reader.  I ‘ve never read the others but always hear great things from them.  I do like the show but again, haven’t made it past the first season.  I will say this…every woman needs a Jaime.  This book is a mix of fantasy and historical fiction.  I know that there’s elements of science fiction that come into play with later books but I haven’t gotten there yet.  So really,this book has a bit of everything for everyone.

 

Reread factor:

I keep coming back to this book time and time again.  I love it and often imagine what I would do if I was Claire’s position.  I know that my aunt rereads the series all the time.  This is definitely one to keep if you love it.

 

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writing help

World Building: Religion

Greetings My Lovelies!

 

It’s time for part three of my World building segment.  So far we’ve talked about you country and the people who live in it.  Now it is time to talk about religion.  I know some of you may already be rolling your eyes, but you cannot deny that religion is an important aspect for any people, culture, world.  So without further ado, here’s the five things you need to keep in mind when creating a religion for your world.

 

Do I even need a religion?

Let’s go a head and nip this in the bud.  If your people don’t need a religion then there’s no reason to continue on.  But if your character doesn’t but the the rest of your world does, then you need to keep going and hash it out.  Now I can hear some of you asking….”What do you mean if they need a religion?”  Your world may not need religion.  Are then science driven, then they may not need to have a religion at all.  Think of the Vulcans.  They don’t really have a religion (that I’m aware of) because they value logic above everything.  Religion is about faith not logic, so if your people don’t need faith then you need not worry about the next four steps.

How does my culture and landmass effect the religion.

I took a religion class in collage and one thing stuck with me.  Did the religion have an effect on a culture or did the culture have and effect on the religion.  Religion is an organic thing.  It tends to evolve over time not just with text but with practices.  But it still depends on the people who follow it.  A desert culture isn’t going to jungle goddess.  A people who are matriarchal will probably not have god as the ruler of their gods. Whether you believe the divine is 100% real or archetypes, it has to make sense to the people that are going to be involved in it.  You really don’t have to spend too much time on this just make sure that you do.

What type of gods are there?

This is where it gets fun.  Let your creative juices flow unrestricted.  Are you going to go for an all encompassing singular god/ess?  Or will you create a whole pantheon?  Are all your god/ess good or do you have some trouble makers (looking at you Loki and Coyote).  Are they tied into certain aspects like seasons, trades, skills?  Research the gods of religions past and present.  This should give you a good idea where to start from and let you spend more time on baby name websites looking up cool and unique names for your new gods.  Maybe they just pray to the vast Universe knowing that humans could never fully understand or perceive the divine?  Go crazy and have fun.

Do your people worship something other than gods?

In some cultures families are so important that you pray to your ancestors to intercede on their behalf and in turn the living family provides sustenance for the dead family in the afterlife.  Perhaps your people worship nature spirits.  Just know that there are always options and if you choose to go this route, you can still have fun with it.

How do your people access their gods?

Are there holy text that only a few can read?  Are there sacred sites or buildings?  What are the holy days?  Basically how do the masses practice their faith? This is important because if only a few really understand then that can lead to corruption and oppression.  If it’s open to all then that could mean that there’s less rigidity in the religion.  Perhaps there are holy people who travel and teach?  Maybe there’s holy sites that they only go to at certain times but the rest is handled in their homes?

 

There’s probably a hundred more topics just related to religion but I believe that these are enough to get you started.  But the main thing is to not be afraid when creating your religion.  All religions sound a little crazy when you really think about them.  But religion is something that can either mean a great deal to your people or not.  But in our world there have been plenty of wars waged in the name of religion so it can’t hurt to at least think about it in your new world.  Well that’s all that I have this week.  Be sure to comment below if you have any questions or have points you think others should know.

See ya next time!

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book reviews

Book Review: Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

Greetings My Lovelies!

Hey guys.  Sorry I missed last week.  I had a family emergency and didn’t think about it.  But I’m here no so let’s get this party started.  I rate books on a scale of coffee cups….because I love coffee.  Also there will be no spoilers in these reviews.

 

0 cups= I hated it/couldn’t finish

1 cup= did like but finished bc I’m stubborn

2 cups= meh

3 cups= Not the best but interesting enough to finish

4 cups= I really like it.  

5 cups=OMG YOU HAVE TO READ THIS

Rating:

0 Cups

 

General Overview:

The Owens women are cursed.  They have no problem finding love, the trick is keeping it.  Death, rumors, and loneliness are as common as the sun rising each morning.  But Sally isn’t having any of it.  She and her girls will have a normal life if it kills her.  She does everything she can to turn her back on her family’s heritage until the day her sister Jillian returns carrying a trunk load of trouble that can only be solved by being an Owens woman. 

 

My Thoughts:

I’d seen the movie so many times before I read this book.  I didn’t even realize it was a book until many years later and I think that’s why I didn’t like it.  I went in with tons of preconceptions.  The sisters and how they act with each other are completely different in the movie.  The same with the aunts.  The director took plenty of liberties when he made this book a movie.  But all that aside, the writing and pacing are pretty good.  I made it a third of the way through before I gave up.  I kept expecting certain things to happen because of the movie and they never did and I knew that I couldn’t keep on going.

 

Reread factor:

I don’t think I will give this book another chance.  Sometimes if I don’t like a book, I’ll set it aside for later.  Sometimes that helps but sometimes it doesn’t.  I’ve just seen the movie way too many times to separate the two.  I have the same problem with Stephen King and his movies/TV shows. 

 

If you’ve read this book, please comment below.  Maybe I’ll give it another chance.  I felt so bad not being able to finish it.

Have you had this happen to you?  Comment below!

 

See ya next time!

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writing help

Digital vs Paper Outlining

Greetings My Lovelies!

 

I hope that everyone is doing well on this fine Wednesday.  For my people on the east coast watching the hurricane roll in, I hope you got all your provisions and let’s keep our fingers cross that we don’t loose power too long…

On a different note…I was supposed to have a book signing event this past Saturday but something fell through and I had to cancel.  I’m not gonna lie, I cried.  But I pulled up my big girl panties and went on with life.  I’m hoping to get it rescheduled soon.  It was my first event and I was really looking forward to it.  Sigh…oh well let’s in on to the matter at hand.

Outlining is something that you either do or don’t.  Some writers get their ideas and just see where they go organically while others (like myself) outline our works.  I outline because if I don’t I either run off onto weird tangents that have nothing to do with the story or I don’t put enough details into it.  And if you’re like me then I highly recommend outlining.  Now I know that this seems like a simple concept…and it is but it’s not either.

When I realized that I needed to outline, I did everything on paper.  But I ended up with piles and piles of paper, post-it notes, and scribbles in my writing journal.  My thoughts were scattered every where, so I searched for paperless options and came across Notebook.ai and I thought that all my problems were solved…not quite.  I ended up spending a hellish amount of time on little things, but I still like the site.

So here are the pros and cons of using paper and digital forms of outlining.

Paper pros

You can work anywhere as long as you have something to write on and with.  Also your ideas are locked into where you initially thought they would fit.

Paper cons

Lots of little pieces of paper to organize.  You can also loose them.  Plus once you’ve finished your story, it’s a lot of recycling.

Digital pros

Everything is in one place and you can access it anywhere and everywhere.  It’s a lot easier to make changes and you don’t really have to worry about loosing your ideas.

Digital cons

If you’re like me, you’ll end up getting sucked into a new toy.  If it’s not something you’re used to working with you’ll end up forgetting about it and not utilizing it thus making all that work that you put in a waste.

 

In the end it all boils down to preference.  I like having paper.  It helps me to remember but I do the vast amount online.  I use notebook.ai for world building but avoid the character fields bc I will get stuck there.  For my paper options, I have this cork board that I pin picture inspirations, notes, and whatever else on.  The blended option works for me, and you just need to find what works for you.

So what do you guys use for your outlining?  Do you even need to outline?  Comment below I would love to hear from you!

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book reviews, Greetings My Peeps!

Book Review: Willa of the Wood by Robert Beatty

Greetings My Lovelies!

 

It’s Monday so that’s means that it’s time once again for me to do a book review.  Yea!  So here’s how this works.  I rate books on a scale of coffee cups….because I love coffee.  Also there will be no spoilers in these reviews.

0 cups= I hated it/couldn’t finish

1 cup= did like but finished bc I’m stubborn

2 cups= meh

3 cups= Not the best but interesting enough to finish

4 cups= I really like it.  

5 cups=OMG YOU HAVE TO READ THIS

 

Rating:

4 Cups

General Overview:

We find ourselves once again in the mountains of North Carolina where magic still lives.  It is here that we meet the young thief Willa as she struggles to earn praise from her clan’s leader and to ensure her peoples survival.  Willa belongs to a race of creatures call Faeran. The were once a great people who were friends to all manner of flora and fauna, but now they are dying out.  They blame this on the influx of human homesteaders and developers who are encroaching on their lands. But not all is what it seams. When Willa gets hurt on a thieving job, her world gets thrown into chaos and she questions everything.  As she does, she discovers some horrible truths as well as some pleasant ones. By the end everything is settle but not in the way that you hope

My Thoughts:

Once again Beatty brings us to the magic that can only be found in the mountains.  I love how he works alongside Native American and folklorist. Willa is a character that I feel sorry for.  Unlike Seraphina in the first set of books, Willa’s world is harsh before everything hits the fan. It’s amazing that she even retained the capacity to grow at all.  I really don’t want to go into more because I fear it might end up in spoiler land and I don’t want to to do that to anyone. But this book sucks you in slowly and surely, leaving you crying but happy at the end.  

Reread factor:

This is one that I will definitely read again when the mood strikes me.  When I get around to having children, this will for sure be a bedtime story.

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See ya next time!

Greetings My Peeps!

Book Review: A Secret History of Witches by Louisa Morgan

Greetings my lovelies!

I love witches.  I love reading about them and I am one.  I came across this book while looking in the non fiction section, although this book is a work of fiction. So let’s get started shall we?

I rate each book/series on a coffee cup rating.  0 cups means I couldn’t finish and 5 cups means that I absolutely loved it.

DISCLAIMER:  No one pays me for my reviews…sigh…I wish they would.  Not really.  These reviews are my personal opinion and just for fun.

 

Rating: 4 cups

 

General Overview:

This book follows the lives of five witches from a French Gypsy line.  It starts off the the death of the current matriarch and continues until the current keeper of magic decides that she’d rather not use it anymore.  The time in this book spans 1834 Nannette to 1937 Victoria.  We see the end of the witch trails all the way to the World Wars.  The story focuses mainly on mother and daughter relationship and why each woman used her powers.

 

My Thoughts: 

Like I said before, I love witches.  I love seeing how each author interprets the mythos around them.  This author chose a little more traditional approach with grimoires and rhyming spells.  What I thoroughly enjoyed was how the actions of the mother affected their daughter and her approach to the craft.  Nannette grew up believing and practicing making her an outcast.  Her daughter, however, grew up knowing that it had to be a secret and thought it was fake.  Her daughter saw how hard her mother worked and how rough she was and wanted more.  Her daughter saw that her mother’s pursuit of power led to an unhappy life caused by using magic.  Her daughter knew nothing of magic until the end because her mother realized that magic wasn’t the end all be all to life.

Re-readability:

I’m not sure if this is a book that I’ll reread.  I enjoyed this book and loved following the family as they grew and changed throughout a century.  However, it didn’t give me that feeling of “yes!” that usually means that I’ll read it again.  Only time will tell, but I have a feeling that this book might end up in the donation pile once my bookcases get too full.

Question Time:

Have you read this book?

What did you think?

Who was your favorite character? Mine is Nannette

Who’s your least?  Irene

 

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Until next time people!