Life as a NaNo Rebel

I chose to do NaNoWriMo a bit differently this time around. I felt a little funny being a NaNo Rebel, after a few years of pumping out a full first draft in a month.

You see, NaNoWriMo started something a couple years back for writers who couldn’t quite wait a whole year to do it again. They created Camp NaNoWriMo, where you pick a month in the summer to do your writing. It differs from the November challenge in that you can set your word-count goal yourself, rather than the usual 50K word goal.

So last July I set myself a goal of 15K words to write a short story. I made my word count goal easily, but ran into a problem: It wasn’t a short story.

My narrator wasn’t content with a short “Tell, Don’t Show” approach to her story. She felt strongly that it was her life we were talking about and it deserved better. Who was I to argue?

Then I discovered something kind of weird. I missed the 50K goal of a normal NaNo. I didn’t feel the pressure to finish.

And so I didn’t.

Oh, I kept writing for a while, a few weeks into August. Then I sort of petered out. I went into Fall with an unfinished work behind me and no idea for a novel for November. After a few weeks of guilt – for not finishing my July project, for not being at all prepared to move on – I decided I had to be a Rebel in 2013.

So instead of starting a new novel and having a goal of 50K words, my goal was simple. Finish The Spell Builders. I told myself I had to follow the rule of “at least 1667 words a day” until I finished. I didn’t exactly succeed on that, but I never do. Some days I can only get out 800 words, other days I can crank out 3K. But overall, I called it a success.

I didn’t get the winner’s goodies, or that purple bar below my name on the NaNo website, but I achieved the goal I set for myself. I wrapped up the story in mid-November with 65457 words.

I’ve always looked at NaNoWriMo as a tool. I use the strong motivation of my peers on the forums, as well at that progress bar as the month goes on, to just get that first draft written. I set myself up for failure in July, but November saved me. The Spell Builders is a very different Daganu novel, and I love it even if I don’t know that my readers will. I wouldn’t be an author now without NaNoWriMo, and I’m very grateful it exists.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Unchanging Heavens is here!

I am very pleased to announce that The Unchanging Heavens is now available at Smashwords and Amazon!

To celebrate, I am offering a 50% off coupon for purchases from Smashwords. I regret being unable to offer a coupon for Amazon, but you can purchase a kindle file from Smashwords. The coupon is valid through December 10th. Coupon code: XS32A (not case sensitive).

The third full length Daganu novel, The Unchanging Heavens takes Joe, Kristy and Becky deeper into the magic and mystery of Daganu than ever before, as they have to procure rare talismans to enter the feared land of Bistami Stulba and try to help Emily and Chen find happiness, rather than exile.

If you haven’t read any Daganu stories before, you can find all of them on sale at Smashwords through the month of November.

Happy Reading!

Posted in Daganu, The Unchanging Heavens, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Daganu News and Coupons!

Great news! The Unchanging Heavens is mere days from publication!

As The Unchanging Heavens is the third full-length Daganu novel, you might like to start from the beginning. To make that easier for you, I’ve created a sale!

For the month of November, The Sunshine Line and The Mirror’s Image are 50% off at Smashwords. The short story, The Animal Place, is, as always, Set Your Own Price. You can be totally caught up on the series for only four dollars!

And keep your eyes peeled: There will be a coupon for The Unchanging Heavens when it comes out!

The coupon codes are below. They are not case sensitive, but will only work at Smashwords, as Amazon doesn’t let me put things on sale. Fear not, you can still buy a kindle version at Smashwords! All titles are available from the Daganu Series Page.

The Sunshine Line: VY96C

The Mirror’s Image: UF43C

The Animal Place is always “You set the price”!

Happy Reading!

Posted in Daganu, The Unchanging Heavens, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Care and Feeding of Plot Bunnies

If you’ve never heard of a Plot Bunny before, the idea is fairly simple. A Plot Bunny is a story idea. It’s cute and fluffy and you want to take it home right away and start loving it and spoiling it. You can’t get a Plot Bunny at the SPCA, they find you.

But beware! Make sure your Plot Bunny isn’t pregnant! If she is, you’ll soon have so many Plot Bunnies hopping around that you won’t have time to love or spoil any of them!

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

It’s NaNo Time!

It’s November first, the day when all good writers (and quite a few bad ones) take up arms to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. If you’ve always wanted to write a book, now’s the time. Check out

I, however, am being a NaNo Rebel this year. I have a draft I got about 3/5 through over the summer, and it is begging to be finished. So I will write 1667 words a day until the draft is finished.

At the same time, I’ve almost got The Unchanging Heavens ready to publish! Just a few more days (even with the writing for NaNo) and it can be in your hands (or at least in your e-reader!). Stay tuned to this channel for more information!

Happy Writing, folks!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Life’s Little Adjustments

I know it’s been a long time since I made a blog post here. Life has really been throwing things at me this year. In particular, my pain levels have often been too high to concentrate, which really interferes with writing!

I’m starting to see some improvement, however, so it’s time to go back to work!

Probably most significant thing for me this fall is that I’m not doing NaNoWriMo. Or I’m going to be a NaNo Rebel, if you prefer. You see, I never finished that draft I was writing over the summer. So this November, I’m going to officially go back to that draft and write at least 1666 words a day, until the dern thing is done. This won’t take me all month, but the point is to write like it’s NaNo until it gets done! 

My other goal at this time is to get The Unchanging Heavens published. I’m in the final editing stages and I have my cover, so I’m optimistic that I might get it done by the end of the month. If not, I’ll devote an hour a day to getting it out the door until it’s done.

This means that once The Spell Builders‘ draft is finished, I can jump into editing The Long Dark. That way, maybe I’ll get it published according to my original schedule!

I’m feeling optimistic and motivated… and it feels good!

ps- Sorry about all the exclamation points, I’m just excited!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Five Year Cancerversary

Cancer survivors know what a cancerversary is, but there are differences in opinion about what day it should mark. Should it be the day you found reason to worry (found a lump, had an abnormal test result)? The day you were diagnosed? The day you started treatment? The day you first had a clear scan?

I tie it in with my definition of a survivor: You become a survivor when you look cancer in the face and decide to live.

Five years ago today, I did just that. I got the phone call that confirmed that I had breast cancer, and I started to rally my strength – though there wasn’t a lot of it right then – and prepare to fight for my life. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Looking for my Groove

I love writing. I’m quite fond of editing. In the right mood I can even enjoy working on my web page. Even publication, as titchy and annoying as it can be, isn’t all that bad.

I hate marketing.

And yet? I must, if I want to sell books. Continue reading

Posted in Daganu, The Writing Process, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Maybe Mets (OR: Anatomy of a Recurrence Scare)

I’ve spend approximately the last two months worrying about metastatic cancer. I’m pleased to reveal in advance that there is no sign of it, and we’ve done some pretty thorough testing.

Even though I appear to still be cancer-free, I thought this little journal might be of interest to family members and care-givers… and maybe even to survivors.

As with Silver Linings I did not edit this. Polish might take the edge off the raw feelings, and then what would be the point. It’s a journal, not a novel. I’m posting it through Kat’s Quill largely because it’s more than 6000 words, and I, as a writer, feel like I shouldn’t hide that many words in the dark.

Be warned, there’s some strange shit in there.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 1 Comment

The Mirror’s Image is here!

I am excited to announce that the sequel to The Sunshine Line is now available for purchase at Smashwords (all e-formats, no DRM) and Amazon (kindle format, no DRM)!

In The Sunshine Line, Joe was recruited by the fairies of Daganu to help built, maintain and preserve the crossings between their world and ours. In The Mirror’s Image, Joe and Kristy start their work. The complex job turned out to have complications they would never have believed.


Posted in Daganu, The Mirror's Image, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment