Thursday, December 27, 2012

2013 New Year Resolutions

It is time for my 2013 New Year Resolutions! As my health is still in the experimental stages of recovery, all my resolutions can be fulfilled at home - and revolve around words. But they mean you will be hearing from me a lot more - as will my Muse. ;)

1. I will post on each of the following blogs at least:

> Writing - once a week (with one book review a month)
> Japanese - once a month
> Review - once a month (this is on a separate account because I tend to be rather honest)

2. I will blog one chapter a month of my 2010 Nano novel, Toaster Loses Her Hatting, here. (Follow and join in the adventure!)

3. I will finish reading at least one novel a month. (Because to review, I have to finish.)

4. I will write at least 5,000 words a month. (Although hopefully a lot more.)

5. I will edit a finished novel all the way through at least once. (I have yet to do this, and it's high time I did.)

So those are my big five! They may not sound like a whole lot, but given my schedule and propensity for random bouts of illness, they will prove a challenge for me. Still, I look forward to each one with great excitement.

So what are your 2013 Resolutions?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

New Year, New Me Giveaway

It's the last week of 2012! This week I will be blogging my 2013 New Year Resolutions, as well as my 2013 Word for the Year. But first, as promised since I hit 30 Followers last week, my very first giveaway! *throws confetti*

The winner will receive an ARC of Something Strange & Deadly by Susan Dennard! Because who wouldn't want to read about zombies running amuck in 1876 Philadelphia?

Title: Something Strange & Deadly
Author: Susan Dennard

The year is 1876, and there’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…

Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper—
The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.
And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor…from her brother.
Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including their maddeningly stubborn yet handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.

To Enter the Giveaway: Fill out the Rafflecopter form below!

  • Open to US residents only
  • Must be 13 or older to enter
  • Ends January 1, 2013
  • I will draw the winner the first week of the year, so be sure to check back for the announcement post, just in case I can't figure out how to get a hold of you (this is my first time using Rafflecopter).
  • If I don't hear back from the winner after one week of contacting/announcing them, I will draw a new winner.
Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, December 24, 2012

First Annual BookFast: Results

Last week saw my First Annual BookFast! (For the introductory post, go here.) And now it's time to announce my accomplishments - and my failures.

It went really well...for a while. The first five (of seven) days I completed my word count, even though the 1k days proved a struggle. Then Thursday I put out 1.5k in just the morning! It felt like such an accomplishment - and for me, it really was.

And then the office holiday luncheon came on Friday. This threw off work and my day, and by the evening I was exhausted and in no mood to write at all.

Saturday saw me horribly busy, what with Christmas coming up, and by the time I got all my errands run and chores done the whole family just wanted to watch a movie and go to bed.

So here are the word results for the week:

Sunday: 1,000
Monday: 500
Tuesday: 1,000
Wednesday 500
Thursday 1,500
Friday: 0
Saturday: 0

So 500 words less than the 5,000 planned, but overall not too shabby for me.

As far as the whole "fasting from books" angle of this experiment, that bombed on Wednesday. I was doing so well! And then this showed up at my door from Epic Reads:

O.O ... Yeah. So needless to say, the temptation was just too great, and not reading became impossible. But then I made the requirement that my daily word count had to be met before I could read, and the BookFast and I were back on track.

So all in all it was a good dry run, and I think I'll try another BookFast sometime next year (just not around a major holiday). Although it will be with a few alterations, based on two very important facts I learned:

1. 500 words is a good daily requirement for me. While 1k is doable, it can prove difficult if I have anything else at all to do that day (like, say, living).

2. Not reading any sort of novel is torture. By making a few chapters out of my current read the reward for fulfilling my daily word count, both writing and reading became more enjoyable.

And so ends my First Annual BookFast!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

First Annual BookFast

The one piece of writerly advice I hear the most is: "Read. Read all the time." This is all well and good, but when a writer spends their writing time reading, complications ensue (like, say, no writing gets done).

This is a big issue for me. I'll have free time and take my writing pad/laptop and latest read to the couch. I look at the writing. I look at the book. Then I snuggle down into the couch and read. And no writing gets done. Soon I find that I haven't written a single word all week, and my WIP languishes.

So, beginning this Sunday for a week, I am giving up reading.

Yep, you read that right. No reading for a whole week.

*all writer/reader friends gasp in horror* *several pass out* *smelling salts are passed around*

I have a WIP to finish, darn it, and reading all my free time away won't get it written! So it's time for drastic measures.

The BookFast will run seven days, from this coming Sunday to Saturday, thereby giving me the long weekend to catch up on my reading as a reward. (I originally pondered doing it for a whole month, but the very thought gave me heart palpitations. So I'm going to try a week and see how it goes.) A breakdown of my required daily word count for the week is:

  • Mon/Wed/Fri: 500 words
  • Sun/Tues/Thurs/Sat: 1,000 words

It's not a lot, but it's what I know I can handle - and it's infinitely more than I'm getting down right now.

And I'm not going to give up all reading. That would kill me. I am allowed to read two things:

  • Research (aka non-fiction, for Project P only); and
  • Project P (the WIP I will be working on).

This will keep me on track and always in the mindset of the story.

And, if I make the day's word count, there will be a reward: one short story from The Curiosities! So I'm not totally cutting myself off from fiction, which should keep me sane enough.

I will probably go dark for the week blog-wise, but I will Tweet updates (@skyelyte), and I will post about the experience afterwards. I'm calling this my "First Annual" BookFast because I think it will prove really good for me, and I'll probably do it again if it goes as well as I think it will.

Wish me luck!

(And if you want to join me, let me know and we can encourage each other!)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Where in the World Wednesday

It's time for another installment of my writing meme: "Where in the World Wednesday"! Show us where your character is right now in your story, either from a broad view like France or a narrow view like the library on First Street. Wherever they are, blog a picture of the location - but don't feel the need to explain or even tell us where it is if you don't want to! The mystery is part of the fun. ;)

Today's location comes once more from Project P, and my MCs are currently here:

I bet there are some of you who recognize this location! (I just hope it has a bridge somewhere... :\)

So where in the world is your character this Wednesday? Blog a pic and comment below with the link!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Teaser Tuesday: Etiquette & Espionage

It is time for Teaser Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading, where you open your current read to a random page and share two teaser sentences.

This week's read is an ARC I just received and will be starting today! I've been waiting for it to arrive for over a month, and dying to read it all year. It's "Book the First" in Gail Carriger's new YA Alternate Historical Paranormal Steampunk series, Finishing School. Here's the teaser:

Dimity looked at her, still recovering. "Really, Sophronia, it makes me most uncomfortable how you manage to sort everything out every time I faint."

I can't wait to get started! So what are you reading this week?