The Shard Trilogy

Hello my lovely and beautifully loyal readers. I know I’ve been absent for a while, but things have been happening at the speed of light! Most importantly, I married the love of my life, so you know, that was nice.

In other news, however, you will (hopefully) be glad to know that I’m officially back. Blogs will roll, I say! Ahem. In any case, I happen to have started publishing my books, finally. I’m excited! One of them is already out under the pen name Helen Rose, but I will in fact be publishing the first of the Shard-related books later this month under my own name. I’m incredibly excited to finally be able to share these with you, and a lot of you have been there with me since the beginning as I worked on and slaved over them. So thank you for your continued and awesome support, and stay tuned for Pirates, book one in the Shard trilogy! (Super sneaky sneak peek at the covers up above there for you.)

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NaNoWriMo Updates

It’s October 14th, which means NaNo is just two weeks away!

So for a while I wasn’t sure which novel to do for 50k Day One, because let’s be honest, not every novel will work for that insanity. In the end (the end being the middle of October, so this might change again) I decided to do something incredibly chilled and fun that I won’t ever want to get published or work on more, which is a World of Warcraft fanfic. It has lots of word potential, it’s unlikely that I’ll get super stuck in the plot, and I’ll have fun writing it because no one will ever, ever read it. Then for the rest of the month I will be working on the billionth rewrite of Shard. I realize that anyone who reads this blog regularly is going “For the love of all things, stop whining about it and finish it already”, and trust me, that’s exactly what I want to do. After 12 years Tolkien had written The Lord of the Rings and had created a ton of languages and history and what not. Meanwhile, I have a lopsided series of 6 books and counting, none of which are edited, some of which are not finished, and one of which (Shard) I have been working on for twelve years. Twelve. Wait…actually eleven. But still. Not that I am legitimately comparing myself to Tolkien, because that would be crazy.

To summarize!
50kDayOne: The Healer’s Curse (WoW fanfiction)
The Rest of NaNo: Shard books II & III, and if I have time/energy after that, I might also rewrite book I.

Now for the Crazy Goals of Insanity.
1. 50k Day One again. Which this year will also involve me racing to 50k against some other people who are also doing it. The hashtags #50kdayone, #50kkillmenow, and #racetohell will be used copiously on Twitter that day.
2. My amazing dream goal that may not happen because I’ve never written more than 60k in a month before…is 350k. Err’body calm down, I know it’s crazy. But I figure I can’t lose if I have an insane goal and get more words out aiming for it, even if I don’t make it.
3. I want to do at least one 50k Weekend, ie two 25k days back to back. Much more doable than 50k in a day but you get a similar rush. Also there is sleep involved, which is always a plus and not a trait of the 50K Day One.
4. In the past, as is clear from my annual lack of blog posts between about November 7th and November 25th, I haven’t done well with consistent writing. Usually I have a great first week, lose motivation and stop writing, then come back for some hectic sprinting on the 25th or 27th or, heck, the 30th. This year I would really like to write at least the NaNo minimum (1,667) every day and stick to it.
5. Lastly, I am mentoring some NaNo newbies this year, and I hope I can get them excited and encouraged enough to cross the finish line.

That’s that! I mean, for now. There are 16 more days for the goals to get crazier. If you would like to support NaNoWriMo, which promotes literacy and the arts for youth and adults (and allows crazy writers to have an amazing community and life-changing November every year), do visit this link, as I am trying to raise some money for The Cause.

16 more days!

Day 7! [NaNoWriMo 2013]

Aaaand it’s the end of Week 1! If at this point you are feeling completely stumped, totally frustrated, uninspired, and wondering why on earth you thought this was a good idea, never fear: welcome to Week 2, otherwise known as The Week Of Slump. It is entirely normal to begin feeling like you’ve got nothing more in your head, like no one will ever read what you’re writing, like this is all pointless, and like you should just give up. If you’re not quite here yet, congratulations, and hope it doesn’t come in the next few days. I’ll say it again! It is FINE to feel this way.

Advice, you ask? Well. Here’s the thing. This is where I’ve often stopped writing until the last week or so, when I do a serious writing sprint to catch up. That’s easier, in a way, that staying on track and steadily plowing through the words. But I do have a few tips, and I hope they help! (For the record, I’m at around 12k in my rewrite, so I’m sort of on the same page as all of you at the moment)

1. Take a break! Get away from your novel. Often our best ideas come to us when we’re not actively thinking about the problem. There’s a reason why people “sleep on” important decisions – your subconscious is a really effective processor, and it works more efficiently when your conscious isn’t beating it over its head to come up with something. Don’t be afraid to skip a day; you will catch up, and sometimes taking a break is the best thing you can do.

2. Procrastinate and write a blog post, like me! Ok, but seriously, writing about what is frustrating or bothering /stumping you in your novel can be a huge help. We are writers, after all, and it really does work to do this.

3. If it’s writer’s block or a lack of ideas that is tripping you up, try the Word Wars, Prompts, & Sprints forum for ideas. Definitely try doing the Pub Crawl, and if you can do it with another Wrimo, all the better. Maybe be brave and venture over to Write or Die. In short: find something that will get you writing, even if it’s not great quality.

4. Which brings me to: just keep writing. You don’t have to churn out an award-winning¬† first draft, you have to get 50,000 words on the page. Don’t be afraid to take a serious risk in your novel and let the story go where you never thought it would. Sometimes pressure is a great game changer.

5. Now more than ever, set aside a specific chunk of time to write. While it’s good to squish in writing whenever you can throughout the day, having a planned time for writing (say two hours) is a really good motivator.

5. Get off WordPress. Yeah, yeah, I’m going…