It Approaches

Today is the first day of October, which means the start of National Novel Writing Month is only a month away.

Rad.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to participate again this year. Last year was awesome but it is so time-consuming and life is so madhouse this year that I was weighing pros and cons.

Then I realized: If I can’t set aside one month – a single month – to focus on writing, whether I complete it or not, I will never finish anything. If I want to write, I need to make time.

Besides, it’s not like I sleep anyway.

So the main question now is: what will I write? The two main contenders are the second in the series that was started by last year’s BookThing and a non-fantasy slice of life piece that is being vaguely outlined. I’m not quite nuts enough to try both at once (no matter what Katie may try and tell you!), and even I know my limits.

This also means I’ll be fundraising for my ticket into the Night of Writing Dangerously again. I need to raise $275 minimum to get in, and there are only 225 seats available. The more I raise (for a non-profit, tax-deductable-donation, awesome children’s literature foundation), the more raffle entries I get, so that’s cool. I was going to attempt to be one of the top fundraisers, but as there are folks with well over $1000 in their kitty already… nope. I’ll just be happy to get there.

Last year’s BookThing, for those who may be curious, is currently having red pen bled all over its pages as I brutally edit (for the first round). Yes, I printed out the whole thing and am going through page by page. I can’t edit worth a damn on a computer.

Part of my prep this year – as opposed to last year which consisted of a whole lot of “Fuck it, I’m gonna do NaNo!” – is taking creative writing courses. Two free MOOCs on creative writing and fiction, and then I was gifted access to Rachael Herron‘s Udemy course How To Stop Stalling and Write Your Book. I’m pretty excited about that, as she is someone who is definitely up there on my “authors I admire” list. Plus, she knits too. So that’s keen.

I just have to survive October, first.

My Father’s Day

11 July 2014 at 12:35AM PDT is the 12th anniversary of my father’s death.

I try to make it a point to stay up, a Memento Mori for the man who shaped my life, in ways good and bad. I tend to stay up to see the clock tick past the moment more often than I go to his grave in the following 24 hours.

Night owls, he and I.

daddyshelper

It is from him that I learned the bad habit of staying up far too late, reading until I drift to sleep anywhere but in bed.

He nurtured my love of the wild, untamed mountains that edge my home state. Of the trees reaching impossibly high into the star-filled nights, the sound of crickets in my ears and the smell of bear grass in my nose.

He gifted my sharp tongue, my love of horrible puns, my slow to simmer but quick to boil temper.

He told me to find my stories, to craft them carefully. Even if they were just for me.

dadsgrave

I miss him terribly.

Brief Book Review – Heirs of the Demon King: Uprising by Sarah Cawkwell

Heirs of the Demon King: Uprising is the first standalone book by British author Sarah Cawkwell. Already known for her publications in the Warhammer 40K universe, Cawkwell strikes a new path with this story, set in an alternate history of the UK. In a world ripe with magic, Richard III won the Battle of Bosworth Field with otherworldly assistance, and the Plantagenet line remained on the British throne. One hundred years later, the contract signed at Bosworth is up, and Melusine, the demon that ensured the Plantagenet reign, is ready to collect on her half of the deal. In response, young villagers Mathias and Tagan are caught in a race against time, trying to piece together the one thing that can stop the overrun of the world.

The obliteration – and survival – of the world’s magic is the driving theme that ties the entire story of Heirs of the Demon King together. It works, too. Continue reading

Because This Was Totally Needed.

I will be the first to admit that I really screwed up in my early 20s. Lots of credit card debt. No cares. That ended at 26 when I found myself with $40,000 of medical debt after my gall bladder, in all its hereditary glory, died a magnificent death.

That’s a story for a different time.

While the medical bills were (mostly) taken care of, it sent the rest of my debt into a nosedive. I managed to get it somewhat under control with a debt consolidation program, but that went tits up when I lost my job (four days before I found out I was pregnant.) That’s another other story.

Needless to say, my credit is in utter shambles. I have spent the better part of my late 20s and all of my 30s (so far) paying off bits and pieces when I could, where I could. It’s very slow going. I’m paying off a several-thousand dollar debt at $25.06 a month. It will take over five years, and I’ve been working on it for over a year. The point is: I’m doing it. I’m not trying to hide, or shove the blame on anyone else. I got myself into this trouble, and I’m trying to do what I can to get out of it.

Which is why, when got a phone call on January 30 of this year, I panicked. Continue reading