Tuesday, October 29, 2013

NaNoWriMo Craziness

Yes, yes. I know. Halloween is this Thursday. While everyone is handing out candy to cute little boys dressed as Minions and sweet little girls dressed as Disney Princesses, I'll be organizing my character lists and preparing myself to start writing at 12:01 am during NaNoWriMo.

What's NaNoWriMo you ask? It's short for 'National Novel Writing Month,' but it's definitely INTERnational. People from all over the world sit down and attempt to write 50,000 words by November 30th. The site has a wealth of information, and if you're feeling brave, there's still time to sign up and write your novel in one month. Come on! Why don't you join me?

My first year was 2009. I completed a really bad novel that didn't follow any rules. It's in my bottom drawer. In 2010, I didn't finish, but I was pretty close. In 2011, I signed up, but didn't write. In 2012, I stayed away from all things NaNoWriMo. No way was I getting sucked in.

I'm convinced it's that 'Accountability' thing. You know--where you voice your intentions in order to keep yourself accountable for your actions. I know NNWM is a personal thing, but I always feel like I let someone down (besides myself) if I don't finish.

I work better under pressure, but what if I can't do it? What if I don't finish? What if I can't write 1667 words a day for 30 days? This is the first month of the Holiday season! When will I shop? When will I clean my house for Thanksgiving? How will I cook all that stuff I'm serving on Thanksgiving day?

Well, I know the answer...if you want something bad enough, you MAKE time. I do most of my Christmas shopping online anyway. Besides, who will complain if my house is less than spotless? Do I really need to make 6 different vegetables when only 5 people are coming for dinner?

I took the plunge. I signed up for NaNoWriMo in November. Yes, that's this Friday. I know, I know, but I haven't done much writing this year. I have a main character who is constantly chattering in my ear, but I can't seem to find the time to sit down and write her story. NaNoWriMo is a great way to dive into the writing pool. We'll see...Maybe I'll do a really big belly flop. Maybe I can't write 1667 words a day for 30 days, but maybe I CAN.

If you'll be participating and want to add me as your buddy, my user name is denise0616. Look me up! If not, you can still keep track of my progress on the blue widget above my picture.

NaNoWriMo scares me! So does this guy...

Wish me luck! Oh and Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Writing And Accountability Partners

Keep Calm and SAY IT OUT LOUD Poster 

Accountability--An obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one's actions.

Whenever I plan on doing something important, like losing weight or staying smoke-free, I find that voicing my intention helps to keep me on track. Talking about my plans takes that random idea out of my head and flings it into the universe, making it an attainable goal. I think it works--I've been smoke-free for almost 4 months.

The same is true for writing. For the most part, it's is a solo endeavor, and unless you have to meet a deadline, there is no one to answer to. Writing is not a team sport, but there's no reason you can't have cheerleaders.

Partner--One associated with another, especially in an action.

Having an accountability partner is invaluable for me.  I need someone to answer to, brainstorm ideas with, discuss my fears, celebrate accomplishments and yes, commiserate with about rejections. Having a partner helps me get back in the zone even with all the trials and tribulations of everyday life. And sometimes, a partner is great for pulling you out of that writer's block slump we all get into. I have two partners, and I'd like to think I help them as much as they help me.

Just like Penn and Teller, Bonnie and Clyde, Lewis and Clark, or Thelma and Louise, having a partner keeps you focused, keeps you on task, but it also makes life more fun.

Do you have an accountability partner?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Fun Facts about Candy Corn

October 30th is National Candy Corn Day!!

It's that time of year--when children of all ages go house to house dressed in costumes of their favorite superheroes, villains, and monsters. When parents raid their children's goody bags for all the best candy. (My favorite was Snickers. I told my kid they had peanut butter in it, and that she didn't like peanut butter.) When every store stocks its shelves with bags of candy, especially candy corn.

Made from sugar, corn syrup, carnauba wax and water, the candy corn is either loved or hated. Now that I'm older, I could take it or leave it, but it is one of the iconic symbols of Halloween. Each piece of candy corn is approximately three times the size of a real corn kernel, and each serving contains about 130 calories.

Each year, Americans consume enough candy corn to circle the Earth 4.25 times. Personally, I liked to eat them one at a time, biting off each color separately. This year, there will be 9 billion colorful little kernels produced.

--Did you know that Hersheys's made Candy Corn Kisses?

They are discontinued, but there is a Facebook page asking for them to come back. Check it out! Bring Back Hershey's Candy Corn Kisses There are only 39 fans, but maybe we can all like the page and get them to come back for next Halloween.

--Did you know there are things you can make from your leftover candy corn? Click on the photo for 9 yummy recipes.

--How about a recipe for bars that look like candy corn?

--And of course, what's a party without candy corn Jello shots? They seem like a lot of work, but if you MUST make them, here's a great recipe!

Now I'm getting hungry. What about you? Do you like candy corn?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Four For Friday--Willa Blair

Four For Friday is a weekly feature where guest authors choose one of their own characters to complete four sentences. 

Don't forget: you need to click on the Rafflecopter tabs or else your entries won't count! 

This week's post is by Willa Blair from her new novel, Highland Seer.

My name is Donal MacNabb, arms master and husband to Ellie, Laird MacKyrie.  People will tell ye I'm a skeptic. 'Tis true I used to trust my five senses and little else - until I met the Lathan Healer. I didna trust my his laird’s fascination with the healer he brought home from the invading army, but I came to believe her talent was real.  So when I met Ellie MacKyrie, her Sight wasna quite as hard to swallow as the fact that she was laird of her clan and wanted me to be her consort. Other than my skill with a sword, I had nothing to offer - no lands, wealth or armies. But Ellie became my soul. With her, I found my true home and learned to trust my heart as well as my senses.

1. The spookiest thing that ever happened was on All Hallows many years gone.  I heard a banshee scream. There are those who will say I heard a wildcat or an eagle.  I heard a banshee.  When ye hear one, someone near to ye is going to die. My sister’s husband died that night of the fever that took my sister a day later. Aye, the banshee screamed twice.

2. When I was younger, I wanted to be a warrior and to fight for my clan.  I became one - a bloody good one. I’ve fought for my clan and my adopted clans many times over the years.  And the lads I’ve trained to fight with fists and weapons are still alive today.

3. I used to think if I were wealthy, I would improve the clan’s weapons and defenses.  Now that I am, I'm doing that, and seeing to the welfare of the bairns left fatherless by the King’s folly at Flodden.  

4. My favorite food?  I dinna think I have one.  I’ve spent years traveling and fighting and I’ve learned to eat just about anything when hungry.  I enjoy an ale by the fire on a cold evening, and a wee dram doesna go amiss.  Lately, I’ve developed a liking for MacKyrie whisky.  Fortunately, we have a good supply of it.


Willa Blair is the best-selling and award-winning author of Scottish romance with a paranormal twist, set in the 16th century Highlands, when the old ways, and old talents, still shaped events. If you'd like to learn more about Willa and her books, visit her blog.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 11, 2013

Four For Friday--Andrea Buginsky

This week's post is by another returning author--Andrea Buginsky! I LOVE when an author requests another spot on my blog. 

Four For Friday is a weekly feature where guest authors choose one of their own characters to complete four sentences. 

Don't forget: you need to click on the Rafflecopter tabs or else your entries won't count! 

This week's post is from Andrea's new novel, Destiny

My name is Elena Baxter. I’m sixteen. I grew up in a normal household in America’s heartland, but I’m very different from other girls my age. I guess you could say I’m kind of an outsider. Where other girls talk about boys, makeup, and fashion, I prefer to talk about books, life, and the world around me. I’m very close to my family, and I love the tight bond we have with each other.

When I learned the truth about myself on my Sweet Sixteenth, my whole world changed. But I finally found a place I feel I belong, and have made some wonderful friends, the best ones I’ve ever had. My new world has started to open up so many possibilities for me. It’s very scary, but liberating at the same time. I think I’m finally beginning to blossom, and I know that what I could become is greater than anything I have ever thought of.
1. The best Halloween costume I ever wore…

ironically, a witch. I had always wanted to dress as a witch, knowing that Halloween was all about them. When I was thirteen, my mom finally decided I was old enough to portray one. We got a great black robe, a witch’s hat, and a broom. I covered my face with green makeup, donned my costume, and went trick-or-treating. It was the best Halloween ever!

2. When I was younger, I wanted to be a…

teacher. I love school and studying, and I love books. My dream was to become an English or Literature teacher, and teach kids to love books as much as I do.

3. If I were wealthy, I would want to…

Donate to charities all over the world. There are so many causes that need our help, and I’d want to help as many of them as I could.

4. My favorite candy is…

Anything chocolate!


Andrea Buginsky is a freelance writer and author. “The Chosen,” a middle-grade fantasy novelette was her first book, and was followed by “My Open Heart,” an autobiography about growing up with heart disease. “Nature’s Unbalance” is the second story in THE CHOSEN series. Andrea is currently working on another series: a YA fantasy. Her books are available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Remember to visit her website and sign up for Andrea’s newsletter to stay up-to-date on all of her exciting events.

a Rafflecopter giveaway