New Publication – Pyg the Tinker

My short story “Pyg the Tinker” was published by the online literary journal Quantum Fairy Tales. This is my steampunk take on the Greek myth of Pygmalion (not the George Bernard Shaw Pygmalion).

Pyg the Tinker passed his days in his workshop, and his nights in the Spartan bedroom behind it. He chose a life of solitude with only scattered gears and gadgets as companions. He only saw other folks if they came to him when their pocket watch lost a spring or if some other fiddly mechanism needed repair, and he liked it that way.

Late one night, Pyg received a surprise visit from a gentleman sporting a leather top hat and an overcoat with tails. The man did not knock on the gnarled wood of Pyg’s door, but swept in with a loud tap of his walking stick upon the hearth. He commissioned Pyg to build an automaton in the form of a woman.

Read the rest here…


With a Fizzle…

So I did Camp NaNoWriMo for July. Technically, I’ll have won once I verify my word count. Yet, this is the least exciting victory yet.

Back in April, I churned through 30,000 words for Camp NaNo and felt genuinely accomplished. It was a challenge, but not impossible. After doing NaNo in November, writing only 30k in a month seemed sort of easy. 1,000 words a day, how hard is that?

Well, July came in to steal that sense of victory.

First of all, I’m a children’s librarian. That means that June and July are Summer Reading Club at work. Which means all day, every day at work is hectic and most of the responsibility falls to me. I decided to set my word count at only 10,000 so I wouldn’t feel strained.

Well, after a few days I was zooming ahead of my goal and started to feel cocky. I started bumping my word count goal up until I got to 20,000.

Flash forward to the third week. I am tired. I had a bad allergic reaction to who knows what that made me feel horrible for several days. Work is eating me up, and the words aren’t coming.

So I admitted defeat. I rolled my word count back down to 10k, checked my current total (10,880) and called it done.

And so I won Camp NaNo for July 2015. Not with a bang, but with a fizzle.

To Marry a Scottish Laird

My most recent review is up at All About Romance (although I’m late in posting this blog).

To Marry A Scottish Laird by Lynsay Sands

This book wins the award for the longest I have ever attempted to avoid having to read a review book. For roughly half a year I have been trying to put off forcing myself to finish reading To Marry a Scottish Laird. There was just nothing about it that called out to me to read it.”

Read the rest here…

Book Review: Carolina Blues

My review of Carolina Blues by Virginia Kantra is up over at All About Romance

What is there to say about this book? It’s good. It’s really good. It’s a great addition to an already great series. Of course, just saying that it’s good and I think you should read it doesn’t make for much of a review, so I’ll try to elaborate…

Read the rest here.

I Think I’m Not a Planner

I’ve spent the last few weeks thinking about planning my NaNoWriMo book. Please note that thinking is the key word there. I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to take 12-ish years worth of ideas and slap them on paper as an outline that is actually of any benefit. So far, I have a list with about 40 vague bullet points that include gems such as “Childhood” and “Human sacrifice?” Yes, there’s a question mark there, don’t ask.

I thought maybe I needed some assitance. Maybe I just don’t know how to plan. I started looking up outlining tools and apps. Which, in retrospect, was silly because I own Scrivener and you can make nifty little digital bulletin boards to outline. Scrivener is great, by the way. Not that I’m taking full advantage of all the features. Mostly I look at the little e-index cards on my screen and think “Why am I filling these out? If I know what needs to go on the card, then what good does the card do?” Which I think sums up my general issue with planning. I can’t seem to convince myself of why I need to write out an outline when the outline exists in my brain. It’s not like the act of outlining itself unlocks some hidden knowledge my brain didn’t previously have access to. Or maybe it does and I don’t know because I never actually outline.

Did you ever had an English teacher who forced you to outline your writing? Well I was the student that would write the whole thing and then outline what I had already done. That is how much I despise it. For essays, I always liked to just do my research, maybe collect some quotes and facts to reference, and then start going. I think I’m pretty good at organizing things mentally so I never planned ahead. That should have been an indication to me that, in this situation, I was not going to successfully outline.

So what am I to do with this nervous energy pre-NaNo? I’ve been researching more, although I think I’m reaching the end of what new facts I can learn about the Ancient Celts that will actually be applicable to my writing. Now, if I was an outliner, I would match up my outline with a timeline of the events of Britain and Wales during the time period between roughly 40 and 60 A.D. so I would know what types of things might be influencing my characters. However, since NaNoWriMo is kind of fast and furious I’ve given myself permission to wait until my initial draft is written to go back and revise for historical context. (See? I’m doing that write first, plan later thing again)

If anyone has any tips on planning for the reluctant, I’d love to hear them. I really need something to satisfy my anticipation for the next 11 days.

Review: Stormy Persuasion

Also today, you can read my review of Stormy Persuasion by Johanna Lindsey over at All About Romance. It gets a C+ for a boring start but likable characters. 

I was nervous going in to this read. I have been the biggest Johanna Lindsey fan since I first started reading romance, but unfortunately, a lot of her newer books haven’t lived up to some of my classic favorites. Stormy Persuasion is the eleventh book in the Malory-Anderson series and, while it doesn’t reach the same level as Gentle Rogue or Love Only Once, it is a pleasurable read…


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