9th Nanowrimo win!

With only a few hours to spare, I made it past 50,000 words to win my 9th Nanowrimo.

By win, I just mean that I got to 50K.  I did not actually finish my novel, which is why Wayward Ghosts is still up under Works In Progress.  But I am pleased with its progression and maybe someday, after I finish writing Scavengers and the other prequel books for Wolf Point, I will return to it!

In other news, I had my first author appearance, in honor of New Hampshire Writers’ Week!  Granted, it was at the library where I work, and I shared the spotlight with 7 other authors, but still!  It was great to meet other authors, both traditionally published and self-published, and to hear about their writing process.  I also received some compliments on my cover designs!

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forgot to mention…

beast cover 2The Beast – a Wolf Point prequel novella – is out!

You can find it at Amazon for 99 cents, and free at Barnes & Noble.  Over at Smashwords you can download it in any file type for free.

The Beast is the origin story of Geo, the oldest known werewolf.  This is the first of a series of prequel novellas.

As Nanowrimo rapidly approaches, I’m torn about what I want to write.  I’d love to finish Scavengers before November 1st (highly unlikely), but I’m considering just using November to write/finish a number of projects.  Finish Scavengers, and start work on the next prequel novella, since I have about 30,000 words left to go before finishing Scavengers and the novella would be between 20-30,000 words.  That equals 50,000 words…

On the other hand, I could write a fourth book in the Wolf Point series, which I want to be from Misty’s point of view.

Or, I could write Wayward Ghosts, which is already a few chapters long, so kind of cheating.  Seems like unless I write Wolf Point #4, I’m going to be a Nano cheater this year. Decisions, decisions.

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horror movies “based on a true story”: The Conjuring (and Annabelle)

“Based on the true case files of the Warrens,” proclaims the tagline of “The Conjuring.”  The Warrens have been involved in a number of these “based on a true story” horror movies, including The Amityville Horror and The Haunting in Connecticut.

What is true:

  • Ed and Lorraine Warren investigated the haunting of the Perron family
  • They found a ghost named Bathsheba, who had been a practicing Satanist and sacrificed her daughter as part of a ritual, then later hung herself.
  • Carolyn Perron was possessed by the ghost of Bathsheba.
  • Doors in the house would bang shut and stick for no reason.  The girls had their hair and legs pulled at night.

What is not true:

  • The haunting did not end after the exorcism done by the Warrens.  The family asked the Warrens to leave because the supernatural events seemed worse when they were around, and the family continued to live with the ghosts for many years afterwards.

The verdict: While many of the scary details in the movie are made up, the essence of the story and some of the details of the haunting are quite accurate…. not surprising given the cooperation of the Warrens and the Perron family in the making of the film.


Bonus: Annabelle

This movie does not claim to be “based on a true story,” and is in fact mostly fiction.  Here is what is true:

  • A mother buys the Annabelle doll for her daughter, who is a nurse (this occurs at the end of the movie)
  • Annabelle was known to change positions in the house, and once had blood drips on her; she was also known to leave notes
  • During a seance a spirit claiming to be the ghost of a little girl named Annabelle said she felt safe with the nurse and her roommates and just wanted to be loved, which made her owners keep the doll
  • Help was first sought from a priest, who then referred the case to the Warrens
  • The Warrens determined that it was a demonic spirit in the doll, not a ghost
  • When the Warrens took the doll from the home, they experienced car trouble while transporting it (much like the priest in the movie when he tries to remove the doll)
  • A priest helping the Warrens with an exorcism picked up the doll and said something along the lines of, “You’re just a doll!” and threw it down.  After leaving, he was involved in a near-fatal car accident (likely ending up in the hospital, similar to the priest in the movie)
  • The doll is now locked in a glass case at the Warren’s museum.

What is not true:

  • The doll was not a collector’s doll but rather a large Raggedy Ann doll.
  • Anything that happened before the doll was bought at the collector’s shop.

The verdict: “Annabelle” is a fanciful imagining of how the doll came to be possessed by a demon, drawing heavily on horror favorites such as “Rosemary’s Baby” and “Helter Skelter.”  Personally I would have liked to see more about the real case involving the nurse and her roommates…


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writing playlists

I’ve posted a few of my own writing playlists over on 8tracks for your listening pleasure.  Music is something I need to get me in the right headspace for writing.  The playlists so far:

Coming soon: Bethany Caleb, The Art Kids, and a playlist for when I write historical fiction (The Beast, Return to Ravenswood Manor, and Cabin Fever)

8tracks is a pretty cool site, there’s a playlist for everything!  If you are a writer like me, I highly recommend checking out mkirin‘s writing playlists.  The playlists are great for writing because the tracks are mostly instrumental (I sometimes get distracted by lyrics…) and each playlist has a different mood or tone for writing.

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New YA Horror Roundup just in time for Halloween

Note: I received advanced copies of all titles from Netgalley except Sanctum.  All of these titles have been released except Creed, which comes out November 8, 2014.

I was quite pleased to discover so many YA horror titles coming out over the summer and fall!  YA horror is my favorite genre, but in recent years it’s been dominated by paranormal romance which is totally NOT THE SAME THING.  (Not that I don’t enjoy it, but I like a good horror story minus any romance elements whatsover).

If you’re looking for a book that reads like your favorite horror movie, take your pick!  Welcome to the Dark House follows seven strangers sent to live in a house owned by their favorite horror movie director.  There’s a nightmare carnival and everyone has a dark past…  Amity by Micol Ostow is eerily similar to the “Amityville Horror” movies, while Creed by Trisha Leaver is more like “Children of the Corn.”  If you’re more into movies like “The Ring,” try The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco.  Did you enjoy “Urban Legend”?  Mary: The Summoning by Hillary Monahan will make you think twice about chanting Bloody Mary into the mirror.

All of the above books were a lot of fun to read.  My favorite would have to be The Girl from the Well.  “The Ring” is the one movie I can’t watch before I go to bed!  I learned about the origins of this Japanese ghost, and I loved how Okiku was kind of a ghost-Dexter.  The narration of a story by a ghost was very cool.

If historical horror is your thing, there’s Of Monsters and Men by Jessica Verday.  This was like a Poe / Jekyll & Hyde / Dr. Moreau mash-up, all those gothic horror novels pulled together in a cool way.

Finally, Sanctum is the second book in the Asylum series.  The photographs add that certain creep factor (even though you know they’re not real photos, like in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children).  Also, it’s like horror writers know me or something, because this also had a creepy carnival/circus (I don’t have to tell you how excited I am for American Horror Story: Freak Show!).

All of these books were fast, enjoyable reads for the Halloween season!

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i’ve been such a slacker…

Since I proudly completed my Camp Nanowrimo goal back at the end of May, I’ve written maybe 5 sentences?

Summer really makes me a slacker.  There’s so much to do!  It’s too nice out to be inside!  I keep opening up my “Beast of Gevaudan” word document and staring at where I left it at the end of May, and while I know there are roughly two paragraphs before the end of this novella, I just haven’t been able to write them.  I also opened up my word document for my work-in-progress that doesn’t have its own webpage yet and I’ll re-read it and then I started rewriting the first chapter, writing the aforementioned 5 sentences, and then got lost on Tumblr again.  Tumblr is probably to blame for most of my problems.

BUT!  Let’s look at my goals for the year!

  • to finish and publish Dreamwalkers
  • to finalize the print edition of Hitchhikers and offer a giveaway or two
  • to finish and publish Scavengers
  • and to possibly finish some of my other works-in-progress, including Blood Countess and another new WIP that I haven’t even added to the site yet!
  • be able to do a handstand away from the wall and hold for 10 seconds
  • be able to do more than 3 straddle ups in a row (in aerial silks)
  • practice yoga more often
  • read down my Goodreads to-read list (currently I have 148 books “to-read” which is kind of ridiculous) addendum: I now have 172 books on my “to-read” shelf.
  • sew more of my own clothes

So yeah, I may not have mentioned it… but Dreamwalkers is out there!  You can find it at Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon, also iBookstore, Sony, etc (I don’t have links for those).  For some reason Amazon hasn’t noticed that Dreamwalkers is free on all the other sites, but you can get the .mobi file at Smashwords and send it to your Kindle for free.

I can now do 5 straddle-ups in a row!  And 4.75 pull ups!  I also made myself a shirt which I have worn once!

Yeah, so I need to stop being a slacker and get back on the writing train…

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Book Signing Story: Jodi Picoult and Cassandra Clare

10thcircleI picked up a copy of this after I went to a book signing for Sing You Home (still haven’t gotten around to reading that one yet…) – one of the fellow librarians I attended with recommended it and I was intrigued when she mentioned that it was partially graphic novel.

This week I attended another book signing for Jodi Picoult, only this time it was more of an event centered around Cassandra Clare, and Jodi was there with her son Kyle to ask Cassandra questions.  It was fun to see Jodi being a bit of a fangirl about the Mortal Instruments, especially since the first time I saw Jodi she was very serious.

I had my max number of books for Cassandra Clare to sign, but when I thought about another book for Jodi to sign, I remembered this one sitting on my shelf and figured a.) I should probably read it since I’ve had for at least 2 years… and b.) I could have her sign it.  As I was waiting in the signing line, I flipped to the front and saw that it appeared that it had already been signed. Feeling sheepish, I went up to Jodi and told her. She laughed and told me it was just a handwriting font, then she signed it to show me what her real signature looked like.

heavenlyfireCassandra Clare was great to listen to.  She talked a bit about her upcoming series – one about the generation after Infernal Devices, although that won’t be out for a while (I’m dying for The Bane Chronicles, which is due out in November).  She talked a lot about how she writes and does research and how she got the idea for the Mortal Instruments series, and also about her favorite relationships and characters.  She was very approachable even though I was still a little tongue-tied when I finally got to the signing table.

I shall finally start reading City of Heavenly Fire tomorrow!

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