Tag Archives: travel

GIVEAWAY! Solomon’s Throne turns One

ST giveawaySolomon’s Throne’s 1st birthday is July 20, so we have a Travel Pack Giveaway valued at over $150 to celebrate!! Click the Rafflecopter link over there —-> to enter!

What’s included?

  • Signed copies of both Solomon’s Throne and The Hoard of the Doges
  • Awesome Dakine lightweight, packable hat
  • Keen Hybrid Transport bag
  • 18oz Hydro Flask, keep liquid cold for 24 hours, or hot for 12! (BPA free)
  • Sun Bum spf 30 Mango lip balm

Enter now through midnight on July 20 to win!!


Filed under Publishing, Self publishing

We’ll be off the air for awhile!

At the Arise Africa babies home, where we are building a primary school

At the Arise Africa babies home, where we are building a primary school

I leave tomorrow for Uganda, and will be gone for 2 1/2 weeks. If I can, I’ll post, but I don’t always (usually) have power or internet. So if you come visiting the blog and see that it’s been awhile since there’s been a new post, never fear! I’ll be back!

If you want to see what I’m doing, try this blog or Facebook page. I try to get information to my daughter to post, even if I don’t have power (texting always works great there).

See you when I get back!

My son and friends. He's not going with me this trip - sad!

My son and friends. He’s not going with me this trip – sad!

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Writing on a jet plane – NaNoWriMo

Last night I flew to Houston, because I have the privilege of sharing my experiences with Hospice Jinja (Uganda) at a fundraiser here tonight. It’s a long way to come for a short thing, but anything I can do to help the great people at the hospice is worth it.

The flight from my city to Houston was three hours long. The day had been that weird sort of day it always is when you have a later flight: you pack, you pace, you do some errands, you check that your family will have food, you check that you didn’t forget anything, you panic when you realize you did forget something, you check Facebook and the weather report a million times. I finally left a bit early for the airport, thinking I’d have time to sit down in my airline club lounge and write.

Well, the line at security was the longest I’d ever seen it. It took me forty-five minutes to get through, so by the time I got to the club I had less than an hour. By the time I got my Diet Coke and cookies (because they cancel each other out, you know), I had less than thirty minutes. When you’re starting a new chapter, that can be a difficult amount of time to try to squeeze some writing in. So I didn’t.

Another long line to get on the plane. I’m spoiled by having an “elite status” with Delta due to all my flying, but I was flying United. In some sort of strange airline math, they called group 7, then group 1, then group 3 (there was no 2), then 4 (there was no one in group 4), then group 5 (me), and finally (I presume) group 6. More line in the jetway, then the usual jockeying for your carry-on bag’s position in the overhead bins. Then the “no electronic devices” period, because, God forbid, we crash the planes with our Kindles.

So finally, I got my laptop down when all danger of triggering a dire airline disaster was past. I was on the aisle, and another guy with a laptop was by the window. The poor college student between us just sat there, unentertained. The guy was doing math problems and waving his arms around… Best not to watch, lest we be diverted to Chicago with an F15 escort. Anyway, I got to writing, finally. NaNoWriMo waits for nothing! (Okay, not totally true, but at that point, I was determined!)

Because I had no internet access for maps, and I had two groups of characters off on adventures, I just had to let bad things happen to them where they were. Bad things are good when you need lots of words, so, in less than an hour and a half, I had about 3300 words (for a total count of 23,725). One group was safe, and one woman’s life is still hanging in the balance. It was quite fun, actually, but I’ll have to resolve all that today and move along.

At almost 25,000 words, since this is a Young Adult novel, I’m probably 1/3 of the way through the story. I may have to change the title, which has been Darian’s War, because I have somehow managed to have very little to do with Darian so far. But otherwise, I’m pretty happy with it, and with my NaNo progress.

How are you doing? We’re in the dreaded Week 2 – are you struggling? Are you flying with wings of pegasi? Keep plowing through, even if you don’t make your word count… Remember, this week and next are the hard ones. You’ll get a second wind once the end is in sight and you’ve had your turkey and pie.

Here’s my mandatory disclaimer – this isn’t an official NaNoWriMo site, and the opinions are my own! Happy writing!


Filed under NaNoWriMo, Writing

From a B to an A

Great childhood!

I am a type-B personality. Not a marginal type-B, either. I’m a full-fledged, dyed-in-the-wool, fifth generation Floridian, sailor, relaxed homeschooler type-B. Here’s Wikipedia’s definition:

“People with Type B personality by definition generally live at a lower stress level and typically work steadily, enjoying achievements but not becoming stressed when they are not achieved. When faced with competition, they do not mind losing and either enjoy the game or back down. They may be creative and enjoy exploring ideas and concepts. They are often reflective, thinking about the outer and inner worlds. Furthermore, Type B personalities may have a poor sense of time schedule and can be predominately right brained thinkers.”

Now, other than the “poor sense of time schedule” (I’m kind of anal retentive about schedules when there actually is one), this is me. Lower stress (in the words of my teen, I’m “chill”). Work steadily. Creative. Reflective. What that translates to, usually, is a few hours of work a day, four or five days a week, with reading, walking, painting, journaling, sitting on the deck enjoying tea, spending time on the boat or at the beach, traveling with my kids, and thinking about stuff.

My husband is mostly a type-A, as was my father (neither are “rigidly organized” or “obsessed with time management”, ironically). Here’s good old Wikipedia again:

“The theory describes a Type A individual as ambitious, rigidly organized, highly status conscious, can be sensitive, care for other people, are truthful, impatient, always try to help others, take on more than they can handle, want other people to get to the point, proactive, and obsessed with time management. People with Type A personalities are often high-achieving “workaholics” who multi-task, push themselves with deadlines, and hate both delays and ambivalence.”

I have, over the last six months, somehow morphed from my nice, calm type-B to an unable-to-relax, to-do list obsessed type-A. And, to be honest, I’m not completely sure what’s happened… But I do know I’m tired!

Starting with NaNoWriMo in November of 2011 (my first NaNo), I’ve written 4 full length works of fiction in 3 genres; a 130 page (so slightly over 2 hour) screenplay; taken a 3 week intensive trip to Uganda for work; published 2 novels, with a 3rd coming out next month; edited not only my own novels but also my husband’s new political commentary/satire; and weathered 4 crazy medical issues. Not to mention regular life. This is so not like me that it kind of hurts my head… I’m not sure what happened, and I’m pretty sure that, in another couple of weeks, I’m going to collapse into a puddle of uselessness that will last for at least a month. (Unless someone puts me on a plane to St. Thomas, and then I might get over it faster…)

On the one hand, all this frenetic activity has produced a lot, shown me a passion and direction inside myself I didn’t have before, made me excited for what’s to come, given me energy (even in the midst of the aforementioned medical issues), and been a blast. On the other hand, I feel kind of jittery all the time and my brain won’t slow down; I have trouble sleeping; I’m mentally exhausted; and I’m ready for it to be over!

It’s amazing that I’ve made it this far at such a high level of productivity – and I’m only a week from my self-imposed deadline. Maybe that’s why I’m tired – I’m twenty yards out from the winners’ tape and I know I just have to drag myself over that finish line. All that’s left to do is finish editing The Hoard of the Doges (final edit, thank God); get all the information to my graphics/formatting people; and finish the first draft of Where the Ducks Went, which should only be about 15,000 words. By the 23rd. One week from today. Then… That’s it for awhile, other than the publication/uploading stuff.

This morning while I was journaling, I gave myself permission to not do NaNo in November. I think I probably will, but as of right now, I have no story at all, and nothing’s coming to me. If I don’t have something by about October 15th, I’m sitting this one out. And that’s okay. (If I start it, I’m going to “win”… but it’s okay not to start.) It’s okay to take a break and read all those great indie books that I’ve emailed to myself but haven’t had time to buy yet. In other words, it’s okay to revert to the type-B person I really am, and have been for 46 of my 47 years. I’m looking forward to getting to know her again!

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Filed under NaNoWriMo, Publishing, Self publishing, Writing