NaNoWriMo 2015

NaNoWriMo headerNational Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo to those in the know, happens every November. It’s a time of creativity and encouragement aimed at budding authors. If you ever wanted to write that book you’ve been dreaming of, NaNoWriMo is the time to do it! This year we asked you to share what you were writing for NaNoWriMo and promised we would share it. So without further ado, here are some of our favorites!

Author’s Name or Handle: Elizabeth Ratcliff
Novel Title: The Answer Within
A short story about three girls who start out in junior high. One goes to New York, one goes to Hattiesburg, Mississippi and the third is shot and arrives at the hospital with no blood pressure and no pulse.

Author’s Name or Handle: Susan Shatzka Maass
Novel Title: Alice’s Garden
I am working on a historical novel based on the lives of my great-great-grandparents.

Author’s Name or Handle: Steve Garriott
Novel Title: Tripping the Con Fantastic
A lawyer-vampire and her jinni partner use their skills to con other fantastic creatures out of their ill-gotten gains. But when the pair pull the con on the wrong creature, their lives are on the line.

Author’s Name or Handle: Curtismith
Novel Title: Annasophia
A woman who experiences her day with curious wonder through childlike simplicity, is arrested for disrupting the peace.

Author’s Name or Handle: Mark R. Weirich
Novel Title: The Gods of Toberi
An inter-steller probe shows life forms on another planet.
A manned exploration finds the life forms destroyed by an earth virus on the probe. Plants turn out to be the intelligent life forms heard from on the way. A war ensues. After the war, one of the plant life-forms adopts an orphaned child born on the way. Thus begins the journey of M’ness D’pree and his human ward Tamara Mattier.

Author’s Name or Handle: Staci Nichole
Novel Title: Angel Armies
It began as a youth project acknowledging the worthwhile qualities and attributes of others every day for two weeks. It became a revolution.

Author’s Name or Handle: @patbreyes
Novel Title: An American Classroom
A collection of short stories about a 4th grade southern California classroom and the students’ very different home lives. Some have the nuclear family experience, most are happy to have a break from their day-to-day realities.

Author’s Name or Handle: Diana Dovgopolaya
Novel Title: Fairy Dust Sprinkled Over Darkness
A short story with a dark twist on the love tragedy of Peter Pan, and a gender swap of Wendy and Pan.

Author’s Name or Handle: Marissa Dummel
Novel Title: The Dragon Guard Chronicles Book #1: The Guard’s Awakening
Being a teenager is difficult enough. Now add in being an ancient guardian descended from one of the Knights of the Round Table and you’ve got poor Marina. Marina is your average fifteen year old Washingtonian girl- she is a junior, plays clarinet in band, loves her family and has boy problems. She is invited to school in the United Kingdom, where she discovers a hidden world.
This world was created by King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table with the help of the dragons, of course. Though, on day one, Marina manages to make an enemy of the most popular girl in school, find out she’s one of the Dragon Guard- descended from Sir Tristan himself- and has discovered she is half of the star crossed lover’s of the Guard. The other half? Just the most popular boy in school.
Along with going through junior year, Marina has to also learn how to control her power over Water, balance school politics, and figure out her relationship with Arthur who is the Fire to her Water. Not to mention they also have to find their Dragon Partners and, oh you know, save the world from the descendants of Mordred and Lady Morgana.
Will Marina master her powers? Will she figure out her relationship with Arthur? Will she pass junior year? Read “The Dragon Guard Chronicles Book #1:
The Guard’s Awakening” and join the Guard in their journey into the Dragon World to find out!

Author’s Name or Handle: Diana McGowan
Novel Title: Everything Before Us
A short story about the events that eventually lead up to the forming of a young couple’s relationship.

And finally…I’m not playing favorites, but seriously—writing 5 books?! Genius!

Author’s Name or Handle: Zanzibar 7. Schwarznegger (on NaNoWriMo: Trilleth)
Book 1:Novel Title: Purple Text Talk (older children’s novel)
Aria has everything: a best friend she spends most of her time with, a mostly-great family, and a cell phone she treasures just a little too much. When her dad loses his job, can she make the adjustments to a new life or will she be too caught up in the old one?

Book 2: Novel Title: The Annals of Bobian (YA Humor)
The Bobian has gone without ice cream for far too long.
Will his quest for ice cream continue to land him in (mis)adventures, or can he finally get to that sweet finish at the end of the tunnel?

Book 3: Novel Title: Spaghetti Theory and Other Chaos Permutations (YA SF)
In the midst of a world decimated by a two-fold plague that leads to strict social rules and even stricter medical laws, Zipad is conceived with not one but both Variants of the virus. Will an experimental procedure save his life or will he die upon birth, remembered as one of the greatest mass murderers of the twenty-first century?

Book 4: Novel Title: The Wicked Witch of Whatever (YA Humor)
Andrew has it all: social standing, good grades, and a pretty cheerleader on his arm. But when a chance encounter with a psychic medium reveals he is fated for so much more, will his girlfriend Cass take things too far?

Book 5: Novel Title: Beta Beware! – book 2 of the Figments series (fantasy humor)
DJ is in desperate need of beta readers for her finished manuscript. When Christopher Collum agrees to read hers if she’ll read his, she thinks the worst part will be keeping her eyes open long enough critique the formulaic rewrite. But when a plot bunny drags her into a game world where she is just a pawn, DJ learns just how real Christopher’s world can be… and how dangerous. Bridge games, backwards prophecies, and a snarky game narrator will keep DJ on her feet to the very end– if she survives that long.

So I guess now you can officially say you’re a published author. You’re totally welcome, by the way. Just be sure to give me a shout-out in your book’s acknowledgements.

A Blogger’s Life for Me

I’ve made it to the middle! We’re halfway through the year and I’m also halfway through my reading resolutions. Let’s review what I’ve gotten myself into:

  1. Read something a library patron recommends
  2. Read this year’s Everett Reads! book 
  3. Read something difficult, either due to subject matter or writing style
  4. Read an award-winning book
  5. Read something that is super-popular
  6. Read a book that was the basis for a TV series or movie
  7. Read a classic work of literature
  8. Read an annotated classic work of literature
  9. Read something that will help me plan for the future (see below)
  10. Read something that will help me reconcile the past
  11. Read a graphic novel 
  12. Read an entire series that is new to me

The future: a scary, unknown, slightly intimidating place where I will definitely have more wrinkles but I will hopefully have more time to focus on hobbies. I enjoy writing for this blog, and I love that you take time out of your busy schedule to read it. We have some very talented writers on staff here, and we’re all lucky that blogging is just another part of that mysterious “other duties as assigned” line in our job descriptions. We try to make posts fresh and relevant to your interests with the goal of promoting the library through its programs, services, and materials.

That’s all a nice way of saying I like writing here, but I’d love to do more and on my own terms. I’ve been toying with the idea of starting my own blog, and maybe start laying the groundwork for either a steady hobby or, if all goes brilliantly, a second career.

BlogIncBlog Inc.: Blogging for Passion, Profit, and to Create Community by Joy Cho is the book that lit my creative fire. Joy, who has been a professional blogger since 2005, is a trusted voice in the blogosphere. Her book condenses down her best tips and tricks for developing your own writing voice and taking it online. I found guidelines for setting up both a content strategy and a marketing plan, both main ingredients in a successful blogger’s toolkit. Mixed in with these nuggets of wisdom are interviews with other professional bloggers. I find it fascinating how some people got their “big break” and what other things these bloggers do when they’re not online. Some run small businesses; others are full-time parents. But everyone shares a passion for blogging, one that I would love to channel into my very own blog.

But I didn’t stop there. I checked out a ton of books on blogging from the library, and found an excellent balance between how to plan good content and a ton of technical help (think layout and coding cool features). Books like ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income by Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett, Building a WordPress Blog People Want to Read by Scott McNulty, and Blogging for Bliss: Crafting Your Own Online Journal by Tara Frey build on the foundation Blog Inc. gave me. For those who don’t like to start any new venture without a Dummies reference, check out Blogging All-In-One for Dummies. I found information on everything from planning content, selecting a host, and using social media to share my posts.

After digesting all this information, including how to make money from blogging (can we say dream job?), I looked into other ways I could monetize my life. Everyone else is selling out, so why shouldn’t I? That’s where How to Make Your Cat an Internet Celebrity by Patricia Carlin comes into play. I figure with three cats, all of whom are completely insane, there’s got to be an entertainment gold mine in there somewhere. This book is obviously a parody of, well, I guess the entire Internet. But I won’t let that slow me down. There are tons of sure-fire ways to turn your feline friend into the next Grumpy Cat. If nothing else I could always fall back on these ideas if my blog gets a little low on fresh content.















Based on my recent reading and pinning activities, I’m on the verge of taking the blogging plunge. Maybe if I get started now and get a dedicated following, get myself used to a structure and schedule, and figure out how to maybe get paid for my hard work, I’ll have in place a second career. But I’m not totally delusional: I’m still buying lottery tickets.

Writing for Dollars

Grab a pencil


So you really want to write

Geez, it’s not easy to write a good blog post heading.  It must be even more difficult to come up with one for a magazine article, let alone the whole article.

Luckily, help is on the way. If you really want to add Freelance magazine writer to your resume, you’ll want to be here this Saturday (September 15th)  at the Main Library at 2PM for just such a program. William Cook, who has written for a variety of well-known magazines, will let you in on a few secrets of magazine article writing.  He also promises to show how to avoid being branded a hack writer.

Who knows, maybe he could even help me with crafting some decent headings.

But wait, there’s more.  Before, or after (but please not during) Mr. Cook’s program, head to the 800’s (808.02 to be more precise). That’s where you’ll find books like Magazine Writing: A Step-By-Step Guide for Success, and  Writing for Magazines: How to Get Your Work Published in Local Newspapers and Magazines, and Teach Yourself Writing for Magazines.

Then, when you’ve had your first magazine article published, tell us. We’d like to be in on the beginning of your writing career.