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Showing posts from 2015

No NaNo 2015

Hey everyone!  It's been too long since I've posted.  One of the voices in my head said I can't post on a Sunday since traditionally I post on Fridays, but another voice said that it's my blog, so I'll do what I want with it, thanks much.

This year is a bit sad for me.  With my time commitment to school, I can't participate in NaNoWriMo.  I still have a ton of story ideas, I'm still going to several write-ins (albeit to work on homework and mooch the creative enthusiasm), but I'm not working on a novel of my own.
NaNo was my first really positive creative writing experience.  NaNo has been my start of new novels and my deadline for finishing them since 2011.  Not that I've stuck to the finishing bit that much, but in my head it's been the goal.  Not working on something this year almost feels like I'm betraying my people.  Like I'm betraying myself.

Needless to say, but worth saying anyway, I can't wait to graduate in May so I can …

Guest Post: A Short Intro to Visual Novels

Hey there! I’m Leah, also known as the person responsible for piquing Madeline’s interest in visual novels. So much so, apparently, that she asked me to write a guest post about them. So without further ado, here we go.

What are Visual Novels?
Visual novels are like choose-your-own-adventure books in video game format. The emphasis is on reading through the story from the protagonist’s point of view, occasionally making choices that influence the type of ending you get. They can be any genre, and usually include art of the characters (a.k.a. ‘sprites’) and background art, as well as background music.

How did I do? Hope that was clear enough a description for you to get a basic idea.

“Okay, Leah, you’ve piqued my interest, too,” you might be saying. “So what visual novels do you recommend I check out to start with?”

I’m glad you asked! Here are two recommendations that immediately come to mind.

2 Short (and free!) Visual Novels to Try:

Ripples
With only one possible ending, no choices for …

What?

Happy Friday, friends!  It's been forever!  Here's what I've been up to:

1) Adult Health I (6 hrs), Mental Health (4 hrs), and Evidence-Based Practice (3 hrs).  One A and two Bs!

2)
3) Having my brain go crazy with new ideas for stories.  There is nothing like being busy to make your brain have plans for you to be doing anything other that what it is you are supposed to.  I've planned out several of the characters for my next novel.  The one that I won't be able to start until after May 2016.  The one that I shouldn't start until after I've edited Om Nom Nombies and finished the drafts of The Neif and Spitfire.  But it's so awesome!  Sigh.

4) I've been inspired by an incredible new storytelling format.  I say "new". New to me, really.  You might know it as the format uses for visual novels or choice-based games.  I can't say more right now because one of my friends, Leah, is the one who got me started on all this goodness.  She's g…

Pickle Jar

Happy Friday, friends and neighbors.

This week my family laid to rest my paternal grandmother.  She was one of the most awesome people I have ever met.  Her house was covered with watercolors and oils and sculptures that she had made.  And they are quality stuff.  Her creativity is something that nurtured mine as I grew up.

Today, in her memory, I'm going to share with you guys one of my methods for coming up with and developing stories.  There are a few *spoilers* for stories I haven't told yet, but I'm going to keep all the most exciting ones to myself. :)
This is the pickle jar that I keep story ideas in.  For a while it still smelled like Kosher dills every time I opened the lid.  If I breathe really deep when I open it now, the aroma is still faintly present.  I sacrifice a piece of paper every so often to be cut into strips and I keep them on top of the jar so that whenever inspiration strikes, I can write down my idea, fold it up, and throw it in the jar for when …

Om Nom Nombies Edits and Thoughts

Happy Friday!  This week I finished reading back through my first draft of Om Nom Nombies and got some feedback from my last alpha reader.  This means I have a game plan for my first ever revision!
I guess this is a good time to talk about this novel, since I wasn't blogging when I started writing it.  Initially, my idea for this novel was for a group of prepper-roommates that have been getting ready for the zombie apocalypse (stop shaking your head, this is a thing) find themselves in the throes of an outbreak.  What I particularly love about this story is the back-and-forth banter that the roommates have.  When you let the nerd voices in your head out, they argue and they quote nerd culture and they make awful (but funny) jokes.  This is probably the only thing this story will have in common with any of my other stories based in our present world.  That, and an ensemble cast rather than a single main character.  Neither The Neif nor Spitfire have ensemble casts, but my next two …

Demi-Human

Howdy girls and boys!  I do have a review post for you today, but it's not of any of the books I mentioned last week.  I started reading a manga earlier this week at work and I couldn't put it down, so here's my review of Ajin: Demi-Human.  I'll alert you for spoilers.

Right before finals Crunchyroll updated our subscription so we could read manga as well as watch anime through their site/app.  I was good and waited until this week :)  Their mobile app doesn't have the library available that their site does, but that's okay because it supports this series.
Premise is that a few years back, demi-humans were discovered.  They can't be killed; when they die, they come back to life in a matter of seconds, whole.  Demi-humans are rare and usually hunted down by the media and their friends and family because of a rumor that there's a large reward from the government associated with turning in a demi-human for "research purposes".  In actuality, the …

I Don't Know What To Put Here - May Post

I'm sorry, titles are the worst.  But guess what?!?  I finished my first semester of nursing school with two B's and three A's!  Whoop!  I have the whole month of May to play with my stories!  I can write again!!
I have many plans for this month.  Basically do all the chores and hobbies and good-for-the-soul stuff that I haven't gotten to do since I was in school.  Like read all of these books: The Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan, Blood Song by Anthony Ryan, Aisuru by Anma Natsu (I still haven't read the final version!), Without A Summer and Valour and Vanity by Mary Robinette Kowal, The Killing Moon by N. K. Jemisin, Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie, God's War by Kameron Hurley, and The Writer's Guide to Psychology by Carolyn Kaufman.  Funny joke, right? In a month?  These aren't my to-read list that I might get to someday.  These are on my shelf staring at me, wondering why I haven't done anything with them yet.  The first two in that list I st…

Blurbs and such

Hello people!  Only one week and I'm done with my first semester of nursing school!  Finals week is next week and I'm not going to promise that I'll have a post for you next week, but I'd like to.  I'm going to try to get a post up every week in May since I have off of class for the whole month.  (Gasp!)

I haven't done any writing, but I've been (mostly) keeping up with listening to writing podcasts.  A couple of weeks ago the author Libbie Hawker was a guest on a Self-Publishing Podcast episode talking about her book Gotta Read It!  It's an how-to book geared toward writing a book blurb or pitch.  I managed to finish it last week when the transformer in front of my house was struck by lightning and we lost power.  It's amazing what you find time for when there's no internet.


The book is structured in a build-as-you-go style.  Readers (writers?) are prompted to answer some basic questions about their story, kind of a who/what/when/where/why/how …

Aisuru Interview - Part 2

Happy Friday!  Two weeks in a row, wow!  Don't get used to it.  It's just because I didn't have to think to come up with two posts in a row.  

Last week I interviewed my writing friend Anma Natsu about her debut novel, Aisuru, which is available today!  Full disclosure, I helped Anma edit this story, so you could say I'm a little invested.
You can check out the first half of the interview in last week's post.  In this half, we discuss strong female characters, writing craft, and some of the last kinks Anma had to iron out before release day.  Since this interview was available on her podcast, The Lackadaisical Writer, last week, we also discussed pre-ordering options.  If you'd rather, just listen to it there!

Can you tell me about your pen name?

When I decided I was going to publish, I decided I would have a pen name because, one, I work for the state and having my name on a book would cause all sorts of problems.  Two, I have people in my office I d…