jana_denardo: (kept tears)
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What’s Up Wednesdays is a blog hop hosted weekly by Jamie Morrow and Erin Funk to help authors network. You can find the rest of the WUW blog hop here


WHAT I'M READING I just finished Dogs: Bullets & Carnage #9 by Shirow Miwa, a SF dystopic manga with a lot of violence and fascinating characters. Also finished No.6 #5 by Atsuko Asano another SF dystopia with an even better story line. And I finished finished The Undertaking of Lily Chen by Danica Novgorodoff. This was a wild story based on the idea of Ghost Brides in China. If they can’t find a recently dead grave to rob, Deshi is going to have to kill Lily to get a ghost bride for his brother. The story was interesting. The art was horrid. And lastly I finished As Chimney Sweeps Come to Dust by Alan Bradley. I love Flavia de Luce, a 12 year old girl into chemistry, poisons and mystery solving (but this is not written as a YA). This one wasn’t as good but I did enjoy it a lot.

Still working on Wheel of Stars by Andre Norton, an old urban fantasy I pulled off my 30+ year old TBR pile. It’s not up to Norton’s usual caliber. I just need to get this done!

WHAT I'M WRITING (+ ONE WRITING GOAL) *
I’m on Spring Break so writing has been sporadic. I’m still waiting on a couple first readers for Blood Red Roulette. I did get more worked on this. I found more problems but now that I see them I can work on them.

I also started another m/m/m story set locally with an eye on an anthology from Wayward Ink. And along with this yet another m/m/m story set in a 1800s tech fantasy world popped up. Apparently it’s a race to the finish in my brain.

But I did get a lot of writing done. I got 5135 words so that’s great.

My goal for next week is to work more on Blood Red Roulette and the two m/m/m stories. No word count goals, just to get something done.


WHAT WORKS FOR ME Talking things out. I do a lot of talking plot snags with my friends has really helped me. They see things from different angles. Often I get fixes that really work plus three or four new ideas as I go. I would be no where without being able to do that and I’m really missing it as friends move off to various parts of social media where we shout out into the void and hope some one sees and eschews the more private forms for communication.


WHAT ELSE IS NEW
My internet was out last week. I DID do a WUW post but couldn’t share it.
You can see it here For that matter, I’m not sure if my internet is back.

I sold a short story, A Wolf in the Fold about an incubus to Wayward Ink’s Of Heaven and Hell anthology. I’m glad to be working with a new publisher. Don’t get me wrong, I love working with Dreamspinner, but getting in with another group is a good thing.
jana_denardo: (shirtless Spock)
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What’s Up Wednesdays is a blog hop hosted weekly by Jamie Morrow and Erin Funk to help authors network. You can find the rest of the WUW blog hop here


WHAT I'M READING I just finished Until Thy Wrath Be Past by Asa larsson, a Scandinavian mystery with a hint of the paranormal. Honestly I have yet to find a Scandinavian mystery I really liked but this came closest. It had more of a ‘Columbo’ feel since there were really no suspects and it was more about proving the first choice guilty.
Also finished Murder on the Lake by Bruce Beckham which wasn’t bad. It’s a self-pub. The dialog and the mystery were good but the exposition parts needed work.
Still working on Wheel of Stars by Andre Norton, an old urban fantasy I pulled off my 30+ year old TBR pile. It’s not up to Norton’s usual caliber

WHAT I'M WRITING (+ ONE WRITING GOAL) *
I tossed my goals out the window. Not my fault. I didn’t have power for three days so…. I’m still waiting on a couple first readers for Blood Red Roulette. I did get through hand editing all the printed out copies of my nano scenes for this and put them in order of how I need to weave them into the rest of the book. So I did make progress just not much you can quantify.
I also started another m/m/m story set locally with an eye on an anthology from Wayward Ink.
Before the foot and a half of snow and all the power outtages, I got a meager 320 words written but editing and writing on paper, well it’ll shake out to a lot more once I start typing it in.
My goal for next week is to work more on Blood Red Roulette and the local story which has no title. Why do I never have a title?


WHAT WORKS FOR ME friendship. I’m glad I have friends who will go ‘yes, I’ll read that for you.’ Not all of them will beta read it which is okay. Heck if I just get someone to read something over and just point out giant gaping plot holes or congratulate me on something that does work makes me happy. It makes it feel like I’m doing something worth the doing.


WHAT ELSE IS NEW
Tooth still broken. I’m supposed to have a root canal and temporary crown put on in 2 weeks because my other appointment was snowed out.
I’ve had two guest bloggers Brynn Stein with her new YA novel and [livejournal.com profile] fireun with a kickstarter for a Crow themed anthology

And on the downer side since 2015 is nothing but one so far, my entire university is in jeopardy and it’s a bit scary financially. I spent days without power, including one below 15 degrees night before I had to pony up 100$ to take me and the cat to a hotel.
jana_denardo: (kept tears)
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What’s Up Wednesdays is a blog hop hosted weekly by Jamie Morrow and Erin Funk to help authors network. You can find the rest of the WUW blog hop here


WHAT I'M READING I I just finished Geist by Phillippa Ballantine and I really enjoyed it. It’s a fantasy story with a hint of steampunk and featured a strong female character. I’m just starting Until Thy Wrath Be Past by Asa larsson, a Scandinavian msytery and Wheel of Stars by Andre Norton, an old urban fantasy I pulled off my 30+ year old TBR pile.
And I just got this one in exchange for a review so I might put it ahead of the Larsson one. Murder on the Lake by Bruce Beckham. I do love a mystery.

WHAT I'M WRITING (+ ONE WRITING GOAL) *
I met one goal and failed on the other. I’m waiting on a couple first readers for Blood Red Roulette where maybe going back to that original idea was NOT a great idea after all. Right now the decision is split but I’m not in the mood to work on it.

I finished a A Wolf in the Fold and I sent it out. I’m happy. I didn't keep track of word count this week because mostly I edited.

My goal for next week is to work more on Blood Red Roulette and well just plain anything. It’s been a bad terrible awful week. I don’t see a better one on the horizon. If I get anything done, I’ll be happy.


WHAT WORKS FOR ME I’m skipping this one this week because nothing is. We’re only 8 weeks into this year but I’ve seen a half dozen deaths (two in my family, others friends). Work is imploding as are most colleges out there. It’s a terrible time to be a professor. I’m too stressed out to really know what is working.


WHAT ELSE IS NEW
Tooth still broken. I’m supposed to have a root canal and temporary crown put on tomorrow. We’re supposed to get a foot of snow tonight. Gaah.
The Writer Recharge is over and you can click that link to see my month of progress.

As mentioned I sent out a short story and to a new publisher so that’s fun. My usual publisher is prepping me to get my first round of novel edits. HOLD ME. This is always so brutal. Necessary. Helpful. But brutal.

And what’s new is my honorary grandfather and childhood role model is gone. I’m still very upset over the death of Leonard Nimoy. I’ve mentioned on my blog how much he meant to me. When he offered over twitter to be an honorary grandfather to people, I felt that connection. I am as sad about him as I am about some of the deaths of people I actually was related to. He and my grandmother who passed on in January died of the same thing. COPD. I hope his passing was less…scary. My grandmother would have been 100 in a few months but that didn’t mean she was ready to go.

When we got the call to come in, I wanted to go. Mom was rather adamant I stay home. Since it was her mother, I did as she asked. I had seen Grandma the day before. One of the last things she said to me was ‘All my friends are dead.’ She was gone within 36 hours of that. And she was afraid. She couldn’t catch her breath because of that disease and she knew and was afraid. I’ve sat with many people and watched them die in my first career as a doctor. I often sat and held the hands of the dying if their family couldn’t get there. I’ve seen that fear. I’ve also seen that peace. I have a couple chronic illnesses. I’m not sure I will be afraid to go but who can say.

So that’s what’s new here. My life is a downer and okay, that’s not new but it’s been bad this week. However, if you made it this far let me leave you with this beautiful thought from Leonard Nimoy. It’s something I want to do even more of.

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jana_denardo: (kept tears)
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What’s Up Wednesdays is a blog hop hosted weekly by Jamie Morrow and Erin Funk to help authors network. You can find the rest of the WUW blog hop here


WHAT I'M READING I finished Red Rising by Pierce Brown for review and if not for that I would never have finished. I’m not tremendously impressed (putting me in the minority). I think I have to just admit it. I don’t like YA dystopias. At All. This was all violence for violence sake. Half of it made no sense really. I couldn’t imagine the best and brightest of the universe fighting their teenagers against each other. We have space travel but we’re basically doing Roman Gladiator stuff? With the money men’s kids? Yeah, no. That seems unlikely especially within the story’s own caste system which HAS fighters.
Also finished Hexed by Kevin Hearne. I had fun with it.

I’ve just started Geist a fantasy/Steampunk mash up. It’s interesting but it’s still early pages so it’s hard to say.

WHAT I'M WRITING (+ ONE WRITING GOAL) *
I met my goals. I fixed chapter one of Blood Red Roulette which seemed to be a bit easier than I thought. I went back to an earlier version. Sometimes you should go with your first instincts. I’ve also put together chapter six of this and found a couple more first readers.

I finished a A Wolf in the Fold. I need to give it a once over then ship it out.
My goal for next week is to work more on Blood Red Roulette and send in A Wolf in the Fold. I wrote @ 5,400 words this past week. It was a good week.


WHAT WORKS FOR ME Having accountability. Writer’s Recharge and WUWs give me that. I don’t want to come here, hat in hand and go ‘I did nothing,’ unless I have a darned good excuse for nothing.


WHAT ELSE IS NEW
Tooth still broken. Me VERY crabby as a result. In theory he can’t fix it til March 9th. Insert swears.

I did, however, work only 90 minutes all last week thanks to the weather. I guess I can’t whine too much about that.

The Writer Recharge through this and that link is my third week results.
jana_denardo: (shirtless Spock)
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What’s Up Wednesdays is a blog hop hosted weekly by Jamie Morrow and Erin Funk to help authors network. You can find the rest of the WUW blog hop here


WHAT I'M READING I’m reading Red Rising by Pierce Brown for review and if not for that I would have quit by now. I’m not tremendously impressed (putting me in the minority). I think I have to just admit it. I don’t like YA dystopias. At All.
Hexed by Kevin Hearne. Honestly I’m really enjoying it. Too bad so many reviewers are trying to make me feel like a bad woman for enjoying it.

WHAT I'M WRITING (+ ONE WRITING GOAL) *
I met my goal of working on chapter 5 of Blood Red Roulette. I thought I had fixed chapter one. Apparently it’s still deeply flawed and I have to agree with the critique. Now I have to figure out how to fix it again. I’m getting so very close to chucking this. It’s apparently much worse than I think it is and doesn’t take long to point out glaring flaws I’m blind to.
I did get back to A Wolf in the Fold. I’m still not happy with it but it’s progressing at least a little. I need to make the one partner more of a character and I wasn’t accomplishing it through his lover’s eyes so he’s getting a few scenes of his own. I think I’m going to cut one of the sex scenes as well. It feels tacked on.
My goal for next week is to work more on Blood Red Roulette and A Wolf in the Fold. I wrote @ 2,900 words this past week.


WHAT WORKS FOR ME Getting critiques. Even if they hurt. At the end of the day, even the painful ones help. Finding good betas is harder than it should be. Sometimes I luck into more anonymous critiques like at Terrible Minds’ blog. He occasionally runs a critique post like the one here . I got some great thoughts on my paragraph, made me feel less like I’m failing at this.


WHAT ELSE IS NEW
Nope the next week wasn’t better as I hoped last week. On Valentine’s Day where in I was alone as usual, I broke my tooth and swallowed it. :( I’ve swallowed the temp caps I’ve put on it three times now. And thanks to the sudden snow storm I might not be able to get to the dentist. Cross your fingers for today because it’s killing me (and I’m diabetic. Open wounds are bad news). However in better news I took part of some authors’ promos over the holiday and one two books, one electronic and the other audio which is a first for me. That’s exciting. The Writer Recharge through this and that link is my second week results.
jana_denardo: (kept tears)
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What’s Up Wednesdays is a blog hop hosted weekly by Jamie Morrow and Erin Funk to help authors network. You can find the rest of the WUW blog hop here


WHAT I'M READING I just finished reading Appointment at the Edge of Forever which I've been given for review. It's SF and it was pretty good. It blends some magic realism into the SF and I would have liked more character development but it was fairly enjoyable.
Until Death Do Us Part #1 a near-future tech manga that had absolutely beautiful art. Loved it. I don’t usually like overly violent manga but this balance beating up the bad guys with a decent storyline. The main characters are a young girl who can see the future and a blind warrior aided by super-tech.

WHAT I'M WRITING (+ ONE WRITING GOAL) *
I met my goal of working on chapter 4 of Blood Red Roulette. I fixed the entire beginning so hopefully I can move on from there. I wrote more last week than I did all January.
I failed in my goal to work in the steampunk/mystery.
My goal for next week is to work more on Blood Red Roulette. I need to work on chapter five which pretty much means a complete rewrite again. And I flip-flopped on working on A Wolf in the Fold, a short story I’m trying to salvage. I have more time than I thought so it might be worth it after all.



WHAT WORKS FOR ME Finding someone who is further along in the business and following their blog. I often find a lot of very useful stuff that way, from open calls, how to handle mid-story bloat, advice on ignoring the Amazon/Goodreads trolls etc. Terrible Minds is one such blog. Yes it’s very NSFW but I get a lot out of it.

I also found the Writer Recharge through this and that link is my first week results.

WHAT ELSE IS NEW
That critter is still making huge fiberglass nests in the heating ducts. The landlord is unmoved by the fact that fiberglass is being shot all over the damn place in my apartment. And well, you know it’s been SO bad here, I’m not going further with ‘what’s new’ until I have something that isn’t gut wrenching. Maybe next week will be better.
jana_denardo: (senile)
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What’s Up Wednesdays is a blog hop hosted weekly by Jamie Morrow and Erin Funk to help authors network. You can find the rest of the WUW blog hop here


WHAT I'M READING I just finished reading The Sculptor by Scott McCloud. I got an ARC to preview. It’s a bittersweet graphic novel about a sculptor who makes a Faustian deal with death: the ability to shape stone/metal by hand and in return he dies in 200 days. And I’m reading Appointment the Edge of Forever by Perrin Pring. It’s SF and so far, it’s pretty good.


WHAT I'M WRITING (+ ONE WRITING GOAL) *
I met my goal of working on chapter 3 of Blood Red Roulette and to work on A Wolf in the Fold. I think I’m going to shelve the latter. I don’t have time to do it justice and honestly, it’s not really romance which is what the anthology is. I wish there were more indie LGBT opportunities that aren’t romance.
I also got my writers group critiques done so there’s that accomplished. It’s not much but I’m taking it.

My goal for next week is to work more on Blood Red Roulette. I’ve realized that needs me to rewrite the beginning so I plan to make a new chapter four and to put all the Nanowrimo scenes in order so I can eventually use them.

I also plan to work on one scene with the detectives for my steampunk/mystery.


WHAT WORKS FOR ME Social networking. Things like this blog hop, networking with authors on twitter and facebook, author lists etc. You get the idea. It’s nice to have contacts who know what you’re going for. It helps to have them when it comes to doing blog tours and things like that. They’re a huge help when it comes to figuring out how to market yourself and some are even willing to beta read.
There are some down sides to it. On facebook for example, it’s hard not to notice you post something and get zero comments and someone else posts almost the same thing and in spite of the fact you have mostly the same friends, they get fifty comments. I haven’t felt more like I was back in high school than I do on facebook. I hated high school. Sometimes I feel just as invisible now. So there is that pit of self doubt social media can open up under you.

What DOESN’T work for me are the people on twitter/facebook/etc who friend you and you friend back after maybe looking at their pages and they seem legit and the very first thing they do is send a PM going ‘READ MY BOOK!’ OMG, really? It’s rude. It’s pushy. Has this ever worked for anyone? It makes me want to just unfriend them immediately. I wouldn’t mind down the road once we know each other, you bringing up the book but the very first thing? No, thank you. This last time, I turned it around said, ‘sure if you buy MINE.’ I noticed I didn’t get any acknowledgement on that (except from one). Yeah, don’t do that. I don’t know anyone who likes it.

WHAT ELSE IS NEW
I have a rodent of some sort making huge fiberglass nests in the heating ducts. The landlord is unmoved by the fact that fiberglass is being shot all over the damn place in my apartment. Sigh. I got a steroid injection in my hip yesterday. I feel so much better. I have a lot of upcoming doctor’s appointments. I’m feeling old. I have to go back to the eye doctor for the third time in three weeks. Whee.
jana_denardo: (kept tears)
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What’s Up Wednesdays is a blog hop hosted weekly by Jamie Morrow and Erin Funk to help authors network. You can find the rest of the WUW blog hop here


WHAT I'M READING I just finished reading Crazy Love You by Lisa Unger, a Goodreads win. It’s a full-on suspense novel which is a bit out of my usual reading materials. I liked it but it felt long in the middle and there is a rape scene so that happened. And In Hot Water by J.J. Cook, another Goodreads win. Strong female lead, fun ghost, it was an entertaining read.


WHAT I'M WRITING (+ ONE WRITING GOAL) *
I technically didn’t meet my goal which was to work on chapter 4 of Blood Red Roulette. My first reader sent back chapter 3 and felt it was lacking so I should have been working on that. I didn’t do that either. I did spent time, however, looking at a short story for an anthology. I’ve failed before the place it and now, after not looking at it for a year, I think I see the problem with A Wolf in the Fold. I don’t know if I can fix it by the deadline though.

My goal is to work on chapter 3 of Blood Red Roulette and to work on A Wolf in the Fold. If I miss the deadline, there will be other anthologies.

I did finish all the preliminary stuff for my upcoming novel and got it sent back to my publisher.

I also did most of the prompts from the 12 day writing challenge


WHAT WORKS FOR ME The idea that my sales would be up if there were more books out there. I keep hearing that batted around the author’s list. New releases help drive sales of older books. It makes a certain amount of sense. I can’t say my own experience reflects that. I had three releases last year (novel, novella, short story) and there was no bump. I guess I’ll see this summer if the novel this year helps to sell last year’s novel.

WHAT ELSE IS NEW
Not much. It’s been a frustrating awful week really. Nothing much happened that would interest anyone.
jana_denardo: (kept tears)
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What’s Up Wednesdays is a blog hop hosted weekly by Jamie Morrow and Erin Funk to help authors network. You can find the rest of the WUW blog hop here


WHAT I'M READING I just finished reading Torchwood: Trace Memories and it was a decent Torchwood tie-in. It could have been a bit better but I enjoyed it.

I’m currently reading Crazy Love You by Lisa Unger, a Goodreads win. It’s a full-on suspense novel which is a bit out of my usual reading materials. It’s pretty good so far and In Hot Water by J.J. Cook, another Goodreads win. It’s a cozy mystery and I’m enjoying it.


WHAT I'M WRITING (+ ONE WRITING GOAL) *
I’m still not writing much between the beginning of school and my grandmother’s death. I did however meet my goal of revamping chapter 3 of my vampires in Vegas novel Blood Red Roulette. I learned that I lost one of the nano bits I had for this chapter. It’s somewhere on the flash but I thought they were all named nano something or other and I can’t find it. Head desk. Oh well. It was a tiny piece. I’m waiting to see what the first readers think of this (I still desperately need another first reader for this one).

My goal is to work on chapter 4 of Blood Red Roulette and to work on a steampunk story that my non-erotica self is doing.

And an important goal is to finish all the preliminary stuff for my upcoming novel before my publishing house gets mad with me (well I did explain the delay was due to grandma’s death). I think I have to tackle the blurb writing part now. Ugh, hate that part with a passion.

WHAT WORKS FOR ME Challenges. Seriously, if you want to motivate me, find me a challenge. I’m doing this one right now. 12 day writing challenge via Writer’s Digest. And for that matter, being on Writer’s Digest mailing list is a help too. It brings a lot of useful things past my eyes. This challenge is pretty basic but it gets me noodling around with things.

WHAT ELSE IS NEW
As I said, I had to deal with Grandma’s funeral for most of the week. I had to drive to Pittsburgh and back again. I started some red maple seeds today with the idea that they can be bonsais (and maybe a memorial tree for Grandma).

I’m still trying to get used to the rather brutal new schedule at work. At least I get breaks this semester.
And I took part in the pay it forward weekend where I have offered up my blog for book promotion so if you’re interested talk to me.
jana_denardo: (kept tears)
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What’s Up Wednesdays is a blog hop hosted weekly by Jamie Morrow and Erin Funk to help authors network. You can find the rest of the WUW blog hop here


WHAT I'M READING I just finished reading Dark of the Moon the first Virgil Flowers spin off of John Sandford’s Prey series. It was a disappointment.

I’m currently reading Torchwood: Trace Memories my first Torchwood tie in book. So far not bad.


WHAT I'M WRITING (+ ONE WRITING GOAL) *
Diddly squat but for two good, but unpleasant reasons. Firstly, it’s the first week back to school and that is so much prep work on my time but more importantly, my grandmother passed away so obviously I’m not in the mood to write.
My goal is the same as last week to finish the revamp of chapter 3 of my vampires in Vegas novel Blood Red Roulette

WHAT WORKS FOR ME I’m skipping this this week as I’m not really in the mood.

WHAT ELSE IS NEW
Mostly only did this, this week to mention again my grandmother’s passing. She was 99 so it was a long life and she got to see her great GREAT grandson a few times before she passed.

Also I signed up for a bunch of reading challenges
jana_denardo: (kept tears)
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Welcome to 2015. It’s about time I did something in the journal this year.


WHAT I'M READING I just finished reading Death Along the Spirit Road by C.M. Wendleboe a mystery taking place on Pine Ridge reservation. It was a good mystery but for me, a former resident doctor on Pine Ridge, it brought up so many memories.


Just finished No. 6 by Atsuko Asano. It’s a very interesting SF/dystopia manga with potentially gay overtones (to early to tell if it will go that way or not)


I'm reading Dark of the Moon the first Virgil Flowers spin off of John Sandford’s Prey series. He’s written better. It’s concentrating more on being ‘manly’ than anything else. The sort of sex scenes are badly written and kinda creepy (when the love interest gets turned on by watching her brother have sex…)


WHAT I'M WRITING (+ ONE WRITING GOAL) *
My short story, <http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3380"> Peace in the Valley, a werewolf Christmas story, has been sold for its foreign rights and will be translated into Korean..

My goal is to finish the revamp of chapter 3 of my vampires in Vegas novel Blood Red Roulette

WHAT WORKS FOR ME Right now absolutely nothing. Yeah, not what anyone wants to hear but it’s true. I’m still visiting relatives for the holidays and getting ready for the start of the semester on Monday. It is what it is. I’ll worry about it on the morrow.

WHAT ELSE IS NEW
I did several free stories for the holidays. You can find them here. Too Hot set in my 1930s demon hunter series Soldiers of the Sun and from my Kept Tears series, an urban fantasy about a disabled veteran and a Tylwyth Teg, there are two stories Mountain High and Holiday Lights.

And lastly there’s my Yearly writing round up. All my professional published works can be found there.


What’s Up Wednesdays is a blog hop hosted weekly by Jamie Morrow and Erin Funk to help authors network. You can find the rest of the WUW blog hop here
jana_denardo: (kept tears)
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It's been a few weeks but now that my nano write ins are over (they were Wednesdays) I hope to get back to this more regularly.


WHAT I'M READING I just finished reading High Maga, by Karin Rita Gastreich, another goodreads win. I'm enjoying this fantasy but hadn't realized it was a sequel so I feel like I'm missing huge chunks of it. And I finished Homeward Bounders by Diana Wynne Jones for classic YA lit to finish a reading bingo. I've just started it so it's too soon to say much.

I'm reading The Cruel Stars of the Night. I’m really trying SO hard to get into this Scandinavian mystery craze but man, every one I’ve tried has been dark, depressing and/or boring. So far this is two out of three.
WHAT I'M WRITING (+ ONE WRITING GOAL) *

I revamped chapter 2 for my vampires in Vegas novel Blood Red Roulette which was my goal for this. Okay it’s still on paper and I need to type it in but it was finals week and I had grades to deal with. It DID get done though.

I also made it through my other goal, to write a scene for the faux Vikings story. I’m not sure where this is going but I do have good ideas for it.

My goals for this week are to edit chapter three of the vampires’ story and to do my fanfiction gifts for the holidays. I don’t do fanfic as much as I used to but I DO like doing it for my friends for the holidays. I have a lot of drabbles to write.

WHAT WORKS FOR ME Knowing I have someone depending on me to finish a story for them. I don’t want to disappoint anyone. That helps me set reasonable goals and motivates me to finish things that might otherwise languish.

WHAT ELSE IS NEW
Nothing good, sadly. I just received news that both my lumbar spine and right hip are degenerating. That arthritis explains all the pain I’ve been in. Well, nothing to do for it but to get the MRI and see where we go from here. I’ve already had surgery to clean out two shoulders and a knee so it’s not like it’s new to me.

I did get the shaky shack decorated for the holidays but it was so sad I didn’t take pictures.

I did, however, have fun at the Steampunk Yule event. It was a lovely reprieve from the crap swirling around here. Here’s a pic from it.  photo steamyme_zps6009ea47.jpg

What’s Up Wednesdays is a blog hop hosted weekly by Jamie Morrow and Erin Funk to help authors network. You can find the rest of the WUW blog hop here
jana_denardo: (kept tears)
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It's been a few weeks but now that my nano write ins are over (they were wednesdays) I hope to get back to this more regularly.


WHAT I'M READING I just finished reading Veil of Life by Lyndie Swedersky and honestly it felt like they accidentally sent the first draft to the printer. All the possessives were written as plurals, all the plurals as possessives, you're for your and vice versa and the list goes on. I only finished it because I was given it in exchange for a review.

I'm reading High Maga, by Karin Rita Gastreich, another goodreads win. I'm enjoying this fantasy but hadn't realized it was a sequel so I feel like I'm missing huge chunks of it. I'm also reading Homeward Bounders by Dianne Wynn Jones for classic YA lit to finish a reading bingo. I've just started it so it's too soon to say much.

I'm also still reading Vinland Saga, Blue Exorcist and Attack on Titan. I'd recommend any of these manga. They're all very enjoyable.

WHAT I'M WRITING (+ ONE WRITING GOAL) *
Lots of big news here. I just found out that my next novel Soldiers of the Sun was purchased by Dreamspinner press and is tentatively slated for a late summer release. I'm so thrilled. It's in my 1930s demon hunter series set in Pittsburgh. I'm so happy that Caleb, Agni and Temple (and now Jo) get to ride again. You can see the novella in this series The Darkest Midnight in December here .

Kept Tears didn't win a Rainbow Award but it did make it to the finals which is amazing for a first novel if you ask me. I couldn't be more proud of it. It's also set in Pittsburgh and is an urban fantasy about a war vet suffering a traumatic amputation who's reentering the dating game and ends up with a fae prince.

I finished and 'won' Nanowrimo for my vampires in Vegas novel Blood Red Roulette. I am not finished by a long shot but I felt to continue on blindly would be a disservice to the story so I've stopped and I'm now reworking the beginning to make sure it's not off track. It started as a short story twenty years ago so it's in some sad shape in the beginning. I think that I know where it needs to go and once I edit through the beginning and firm it up I'll be able to finish this. I'm setting a goal of six months for this.

Also my Yule story is now out, The Light of Winter and you can find it here.

In the midst of nano, a new novel idea came to me. The characters are loosely based on early Renaissance Europe (but it's not earth) for climate and some cultural aspects so imagine settling down Vikings having to work with Romans to face a common enemy.

My goals for this week are to edit chapter two of the vampires’ story and finish another chapter in the new thing. I have so many things I need to be writing but let's try that for a weekly goal.

WHAT WORKS FOR ME Making time for my writing. Unfortunately it does have to be shoehorned in at times but I can't wait for 'the muse to strike' or some mystical convergence. It doesn't matter if I'm tired. Those are mere excuses and excuses are worthless in this case. Yes I'm tired. Yes I'm working on making final exams until midnight all this week but I can dedicate some time to write. I don't care if it's only a half hour. Those will be a few hundred words I wouldn't have otherwise.

Also writing while my students are taking the exams is working for me because that's 2 hours of free time in the middle of my work day. It's either write or stare at them for 2 hours. Writing makes us all happy. I get stuff done and they don't feel uncomfortable under my unwavering stare.

WHAT ELSE IS NEW
Nothing much. My life is nothing but making and grading exams. Oooo exciting. Well it does help the sadist in me but there is that masochistic side crying uncle when I see some of these tests. I'm pretty sure my cat could have scored higher.

Speaking of the cat, he's at his grandparents. I got to go home for Thanksgiving which is unusual and since I'll be back in less than 3 weeks I just left him there. He's having the time of his fuzzy life running on the staircases and pretty much doesn't seem to miss me much. Ungrateful furball.

While home I did get to see Newsies and I really enjoyed it. It's been eons since I've seen a Broadway touring production. Pittsburgh is at least good for that. I miss living there sometimes.

I’ve had other authors showcased on my blog in the last two weeks. You can find Charley Descoteaux and her holiday story, Toy Run, here and Anne Barwell and her historical novella, On the Wings of Song here. Check out their stuff.

What’s Up Wednesdays is a blog hop hosted weekly by Jamie Morrow and Erin Funk to help authors network. You can find the rest of the WUW blog hop here
jana_denardo: (kept tears)
 photo WUWWreath2_zps80917583.png

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to participate in this. I kept forgetting to do it on Tuesday and have it go live on Wednesday and Wednesday is my nano group write ins so I was getting home far too late to play along.

WHAT I'M READING I just finished The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu published by Tor. It’s a translation of a Chinese SF award winner and the book is heavy on theoretical physics and abstract math but it was intriguing. And just finished Dreams by James Erich which is YA LGBT fantasy. It was very good and it’s really nice seeing a gay hero for the younger crowd who often don’t get to see gay characters in fiction.


And I’m almost finished with another ARC I need to review, A Sudden Light by Garth Stein

And I’m still working my way through Attack on Titan by Hajime Isayama now that the library has it. It’s a bizarre, dark dystopic humans-get-eaten kind of manga..

WHAT I'M WRITING Blood Red Roulette which is about my vampires in Vegas. Arrigo is an ancient vampire and member of the Chiascuro, a group of supernaturals who police themselves to be sure humans are becoming prey. Luc is the attractive but troubled young bartender who has caught Arrigo’s eye. What Luc doesn’t know is that he’s about to be stalked and potentially killed by one of Arrigo’s fellow vampires out to destroy Arrigo’s friends. I’ve got about 8K to go. I can do this. I do need to have another fact finding trip to Vegas just to be sure I’m getting it right. That’s reasonable right?

And the Advent Calendar that I have a Druid solstice story in, The Light of Winter is on sale. You can learn more about that here

Writing Goal for the Week Finish Nano as a winner. This is my 10th time. Can't lose now.



What Works for Me Stepping away from the internet. But wait, you say, I need that to check things. Yep, me too so I write down a list of facts to check for later. I’ve been working on my netbook with its broken internet abilities and it’s been working out well for me. Without the distraction from all the shinies on the net, I’ve gotten nearly 50K done in a month. Put that up against the 75K I did all year long. Yeah. I think I can easily point the big time-suck.


WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO
I’m working on a poster presentation for the grant I received. I’m going to risk putting in for a poster presentation at a conference next year based on what I’m pretty sure I’ll find. Hope it’s not a huge mistake!

Still waiting to hear on that novel I sent in. The waiting is the hardest part If you want to read more about that you’ll find it
here

I’ve have another author friend of mine on my blog with her newest publication. You can find it here


I’m now cooking all the things for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving. I don’t usually get to go to Thanksgiving because I’m usually only off two days but since I had a week, I returned to PA with the family. This is not a big deal to me (the holiday itself, not the family). However, I’m beginning to think it’s physically impossible for an Italian to resist cooking huge meals. So far there are mashed sweet potatoes, overnight mashed potatoes, rolls, 8 pies, wild rice pilaf, stuffing, more stuffing, turkey stock from the innards, deviled eggs, the start of the gravy and the turkey is seasoned and waiting for tomorrow. Oh and there’s only FIVE people coming to this. Yeah. Welcome to Italy.  photo italiansmallmeal_zpsfdf78552.jpg

You can find the rest of the WUW blog hop here
jana_denardo: (kept tears)
 photo WUWWreath2_zps80917583.png

WHAT I'M READING I’m STILL reading (oh you long fantasy novels) I’m also reading The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson which is the third book in the Mistborn trilogy. I’ll finish tonight. It’s a fantastic trilogy.
And I’m still working on another fantasy novel, Dreams by James Erich which is YA LGBT fantasy. It’s very good so far and it’s really nice seeing a gay hero for the younger crowd who often don’t get to see gay characters in fiction.

And I’m still working my way through Attack on Titan by Hajime Isayama now that the library has it. It’s a bizarre, dark dystopic humans-get-eaten kind of manga. I am enjoying it so much so I bought the spin off Attack on Titan: No Regret with my favorite character, Levi.

WHAT I'M WRITING Soldiers of the Sun has FINALLY been sent to the publisher for consideration. Crosses fingers. They’ve published other works in this series so I’m hopeful.

I finished my [livejournal.com profile] spook_me’s Halloween challenge. It’s set in the world of my novel Kept Tears. You can find it here It’s called Firebird’s Flight and it’s a free read so enjoy if you stop over to see it (Yes, it is LGBT, but it’s not erotica).
I’ve started my nano novel Blood Red Roulette about my vampires in Vegas. Arrigo is an ancient vampire and member of the Chiascuro, a group of supernaturals who police themselves to be sure humans are becoming prey. Luc is the attractive but troubled young bartender who has caught Arrigo’s eye. What Luc doesn’t know is that he’s about to be stalked and potentially killed by one of Arrigo’s fellow vampires out to destroy Arrigo’s friends. I’m not quite 8K in. Not tremendous but not bad either.

And the Advent Calendar that I have a Druid solstice story in, The Light of Winter is on sale. You can learn more about that here



What Works for Me Right now, deadlines. I have my Nano deadline and all the mini-deadlines built in. It keeps me on track. I love a deadline. If I don’t have one I just piss about (points to Soldiers of the Sun as a prime example. It’s simple but it’s effective.


WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO
I just got a grant to do some medical science research (nothing major, looking at the effects of pre-packaged vegetarian and gluten-free foods on the health of those with chronic illness). I’ve been doing a lot of the paperwork involved in that and getting my research students set up.

I’ve sent that novel in. That’s really biggest news. If you want to read more about that you’ll find it
here


I voted. I’m disappointed in the results but that’s life. Time to move past it.

You can find the rest of the WUW blog hop here
jana_denardo: (kept tears)
 photo WUWWreath2_zps80917583.png

WHAT I'M READING I’m reading a couple things at once Dreams by James Erich which is YA LGBT fantasy. It’s very good so far and it’s really nice seeing a gay hero for the younger crowd who often don’t get to see gay characters in fiction.

I’m also reading The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson which is the third book in the Mistborn trilogy. So far it’s very good but man these puppies are long. Even though they’re good, you still feel that length.

And I’m working my way through Attack on Titan by Hajime Isayama now that the library has it. It’s a bizarre, dark dystopic humans-get-eaten kind of manga. I am enjoying it.

Yes, that’s right, the EXACT same thing I said last week. It’s been a busy week with precious little reading time (Not to mention Sanderson’s work is over 700 pages long).

WHAT I'M WRITING One day I will say something here that’s different. I’m STILL editing Soldiers of the Sun my 1930s demon hunter story. I’m adding a little more 1930s slang. I have the synopsis and cover letter done so hopefully this will be out of here by next week.

I need to write more on my [livejournal.com profile] spook_me’s Halloween challenge. It’s set in the world of my novel Kept Tears. I’m rather stuck on this.

And I'm giving away a copy of my novel here It’s called Kept Tears and it’s m/m urban fantasy. So if you’d like to check it out please do.

What Works for Me Competition. Oh yeah. I do so well with competition. I win a lot of heats in my nano group. In fact I think that’s why I do so well with Nano in general. I like pressure and I’m an alpha bitch when it comes to competition. My friends laugh and point to Bernadette on The Big Bang Theory whenever she’s acting out in a competition and say it’s mean. Not really flattering but it IS true.
Competition brings out the best in me. I will be lazy if you let me but give me a word war and I’ll do my damndest to win it. I will decorate my computer with Nano stickers I win. I often get friends to just set me a goal and a time limit to make me do it. I thrive on it.


WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO
DIddly. I hurt my back so I’ve been taking it very easy. I had three doctor’s appts in 5 days. That’s the sort of fun I’m having. Sadly I’m not even going to get to do much Halloween stuff either. I did buy some stuff for my Anime/Gaming club’s party. The students will enjoy it. I’m doing my thing by keeping out of the way. I have to make some appetizers for the Nano kick off party. I’m excited. I never get to go. It’s supposed to snow. Figures.

I’ve had two great guest authors on my blog. I’ve been busy helping getting a whole host of people the attention they deserve. Suki Fleet is there with an author interview and her newest release. And Grace R. Duncan with her latest.

You can find the rest of the WUW blog hop here
jana_denardo: (kept tears)
 photo WUWWreath2_zps80917583.png

WHAT I'M READING I’m reading a couple things at once Dreams by James Erich which is YA LGBT fantasy. It’s very good so far and it’s really nice seeing a gay hero for the younger crowd who often don’t get to see gay characters in fiction.

I’m also reading The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson which is the third book in the Mistborn trilogy. So far it’s very good but man these puppies are long. Even though they’re good, you still feel that length.

And I’m working my way through Attack on Titan by Hajime Isayama now that the library has it. It’s a bizarre, dark dystopic humans-get-eaten kind of manga. I am enjoying it.


WHAT I'M WRITING One day I will say something here that’s different. I’m STILL editing Soldiers of the Sun my 1930s demon hunter story. I’m now up to formatting it correctly and one last look over to insert a little more 1930s slang.

I wrote more on my [livejournal.com profile] spook_me’s Halloween challenge. It’s set in the world of my novel Kept Tears. I finally introduced the prompt character who refuses to be spooky and in fact wants to be the one in danger.

And I'm giving away a copy of my novel here It’s called Kept Tears and it’s m/m urban fantasy. So if you’d like to check it out please do.

What Works for Me Having other authors to commiserate with and to help boost me up. Readers too. Can’t forget them. They’re all important. This past weekend was GRL which is a huge con for LGBT authors and I couldn’t go. We had our own virtual party on Facebook and while it generated close to 500 posts in my inbox, it was very nice to see all the support. To have people to talk to who knows how the publishing game goes, to have readers talking all about their favorites and asking questions. It was just a good recharge for my batteries which have been pretty empty


WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO
I went to the Renn fest this weekend. It was a blast as always. And as always I overspent. On the plus side I have some beautiful pendant pieces that I can further work into some beaded glory. I picked up some art as well. I got a henna tattoo, a symbol of faith.  photo 100_3594_zps2126bb9e.jpg

I had to attend a conference on veteran students (dealing with PTSD, respect etc) which was great and my honor to do so. I also hit the casino and did some shopping while in Columbus (Yes shopping for me is a big deal because where I live there is nothing but a Wal-Mart that’s closer than an hour away. Malls are about 75-85 miles out).

I’ve had two great guest authors on my blog. Kim Fielding is there with FIVE new releases and one of which is giving all royalties to Doctors without Borders so please check that out. And Brynn Stein brings her new book to us and talks about the issues with dealing with anti-homosexual prejudice.

I also got a piece of art from a friend in Poland (commissioned by another friend for my birthday) It's lovely. I wish she knew how good she was. Isn't that often the way? The ones with so much talent doubt themselves and conversely I've seen a few with little talent never once doubt how great they are.

And right now I have to go grade those tests I mentioned making and deal with the massive back spasm I’m having.

You can find the rest of the WUW blog hop here
jana_denardo: (kept tears)
 photo WUWWreath2_zps80917583.png

WHAT I'M READING Just finished Firelight by Kristen Callihan. It’s a paranormal romance that I thought was a paranormal mystery with a side of romance. Oopps. I’m so not into romances. This one actually is well written but in many places it didn’t work for me. Part of that was me and my disinterest in romance and part of it was some of the scenes like him getting mad, tossing her against the wall and fingering her to climax as ‘punishment’. Um…(also it’s 1890-1900)
I’m still working on Chuck Wendig’s (the author of the Terrible Minds blog) Blackbirds. I love his blog. However, this book isn’t for me and I like dark fiction. This, however is so unrelentingly dark it’s a struggle to finish.

WHAT I'M WRITING I’m STILL editing Soldiers of the Sun my 1930s demon hunter story. I swear to you I will get this done some day and you can stop hearing about it! But that day is not today. I ended up finding errors in it that need addressing but I’m hoping by next week it’s out the door.

I wrote more on my [livejournal.com profile] spook_me’s Halloween challenge. It’s set in the world of my novel Kept Tears. I finally introduced the prompt character who refuses to be spooky and in fact wants to be the one in danger.

And I'm giving away a copy of my novel here

What Works for Me This question is going around a lot lately with Nanowrimo looming. Music. I have to say I cannot write to silence and having lyrics doesn’t bother me in the least. I love writing to music. I know not everyone can do it or others need instrumental only but for me, what works best is to have music that fits the story.
I admit it, I make sound tracks for my stories and often play them again and again. For Soldiers of the Sun I do listen to period music (or at least modern imitations like Big Bad Voo Doo Daddy). Here’s a little sample sound track



(this one is actually in the story)

Rudy Vallee was mentioned in the novella The Darkest Midnight in December You can find the novella here.

Temple, one of the Soldiers of the Sun, whistles this in the novel.

As for the Spook Me story, Rhys and Aaron are steampunk cosplayers and its set at a Steampunk Halloween party. For them, I’d listen to things like Abney Park and Steam Powered Giraffee







WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO
I had my family here for the Bob Evans Farm Festival. We had a pretty good time in spite of the fact it had rained for a week and was muddier than was reasonable. I didn’t take any photos but I did get myself a huge amethyst pendant that I love. And yes for those familiar with the Bob Evans restaurants, the university I teach at is butted up against that farm. It’s an enormous craftshow.

And now I’m making exam after exam. I’d rather be writing

You can find the rest of the WUW blog hop here
jana_denardo: (kept tears)
 photo WUWWreath2_zps80917583.png

WHAT I'M READING Just finished Nobody’s Secret by Michaela MacColl. It’s a mystery with Emily Dickinson as the protagonist. It’s YA and the chapter headers are all of her poems. It’s well researched and Emily is a likeable character in this (though I admit it, I do have a love/hate relationship with real historical characters being turned into sleuths). It wasn’t very mysterious to me but I’ve been reading mysteries for years. If I were the right age for this book’s target audience I’d probably have been surprised
I also finished The Misshapes, by Alex Flyn a superhero style fantasy YA that was also fairly enjoyable. I liked the superhero part but I’m not much of a romance reader so the whole OMG Freedom Boy is my boyfriend thing was getting on my nerves.

I’ve started reading Chuck Wendig’s (the author of the Terrible Minds blog) Blackbirds. It’s interesting, reminds me of Garth Ennis’s graphic novels.

WHAT I'M WRITING I’m STILL editing Soldiers of the Sun my 1930s demon hunter story. I swear to you I will get this done some day and you can stop hearing about it!

I wrote about 900 words for my [livejournal.com profile] spook_me’s Halloween challenge. It’s set in the world of my novel Kept Tears. It’s wanting to get longer than is reasonable. Shoots characters.

Also speaking of Kept Tears, it’s moved on to the final rounds at the Rainbow awards. See more here. That’s so exciting for me because it’s my first novel. I’m just glad some people are obviously really enjoying it.

What Works for Me This has to be said, it’s more of what’s working for me marketing wise vs writing wise. Blogs and all sorts of social media are very important to marketing in this day and age (self published or not, doesn’t matter. Publishing houses DO expect you to do your share now). It can be a confusing maze and knowing what not to do is just as important as knowing what does.

For example, do something more with twitter than constantly blast your book. That will annoy people probably faster than anything.

But the thing we don’t think about is our author blogs. Some people say put more on there then just your book. Okay yes, but there probably needs to be limits. For example, I don’t put much political stuff on mine. For one, I’m fairly apolitical. However, since I do write a lot of LGBT fiction, I might put things up about those issues. I have stopped buying from authors over political views. Maybe that’s wrong headed but there you have it. I do believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinion but when a YA author known for female characters starts calling all men Grandfather Penis and/or Talking Penis and castigating women for not being superior to men, I think it’s probably not the right message to send, especially to young readers.

Lately I’ve seen a couple people constantly whining about how no one understands their writing and they’re going to basically take their ball and go home. People respond, ‘there there, we like you,’ and they stay only to do it again a few weeks later. My thoughts are we all fail at this. Not every story I submit is bought (as if. I wish). What I don’t want is for my readers to think I’m a poor sport or emotionally blackmailing them. Honestly I have a separate blog (this is my author’s blog) where I whine if I absolutely must. I’m not saying we need a blog of Pollyanna crap. I’m just saying we need to be mindful that our audience might be reading and if we’re blasting them for liking ‘shit’ and not us, they probably aren’t going to appreciate it much.
Terrible Mind’s had a good point here. dearest writer nobody owes you shit

WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO
I have author Andrew Q. Gordon on my blog today if you want to stop by and hear about his new book. A Closed Door
I’ve been cleaning so hard. I hate to clean. I have company coming. I was rooting for the natural disaster to strike this place but it didn’t so clean I must.

You can find the rest of the WUW blog hop here
jana_denardo: (kept tears)
 photo WUWWreath2_zps80917583.png

WHAT I'M READING Just finished City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett. It’s a fantasy novel with a great difference. It’s not a high quest ala Lord of the Rings. It feels real and organic like what one would expect after one country conquered another, with all the ugliness that goes with that but with one difference. The gods they killed to do so might not be dead and are the hands on type. I don’t usually enjoy things heavy on politics but I enjoyed this. That’s saying something.
I’m also reading The Misshapes, a superhero style fantasy and Mr. Nobody which is an Emily Dickenson mystery.

WHAT I'M WRITING I’m STILL editing Soldiers of the Sun my 1930s demon hunter story. I finished my own edits and now working in the edits from my beta readers. I hope to send it off to the publisher for consideration soon. (I.e. the same thing I said last time)

I wrote about 400 words for my [livejournal.com profile] spook_me’s Halloween challenge. It’s set in the world of my novel Kept Tears. It’s early days yet but this will be relatively short. Also speaking of Kept Tears, it earned an honorable mention in the Rainbow awards. See more here.

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW Music is always a big inspiration. Right now I’m listening to things that made me happy twenty years ago. I can’t even comprehend that it’s been that long. I had just left NYC for Pine Ridge Reservation to do the second year of my medical residency. It was some of the hardest but most fun times of my life.

I would often wander up to Deadwood, SD because I love the history of it (also, gambling!) I came across a group of Lakota blues players, Indigenous and was lucky enough to see them intimate venues like Durty Nell’s in the Franklin Hotel (my parents were there recently and sadly Nell’s is gone) Note the hotel link has music attached like this is 1998… Anyhow, their music takes me back to a time where I was overworked but happy. I miss those days.



WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO
Cleaning this place for upcoming company and crafting and giving exams. It’s been a dull week in that respect.
Finally got my steampunk picture  photo ME_zps9cdb4f95.jpg
I’m so overworked right now I can’t even remember if I put my last WUW on the links page. I think I didn’t. It’s here



ETA - I totally missed one of the questions had changed. OOPS. What Works for Me Right now, turning off the internet. Yep, I said it. I have a hefty internet addiction and it eats into my time in a major way. Disconnecting helps me go. For example last week when I wrote 1000 words in a half hour, I was at the library on my netbook, it's internet is dead.

You can find the rest of the WUW blog hop here

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