Books Require Lots of Words

I’m not sure why this is still surprising to me, but books have so many words in them.  No matter how many words I write, they want more.  For example, I can write 8,000 words and in that time, my character can travel from one town to another and accomplish nothing because there weren’t enough words.  Or I can have a running total of 27,000 and still be in chapter three.  Because words.  I don’t have enough.  Yet.

That’s the beauty of writing. I am the mistress of the words and if I need more, I have them.  They may bring unwanted friends that I’ll need to evict later, and they may get a bit jumbled between my mind and my fingers, but they are there and they are free and I can have as many as I want.

I love words.

NaNoWriMo 2015: Day 1

Another year, another NaNo! I woke up early this morning and had all my words pushed out by about 9:00am. I’ll try to write a little more this evening, but things are dragging along a bit and the writer’s greatest nemesis (my cat) is very playful and seems to have acquired a taste for my feet, assuring this will be a long day.

This year, I’m novelling through Novlr, a relatively new cloud-based feature.  The last few years I’ve used OneDrive, and prior to that a trusty flash drive and Microsoft Word.  I’ve nothing against word, but the simplistic design of Novlr is wonderful for me, as well as easy statistics and chapter breakdowns.  I also love the quick-save features (automatic and constant) and the daily DropBox backup.  One can never be too careful.  I was lucky enough to snatch one of the few lifetime subscriptions to Novlr, and I have a feeling I really got my money’s worth.

So that’s the technical side of things.  On the story side, I find I’m already leaning a little too dialogue heavy.  It’s definitely something I have to work on because I hate reading stuff like that.  I have these vivid images in my head of my protagonists, and I need to find better, less clunky ways of getting them out there.  I’m also world building and in my head I’ve got this epic fantasy world.  It actually has the potential to be the biggest and most detailed world I’ve built since Arefuy, and I built that in 6th grade.  I’m not as attached to these characters as I am to Jessica and Sean, but I think there are things that Ember and Night have yet to show me and I really think this one will be a fun one.  I’m excited.

The hardest part will be finding time to write around work, especially since I’m at a computer all day.  I’m hoping to split the writing time between morning and evening and hopefully by demanding less on myself all at once, I’ll get a better result.

In the meantime, I built a cover for it and I am hoping it prints reasonably well.  The image I used was not meant to be so large, but it was absolutely perfect and I can’t tear myself from it.  Either way, my final printed copy is just for my collection anyway, and last year the cover was all topsy-turvy so it can’t be any worse than that!

The Story Collector

Her Day

Wind softly plays through the grass,
outside her window.
It sings frost into the autumn air
and whispers of snow.

She pulls her knees to her chest
and huddles ‘neath an old blanket.

Four white walls,
the computer’s low hum,
and a black and white cat
(sound asleep)…

she looks around,
but she’s all alone.

With the wind,
she sighs.

The frost enters her lungs,
a plague that chills her veins
and stills her heart.

In her hands she cups
the lonely cupcake,
sweet chocolate frosting
brushed against her thumb.
She inhales the bitter, sweet aroma
of childhood parties,
of sweet sixteen…

she lets it fade away,
erased on the white walls
of her empty apartment.

In a whisper so low,
even thawing strains to hear,
she says:

“Happy birthday,”

and blows
the candle

Spiced Cider

spiced cider,
cinnamon & nutmeg
swirling aroma, sweet
liquid apples
melted butter
flour & brown sugar…

taste the leaves
dangling from crooked branches,
swaying in the soft, cool wind.
taste the spice
from pumpkin fields
as the harvest turns

close your eyes
and breathe in.

taste it on the tip of your tongue
twisting through your mouth,
heat on your teeth-
all autumn stirred together
in a heavy ceramic mug….

spiced cider.


Book Review: “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain

2956Series: Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn, #2
Published: 1884
Page Count: 327
Genre: Classics, Fiction, Literature, Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Adventure
Read Count: Twice
Duration: June 20th-23rd, 2015.
Rated? Four Stars

Of all the contenders for the title of The Great American Novel, none has a better claim than The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Intended at first as a simple story of a boy’s adventures in the Mississippi Valley – a sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – the book grew and matured under Twain’s hand into a work of immeasurable richness and complexity. More than a century after its publication, the critical debate over the symbolic significance of Huck’s and Jim’s voyage is still fresh, and it remains a major work that can be enjoyed at many levels: as an incomparable adventure story and as a classic of American humor.


A fun story with a series of colorful characters and a brutally honest narrative.

The last time I read this book was in high school, sophomore year, as part of the English curriculum. I didn’t remember not liking it so I thought, shoot, I’ll read it again. And what fun it is! I’m ashamed to say I haven’t read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (though I know enough about it; Mark Twain is so ingrained in our culture), though I certainly will.

Twain, through Huck, paints the most blatantly honest view of people, from his abusive, greedy Pap to the sad, deceased Emmeline Grangerford. He’s a sweet boy, and it’s such fun to go down the Mississippi on his raft with himself and Jim.

Like anything of this era, it’s incredibly important to remember that Huck Finn is a product of his times and while the view of the world has changed, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a notorious banned book, we should not hide literature away in a cupboard because of the world which produced it. I have similar feelings to this novel as I do Gone With the Wind, because of its racist sentiments, but one absolutely cannot let this ruin the book, as when it was written, this would have been even controversially abolitionist. Just food for thought.

To sum up, I just want to add that Tom and Jim’s discourse about the necessities of prisonerhood and the need to keep a pet rattlesnake and so forth had me all but laughing out loud in the middle of my quiet office as I listened to the audiobook. That, and Elijah Wood does a recording through Audible that is absolutely sublime.

Find it on: Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, Audible.
Available on Kindle, Nook, & iBooks.