My Life This November: In Which NaNoWriMo Happens and the Semester Marches On

Hello, everyone! It’s the fourth Saturday of the month (finally), which must mean that I’m here summarizing my month for you. It’s been a bit crazy this month, so I’m not quite sure where to begin. I’ll probably be quite brief.

First, of course, in the writing domain, National Novel Writing Month (fondly known as NaNoWriMo) happened this month, and is still going on. As I mentioned on Wednesday, I wasn’t going to do NaNoWriMo this year (I mean, what college student has time to write a 50,000-word novel in thirty days?), and then on October 31st I thought, “Well . . . why not?” And here I am.

As I’m writing this post this morning, my current word count is 35,847 (5,500 or so of that is from October). I’m well aware that I’m not going to finish by Nov. 30th without losing massive amounts of sleep, which would be bad for my driving to school and generally being awake in class, so basically I’m not going to hit 50K by the end of the month. But at least I’ve written probably a lot more than I otherwise have. I’m more than halfway through Circle of Fire, and I’m really enjoying it so far. I just love writing rough drafts in general. It’s so freeing. I’m really looking forward to getting to the end; it should be fun.

In other news, it’s fall in New Hampshire, and a lot of leaves fell down this month. Then, on Monday, we had our first snow. It wasn’t much, just a coating, but it still caused a lot of ice and problems on the roads. Getting to school was interesting that day.

School has been pretty good. Organic chemistry and physics have taken over my life more than ever as the semester starts to wind down to the end. I only have three more exams left before finals (yay!). It’s hard to believe that, by the end of next month, I’ll be a full year and a half through college. It’s quite exciting. And perhaps I’ll get more writing time over winter break. . . .

So that’s my month! What about you? How was your Thanksgiving (which, of course, I totally forgot to mention in the body of my post), if you’re American? Have you had snow this month? Are you also in school? How’s it going? Are you doing NaNoWriMo, and if so, how’s that going for you? Share in the comments!

My Life This October: In Which I See a Broadway Show, Catch a Cold, and Start a New Book

Hello, everyone! It’s the last Saturday of the month, which means I’m summarizing my month here for you. October has been a pretty full month for me, what with studying and numerous exams and being sick for much of the month (see second item in the title), so I’ll just give some of the highlights.

Near the beginning of the month, I got to go to Boston to see a Broadway show, stay at a fancy hotel, and have dinner in a fancy restaurant thanks to the McNair Scholars Program, which I am a part of at UNH. (If you’re a qualifying college student, you’re interested in doing research, and your school has this program, DO IT. I’m going to do it next summer and I can already tell it’s going to be awesome.) The whole weekend was really fun. I’d never experienced Boston like that before; I’ve been a lot with my family to visit museums and stuff, but it was a totally new experience going with a group of students for a night out. It was a blast. I saw my first ever Broadway show (Jersey Boys), and it was really good apart from lots of language and innuendo which I didn’t appreciate so much. As a writer, though, I thought it was very well written, and even the language and stuff was probably pretty accurate to the characters. I really enjoyed the music, too.

Image result for jersey boys boston
Not what my playbill looked like, but it gives you some idea.

Dinner was also really good. It was a sort of stir-fry place where you get all your ingredients yourself (they have pasta and burgers, too), and then watch the chefs cook it up on one of those big round grills. UNH actually has one at one of their dining halls, but it was cool to see it on a larger scale. The ice cream was also fabulous. And staying overnight in the fancy hotel was a lot of fun, too.

Unfortunately, the month took a turn for the worse the next week, when I caught a nasty virus, the current “UNH Plague.” As I’m writing this, I’ve had it almost three weeks. It’s getting better now, but for a while it was really messing things up for me–I got my first ever 59 on an exam partially because of it. (Granted, I was above class average on this exam, because it was too long and everyone found it really hard, but still . . . a 59. . . .) But life goes on, viruses or not. And since I’m taking organic chemistry, the labels on medications are a lot more interesting now, even if I don’t actually fully understand what they say.

And somewhere near the beginning of this month (or the end of last month–I can’t remember which), I finished outlining as much as I felt I could at the moment and finally let myself jump into drafting Circle of Fire! It feels so, so good. First drafts are kind of my writing happy-place because that’s what I’ve done most and therefore what I do best. (I’ve gotten really good about letting my writing suck, haha.) It’s so nice to just have a creative release of words again. It’s also interesting to write in a different genre than usual; CoF is difficult to define as one genre, but I’d say it’s mostly thriller with fantasy elements. For age range, I might place it as older YA or cleaned-up NA, new adult, something I’ve never done before. I think that’s all I’ll tell you for now, but I’m going to keep doing Beautiful People posts for CoF characters, so if you’re interested, you can get little tidbits from those.

As far as life in general, school goes on. Week 10 of the semester has just finished, and we march on steadily toward finals week. I have eight more exams between now and then . . . I just have a lot of exams this semester (counting organic chem “quizzes” as exams, that is). I have determined that, for all my ranting about organic chemistry last month, physics is that much worse. Physics, even dumbed-down physics for life science students, is no joke (that’s the exam I got a 59 on. Yeah.). I’m glad I’m getting it over with this year. Genetics, though, has only gotten more interesting with the introduction of molecular genetics, which I love. And I’m thrilled to be taking advanced genetics classes starting in the spring. (The fun will soon begin. . . .) I’m still working in the lab, doing PCR and DNA extractions and to a lesser extent looking after baby seaweeds. So . . . yeah, that’s about it for the month. I’ll be back next week with a Story Starters post!

What about you; how has your month been? Are you in college or school? Have you been sick this month? (If you have, I feel your pain, believe me.) What classes are you taking? Have you done any writing this month? Started any new projects recently? Let me know in the comments!

Beautiful People: Digging Through the Archives

Hi, folks! It’s October, and most everyone in the writing world (except me) is preparing for NaNoWriMo. (If you don’t know what that is, just Google it.) That means it’s Beautiful Books month instead of Beautiful People. So since I’m not quite ready to unveil Circle of Fire yet, I went digging through the Beautiful People archives for ten questions to ask another character. I found the questions from July 2015, which pretty well suited Chase.

ch_1
Chase Hawkins, Circle of Fire communications technician.

Chase is a secondary character from my new book (and as of right now I’m drafting it–yay!) Circle of Fire, which as I’ve said I’m not unveiling yet. But here’s a bit more about him anyway.

1. What’s their favorite ice cream flavor?

Cookies and cream, but vanilla is also good.

2. Your character is getting ready for a night out. Where are they going? What are they wearing? Who will they be with?

He’s probably going to a burger-and-fries restaurant with a large friend group, wearing a button-down shirt and jeans (which is his standard dress anyway).

3. Look at your character’s feet. Describe what you see there. (There’s more detailed examples to this question, but I’m just going to go with that.)

Sneakers or well-worn cowboy boots, or just white socks with holes in them if he’s at home.

4. Do they have any birthmarks or scars? Where are they and how did they get them?

Not that I can think of. Wait, actually, he probably has one from falling off a bike and skinning his knee as a boy.

5. What kind of music do they listen to? Does it change depending on their mood or is it always consistent?

Chase loves country music, especially older country, and listens to it whenever he can.

6. Do they have any musical talent? Play an instrument? How’s their singing voice?

He is fond of saying that he has zero talent or he would’ve moved to Nashville and pursued a singing career long ago, but his singing voice isn’t actually that bad, just kind of average.

7. What kind of book would you catch them reading?

Either a Tom Clancy thriller or, to be honest, a kids’ sci-fi book. (Or the Bible.)

8. How would they spend their summers (or their holidays)?

Before he *ahem* got involved with the Circle of Fire (and no, I am not going to tell you what that entails), Chase used to work summers at a horse camp for kids. He enjoys being around animals, especially horses, and would really love to have a barn, but wound up with an information technology degree because there were more jobs in that.

9. It’s Saturday at noon. What is your character doing? Give details.

Before joining the Circle, Chase would be only just rolling out of bed, turning on country radio, and grabbing a bowl of cereal (most likely Cheerios, with lots of milk and not eaten until good and mushy). Now, he’d be at work already.

10. Is there anything your character wants to be free of?

Being in the Circle, he’d really like to be free of the threat of being attacked so he could go live in the back country somewhere, keep horses, and raise a family. He’d probably also like to be free of lack of money for aforesaid reasons.

Well, that’s Chase! Are you doing Beautiful Books this month, or just sneaking into Beautiful People archives like me? Whichever it is, do please post the link in the comments so I can read your post! What do you think of Chase? And out of curiosity, how many people are interested in learning more about his book? Share in the comments!

Beautiful People September 2016

Hi, everyone! This month, I decided to be very on top of things and post a Beautiful People post before the last week of the month. What is Beautiful People, you ask? Well, it is a character development link-up run by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further In. Every month, they release 10 questions which we blogging writers answer for one of our characters. The idea is to get to know your characters better. So, onward!

For the last couple months, I’ve been blogging about characters from my book Windsong, but despite their popularity, I’ve become so fed up with the project that I’m taking a little break and have decided to shift focus to a new project, which I’m keeping mostly under wraps for now, but which goes under the name Circle of Fire. And unlike Windsong, its setting is Earth (although with a fantasy twist, of course). So today, I am going to post about one of the characters from this project: Brandon Silverman.

Brandon?:
Brandon, age 29, Circle of Fire pilot and Air Force veteran.

 

  1. How did you come up with this character?–When I was working out the main group’s roles, I decided I needed a pilot and a veteran popped into my head. His name was originally Conor, but then I found I had too many guys with similar-sounding names, and he became Brandon.
  2. Have they ever been starving? Why? And what did they eat to break the fast?–Hmm, tough one. I don’t believe he has. He may have been very hungry while on duty in Iraq, if a supply shipment was delayed, though. I’ll have to think about this one. . . .
  3. Do they have a talent or skill that they’re proud of?–Flying. Brandon loves to fly; it’s his passion. He’s also quite smart and proud of his math skills (he has a degree in physics).
  4. List 3 things that would make them lose their temper.–Lists! I love lists. Let’s think. He gets upset when people try to manipulate him, so there’s one. Second would be antiwar protesters; he feels they don’t appreciate the sacrifices he and other veterans have made. And third, when someone snipes at him for no reason, he’s not likely to take it well.
  5. What is their favourite type of weather? Least favorite?–Favorite: sunny and calm; good weather for flying. Least favorite: thunderstorms. They cause turbulence and set him on edge.
  6. What is their Hogwarts house and/or MBTI personality?–He is an INTJ and probably a Gryffindor.
  7. Are they more likely to worry about present problems, or freak out about the unknown future?–Present problems; he takes a “first things first” approach, although he also plans ahead.
  8. What is their favourite thing to drink?–Beer (very occasionally) or chocolate milk.
  9. What is their favourite color? Least favorite?–His favorite is probably orange; least favorite, probably hot pink.
  10. What is a book that changed their life?–Good question. Probably any Terylian book that he read, which made him realize there really was another world out there. (Although that seems like a bad answer, but I really haven’t thought about this one. . . .)

Well, that’s Brandon! Happy September, everyone!

Did you do Beautiful People this month? Are you going to? Put your link in the comments if you have! Are you working on a new project, or taking a break from an older one? Tell me in the comments!