Geeky Writing Goodness


My ROW80 check-in:

For all my proclamations about what I planned to do with my outlining and writing, etc., and how I had a plan to not be overcome by the end-of-year, holiday season slackerness that often hits me…I’m slacking a bit.  So this week I set a goal to just read through the rest of K.M. Weiland’s Outlining Your Novel Workbook without doing any of the exercises, making notes, etc.  Just read it through to help myself get a general vision of my book.  Hopefully next week I’ll be reporting that I got that done and am actually back into doing the outlining.

I am still playing with the Bullet Journal technique, making notes and getting a good feel for the system so I can translate it into a novel-planning system.  I have to say, the more I look at this stuff the more excited I get by all the possibilities.  I haven’t even started officially using it yet, and I’m already a huge fan.

And now the just-for-fun stuff:

Reading: On to the third book in Seanan McGuire’s InCryptic series, Half-Off Ragnarok, where we get to meet one of the Price boys, Alex.  I’m having lots of fun with this one and really hope Shelby is going to be sticking around.

Watching: Marvel marathon!  So far, in the eleven years since we started planning our own Thanksgiving weekend viewing marathons (before that I just went with what was on Sci-Fy/SyFy), this one was my favorite.  We watched all of the Marvel (not animated) movies plus all of the Marvel One Shot short films inserted in the appropriate places.  For a great list of the movies, the short films, and the TV episodes in order, check out this list from

Listening:  I’m still catching up on the StoryWonk Sunday podcasts.  Appropriately enough, I am on “Episode 97: Every Part of the Pig.“  It’s about superheroes and there’s lots of talk about the Marvel universe.

For the coming week, I’m going to keep reading and then working through the outlining book, and I’m going to gather the best posts, etc. about Bullet Journal to share.  And there will be more Seanan McGuire in there, because I’m on a kick now.  What do you have planned for the week?


The Weekly Geek, November 26, 2014

Mushroom Collage 2

Just a quick post this week as I head into Thanksgiving prep insanity and a lovely, long, four-and-a-half day weekend.

First, a ROW80 check-in:

  • I’m moving along in K.M. Weilands Oulining Your Novel Workbook.  I’ll be diving into her Structuring Your Novel Workbook when I get to the structure section in the current workbook per advice from the author herself.  The outlining workbook is excellent!  It follows the advice in her Outlining Your Novel book and breaks the steps down into bite-sized chunks that even my over-excitable, scattered brain can latch onto and work with.  The workbook makes it really easy to break the process down into small steps, which is my favorite way to work.  I’m so happy with my choice to jump into this book right now.
  • I am creating a new way to keep a novel notebook.  I’m basing it in part on the Bullet Journal technique.  I just came up with the idea Monday night, so I haven’t done a lot with it yet, but I’m excited to see how this might work out for me.  When I have a couple of months of working with it under my belt, I’ll do a write-up.
  • I only got around to doing writing practice once this week.  But it was something.  This is clearly something I need to find a way to make room for in my life again, because it for some reasong isn’t just happening magically because I said I want it to.  Really, some writing habits!

Geeky stuff:

  • Fairy rings!  The photos above are from a bunch I’ve been taking in the parking lot at work over the past three-ish weeks.  I’ve been here twelve years, and this is the first time mushrooms have sprouted.  And what’s even better, they’re only growing in the little landscaped space right next to my car.  No where else.  I’m pretty sure this is a special gift for me from the fairies.  Also, it’s really interesting seeing how one batch seems to just disappear, and a new crop springs up in almost-but-not-quite the same spots.  And they all look different, different colors, different sizes, different shapes (and that one that is all open like a broken eggshell started as a closed, round-topped mushroom).  Really enjoying this little show and getting back to taking more photos.
  • I returned to Seanan McGuire’s InCryptid world and am currently reading Midnight Blue-Light Special, the second book in the series.  There’s whimsy and a touch of silliness, and yet there’s a really strong story in there, too, so you don’t get bored or annoyed with the light touches.  Ms. McGuire is a master at combining light and amusing and sometimes silly bits with incredibly strong story and engaging characters.  I’m enjoying this one a lot and will jump right into the third book when I’m done with this one.
  • Still catching up on StoryWonk Sunday podcasts.  I love these because they’re easy to just listen to.  I don’t feel like I need to be taking notes or memorizing things, and yet I can feel my understanding of story structure deepening and my critical capacities sharpening.  It’s good stuff.  Today I am listening to “Episode 94: Dodge Ex Machina,” and I highly recommend it.  They are doing writer improv, taking random story elements and demonstrating how to create stories out of them.
  • Getting ready for our traditional Day-After-Thanksgiving tv marathon.  This year we’re doing the Marvel films, starting with Iron Man.  I don’t know if we’ll make it through all of them over the weekend, but we’re going to try!

Those are the highlights over here.  Everything else is story planning and working on a coaching package and a possible writer’s retreat for next year.  All very exciting in my head but not much to actually write about yet.  What about you?  What’s going on in your geeky and/or writerly world?

The Weekly Geek, October 30, 2014

Not a lot to report this week as I’ve had some sort of horrible crud and have been sleeping a lot.  I’m going to do a short list of what I’ve been into this week.  What have you been reading, watching, playing, loving?

  • Reading: Richard Gleaves’ take on the Sleepy Hollow legend.  I finished SLEEPY HOLLOW: Rise Headless and Ride (Jason Crane Book 1) and am currently reading and very much enjoying the second book, SLEEPY HOLLOW: Bridge of Bones (Jason Crane Book 2).
  • I’m continue my marathon listening to the StoryWonk Sunday podcasts.  Right now I’m listening to them discuss the most recent Star Trek movie, Star Trek Into Darkness, and I love how they pinpointed what was wrong with it that I couldn’t quite put my finger on (Episode 80: Crewsicles, if you want to listen).
  • I’m working on plotting my story and resisting signing up for NaNoWriMo this year even though it feels really srange to me to not be doing it.
  • Watching: lots of tv in the background as I’ve tried to nap away this bug, but I have been watching Scorpion.  At first I thought it was going to be too cheesy, but the more I watch it the more I like it.  I hope it’s catching on with others so we can keep it for a while.

That’s it for me for the moment.  I’m going to go off and nurse this cold-thing.  See you next time, hopefully with a progress report on the novel planning.

November is Gone

It’s been over a month since I wrote here?  How does that happen?  Oh yeah.  NaNoWriMo.  It’s so much fun, and it’s a great jumpstart for your writing, but it really takes over your life for the whole month of November.

A little brag

A little brag

Now the task is to finish out the rough draft and get to the revisions of my story.  I found a really huge plot hole at what should have been the midpoint, so I am working on doing an outline of this thing to try to figure that out.  I’m also having a lovely time researching and setting the mood for my story.  It’s a classic-style spooky tale complete with old mansion and family curses, so I am watching scary movies (so happy that this week Netflix got the 1999 version of The Haunting!)

I also discovered a new-to-me author who does gorgeous, atmospheric stories of just the type I want to write: F.G. Cottam.  Last week I read The Colony, and this week I started The Waiting Room.  I also have The Harrowing (A Ghost Story) by Alexandra Sokoloff queued up when I finish the current read, and then I want to read something by Sarah Rayne, because here work looks like just the right sort of thing to fit my mood, too.  And I’ll be rewatching Rose Red to get some of that great, haunted-house vibe.

So what other spooky tales should I be reading or watching?  Do you have a favorite.