Make Me Your Villain Book Tag

If I tell you that I’ve always wanted to be a book villain, I may sound a little crazy. But you’ve been here before, so it’s not like that’s saying anything new.

My friend, Kathryn became a villain over on her blog, and the tag originated with SJ Bouquet and friend, Dash. While I have not been tagged myself, I couldn’t resist.

To begin: Choose 6 books (the original tag says to pick them at random, while Kathryn chose the last six books she read) and get out your ipod (or other music listening device). Prepare yourself.

Your new, villainous name: Every good villain needs a name that inspires awe and fear. Pick one of your six books at random. Flip it open and pick the first adjective you see. Then, look at your bookshelf and pick the first noun you see from all the covers. Put the adjective and noun together. That’s your name.

Animal Farm by George Orwell, page 44:


As much as I might like to use “graveside” as my adjective, by context, that’s a noun. Instead, I have to go with “little.”

A glance at my book shelves and I become…


… the Little Raven. (This smile on my face is the dictionary definition of ‘glee’.) Continue reading


The November Chronicles: Day One

I should not be awake right now. I’ve only gotten five and a half hours of sleep, and my alarm promised I could sleep until noon. And yet, I woke up, and I’m terribly excited that National Novel Writing Month has started.

I use Post-It Notes for all my novel planning needs. Cryptic instructions from the past are oh-so-inspiring. Here's the one I've been referencing most today.  (via

I use Post-It Notes for all my novel planning needs. Cryptic instructions from the past are oh-so-inspiring. Here’s the one I’ve been referencing most today.  (via

Current word count: 2,155
Status: Ahead of schedule, sleepy, and consuming too many Halloween Kit-Kats

I started writing last night at midnight. My boyfriend accepted that pleasantly, even though it meant skipping out on his Halloween plans. One of my coworkers thought I was a little crazy to deprive myself of sleep. My friend on the East Coast, who started writing three hours ahead of me, was still up writing when I headed for bed at three-thirty a.m.

It was a good start.

I am already very aware that the editing process is going to take a long time: as usual, everything is blunter than I would like it to be. I use the same words too often. I’m writing dialogue without feeling like I even know some of the characters who are talking. And yet, the bones of a first chapter now exist, and I’m happy with the raw material that I’m building.

I’ve never been one of those writers who starts a project feeling like the writing is running smooth as a cat. I don’t hit a sweet stride until about halfway through. Right now, it’s too painstaking, too much like the tedium of setting up massive lines of dominos to knock over later in a beautiful clatter.

But I love knowing that that’s coming.

Today, I’m hoping for two thousand more words, and a few more sentences to point at and say “That’s still going to be in the polished story.”

How did YOU kick off November?

The November Chronicles: How Do You NaNo?

Since putting up my last blog post, I’ve gotten a handful of messages asking how to participate  in National Novel Writing Month.

Here’s the basics:

  • Write 50,000 words (or more)
  • Start any time after 12:00 a.m. on November 1st.
  • Finish any time before 11:59 p.m. on November 30th.
  • Work on entirely new material: a novel which has no previous drafts and no word count before November 1st (outlining is fine).
  • Follow all the rules above, or join the gloried ranks of the NaNoWriMo cheaters, who dare to… do whatever they feel like.

It’s not that complicated. It’s just difficult. And exciting. And sleep-depriving in a way that even caffeine can’t fix by the end of the month. At the finish, you have the rawest first draft you’ve probably ever written, with a handful of golden pages you wouldn’t trade away for love.

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This Is The Kind of Thing I Might Delete In Daylight

My Sophomore year of college, I took a creative writing class which required me to write poetry. As much time as I have spent laying words on paper, I’ve never figured out how to configure meter, how to play with sound, how to build a rhyme that does anything more than follow the letter of a law. Instead, I spent half that semester simply trying to bottle feelings, because that seemed like something a poem might be.

It didn’t take long for my professor to look across the critique table and kindly, quietly wonder if I was really writing those poems for an audience. “Maybe,” she said, “This is still just for you.”

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The Scheherazade Achievement


Let me tell you a true story.

Once upon a time, in a land twenty-five hundred miles away, I chased a whim. Well, more than one – many more than one, because that’s a good hobby – but I’m thinking of one in particular. I decided to post on this blog every day. I missed some days, but kept track of my consecutive successes, and worked hard not to have to start the count over.

I posted for three hundred days in a row, aiming for a whole year, before I purposefully got lost in Wyoming. There is internet somewhere in Wyoming, but not in the mountains, in bear country, where I had to lock my shampoo in an air-tight container to keep from getting large, furry visitors in my tent. I started over.

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Fool’s Excuses

I cannot write my blog post today because I am a poor calligrapher.

I cannot write my blog post today because I’ve misplaced my lucky right sock.

I cannot write my blog post today because I’ve run out of inspirational quotes by men with absurdly large mustaches.

I cannot write my blog post today because it was time to organize my book collection, alphabetically, by first word.

I cannot write my blog post today because I never learned how to spell “mosquito”. Continue reading

Results of the Experiment

I spent three hours in a car today, driving highways and generally thinking about all the important things in life: the infinite future, the ambitions that would actually hurt to lose, and what to do about the dryer that ate one of my favorite socks. Because I’m a dramatic little monster.

The plan for today was to write the final piece of First Haunt. Then I decided I had better things to do then spend the last few hours of my day knitting myself into a magnificent thneed of stress. It turns out no one needs a thneed of stress. No one even needs a thneed.

The next plan was to apologize for not giving you the final piece of First Haunt. But, I decided it was better to make a promise: It is coming, and I’m going to enjoy writing it when I’m not bone-tired.

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Gwendoogle: Hamilton Book Tag

GwendoogleAnswers served with musical gusto.

Neekers searched: Three words: Hamilton book tag. If you haven’t heard of this before you should look it up. :) You should also probably do it.
For those of you who haven’t yet heard, Hamilton is a Broadway musical which is garnering a lot of attention for its rap and hip-hop treatment of the founding fathers. Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson spit rhymes.

It has also been playing on repeat in my room for the last month.

The Hamilton Book Tag was created by Maureen Keavy over on YouTube. From what I can tell, it is an excuse to talk about books and Hamilton in the same breath. And an excuse to lip sync to the Hamilton soundtrack. Double time.

To quote, Mr. Aaron Burr, Act 1, Scene 15, “Okay, so we’re doing this.”

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Plan A is Good in Theory

Well, it’s Monday. And this is not the first part of the short story I promised you.

It’s not a great surprise to me that I didn’t meet my deadline. If you look back to the beginning of my blog, you’ll see how long it took me to condition myself to post every day, how hard a habit it was to build, and I expected nothing less from this.

I’m doing something new. I’m doing something difficult. Temporary failure is expected.

Here was Plan A for last week:

Monday: Write. Aim for 1,000 words.

Tuesday: Write. Breathe. Aim for another 1,000 words. Probably consider starting over, because that has been my problem when trying to write something longer than 1,000 words. Do not give into that impulse.

Wednesday: Write. Aim for another 1,000 words. Overcome the urge to start over. Feel accomplished at the end of the day.

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