Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A 12-12-12 Treat!

Today I have been seeing all sorts of great treats floating around, notably the "buy one dozen of Crispy Cream donuts get a dozen free" coupon! In honor of this wonderfully fabulous day of 12, I have decided to share with you a treat of my own: an excerpt from my current work in progress (from my editing table anyway) Through the Paper Wall. I find this especially appropriate since I wrote this story for NaNoWriMo 2012 and all together I wrote it in only 12 days. (Ah, see, I got 12-12-12 in there! '12, 12 days, page 12 . . . you get it). I hope you enjoy it!

Through the Paper Wall, page 12
Copyright Heidi Nicole Bird 2012

            “Your Dad says you love to surf,” Jessica continued, trying to keep her tone positive. “Surfing is one of my favorite things to do.”
            “You can’t surf here,” Jesse said matter-of-factly.
            “No,” Jessica said slowly, “but I do travel sometimes. It is part of my job.”
            Jesse wanted to ask what Jessica’s job was, but he didn’t want to make it look like he was enjoying this, so he didn’t. He just stared back at Jessica without responding. Jessica’s smile began to falter, but Dad had heard enough.
            “Jessica is a humanitarian,” Dad said from the stove. “She works for the Red Cross. So whenever there is a hurricane or something she usually ends up going there to help people.”
            “Oh,” Jesse said with a slight nod. That was the very last thing he had expected. He had wanted Jessica to be someone he couldn’t like, but she was turning out to be not very bad at all. He wasn’t going to give in though.
            Jessica looked slightly embarrassed. In an effort to lessen the tenseness of the situation she plunged into a story about one time when she had gone to Hawaii to help the people there and how after everything had been cleared up they had found some time to enjoy the warm water and play a bit.
            Jesse was saved from finding some way to respond without giving away how interesting he found the story by Dad announcing that dinner was ready. Jessica clapped her hands like a little girl at a birthday party as Dad gallantly brought the pot and its steaming contents over to the table and placed it on a hot pad.
            As Dad put the stuff down Jesse leaned over and looked into the pot. It smelled wonderful and it actually looked great. What sort of a joke was this?
            “It looks wonderful,” Jessica said, and she reached over and squeezed Dad’s hand, which made Jesse’s stomach churn. “What is it?”
            Dad grinned broadly as he sat down.
            “It’s called gumbo,” he said. “It’s a type of Cajun food, you know, like what they eat in New Orleans.”
            “Ooh,” Jessica crooned, looking excited. Dad grabbed a ladle and started dishing up bowls for everyone then he brought over a glass pitcher of iced lemonade and a small bottle of hot sauce. Once everything was ready he said a prayer over the food and then said “everybody dig in!”
            Jesse watched the other two for a minute, then grabbed his spoon and shoved a spoonful of gumbo into his mouth. To his immense surprise a burst of flavor met his tongue and he felt himself yielding to its delicious flavor. He reached over and grabbed the hot sauce, shook the bottle of few times over his gumbo, mixed it in with his spoon, then took another bite. Without realizing it a small smile spread over his face.
            “This is delicious!” Jessica said, beaming at Dad. “See, even Jesse likes it.” She nodded towards Jesse who dropped his smile quickly, kicking himself under the table for letting his guard down.
            “It’s pretty good I guess,” Jesse said. Dad and Jessica gave each other a knowing look then went back to their food.
            They ate in silence for a few minutes. Jesse quickly finished his food then waited politely for Jessica and Dad.
            “Hey Jesse,” Dad said as he laid his spoon down on the table. “Jessica and I are going to work on the living room and try to set up the TV and everything. You can help if you want, or you can do your own thing.”
            “Okay,” Jesse said, relieved. “I’ll just be downstairs going through my stuff.”
 Dad nodded and Jessica waved as Jesse turned and tried not to run down the stairs. As soon as he reached the bottom he sighed. He had been worried that he’d be stuck with Dad and Jessica all night, but he was glad that Dad had released him. It was clear that Dad and Jessica would like some time alone. After all, they had practically been dating through a webcam for three months now and now they were actually together in person. It made Jesse sick just thinking about it. It was gross. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Another Side of Me

So this post has very little to do with writing. Okay, it has nothing to do with writing, but I feel like to really get to know an author you should know a bit about what they do when they aren't writing because that often shapes how a writer writes their stories. Lately I have been very busy and it has been keeping me away from my 30 Days of Nano project, as well as editing my Nano 2012 novel, or finishing my Camp Nano story from August.

So here it is, something you may not know about me: I am a musician. More specifically for this particular post, I am a singer. I am a part of a wonderful choir and we have been rehearsing and performing like crazy. This past weekend we had our big culminating Christmas concert, combined with four other choirs. Each choir sang a couple of songs on their own, and then we all came together as one big choir and performed three other songs. The last song, John Rutter's Gloria is what has been occupying my time so much lately. Extensive rehearsals at far away locations for long hours certainly paid off though. I hope you'll watch these, since most of you live much too far away for me to have invited you. I wanted to though, have no doubt. So, here you are, you are invited to my virtual concert! If you only watch one, watch Gloria, especially the last movement. I would be so flattered and interested to hear what you thought. Enjoy!

Edit to the above info: I just found out that a great friend I made in all of this is also a writer and she just did NaNoWriMo for the first time. How freaking awesome is that! I love finding writers who live so close to me :)

Jordan LDS Institute Choir - A Christmas Proclamation

Jordan LDS Institute Choir - The First Noel/Jesus Once of Humble Birth

Combined Choirs - Christmas Bells

Combined Choirs - Beautiful Savior

Combined Choirs - Gloria

Friday, December 7, 2012

Interview with Author Caitlin Hensley

Today I have a special treat for you! This week I interviewed one of my fellow writers who I look up to immensely. Caitlin Hensley is an up and coming author who I work with quite frequently. I have tailored these questions to both help you learn about her, and also to help other up and coming writers. Enjoy!

What is the title of your book?
Paranormal Legacy

How do you plan on publishing?
I’ll be indie publishing through CreateSpace.

Did you design your own cover, or have someone else help?
I designed my own cover, but Marcy Rachel from Marcy Rachel Designs was nice enough to help me add a few finishing touches.

What format(s) will your book be available in?
Paperback and Kindle.

When do you expect your book to be released?
Probably late March. I’d like the exact release date to be March 22, but I’ve read that it can take anywhere from a week to fourteen days after the book is uploaded before it actually goes live.

What genre does your book fit into?
Paranormal with a touch of romance.

What makes your writing unique?
Compared to the millions of other books out there, I’m not sure my writing is too terribly unique. But I like to use sarcasm, strong descriptive sentences, lots of dialogue, and just enough description to get the reader’s imagination flowing.

Why would someone like your book?
I’ve got something in Paranormal Legacy for just about anyone. Paranormal creatures, humor, adventure, mystery, a bad boy, slight romance, magic, and an eccentric British vampire.

How old were you when you wrote your book?
I think I wrote the first draft about six years ago, so I must have been around 12.

How long did it take you to write it?
I can’t remember how long it took me to write the very first draft, but the latest version took a couple months.

How long did you work on it until you felt like it was ready for publishing?
Well, that’s a tricky question. I worked on Paranormal Legacy for about five years before I ever let it see the light of day. A few people told me I should publish it, but I didn’t believe them, because I’m extremely picky when it comes to my writing. And I mean EXTREMELY. So another year passed, and then I decided to self-publish. I’m still polishing up the book right now, and it’s getting down to the wire. But I can’t seem to stop!

Did anything in particular inspire anything in your book?
I overheard my little sister talking on the phone to her friend, and that sparked an idea.  And my fingers flew from there.

What else are you working on right now?
I’m still working on my NaNoWriMo 2012 novel, and I’m also editing another book I’m thinking of publishing next year.

Amazon recently released the official rules for their 2013 Breakthrough Novel contest, and many authors are working on their submissions. Is this something you plan on doing? If so, tell us a little bit about your story.
Yeah, I’m excited about the contest! This will be my first time to participate. I’m planning to enter a story into the young adult fiction category. It’s called Dust to Dust, and it’s about a teenage drug dealer living on a futuristic world plagued by hungry vampires.

What do you like to read?
I’ll read just about anything in the YA category, as long as it’s not too full of romance. I read a few adult books too, but usually I find adult fiction too full of long and winding description for my tastes.

What advice would you give to other aspiring writers?
Develop a thick skin so the criticism can’t get to you. Accept valuable criticism, and ignore all the rest. And no matter what, keep writing. Write and write and write. Then edit some, then keep writing.

Any advice for the editing process?
I think it’s best to wait at least two weeks after finishing a book before you start editing it. It’s hard for me to make myself wait so long, because I’m usually excited to dive right in, but I always make myself wait. That way I can look at the project with as fresh eyes as possible.

What are some of your hobbies besides writing and reading?
I like to clog, which is sort of like tap dancing. And I also like designing book covers and taking care of my dog Blair. Taking care of her is almost a full time job by itself!

Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what do you listen to?
I like to listen to scores from movies and TV shows when I write, because they’re always so dramatic. Two of my favorites right now are the Pirates of the Caribbean and Game of Thrones CDs.

Where can people go to learn more about you and your work?
You can check out my Facebook page or my blog. I keep both updated regularly.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Breakthrough Novel Award

Every year Amazon has a contest. The mother of all contests, in my opinion. At least, for writers anyway. I first found out about this contest at the end of last year, and I felt inspired to come up with something to enter! Enter a little story I like to call Ontario. The idea just popped into my head and I ran with it. I wrote 35,000 words of it in about two weeks. I was on a role! I only had about another week to have the 50,000 required words for the manuscript. At some point I realized that my writing was suffering because I was trying to so hard to get it done, and so I stopped aiming for the stars, at least for that year's competition.

Ontario ended up getting put on hold and I didn't finish it until the first weekend in August, but as the Amazon Breakthrough Novel contests for 2013 looms in the near future, and have a little bit more time. While I was finishing Ontario I had another idea pop into my head. It was a random day in July when I found myself bolting to my computer and furiously typing out the opening scene to another story. Another one? GREAT! At the end of August I found myself with 33,202 words worth of a new story, which for now I am calling Lorn. Ever since I started working on it I could tell that this one had some huge potential, if only I could tell the story in the right way. This is the story I will be using to enter the Breakthrough Novel contest for 2013.

Sadly, the momentum I had in August died off and my sights changed to the up and coming NaNoWriMo. Now that I've finished that and yet another book I am ready to jump back into working on Lorn. I am so excited for the future and what it holds for this story. I should definitely be working on that manuscript and not blogging about it on here, but I wanted to give you an update! Here's to hitting another 50K mark by the end of December!

33,202 words,

- Heidi Nicole Bird

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Next Big Thing Blog Hop

Hi there everybody! Today I am participating in my first ever blog hop! Fun, right? I think so! Thanks to Caitlin Hensley for tagging me so I can hop along! Yeah. . . bad pun, I know. I shouldn't even try. I've had a lot of fun answering these questions, and I hope that you enjoy reading them!


What is the title of your book? Through the Paper Wall

Where did the idea for the book come from? One day, one or two years ago, I just had this scene pop into my head, and it mega evolved once I started working on it.

What genre does your book fall under? Juvenile fiction fantasy.

Will your book be self-published or represented under an agency? While I am trying the traditional way with one of my other books I am going the self-pub route with this one. I want to be able to compare the two if I am lucky enough to be published elsewhere. I'd like to have full control with this one, just to try things out.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? Believe it or not, I wrote it in only 13 days, though that was over a month's worth of time.

Give a one sentence synopsis of your novel: Jesse and his Dad just moved to a tiny little town and Jesse hates it, but his outlook on life changes completely when he discovers a tunnel in his basement that leads to a very troubled fantasy world.

What other works would you compare your story to? I guess it is kind of like the Secrets of Droon series, though written for a slightly older audience.

Who or what inspired you to write this book? NaNoWriMo 2012 and my fellow writers in our Facebook group totally inspired this one. I wasn't sure what story to work on for NaNoWriMo this year, and I just ended up going with this one. If it weren't for my friends in the NaNoWriMo Facebook group I don't think I could have finished it.

What else might pique the reader's interest?  What really comes to save the day in the end of this story is the power of words themselves (one of my more brilliant ideas, if I may say so myself). It is only through what we truly mean that can save us in the end.


Now I get to tag five other writers so they can share in the fun! All you have to do is link back to me, and then post your answers to these questions on December 12th. When you are done, tag five other writers at the bottom of your post. That's it! Easy peasy rice and cheesey! Have fun!






Monday, December 3, 2012

Post-Nano Life

So, even though for the past few days a lot of us have been posting sad and disappointed posts about NaNoWriMo being over, the fun has certainly not died. In fact, I believe all of our shenanigans in November were only pieces of a great foundation for something even bigger and better. The fun and games have certainly not ceased and our Facebook group is still hopping! Today one of our admins updated the description of our group as follows:


"We, writers be

"We kill Eric Kovach, apparently

"Not enough to prevent his Zombie postings, obviously



I, for one, think this is just about as good of a description of our crazy group can have. For those of you who aren't in on the story, no, we haven't really killed Eric, but he has definitely been written in and killed off in a large and growing number of peoples' novels. Why do I like this description so much? Because it is telling. It shows the following things:

-We do NaNoWriMo
-We are all writers
-We have inside jokes, which means we are friends
-We like to food, especially desserts
-We are crazy, especially to outsiders

Yep, that sounds pretty darn accurate to me! Kudos to our admin for capturing our essence in such a brilliant literary snapshot! Besides all of us still being crazy and talking and writing, several members of the group and I have been working on a project that I started and fondly call "The 30 Days of Nano." You'll know soon enough what this is. I can't wait to show you all. It is great fun, and it can only get greater!

So, what have I done since NaNoWriMo ended? Well, in a writing sense, not much at all. The Christmas season is already upon us, as you have surely noticed due to the much longer lines in stores everywhere, as well as the growing number of decorations and lights. As a musician I have been performing and rehearsing like crazy, and it will only get crazier throughout the rest of this week. I am proud to say, however, that I have dipped my toes into the editing side of working on Through the Paper Wall, and I am really excited to get going!

So, now you know what I have been up to (which, if you read between the lines is mostly spending a lot of time on the NaNoWriMo Facebook group page talking to people). What have you been up to since November ended?

- Heidi Nicole Bird

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Power of Words

I realized near the end of my novel that the big kicker at the end that would allow the good guys to win was the power of words. It hit me like a ton of bricks and I couldn't help but just sit there for a minute and smile. You really shouldn't ever underestimate the power of words. Not only do they allow us to express and share, but they allow us to create and mold, and in the case of hundreds of writers this month, words allowed us to come together. Hundreds, even thousands of us teamed up this month to tackle what many people, including published authors with big names, would say was insane and even impossible. Well I am here, and so are so many others, to say that we proved them wrong. To people on the outside it may seem that I sit at home by myself all day with nothing to do, but they couldn't be more wrong. I've never had so many friends in my entire life, and none of us are really ever alone, because no matter where we live, or what time it is, somebody else is online too. NaNoWriMo brought us together, but it was our common goal and the luck that led us to the NaNoWriMo group on Facebook that really knit us all together so tightly that I doubt we will ever pull apart. 

There are only a matter of minutes now before midnight comes in my time zone and NaNoWriMo 2012 is officially over. For many of my friends it has been over for several hours and they are already bustling about in the sunshine, or taking the chance to get some much needed sleep. I hope they are going for it. We all deserve to sleep in. We more than deserve it! I also have other friends who will still have a few more hours to enjoy this blessed month after it has officially ended for me. This month hasn't just been full of  a bunch of furiously written words and ridiculously worn out cries of "I don't think I can make it." It has been thirty solid days of encouragement, hardships, heartache, loss, understanding, hope, longing, anger, despair, love, learning, growing, becoming, creating, bonding, juggling, laughing, crying, rejoicing, and so much more. I don't think I have ever been happier with a month in my entire life. Not only did I accomplish something that few think is possible, but in the process I made so many close and dear friends who I believe will stay with me forever. 

On this final day of NaNoWriMo there has been much celebrating, cheering, and furious writing until the very end, as well as several people posting their sentiments regarding the group of friends that we have formed. One post in particular brought me so much joy that I wanted to share it with you, courtesy of it's brilliant author, Serenity Wever:

"As I sit here, celebrating my victory, I can't help but think... This is my third year of participating in NaNoWriMo, but this is my first year to truly experience it. I am mind blown and in awe. It was such an honor to be able to write with all of you. I've had so much fun this November that it's absolutely amazing. Every day after work I'd look forward to running home so I could sprint and catch up on everyone elses progress. You were all the greatest writing buddies I've ever had. We did something more than just write this November, we created a community bond together by one common goal. For one brief moment we were like Gods. We forged together with blood, sweat and tears a universe of each our own.

"We, who are all from different backgrounds, made something beautiful... We have done something that most people will only say they will do. We weren't the "Oh! I want to write a book!" person. We DID. Whether or not you finished, you accomplished more in one month than many have in their whole lifetime! We've all suffered from malnutrition, writer's block, uncooperative muses, dont-talk-to-me-im-writing syndrome, and temporarily have become hermits. But we did it together! Everything from Random Starbucks Guy to Tameka flipping tables to Eric Kovach the Untaggable (thankyouforlettingmeturnyouintoameme) who suffered many painful deaths in the name of our art (Heather!)

"There are so many more of you I want to give shout outs too, but my brain is so... mushy right now! Kimiko the amazing, who was able to join late and completely own this challenge! Great job! Sian who was great at boosting everyone's morale! Brendan Sta and his creepy spiders! So many more people, not enough memory space in brain or energy in fingers to thank them all! ♥

"This has been a great experience for me, and I will miss you all!

I will be looking for all of you next NaNo!" 

You know what the greatest thing about all of this is? It doesn't end here. And guess what else? It never will as long as there are two writers around to support each other. Never underestimate the power of words. Never underestimate the power of your words and what you can do with them. You can change lives. You can change the world. And guess what friends? That's not just a possibility. We've already done it! We've done it together. 

- Heidi Nicole Bird

The End For Real

I am proud, and a little bit teary-eyed, to announce that I have officially finished my NaNoWriMo novel for this year! I finished Through the Paper Wall yesterday around 4:30pm, and even though I have officially won NaNoWriMo five times now, this is the first time I have ever finished the story in November, so really, for the first time, I wrote a novel in a month! That's a pretty darn cool thing to say! The final word count ended up being 56,386 and I don't think I have ever been more proud because I really had to fight for this one.

So what's next? Well, today is the last day of NaNoWriMo, which many of us can barely believe. I'm really pretty darn sad about it actually because after this point a lot of people stop hanging around the Facebook group until next year and people lose momentum. I'm not throwing in the towel though! I am dedicating my day to cheering other people on! So far I have had quite the time comment-bombing ever thread and comment that I can find that either announces someone winning or someone furiously sprinting to the end. It is so much fun! I hope you'll join me in congratulating and encouraging everybody!

Today I also have another goal: start editing. I know that a lot of people say you should put your novel aside for a few weeks, and I normally would, but I need to start now. I can feel it. I need to start working while the entire story is still fresh in my mind. I think I'll be able to catch plot issues better that way.

So, while I am off editing away I have something exciting for you to stand around waiting for [insert sneaky smile and side glance here]. I have created my book cover for Through the Paper Wall and I couldn't be happier! It was completely designed by me with some helpful comments from a few fellow writers and I am so proud! I am just waiting to clear up the permissions, copyrights, etc. issues, so stay tuned! I'm really hoping that it all works out!

Moving my story from the "Works in Progress" to the "Editing Board" tab,

- Heidi Nicole BIrd

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Author Interview!

Hey everybody, this is just a quick post, but I wanted to share this with you! I was recently interviewed as an author and the "article" came out today. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Aftermath

Well hi there! It seems that I have taken a sort-of break now that I've hit the big ole' 50K mark. However, I do still need to finish my story. I have been working on it, but not much. It is time to get back to the grind and finish this baby up!

In the meantime I just wanted to let you in on some awesome new . . . MOM WON NANOWRIMO! That's right! I always knew that she could! There was much jumping up and down and cheering and singing to "We are the Champions." It was amazing. And now the two of us have matching winners certificates, and soon we will have some snazzy matching winners t-shirts as well. Fun fun stuff!

Also, I am very much looking forward to our local TGIO party this Saturday. I'm still crossing my fingers that Mom and I can make it because I also have a concert that night, but we're gonna do our best! We have some people we'd like to check back with and find out how they did. We also have a guy who needs to know that he did indeed end up being the villain in Mom's book. He'll be thrilled.

Keep on writing! I'll rejoin you shortly after I do some researching for a new laptop.

- Heidi Nicole Bird

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

For the Win!

Dear lovely people, it has arrived! I have officially written over 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo 2012!!! Unfortunately we cannot validate and get all of our awesome winner regalia until November 25, BUT I am as still an official winner! This is my fifth time doing NaNoWriMo and my fifth time winning! This song feels extremely appropriate right now, and I have been dancing around and singing to it for a while now:

It was all far from easy, let me tell you! There was much "rising up to the challenge of my rivals" this time because I was so lost for a few weeks! I mean, check out this funky graph!

Pretty crazy, right? I am proud to say that I never got behind, but look at how many days I skipped and didn't write anything! There are only a couple of places where I wrote for more than one day in a row. Pretty weird for me. Though, I have to say that this graph also points out something awesome. There were only 12 days that I worked on my story, which means I met the word goal in only 12 days! Wow! Despite the fact that I have won earlier in the month before, that is a new record for me if you just count how many days that it took. That comes out to an average of about 4200 words per day. So cool!

This NaNoWriMo was such a growing experience for me! It was so interesting to write for a younger age group than I am used to and to combine so many other different things, like for most of the time I had basically no girl characters until the end. For a long time I thought there was no way I'd ever try to write for this age group again, but now I think that I probably will. Once I got the story back to a place where I enjoyed writing it, things just rocketed away from there. It was only last Friday that I had the breaking point where I suddenly knew what was going on, and the only days that I did any writing after that was yesterday and today, which gave me a combined number of 17,921 words for the two days. Wow! 

One of my very favorite things about NaNoWriMo is doing the dares that Tavia dishes out each year. This time around I sort of took one of her dares before she even dared us! This dare was to try writing your novel in a different genre for a couple of days. My novel this year started out much like a general juvenile fiction book, and I intended it to become fantasy much sooner than it did. In fact, it fought to not be a fantasy at all, but I dared to change the genre and the result was three furious days of writing that brought me to victory! I am still working on finishing up the story, so maybe when "Tavia's dares part 2" comes out I'll be able to fit one in for real.

I am far from done with this story, let me tell you! Through the Paper Wall has been my hardest piece of work, but also one of my most enjoyable, and I can't wait to finish it up and get on with editing. This one I plan to self publish, so I can get a taste of what that is like.

Whether you have reached that daunting 50K goal yet or not, keep on writing! You never know what will happen or where it will take you!Maybe your mom will randomly show up to congratulate you with a fruit tart when you reach your goal like mine just did, even congratulating me on my ridiculous 10K word run yesterday in an effort to overtake her word count. Thanks Mom! See you in the winners circle!

Happily resting with 50,273 words, 

- Heidi Nicole Bird

Monday, November 19, 2012

The End in Site

Okay, there is a definite change to the world of my NaNoWriMo, and here it is presented for you in meme and awesome lyrics! Pardon me for the quick post, but I am going back to my novel. Enjoy!

A little message for the 50,000th word of my novel:

Rocketing away with 42,659 words,

- Heidi Nicole Bird

P.S. Mom's word count has been topped! For now anyway.

The Home Stretch

Okay, I lied. Who are we kidding, I am super competitive! I am still furiously trying to catch up to my Mom and stay ahead of my former roommate. Things have changed though. Last Friday I did a bunch of sprinting and I came up with something like 47+ major breakthroughs! No lie. I actually have a fantastic story with some super interesting and awesome things that I can't wait to write about. I also now have a villain. YES! Life is so much better now! It is gonna be a crazy stretch, but I am going for this!

Sorry for the quick and short post, but I'm heading back to my book, which I finally enjoy writing!

33,789 words,

- Heidi Nicole Bird

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Maybe for Real?

So, I told you a few days ago that I was back in the game, and that was true. For about a day. The very next day I didn't write anything, yet again, and then the next day was Sunday, which is my day off. Sheesh, I am really not getting very far in this year's Nano am I? I am happy to announce that I did force my way through almost 4K though.

This year is just really weird for me. I am dealing with several new circumstances with this new book that I have never tried before, and I can't really say that I am a fan. I doubt I will be writing another book like this one, or at least not one this long. I really do think that this book is meant to be much shorter, considering the age of my audience, so it has really been difficult to stretch it out. Luckily since it shouldn't be this long I'll have no problem deleting a lot of the really bad stuff that I have written so far. Ick! Really, that is how I feel about a good amount of the words I have managed to get down.

So, for the rest of November I will keep sticking it out. If there is one thing that I want, it is to never start a NaNoWriMo and not finish it. I don't think I could deal with the knowledge that I "failed." Now before you lecture me for saying that not reaching 50K is failing, I KNOW! I am a strong believer in the idea that getting even one word down towards Nano is a "win." For me personally though, I never want to say I didn't reach that 50K goal.

Ever since I started doing NaNoWriMo in 2009 I have had a fierce competition with my former roommate, the one who got me started in the first place. She beat me in 2009 by about an hour. We both finished on Thanksgiving, and I just so happened to spend a little more time with extended family than she did that year. Ever since then I have come out on top first. I fiercely hold to this competition! To add to that, my Mom decided to try her hand again this year. After all this time of telling her she could do it, she is really doing it this time, and I fully believe that she is going to finish in grand fashion. This however puts me in a funky situation, being a four time Nano veteran ('09, '10, '11, August '12). She started off with a daily goal of 2,500 words. I normally would do this much in a day or more, but like I said, this year has been crazy difficult for me. I have this mad desire to finish before, because . . . I JUST HAVE TO!!! You know? It's like a rule!

Yeah, I know I am kinda crazy. I think I am working towards letting go of all of that. After a while the 1,667 daily word count wasn't even a challenge for me (on a good day I can get anywhere from 1200-2000 in one twenty-minute sprint), so the competition has been fun. This year though . . . I have reached the point where I would really rather be working on my other WIP and editing my books that I know are close to publishable. And so, I will keep on writing, but I am not going to make a big deal about how much I write. I am not worried in the least that I won't win. Writers of NaNoWriMo come in all styles and speeds. A bunch of my friends have already crossed that 50K finish line, which is pretty insane. I crossed that line right about this time of the month last year, but I had a lot more going for me that time.

So, a summary of all my mumbling up there: I'm not gonna keep aiming for the daredevil finishing date like I usual do. I'm settling for a more casual NaNoWriMo, in which I will come out on top word-count-wise, but I will also take the time to work on publishing my other books.

Keep going people! No matter how you choose to do it, we are gonna make it!

Hem-hawing around with 23,962 words of who knows what,

- Heidi Nicole Bird

Friday, November 9, 2012

Back in the Game

Hey there people, just wanted to give you a quick update on how things are going Nano-wise! I am officially back in the game! Yesterday I was ready to smack my writer's block in the face, and somehow I succeeded! A part of this may be that I finally turned on my writing music (Owl City) for the first time this Nano season. DUH! Why hadn't I don'e that earlier! I have no idea. It really is very strange of me. Anyway, once I turned it on I pulled off a spectacular 7000 word day! Woohoo! It is about freaking time!

Another reason why I think I've made it past my block was because for the first time ever I decided that I am going to force the story to go the way that I planned for it to go. This is also really weird for me, and I am hoping that the whole thing doesn't crash and burn at the end. So far things are going well though, so who knows? Now I am very much back on track and I actually know what to write! It is a glorious feeling.

Also, just an update on my previous novels. I have been waiting around for answers from some publishers regarding my novel entitled "Ontario," and it has reached the point where I could hear from them any day now. This is super exciting, right? I can't wait to hear back. One of the publishers I have already decided not to go with, so I am really just waiting on one. If that publisher declines my manuscript then I plan on self publishing, which I strongly believe in! In the meantime, I have randomly decided to send it in to one more publisher who responds very quickly, so wish me luck on that! We'll see what happens.

Sitting around at just over 20,000 words,

-Heidi Nicole Bird

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Super Duper Sludge

Don't worry people, I haven't thrown in the towel yet! I am still here! Though, this has been one heck of a second week. I've never had one like this! I did manage to get 1,040 words out last night, so it isn't a lost cause, for sure, but I still am just not feeling it this time around!

Since I have not written anything today yet, I thought I would send you the link to my first ever author interview that I did a little while ago, thanks to one of my good friends and fellow writers. Check it out! It is a little bit out of date, but I still think it is cool :) Tell me what you think!

- Heidi Nicole Bird

Monday, November 5, 2012


Okay guys, here we are at the forefront of week two and I am already feeling like I don't want to write today. WHAT?!?! This isn't supposed to happen until week three, grrr. Maybe my day off of writing made too much of an impression on my brain waves. Or maybe I am slightly afraid because I have no idea what is going to happen next. Maybe it is also because I feel weird today. I think I am voting for a combination of the three.

I am really in a strange sort of place in my story right now - a place where I don't think I have ever been before. I don't usually worry about my stories if I don't know what is coming, but this time it is different. Depending on what happens next this could become a whole lot more difficult than I bargained for.

Fear not, though. As a seasoned NaNoWriMo veteran giving up is nowhere close to being on my agenda. I'll make it through today just like I have made it through so many other ones that cramped my style, even if that means writing an obscenely low amount of words.

For those of you who are writing for NaNoWriMo, or for something else entirely, how is your project going?

- Heidi Nicole Bird

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Nano Just Showed Up

So, it is late, well not really that late because if I moved my clock back an hour for Daylight Savings it wouldn't even be 9:30 yet, but nonetheless I am wiped out and eyeballs are burning. Either way I wanted to check in and give you an update on my novel.

Today was another successful big number day - 4,124 today, bringing me to total of 12,727. I find this pretty awesome considering that the goal for today was only 5,000 and I wrote nearly that much today! Saweet!

Despite these awesome numbers I did run into a glitch today. See, there's this occupational hazard that comes with the way that I choose to write. I believe that the the characters guide the story and the story writes itself. I've always allowed the story to shape where it goes and I don't usually fight it. Last year I had a great big huge fight with one of my MCs though. Man, I did not want the story to go in the direction she was taking it, but there was nothing I could do.

The same sort of thing has happened this year, except in a much bigger sense. The bump in my literary road is so large this year that I am sort of at a loss right now (lucky that I am ahead, right?). The characters in my story haven't just changed plot, but they have also, right before my very eyes, changed the entire genre of the story. What? Well this is new. Really new. Now I need to figure out what in the world is going on.

So, we will see what happens from here. I've had a few suggestions from my muses as to where the story is now going, but I can't seem to pinpoint which options is actually the right one. Maybe my day off tomorrow will be helpful. I never work on my novels on Sundays, which is all at the same time exasperating but really nice. Who knows what Monday will bring? You know as well as I do.

- Heidi Nicole Bird

NaNoWriMo Meets Multitasking

So there's this long running joke that goes along with NaNoWriMo that for the month of November you give up everything that does not have to do with your novel. Except that in many cases it really isn't a joke at all! Many loads of laundry and dishes, and many showers are pushed back until the end of the month, as are other tiny details such as grocery shopping and making time to acknowledge your other family members.

Even if you are a fast typist you feel the press of time during November and all of us try to fit in our normal lives along with the daunting challenge we had just taken head on. Usually this works well for me. I've managed to be a full time student and go through finals for my past three Nano's and I've also had all sorts of things going on, such as a job one year and a little day called Thanksgiving that is really about five days long in my family.

While the hundreds of thousands of are off writing sometimes we have to multitask. Maybe that just means plowing through your word count as quickly as you can while the baby is sleeping, or maybe that means tying in your sleep because if you don't do both at the same time you won't get either! I was definitely multitasking today, but I didn't plan on doing so. I am a furious fan when it comes to Utah State University football and basketball, and of course since it is Fall I have both to deal with. I just so happen to have both happening today. I had it all planned out - write before the football game and during half time and then more afterwards.  Well it sure didn't happen that way! I ended up writing before and right through the whole game. I am honestly surprised that I managed to crank out 4K while listening to a football game that I was very much invested in! So, while I was sprinting away, I was also doing this:

Of course you just read all of my posts backwards, but you get the idea. Props to my writing friends for being worried about me going astray! That is what writing friends are for!

So, it is a Saturday in November, which means you are bound to have something going on. Were you doing any multitasking today? Or did you stick it out all the way, solid as a rock? If you did, you are amazing. Way to go writer!

- Heidi Nicole Bird

Friday, November 2, 2012

A Glorious Thing Called a Sprint

And so here we are nearly at the end of day two of NaNoWrimo. At least for me. Some of my friends are already on day three, which is crazy and awesome all thrown into a jar at the same time. Today really didn't go as planned, that is for sure. I had it all planned out that today would be another high word count day, but I really didn't think it would happen in the way that it did!

Every morning there are certain things I do. Exercise, read scriptures, eat breakfast, do some cleaning, etc. Today I ended up sleeping in, and once I had done all my usual things it was something like noon already. It was already noon and I didn't have any words down! Jeepers!

Have no fear though, I sat myself down and started to plunk out those words, starting and running some sprints as I did so. I had a good amount of words in finally. Awesome! So then I took a break because I had to make a menu for the week and go grocery shopping. Might I add that I paused my story at a point where my MC was also grocery shopping. Coincidence? I think not! That is the cool thing about being a writer. You live what you are a writing, or in other words you live what the characters are making happen.

By the time I had gone shopping, made dinner, and everyone had gone their ways I was wiped out. I only had 2,784 words for the day! (Yeah, yeah, I am an over achiever, I'll admit it). That was, until I was perusing the NaNoWriMo Facebook group and reading posts, which led my weary and dried out eyes to fall upon a poor soul calling out for an immediate sprinting partner. Who was I to say no? I, one of the most furious lovers of nano sprinting? And besides, it was only a ten minute sprint! I could do that.

And so we sprinting, and it was glorious, and I was proud to have a few more hundred words to add to my work count. Not a minute after that sprint ended one of my new good writing friends asked if I wanted to embark on a daring journey, "one last sprint" for the night, she called it. Okay, so I gave in, and we started without establishing how long we were going to sprint for. When I asked she suggested thirty minutes. THIRTY MINUTES!!!

Thirty minutes may not seem very long when it is the amount of time you will need to prepare dinner, or to drive to see a super awesome fireworks show, but to me in that moment thirty minutes seemed like the expanse of eternity! But, being the avid sprinter that I am, I agreed, throwing out a few words about how I didn't know if I would last.

Amazingly enough, I did. We finished our sprint and much to my happiness my two spontaneous sprints had put me up nearly 2000 words! And so I am now finishing the day off with 4,767 new words, giving me 8,603 for my grand total!

And so, my dear writing friends, whether you are doing NaNoWriMo or not, allow me to let you in on a not so recognized thing: word sprints are glorious things! In fact, I believe they are literal gifts from heaven. Write on people! Write on.

- Heidi Nicole Bird

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Final Countdown

Okay, so last night I was sitting at my computer, straining my eyeballs, baring blinking, and staring down the official count down on the NaNoWriMo home page, as many of my fellow writers did in their own places and time zones. I'd been hearing all night about my friends starting and how they had started off the new year with a bang, and it was finally going to be my turn. I seriously was barely breathing, I kid you not! As soon as that counter hit "0" BAM! I was off like a rocket! It was intense! It was a very appropriate moment for this song to be playing in my head:

I can not even tell you how wonderful it feels to be at this again! Earlier this year I wrote my first novel that was not for NaNoWriMo and I did Camp NaNoWriMo in August, but neither of those are even close to the same thing. There is just something about the real deal, doing it in November with hundreds of thousands of other people, all over the world, all of us trying to achieve that goal, that dream, of finishing a novel.

I was so proud as I was typing away like a maniac to know that for the first time my Mom was upstairs doing the exact same thing. She did Nano with me two years ago, but she didn't end up finishing and she has never written at midnight. It was a big deal. She is upstairs writing again as we speak. She is off to a great start!

I am also proud to say that I am very happy with what I have done today as well. I didn't spend a ton of time writing today, but I've ended up with a total of 3,836 for the first day. SCORE! Very proud indeed. It is definitely a great feeling to start out more than a day ahead. I am very blessed to be a fast typist and in my last 20 minute sprint I pulled off a rocking number of 1,146 words!

There are always some bumps in the road, and I am sure that this is going to help me out later on, especially in the doldrums and sludge that we all encounter each third week of NaNoWriMo. I swear, it is unavoidable, even for people who have been rocketing ahead. It is a good thing to be prepared, that is for sure.

I was a little worried about NaNoWriMo this year. The past three years that I have done Nano were the only ones I've done it and for each year I worked on a part of a trilogy, and this year is the first that I have done Nano with new characters. That was daunting to say the least. I've had the same characters along for the ride every time before this, and now I've got some new players of the game. I'm also tackling a new age group, which has been interesting, but that challenge has been fantastic! I am very happy with how things have gone so far, and I look forward to the rest of what promises to be a fantastic month! I'm definitely feeling one or more of my notorious 10,000 days coming some time in the near future!

So, are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? If you are, I would love to hear about it! Also, good luck! Even if you aren't ahead of the game from day one you can still make it to the finish line on top!

- Heidi Nicole Bird

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Always, ALWAYS Backup!!!

Hey there! I just wanted to let you in on a little secret of mine, because I want as many people to know about it as possible! One of the most important rules you can follow as a writer is to always backup your work! Nobody can ever tell you that enough times. For any of you who have lost some of your work, you know just how painful it is to lose something you have written. So, I want to tell you about what I do to prevent losing my work.

In June I purchased my very first Android. Woohoo for awesome smart phones! One of the free apps that was included on the phone was Dropbox. I just let it sit there for a long time, but once I tried it I was amazed! You may have heard about Dropbox. You seriously need to check it out! It blows my mind! You can download it on all your devices (computers, phones, tablets, etc.) and have access to your work on every single one of them. As you add content using one device your Dropbox folder is automatically updated on all your other devices! You can also access all your work from the web. The best part about it all? It is completely free! You don't ever have to worry about losing your work again! If you one of your devices fails, no worries! You can still access all your saved work online and re-download it all!

Dropbox is seriously a glorious thing, and I am so glad that I found it and that somebody out there decided to make it! I have seen some other programs like this as well. Do you use something like this? What do you do to make sure you never lose a single word? Hopefully this will be helpful to somebody out there :)

-Heidi Nicole Bird

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Look Out World, Here it Comes!!!

Hey everybody!  Welcome to my new blog! For those of you who were following my much neglected blog "Antonyms of Reality" my blogging has moved here! I plan on using this as a main center of operations to keep all of you up to date on what is going on in my writing world. To help you out there are some super handy dandy tabs up there! Things are still at the bare bones stage right now, but soon I will have all of those pages full of information for you. I can't wait until this more organized and centralized blog is up and running completely how I want it to. It is exciting!

So, obviously I haven't written in a while, which you should be able to tell if you look at the dates of my previous posts, which I imported from my old blog. I'm turning over a new leaf! Why? First of all because I love writing. Second, because it is nearly November, and for me that means NaNoWriMo!

For those of you who don't know, let me introduce you to the madness! NaNoWriMo was created by Chris Baty and it stands for National Novel Writing Month. It is a challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days during the month of November! Crazy? Maybe. Fun? YES! The other eleven months of the year I spend wishing that NaNoWriMo were here again, and finally, it is only within hours!

NaNoWriMo changed my entire world and my life. I was first introduced to the program by my long time friend and then roommate Rachael. She brought it to my attention and we did it together in 2009, and ever since I have done it ever year. I was instantly hooked, and I doubt I will ever be able to get out of this one!

NaNoWriMo is one of the programs that is run by the Office of Letters and Light, a non-profit that I will talk about under the "Sites I Follow" tab. I owe much to this organization  and it is one of my dreams to be an intern with them during NaNoWriMo some day. During the months of June and August many people also participate in Camp NaNoWriMo, which is the exact same concept in the summer "smack-dab in the middle of your crazy life." This year I joined in on the fun and participated in August.

Before I was introduced to NaNoWriMo I had started many stories, too many for me to even think back on and remember, but with a clear goal and a definite deadline I finally finished a story. So far I have finished four books and I am a little more than half way finished with my fifth. All of these have been written for NaNoWriMo or had something to do with it, and here I am, about to start my SIXTH novel for yet another Nano!

If you can't tell, I am excited! Why? Because I love writing, and I love NaNoWriMo! I love how it has expanded my world. I love how many friends it has given me, and how many I gain each and every day! I love what Nano has taught me and continues to teach me about myself. This year I will be tackling a story unlike any I have done before. It is going to be a challenge, but it is going to be awesome! I'll tell you all about it in another post, ideally tomorrow!

So, for those of you who have been following, thanks for tagging along, and for those of you who are new, come join the wild ride! I hope you follow my blog and keep up with what I am up to! Soon under the "Contact" tab I will have information including email, twitter, and Facebook ways that you can follow along as well. Here's to a great month ahead!

-Heidi Nicole Bird

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Deep Sludge

One of my all time favorite movies is A Goofy Movie, and one of the most memorable quotes, at least for me (there are MANY!) is after Max tells a major lie to Roxanne. As he walks away from her doorstep he looks down and states "I'm in deep sludge."

That is what I feel like right now. I've hit a rut. A bump in the road. This is probably obvious considering how little I have posted this past while. The problem now though is that the bump in the road has inverted itself and created a hole. A sort of bad, sort of awesome hole. See, the problem is that all I want to do is write. That's it. All day, all the time. I don't want to do anything else. I just want to work on my two current novel projects and get into the published world!

Unfortunately I live in the real world (even though I prefer not to, and I try not too, hence my love for writing fantasy). Since I live in the rather dismal world that this is, I need money, which means, I need to get a job. Like now. I'm literally at the end of my rope, so much so that I canceled my cell phone! Annoying? Yes.

So, lately I've been checking out the online freelance circuit. There is definitely a lot out there, but there is also a lot of competition and a lot of places that don't pay very well.

So, my question for you is, have you ever done freelance writing? Have you been paid for your writing in some form? Last week I did score getting paid for an article, but not much. Still, it's a foot in the door!

- Heidi Nicole Bird

Thursday, June 7, 2012

For Real

Ok people, I have returned to put you at ease. No, I have not died, I am still here and pumpin! And this time I intend to be back, FOR REAL!!! Crazy, I know, but lately I have been so gung-ho about writing there's just not much to do about it. I have created three more blogs about other things that I love to research/write about and I am determined to keep up on this one as well! I have also started to write in other places online, and I will also be getting back into my novel writing. Woohoo!!! My goal is to finish my current project and get going on making a second, MUCH more polished version of my first book. Here's to posting, writing, and editing! I hope the rest of you haven't been slacking like I have been, because it really isn't fun. Let's do this thing!

-Heidi Nicole Bird

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Fighting for Breath

OK guys, wow, I feel super beyond lame! I feel like I've fallen off the back of the truck. Got dumped on the road. Really, I feel like a fish who was having just so much fun in the ocean that it didn't realize how close it was to the beach and inadvertently flopped right out and is now gasping for breath and trying to get back to the water. Yep, that sounds about right. Remember my last post, how I basically said the same thing and that I was going to get back into the swing of things? Yeah, hasn't really happened. EXCEPT! I did officially start Script Frenzy. That being said, I have only written about six pages, and it is already the fifth of April. Not off to such a hot start. I've found that I really love script writing, but that it is DANG different than writing a novel and that I am nowhere near as good at it. Even so, I am going to persist! I will push through! I am super mega determined to get back into my writing groove. I was seriously in a great one before I got off track. The book I stopped writing is seriously, in my opinion, the best I have ever written, and it is about time I got back to it. I miss my characters! Hopefully they miss me.

SO, this time, FOR REAL, I'm jumping back in. The very second, OK maybe minute, that I post this, I am going to go back to writing. Probably working on my script. Hopefully the rest of you are in a better state than I am. If you are, what are you working on right now? If you aren't, hey let's find our way back to the water together!

- Heidi Nicole Bird

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Writing and the Language Barrier

At the moment I am supposed to be reading "Legal Rights to Land in the Early Chancery," by Edith Henderson for my English Paleography class, but focusing has become futile. Just like every other school day I finished my classes and then headed to my usual spot in the lobby of my Dad's building. Today, however, has been different than most days.

My Dad just happens to be the head of international travel here at the university, and so, the building who's lobby I so often utilize is also the Center for International Study. As one of the resources for students and other people who may wish to come, this building houses many speakers from all over the world. I have attended one myself - an ambassador from France - and quite enjoyed the experience. That was back when I was still a beginner with French, and I was so proud when I could raise my hand when the ambassador asked who in the room could speak French. I'm happy to say that had he decided to speak in his native language, I would have done very well if he were speaking today!

Funny enough, the speaker today was also a French-speaker. BUT, he wasn't French. He was Mongolian. From what I can tell from the poster over there he was talking about "The 25th Anniversary of Mongolia-U.S. relations." I caught a few little bits of what he was saying, but I wasn't paying that much attention. My attention was hopelessly grasped, however, when the speaker finished, and from the room came not the group of students I was expecting, but a few students and a lot of other Mongolian people! Suddenly the lobby was filled with them and they had literally surrounded one other girl and I who had chosen the best chairs in the room. That was probably over a half an hour ago, and they are still here! I love foreign people, and I am thoroughly enjoying listening to them speak their language. They are, however, making it impossible for me to read any of my homework!

So, let's take this international theme and add in some writing bits, just to make things even more fun! Like I said, I love international things, especially French things. I have greatly enjoyed using my reading and writing skills to understand and create things not only in English, but also in French. I feel like I have access to a whole other world that the rest of my family members and friends do not. Of course, many of them have access to even more worlds that are unlocked by other languages. It think that it is a beautiful thing to be a part of both of these worlds, and I try to incorporate things from French culture and language into what I write.

What about you? What do you think about when an author has quotes in another language in their book? Does it annoy you because you can't understand? Does it give you a fiery desire to learn the language solely so you could understand? If any of you have read the Hourglass Door Trilogy by Lisa Mangum, you may have experienced this feeling just as I did!

If you are bilingual, what language to you usually write in? Do you only write in your native language? If you write in more than one, why? For enjoyment? To expand your audience? To hide things from your siblings? I would love to hear about it!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Vacuum of Time and Script Frenzy


Sorry if that felt like I was yelling at you! Mostly, it is you who should be yelling at me! I've been neglecting you wonderful followers of mine, and any of you who are newcomers. If you are a newcomer, welcome! If you are a follower, welcome back! Sorry it has taken me so long to get back on here! See, the thing is, there's this thing that I like to call "the vacuum of time." All of us have experience it. We plan to do things, but time decides otherwise, and before we even realize it, all the time in the day has flown by, and we have no idea what we've done with it!

Unfortunately, this has been happening to me a lot lately. Only a short while ago I was gung-ho, all out ready to hit the world with my writing skills! Not so much as of late. I was steadily working on my fourth novel (which has quickly become my favorite), and I was proud of how I was keeping up on this blog!

So, thanks to the past little while of spending way too much time on my favorite French musicals and way too little time on my writing, I have not been progressing very much at all. BUT! The cool thing is, I've decided to pick myself up from the dusty old floor and get back up to the writing table! Hopefully if you have been lagging behind, you'll join me in this! We all need each other's support, and that is what the writing community is here for! At least, that's how I see it. So, here we go, back into the wild fray that is the world of writing! I hope you'll join me. I look forward to having you along for the ride!

If you are needing something to get your inner writer back into shape, you should try Script Frenzy, one of the programs offered by the Office of Letters and Light. It begins April 1, and you have the entire month of April to write yourself the 100-page script you have always dreamed of! Ok, so maybe you haven't always dreamed of writing a script. I, for one, had never considered it at all until this year. And you know what? I have no idea what to write, or even how to write a great script, but I'm going to do it anyway! I'll also be dealing with finals and graduation, but hey, when do we ever not have something going on. If I can write a 50,00 word novel in a month, three years in a row, then surely I can handle this!

Maybe this will be a crash-and-burn sort of thing. Maybe not. Either way, it will be fun, and I hope you'll give it a try. Remember, I'll be trying it out, right along side you! If you have been a good little writer and have been keeping up with things, I say to you BRAVO! For the rest of us, here's to getting back on our chargers and riding triumphantly into the future!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Power of Words

I don't know about you, but I am a sucker for anything that does an outstanding job of using words. For example, I love the line "set fire to the rain," from Adele's new song, even though I'm not a huge fan of the actual song. There are just certain combinations of words that just "do me in" big time and I instantly fall in love. Who doesn't fall for, or at least refer to, this immortal line, whether we understand it or not?

But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief
That thou, her maid, art far more fair than she.
Romeo and Juliet Act 2, scene 2, 2-6

There is just something about words and the way that some people know how to use them. I appreciate great users of words in just about any setting, whether it is a poem, script, movie, tv-show, random saying, comment, poster, book, or even a comedian. Comedians make a living off of knowing how to use their words in just the right way. I wanted to share such case with you. This video was brought to my attention last week and I have watched it several times, showing it to everyone in my family, and in each case we were all laughing. Check out this link. Hopefully it livens up your day a little!

So, are you a sucker like I am? Where have you been inspired? What lines have taken your breath away?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Impending Death for Independent Bookstores

Hey there everyone! I feel like it has been something like FOREVER since I've written! See, there was this holiday and I went out of town for four days, and ever since I came back I've been studying like a crazy person for my two midterms tomorrow. Luckily one of my classes doesn't have one (my teacher rocks!) and my other one is a take-home exam that is open book - sweet! So, tomorrow I'll be taking two exams, one of which I have to study like heck for, and the other I am actually excited for because I am sort of an expert in that topic. So, I'm not too terribly worried, and I'm feeling pretty good about my "scary" midterm, but I've got to get back to studying. I just wanted to say hi to everyone!

Even though I'm short on time I wanted to let you all know about a new Facebook group that was formed by one of my friends. It's called Amazon Loves Independent Bookstores and is an effort to "petition" Amazon to support independent bookstores. So many of us love these places and would be perfectly content to stay in one for the rest of our lives. We want to show Amazon that there is still a group of people who want to be able to hold and buy and search for actual books in person, not just online, and not just on Kindle. As much as I love Kindle (and want one) and buying online, I just can't imagine how dull life would be without actual bookstores.

So, I hope you will join and share this group as we try to move this thing forward and bring it to Amazon's attention! Let me know what you think about the subject. Have you moved on to electronic books and internet buying altogether? Or do you avoid them all together? Are you a mix like I am? I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Beauties of Circumstantial Writing

Ok, so I just had to make a post about how much I love it when people can write fabulously based on certain circumstances. I very much appreciate creative lyrics, deeply moving religious speeches, and hilariously funny comedians. You name it, if the writer/speaker has a knack for writing something specific, it with shine through.  What pushed me to make this post was an email I received from one of my professors. The story goes as follows:

We were in class and one of the students requested that we move back the deadline for an essay we have to write. My teacher (as well as a few students, including myself) found this suggestion absurd, since the newly proposed deadline was the day before out midterm, which would leave people furiously trying to finish the essay instead of studying for the midterm. But, my teacher being the way he is, and with this being a course in Early American History, when a written proposal was thrust into my teacher's hand he could not help but turn the matter over to the people (i.e. students). And so, we had a democratic vote, and an appalling percentage (basically all but my friend and I - at least that's all I could see) voted to move the deadline back. 

Ok, so I just have to pause here for a second and vent what I was thinking. So, for this assignment we had to read "A Midwife's Tale," by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich (about 350 pages), and then write a three-page paper based on an assigned topic. So here are the thoughts that I was experiencing during this democratic revolution (and am still thinking about to this moment):
1.     We've known about this assignment since the very beginning of the course
2.     The midterm is worth WAY more points that this
3.     In reality you could write the essay without reading the whole book
4.     Reminders to read the book showed up on the syllabus two weeks ago
5.     And get this, the biggest one of all: THE ESSAY IS ONLY THREE PAGES LONG!!!
Does anyone else see the absurdity of this situation? Clearly these people are not writers. Maybe it is because this is really a freshman class and I'm in my last semester as a senior. Maybe it is because I'm a writer. Maybe it's because I specialize in this particular area of history. Either way, I still think they are crazy. 

SO, back to the point of this essay! My teacher is fantastic in his every day rhetoric (just today he said another thing I just had to write down because it sounded so grand: "You were adding arrows to the quiver of your rhetorical arsenal!" - Speaking of the many short essays we have already written in preparation for our essay-based midterm next week). Due to the vote that took place in class, the deadline for the essay was changed, and to make sure everyone knew about it my professor sent out the following email, which still has me laughing:

You, the People (i.e., unruly mob, unwashed masses, foul tyranny of the majority, etc.):

Owing to a minor democratic revolt against my benevolent, yet admittedly absolute, power, I have adjusted the deadline for the Midwife's Tale essay:

The essay is now due by 9 am on Wednesday, February 22. You can still turn it in any time before then, of course.      

I trust that this revolution will remain of the "Glorious" variety, in the sense that it merely secures limited privileges/protections from my benevolent hand but does not entail a general reconsideration of my despotic, er, monarchical rule. Don't make me close Boston Harbor.

In utter and complete power,

Prof. Fluhman

I personally will be perfectly content and will be turning in my essay of 1,250 words by Friday, February 17 - the original deadline.