Category Archives: Announcements

My Writing Niche- episode #73: Nanowrimo 2013 ends!


Play or Download episode here.

Hello, and Congratulations to all who participated in National Novel Writing Month 2013! For each week of November, I posted a special episode of My Writing Niche! This year, I participated as a Nanowrimo Rebel. Today’s podcast is about life after National Novel Writing Month – or Nanowrimo for short. Enjoy!

Relevant Links:

National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo)

Young Writers Program (youth version of Nanowrimo)

**Slow Burn from the album Blues Sampler courtesy of Kevin MacLeod via Creative Commons Attribution license. More of his music can be found at or at

**disclaimer: This is not an “official” Nanowrimo podcast, rather just my own personal thoughts about November’s favorite writing frenzy.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Announcements, Audio, Current events, nanowrimo, Podcast (audio files down but show note links active), Writing Corner

The Sunshine Award!



First, thank you to John Wiswell (@wiswell) for nominating me! After all, who couldn’t use a little more sunshine in their life (barring certain undead creatures who wouldn’t be eligible anyway)?

So here are THE RULES*


  1. Include the award’s logo in a post or on your blog.
  2. Link to the person who nominated you.
  3. Answer 10 questions about yourself.
  4. Pass it on to a few cheery souls.


1. Favorite color?
Pink. I actually rebelled against this color my entire childhood, because everyone assumed a blond little girl would like pink, but now that I’m in my forties and no longer little I feel safe in admitting I like it. My friend pointed out that since I’m the only human female in my household, I’m using pink to mark my territory. I can’t really argue with that.
Also I’m a big fan of red and black (but not together).


2. Favorite animal?
Right now? Puggles. I have two little destructive but adorable puggles in my household, so I nominate them specifically.
3. Favorite number?
42, because it’s the answer! However, for a non-literary/nerdy choice, 7. I like the shape of the actual numeral and the fact that seven ate nine. **


4. Favorite non-alcoholic drink?
I’m completely addicted to chocolate soymilk. I’d buy it buy the crate if I could.


5. Favorite alcoholic drink?
I don’t drink, but in the interest of keeping to the spirit*** of the question, I enjoy coming up with non-alcoholic versions of the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster. My son and I usually make them to celebrate Towel Day.


6. Facebook or Twitter?
Twitter. I really don’t like Facebook. However, there’s certain people I can only follow using Facebook so I keep my account anyway.


7. Passions?
Veganism, Animal Rights, writing, reading, promoting literacy. I’m a rabid bibliophile. I also adore tea and (primarily) English tea accessories such as pretty teacups and fancy spoons, though I’m not sure those qualify as passions.


8. Prefer getting or giving presents?
I really admire the hobbit tradition of giving presents to others on your own birthday, but on my birthday I want something to unwrap! Not much, just something. That said, when I’ve gotten someone the perfect gift, it’s a really good feeling to see how much they enjoy it.


9. Favorite City?
I’m not really sure if I can narrow it down to one. I loved living in Bickenbach with my husband when he was stationed in Germany. We could walk to the corner market, our favorite restaurant, or take a streetcar into Darmstadt (and from there go pretty much anywhere). You could stand in front of the house we rented and see three castles (Alsbacher Schloss, Auerbacher Schloss, and Frankenstein Burg).  Sometimes we’d bike to them through the mountains. On weekends we would go for drives on roads lined with castles or wineries. On one of our vacations, we drove to Switzerland.

10. Favorite TV Shows?
Doctor Who, Star Trek (any of them), Dollhouse, and Firefly. I’ve watched most of these via Netflix since we don’t have cable. Pre-Netflix I borrowed the DVDs from the library (mostly special-ordered them). I was so addicted to Dollhouse, I’d wait for it to come to Hulu (for free) and watch the episodes that way so I didn’t need to wait.


Since I already recently nominated several people for The Super Sweet Blogging Award, I’m going to pick different fantastic people this time.

And the nominees are…

1. Tim VanSant (@TimVanSant)

2. Larry Kollar (@FARfetched58)

3. Jack Holt (@JackkHolt)

This is just one way of saying that I always enjoy your work. Thank you for all you do.



*See how it put it all in CAPS to show how important it was? Clever, right?

**I just can’t help myself.

***Did I mention I’m also addicted to puns?


Filed under Announcements, Current events

Super Sweet Blogging Award


The lovely Estrella Azul (@estrellaazul) nominated me for the Super Sweet Blogging Award. I’m not quite sure what I did to deserve it,  but I appreciate the nomination. Per the rules, I’m supposed to:

Thank the Super Sweet Blogger that nominated me.
Answer five Super Sweet questions.
Include the Super Sweet Blogging award image in my blog post.
Nominate a baker’s dozen (13) other bloggers.
Notify your nominees on their blog.

The 5 Super Sweet Questions:

Cookies or Cake?

Chunky Chocolate Chip Cookies. Duh.
Chocolate or Vanilla?

You have to ask? For the uninitiated, I prefer chocolate. (See cookie choice above.)
Favorite Sweet Treat?

I don’t know. I adore fresh baked vegan chocolate chip cookies, but I also love lemon marmalade on tea biscuits and So Delicious Mint Marble Fudge soy ice-cream.
When do you crave sweet things the most?

Um, always.
Sweet Nick Name?

Do you mean a nick name that I’d like to have? How about Her Majesty?


And now I’m going to ignore the rules, just nominate some bloggers whose work I love, and notify them via Twitter (since I’ve already visited all their blogs very recently). There are really too many to list. Also, I’m not really clear what the qualifications are,  so I’m just going to name a few of my favorites.

Helen Howell

Tony Noland

John Wiswell

Icy Sedgwick

Angie Capozello


I hope you take this award in the spirit of was meant. Thank you all for being awesome.


Filed under Announcements, Current events

Towel Day 2013!

Towel Day Blogfest redo

In the words of the Guide, “Don’t Panic!” because Towel Day is finally here. For those of you who don’t know, Towel Day is an annual celebration of the life and work of writer Douglas Adams, most famously known as the author of the series The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. This year, as part of my annual celebration, I am participating in the Towel Day Blogfest hosted by L.G. Keltner. In fact, they created the image to the right, so be sure to stop by the blog to say thank you.

My contribution is going to be suggestions for celebrating Towel Day.

First and foremost, if you haven’t read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY READ IT NOW! Barring that, you could at least acquaint yourself loosely with the material by looking up a synopsis or watching the movie or the BBC mini-series. But it’s a thin book! You could probably sit down and read it in a couple hours; it’s only about 46,000 words long or about as thick as the pinky you extend while observing Brownian motion in a hot beverage (say a nice cup of tea).

Now, fans of Adams wear a towel conspicuously throughout the day, because, in the words of The Guide,

A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

My son and I observe Towel Day every year; we even have special towels that we use especially for this day (photo below). If you are so inclined, you can post photos of you (and possibly other hoopy froods) with your towel on the Flickr Towel Day page.


You can find suggestions and (hopefully) local celebrations by visiting the official Towel Day site, but here are a few of my favorites.

1. Wear pajamas and/or bathrobe along with your towel, at home or abroad. If it’s good enough for Arthur Dent, it’s good enough for me.

2. Try to make the perfect sandwich.

3. Make a Terran version of the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster. My son and I made some one year; it was a challenge coming up with Terran AND non-alcoholic versions of the ingredients. We used things like a candy shaped like a tooth for the tooth of the Algolian Suntiger, things like that, and served them up in funky glasses.

4. Read excerpts from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and watch either the movie or the BBC television series. I’ve decided that popcorn is the perfect food to go with the PGGB’s (from suggestion #3).

5. Write some Vogon Poetry with the help of the Vogon Poetry generator.

6. Use lingo from the books all day long.

Of course, Douglas Adams wrote more than just the Hitchhiker’s series, so you might want to delve into some of his other work. Dirk Gentley’s Holistic Detective Agency is brilliantly funny, and Last Chance to See calls our attention to our responsibilities to the world around us, albeit in a humorous way. Adams had a masterful wit that continues to have impacts in the world today. If you haven’t read the books, read them and discover what you’ve been missing. If you have, take the time to remember a wonderful author and person.


Filed under Announcements, Current events, Writing Corner

National Novel Writing Month Begins

During the month of November,  I am embarking upon the 50,000 word challenge of National Novel Writing Month, more commonly known as Nanowrimo. The name says it all; Nanowrimo means a month long writing frenzy where the goal is to write an entire rough-draft novel in 30 days.

Since I’ll be using any spare time I might have to work on my Nano-novel, I thought I’d give a heads up about what to expect on the blog this month. Two installments of my Cloud 9 serial have been scheduled: one this Friday and the final installment two weeks later. I will attempt to post writing prompts and intermittent progress reports about my Nano-novel, but the actual writing takes precedent.

This year my son, Monsterbat, is also participating via the Young Writers Program. We are doing the curriculum with two of his friends, and Halloween we had our Kick-Off party. Since Monsterbat’s goal this year is 22,400 words, spread out over 21 weekdays (weekends off), he will need to write 1,019 words each weekday. My goal will be 50,000 words; if I give myself weekends off, my daily goal is a solid 2,273 (but I might just round up to 2,300) words. I usually write on the weekends anyway though, but this lifts the pressure and allows me to take time off or make things up as needed.

This year, I decided to write an anthology of flash as a way to pre-write some material for #FridayFlash. However, I developed an over-arching plot, so now it may turn into a more conventional novel. I’m not sure yet. I’ve run out of time, so I’ve got a skeleton outline, an abundance of enthusiasm, and a clean writing-slate for the next month. If you are interested, here is a short synopsis of this month’s literary endeavor.

Pinholes: Traveling through the Curtain of the Night

The stars are gateways into alternate universes through which a mad scientist, Portage McPeeve, must travel in search of his lost kitten. His archnemesis, Hephaestus, follows the lovable villain – determined to foil his plans. Along the way, they encounter zombies, higher education for supers, Greek gods, and killer ninjas. Will the scientist find Mrs. Bumblefrost before it’s too late?

If you are participating and you’d like to be ‘writing buddies’ on the Nanowrimo site, my Nano-name is ‘ganymeder.’ If not, wish me and all the other crazy participants luck this month. We’re going to need it!

Leave a Comment

Filed under Announcements, Current events, Writing Corner

“The Best of Friday Flash: Volume 2″ Launch!

The Launch day for “The Best of Friday Flash: Volume 2” has finally arrived! I’ve read many of the stories already and have loved them all. In the interest of full disclosure, I was also honored to have my flash story, Femme Fatale, appear in the anthology.

Stories of less than 1,000 words are considered flash. The Friday Flash community promotes flash fiction by posting flash stories via writing blogs every Friday, and either tweeting the link (along with the hashtag #FridayFlash) or posting a link on the #Friday Flash Facebook page. The website also lists weekly flash contributions along with non-fiction posts by various contributors.

So, here is the part where I tell you to go buy the book. Seriously, I wouldn’t promote the anthology if I didn’t already love it. Anthologies make great gifts for bibliophiles anyway, and there’s bound to be something for everyone’s taste.

And if you get a chance, why not stop by the Launch Party on Facebook? There will be lots of friendly people there. After all, we bibliophiles love a good Launch Party!


Filed under Announcements, Current events, Flash Fiction

My Writing Niche- Technical Difficulties

My apologies again, but my computer seems to be having technical difficulties. Though I have recorded the podcast several times, the sound quality is unacceptable. Various attempts on my part have failed to fix the problem. Hopefully my tech support will be able to resolve the issue soon, at which point I will record my current script. I am sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. Thank you for your patience.

*image courtesy of hiddedevries via Flicker.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Announcements

My Writing Niche postponement

My apologies for not posting the podcast on Sunday, but things were simply too hectic. Future episodes of My Writing Niche will be every two weeks, starting on October 14th, 2012.  Thank you for your patience.

*image courtesy of hiddedevries via Flicker.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Announcements