Monday, March 31, 2014

Final Preparation Day!

CampNaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month,  is less than 9 hours away and I am doing my final prepping and organization. Camp is a version of NaNoWriMo held in November where your goal is 50k wordies in a month. Camp is similar though you set your own goal for wordies and can write anything, not just a novel. I am sticking with 50k wordies as my goal. I finished in November and I believe I can again, even though I have at least 3 days where I can't write due to family and medical issues.

I have set up Scrivener and Aeon Timeline. I love the software. It makes it so simple to keep track of my characters and places from one novel in the series to the next. Below I will give a brief description of each and list a few more writer's tools. I will have to tell you I was a little worried about trying them out but once I did I can't imagine  living or writing without them.  If you know about werewolves they live in packs but also their human parts move from time to time. Without Scrivener I wouldn't be able to keep track of which pack everyone is in. As for Aeon Timeline, I can keep track events from one novel in the series to another.

This is a program that helps organize and track everything you can imagine; from characters, places and all other little things. They have templates for fiction, non-fiction, thesis, and many more. It's not only for writer's but students as well.
Here is are a few scene shots.

Complete writing studio

Write, Structure and revise

Research within reach

As you can see it is a tool you won't want to live without once you try it. Literature and Latte offers a free 30 day trial, CampNaNoWriMo and NaNoWriMo are a perfect time to use the trial.

Aeon Timeline is more than a series of events on a never ending line. With Aeon, you can divide your timeline into logical groups, projects, or concurrent arcs. You can model the relationships between events and people, places and ideas. Aeon calculates people's ages for you. And you can link your events with research material such as external files or images that can be displayed inside the application.

More than just a timeline.

Ultimate Flexibility

Direct Data Manipulation

Others are:
LibreOffice Writer  Every writer needs a good word processor for at least some tasks, and LibreOffice has one of the best free offerings around.
TheSage TheSage is a very powerful dictionary and thesaurus and a stack of useful features.
Sigil Ideal for e-book authors, Sigil is a capable EPUB editor with a stack of essential features.
TreeSheets TreeSheets is an interesting note-taking program which takes an unusual approach to organising your ideas.
Kiwix You've busy on an important project, and need to look something up. You turn to the web, of course - but your internet connection is down. So now what?
Library Management
E-book conversion
Syncing to e-book reader devices
Downloading news from the web and converting it into e-book form
Comprehensive e-book viewer
Content server for online access to your book collection
E-book editor for the major e-book formats

*Disclaimer - I am not the owner of these pictures. I found them on the web for causal fun use on my blog for which I receive no compensation. If this picture belongs to you (you are the copyright owner) please let me know and I will remove it.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Feeding the Family and Writing

With CampNaNoWriMo 2 days for my time zone (GMT:-5:00) I am preparing freezer crockpot (slow cooker) meals for the month. This is normal in my house at the beginning of the month. There are several sites and blogs that have recipes. I use Happy Money Saver website done by Karrie and Mommy's Fabulous Finds. Karrie has 50 meals, many are made a few times. My family has their favorites and those are the ones I make. These are not the only sites where you can find recipes, but they are the ones I use most often. It take 1 day to prepare them all. Yeah, that sounds like work but think once it's all done you're done. No preparing for as many days as you made meals for. Cleaning up only happens once, well besides the dishes. Normal prep time for a meal is anywhere from 10-45 minutes depending on what you're making. This gives you that time to write instead. Another plus is that my kids (12 and 16 yrs. old) will pop a bag into the crockpot and they get to say, "I made dinner."  Just about anything you cook you can do a crockpot freezer meal with.

Here are a few of our favorite ones:
Teriyaki Pork Chops
Maple Dijon Glazed Chicken
Pineapple Chicken
Chicken Enchiladas 
Mongolian Beef

Here's what you'll have once they are all prepared and ready to freeze.

Here are some more sites with recipes:
Stock Pilling Mom
Sidetracked Sarah

I hope you try them out.

*Disclaimer - I am not the owner of these pictures. I found them on the web for causal fun use on my blog for which I receive no compensation. If this picture belongs to you (you are the copyright owner) please let me know and I will remove it.

Writer's Time Management!

As an aspiring author time management has been difficult to deal with. I know many of my friends have the same issues. I am hoping I can help just a bit to keep you on task. I have found some information, but 1st I'll tell you what I have found to work (not that it will work for everyone).

As you may have noticed by the theme of my site I love #wordsprint-ing. It gives me 20-30 minutes of writing where every wordie counts. Then I have 10 minutes to manage my household duties. I learned I can get dishes done, fold a load of laundry (minus matching socks), and vacuum a room completed in those 10 minutes. I have a word count goal for each day. Set word counts manageable at first and increase as you meet your 1st goal.

Other Management Techniques

1. Set Goals. Whether they are word counts or time of writing, goals are important. Counts should be set with a reachable goal with increases as you meet each goal. I increase mine every few weeks of during NaNoWriMo and CampNaNoWriMo. Setting a goal for editing is also important. Set an amount by words or pages.

2. Track Your Time. Keeping track of how long you write each day is important. Also include what you are doing in between writing, such as housework, errands, taking care of kids, cooking, research and anything else you do. Word sprinting helps with this.

3. Research. Every writer has to research a lot. Set aside time from writing to do this. Make your research count by making the most of it. Ask yourself, can I use this for another piece? Will this be needed later on though not now? This means you’ll be getting the maximum amount of writing time off a minimum amount of research time. Use research time to brainstorm; that includes older research.

4. Make Use of Waiting Times. While sitting in an office for an appointment take out your notebook and brainstorm, write a conversation between characters, come up with plots and plot twists, and anything else you need.

5. Keep Pen and Paper With You. Have pen/pencil and paper within reach; in the car, bathroom, next to your bed, basically everywhere. This way if you have a thought you won't need to try and remember it. Paper can be a notebook, sticky notes, sending yourself e-mails of thoughts, etc.

6. Eat right so you don't loose your energy and can keep creative. Have snacks and beverages ready when you sit down to write or research. This saves time from getting up every few minutes. No alcohol during writing even though 'Write Drunk and Edit Sober' is a common saying.

If these are not what will work for you talk to others about how they manage their time and when they write. No matter what you do these ideas will improve your habits, even if you only add 1 to your day.

Research sites:

Friday, March 28, 2014

CampNaNo Word Sprints

With it only a few days away I have been compiling where to sprint at. These are the ones I am positive about. There may be more.

April 1st is what I would call a world sprint day. The times are below. Follow @TheSprintShack on Twitter to watch for them and more. Watch for #wordsprint hashtag.
8am – 9am BST // 3am – 4am EDT // 12am (midnight) – 1am PDT
5pm – 8pm BST // 12pm (noon)  – 3pm EDT // 9am – 12pm (noon) PDT
8pm – 11pm BST // 3pm – 6pm EDT // 12pm (noon) – 3pm PDT
1am – 2am BST // 8pm – 9pm EDT // 5pm – 6pm PDT
3am – 4am BST // 10pm-11pm EDT // 7pm – 8pm PDT
 4am – 6am BST // 11pm – 1am EDT // 8pm – 10pm PDT

Aside from the first day of Camp NaNo, they'll be hosting sprints throughout the entire month of April, so make sure you’re following them on Twitter!

They will be running tons of sprints the first 2 weeks, possibly all month. Due to a personal event the last 2 weeks may they may only have a few. Follow @NaNoPals on Twitter and watch for them, also hashtag #wordsprint.

As usual @FriNightWrites you have their normal #writeclub going all day/night.  Possibly more during the week, so follow them and watch for #writeclub hashtag.

We will be retweeting the others' sprints during our normal times. If you want or need more message @GetWordies and I will see what can be done. Hashtag #GetWordies as usual.

Thursday, March 27, 2014


As we prepare for CampNaNoWriMo we can struggle with the simplest things. Plots, characters and most of all what to write. I have heard many times 'write what you know'. That just doesn't apply to me. I am what you call a free-writer, I write what comes to me as I sit here at the computer.

For those that have no idea what CampNaNoWriMo is, it's similar to NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) that's held in November. 50,000 words in 30 days. You must start a novel from scratch, though the idea doesn't have to be new. Camp is a bit different, you set your own word goal and are in a group (aka cabin) with others that are there for help. You are also not limited to a novel; cook books, self-help books, children's books, picture books, etc.

If you think this is all overwhelming, it's not. I participated in NaNoWriMo for the first time this last November. I made it to 50k in 25 days. The daily goal to reach 50k in a month is 1666 wordies. With all the word sprints on Twitter it isn't that hard. During CampNaNoWriMo you also have your 'cabin' mates to help push you along.

Try it out next month or in July. There is no shame in not meeting your goal and the experience is wonderful.


Take a look at the word meters to the left. If you's like one hop on over to Sarra's Word Meter and customize one of your very own. It's simple and easy. They automatically update on your blogs and web pages as you update on her site.