Books and writing and time

autumn leaves

I apologize for the rambling, but I’m currently in a “blog every day, especially if I feel I have nothing to say” phase, which makes me sloppy and unfocused. It’s also National Novel Writing Month, which leaves me a little mentally fried.

I started reading the first book of The Dresden Files last night, after resolving that next year I really am going to write my supernatural thriller series. I need to read a bunch of supernatural thrillers first, so I’m starting here. It’s funny, I ate up supernatural thrillers once upon a time, but with my reading habits following no discernible pattern for the last decade, I haven’t read much of the genre since I first consumed the early Anita Blake novels.

Time is going to be a more precious commodity in my life soon, as I’ve resolved to start looking for temp gigs to supplement my piss poor attempt to be a free lance writer. The weird thing is that this is going to help me build my business, because I need a fire under my ass fueled by the despair of office work and commuting and interacting with normal people on a daily basis. I might even have things to blog about again, that would be nice.

I haven’t done my NaNoWriMo word count for the day yet, but I did finish up some client work that really needed to be done. I’ve come to realize that it’s just part of my process to spit out a zero draft and expect to throw the entire thing out and rewrite it from scratch with greater clarity gained from making the first draft. I need to remember that in my efforts to write fiction, and just spit words out for the sake of having something to rework.

I suppose I could give the “Daily Post” community another go, but that messes with my head more often than not. A dear friend of mine died right at the beginning of the year, and for months afterwards, every time I checked into The Daily Post, the one word prompt seemed to always be a synonym for grief. Maybe I should have smeared all that half-clotted emotion out on the internet for every voyeur reader to smell and feed on, but the idea of it smelled foul and opportunistic.

I have five boxes of wine leftover from our Halloween party to work through. They have a six week life after opening, so I have some time, but I have definitely had more afternoon in the last few days than I’ve had in a few years. It’s nice for writing (and why this blog is happening), but I always have to be careful with my tendency towards excess, bless these Irish genetics.

I should pick up a book on cooking with wine. I made a delicious batch of ratatouille this week, using a Pinot Grigio (black box). I think Pinots actually cook better than Chardonnays, maybe it’s a stronger flavor.

I’m trying out an interesting experiment for NaNoWriMo. The company behind Sterling & Stone, StoryShop, and The Self Publishing Podcast, handed out an outline of a Young Adult novel for anyone to use for their own novel this month. I thought it would educational to write from an outline created by some experience writers, and thus far that’s true. I’ve reworked the world and the characters to make it my own, but I’m keeping the beats. I have no intention of selling this one, but after a few rounds with Critters it might be fun to post it as a freebie here on the blog.

No Pathfinder game tonight, so I’m off to happy hour at the cafe down the street for some craft beer and heavy word mining.



Feature Image: Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Halloween Pictures!

plastic skeleton and vase with black roses - halloween decorations

Halloween was kind of exhausting this year, with everything a bit too last minute, and shitty weather that made it hard to set up the day before the party. But we ploughed through these various obstacles, and plenty of people braved the cold to come hang out with us.

I’m pretty worn out, and today is the first day of National Novel Writing Month, so here is a post of pictures of the decorations!


halloween decorations of fake church
The theme was around Hammer Horror Dracula movies, which involve dozens of scenes in deconsecrated churches. I put that backdrop of ‘gothic’ windows together in two days. It deserved two months, but everyone liked it. Also cobwebs, black candles, and lots of wine.



bottle with label that reads Blood of Dracula
Taste the Blood of Dracula is a Hammer Horror film where Dracula is resurrected in a Satanic ritual from a bottle of his dried blood. The text says: Blood of Dracula – Do Not Taste! May cause convulsions, spasms, delusions of grandeur, cravings for raw meat, B-12 deficiencies, chronic anemia, Vitamin D deficiencies, sensitivity to light, sensitivity to blessed objects, redness of the eyes, compulsions to resurrect or otherwise serve the Prince of Darkness, spontaneous garlic allergy, sensitivity to running water, may develop skin rash when in physical contact with silver, silver plate, or silver alloys, severe insomnia, bloodlust, serial killing or other violent behaviors. Please seek out medical or spiritual guidance if/when any of these symptoms develop.


halloween decoration fountain of blood with zombie head
Bruce and Patricia, who hosted the party, put this monstrosity together. Red-dyed water, with a zombie head. Hard to see in the flash, but I put green water proof lights in the top ring of water. I was delighted when they sent us video after putting the fountain together.
halloween decorations table with vases and skulls
Decorations just set up before putting out the food. Big skulls, tiny skulls, various decorations, cobwebs, “Halloween mesh cloth,” and vases leftover from my wedding and repurposed.



chiminea with pumpkin lights
The picture doesn’t do this thing justice. It was super cute in person. The broken chiminea is filled with pumpkin lights. In person it looked like a little glowing pumpkin patch. It was Reed’s idea.


skull and vase - halloween decorations
A closeup of table decorations. I bought the last of these styrofoam skulls that Michael’s had, on clearance. I have a lot of skulls now. That vase has gotten a lot of mileage. For my wedding last winter, I painted the insides blue with glitter. I repurposed them with a base layer of gray paint, and a layer of textured spray paint for a stone urn look.

plastic skeleton and vase with black roses - halloween decorations
My friend’s preteen helped distribute the skeletons, and was proud of this layout. I found those black roses on Amazon. They were pretty inexpensive. They’re made of some kind of foam that feels like leather and keep their shape better than cloth roses. I loved their look in the ‘stone’ vases.