Are You Ready for NaNoWriMo?

Hey all, Dani here.

National Novel Writing Month is right around the corner, and boy have I missed it. Honestly, aside from these blog posts, I have not done much writing lately, and I certainly have not done a whole lot of creative writing. And I really miss it. I’ve told myself that I need to set up a schedule and block out some time for writing every day and then I just don’t hold myself to it.

Thankfully I have the month of November to get me back into the rhythm of writing regularly.

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Okay, firstly, for those of you who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is an event where each November participants attempt to write 50,000 words on a novel over the course of 30 days. Sounds pretty intense right? Well, honestly, sometimes it can be. Thankfully there are thousands of other writers attempting the same feat so you never really feel alone. You can even join regional forums based on where you live and you’ll be connected with other writers near you. Typically this also includes a person (or people) called Municipal Liaisons (MLs). These lovely people are the ones who organize meet-ups, a kick-off party, write-ins throughout the month, and a wrap party once it is over with.

I have been participating in NaNoWriMo since 2006, and it has just been such an enriching experience. In 2008 I became a Municipal Liaison, and I was one of the many founding donors for the Camp NaNoWriMo program, which is basically NaNoWriMo but in the summertime. I have written so many words and learned so much these past years and I’m so glad that I get to keep going.

This year would have been my tenth year as an ML, but sadly because of so much stuff happening in my real life, I missed the sign up deadline, something I never came close to missing before. So this year I get to watch as my co-ML runs the region on her own…well, officially anyway. Everyone knows that I’m not going anywhere, and am more than happy to answer questions and offer up advice and inspiration to any who need it.

But in some ways I’m actually glad that I just get to focus on my writing, instead of planning write-ins and pep talks, and spending a lot of time on the regional forums or on my region’s Facebook page.

In basically every previous NaNo, I wrote a fantasy or paranormal story, typically with just a hint of romance in it. But this year another story wants to be told, and it means a bit more of a challenge for me. See, events of my life this year have inspired me. At the beginning of this year I went to a friend’s house to start a new Dungeons & Dragons campaign, and there I met the amazingly wonderful and geeky man who has become my boyfriend.

So I want to write a geeky romance story, a story of two people who met while playing D&D and then bonded over board games and movies and other nerdy hobbies.

But I also know that I want the D&D campaign within the book to play a significant role too…so I plan on intertwining a fantasy story through the novel. It should be interesting at the very least.

I have basic sketches of most of the characters already finished and a general idea of the contemporary plot. I’m still thinking about the fantasy campaign story. Over the years I have learned that I can’t do a lot of writing down ideas and such because then I’ll struggle with writing the actual story in November. So I just come up with a few loose ideas and then fly by the seat of my pants the rest of the way. It works for me. Some people spend all of October drafting up elaborate outlines, and that’s fine too.

What I’m trying to do now is to come up with a good title I can use during this first draft process. I told my boyfriend that I don’t want something that is too ridiculous or cheesy, but the only thing that keeps coming to mind is “Roll for Romance.” He laughed and told me that was a perfect title and I should use it.

I guess unless something better comes along, that’s my title. I plan to draft up a quick book summary soon, and then I’ll be ready to write.

And look guys, I’m making more progress with my library/study. I should have it all finished just in time for NaNoWriMo to start, so that’ll be nice. Having a dedicated writing space can sometimes help the mind focus on the task at hand. I’ll just say here that my books aren’t fully in order yet, because I still have about half of my library to move from my mom’s house, and I still have a few more bookcases to assemble.

So are any of you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? If so, let me know, and good luck! And if you have any suggestions for my book title (or if you really like Roll for Romance, let me know those as well.

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Blogger Recognition Award

Hey all, Dani here.

I love being recognized and/or tagged to do awards and other posts by other bloggers. It is so great to make connections in the book community, and I am so thankful for all the people I have been meeting and interacting with, especially these past several months. Anyway, I was nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award by the delightful Kathy over at Books & Munches. Seriously, go check out her blog because it is fantastic. I love how she recommends food to go along with each book, though I will say that reading her posts generally make me hungry.

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Rules

∞ Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog
∞ Write a post to show your award
∞ Give a brief story of how your blog started
∞ Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers
∞ Select a few other bloggers you want to give this award to

How Mousai Books Started

Back in 2009, I started working with my friend Signy Cullen to try and form a new sorority at our university. We went by the name Mu Psi, because the word “mousai” means muse, and we wanted to be a group that promoted the arts. It took a lot of work to figure out our colors and our mottos and beliefs and build up a membership, but we thought we had everything situated nicely. So we asked for a vote with the Greek Council, but they kept pushing it off later and later, and then some of our members graduated so we didn’t have enough to meet the criteria. Nevertheless Signy and I never stopped feeling the bonds of sisterhood. I decided to honor what we created by naming this blog Mousai Books.

I had a book blog back when I was in university, and it was problematic. Sometimes I got lazy and missed several weeks with no blog post. I didn’t try and connect with any other blogs. My book reviews were sporadic and not nearly as well formulated as they are now.

So I took this blog to be a fresh start, and I feel like I’ve mostly lived up to the ideas I had in mind when I first started. The muses stood for creativity and inspiration. I feel like sharing my love for books and for other geeky hobbies is my way of honoring the muses of old and of all those who have inspired me to be my creative and geeky self along the way.

Blogger Advice

I feel like so many of us give similar advice: be yourself, enjoy what you’re doing, be active in the community. Don’t get me wrong, that is all great advice, and you should absolutely follow it, but I’d like to try and give other helpful advice.

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to adhere to a strict posting schedule. For most of us we can manage a full schedule for a short time, but then we may fall into a reading slump or a writing slump, and then we feel guilty for missing posts or not putting up as high quality posts. This can actually lead to a downward spiral and doesn’t actually end up helping anyone. So, if it becomes necessary, reduce the number of posts you release each week, take a step back, and allow yourself to breathe and relax. Then try again. Your mental health is more important than a rigorous posting schedule. Your reader friends will understand if you have to slow down a bit.

I guess the second piece of advice I’ll give is to spice things up and have a little variety. Post some book reviews, do some book tags, go to author signings or book festivals and document the experience. If you go to the movies and see a book adaptation on screen, go ahead and post a review or a compare/contrast post. If you take a day and go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, take pictures and share the experience with us. We spend a lot of time reading each other’s posts and chatting in the comment sections. It builds friendships and we like getting to know each other. You don’t have to limit yourself to one topic or one type of post.

Nominations

Jenna at J.K. I’m Exploring!

Kristin at Kristin Kraves Books

Katie at Never Not Reading

Holly at Nut Free Nerd

Maygin at Diversifying Perspective, One Book at a Time

I Finally Got To Go To A Renaissance Festival

Hey all, Dani here.

So sometimes it’s fun to break away from the normal pattern of blog posts. I like to do this when I have to talk about some other wonderful and geeky event happens. Today I just have to talk about my adventure to the Ohio Renaissance Festival yesterday, because it was actually my first time.

To sum it up…I’m ready to go back again! I had such a lovely time.

And okay, so I started my time at Ren Fest wearing basically a peasant sundress I ordered off Amazon, but by the time I was done I had added a cloak and a staff to my outfit. Next time around I’ll skip the dress and be in pants and a tunic to continue building my ranger outfit. I can also say that it was a rather warm day, with a high of 88 degrees Fahrenheit, but surprisingly wearing a cloak did not overheat me. I may have actually felt cooler after putting on the cloak. I’m happy with my choice there anyway, because my cloak is reversible, so depending on the situation I can have either the black or the green side visible.

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My wonderful boyfriend also got me a boffer sword, a foam sword that is approved for most LARPs. Naturally he saw the Doctor Who one and had to get it for me. Then at the very end of the day he got me this really cool potion pouch that I can put on my belt.

Of course, he also built up his own outfit, though he’s going for more of rogue vibe. So he bought a shirt, pants, a cloak, a small potion case, gauntlets, and a pipe (just because it is a cool pipe–he plans to keep the pipe as decoration). We are talking about dyeing his shirt black to better fit his outfit concept. He is going for black attire with darker blue accents.

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We spent a great deal of our time exploring the shops, which were filled with wonderful hand-crafted clothes, weapons, jewelry, and more. Though, we did spend some time watching the jousting, which was really cool. Sadly, I was also eating lunch at that time so I did not manage to take any photographs of that. I will say that my bourbon chicken was delicious though. As was the giant dill pickle I bought shortly after that.

Anyway, I sadly also did not get any photos of myself or the rest of our adventuring party as we threw knives or axes. Surprisingly I actually did enjoy throwing knives, and I was pretty okay at it, though more practice will be necessary to ensure more consistency. The axes seemed a little more than what I was prepared to try. If I was going to put everything into a Dungeons & Dragons stat block, my Strength score is pretty much average, but I have a decent Dexterity score. So basically archery, knives, light swords and such are up my alley, but axes, hammers, and bigger swords are a bit out of my realm of specialization.

I did get a few photos of my boyfriend and a couple others at the archery range, which was fun.

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We only spent about six hours at the festival, but our day was a bit longer thanks to something like 4 and a half hours on the road getting to the festival and then driving home. It was a pretty long day, but I’m already planning on making the next trip to the Renaissance Festival next year a weekend trip.

Okay, one last photo to share…my boyfriend and I together in our outfits.

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All in all, it was excellent and I am already counting down until our next geeky excursion.

Review: Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

Hey all, Dani here.

I was going to post up my review of Invictus today, but I started reading this book and I felt a desperate need to get my review up ASAP…which means pushing the ARC review back to Thursday.

So, I guess I was craving a cutesy contemporary romance read. Or maybe the concept of this book just intrigued me. Or I was just obsessed with this cover and so I had to know if the inside was as wonderful as the outside. Whatever the reasoning, I devoured this book so quickly. Whenever I put it down I just wanted to pick it right back up and keep going.

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Summary

Three years ago, Tanner Scott’s family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go, and no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom, Tanner plans to coast through his remaining classes and clear out of Utah.

But when his best friend Autumn dares him to take Provo High’s prestigious Seminar—where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester—Tanner can’t resist going against his better judgment and having a go, if only to prove to Autumn how silly the whole thing is. Writing a book in four months sounds simple. Four months is an eternity.

It turns out, Tanner is only partly right: four months is a long time. After all, it takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him.

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

I guess I’ll start off by saying that a lot of this book deals with the LDS church, and I know very little about Mormon views and teachings, so I can’t speak to how factual all the details are in the book. All I know is that in my opinion it felt as if it was handled in a realistic yet respectful manner. Yes, a lot of this book revolves around the LDS not exactly being pro-homosexuality, but I feel as if I understood the positions of the various characters as they discussed this.

I was entranced by Tanner from the very beginning, and I always seem to enjoy books where the main character is writing a book. They just make me happy…though they also remind me that I have been in a horrible writing slump and really should get back to writing soon.

Reading the story from Tanner’s point of view, I loved how he described when he first saw Sebastian; it was exactly the kind of tidal wave of feelings you basically expect from young adults, when everything just feels so new and raw and overwhelming.

But I admit that I found myself a bit perplexed when the book mostly focused on the building relationship of Tann and Seb…at least until near the end, when I realized why. I don’t really think it is a spoiler, but in case you don’t want to know, I’ll change the text color to white for a minute. You’ll have to highlight it if you want to read it. As it turns out, we are reading Tanner’s manuscript, which is why it glosses over those bits. I thought that was a clever way to format this book, so I am definitely a fan.

Now let’s talk about Tanner’s bisexuality. Again, I myself am not bi so I can’t really speak to the authenticity of the representation, but as one of the authors of this book, Lauren, actually is bisexual, I believe it is fine. Besides, Tanner was fond of saying that he was into a person, not their parts.

I just have to talk about one of my favorite aspects of the book: Tanner’s family. His parents are so wonderfully understanding and accepting of his queer identity, and make sure to celebrate that fact, even if now they can only do that within the confines of their home. I also so loved hearing Tanner’s dad talk about his romance with Tanner’s mom all those years ago. Having a nice, healthy, supportive, and stable relationship in a YA novel is fantastic. All so often in YA it seems like the parents are barely present or one or both of them are already gone.

Basically, I adored this book, and I am so glad that it kept calling out to me to read it. I devoured it in only two sittings and I think this will definitely be on my Top Ten Reads of July-Dec 2017.

Where to Buy

You can pick up a copy of Autoboyography from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore.

Review: Writing With Style: An Editor’s Advice for RPG Writers by Ray Vallese

Hey all, Dani here.

Today’s review is an interesting one, because it is a non-fiction book that is actually a grammar/style guide for writing up books for role playing games. Considering that I spend a lot of time with my boyfriend brainstorming and planning out the world and magic and overall story for our campaigns for both D&D 5th Edition and for Pathfinder, this seemed like a book that could be helpful for us.

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Summary

A Style Guide with Style

Writing With Style: An Editor’s Advice for RPG Writers presents 45 pages of concise tips on simple ways to make your roleplaying game writing cleaner and clearer. This guide doesn’t show you how to structure adventures, build stat blocks, or create worlds. Instead, Ray Vallese looks at some of the most common and easily fixable grammar and style issues he’s encountered in over twenty years of editing RPGs.

Rookie freelancers, industry veterans, and self-publishers alike can benefit from this (mostly) jargon-free guide, which addresses such topics as:

Recasting passive voice into active voice (and when you might not want to)
Dangling participles and other misplaced modifiers
Gender-specific and gender-neutral language
Commonly confused words, empty words, and clichés to avoid
Choice and possibility in player character actions
Final things to check before submitting your manuscript
Tighten and polish your text with these quick and easy tips!

My Thoughts

Rating: 4 stars

This book gave me serious flashbacks to school. It was a whole 45 pages of grammar logistics. There were basically four pages alone going over common word swaps and homonyms. You know, the kind of mistakes that won’t be caught by the spelling and grammar check in Microsoft Word because the “misspellings” are actually words as well.

I can see this being a very helpful resource for attempts at writing up any of our stories into an RPG format. And again, as it is only 45 pages, it did not take long at all to read it. Now, I will say that most of the book was not quite as useful for me, especially when it reminded the reader to look at the style guides used by each company you plan to pitch your idea to. Having a degree in literature and also having worked for four years on my university’s newspaper, I am quite familiar with the popular style guides: MLA, APA, Chicago, AP. Also, being a writer and researching traditional publication paths, I already know that you should research a company before approaching them with a query or submission so you know what requirements they have. But for the average person these bits of advice are very helpful.

I actually appreciate the concise nature of this book though. After writing out an entire book or a campaign for an RPG, the last thing a writer would want to do is struggle through a lengthy and/or complicated book on writing and editing for RPGs.

What I think will be useful for me now is a book about the actual writing and plotting of a campaign book, as that seems to be something my boyfriend and I might be interested in attempting soon. So, if you have any recommendations on that topic, feel free to share them with me in the comments below.

Where to Buy

You can pick up a copy of this book from Open Gaming Store or RPG Now.

AMA Answer Time!

Hey all, Dani here.

Thank you so much to Michelle and Elaina, who each asked me a question over the past few days. I really appreciate it. Let’s not waste any time with introductions. I’m jumping into the answers right now.

michelleltaylor94 asked: What are your must reads right now?

I think there’s two possible answers here: the must reads I can recommend for you all to read, and the must reads meaning books that I desperately need to read right now. For the first part, my go-to recommendations include: Dreamworld by Rachel E. Kelly, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, and The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers. To answer the second part: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee, The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell, and The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss are all books that I really want and need to read soon.

Elaina Lucy asked: What is the number one book that you’ve read that has the deepest emotional hold on you? It could be either that the book itself is amazing, or for other reasons (a gift from someone special, the first book you ever read, etc).

Wow, this is a fabulous question, and I’d love to know how all of you would answer it as well. Okay, so I’m going to try not to constantly answer with the same books, so I’m actually going to go with a non-fiction choice: You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day. This book was so lovely and inspirational for me. Follow that up with getting to meet her during her book tour for the paperback release (Yes, I own a first edition hardcover, and a first edition paperback of this book) and this book will always hold a special place in my heart. Meeting Felicia Day, considering how long I’ve followed her awesome nerdy career and how much I loved the book, is definitely one of the top moments of my life. You can read more about my fangirling and the signing at these links.

This was a fun idea, and I’ll probably try this again in the future, but if at any time you have a question, feel free to ask. I’m pretty much an open book.

Just for fun though, I’ll also throw in a few random fun facts about me, because I know sometimes people probably wonder about it.

Danielle Thamasa is a pen name. I chose it by taking all the letters from my legal birth name and rearranging the letters. (Okay, fine. I had to add in an extra ‘l’ and ‘e’ or else I would have been Daniel). I’ve been using this name for book related things on the internet for around a decade now so I answer to Dani as easily as I do my birth name.

Some of my other hobbies include board games, RPGs (like D&D, Pathfinder, Fantasy AGE, etc), LARPing, comic and gaming conventions, photography, ghost hunting, and traveling (though I don’t do as much as I’d like).

I’ve started watching anime and I’m enjoying it so far. I’m into My Hero Academia, Fairy Tail, Death Note, Trigun, and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. When I was younger I watched Sailor Moon, Cardcaptor Sakura, and Fullmetal Alchemist, and in college I watched Inuyasha because of my roommate.

I’ve already surpassed my original reading challenge goal on Goodreads. I started the year with a goal of reading 75 books, but now my goal is 100 because I have finished 77 books so far.

Okay, well that’s all for now. Tomorrow I’ll be talking about my time in Indianapolis over the weekend for Gen Con 50.

Ask Me Anything!

Hey all, Dani here.

I have been posting to this blog for almost two years now, which is awesome and a little crazy. In that time I’ve shared a lot of posts about books and other nerdy interests. And in the past few months I have watched as my comment counts and my follower counts rise and rise. Thank you for joining me here.

Anyway, I feel like sometimes it is good to take a step back and just chat. The book community is great and we spend a decent amount of time talking to each other.

With that in mind, I’m going to offer you lovely people the chance to ask me anything at all…about me, my writing, my reading, my hobbies, literally anything. Have you wondered how I came up with my pen name? How I choose books to read? Here’s your chance to ask whatever you’d like.

I’ll take questions from now until end of day Sunday, August 20th. Then I’ll have my answer post up on Monday the 21st.

Let’s spend some more time getting to know each other.


Oh, and this weekend I’m traveling to Indianapolis with my boyfriend and another friend of ours, to attend Gen Con. Sadly we can only make it for one day on Saturday, but it should be a great time, and I’ll be picking up a couple gaming books and some other gaming accessories and such, plus I’ll be getting the Critical Role cast to sign my new hardcover copy of the Tal’Dorei Campaign Setting book. So I’ll have a fun little convention wrap up post coming as well.

Camp NaNoWriMo Midpoint Check-in

Hey all, Dani here.

Wow…we are seriously already halfway through the month of July. Time is just flying by and I don’t know that I like it that much.

Anyway, today I’m here to give a little insight as to how my Camp NaNoWriMo experience is going so far. And by that, I mean, talk about how I have been in a writing slump for months now and sometimes it is hard to break out of that.

I’m just having issues focusing when I actually sit down to write…and it doesn’t matter if I’m sitting at a computer or just scribbling in a notebook. I may write a few sentences but then my mind wanders. Now I realize this seems silly when I’m clearly able to focus on reading, but each task is just a bit different. Plus, I suppose my reasoning is that I have a large stack of ARCs that I really should read and review before their release dates, whereas my writing can be put on the backburner.

That’s a horrible way to think of it considering how little writing I’ve managed the past couple years, but sadly that is just how things are working out for me at this point and time.

So basically I’ve maybe written a thousand words towards my original goal of 15,000. Now I’ve been farther behind than this during several sessions of NaNoWriMo and I still manage to reach the finish line just in time.

Perhaps I need to try moving ahead to a different scene or chapter and come back to the opening scene later. I know the basics of what I want to happen but the words just aren’t coming.

I will start another scene and see what happens. Hopefully I can get myself out of this no writing rut I’m in. Because I actually do want to write this story. Yes it is something that will be quite a bit different from my other stories, but sometimes change can be good.

If you’re participating in Camp NaNoWriMo right now, let me know how you’re doing in the comments. We have two more weeks left in this session, so there’s plenty of time to catch up and/or race towards our goals. Good luck everyone!

Camp NaNoWriMo July 2017 Session

Hey all, Dani here.

Wow…that’s kind of a dull post title. I’ll just say that I’m saving my creative thoughts for my upcoming writing project. Right? That sounds reasonable.

Anyway, I am preparing for yet another session of this wonderful event. I really need to get back into a rhythm with my writing; I haven’t managed to accomplish much on that front this year and it makes me a bit sad.

But I think I have an idea for a story I want to write, and it’s actually a bit of a deviation from the normal stuff I come up with. If you’ve been following me for any amount of time, you may have realized that I really like fantasy and paranormal stories. Those are primarily what I write and I enjoy doing that.

However, the current story that is in my mind and my heart is a contemporary romance. I have no idea how well I’ll do with this, but I’m willing to give it my best shot. I really like the story and the characters that I’ve developed so far. This might partly be on account of this story being loosely based on real events.

I don’t want to say too much about it because I’m trying to see if I can actually write more if I don’t just tell everyone most everything about what I’m doing or plan to be doing. All I can say is that it will hopefully be a cute nerdy romance story. Plus a lot of my friends from Dungeons & Dragons have been gracious enough to let me use them and/or their characters as inspiration for characters in my novel. So that’s great.

So far I’ve managed to come up with a number of possible chapter titles, so that will make parts of the writing process easier. What I’m still missing is the novel title. For now I have it saved as ‘Untitled Nerd Romance,’ which is not an inspiring title at all…kind of like the title of this post. They let you know what the following text is about but they don’t really make you really want to dive into what follows.

Anyway, for those who aren’t aware, Camp NaNoWriMo is a branch of big sister event NaNoWriMo which takes place every November. Camp takes place twice a year, typically in April and July. But Camp takes a slightly different path than NaNo, making it a more flexible event.

For NaNoWriMo the challenge is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Camp allows you to write and/or edit. And you aren’t bound to a set 50K word goal. No, you can set your goal for a word count of your choosing, or even a goal of so many hours of editing, or so many pages written if you’re working on a play, or even so many lines written if poetry is more your thing.

Also instead of being in regional groups you are placed in smaller cabins where you and up to 11 other writers will get to chat and support each other through the month. Your cabin mates can be randomly assigned based on age and/or genre criteria, or you can create a private cabin and invite your closest writer pals to join in.

I myself am a fan of the private cabin, but since many of my friends opt out of one or both Camp sessions, I often find myself with a few open slots. So, if you think Camp NaNoWriMo sounds interesting, or if you’re already signed up as a Camper and are looking for a cabin, I have some open bunks. Let me know a bit about you and your writing project in the comments (including your username) and I’ll send you an invitation to the cabin.

Let’s have a wonderful month of writing (or editing, if that’s your focus) in July. It’s going to be a fun time.

Finding Inspiration

Hey all, Dani here.

Okay, fine, so I’ve come up with a few posts for the blog. There’s a review coming tomorrow, and then I’ll have two or three posts up next week. What can I say? I’m feeling inspired. It is such a blessing to feel that creative urge coming back. I have so missed it, to the point where I felt like something was missing. I would sit at my computer and stare at the screen hoping for words to flow through my fingers, and yet I typically ended up giving up and binging some show on Netflix.

Things are changing now, and I am so glad of that. Though I will say that I’m fairly certain my DVR has reached max capacity; I’m not sure though as I haven’t turned on my TV in over a month.

I’m in a much happier place than I’ve been in quite some time. Now I’m realizing that last year I read book after book and lost myself in fiction so I could avoid the depressing solitude of my life. That isn’t the case anymore. I have a good group of geeky friends, and I have an amazingly wonderful and nerdy boyfriend, who is so sweet and supportive. His creative spark has reignited my own, and I am immensely grateful for that.

These past few months I have been playing a lot of Dungeons & Dragons with my friends. And the cooperative storytelling and adventuring has really made me want to jump into my own fictional worlds again and just explore them. Of course, before I can work on one of my epic fantasy or science fantasy stories, I really need to finish the last few chapters of Project Death: Revelation and release Thanos’s story onto the world. It was supposed to come out like two years ago, but there were delays, and then last year there were more delays. The more I procrastinated, the harder it became to convince Thanos to give me the last details I needed for the story. Then he just stopped talking to me altogether.

I’m feeling better now, and I think perhaps I can convince Thanos that we should just sit down and get this all finished. He’ll probably feel better once he has completed his task of telling the story of how he became Death. Plus there are still a number of you lovely readers out there who keep asking me about the book. I promise, I will get it out to you, and hopefully it will happen in the next couple of months. I’m not setting a deadline though because those haven’t worked for me the past couple years. Just know that I’m working on it.

Having my life in a good place has made me re-examine books, movies, music, etc. and I’m seeing them all in a new light. It’s fantastic. The urge to write, to follow my characters as they deal with their individual and collective issues, is returning.

I think my first step is going to be to re-read everything I’ve written for Thanos’s tale so far. Okay, yes, that is something like 70K words, but it shouldn’t take me too long to read all of that. I need to remember where I was in the story, and a gentle reminder to Thanos is probably good as well.

But after that I think I can spend an hour or so each day through the week focusing on creative writing. Weekends are wholly dedicated to time with my boyfriend, but if I manage to keep to my writing schedule then pretty soon I’ll be able to announce that I’ve reached “The End” and will need the help of beta readers to see what needs cleaned up, expanded upon, cut out, or rewritten.

The book is close to the end, and I’m ready to finally get it there.

This is what happens when things begin to fall in place. And hey, maybe some of my happiness can rub off on Thanos; he’s still a bit of a stick in the mud. I think he needs a proper vacation, and I am totally willing to give him that…after we finish this book. He won’t be needed for the first half of book three, so it all works out.

Oh, and apparently all of our geeking out and talking about books and writing and such has inspired my boyfriend to get back into writing too. I guess inspiration is contagious.