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.

April Update

Hey all, Dani here.

Wow, I have been absolutely awful about writing up blog posts this month. I am so sorry. All I can say is that real life got in the way, but not in the normal “oh, something bad or sad happened and now I’m wallowing so I can’t do anything.” No, this time life interfered in the “I am completely blissfully happy and just enjoying living in the real world” kind of way.

Basically it all boils down to my new boyfriend. I have been spending a lot of time with him and doing nerdy things (D&D, board games, movie marathons, etc). It has been quite some time since I’ve dated, and this particular relationship is like no other one I’ve had before. I feel like I am living in a romance novel, and it’s wonderful.

So, I haven’t been reading as much as normal. I think I’ve read about two books or so this month, which is a somewhat low number for me, but due to changes in my work schedule, I think I’ll be able to increase that total by the time I write up my April Wrap-Up.

Speaking of changes in work schedule, my job has declared that Saturday, April 29th will be a mandatory work day. What sucks is that I had planned on participating in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon that day. I WILL still be reading, just not as much as I originally planned. The job I’m on right now gives me a decent amount of reading time. So you’ll still be able to follow my reading progress by following my Instagram, or you can wait until my Readathon Wrap Up post on Monday May 1.

I guess that also leads into the other activity for the month of April that I have majorly slacked on…Camp NaNoWriMo. My creative drive is coming back, and a lot of that really has to do with the boyfriend too. He inspires me, and listening to him talk about how he wants to try to get back into writing is really helping me want to sit down and write some more as well.

So, as of right now, my Camp NaNoWriMo word count is at roughly 5,000 words…out of my goal of 25,000 words. Clearly I’m a bit behind where I need to be since we’re in the final third of the month. But it will be okay. I was mainly using this month to try and wake up my creativity and that is certainly happening.

Basically I just need to figure out a new work/life/relationship balance. I will need to create a schedule for reading time, writing time, and of course boyfriend time. It will take a little bit of an adjustment, but I’ll get there. So, I thank you for your patience and understanding.

I am currently reading a couple of ARCs thanks to NetGalley, and should have those reviews up next week. For now I may be scaling back to one blog post a week, but whenever possible I’ll try to get a second post up.

I hope you all are having a lovely April. I’m going to get back to reading, at least until the boyfriend finishes with his gym time for the day.

Camp NaNoWriMo Prep

Hey all, Dani here.

I have seriously missed creative writing. I mean, I love reading and then writing up reviews or other bookish posts here on the blog, but I really enjoy writing novels. Sadly I have not been able to do much writing since NaNoWriMo ended last year. There has been a lot going on at home and I’m afraid the stress has been messing with my ability to put the right words down on the page.

That really needs to stop. So I am super glad that the April session of Camp NaNoWriMo is coming.

I’m also glad that I live in a great region, with writers who want to meet up throughout the year. So even though Camp NaNoWriMo is sort of NaNo lite, we still pretty much treat it the same. I still act like a Municipal Liaison, and I’ll plan prep sessions in the month leading up to NaNo/Camp and I’ll have write-ins and such throughout the actual month of the event.

This is basically where we’re at now. We are planning once a week meet ups for the next few weeks, so that should be quite helpful.

Oh, and I’ve decided to do something else different this time around. Normally I talk about which novel I’m working on and I’ll talk in vague specifics on characters, plot, etc. Not this time. I’m going to keep my writing project to myself. I mean, I’ll still give word count updates and general feelings towards my progress, but that’s it.

All I’ll really say is that it is a story I started a while ago, and I really loved working on it. The plot and the characters were so intriguing to me, and I rather enjoyed following their journeys. But I reached a part in the story–fairly close to the end–and the characters revealed details about themselves and their lives and relationships, that changed a number of earlier plot points.

So this session of Camp NaNoWriMo is partly rewriting and editing, and partly finishing the novel. I have my goal set for 25,000 words, which is half of the standard NaNo, but considering my writing dry spell, and what I actually need to get accomplished with this project, I feel good about my decision.

My goal for the time leading up to April is to read through everything I had written, take down notes on characters and plots, and be sure that I know exactly what I need to do for this upcoming Camp experience.

Okay, so for anyone who is feeling a little clueless in regards to this post…NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. It was started in 1999, when it was held in July. The next year it was changed to November and it has continued to grow each year since. The basic idea for NaNoWriMo is to write 50,000 words in 30 days, and I have found that surprisingly focusing on a daily goal of 1667 words can produce decent quality writing too.

I have participated in NaNoWriMo since 2006, and have been a Municipal Liaison in charge of a region since 2008. I can also proudly say that I was a founding donor for Camp NaNoWriMo.

Camp is a tiny bit different. There are two sessions held in April and July each year. Instead of regions, writers are placed into cabins which hold 12 people. Also, you can set your word count goal for the month. And there’s the fact that Camp even has criteria for editing: for each hour you spend editing, it equals 1000 words…so if you are at the editing phase of your current writing project, you can still totally participate.

At the moment I have six campers in my cabin. If you’d like to join in on the fun, head on over to the Camp website and create your writing project. Then just let me know your NaNo/Camp username, and I’ll send you an invite. I’d love to write with you.

The Road So Far

Hey all, Dani here.

Yes, I am well aware that the title for this post is a Supernatural reference. It was kind of intentional since my post today is going to be a reflection of the past year on this blog…and because I am a fan of the show Supernatural anyway.

I started this Mousai Books blog last January, just after my paternal grandmother died. She was exactly one month away from her 90th birthday so she had lived a long and full life, but I can also say that her death was the first major one to happen in my life. I lost great grandparents and great aunts and great uncles who I didn’t really know so they didn’t pack as much of an emotional punch to me. But I had spent a lot of time with Granny, and the last five years of her life she actually lived with my family so I was around her a lot.

I had thought about starting up a new blog for a while, since my one on Blogger never really had many views or followers. So I guess it was because I just really needed something to do while I was on my three bereavement days away from work.

A lot has happened in the past year, both in a narrow personal focus and on the national and global scales–and I’m not going to get into it here because political trolls are everywhere. Through it all I have been blessed to be able to continue and buy new books and start to really build a presence and find a place in the online book community.

Books have always been a refuge for me, a way to escape whatever is going on in life. They have helped me process life, love, loss, and so many other feelings and events. And they have led me to form some great friendships with authors, which is really cool.

There is this quote from The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger that says: “What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it.” In today’s modern world, a lot of us at least can reach out to authors via social media and sometimes find that they will answer back. But I actually have a few authors whose phone numbers I do know, and though I haven’t called them, I know that I have that opportunity. And yes, I do still squee when an author likes my tweet or retweets a link to a review of their book from this blog; it seriously makes my day a little bit better.

Starting and developing this blog, I’ve also found that I’m gaining more acceptance for e-galleys and ARCs, and I’m hopeful to develop this aspect even more in 2017 and beyond. I’m really trying to keep up with my NetGalley reads and reviews, and this year I’ll be attending Book Expo America, which means I’ll be picking up a few Advance Reader Copies in a physical format.

But when I first started this blog, I admit that I worried that it would be like my last blog, that I would be writing in this little black hole on the internet with no interaction from anyone. Thankfully though you lovely bookish people started liking my posts and following my blog. It makes my day when I check my notifications and see that I have another like or follow. My goal for 2017 is to start getting more comment interaction on my posts. So part of that means having more of a presence in the comment section on other book blogs too.

I can also say that 2016 was not a good writing year for me. I’m really trying to get everything all wrapped up on my next book so I can get it published. It’s possible that I needed a break, and it’s also possible that starting the year off with a big death in the family got to me way more than I thought. After all, I do write books about Death and the Angel of Death so…

Writing takes time. Reading takes time. Blogging takes time. Then you throw in the need to post on social media and build your presence there. Oh, and don’t forget going to work at a soul crushing job that actually does pay the bills. That typically takes at least 45 hours out of my time each week. I spend a lot of time at work day dreaming, sometimes about books I’m reading or TV shows I’m watching, and other times about my own writing. I use my break and lunch times to squeeze in more reading. I would totally listen to audiobooks if my commute wasn’t only 5 minutes. I don’t listen to audiobooks at home because an audiobook chapter might take 26 minutes but I can physically read that same chapter in like 4 minutes.

Oh, also in 2016 I found myself expanding my reading horizons a bit. Thanks to the recommendations of several BookTubers (PeruseProject, abookutopia, JesseTheReader, polandbananasBOOKs, katytastic, readbyzoe, and emmmabooks) I picked up some more middle grade books and historical fiction and cutesy contemporary YA reads. I found new to me authors who I intend to follow as they release new material.

I weeded out my library a bit, but then still needed to buy another bookcase because of all my book purchases–and I think I’m about ready to buy another bookcase now. Speaking of, I reorganized my bookshelves over my Christmas shutdown from work, so as soon as I clean up some of the clutter around my room I owe you all a bookshelf tour.

In 2016 I attended my first convention as an author. While I only sold a couple copies of my book, it was still an interesting experience. I spent time each morning before the convention floor opened walking around and chatting with other authors and artists. It was a great networking opportunity.

My books finally became available in an actual store at the end of 2016. There is a local store in the mall that has used books, comic books, board games, D&D and Magic: The Gathering, and myself and a couple other local authors are prominently featured when you walk in the store. The store owners have been absolutely wonderful about helping me to spread the word about my books. (I can admit that I am sometimes awful when it comes to self-promotion).

Basically last year was an absolute roller coaster of events. I’m not sure what all is going to happen in 2017, but I have a personal library filled with books and I’m finding my place in the amazing online book community. As long as I have that I think everything will turn out okay.

How about you guys-what has your blog journey been like so far? Let me know in the comments!

2017 Bookish Resolutions

Hey all, Dani here.

The tradition this time of year is to make a whole bunch of resolutions for your life, and with a large number of the resolutions we all only make it a couple weeks before we slack or just stop all together. That’s actually why I stopped making lifestyle resolutions like eating better, exercising more, or losing weight.

But making book related resolutions typically works out quite a bit better for me, so I’m just going to run through a few of those I’ve made for myself in 2017.

First up: reading. My initial goal is to read 75 books. I know this is an easily achievable goal, but I also know that if I manage to devour a lot of books quickly I can always increase my goal number. I’ve changed my goal the past several years. In 2016 my goal went from 75 to 100 to 130. More than that, though, I plan to participate in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon in both April and October, because I really enjoyed my experience with the readathon in 2016.

Second: blogging. I will have at least one book related blog up each week. Right now I have several bonus posts figured out thanks to some of my egalleys and ARCs, but I am really going to work to make sure that I maintain my posting schedule.

Third: vlogging. I have been watching BookTube for a while now and have thought that is something I could do myself. I love talking about books with other people. This is going to be the most difficult resolution for me though, because I am so nervous about this. Taking pictures or video of myself has never felt natural or comfortable to me, but I’m going to work through those feelings. With a bit of repetition and practice, I’m sure I’ll start getting used to filming and editing videos. So I’m going to start…soon.

Fourth: writing. This is actually an area where I really did slack in 2016. I did write on a few different things, but I didn’t finish a project or release one to the world. This needs to stop. Writing needs to be a priority in my life too. So, I will get Project Death: Revelation finished and released in the next couple of months. Then I need to get my focus onto the third book in the series. I’d like to have both Revelation and Redemption out in 2017. I guess this is also the area where I mention that I’m participating in Camp NaNoWriMo in April and July, and NaNoWriMo in November.

Fifth: Bookstagram. I loved being an active part of the book community on Instagram in 2016, and I’d like to keep building on that. Book photography is actually pretty relaxing and fun. So in 2017 I’d like to keep building my account, participate in at least a few monthly photo challenges, and just enjoy connecting with all my new book friends.

Sixth: Conventions. For this year I plan to be at a brand new local author event being held by my public library in March. I also am really hoping to make it to BEA and/or BookCon this year. As always, I’ll be attending Wizard World Chicago Comic Con, where I’m looking forward to seeing which authors show up, because I usually come home with a nice haul. And for right now my only author appearance at a convention will be Cincinnati Comic Expo in September; Mousai Books will be teaming up with Colorworld Books and it should be a lot of fun.

Well, I think that’s it for my bookish resolutions. That’s quite a hefty list when you look at it all together. Thanks for being a part of the first year of this blog, and I look forward to talking about bookish and nerdy things with all of you throughout 2017. It’s going to be a great year.

NaNoWriMo is Coming

Hey all, Dani here.

As most of you are probably aware, I am a huge advocate of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). This year marks my 11th year as a participant as well as my 9th year as my region’s Municipal Liaison. I have been lucky enough to succeed with the writing goal of 50,000 words in 30 days each November. The Camp NaNoWriMo session is April and July on the other hand, have been a mix of wins and losses.

Anyway, NaNoWriMo 2016 is quickly approaching and that means I have a lot to do in order to get ready for the month. This year I am lucky enough to have a co-ML so we’ve already met and scheduled out all of our write-ins for November, which is great. That’s one box on the to-do list I’ve already checked off.

I still need to figure out my blog posts for the month, because I’m going to try and pre-write most of them, with the exception of my NaNo mid-month check in. So I need to schedule out my time so I can write up all of those posts. I have about half of them figured out so far and the books I read the rest of this month might help with the rest.

Then I need to make sure I have everything I need for my writing: notebooks, pens, pencils, writing snacks, and …oh yeah, a clean writing space. My room is rather cluttered right now so I’ll have to spend a few hours tidying up so I don’t have to think about it. Actually, it might be longer than a few hours; I just weeded out my library and now need to reorganize my bookcases. If I get my room and bookcases looking nice, maybe I’ll do a library tour for one of my November blog posts. That would be nice.

I’m pretty much ready to go on the actual writing for NaNoWriMo. I actually have the first seven or so chapters loosely plotted for my writing project, which should make for a nice first seven-to-ten days of NaNo. Most of my chapters tend to be around 4,000 words.

My project for this year’s NaNoWriMo is Project Death: Redemption, the third book in my Project Death series that I’ve been trying to focus on these past few years. The first book was released three years ago and I really need to push myself into finishing the second book so I can get it out this year. The goal for the third book is to have it ready to go for my first convention appearance in 2017–more news on those events in a future blog; I want to make sure I have my booth purchased for each convention first.

All of this means that my final t0-do item for October is to sit down and finalize everything for the release of Project Death: Revelation. I am so ready to have this book finished and out in the world. Thanos has been one of the most difficult narrators I have ever worked with. His story is interesting and it needs to be told because it is important to the world I’ve created in these books, but he has so often stubbornly refused to talk about his past, and half of the book is him telling Tamesis about how he became Death, so discussing his past is necessary.

Plus I’m also trying to finish up some of the books I’m reading (like Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo, and Illuminae by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman), so I don’t leave them unfinished for all of November. I’m actually doing really well for my Goodreads Reading Challenge goal; so far I’m at 112 books read out of a new goal of 130 books. I think by the end of October I’ll be around 120 books read, so that puts me in a really great position for the rest of the year.

All right, well obviously I have a lot to do in the next couple of weeks, so I should probably wrap up this post and get to work on that to-do list. NaNoWriMo is coming and I need to be ready.