T-minus 4 hours and counting

We are coming up to the start of NaNoWriMo. I am a bit stressed, since I am not as organized as last year. But, over the past few days my creative juices have started flowing. I even woke up this morning at 4:00 am and wrote a brand new character. She is the mother of my male MC.

I’m starting to think that I might not be a planner this year, but *gasp* a pantser!

I did start getting in the spirit tonight with a fun new chalkboard mug that I got at Michaels of all places. Plus, it was only $1.99!

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I don’t think I’ll actually use it for my tea during NaNo, because then I have to rewrite it after every wash, but I am going to use it to keep track of my daily word count.

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My word count is zero, but not for long!

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NaNo Survival Kit

This is it! We are counting down the last few hours before NaNoWriMo 2014 is upon us. I’m getting both excited and nervous!!!

Every year I try to put together a little NaNo survival kit for myself. It helps me stay organized and makes it a lot easier to attend the many write-ins that are offered throughout the month. I thought I’d share with y’all this year’s NaNo survival Kit.

NaNoWriMo 2014 Survival Kit



Everything is pretty self-explanatory, but I’ll give a little info about each item.

1. Post-it Notes – I use these all of the time, but especially during NaNo. They are great to simply jot down an idea or make a few notes when you don’t have time to get out your computer of notebook. I find a million of these post-its in my purse at the end of November.

2. Lip Balm – November is when the weather starts to get a little chilly (and the stores crank up the heat), so my lips get so chapped. I carry two tubes of lip balm in my purse/bag at all times. Burt’s Bees is a favorite of mine, as is Lypsyl.

3. Notebooks in various sizes: Again, great for jotting down notes when your computer isn’t close by. They are also perfect to slip in your purse or bag.

4. Pencil/Pen: I like to carry both pencils and pens. Pens for when I’m writing notes and pencils for when I’m making notes in my reference books. My own books not library books, of course. :)

5. Laptop: I love my MacBook Air, but any laptop is extremely helpful. For all of my books and poetry I use the writing program, Scrivener. I LOVE it! It is great for organizing your characters, settings, ideas, and chapters. Scrivener is offering a free NaNo trial if you’d like to give it a try. It is available for both Macs and PCs. Plus, if you win NaNo, you get the program for 50% off! Super awesome!

6. Fingerless gloves: I don’t know about you, but my fingers get cold with all of that novel typing. The best thing I’ve found to help keep your fingers nice and toasty is a pair of fingerless gloves. They keep your hands warm, but let you fingers still do all the typing they want! Why not try crocheting yourself a pair. Check out this super cute and totally free pattern!

7. Candy: It is such an amazing thing that NaNo starts the day after Halloween! Candy is always a must have for NaNo, especially at the write-ins. It is always a fun time when all get hopped up on candy and then do word sprints!

8. iPod/MP3 player & headphones: Music is essential to my NaNo writing. I can’t write without music. If I have the time, I am going to add my novel playlist to my laptop and leave my iPod at home. But, I do like the option of having all of my songs ready for my writing. You never know when you might need to listen to a little Spice Girls to get the juices flowing.

9. Hand moisturizer: Similar to the lip balm, it helps with my chapped hands. Eucerin and Gold Bond Ultimate Healing are my two favorites. Of course, the fingerless gloves help too!

10. Granola Bars/Snacks: Much healthier than candy, but also extremely important. I always lose track of time and forget that I’ve been in a library or coffee shop for hours. Having a little snack helps keep the energy up.

11. Tea/Coffee: Seriously! How can any Wrimo get through the month of November without huge cups of tea and/or coffee? I am a huge tea drinker, so about a month ago I started stocking up on my Twinnings Earl Grey Tea in both decaf and regular (I’m really not supposed to drink too much caffeine, but I allow it during November). I’ll drink that while writing at home and then stop at the local coffee shop/eatery to pick up tea for my write-ins. I am pretty certain Twinnings stays in business because of me.

12. Bag: A must have to keep everything above in one place. I actually travel with two bags: my laptop case and another bag. I can never fit everything in one bag. Kudos to all of you who can. I just have too much STUFF!

So, that is my NaNo Survival Kit. Did I miss anything? How about you? Have you gotten together your NaNo survival kit?

NaNo prepping – Plot Board

Welcome to everyone who has come to my blog via the Spooktacular giveaway! Thanks so much for entering and following my blog. You still have a few days let to enter for your chance to win an Amazon gift card! Click here to be entered in the giveaway.

In prep for NaNoWriMo next week I’ve been trying to get in as much research as possible, while finalizing my settings and plot ideas. It has been a very busy October!

I was happy to have located my plot board from last year. I’ll just need to update it with the book #2 info.

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This helped immensely last year. It is basically an outline on a poster board. Click here for more info on plot boards. I’m so happy for my local NaNo writing group. They have put the fire under my bum that I needed to get this stuff done.

My kitty, Daphne enjoyed looking at it too. She kept rubbing up against it and knocking it on the floor, which is why it is now tacked to the wall. :)

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I am also frantically trying to finish all of my research this weekend, but it is pretty tough with my weekend holiday job. :(

One of the books I’m currently reading Cause of Death: A Writer’s Guide to Death, Murder, and Forensic Medicine. It is part of The Howdunit Series from Writer’s Digest. If you are a mystery writer, this series is a must have. I own two of the books from the series (you can sort of see them on my writing bookshelf in the picture above): Deadly Doses: A Writer’s Guide to Poisons, and Amateur Detectives:A Writer’s Guide to How Private Citizens Solve Criminal Cases. I’m hoping to eventually get all of the books (I think there are 17 in all).

This book is a little gruesome, but very interesting. My series has a very high body count, so learning about the various methods of trying to save someone (and not saving someone) has been very helpful. I just love being a mystery writer!

Inspiration for my novel, A Deadly Melody

piano copy

Music awakens so much imagination in me. I can hear a song on the radio or shuffled on my iPod and get transformed, even if for only a few minutes, to a completely different place and time. I love that about music! I think that is why music is so prevalent in all of my books, especially in my new mystery/suspense series.

A little about A Deadly Melody, book 1 in my four book series:

A Deadly Melody tells the story of Elle, the lead singer of the mega-successful rock band, ellemore. She, along with her four best friends, formed ellemore in high school and have been rocking together ever since. On the evening of the recording of their new album the band is ambushed and murdered, leaving Elle as the only survivor. Since the murders, Elle has dealt with the grief of losing her friends, her career, and her sanity. She continues to have flashbacks of that night and the murders, including a shadowy figure hidden in the woods that she believes to be the real killer.

Now three years later, Elle must return to the town of the murders to find out what really happened that night. Will she seek the truth about her friends’ murders, or will the shadowy figure claim her life too?

I’m contemplating naming the series, the Fallen Rock Star Series, since Elle is often reminded just how far her star has fallen in the three years since the murders.

Concrete Blonde, one of my FAVORITE bands, has the perfect song about a fallen celebrity. “Jenny I Read” is a pretty dark song, which is one of the reasons why I love it so much. It actually might be my favorite of all of their songs, definitely my favorite off of their Mexican Moon album. And this live version is amazing! It really tells the story of Elle.