Category Archives: NaNoWriMo

New Books Out

Here are all four of my novels to date. The first three are newly published. All are available through the links under the BOOKS page on the header above, or by clicking on the book title image. Support typewriting – all of these were laboriously crafted on typewriters until my fingers were numb!

cover-art-brainwaves-kindle-july-231.jpg

BRAINWAVES: Neuroscientist Robert Frank decides to experiment on himself when he discovers a way to cross the blood-brain barrier.

MATES AND MEN—A TRILOGY

The Sexy Synesthete: a rare medical condition leads Miles on a quest to discover meaning in his charmed but unfulfilled life.

The Short Fuse: the odyssey of Jerry, a man of little ambition sucked into a deadly game for which he is woefully unprepared and even less willing.

The Lost Friend: the sage ends in a package of thrills that carry on right to the final page.

AN ENGINEER’S GUIDE TO PARIS

Heller, a soon to be graduate engineer, goes to Paris for a short holiday before school is to commence. When his best friend doesn’t show up as planned, Heller is forced to face the fact that his life has been on auto pilot, and he doesn’t like where it’s headed.

THE GAME OF HEARTS

The lives of two young couples are intertwined when on the night of a full moon Helen and Joan, strangers, arrive at hospital where each gives birth to a son.

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, NaNoWriMo, Typewriters, writing

6 NANOS

1-nanowrimo-winner-2016

Well, I did it again. This was my 6th Nanowrimo. Six books x 50,000 words or more in 30 days. The first time it was murder. The rest were hard and every time I seemed to finish on the 30th of November. But this year I took a different approach. I didn’t exactly write a novel. I wrote about me, and my life. Again it was my son Robert who got me thinking about the subject. A few years ago he gave me a book about writing memoirs as a present, and a hint I suppose.

The novel I wrote last November I had edited down to about 47,000 words, but then spent another 7 months finishing it, which brought it to 160,000 or more. It started as a sequel but now I think it will just be one book. I was so busy writing it that I had no time to come up with a plot for a new novel for this year’s Nano. Then it occurred to me to try something different and see if it was possible to write a memoir. Turns out it was. I had some days of 4500 words and I had to stop because I got too tired to keep writing, even though my head was still full of words. I hit 50k today, but it’s not done yet, as I have a lot more I want to tell. It has been the easiest book so far, because the story is there for the telling. If I could invent fiction this quickly I’d write a book a month, a cheap best seller (in my dreams).

Here, for those of you who yearn for typewriter content, I offer my opinion on one of the best machines to write on. This after having collected over 80 or more typewriters and testing every one. The one I used most often this month and for the last part of my last novel was:

The Olympia Traveller! Yes, Traveller is misspelled in the name, maybe on purpose, who can say. But this is one great piece of engineering. I didn’t like it at first, a few years back when I got it for $20, but over the years I’ve got it out and kept testing it now and then. One day it started to feel just right and suddenly I got it, the whole feel of it and the touch and rhythm. Now I am a big fan. I’d say it beats the full size Olympias any day. The more I look at how it was made the more impressive it gets. I also have a script version but you can’t scan the pages, so I don’t use it for writing books, only letters. I also like the 11 character pitch a lot. I can get 600 or more words on a page without having to stop.

my Traveller

my Traveller

Here’s page one of my memoirs:

NOVEL #7 NOVEMBER 2016

 The idea is this, every day write a journal, and from those thoughts will flow the story of one month in my life, during which time I will have spewed out a ton of interesting crap! So, here goes:

This is November. It sucks, mostly. There is nothing good about November that I can remember. It starts the day after Halloween, which for me was once a big deal, now not so much. Now in fact, I try to hide from it. This year we drew the curtains and turned off the light outside. Even so, one poor stupid sap rang the bell in hopes of goodies. Margie said “Don’t answer” but I felt some sense of responsibility, why I can’t explain, so I went down to the door just to see why someone was dumb or desperate enough to ring a bell when there was no pumpkin in the window and all was dark. I didn’t get to ask however as the kid, dressed as a cop, had already started leaving, no doubt intent on trying his luck at every door, no matter how dark or pumpkin-less they might be. He turned my way when I opened the door and said, “sorry, I don’t have anything”, by which time he was gone.

But then there were no more trick or treaters, and soon it was over, except for the distant sound of fire crackers which went on for what seemed like hours. Firecrackers used to thrill me too, when I was ten. After that, not so much. My kids never had them, as I refused to buy them, thinking by that time that they were a stupid idea. But they didn’t seem to mind, they were mostly concerned with candy. Halloween is in October however, so it is irrelevant to a discussion of November. October is a nice month, usually. This year it wasn’t. It rained a record amount, and there were no owls about.

So, Tuesday November began with a day of rain. All day I was bothered by the thought that I had no ideas for a novel. For the past 5 years every November has created a novel, which has taken me the entire month to write. It all began when Robert told me he was going to write a novel in 30 days, and why didn’t I join him? I’d never heard of NaNoWriMo, but it seemed like a good idea, so away I went. That first book The Sexy Synesthete, was hard, I mean really tough going.

I started out with a premise that I had written in a small moleskine notebook about a month before, in which I observed a man at Swans who seemed to be nervously waiting for someone. Then a sexy woman arrived. She was ridiculously sexy in fact, which might explain why he seemed so nervous. So that became the first paragraph of my first novel. Later I moved it in the….

50,000 more words, etc….

3 Comments

Filed under Books and Short Stories, NaNoWriMo, Typewriters

What the Mouse Heard

I sent my latest novel in for a proof. The story is about a scientist who discovers a drug that will cross the blood brain barrier. Not to give away too much, it involves a mouse, travel, poker, India, Hong Kong, and Tibet. The cover:

"BRAINWAVES"

“BRAINWAVES”

This is no ordinary mouse, by the way. Nor are these two:

CAMEL & CHICKEN

CAMEL & CHICKEN

1-Photograph (120)

1 Comment

Filed under Animal psychology, Books and Short Stories, NaNoWriMo, Photography, Sketching, Typewriters

Na No No Vember

1-NaNo-2015-Winner-Banner

Historically speaking I’ve always hated November. Everything seems to go poof and all at once it’s dark, cold, and generally cheerless. But NaNoWriMo came to the rescue. It gave me a reason to live in November! All I can say now is TGIO. I won, as they keep reminding me, by the mere fact of having written 50,000 words that will one day, with editing, be a novel. A short novel, to be sure. I do marvel at how they came up with 50,000 words, which if you are quick at mental arithmetic you will know requires 1667 words per day for 30 days. It just so happens that 50k is a magic number, at least for me, and I’ve now done it five times, so I can say that it has repeatable results. Is this statistically valid? Well it’s probably as good as most political polls these days.

Every time, as November wears on it always seems that the story I’m working on gets wrapped up around that magic number of 50k. Most novels are longer; that is my observation, but I presume they took longer to write. I’d heard that there are authors that write 200 words a day. And some that write a huge book in a month, a short one in a week. I guess these are the exceptions, based entirely on unfounded suppositions!

But my point is that having such a project, and it is all consuming, during this otherwise awful month makes November a little brighter, a little lighter, and a lot less depressing. Salutations to all of you who have tried, succeeded or failed. Rest assured that your book will probably not be read by more than five people, but so what? As the NaNoWriMo Pep talks constantly remind us, writing a book is an achievement to be proud of. Who knows why, but that’s what they say. I find it fun, especially now that it’s over.

On to more interesting things, like ducks.

On the 29th I was out for another walk around the pond. I have to admit that November has had more than its fair share of sun this year, so it wasn’t quite as detestable as some years. I was snapping away at birds, as you can see here:

Canada Geese

Canada Geese, eh

some sort of Wren

Bewick’s Wren afaik

my friend Flicker

my friend Flicker

Tommy Towhee

Tommy Towhee

Mildred, Gus and Corporal Cormorant

Gus, Mildred and Corporal Cormorant

Murray the Hooded Merganser

Murray the Hooded Merganser

Nothing rare or terribly exciting here, just the usual crowd. Until I spotted something that was definitely different:

what the??

what the??

It began to swim my way, and I shot a lot of pictures.

what is this?

what is this?

Not something we see every day. In fact we never see this. I didn’t know what it was, except I bet it was a duck. It is a duck. It’s a Muscovy Duck in fact. A Barbary Duck even. But where it came from I have no clue. Maybe it flew in from Mexico, where it occurs in the wild, or escaped from a farm? I doubt I’ll ever see it again, but who can say. Maybe it will stay here for a while, in which case I’ll be posting more pictures.

Muscovy Duck

Muscovy Duck

Let's call it Juan - we live on the Juan de Fuca Strait

Let’s call it Juan – we live on the Juan de Fuca Strait. Or is she Juanita?

2 Comments

Filed under Birds, Books and Short Stories, NaNoWriMo, Photography

Write, Walk, Write; Imagine World Peace

Nanowrimo word count, day 10: 15000 +/-

Nathanguitars NaNoWriMo Studio

Nathanguitars NaNoWriMo Studio

Bizarre coincidence department: I drafted the plot for this month’s novel two weeks ago. Not to give away much, but I swear this is true; I postulated scientists had figured out a way to penetrate the blood-brain barrier. If you’re not yet aware of the science news this week, some doctors here in Canada have just done that. If I could only use this power to do good in the world. Imagine no loud mufflers, no tattooed nose pierced clerks… and world peace!

But to think creatively one must prepare the body for the grueling task of sitting for hours, and this I do by regular swimming and a daily walk around the lake. It is the season for spotting birds, especially since there are so many fewer leaves on trees. I am diligently carrying my camera and telephoto lens, too. Here’s what I saw yesterday.

Coot doing yoga

Coot doing yoga

Hairy Woodpecker pecking

Hairy Woodpecker pecking

Spotted Towhee

Spotted Towhee spotting

And now for something really good:

 The Falcon

The Falcon

If I’m not mistaken this is no mere accipiter, but a falcon, such as Kings and Princes are wont to own, and even take on the plane these days…

gliding - wings wide open

gliding – wings wide open

up high and far away

up high and far away

Correct me if I’m wrong about this “falcon”, please.

1 Comment

Filed under Birds, NaNoWriMo, Photography

November Approaches

Thinking about NaNoWriMo again.

Gone in one day

Gone in one day

1-oct 27 2015001

Leave a comment

Filed under Books and Short Stories, NaNoWriMo, Photography, Typewriters

Look Up, it’s Skywriter!

1-dec 7001

1-IMGP2317

Sears Chieftain – Smith Corona Skywriter

1-dec 7002

Royal Futura with new paint job

Royal Futura with new paint job

Does Sears still fix 50 year old typewriters?

Does Sears still fix 50 year old typewriters?

2 Comments

Filed under NaNoWriMo, Thrift shop finds, Typewriters