NaNoWriMo Recap

NaNoWriMo is over. Sorry about not posting anything during the month. I wanted to, but NaNo writing consumed me.

First things first, I won. But, I’m not done with this story by a long shot. I think I’m halfway though, if I’m lucky. I plan on finishing the current section of the story, and then going back to the drawing board. I like where it’s going, but I need some better focus. Now that I know what the start of the story is, I want to get it plotted out better.

I will say, that in these last 3 days since NaNo finished, I feel relieved. But there is a bit of a letdown. It’s like a NaNo-blues, I guess. I know what I’m working on next, so that’s good. I just need to get working on it now.

So, on my docket for blog posts. A review of the new DestinyQuest book, The Heart of Fire, now that I have time to read/play through it. I also wanted to talk about tablet computers and their ilk, so watch for that one. Over at Hero’s Tale I am waiting for some input for the next part. Please go read Part 12, and leave some thoughts!

In the meantime, I’ve got work to do, and a chapter from NaNo to finish before I start on the next parts. Time to put my nose to the keyboard.

Maelorum gamebook Kickstarter

Maelorum logo

You might know that I am a fan of gamebooks. I to take a short break to bring attention to a Kickstarter campaign that ends in just a few days. Maelorum.

This book is written and illustrated by William Fincher. And as I’ve glanced at the images and read about the gameplay. The system that he has designed is intriguing. I’m excited to be able to take a look at it (thanks to an early birthday gift).

As I said, Mr. Fincher has a Kickstarter campain going for $5,000. And with 6 days left, he has just over $500 remaining to the goal. Go take a look. I know I’ve been enjoying this genre of books. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Maelorum logo is copyright William Fincher.

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Coffee

I’m going to give a quick overview of how to make your own pumpkin spice coffee. It might take a little bit of work, but it’s easy, and tastes great! You could even just make it a pumpkin spice drink, minus the coffee.

  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree (a can of pumpkin works fine)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin spices
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract

In a small pan, add the milk, pumpkin puree, and sugar. Turn it to low and stir. You want the mixture to be steaming, not curdling. If it starts to curdle, turn the heat down. I usually add the spice towards the beginning, just to let the flavor steep into the mixture. The vanilla I add towards the end.

If you don’t have pumpkin spice, you can make your own. It’s a mixture of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and allspice. If you are measuring, approximately 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoon cloves, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon allspice.

Once the mixture is steaming, pour your desired amount into a cup (it’s really to taste) and then add your brewed coffee. Just keep it stirred as you drink. The pumpkin puree likes to settle (like some homemade hot chocolates).

You might be able to tell from this, but I’m a bit of an experimenter when I cook. With this recipe, I don’t measure all of the ingredients too closely. This is one that you can do a lot of guesswork, and it will still turn out good (unless you burn the milk or add too many spices). I learned this way of cooking from my mom, who also likes to experiment in the way she cooks.

There are a lot of other recipes out there as well. Just search “make pumpkin spice latte” in Google. You’ll find quite a few. If you find some other good ones, or variations of your own, let me know. I’m always up for trying something new!

NaNoWriMo 2012

2012 NaNoWriMo logo

November is upon us. That is the month my wife loves, because I’m not in her hair bugging her. Either that, or she hates because she becomes a single parent. Why? One word. NaNoWriMo.

And you’re right, it’s not a word. It’s four. National Novel Writing Month. And it’s exactly how it sounds. Write a novel in a month. Or to be more specific, 50,000 words. It’s a fun challenge, and I’m undertaking it again.

I plan on posting updates as I go, and maybe some snippets of what I’m writing. I’m also going to include a widget on the sidebar to show how many words I’ve written. I like to keep that up to date, so if you visit, you’ll see where I’m at. Or, you can go to my profile page and see some info there. I keep that one pretty basic, though.

So, what I’m I writing? This year is a rewrite. Again. Two years ago, I did a rewrite of a project, and I’m rewriting that one. I’m not happy with the direction the story went, and it needs reworked. So, that’s what I’m doing. The working title is Hero’s Tale Book 1. And yes, it does relate to my Vote Your Adventure story. But, I’m not going to say how at the moment.

I plan on talking more soon. After all, you need to know how to make your own pumpkin spice coffee, right?

The age of Baelfire

My wife and I are big fans of ABC’s Once Upon a Time. I have a theory about Baelfire that I wanted to voice. Specifically, his age. There will be some spoilers. And I am also going to to assume that if you are reading this, you have watched the show and know what is going on. And this is a little long, just to explain all my thinking. Consider yourself warned.

Continue reading

Poll of the #MyWANA gals

I’ve talked about the #MyWANA Twitter community before over at my Hero’s Tale blog. But let me give you a quick refresher: WANA stands for We Are Not Alone. Writing is an extremely solitary practice. So, to have somewhere to gather on-line like this is important. And a lot of fun. See founder Kristen Lamb’s blog entry, or my link above if you want more info.

As I’ve participated in the community, something became quickly apparent. The vast majority is female.

Now, I don’t know if this is an indication that there are more female writers, or just more females involved. It did make me wonder something about this group. So on August 23, I asked this question 3 times during the day: How many of you were at home during the day (with kids or not) and how many worked and did writing afterwords.

Now this was an idle curiosity, not a scientific survey. Please don’t take my results as anything more than some interesting results.

I got 15 replies, and had to rework my initial categories a bit:

  • 3 work full-time.
  • 4 work from home
  • 6 are at home
  • 2 work part time

Of the 15, 8 said they have kids:

  • 6 who have kids are at home
  • 2 work part time

All the gals who are at home are at home with kids. Plus, all those who work part-time have kids. I shouldn’t say I’m surprised, but I didn’t think I’d see something that extreme. I thought there might be one or two that had no kids at home. That could be explained by the sample size, though.

To extrapolate a little, the vast majority of the women on #MyWANA are at home in some fashion (home full-time, work from home, or part-time). I suspected that might be the case, but didn’t quite expect so much variance.

Part of me wants to think that this group would have a lot of time to write, and so they are hanging out on #MyWANA, writing. But I’m probably wrong. This is where my favorite quote from this exercise comes in. Christine Ashworth’s reply addresses this perfectly:

I work. I was a stay-at-home, but I get more writing done now that I’m working again.

I thought about that, and I completely understand. I thought about my wife at home with our 3 kids. There are days that she gets more done after the kids are in bed than during the rest of the day. I know I do. During NaNoWriMo, I get most of my writing done during the week in the evenings. Weekends are all but useless to me for writing.

Truthfully, other than some fun stats, I really don’t know what you should take from all this. So I’ll leave you with this. The #MyWANA tribe is a great place to hang out. Everyone is friendly and willing to help. Whether you are a stay-at-home mom/dad or work for any amount of time. Everyone is welcome. See you there!


Welcome to my personal blog. My name is Brian. You can find out a little more about me in the About Me section. In the mean time, I’m still working on things here. If you want to see some other blog entries, go take a look on Hero’s Tale blog. Up until now, that fulfilled all my blogging needs.

The reason I now have two is that I wanted to separate my Hero’s Tale project from my personal blogging. So, here is where I will be posting all my writing thoughts, book reviews, and the like. I will setup links to some of my more important posts there in the future.

Thanks for visiting!