Do You NaNo?



Do you NaNo?

No idea if you NaNo?  No NaNo?  (C’mon, you had to see that comin’.)  ANYway, join me today at the Torquere LiveJournal for some explanation of what is this thing called NaNo, and some thoughts on why the world needs your novel.

You know you wanna.

Going Visiting…

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My buddy Robyn Bachar invited me over to her blog to talk about using music in character development.  As I write this, I’m listening to one of my Pandora stations, which is how I stumbled on the Piano Guys (which is a piano and a cello, but that makes sense, right?).  They’re amazing, and inspiring.  Join me at Robyn’s and tell me what kinds of music you’d use for your favorite characters!

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Secondly, Reet Singh of the MFRW Goodreads Discussion Group (MFRW stands for Marketing For Romance Writers) invited all of us over for the Book of the Week feature, which this week is – Emerald Keep!  I’m so excited.  Thank you to Reet and the whole MFRW crew for their support.  Please come by and join the discussion – and I’ll be giving away a copy of Emerald Fire, Book 1 of the Persis Chronicles, to one commenter – it could be you!  Join me!


X Is For… X Marks the Spot, or, Maps!

Map Drawn by A. Catherine Noon and Rachel Wilder. Copyright 2012; All Rights Reserved.
Map Drawn by A. Catherine Noon and Rachel Wilder.
Copyright 2012; All Rights Reserved.

Maps are a helpful way to orient oneself in a physical place.  We use them in all sorts of ways:  when driving from one place to another, when finding a new-to-us store or restaurant, even wandering around a mall or airport.  Now, maps are electronic – GPS, or Global Positioning Systems, are as ubiquitous as cell phones.  But how many of us have been steered wrong by their GPS and ended up in another place entirely (Google maps, I’m looking at you, kthnxbi).  For that reason, I’m still old-school and like my paper sheet-maps and guidebooks.  They don’t send me into Muskegon Heights and the police station/mental asylum parking lot.

When worldbuilding, I’ve found maps to be invaluable – not least because I have a tendency to put stuff where I need it in story,  not necessarily where it actually is.  Aside from driving my coauthor and our editors up a tree, it’s useful to know where said tree is – last time, it was on the front of the property, now it’s in the back yard?  Well, yeah, maybe it’s a walking tree like those the ents manage in LOTR?  No?  Oh, fine, I’ll draw a map.

And that’s how the map of Persis, shown above, was born.  We needed to know, for example, how long it takes to get from Reghdad to Kotek City.  Is it a straight shot?  What kind of conveyance can one use to get there?  What’s the terrain like?  What are the hazards of the journey?  And, most importantly, when editing Emerald Keep, we realized that the two Seekers we had written into the scene, who were from Cyrus and Darius respectively, could not have traveled to Reghdad “just like that,” and certainly not during the Daymonth.  Uhps.

See?  Maps are important.  Take that, GPS.

What about you, Dear Reader?
Are you a proponent of the newfangled or like yours old-school?

Day Seven of the Keepsake Tour

Happy Almost-Spring!  It’s warming up, finally, and I actually got to walk home from work yesterday!  Very exciting.  Almost all the snow is melted, leaving what hardened rime of muck there is to hulk like a menace in the shadows.  (Hmm.  Must be feeling poetic, lol.)  We’re going to the zoo today.

But first, I wanted to show you the lovely scarf that Rachel is making for the Keepsake Tour!  This is the second of the two grand prizes.  It’s a little less GREEN in real life, but it’s hard to get the digital camera to cooperate.  She used a large needle, so the fabric is nice and cushy.



This next image is a different angle, but you can see the honeycomb pattern of the half-double crochet stitches that she used.  She likes this pattern because it crochets up quickly and makes a nice, lacy fabric that’s warm.  She used a soft, synthetic yarn that’s easily machine washable so it’s not fussy to care for.


The lovely quilt underneath it was made by Anna Xavier, who is an amazing textile artist in her own right.  Rachel handed me a pillow when I said I was cold and I just stared it her, thinking, what the heck am I gonna do with a pillow?  Wear it on my feet?  She came over and flipped it open and it spread out into a lovely blanket.  Magic!  🙂

So, Dear Reader, here’s my question to you:  now that the weather is warming up in the Northern Hemisphere and not yet too bitterly cold in the Southern Hemisphere, what outdoor activities do you like to do?  

Remember, all commenters during the Keepsake Tour will be entered to win some neat keepsakes, including this Emerald Keep Scarf, hand-crocheted by Rachel Wilder!


Thoughtful Thursday, 3D and Writing


Welcome to Thoughtful Thursday, where we chat about 3D and writing.  Today I have a bit of a twist on the topic.  Since Book 2 of the Persis Chronicles, Emerald Keep, is out on April 8th, I figured I’d share a little bit about knitting and 3D and use the opportunity to share about the book, too.

When Rachel and I created Persis, we wanted a world that valued handicrafts and the home arts.  The job of a homemaker has become invisible and thankless, thanks in part to the fact that it’s largely women’s work.  The women’s liberation movement in the United States did a lot to emancipate women from being chained to the kitchen sink, but as a consequence, their traditional work of raising children and caring for the home became less than laudable.

I have a friend who is about thirty-five years older than me.  She decided to stay home and raise five boys of her own, as well as twenty-nine foster children.  She told me that she’s endured a lot of grief from women friends who said that she wasn’t living up to her full potential, and that she was oppressed.  That made me sad, because she’s an incredible mom and creates a home in which people enjoy spending time.

Because of that, we wanted the home arts to be elevated in importance such that they were considered to be a critical part of society.  The job of the Keeper is a desirable part of the fabric of life.  Developed to support miners and livestock farmers, the Keepers are trained to manage household bookkeeping, cooking, and various arts.

For our book release, we’ve both made scarves.  The picture at the top of this post is the Emerald Keep Scarf.  I knitted it because I love to make things, and this was fun to do because it was referential to my own book.  I felt closer to the world we created by making something for the book, which is an unexpected side benefit.

So tell me, what do you like to make, whether it’s a meal or something artistic?