Wandering Around the Web – Two for Thursday

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Join me at the Torquere Press LiveJournal for a Field Trip to the Field Museum!

It’s one of my favorite museums, and it’s open free during February to Illinois residents! ¬†Some writer buds and I went last weekend and I have the pictures to prove it! ūüôā ¬†Join me!

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Join me on LinkedIn for a discussion about Triberr and some ways to use it.

Triberr is an effective tool to boost your reach and I chat about some of the ways I’ve been using it. ¬†Join me!

Do You NaNo?

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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.

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.

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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.

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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! ¬†ūüôā

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!