Popcorn and Rubber-Necking: NaNoWriMo Survival Guide For Spectators

Good tips for my side of the coin

Bare Knuckle Writer

As promised, part two of my Survival Guide to NaNoWriMo. Part One, for Participants, is over here. This time, pull up a sideline chair and get the popcorn. Here’s how to make it through the month when it seems like everyone around you is obsessed with plot bunnies and word counts.

1) Breathe. Don’t get caught up in the hype/panic. That shit is contagious. Hang around enough stressed out people and you’ll feel stressed even if you’re not doing anything. Avoid this bullshit—since stress is probably half the goddamn reason you’re not doing NaNo to begin with—and remember to take a deep breath. Or get a drink. Both help.

2) Do Other Shit. Not doing NaNo? This looks like a great time to reorganize your office. Or get a head start on your holiday shopping. Or finally make some headway on the ninja-training-for-dogs program. Bonus points: you get to brag…

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Birthday ramblings

As I ride in the car in the dark, damp and cold I look outside and see darkness.  Taillights here and there, a few oncoming cars and streetlights on the few exits that pop up.  The brightest thing about the moment is this phone, the digital choice to blog at the moment. Oh have I mentioned I am not the driver?  So no worries on that end for all those thinking I’ve gotten so bored to blog and drive. 
Why am I on the road in the middle of the night? Kinda sorta selfish actually.  See today is officially my birthday.  Yay, go me right?  Maybe.  Thanksgiving always sucks up some of that fun, or having to share outings or whatever with my dad because he was always in town to visit. His was 5 days ago.
Anyway, back to my selfishness.  I couldn’t decide how I wanted to do the traveling thing since I knew there would be holiday traffic if I waited till late Wednesday night and leaving Tuesday afternoon would have me away from River longer than I would like (my 90yr old grandmother is allergic to cats and I’d rather keep her healthy) although Ares is in his safety harness in the back seat because she loves him to death.  So, this gave me a window of when to leave.  How do I get to enjoy my birthday without it being completely usurped by holiday and travel?  3am road trip.  I’ll get to my destination by brunch and will get the rest of the day for me.  The best part?  (VEGGIE friends look away or don’t hate me) I have nice juicy steaks marinating in hickory smoke flavor and I’ve got potatoes and buttery bearnaise sauce waiting to be fixed at the destination. This, my friends is my birthday standard.  I don’t ask for gifts just two things, be nice to me and give me a steak. 
Now you may be wondering how do I celebrate the years it falls on Thanksgiving?  Why with thanksgiving steak of course!! Priorities.
As frustrating this time of year can be to all for the general purpose I struggle with many things added to it that makes me happy to be able to choose steak over other things in life.  Some days are better than others and I can only come to terms with things during the moments, never a quick fix for what’s inside.

So I travel begrudgingly to family gatherings during a time I want to Hobbit up, grab Ionia for that much anticipated get together we should be doing with drink on hand.  I do this for probably the most wonderful piece of the darkness that surrounds ( except for the steak) and that is to look at my happy sister in law holding her first child.  I can’t wait to look into the little girls eyes to see what greatness the future has planned for her.  That, over anything else, is worth a trip.

So happy birthday to me and let’s hope I get to drink a little wine.  All my friends out there, put on your imaginary party hats, horn blowers, the random piñata, light that imaginary cake, lift your glasses and toast with me.  Remember, be nice 😀


I admit it.  I did nothing to participate in this November writer extravaganza and feel that glow of accomplishment among my peers who succeeded in their month long goal of 50k words.  By all means I am on no way knocking it, seriously.  One big reason? Stress of coming up with something while simultaneously working the rest of book 2 out would probably turn me into either a raging lush or a homicidal maniac.  Maybe if lucky the combination of the two would make it entertaining.  So I have passed.  I do want to congratulate those who have or are very close to completing because you have worked your tail off to get there and its the final countdown *cue the music* and I can’t wait to see the pride from all who tried.
Me?  I will attempt to let this year pass me by and maybe jump in another year.

Twenty Questions With Charles Yallowitz

Twenty Questions With Charles Yallowitz

Changes to Come!

If you haven’t gone over to CSB then check it out and wait for the changes. A wonderful group of people with such talent!

It’s November already?

I’m not quite certain where the time has gone but none-the-less it went bye-bye.  Halloween was wonderful for what it was and Autumn has brought forth any reason I can think up to have pumpkin scented or flavored whoosits and whatsits.  I’ve been buried deep in the torture….I mean help….of my beta readers because I doubt I could get along without them.  The first go-round was draining enough.  This time I believe that I have a bit more confidence behind me, even if it’s not me as per se.  Although I haven’t met my goal of finishing the second book to get it out in time for Halloween, I’m shooting for a Christmas release.  No promises, but I am going to work my hardest.  In translation, I might be a little cranky from time to time since 300 plus pages isn’t something to just throw out there.

So back to it being November.  Yay, right?  It’s a month of almost everything happening at the same time.  Veteran’s Day comes first for me and is quite important as my family is deeply rooted in the military one form or another, I am certain I will touch base more as the day comes around. We have the lovely Thanksgivukkah which has cutely combined the interesting crossover of Thanksgiving and the first day of Hanukkah/Chanukah.  I think its a great combination if you ask me.  Bring out the turkey fryers filled with oil and give plenty of thanks.  Spend time with people that you care about, or at least know that you will have a slight chance of making it out alive after being around.  Avoid the stores.  Yep, I’m one of those. I’m not about to head out into the stores to do shopping for the people I was oh-so-close to using the carving knife on hours previous.

Birthdays!!!! That’s the most important thing going on in November for me.  Why?  Because I get older.  Yay….oh wait…..yay?  I was one of those kids who had such a wonderful time fighting Thanksgiving fever and hardly ever getting a birthday wish.  I have deemed my birthday a national holiday, but I’m not quite certain the trend has taken full effect though.  Just remember, November 27th is J.S. Riddle day and we’ll be good to go.  Buy me a drink and I’ll be even happier.  This year it’s not about me, though.  I will be getting a brand new niece (cue the Price is Right music) that I am head over heels excited about.  

Let’s not forget Sir Ares.  He’s an old man, hitting the bit 11 and as his health seems to get better hit attitude remains full of sassy old man syndrome.  I swear if he were a human he’d be yelling at us to all keep it quiet because we’re making too much noise.  Speaking of old farts…I have to share the month with my father.  5 days forever between birthdays and most of the time we combined it.  But hey, I suppose our crotchety attitude toward Thanksgiving stealing our glory combined is nothing to scoff at.  We do it loud and proud. 

So that’s it.  A bunch of gibberish of me basically saying I’m alive and not to send out a search and rescue team.  Oh wait, you weren’t? 


Character Origins: Queen Ionia

Legends of Windemere

First, this character is named after Ionia of Readfulthings.  She has become a dear friend even though we only met this year, 2013.  So, I’m sure people are already jumping to the comments for one reason or another.

Now, the character of Queen Ionia is a major factor in Legends of Windemere: Allure of the Gypsies.  This is where I start deviating drastically from the game this series is based off of and she is one of the reasons.  The guy who ran the game loved ‘The Forgotten Realms’ and he brought in the famous NPC’s a lot.  It meant I had to make variations that grew over time when they were major players in the plot.  In this event, he used a popular character named The Simbul.  She is a sorceress who rules some kingdom and is sort of deranged because she tied magic rings to her…

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Spartacus War of the Damned: Ep. 1 Enemies of Rome

Keep checking out the podcasts. I know there are plenty of Spartacus fan out there!!!

Thrace Relations

We are now entering the final season of Spartacus which is welcomed with bittersweet sentiment among us three. In this podcast, we discuss at length the character of this season’s “antagonist.” We all can not help ourselves from respecting him.

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