Friday, October 27, 2017

NaNoWriMo 2017

It's that time of year again. The time when I have something to do each weekend, I have deadlines for those non-fiction articles I promised, and I really should be getting out my Fall clothes before I freeze my butt off, and what do I do?

I decide to do NaNoWriMo.


What is NaNoWriMo? Let's let their web site tell you:

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing.  
On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30. 
Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel.
Yes, it doesn't begin until November 1, but there's some prep to do. What will I write? How long will it be? What will be the story arc?

Having participated many times, I've discovered some interesting facts about the way I write novels. If I have a strict outline, it makes me switch into non-fiction mode and my writing falls flat. If I have no outline, I ramble. So what will it be, plotter or pantser? To be determined.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Witches' Almanac #37: New Articles

The Spring 2018-2019 edition (issue 37) of The Witches Almanac has just been released. This issue's theme is The Magic of Plants.


In addition to its usual features — Moon Gardening, the Moon Calendar, Moon Cycles, and Presage, where Tom Lang gives us the climate outlook and astrologer Dikki-Jo Mullen gives us the astrological outlook for the upcoming year — the Almanac contains numerous articles not related to plants.

Issue 37 includes the following that I contributed:

"Thumb Cats" -- Properly called polydactyls, "double-pawed" cats are a curiosity with a long history.
"Seer Stones" -- A divination technique you might not have heard about.
"La Santa Muerte" -- Who is that skeletal woman in the beautiful wedding dress?
"Coffin Rings" -- Another way of remembering.
"Nettles" -- The scoop on stinging nettles.


The Witches Almanac is widely distributed. You can find it your local bookstore, chain bookstores, Amazon, and, of course,  the Witches Almanac site or www.amazon.com, where you purchase the Kindle version. For back issues, visit either site.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Necon Panel on July 22

On Saturday, July 22, at 9:00 AM, I'll be participating in a panel at Necon in Portsmouth, RI.

With two exceptions, I’ve been attending Necon since 2000. It’s a different type of convention; only one track mostly horror, but well-worth attending. They cap attendance at 200 (with the addition of some walk-ins), which makes it nice and cozy. You begin to feel like you're part of the family. I've heard that they have some slots open, so if you're interested, register ASAP. The full registration fee includes meals, and parking is free. For details on the types of registrations available, see the Necon registration page.

The panel I'm on this year is Fresh Fangs: Making Traditional Tropes Breathe Again with Janet Joyce Holden, David Demchuk, James Chambers (M), Gary Frank, and Tom Deady.


9:00 a.m.        Fresh Fangs: Making Traditional Tropes Breathe Again

Morven Westfield, Janet Joyce Holden, David Demchuk, James Chambers (M), Gary Frank, Tom Deady

The classics never die, but they sure can get played out if overused by less-than-skillful artists. What’s the secret to keeping a trope fresh? How does one not reinvent the wheel, yet also not lean too heavily on the traditions that precede their work?