Thursday, March 27, 2014

Camp NaNoWriMo

If you're a writer and on the internet, you've heard about NaNoWriMo, the online creative writing project that takes place in November. Writers pledge to write a novel of 50,000 words during the month, relying on the site for support, encouragement, and tips, with the only reward being a fantastic feeling of accomplishment.

It's a rough slog, requiring you to write 1,667 words each day— or making a mad rush on weekends. In the United States, November contains the Thanksgiving holiday, which can work for or against the writer. If you have an extra two days off from work, you're in luck. Some, though, who are close to their families (or friends) or expected to do a lot of holiday travel or cooking find it hard to fit in writing time.

Have no fear, though; there's Camp NaNoWriMo! "Camp NaNoWriMo is a more open-ended version of our original November event." Launched in 2011, it was initially held in July and again in August. In 2014, though, there will be sessions in both April and July, and the word-count goals are more relaxed: "We welcome word-count goals between 10,000 and 1,000,000." It's also not limited to just novels; "writers may attempt non-novel projects. Camp is a creative retreat for whatever you’re working on!"

Just as with NaNoWriMo, there are perks to participating. Check out the sponsor pages for details.

So join in the fun at Camp NaNoWriMo.  April is just around the corner.

And consider donating. "When you donate to National Novel Writing Month, you help bring free creative writing programs to more than 500,000 kids and adults in approximately 100 countries, 2,000 classrooms, 600 libraries, and 500 NaNoWriMo regions every year."

National Novel Writing Month is also a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Book Review: Secondhand Spirits (A Witchcraft Mystery, #1)

Secondhand Spirits (A Witchcraft Mystery, #1)Secondhand Spirits by Juliet Blackwell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Good paranormal mystery with just the right amount of tension and dread. The "natural witch" (that is, someone born with paranormal powers) and the pagan witches are drawn well and believable.

The voice talent (I listened to an audio version) was excellent, too.

I was impressed enough that I'm already listening to the second in the series.

View all my reviews

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Podcast of Broad Universe Rapid-Fire Readings at Boskone 2014

The Rapid-Fire Reading (RFR) is one of the oldest events that Broad Universe presents, usually at science fiction, fantasy, and horror conventions. It showcases published and in-progress work from members. 

If you missed the Rapid-fire Reading at Boskone 51, here's your chance to listen to Broad Universe members read five minutes of their works. Writer Elaine Isaak assumed the duties of emcee, introducing readers and keeping us to our time limits. Writer Justine Graykin recorded the readings and published them in the March edition of the BroadPod podcast.

Here are the bios of the readers who participated. You can download or listen to the podcast on the Broad Universe web site.

Moven Westfield (me) is a fiction writer, technical writer, and occasional podcaster who fuses her love of computing, vampire mythology and modern witchcraft in a series set in the suburbs west of Boston. She has also contributed non-fiction articles on supernatural lore to the Witches’ Almanac since 2006. Morven served as a member of the Motherboard of Broad Universe for two terms and is an active member of the New England Chapter. She is also a long-time member of New England Horror Writers. Like many writers, she keeps a messy office and drinks way too much coffee.

Sandra Barret grew up in New England. She moved to California for a time, but that proved to be too much sun and fun. She’s back in New England with her wife, children, and more pets than are probably legal to own (and sheep…let’s not forget the sheep).

Terri Bruce has been making up adventure stories for as long as she can remember. Like Anne Shirley, she prefers to make people cry rather than laugh, but is happy if she can do either. She produces fantasy and adventure stories from a haunted house in New England where she lives with her husband and three cats. Thereafter, the second book in her AfterLife series will be available May 1, 2014.

Roberta Rogow is know for her Filk (Sciencefiction/fantasy folk songs); she also writes historical mysteries. Her latest book, Murders in Manatas, is a detective story set in an alternate universe, sort of Last of the Mohegans meets Arabian Nights, with a Spanish accent. The second in the series, Mayhem in Manatas will appear later this year.

Anna Erishkigal is an attorney who writes fantasy fiction under a pen-name so her colleagues don’t question whether her legal pleadings are fantasy fiction as well. Much of the law, it turns out, is fantasy fiction. Lawyers just prefer to call it ‘zealously representing your client.’  Seeing the dark underbelly of life makes for some interesting fictional characters. The kind you either want to incarcerate, or run home and write about. In fiction, you can fudge facts without worrying too much about the truth. In legal pleadings, if your client lies to you, you look stupid in front of the judge. At least in fiction, if a character becomes troublesome, you can always kill them off.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

New eBook Versions of Darksome Thirst Available

New eBook versions of Darksome Thirst, the first novel in my vampire series, are available on and  

On Smashwords, Darksome Thirst is available for only $1.25 as part of a special eBook Week promotion. You have to enter REW75 as the coupon code and the offer is good only until March 8, 2014.

The new versions fix formatting problems, small typographical errors, and readability problems with the electronic version because scene changes weren't clearly denoted.

If you bought an electronic version of Darksome Thirst before, you should be able to download the improved version.