NNWM, Books

Written by: on Saturday, December 1st, 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012

I didn’t make an update about NaNoWriMo when it first started on November 1st. When I participated in Camp NaNoWriMo for June and August, I lacked willpower and interest to really sit down and write. So those two months were a major ‘miss’. I figured I’d participate in NNWM this year but to not bother mentioning it…

Turns out I won! I wrote 50,091 words! I hit my goal on the 29th and figured I’d probably write more on the last day but as the day went on, I wasn’t in the mood to write so I settled on my final word count.

The story I wrote was originally titled “The Indigo Travelers” but then the story changed a bit and I retitled it to “The Veilkeepers”. About halfway through the month, I felt that maybe “The Veilkeepers” might’ve sounded too ‘fantasy’ and that I should go back to “The Indigo Travelers”, something that might sound more earth-like? I don’t know.

I didn’t end the story even though I met my goal. It was about these freak storms and strange purple walls that had appeared one day and suddenly there’s people who now have purple eyes. The government swept these purple-eyed freaks into three internment camps across the states. My main character, Andy Grimsley, is trying to figure out what’s going on and is learning things about himself.

This was a new experience for me. I’m used to sending my characters on an adventure. They go from Place A to Place B to Place C, and before you know it, there’s a whole adventure in the bag with a nice little ending – and I’m praying along the way that I have enough to reach the 50k goal. In this story I wrote, they were at the internment camp all along so it really forced me to have to develop social situations. It was difficult to develop characters because it was a lot of struggling in one place and trying to make situations happen. Towards the end of my goal, I did have them leave the camp through a veil… so I guess at some point I’ll have to keep writing it out and see where it goes.

One thing I am extremely thankful for was that I didn’t hate the story. I didn’t stress and struggle and hate everything. I just wrote the next situation and kept it moving.

I think, from now on, I probably should skip on the camp sessions of NNWM so that I won’t lose interest in the official NNWM. Three for three on that so far; 2010, 2011, 2012. 🙂


I had to put “Hood” (by Stephen Lawhead) away. It just seems to go on and on, and it’s a real struggle to stay interested in the characters. After putting it down, I read:
The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling
The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
Inkspell by Cornelia Funke

Currently reading: Night Mare by Piers Anthony

Even though I had put The Thief Lord down a while back, I decided to pick it up again. It wasn’t boring but it just sort of went on and on… then I reached the end and was incredibly surprised. I loved the ending of the book. So I decided to crack open Inkheart and I loved it. It was *nothing* like the movie. The movie was so goofy and weird… After reading Inkheart and Inkspell, I placed an order for the final book of the trilogy, Inkdeath. Waiting for that to come… hence why I’m reading Night Mare by Piers Anthony at the moment.


So what’s been going on?

Written by: on Saturday, September 1st, 2012

I finished the August session of Camp NaNoWriMo with 10,527 words. A lot more than the June session. I think I may have burnt out on trying to do so many NNWM sessions.

I have read six books:

JK Rowling:
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Howl’s Moving Castle – Diana Wynne Jones
Death’s Excellent Vacation – compilation of stories by various authors
The Black Gryphon – Mercedes Lackey

And current book I’m reading is Hood by Stephen Lawhead

I also happen to have an awesome new bookcase. I love it. I saw it listed on Craigslist and had to get it. Glass door fronts to keep most of the dust off the books is what I’ve been looking for! Gypsy looked at it, of course, but she can’t seem to get back down once she’s up there. hehe.

NNWM June ends / Harry Potter Books 1 to 4

Written by: on Sunday, July 1st, 2012

“How did you do on NaNoWriMo?”

Me: NaNo? Oh, um… I quit after a thousand words or so.

It’s true. I could not get myself to focus at all whatsoever on writing a novel through June. It was the first time that had ever happened to me. I don’t even know if I’ll participate for August’s session after that.

One thing I do know for sure, I absolutely want to write a third book to finish my ‘creators’ arch from the other two books I wrote. I don’t know if I’ll ever sit down and heavily edit all three books so that it’s an ‘incredible journey’ but the ideas still pick at me here and there. I guess my story, ‘The Bookmark’, for June’s session just wasn’t ready to be told yet.


I also re-read the first four Harry Potter books:
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Or as Dumbledore said in the movie: Gobladayfayah)

I plan to finish the last three in the series.

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

Written by: on Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Title: Jurassic Park
Author: Michael Crichton
Cover art: Chip Kidd
ISBN: 0-345-37077-5
Back Cover:

An astonishing technique for recovering and cloning dinosaur DNA has been discovered. Now, one of mankind’s most thrilling fantasies has come true. Creatures extinct for eons now roam Jurassic Park with their awesome presence and profound mystery and all the world can visit them – for a price.

Until something goes wrong…

In JURASSIC PARK Michael Crichton taps all his mesmerizing talent and scientific brilliance to create his most electrifying techno-thriller yet.

So I thought…
I remember watching Jurassic Park in the movie theater when it first came out. I went with two good friends and it was a pretty cool experience, one that I remember a lot. In fact, I remember the book popping up all over the place and my first thought was always, “I loved the movie!” Recently the movie aired on one of the channels and for the first time ever, I thought, “How come I never read the book?” I tracked down a copy and decided to give it a read.

I enjoyed it. I’m not sure I enjoyed it because of the movie or if the book was a good read. I didn’t get bored except whenever Ian Malcolm went on one of his rants about how the park was destined to crumble. I was surprised that in the book, the brother was the older and the sister was the younger.

The only thing I was confused about was the end of the book on why it was so important for Grant and Sattler to hunt down a raptor nest. Why did it matter on how many eggs that hatched? Why put themselves in an extremely dangerous situation?

Sword of Flame by Maggie Furey

Written by: on Saturday, January 28th, 2012

Title: Sword of Flame
Author: Maggie Furey
Cover art: Steve Assel
ISBN: 0-553-56527-3
Back Cover:

The magnificent epic that Maggie Furey began in Aurian and continued in Harp of Winds soars to new heights of enchantment as Aurian and Anvar face unforeseen perils in their quest for a lost artifact of power…. Sword of Flame. At last the lovely Lady Aurian has regained her powers, and golden spring unlocks the iron bonds of a sorcerous winter. But still the corrupt Archmage Miathan’s curse follows her. And as she and her beloved soulmate, Anvar, quest northward toward the ravaged city of Nexis, they are pursued to the very gates of death by betrayal, madness, and forbidden spellcraft. Only by invoking the highest magic can they hope to find the Sword of Flame, last of the four great weapons fashioned eons ago. Only by awakening its might can they save a world newly threatened by a dark Mage as powerful as Miathan, and even more vicious…

So I thought…
I didn’t get bored or struggle through this book. That’s a good thing. But dang, the cast sure grows in number. There’s a lot of jumping around from character to character and there’s still that struggle to remember who is who unless I like the character to begin with.

I probably should’ve gotten my hands on the forth book, Dhiammara, because the ending of this book was so abrupt and left wiiiide open that you need to move on to the next book as soon as possible. It was quite a cliffhanger.

Something M.Y.T.H. Inc. by Robert Asprin

Written by: on Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Something M.Y.T.H. Inc.

Author: Robert Asprin
ISBN: 0-441-01083-0
Cover Art by Walter Velez

Back Cover:
All is not well in the kingdom of Possiltum. The king’s court sorcerer is being eyed with suspicion. Not for dabbling in the black arts… not for consorting with a demon… not for having a dragon as a pet… not even for being mobbed up. But for the greatest crime of all: raising taxes.

More and more citizens want something done – and they’re willing to do it themselves. In the end, it won’t be their skill or their intelligence that wins the day, but the sheer number of those who have rallied themselves against their oppressor – this black-hearted wizard, this terrible tyrant known as… Skeeve the Great. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

So I thought…
Well, uh, it was okay, I suppose. First part is told from Guido’s perspective (and his talkin’ gets a bit annoyin’.). The rest is told from Skeeve’s. It fills in the gaps from the cliffhanger, and now the series have come to an end. There was a short story tucked into the back by him and Jody Lynn Nye about a scene that took place near the end of the book.

The ending seems a bit… anti-climactic. Skeeve makes a decision and no one seems to be shocked or surprised. Then “the end”.

The book begins with Robert’s explanation about how the Myth series got so popular that he was under contracts to write books. It does feel like he lost interest in Skeeve and Aahz along the way, especially with the history of how long the stories took to be written and published over the course of time.

Even though in his note he says that this book was the last Myth novel under contract, I saw that there was a handful of books that has Jody Lynn Nye’s name attached to them. I don’t think I’ll pursue them – at the moment.

Myth-ion Improbable by Robert Asprin

Written by: on Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Myth-ion Improbable
Author: Robert Asprin
ISBN: 0-441-00962-X
Cover Art by Walter Velez

Back Cover:

Skeeve: Apprentice Wizard.
Aahz: Skeeve’s mentor, a bad-tempered, scaly green Pervect.
Tanda: Beautiful ex-assassin, and dimension-hopper extraordinaire.
To journey into the Kowtow realm, and retrieve a golden cow that lives in a golden palace and gives gold-laced milk. But Kowtow is a land of vegetarian cowboys, hell-bent on protecting their livestock – and deeply afraid of something that comes out after dark…

So I thought…
The book begins with an apology to explain why he hasn’t written another book for this series in a long time. Apparently it had been so long that he couldn’t put his head back into Aahz and Skeeve’s world until a friend makes a suggestion for him to write an adventure from their younger days. Robert Asprin decides to write a story that takes place between the third and forth book of his series.

My first thought was, “Oh no. Not another book that rambles on and on and on and on and has nothing to do with the story.” I was bored with ‘Sweet Myth-tery of Life’ and I wasn’t in the mood to go through it again.

It starts off interesting. Skeeve at some point purchased a treasure map to give to Aahz. Aahz’s interest is piqued. Tanda enters the scene. Lots of world hopping. Then they land in the realm of Kowtow that’s populated with cows and a lot of copy&pasted towns where everyone looks and acts the same.

One thing that caught my attention was… (cut for spoilers) (more…)

M.Y.T.H. Inc. In Action & Sweet Myth-tery of Life by Robert Asprin

Written by: on Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

M.Y.T.H. Inc. In Action
Sweet Myth-tery of Life
Author: Robert Asprin
ISBN: 0-441-00982-4
Cover Art by Walter Velez

Back Cover:
M.Y.T.H. Inc. In Action

When Skeeve “the Great” asks two bumbling bodyguards to join the army of Possiltum, they volunteer without question. But with war heroes like these, who needs enemies?

Sweet Myth-tery of Life
The well-meaning magician Skeeve is drowning in a sea of romance. But only one of his nubile suitors can assure his future – and maybe even keep him alive…

So I thought…
More rambling? Two more books under my belt, at least. Elaborate, you ask? I can try.

Myth Inc in Action is told by Guido. I guess I can say that I liked it. Guido and Nunzio join the army of Possiltum with the intent to screw things up to slow down Queen Hemlock but achieve the exact opposite.

Sweet Myth-tery of Life just went on and on about… whatever. I don’t know. It didn’t seem like it was going anywhere and it got to the point that I forgot why they were even in Possiltum or what Skeeve was even wallowing about.

At the back of the first book, there’s an author note for the 1990 version of the book where he apologizes about the fiasco of his “Two “Myth” episodes a year” that didn’t happen. The next book’s dedication includes an apology for a two and a half year writer’s block. I’m starting to get the feeling that the reason the books are dragging is because he was trying to meet the demands of his fans and his heart wasn’t in it.

But yes, that’s two more books under my belt.

M.Y.T.H. Inc. Link – Myth-Nomers and Im-Pervections – by Robert Asprin

Written by: on Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

M.Y.T.H. Inc. Link


Myth-Nomers and Im-Pervections

Author: Robert Asprin
ISBN: 0-441-00969-7
Cover Art by Walter Velez

Back Cover:
M.Y.T.H. Inc. Link
Being President of M.Y.T.H. Inc. doesn’t keep Skeeve from sleuthing around some very out-of-the-way – and dangerous – dimensions.

Myth-Nomers and Im-Pervections
Skeeve’s demon cohort, Aahz, leaves in a huff. Now Skeeve finds himself in the missing Pervect’s home dimension – the worst neighborhood in the galaxy…

So I thought…
The book opens with the author’s introduction to Myth Inc Link where he goes into detail of how the Myth series came to be and where he plans to go with the next six books of the series. He says that instead of each book having its own ‘tale with an ending’, it’d be the big picture that would run through the books.

In Myth Inc Link, he writes from several characters’ point of views so that we can see how each character ticks and why they act the way they act. The biggest surprise was Gleep (sadly). It didn’t feel like a story. Rather just a collection of stories and I was hoping he wasn’t going to keep using that format through the rest of the books.

In Mythnomers and Impervections, Skeeve had to go to Perv and track down Aahz. When it starts out, we get the idea that Perv is quite an amazing yet filthy metropolis. This book goes on and on and on and on and on… and on… with Skeeve reflecting about his own troubles to the point that the story doesn’t really go anywhere.

He interacts with the same characters. JR, some homeless Perv. Kalvin, a Djin. Edvick, his taxi driver. Even when he visited Aahz’s mother, the scene was so quickly written that I wasn’t sure what the point was before Skeeve quickly walked back out (Why the book cover was based on this shortly written scene, I don’t know…).

It’s clear that that story is rolling on through the books since they’re heading off to Klah to deal with a problem there.

Describe a dream you’ve had more than once.

Written by: on Sunday, October 2nd, 2011

The Daily Post asks: Describe a dream you’ve had more than once.

Everyone has a dream, or nightmare, they’ve had more than once. Either write a post describing one, or explaining why you think you’ve had the dream multiple times.


The one thing I absolutely can not stand about dreams is when pets are involved. I could just be walking along somewhere and one of them will pop up out of the blue. Cue total panic and the need to get them back home and safe so that they don’t get lost and/or hurt. Problem is I’m always so far away from home that I’m forced to hold onto my pet until I forget about them when my dream moves on to the next scene.

I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced the same exact dream more than once. There’s been dreams I’ve had as an adult where I return to an old place I once visited as a child. Now those are mind-blowing because I actually remember being at those places as a kid. The sense of deja-vu hits hard. I had one dream where I was coming down a road and off to the side was a picnic table. Something about the layout of this land hit me hard and I knew I had been here before. I hurried over to the picnic table and there was a couple kids there. I recognized them all and they were surprised to see me. I knew they had never left this place and I felt bad for having ‘left’ years ago. When I looked around, I noticed one of our friends was gone. They told me that he had left also and never returned.

I still remember these dreams where I had to pass many basketball courts that were connected by small dirt trails and I’d stop on every court to talk to some of my friends. Same scenery but just different things going on. Then I’d walk on this final trail that would lead to a tall wooden fence. Just as I would climb up to look over it, I would wake up.  I still remember the final dream where as I was walking on the trail, I knew inside that this time would be different, that I would finally look over the fence. I did. I looked over the fence and I remember an endless muddy swamp with random clumps of dirt and boulders sticking out. Dead tall grass everywhere. When I woke up, I was so upset because I somehow knew I’d never go back to this place again. I never did.

I guess the biggest recurring theme is when I used to have this cat as a kid. Almost every single dream had the same theme. I would lose her and then go on a long hunt to find her. It would last through the whole dream until I finally find her by a source of water. It could be ocean, lake, whatever… Panic would set in, I’d snatch her up, and then try to flee before the water would pull us under. This was the major theme of my dreams for years and years until she died.

I don’t know the meaning of dreams. I just know that as a kid, I was more attuned to them and it always felt real. I guess because I didn’t know any better and it was never explained to me of what they were about so I guess I took them more seriously than I should’ve. Now, as an adult, I’m afraid most of my dreams are just gibberish ho-hum stuff. But I can’t complain. Better that than nightmares.