Nanowrimo. 5-day update number 3

School

Dear reader,

Nano 2014

The Nanowrimo madness is in its 15th day and I’m still going ahead full steam as far as work and other things allow.

The word count for the project currently is at 52362.

I can already promise you that this will be a very large new Hilda book. Forgive me if this upsets you, but somehow I think there is hardly anything to forgive. ;-)

What new things have come up since the previous update?

  • An interesting twist in flying lessons, something that doesn’t involve a broom;
  • Hilda’s defence against boys trying to kiss her;
  • lessons about dragons;
  • meeting someone we’ve seen in a previous book;
  • Hilda learns something about attitude from someone who learnt something about attitude.
  • We learn about making a wand;
  • and a big secret is revealed. Who was Hilda’s first boyfriend?
  • Oh yes, there’s also this thing with a mirror.

 

Nanowrimo. 5-day update number 2

Nano 2014

Dear reader,

Nano 2014

The madness called Nanowrimo has been running for 10 days now. As usual I’m not very worried about reaching the goal of 50,000 words as my current word count for the project is at 37,228 words and I’m far from being done with the story. Not bad for ten days.

I am thoroughly enjoying this story and I’m certain you will also be entertained by all the things that happen in Hilda’s younger years. There are brooms to be flown and a school to be visited, to mention just a few things. Are there dragons, you ask? Well, do polar bears have white furs? Of course there are dragons!

What mentionables are there this time?

  • School. Yes, Hilda goes to school.
  • As I said: there is something like a dragon. Perhaps more of them.
  • We meet several teachers, some of which are not who or what they appear to be
  • There is music. Of sorts. You’ll learn about an instrument you probably never heard of. (I for one never did!)
  • How will the first flying lessons go? Do you have any idea?
  • If you read Hilda – Aiaia, you’ll know who’s coming to school too!

 

Nanowrimo. 5-day update number 1

Hilda the wicked witch

Dear reader,

Nano 2014

The madness is off since 5 days. I think I’m making good progress towards the goal of (at least) 50,000 words. My current count stands at 22,172 words.

As you may recall, my aim is to write most (or even better: all) of book 16 in the Hilda the Wicked Witch series, which  opens up the world of Hilda’s younger years.

What have I covered in these first days:

  • Hilda’s parents have entered the arena
  • They found a home in a small village
  • The magical people met the local king and queen
  • Hilda “arrived” into their life
  • Charisma, Hilda’s little sister, arrived as well
  • It’s now clear where Baba Yaga came from
  • And there are a few answers to burning questions like:
    • Where did the two black cats come from?
    • From which parent did Hilda inherit her attitude?
    • What triggered the appearance of Hilda’s expression “shiny“?
    • Who came up with “crappedy crap”?

Maybe you are as curious as I am to see where things stand in 5 days… :)

Hilda 14 – Phargene. The cover revealed

Dear reader,

Please insert your favourite happy sound, because here is the cover of the latest book in the series about Hilda the Wicked Witch. May I introduce you to “Hilda – Phargene”!

When Baba Yaga pays a visit to her family in the faraway country that they moved back to, she finds that something is wrong. An arrow with a partly distorted message is enough to call her magical friends into action, complete with brooms and cats.
Hilda and William are up for another adventure, now facing all kinds of strange creatures that they’ve never heard of and probably never want to encounter again. Join the magical duo for a voyage to mountains, icy fields and the hunt for phargene…

And for all avid Hilda fans: the book is already available for pre-order at Smashwords and Amazon!

Lots of Hilda news

Dear reader,

Hilda the wicked witch

The one and only wicked witch.

I’ve been on vacation. Sometimes even writers take a break from normal life – but that does not mean a writer (this writer) also takes a break from writing. On the contrary. A lot has happened while I was away to Crete. The fifteenth book in the Hilda the Wicked Witch series has made a tremendous jolt forward while I was gone to do nothing. Edits on book 14 are done and I have a publishing date for you. It will be appear on November 9th. Why this date? Because November 9th is “Chaos Never Dies” day, and who knows more about chaos than our witch? Also for the following month of November (it’s the time of Nanowrimo again) I have the plan to write yet another book about the Wicked Witch. In this new book I shall try to shed some light on Hilda’s younger years. There may even be some more background information in it about her parents, and definitely we’ll learn more of her meet Baba Yaga and their time at school with the infamous Witch In Charge, Hepatia Strunk!

I hope you are looking forward to all this Hilda as much as I am!

One million words

Dear reader,

Do you know what one million words look like over a span of 18 months and a week? Allow me to show you:

A million in a graph

Don’t worry, some month abbreviations may look funny but that’s because they’re in Dutch.

Last year April I started keeping track of how much I write daily and kept scores in a spreadsheet. I wondered how long it would take me to get to one million words. Now I know. 18 months and a week. I thought it would take me longer to reach that number. Now of course I’m curious if the next million will take longer, less long or equally long, so I shall meet you again in 18 months and a week. Or sooner. Or so.

How writing a sequel can be scary

Dear reader,

A Girl Named Sandy

I have started to write a sequel to “A Girl named Sandy“. I knew this would happen as I left the ending of the first book wide open. The amazing thing though is that it scared me to start this second book. Why would it scare me to write this next book after putting out so many other books?

The reason may sound too simple: “Sandy” for me is the best book I’ve ever written. Now I am facing the challenge to top that book, or at least make it as good as the first book. And that is not an easy task, the more as I am still at the foot of that mountain I intend to climb.

I’ll keep you informed of the progress that I make, the problems and challenges I encounter and maybe even the great things I discovered!

Wizard checking in. About cats.

Hi there.

You probably know we have cats. Two of them, black as can be except their eyes.
Do you know how tough it is to have cats that possess magic?

Hilda and I are still baffled about how we ended up with them. One day you’re battling an evil witch and the next day you fly off with cats that somehow got involved in the fight and since then act as if they were part of the plan and your life from the beginning. It took some getting used to them. Just like it took me some time to get used to being a wizard instead of a book salesman. But as with everything, if you’re exposed to it long enough you learn to love it. Or it kills you. So far we’ve been on the lively end of that scale.

Do you have cats? Magical ones?

Wizard checking in – Herbs, and what not to do.

quill&ink

Hey, it’s you again. Isn’t that grand, because it’s me again as well.

Today I thought I’d tell you a bit about herbs. Not because you know all about them already, but because I am learning about them. Here in Fairyland there are lots more herbs than you can shake a stick at. I’m certain there are even more than in your world out there, but I’m not taking bets, okay?

Hilda’s keen on herbs. She uses them. There are herbs in the garden for that reason. Well, garden is perhaps overstated, but the herbs are there, almost all around the house.

I never knew much about these things before I came here. Hilda taught me a lot of stuff, also (mostly) about the herbs you have to be careful with. Some of them put you to sleep for a while, some do that forever. No, they don’t kill you; they literally put you to sleep forever. Weird thought, isn’t it? Of course there are also herbs to kill people, like the 6-leaf clover, but we don’t use them. Not so far, anyway. This particular clover is a tricky one, by the way. It looks like a 4-leaf one. The other 2 are folded away beneath the 4. Always pays to watch one of them carefully when you collect stuff for clover soup!

Weird wordification. You’ll want.

Dear reader,

Today’s wordification talks about the gentle care that many users of the English language display when addressing something that you want. Most of the time you don’t even know that you want it, but they’ll point you to it. It’s a mode of expressing that I have mostly encountered in North America.

The word in this case is: you’ll want. When you drive somewhere and someone is next to you, pointing where to go, it is common to hear “you’ll want to go left here”. (Unless you’ll want to go right, or straight on, depending on the situation of course.) There is no question about it, you will want to go that way, even if you don’t want to (but no one bothers to ask about that).

The point that the speaker wants (!) to make of course is that you need tomust, should or have to go in that direction. Otherwise you won’t reach your destination. I keep being surprised by the carefulness that so many people feel they have to (or will want to?) display when directing something. What’s wrong with saying you ‘have to’, or ‘need to’ do something? Why ‘will you want’ something? Is this a form of deranged political correctness? (Excuse me for this error, political correctness is already deranged.)

I sincerely hope that this way of expressing oneself doesn’t get any worse than what we’ll want, because if we ‘might consider the option to agree with the idea of maybe wanting to turn into this or that direction, unless you desire to discuss this option and weigh it against potential alternatives‘, we’ll shoot past our goals more and more…