Nanowrimo. 5-day update number 2

Nanowrimo. 5-day update number 2

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

Nanowrimo. 5-day update number 1

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… :)

Are you a writer and a blogger?

Dear reader,

if the title of this post applies to you then there is a new book on the horizon that can help you to come up with things to write about on your blog!

Selection_20144009-10-1420:40:09

On November 1st, Kai Viola will bring out her new book “365 blogging topics for writers: A year of ideas for your blog”. It is the first one in a series that will be called “The Writer’s Guide To…”

Stuck on what to blog? Need some ideas and perhaps the best style of article to use with the ideas? Need some tips on writing for your blog? 
We’ve got you covered. 365 blogging topics for writers gives you a solid foundation to create content on your blog.

You can pre-order your copy at the Amazon websites in the USA and the UK.

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!

Why do we read?

Dear reader,

I sometimes wonder about things. Today I wonder about the question you saw in the title. Why do we read? In school we read to learn things. Those are however not the books we’d usually choose, given the choice.

For me reading is a way to escape reality and learn about new ones. To venture into worlds that I can’t reach in this world. I also read to learn things that interest me (opposed to what teachers wanted me to read). Reading is a kind of wealth that has a value beyond money. There is a richness in reading. I once read a book called Dune by Frank Herbert. In it there is a race of navigators that use a substance called the spice to expand their mind so they can fold space. Books for me are that spice, the substance that allows me to expand my mind, to travel to places in the universe (through astronomy books and science fiction), to the past (through the books of e.g. Jane Austen and Emily Brontë) and into worlds we cannot see (e.g. paranormal and spirit stories).

If you have a moment then please answer me this question: why do you read?

Stories are like old wine

Dear reader,

Wine cellarIn the Netherlands there’s a saying “Old wine in new bags“. I discovered that the English equivalent would be “Same meat, different gravy“.

Why do I bring this up? At one moment it struck me that story telling (or writing) is in fact the same thing. There are a number of concepts and ideas that we can write about. The more popular ones are the ones most used and those are the old wine, the same meat.

This is what presents the biggest challenge for a writing person. How do you pick that concept or idea apart and present it in a new, inviting way? Inventing a new environment, creating a new ‘world’ with new people is one of the ways to do this, but what if we’re talking about a series of books, like the Hilda the Wicked Witch books? There always is the common factor of Hilda and William appearing. Sometimes Baba Yaga appears, and lately it’s also Hilda’s sister who chimes in here and there, but the world they inhabited remains the same. It’s Fairyland with it’s fairy tales. I think it’s fascinating to delve deeper into things. That is why I don’t limit myself to the stories of Hans Christian Anderson, the brothers Grimm or the other more or less famous fairy tale writers. Every culture has its stories, legends, myths and fairy tales. Going into them and finding out about them, showing you, the reader, how they make their old wine and how that’s treated, that’s one of the big delights I find in providing a new bag, a different kind of gravy.

 

A sequel to ‘A Girl Named Sandy’

A sequel to ‘A Girl Named Sandy’

Dear reader,

Yes, it’s official. I have started to write a sequel to ‘A Girl Named Sandy‘. I have received so many wonderful words and comments on this book that I can’t leave it at just one volume. Maybe this one will take 3 years as well; I don’t know. I hope not, but I’ll keep you informed on the progress once in a while.

I heard that someone had to wipe away a tear when she read the wedding scene in the first book because it was so beautifully written. That’s something each writer loves to hear. That is what we aim for with our stories; to touch hearts.

Nanowrimo and a few questions.

Nanowrimo and a few questions.

Dear reader,

If you’ve visited my site / blog more than a few times you’ll be aware of this mad phenomenon called Nanowrimo. National Novel Writer’s Month. The crazy scheme to write a novel in one month, being November.

Today, as I was walking down some stairs and up some others, I suddenly realised that I don’t really have a theme for November yet. I have several plans for books to write, but nothing solid to prepare for when November hits. That is why this post came to be. Well, consider yourself lucky, for I’m going to put the burden of this November on your shoulders, dear reader.

No, that doesn’t mean that you will write a 50,000 (or more) word book in a month, but I do hope that you will help me in deciding which book I should start in November.

For now the options are:

  1. A sequel to “A Girl Named Sandy”.
  2. A sequel to “Lily Marin – the Novel”.
  3. A sequel to “The Story of the Mimosa”.
  4. A book about Hilda’s youth.

If you have a preference, please let me know your choice! Either through a comment to this post, an e-mail, or a message via Facebook, Twitter or Google+. I’d appreciate it.

Snow White Revisited revisited.

hilda02_320

Dear reader,

If you have read this book before, you may encounter a few slight differences in the current version. The text has been cleaned up, the spells have been checked (thank you, Hilda and Barbara), and also… the seven dwarfs have new names! I discovered that Snow White’s name is free to use for everyone as that’s part of the original story from 1892. No more copyright rests on that. The names of the dwarfs however are copyrighted by Disney, and to prevent any legal difficulties I had to resort to this step.