Moving to New Site

I will be closing this site and permanently moving to my new, self-hosted site this weekend.  You will be able to find all my old posts, current tags, and categories on my new Internet home.

If you would like to continue following me and learn all about my adventures in NaNoLand, then feel free to visit The Parlor of Dreams for further instructions.

Thanks for all your support!  I look forward to seeing you there!

~L. A. Howard~

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Request for Readers & Stylin’ New Look

Stylin’ New Look!

Obviously, the look of this blog has changed.  I was never entirely happy with it before, but now I feel like it looks awesome!  (It’s funny how fun it can be to discover what colors go well with what.  XD )

I’ll leave it up to you good NaNo folk to guess what the header is.  😉

(Why is it so hard to find a free WordPress theme with a readable font for posts and headers?  =_0;;?;;

Request for Readers

Now to the nitty gritty.

I know all to well that sometimes one just doesn’t have the energy to comment, and that sometimes a ‘like’ is all you can do.

However, if you can find it in the depths of your soul to do so, please PLEASE comment on what you liked or didn’t like about a particular post!  It will help me be the best blogger I can be, and will help YOU by getting to know someone you like!

It’s a win-win!!  😀

That is all for now.  See you in August!!

Categories: Blogging, Writing | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Ignore MY Angst! LOL

Dear Faithful Fellow NaNos & Writers:

You are not crazy.  Yes, there was a post here, by yours truly, talking angstily about how angsty teenagers are.

It is still there, but is for my eyes only.

I don’t want this to be a rant blog, unless it’s a rant blog in regards to my OWN writing.

NaNoWriMo, in all forms, is an awesome idea, and I fully support it!

I *do* tire of forums on occasion though…but that goes for ANY forums.

All is well, so do not fret!

Yours Truly,


Categories: Writing Problems | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Day 18: A Cracked Video

I can’t say for sure, but I’m fairly certain that Cracked is making fun of NaNo (and writing vs. relationships in general) with the following video.  (There’s some cursing towards the very end, because it’s

How To Survive Life As A Character In A Bad Work Of Fiction

Ohh, and the laughs I did have!

In other writerly news, I ditched the stupid Hong Kong story.  The only way to save it was if I brought in the Old Ones to suck everyone out of the world via a purple angle (not ANGEL, but ANGLE) and into a weird city with tentacle monsters and human-faced rats everywhere.  And, as entertaining as that would be for me to write, it wasn’t even kind of close to what I’ve been wanting to spend my time writing.   (Kudos to anyone who gets those references.)

So I ditched it (meaning I put it away for safe keeping, and am pretending it doesn’t exist), started a new project in Scrivener, and got to work on my long-awaited Chronicles of [Insert Name Of Fantasy World Here].

Let me be honest:  When I used to write, I didn’t mind writing crap.  Now, I mind it.  A LOT.  I don’t want to just write something I know I have no intention of polishing up.  I want to write something I fully INTEND to polish up!

I just wasn’t sure of how to do it until now.  But I recently realized a couple of things that I really should have realized before now:

Even if there is no real dialogue conversations, the plot and story can still progress.  I learned this from H. P. Lovecraft, of all people.  The man could write a ridiculously spooky and frightening story without the need for excess dialogue, sex, or bad language.  (I have also realized that Hollywood has no idea what to do with Lovecraft’s stories, but that’s another post for another time.)

— Just because the main story takes place in the fantasy world doesn’t mean that’s where the story has to start.  Go and read the very beginning of just about every fantasy story ever.  Or any supernatural story.  It always begins with someone being pulled out of their very normal and mundane lives, and into weird, exciting, and unusual circumstances.  Often against their will.

(I thought I had a third thing, but heck if I remember what it was now..)

Realizing these two things in the past week or so has transformed my writing.  I feel like things are going much smoother now, if I can just sit down and get some ideas down on virtual paper.

And I’ve had plenty of sleep!  lol

Question:  What revelations transformed your writing recently, if any?

Categories: Camp Nano 2012, Chronicles, Fiction, National Novel Writing Month, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Camp Nano Day 13: Madness Sets In

*As everyone on WordPress is well aware, something funky is going on with our most beloved blogging site.  I’m typing this from the QuickPost option on my front page, because the regular “New Post” site just isn’t working, for whatever reason.  They are working on it, but we’ll have to be patient and pray for the poor techs who are working on the problem. *


Welp, it’s Day 13 for Camp Nano 2012, June session.  I finally caught up sometime Monday, but am now behind again.

And I’m okay with that.  🙂

Continue reading

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(calendar courtesy of tea+failure on flickr)


According to that calendar up there,  I’m really behind on my word count for June’s Camp Nano.

Like, ridiculously behind!

According to the dragon, I’m supposed to have at least a little over 10,000 words by now.

As of this moment I have 6,949.

Hrm…maybe that’s not SO bad; that’s a little over 3,000 to make up and catch up.  I think I did at least that much in a day sometimes in November.

Now see??  THIS is why I like NaNo!  Progress bars.  Stats.  Daily word count charts.

Also, encouragement from others!  Seeing other people suffering right along with me.

Only a writer can be so gleefully sado-masochistic in a way that doesn’t at all involve sex.  (Unless we’re writing about it, I guess!)

Anyways, I’m going to go work on it some more.  Hopefully get somewhere before I have to go to lunch.  Today, I’m going to change the nationality of one of my key characters; he’d just make more sense as a _____ rather than a ______.

Yes indeed.

Categories: Camp Nano 2012, Fiction, Main Story, National Novel Writing Month, Sichuan Salad, Writing, Writing Problems | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Day 4: A Hard-Won Weekend

Click the Pic!

Helloooo out there!!  😀

The first weekend of camping left me tired, but happy!  At first, I had trouble getting my stride; the mountain was tall, and I kept stumbling over rocks.  I was getting irritated, frustrated, and weepy; I felt like giving up.

But then, INSPIRATION!  Late last night, I remembered something!  Something that I had been meaning to include in this story for a long, long time!

And include it I did!  😀  Though writing a chat log in novel format is somewhat challenging, I can definitely see it becoming a staple of modern novels.  Interactions with others via online services has become such a staple in the past decade that I can definitely see it becoming part and parcel of regular story-writing.

What’s more, I actually managed to make my word count goal!  I was severely behind, and feeling really down about it…but I made it!!  So, yay for that!  😀

If anyone wants to look for me on Camp NaNo, my name there is chinalizard.  My novel:  “Sichuan Salad”.

Which I, for some reason, always thought was spelled ‘Szechuan’ for some reason.  (I don’t know why I keep wanting to add a ‘z’ to that word..)

Categories: Camp Nano 2012, Fiction, National Novel Writing Month, Sichuan Salad, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Camp NaNo START!

As I mentioned in my main blog, today is Day 1 of the first session of Camp Nano!  😀

Whew, that’s a mouthful!  So let me break it down for you:

Camp Nano is like NaNoWriMo, except not as intensive.  You have four other ‘campers’ in your ‘cabin’ to talk with, but no open forum, from what I can tell.

What’s more, there are two sessions, or two times you can participate.  The first is this month, June, and the second is the month of August.

The goal is still the same:  50,000 words of fresh, new, and original material in novel form by midnight on the last day of the month!

For my June novel, I’d originally thought of finally sitting down and fleshing out my TESOL novel.  However, because people are insane more in real life than in fiction, and because the news likes to tell us about the most horrific things it can find, I’m thinking of doing a novel on the Miami face-eater instead.

Because GOOD GRIEF CHARLIE BROWN!  That’s just mind-blowingly INSANE.

Despite this horrific and grotesque tragedy of our modern era (or perhaps because of it), there are so, so many themes I’d love to explore with that.  For instance, what must be running through the mind of the victim?  Was he also on drugs?  Or just a random victim?  Why would drug dealers sell such a dangerous product?  Is it really just for money, or could it be a conspiracy by a secret medical organization?  What about the guy that was on it?  When he came out of his drug-induced frenzy, was he mortified over what he had done?  Did he even survive it?  Would the government try to confiscate all the “bath salts” they could in an effort to make a super-human soldier?  In real life??

The mind, it boggles at the implications of this.  Or, at least mine does.

And it’s definitely very different from anything else I’ve worked on.

But we’ll see how things play out.

Categories: Camp Nano 2012, National Novel Writing Month, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

New Hectic Theme & Araius’ Blog

Because I find it difficult to stick with the same thing for too long, and also because the font in the Notepad theme is so very, VERY tiny, I’ve decided to switch to Matala instead.

I also feel like the torn-paper image gives a more “hectic” feeling that writing for Nano creates, rather than the stiff legal pad look of Notepad.

(Nothing against Notepad; I liked it at first!)

Also (and this too may be a personal fault of mine), I recently read at least two or three other blogs that also had Notepad, and felt a little bummed out that I chose something everyone’s used to seeing.  So, I tried something a little different!

In other news, I had a thought today that was very interesting:  Sometimes I have a hard time deciding what to blog about during the week.  Do I blog about current events?  (Something I rarely do that I should probably do more of.)  Do I blog about the WordPress Daily Post?  Or do I simply gripe about the price of gas?

Then this morning, while driving to get a mid-morning snack, I had a revelation:  Maybe the reason I find it hard to blog is because it isn’t story-related.  Or, it is, but not in the way I prefer writing.

So I’m working on something super-secret, to get my juices flowing.  Something just for me, that’s all about the adventures of my blood elf hunter, Araius Bloodwater, from World of Warcraft.

Ok, so maybe NOT so super-secret!  lol  I’ve written things about Araius before, but I think this will be a good way for me to have fun with writing, and perhaps even get inspired with other stories.

I don’t know if I’ll share it or not; we’ll just have to wait and see how that goes.

It will have little to nothing to do with Camp NaNo (unless it REALLY gets me going!) but still…I think it will be helpful.

Categories: Camp Nano 2012, Fiction Blogging, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Camp NaNo: It’s Almost HERE!!! :D

Cat sleeping on keyboard

Mittens decides Camp Nano is better than the great outdoors.

Feeling the itch to write, or just while away the summer blues?

Like the idea of camp, but hate the outdoors?

Well, look no further, because CAMP NANO IS ALMOST HERE!!!!!!  😀

But hey, why listen to me?  Here about it all straight from the horse’s mouth!

You’re welcome.  🙂

(BTW, Camp Nano will be running both through the month of June and through the month of August, which means we have TWICE the opportunity for writing with friends!  YAY!!!!)

Looking forward to seeing you there!!  🙂


Categories: Camp Nano 2012, Contests, National Novel Writing Month | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

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