Sunday, August 3, 2014

Stories from Camp #Nanowrimo

August is here. We're back from Camp #Nanowrimo. Overall, I consider camp a success. I wrote over 35,000 words in the upcoming Dime Store Novel, Louisiana Snowflake. John wrote 7800 words in the Dime Store Novel with a working title of The Reaper.

Where does Louisiana Snowflake fit in the series? It takes place in 1905. It's the story where the worlds of Mama Cats, Dylan Worth, and Duncan O'Malley begin to converge. We recommend that you read the following books before you read Louisiana Snowflake:

When will Louisiana Snowflake be released? The story takes place in winter, so a winter release is appropriate. Our goal is to release it in December -- just in time for a last minute Christmas gift.

Here is a short excerpt from Louisiana Snowflake.

In the Ice Realm
Faltor lay on his belly, letting the soft snow tickle his tummy. The cold didn’t bother him anymore, not after all these eons. He scratched at the snow drift and watched it sift gently down to cover the streets of New York. A child stuck out her tongue to catch a flake. She laughed and turned in circles, trying to catch another. Her mother laughed too and leaned down to kiss her on the top of her head. Their laughter makes it bearable.
When he had mastered the ice crystals so long ago, he took his time crafting each snowflake, making sure it was unique before he sent it sailing down to earth. Before long, he realized it didn’t matter. Snow was magical to children and even some adults.  Now he created heaps of snow, shaving it with his claws from the huge crystals that made up his prison. There was a time when he wondered if he could shave enough of the crystal away that he could break free and find Shyla. He didn’t like to think back on old days and how he lost Shyla, and so he didn’t. Instead, he focused on the laughter and the children.
Sometimes he would get so excited by their laughter that he would romp through the snow, sending more snow sailing down to earth than he intended. Occasionally, a wind would catch his snow, sending it swirling and drifting in dangerous gusts. He knew that was the doing of his son Khrou-ach, the reason for their banishment. At those times, he could hardly believe that he had once loved his willful child, even supported him in the beginning.

Faltor put the thought out of his head and gently pawed at the snow drift, sending down a little more snow to gently cover the cobblestones of Hell’s Kitchen. Three boys ran and slid on the snow, letting out joyous whoops of laughter. Their joy filled Faltor’s heart and he began to run through the drifts, sending snow sailing up around him and falling at a faster pace toward the laughing boys.
Our August newsletter will be sent out this week and will include a longer excerpt from Louisiana Snowflake. If you have not signed up, take a moment to sign up now if you'd like to read more.

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Where does The Reaper fit into the series? John took a leap forward. The Reaper takes place some time after High Rollers. It's a story that features Regan Worth. It's really in its infancy, so there is no release date set. However, John is having fun writing in Regan's persona. Usually that's my job.

Was Camp worth it? Definitely. Not only do we have two new stories well underway, we also met some new people who also have wonderful stories to tell around the campfire.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Camp #Nanowrimo Day 1 - Playing marbles

Sure, I collected marbles as a kid. I loved the pretty way the different colored glass swirled around. I'd even role them know and then, but only for effect because I never learned to play. John knows how, but since I'm the one writing the first pass of Louisiana Snowflake, I had to learn for myself. Why? Because marbles play an important part in the story. So part of my job today was to research marbles -- not only how to play, but what types of marbles were available in 1905. Fortunately, I found very detailed instructions on how to play on the Land of Marbles website. The website included handy illustrations that let me imagine Hanover and Toledo instead of the cartoon figures. I also learned important vocabulary like lagging and knuckle-down.

Courtesy of
Next, I had to figure out what these marbles looked like. The Vintage and Antique Marbles site had lots of good information, including pictures. Since Hanover got his marbles as a gift from his uncle who lives in Germany, I decided on handmade glass German marbles. Toledo's shooter looks kind of like this red and white swirl marble.

Courtesy of
I was particularly intrigued by the sulfide marbles. Here's a picture of one that has a horse inside. The one I used in the story doesn't have a horse, but it's the only marble Hanover has named. It's called Louisiana Snowflake, just like the book. Why is it so important?  You'll have to wait to find out.

Did you collect marbles? Do you have a favorite? Do you have a favorite marble-shooting technique? I'm sure Hanover Fist would love to hear about it. I know I would.

The August copy of our newsletter will contain a sneak preview of Louisiana Snowflake. Sign up before the end of July if you want a sneak peek.

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