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
http://www.collectorsweekly.com
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
http://www.collectorsweekly.com
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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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Camp #Nanowrimo - we're packed and ready!


Starting on Tuesday, July 1st, this will be me and John. Well, technically we'll both be using computers, but we will be writing every day, working toward our respective goals. For the first time, we will be participating in Camp Nanowrimo.

What is Camp Nanowrimo?  It's a virtual camp for writers of all genres. Each writer pledges to write a certain number of words by the end of the month. My goal is 30K words, which should bring me pretty close to completion of the first draft of Louisiana Snowflake, a Dime Store Novel that takes place in 1906 and tells the story of how Mary O'Malley and Regan Worth are born. John's goal is 20K words, which will get him about to the halfway mark of a new Dime Store Novel we are calling The Reaper for now. His story takes place after High Rollers and will involve of the four main characters, in addition to a new character who feeds on spiritual energy. Whether she's a villain or a hero remains to be seen. We've been brainstorming her character for a few days and it could go either way.

What does this mean for our readers? It might mean that Louisiana Snowflake is  released a little earlier than we anticipated. It might also mean a slight delay in the release of Striking Angels. John is making good progress on the second draft, but he needs to step away and write something fresh. Camp Nano is a good time for him to do just that.

Do you want an early look at what we're writing? In August we'll share excerpts from both books to newsletter subscribers.  If you haven't signed up for our newsletter, take the time to do so now. You'll also receive a free copy of The Canary's Silence, a YA horror short story that is perfect for reading around the campfire.


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