Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Nessa's Notebook - A New Start. (Yes, Another One)

 I'm allowed. I can have as many as I want. As many as it takes to get me where I want to go. Every day is a new start. Every first step. I will keep at it until I'm in the habit of putting my writing first.

Something New

I bought a new Tarot deck, The Wheel of Change Tarot by Alexandra Genetti. I had to find it on Etsy at colorwheelfolkarts.etsy.com if you like the look of it. It's very pretty and speaks to the subconscious mind. 

Today's card: The Hermit, reversed


The Hermit is quite appropriate at this time as I've decided to renew my spiritual practices, which have always been very private and solitary. I need to reconnect with the core of who I am and what I need and want without the influence of others. 

Writing

I've been stuck for weeks, months. Unable to bring myself to write any fiction. I've been looking for the perfect system to make it all make sense. Outlining. Plotting. Planning. Sheets and forms and lists. Programs. Tools. Syste,s. Oh, my.

Yesterday, I gave myself permission to just write. I finished a 4k short story. Today, my only goal was to write a sentence. I wrote 1,473 words with trying. I'm satisfied. More than satisfied. I might even be giddy.

Movement

A little over two hours at the pool with The Boy. A solid hour of movement and another of fun. At some point the aches will lessen, right?

The pool in our complex is wonderful. Always clean. Always welcoming. Always allowing me to move all my joints, even my bad left knee and my sore right hip, without pain. It's a true joy.

Links You Should Checkout

I found these places over the weekend and I credit them with getting me writing again and without fear or guilt. They talk about the way I instinctually write.

Harvey Stanbrough has written over 85 novels, 9 novellas, and 250 short stories in just over 8 years. That's lots. Check him out. He has loads of free resources writers and he's so nice.


I started the Ray Bradbury Challenge again, only this time I'll have company. I did 17 short stories in a row the last I did this. Anyone can join, any time. Got my first one under my belt. "Whispering Down the Lane" will be in my first short story collection which will be out by the end of this month.

This fantastic article is packed with information, How to Write a Great Blurb (Warning: Giganormous Post)

I'm Reading

Writing Into the Dark by Dean Wesley Smith, another prolific writer and Heinlein devotee. "Trust the Process" and "Write one sentence. Then write the next sentence." You can see a YouTube Videoabout a talk he gave on this subject at a 20Books conference.

The Ever King by LJ Andrews. It's super popular. Amazon has over 13k reviews and Tik Tok rated it Best of BookTok. 

The Awakening and Selected Stories by Kate Chopin written in 1899.

These words don't count.

The Counting

I count everything, the stairs up and don to the apartment each time I traverse them even though I know the fist set has 17 steps and each of the next two have nine. Never changes but I count them every time. I count the laps I swim in the pool even though I know I will swim them for 30 minutes. I count out the time. Just looked it up. Of course it has a name: arithmomania. I don't have good or bad feelings related to counting, I just do it. 

Anywho, I stole this idea from Harvey Stanbrough, see above. I'm not going to count all my words, only those related to my fiction writing. I'm going to see how many I write in these last seven months of 2024, then set a goal for a yearly word count.

Beginning 20240611:

Fighting Fate (Novel Writing)
Day 00 ... 3,037 words. To date 30,822 words.

Short Stories (Completed)
Catch As Catch Can ... April ... 12,789 words.
Whisper Down the Lane ... June ... 3,567 words.

Short Stories (Writing June)

Love Under the Cold Moon

Day 01 ... 469 words. ... To date ... 469 words.

Day 02 ... 1,473 words ... To date ... 1,942 words.


Fiction for June…………………….….… 5,509
Fiction for 2024…………………………. 21,865


2024 Novellas to Date ……………...….. 0

2024 Short Stories to Date……………… 2
Novels Published .............……………… 2
Novellas Published ..............…………… 0
Short Stories Published ………............... 1
Short Story Collections Published …...… 0


That's enough for now.

Monday, June 03, 2024

Mystery Monday - The Caesar Cipher

 I'm writing a short story for this year's Winter Anthology sponsored by the First Coast Romance Writers (FCRW) group. The anthology is called For the Love of Winter and will feature love stories set during all of the Winter Holidays.

My story is called Love Under the Cold Moon. It's set in the year 194 in the Alps, on the border between Raetia and Noricum in a mountain valley. More later as we get closer to the release date.

The Roman Emporer at this point in history was Septimus Severus, the survivor of the Year of the Five Emperors. This was the year after Commodus was assasinated.

So, the first puzzle will be a quote by Septimus Severus turned into a puzzle using the Caesar cipher.


Can you decipher these words of wisdom?

Monday, May 20, 2024

Riddle Me This, Batman

The word riddle was first recorded before 1000 AD in Middle English. Close to the Old English rede, meaning story. A puzzling question stated in such a way as to require a clever answer.

The oldest recorded riddle is actually a mathematical problem written in cuneiform from around 1650 BCE, called the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus


Rhind Mathematical Papyrus : 
detail (recto, left part of the first section 

To see the answers, highlight the space between the asterisks.

Usually written as follows:

There are seven houses;
In each house there are seven cats;
Each cat catches seven mice;
Each mouse would have eaten seven ears of corn;
If sown, each ear of corn would have produced seven hekat of grain.
How many things are mentioned altogether?

The usual answer: ***   one (1)   ***

Other answer(s) are a bit disappointing.

The most famous old (470 BCE) riddle is The Riddle of the Spinx from the myth of Oedipus.

The riddle: “What being has four legs, then two, and then three?” 

The answer: ***   “Man, who crawls on all fours as a baby, then walks on two legs, and finally needs a cane in old age.”   ***

Check out the medieval riddles located HERE and HERE.

The ever-prolific Voltaire wrote this riddle:

"What, of all things in the world, is the longest and the shortest, the swiftest and the slowest, the most neglected and the most regretted, without which nothing can be done, which devours all that is little and ennobles all that is great?"

The answer: ***   Time   ***

My attempt at riddle writing:

Born earthbound and starving, I sleep in my shroud and hatch to soar less than a lunar cycle.

The answer: ***   a butterfly   ***

Friday, May 03, 2024

Romancing the Tropics Volume 2 - Ready for Pre-Order

 


These five short tropical romances, spanning from 1901 to the present day, will
put you in the mood for sunshine and love. This collection offers sweet to edgy stories
perfect for lazing on the beach or poolside.

Join these couples as they defy the conventions and expectations of their worlds
to embrace love’s fullest connection with their happily ever after waiting to be
discovered.

Saturday, April 06, 2024

In the Bag - Introduction (an Anachronistic Project [AP001])

My mother's side of the family is from Austria, where they lived in the small towns around the city of Salzburg.

Salzburg Castle painted on Two Man Tuttle Tooth Saw blade by Vanessa Victoria Kilmer

My Oma and Uroma went grocery shopping every day. They had very small refrigerators and very little space in their apartments. I grew up using net bags, so the trend of reusable bags in the USA in the 1990s was no big deal to me and made sense. 

I think people have been using net bags for as long as they have been making fishing nets. You can see some information about Roman recruits using them. The Bullock Museum in Texas has a net bag from around 2000 BC. 

Net bags would be perfect for hunter-gatherers as they are light and compact and require less material and energy to make than baskets, leather pouches, or pottery. They are also perfect as storage containers, easily hung from the rafters of a hut, thus protecting the items from pests.              

They are easy to make in small spaces, require no tools or special skills, and use cheap native materials. 


Thanks to travelers from all parts of Asia, Hemp has been used in Europe since the Bronze Age for food, rope, and fabrics. I'll be using hemp twine to make a net bag without tools. I'll go over other types of fibers in the next post.

This will be the first project in my series of anachronistic items related to the time periods of my books.

I'll be doing each of the process steps in real life as TikTok videos and blog posts with pictures of each step, and when it's all done, I'll combine the videos into one YouTube project video.