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. 


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.


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?