How Was your NaNoWriMo?

Hi Everyone – I’ve been a bit MIA on this blog as of late…and I don’t know why.

It could be because I started a full-time job this fall, and I just don’t feel inspired after a long day of sitting typing at a computer. Also, about mid-November I was sick for like a week with a cold, and that about wasted my November.

On the positive side, though, I have been writing more as of late. I think it all started after watching Outlander one Sunday. I was curious about the books and I went on Diana Gabaldon’s website, and something I read of hers inspired me.

It was what she said about the first book of Outlander. She said she wrote it because she wanted to see if she could write a novel, and Outlander was just a trial, a for-fun novel.

Well, several books later and a successful TV Show and she is still writing. I guess it made me realize that you shouldn’t doubt yourself. It might not be as awful as you think it is, and if it is awful…who cares? It was meant to be a draft, right?

If Diana Gabaldon can do it, well then so can I. Plus, my writing process seems to be a bit similar to hers. I tend to just wing it…I’ll have a rough outline, but otherwise I tend to be at the whim of my characters: “alright, guys, where do you want to go next?”

How was your NaNoWriMo? Any words of wisdom for the rest of us?

(Also, my NaNoWriMo wasn’t all that successful, but I got some more useful scenes written for my novel-in-progress and that’s something!)

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NaNoWriMo Day 8 Update: How’s It Going Guys?

Hi Everyone! How’s NaNoWriMo going?

I haven’t got so much of a word count in, but I have been plugging away at 30 days of world building, which I found on this blog here.

Basically you spend each day working on the different aspects of creating your world. So far, I’ve created a climate, created a rough sketch of map, and selected what races will be in my world and how they will interact, etc.

The planning is so detailed and it’s been a lot of fun so far. Some of the stuff I’ve already come up on my own, but before I started doing the exercises I hadn’t even thought as far as climate and how weather (like a bad storm) could help drive a plot point.

Kind of neat! I think tonight I will do my world building exercise, (Economy and Politics!) and get down to some actual writing for once. I tend to not want to sit at my desk, because I sit at one for work all day long, so here I am propped up in bed and it is working so far.

How is everyone doing? How do you keep yourself motivated to keep writing?

Happy Writing Everyone!

Outlander Season 3 Episode 8 Review: First Wife

I liked this episode a lot more than the last few we’ve had. There’s a lot of truth to this episode, and I don’t just mean Jamie finally coming clean about things he’s left in the dark. There’s truth for Claire, too. In that she finally seems to admit to herself that maybe this was all a mistake.

I think it goes without saying, really… beware, spoilers ahead!

Photo credit: Starz.

Jamie and Claire return to Lallybroch with young Ian. However, things aren’t at all like they used to be. Jenny and Ian’s children are grown with children of their own and Jenny is not willing to welcome Claire back with open arms.

Jamie is just about to tell Claire about his marriage to Laoghaire, when the woman of discussion barges into the room with her daughters in tow and calls Claire a whore and all these terrible things. Naturally, Claire is devastated because she had no idea Jamie was married.

She packs to leave, but Jamie stops her and the fight that ensues between them is very passionate and packed with emotion. Jamie seems almost mad that she had left him, and she is equally heartbroken: he’d told her too! He accuses her of not knowing what it is to live half a life and she fires right back at him. He didn’t really think that life with Frank was happy, did he?!

She goes to leave, and Jamie stops her once again and tries to force affection on her. She slaps him in the face. They grapple on the floor, and then their fight turns to passion and they are wrestling out of each other’s clothes and having sex on the floor. Jenny comes in and throws a bucket of water on them, and tells them to stop it because they are upsetting the rest of the household.

Claire wishes they could tell Jenny the truth about her disappearance but Jamie claims she won’t understand. The next day, Claire has packed and is going to leave, but Laoghaire shows up and threatens to shoot her. Jamie steps in the way, and gets shot instead.

Claire performs excellent surgery on him, and young Ian stands back and watches, completely in awe. Claire notes with some affection that he is the only one who calls her auntie. After Claire has him sewed up, Jamie tells her about what happened with Laoghaire. Claire gives him a shot of penicillin, because Jamie is burning up. She also asks Jenny to give her a second chance. She can’t tell her everything, but she does still love her. Jenny seems to slightly warm up to this.

Claire reunites with Ned Gowan, and he advises them both on what can be done about Laoghaire. He says that technically Claire and Jamie’s marriage is the one that is valid, because it happened first. Laoghaire wants alimony in exchange for not taking Jamie to court. Jamie comes up with a plan to get the Jewels from Silkie’s Island that he had found while in prison.

Young Ian volunteers to fetch them, because Jamie is still hurt. Claire confesses to Jamie that she thinks coming back might have been a mistake. She had a life, a career and friends. Jamie says that they are mated for life. She still seems uncertain, but they are forced to throw their uncertainties to the side when they realize that young Ian is in trouble. He is intercepted on the island and taken away on a ship.

Well, what worked?

  • I want a relationship as passionate as Jamie and Claire’s. Their fight was packed with emotion and very much-needed!
  • Young Ian’s infatuation with Claire is very sweet.
  • We love Jamie’s sister because she is a strong woman; stubborn, independent and intelligent. It is for this reason, she doesn’t accept that Claire would just disappear for twenty years and not come looking for her brother.

What didn’t work?

  • It makes sense that Jenny is suspicious about Claire’s absence. And I wish they can tell her and Ian the truth.
  • Claire and Jamie’s relationship seems on such tenterhooks. Even though the bond between them is still there, there is still so much hurt. Have they really resolved anything?

Will they be able to move on from this? I hope so! Although, it’d be very awesome if Jamie could follow her into the future. Just a thought.

What did you guys think?  Happy Sunday!

Outlander Season 3 Episode 7 Review: Creme De Menthe

Soo…this latest Outlander episode kind of irritated me, but if you thought otherwise, or you had similar feelings, let me know below!

If you have not watched the newest episode of Outlander, beware, spoilers ahead!

Photo credit: Starz

I’m having a hard time trying to find the positive in Claire going back to 18th century Scotland, but even in spite of Sam Heughan’s muscular bod, it’s a difficult thing.

The episode starts off where episode 6 left us at a cliffhanger. A stranger is rifling through Jamie’s things, and attacks Claire. She uses a knife to defend to herself, but in evading it, the stranger trips and sustains a head injury.

Well, naturally Claire has to help him, even if he did threaten to kill her. Jamie doesn’t understand why she doesn’t just let him die, and Claire tells him it’s because she’s a doctor now, and has spent years trying to save lives. Claire runs to the apothecary to get supplies, while Jamie is trying not to get caught by Sir Percival for smuggling some extra casks of whiskey and bourbon, and creme de menthe, (of the latter, they have loads of, because Scots don’t drink creme de menthe.)

Fergus and young Ian manage to sell off the smuggled goods at a fair price, and Fergus gives Young Ian advice on how to make love to the pretty tavern maid. Yi Tien Cho helps Claire with the surgery, but her patient dies, which she is fairly upset about. She also discovers that Jamie lies to Ian and Jenny about where their son runs away to.

The dead man gets stowed away in the creme de menthe, and Claire has another patient to attend to: a man named Campbell, whose sister is mentally ill. Once again Claire gets another taste of the backward 18th century, which doesn’t really have any experience in treating such ailments, except to keep them silenced.

Meanwhile, Ian gets lucky in the back of Uncle Jamie’s print shop, only to be interrupted by a man hired by Sir Percival, who is looking for the stuff that Jamie smuggled. They fight and Sir Percival’s man discovers Jamie’s flyers, which proves that Jamie is a traitor to the crown.

During the struggle, the shop is set on fire. There is a harrowing moment where Jamie goes in to rescue him, and Claire is afraid for both of their lives. Jamie says they will return young Ian to Lallybroch, and Fergus is shocked that Claire doesn’t know about Jamie’s other wife. His what?!

My thoughts?

This whole episode just irritated me. I suppose there will be bumps along the road, (I mean, if there wasn’t, there wouldn’t be a story.) But c’mon Jamie?!

“Oh, by the way, Claire, my love…I’m already married?” Sigh. Double sigh. Why do men do such stupid things sometimes?!

The good parts of the episode?

  • Well, seeing Claire doing her awesome healing thing is always kind of nice.
  • Having Fergus back into the scene is nice, too. I suppose…and Young Ian. He looked so happy with the tavern maid.

But…sigh. What did you guys think? Think Jamie and Claire will finally work it out?

We shall see! Happy Monday everyone!

Outlander Season 3 Episode 6 Review: A. Malcolm

I can’t tell you how bummed I was last week when I tuned into Outlander only to find that I had to wait another week to see Claire and Jamie’s reunion! well, now that it’s happened, what did you think?

Beware, Spoilers ahead!

Photo credit: Starz

The episode begins where episode 5 left off. Jamie wakes up from a faint and he is shocked to see Claire is not a dream, but is very real and touchable. Both feel awkward and happy to see each other and the connection is still there…whatever that connection is, exactly.

Claire tells him about Brianna, and Jamie tells her about his son, Willie. It is bittersweet when he looks at the pictures of Brianna. Finally, he gets to see this living, breathing character that we’ve come to know and love, but the moment seems to just remind us that poor Jamie is stuck with the watered-down version. He’s missed twenty years of her life! And he won’t get to see his son much, either.

Claire learns that Jamie is not only a printer, but a smuggler of alcohol, too. Oh, and by the way, he lives in a brothel. Not the place Claire was hoping to spend her first reunion night with her husband, but well, I suppose one can’t be choosy if their husband thought he was doomed for bachelor life to the end of his days.

Claire meets some of his new friends, and reunites with Fergus, which was a treat. Everyone is all shocked to see her, (she is supposed to be dead after all,) but she makes up a story in which she thought Jamie was dead, so she escaped to the Colonies.

Jamie seems confused as to why Claire came back, and she seems almost crushed that she has to explain it to him. I mean, she still loves him, but neither one of them come out and say it. She thought he was dead, and he had convinced himself that he had lost her forever. Seeing each other in the flesh, seems to remind them of what they have lost between them, and what they could gain by coming back together again.

The sex scene was steamy; both need and passion and awkwardness all wrapped into one, but I felt jipped they glossed over the catch-up details with a voice-over narrative from Claire while they ate. In a nut-shell, “they got to know each-other again,” before getting down to some steamy reunion sex. I can’t believe I’m saying it, but we needed more conversation, and less sex here.

The episode ends with Claire getting attacked by a stranger who is looking for Jamie. Gee, that sounds familiar. Really. She gets attacked so soon?

Well, What Worked?

  • The details that reminded us that time has passed: Jamie’s glasses, Claire’s mentioning of her gray hairs.
  • The conversation about Brianna.
  • The meetings between Mr. Willowby, Fergus, and Jenny and Ian’s kid.
  • And the steamy scene between Claire and Jamie. Any scene where you get to see Sam Heughan’s butt is a win.

But What Didn’t Work?

  • Glossing over the dinner they had together where they catch up on each other’s lives, shut the audience out of the connection they may or may not have rekindled. Clearly it’s there, but…it felt like we missed something.
  • Do people really take that long undressing each other? Like ever? Even strangers? This seemed more for the audience’s benefit, than their own.
  • Jamie’s elusiveness about what he currently does for a living is a bit annoying, and almost seems like a step down for Claire. She’s grown up a successful career woman, but now she’s back to just being a wife to a husband who lives in a brothel, and now has to worry about getting raped or attacked by every other man she meets.

Remind me again why going back in 18th century Scotland sounded like a good idea? Oh, Jamie, right. True love across the ages, and all that. I mean, at least in the end, it’ll be all worth it? We hope?  I guess we will have to keep watching to find out!

What did you guys think?

Outlander Season 3, episode 5 Review: Freedom and Whiskey

Outlander might be a bit cliché, but that doesn’t mean that it is any less entertaining. If you’re going to write a book about star-crossed lovers who fall in love despite them not being from the same time period, best make it a good one.  Thank you, Diana Gabaldon.  I always feel inspired to write after watching this show, and that’s never a bad thing.

Beware, spoilers a head!

Photo credit: Starz

A Brief Recap:

Claire and Brianna have returned to Boston and Dr. Randall continues to be the brilliant surgeon that she is. Meanwhile, Brianna is struggling in school after learning news that Jamie is her real father.

Roger shows up in Boston with the excuse that he wants to experience an “All-American Christmas,” but really he’s there because of his crush on Brianna. Claire recognizes this but seems to accept that Roger is also a good friend to her daughter, and he is a good man.

Roger also has news: a newspaper clipping he found, (he is an awesome historian after all,) which is published by an Alexander Malcolm. The article quotes a poem from the future. Jamie has been found!

But the news comes as a shock to Claire, and she has reservations. How can she possibly leave Brianna? What if Jamie doesn’t find her attractive anymore? What if he doesn’t love her?

This episode seems all about second chances and holding onto love, even though it might be difficult. It’s about goodbyes, sacrifice and new beginnings. In a very mature decision, Brianna realizes that she must let her mother go find Jamie, even if they might not see each other again.

The episode ends with Claire arriving in 18th century Scotland in her “bat-suit,” a clever homemade costume appropriate to the time period, but also practical with its hidden pockets. She finds Jamie in the print shop in Edinburgh; he is understandably shocked to see her and passes out.

The Highlights?

  • Well, the reunion after 20 long years was delicious in all of its tension and importance. Jamie passing out was somewhat amusing. Poor fellow. Ghosts from the past and all that.
  • I like Roger and Brianna’s relationship, even if it seems more like friendship now.
  • The “bat suit” that Claire makes is very clever and awesome.
  • The costumes and the props and everything about this 1960’s time period is very rich in details, as was the Scottish Highlands. They do such a great job!

My thoughts about the next episode and what’s to come?

  • It would be silly to assume that Claire and Jamie can just pick up right where they left off. Twenty years is a long time, and although they do love each other, that’s a lot of catch-up to do.
  • I get the feeling that Roger’s lost parents are important. What if he is from the 18th century as well? Him and Brianna would be cousins.
  • I feel like Brianna might follow Roger back to Scotland. I could see Claire returning from the 18th century to find her daughter going to Oxford and dating/possibly married to Roger.

Obviously, I haven’t read the books, forgive me. But at the moment, I love being surprised by this story-line. (If you do know what happens, please no spoilers.)

What did you guys think of this episode?

NaNoWriMo is less than a month away!!

So, apparently October is Preptober…

and that means that NaNoWriMo is just around the corner!!! (National Novel writing month.)

I have actually never heard of Preptober before, but I think it is something new that started last year. Now, let’s hope this year’s NaNoWriMo goes a lot better than lasts, eh?

Have you signed up for NaNoWriMo yet? Well, what are you waiting for!!

Should I Review Outlander?

I just had a thought: should I review Outlander on here?

Photo credit: Starz

Every Sunday I tune into Starz for a new episode…it’s become my replacement show to fill Game of Thrones. (Not so much, Mike, though, I think he thinks it is too girly…Star-crossed lovers and all that.)

But maybe it’s something I ought to consider. Any watchers out there?

I have not read the book series…(I know, shame on me.) But there it is. I’ve been enjoying this season 3, and maybe if there’s some interest out there…I’ll have something to talk about.

What do you guys think? Anyone else love it as much as me?

Happy Writing all!

Poem: Twenty-nine

About a year ago, I wrote a poem called twenty-eight. Well, this year I am twenty-nine and the world is far from perfect. Was discussing with some friends about what is frustrating for our generation in this day and age, and well, here it is.

Twenty-nine

twenty-nine and almost thirty

life is one long road, often dirty.

find a job to save some dough

then it’s paying bills, school loans you owe

twenty-nine and splitting rent

and if you don’t, money is spent

on food, electric and a car to drive

to get to work, to stay alive

Those houses you imagined

with their little white fences

is another lost dream,

in the mountain of expenses

Just for a moment, you’re almost there

then you break a bone, on crappy health care

the road is dirty at twenty-nine

but all the refuse, isn’t mine.