Wait, what do you mean we’re almost halfway through the month?! Some of the stress of the beginning of the month has tapered off, and we’re finally finding our grooves (or, in some cases, seeing just how much we bit off with our goals for the month). The 6-hour marathon write-in on Saturday certainly gave most of us a huge push in the right direction, and now it’s just a matter of keeping the momentum until the end of the month. We’re getting very close to being on the downward slope!
We’re a full week into NaNoWriMo, and to say we’ve been struggling is a bit of an understatement. With unexpected life circumstances hitting us (Ferret in the hospital! ALL HANDS ON DECK!) in addition to the regular busy-ness of November, I think pretty much all of us have been fighting to keep our heads above water.
But I’ll let the other Ferrets tell you how it’s going… Continue reading
It’s that time of year…NaNoWriMo is upon us once more!
As those of you who’ve been following us for awhile know, National Novel Writing Month is what brought the Ferrets together (Michelle, Serena, and Rebekah met in 2009, then met Lissa in 2010 when Michelle and Rebekah took over MLing duties, Michelle pulled Jess* along in early 2011, and then Eris joined up in NaNo 2011).
Since then, we’ve all participated in some form or fashion, although this year is going to be a little more rebellious** than others! As usual, we’ll have weekly updates during November as we check in on our projects, and you can follow our daily progress on the NaNo site itself.
If you’ve always wanted to write a novel but just can’t find the time, I cannot encourage you enough to sign up for NaNo and get involved with your local region. It’s been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, which is why I come back to do it every year not only as a participant, but as an ML as well, so that I can help other people achieve their writing dreams.
There’s still time to sign up, so why not give it a go?
And without further ado, here’s what we’re working on this year!
Today at the Ferret blog, we have the distinct pleasure of interviewing one of our own! Rebekah has just published her first book: The A-Zs of Worldbuilding, based on a blog series that she did back in 2014.
You can already get the ebook (currently on sale for 99 cents!), but the fancy paperback copy will be coming out on September 30!
What is The A-Zs of Worldbuilding, you ask? From Rebekah herself:
Worldbuilding is the ultimate act of creation for speculative fiction writers, but how exactly do you worldbuild? You ask ‘what if’ and use each answer as a springboard to more questions and answers about your fictional world.
In The A-Zs of Worldbuilding, that ‘what if’ process is broken down into 26 themed chapters, covering topics ranging from architecture to zoology. Each chapter includes a corresponding set of guided exercises to help you find the ‘what if’ questions relevant to your story’s world.
Fair warning, though: worldbuilding is addictive. Once you get started, you might never put your pen down again.
So, for such an amazing and wonderfully auspicious occasion, Ferrets Michelle, Serena, and Eris sat down to put together a few questions to
pester ask Rebekah, and she very graciously allowed us to do so.
Without further ado, here’s the interview!
Flash Fiction Title: The Sacred One
Word Count: 600
Cover Challenge: The Song of the Saurials
The Council of Five stood before the three who had been chosen. They had sought dozens for this most hallowed duty, and after months of deliberation, these three were all that remained.
Malachi, the leader, addressed the young huntress first. “Tell me, Leda, daughter of Amelia, why should you be chosen to host the Sacred One?”
Leda lifted her head defiantly. “I am the most skilled hunter of my generation. My knowledge of fields and forests exceeds that of everyone in my family. I have tamed dozens of beasts and slain hundreds. I can protect the Sacred One.”
Malachi nodded and turned his attention to the elder mage. “Tell me, Harcourt, son of Ema, why should you be chosen to host the Sacred One?”
“For decades, I have studied both music and the arcane,” said Harcourt. “Only the High Mage of Dunforth himself knows more than I. My intellect and magical knowledge will be vital for the Sacred One to have.”
Malachi acknowledged the answer before he turned to the final candidate, the Saurial priest. “And you, Vikla, offspring of Ekmar, why should you be chosen?”
Y’all, I was into vampires in high school and college. Well, into a lot of fantasy and paranormal stuff, really, but I really enjoyed vampires in particular. I ended up taking a class called Vampires and Voodoo when I was a freshman in college, which no one believes, but it actually ended up being a lot of fun.
Despite all that, I hadn’t ever read the granddaddy of vampire literature: Dracula by Bram Stoker. I’d seen the 1992 movie, which I rather like, but I’d never made the time to read the book.
Now that I have, I can honestly say I almost wish I hadn’t.
A Classic I Loathe:
Dracula by Bram Stoker
We’ve talked about the classic novels that we loved, the ones that made the “required reading” portion of our school careers not quite so bad (or the ones that we sought out before they had to be required).
Now it’s time for part two: the rants. These are the books we hated, the ones that it was torture to try and finish reading, the ones that made us all feel Dorothy Parker’s famous quote on a deep and spiritual level: “This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.”
We’ll also touch on the so-called classics that we haven’t read, but based on evidence and feedback from friends, we never, ever want to.
We’ll be flinging around some seriously uncontrolled rage for the next few weeks. And feel free to share with us some of the classics that you absolutely hated being forced into reading.
This particular Ferret series came at a fairly opportune time for me. I live with two other avid readers, and to say that we like to collect books is like saying the ocean’s a little wet on a good day.
This is what they used to look like:
The first one is our shared bookshelf in the living room, which was packed full of…well, just about everything. Most of the shelves were two stacks deep of books or DVDs, and really, the two in my room weren’t much better, as you can see. I had a method to the madness at one point, but between my grandmother giving me 13 bags (!!) of books, a visit to RT in 2015, and numerous book gifts, this was what I ended up with.
I read Pride and Prejudice for the first time because of the 2005 movie. It was one of the classics I’d missed during high school, and I’d never bothered to pick it up because I figured it would be similar to Wuthering Heights (which, by all accounts, sounded like something that would drive me crazy to try and read) or Rebecca (which was good, but depressing).
However, I watched the movie because it had been nominated for an Oscar and I was trying to watch all the Oscar-nominated movies before the awards were given out. And I was stunned by how much I loved it. The next time I was at the used bookstore, I found a copy of Pride and Prejudice, and I immediately picked it up.
And I’m glad I did, because it made Jane Austen one of my favorite writers.
These two words struck fear in the hearts of students everywhere, even those who actually enjoyed reading. The surest way to make someone hate a book, of course, was to force them to read it. I imagine there are people who would hold a grudge against the Discworld series if it had been shoved down their throats like Shakespeare.
But not all the classics were bad. Some of us sought them out on our own out of curiosity, while others were surprised when the required reading was actually interesting and enjoyable. And for some of us, those literary classics became personal favorites as well.
In this series, we Ferrets will be talking about the classic books that we sought out, that surprised us, that made us fall in love with them. And we’ll also be talking about the ones we haven’t yet read, but really, really want to.
So come and join us for the next few weeks while we happily rave about some classic books that we absolutely adore, and share with us some of your own!