Farewell!

Well, as I mentioned in my previous post, I’m off on a European Holiday. I’m leaving my beloved laptop at home and will probably have few opportunities to access the internet while I’m away without incurring monstrous global roaming data charges.

That said, I’ll be back January 24th, when I’m sure after several days of sleep I’ll be itching to get back online and tell you all about my adventures.

In the meantime, find me on Twitter, have a mosy around the blog, check out the featured posts scrolling bar at the top of the home page, and don’t forget to leave a comment and say hi!

Also, if you’re looking for something to read, my short story “The Dragon and the Moon” is now available on eBook as part of a collection of short stories, with *all proceeds* going to UNICEF. Check it out here. It’s currently selling for 99 cents and if you don’t have a Kindle but DO have a PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Android or Windows Phone, you can download the *free* Kindle app to read my story and any other Kindle book from your device.

Happy 2012, readers!

Auf Wiedersehen/Cześć/Cheers/Arrivederci!

~storytelling nomad~

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A Year in Review

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In the past week it has turned eerily quiet on the blogosphere. With Christmas, New Years and Holidays around the figurative corner I’m guessing you’re all enjoying a bit of good cheer, spending time with family, friends and loved ones, and taking a well-deserved break.

I’m not far behind you.

But before I wrap things up for 2011, I feel an end-of-year blog round up is warranted; 2011 was, after all, my maiden voyage as a blogger.

Storytelling Nomad began on the 20th May. I had seen a couple of friends on Facebook with blogs and thought ‘hey, I can do that. I have something to say’, and so with little more knowledge of blogging than that, my online journey began.

7 months, 119 posts, 1 blog revamp, 194 followers, 1,583 comments, 16,218 hits, 3 published articles, 1 guest post, 1 short story featured in an ebook (more about this soon) and many new friends later, here we are.

I don’t think I can truly articulate how valuable this blog has been to my creative practice. Apart from being a great place to share my thoughts and be involved in this wonderful online writing community, it has most significantly boosted the confidence I have in my own writing, which has in turned encouraged me to work harder at improving my craft.

Each and every one of your comments, feedback, ‘likes’, shares and subscriptions have played a part in this. A very, very large part. For that I thank you.

The highlights of my year included:

  • Joining my very first writers’ group.
  • Receiving my first piece of fan art (thanks Joakim)!
  • Participating in and winning my very first NaNoWriMo.
  • Having my story “The Dragon and the Moon” featured in a collection of short stories released over Christmas to raise money for Unicef (Again, more about this in another post).
  • Working at the Melbourne Writers’ Festival.
  • Coming third in my state raising money for Multiple Sclerosis through the MS Readathon/Novel Challenge.
  • Having my Heroes and Heroines article published in LipMag and All that is Wrong with the World.
  • Seeing my article So, where are you from published in Biscuit Magazine.
  • Being invited by author Angela Wallace to guest post on her blog.
  • Graduating from my Graduate Diploma in Professional Writing, surrounded by beautiful friends and family.

It was a year of firsts.

As for 2012, I have just been accepted into the Masters of Creative Writing program at the University of Tasmania, where I hope to further improve my writing and complete a large work of polished fiction under the teaching prowess of Vogel award winning author Rohan Wilson. I cannot wait!

In the meantime, I will be spending the next week not only making merry and eating far too much holiday food, but packing my suitcase.

You see, a nomad wouldn’t be a nomad without a noteworthy trip to end the year with. On Dec 30th I leave Sydney for a month in Europe, where I will have the pleasure of visiting my little brother in Hamburg, Germany who I haven’t seen since he left Australia over a year ago. Other items on the itinerary include a weekend in Krakow, Poland, checking out the town and visiting Auschwitz, which I can only imagine will be a life-changing and emotional journey into the horrors of WWII. Then, a week in London, England where a particular highlight will be meeting up with my childhood best friend, who I haven’t seen since leaving England over 16 years ago.  A quick trip to Edinburgh, Scotland will see me catching up with a school friend from Italy who I haven’t seen in many years and a new Scottish friend I met at the Melbourne Writers Festival this year. The trip finishes in in the beautiful Northern town of Ferrara, Italy where I will visit my host families from past student exchanges before departing from Milan at the end of January. All this I get to share with one of my best friends, Hayley.

My upcoming European vacation

I’m going to need a holiday to recover from my holiday I’m sure.

With all these adventures planned, I predict an absence of posts in January, however, I will be active on Twitter, @katyhulme, when internet access is available.

With all that said, I leave you with my ‘Year in Review’ and again thank you kindly for your support and encouragement in 2011. I look forward to sharing my writing journey with you again in 2012.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.

Stay tuned for more about “The Dragon and the Moon” and the Ebook for charity.

~storytelling nomad~

****

A Year in Review

In 2011…

I eliminated negative influences/people. Forgive me for quoting Oprah Winfrey, but she wasn’t wrong when she said “Surround yourself with people who are going to lift you higher”.

I reduced my (already pathetically low) intake of alcohol to zero. For no other reason than it feels amazing.

I stopped making excuses for not writing.

I lost my inhibitions.

I enhanced my editing skills through my Professional Book Editing, Proofreading & Publishing course. My inner nerd knows no bounds.

I started a novel.

I created my blog, Storytelling Nomad.

I loved and lost.

I was embarrassed by sharing my work and thoughts with the world.

I was frustrated by universally incorrect grammar, spelling and punctuation.

I felt crazy when I read messages of hate from those opposed to equality for all.

I regret not entering the Blogosphere sooner.

I needed more time for reading. There just aren’t enough hours in the day.

I missed my friends and family that live across oceans and in faraway lands.

I went to places far and near, including Melbourne for the Melbourne Writers Festival, Sydney for Supanova Pop Culture Expo, and Gunnedah where I shot my first gun. Watch out!

I relaxed when on November 27th, I knew I was going to finish NaNoWriMo with 50,000 words.

I would use a magic wand to bring Hogwarts to life.

I felt gratitude when you all ‘liked’ my entry in the Facebook Short Story competition. I’m coming 10th by the way, still time to vote!

Time flew when I met James Marsters (Spike from Buffy) at Supanova.

I want to repeat this year. It had its ups and downs but for the most part it was extraordinary.

I should have done more exercise. I am terribly unmotivated.

I don’t know why I never joined a writers group before.

I felt most alive when I was creating new worlds, new characters and new stories to share with the world.

The best gift I received was an email from my favourite author Robin Hobb, with invaluable writing advice.

Physically, the biggest difference since last December is slightly shorter hair.

Psychologically, the biggest difference since last December is the focus on my writing.

Emotionally, the biggest difference since last December is my contentment and pride in all I have achieved this year.

Environmentally, the biggest difference since last December is I exchanged the sandy shores of Newcastle for idyllic Tasmania.

Socially, the biggest difference since last December is I have a whole new group of online writer friends.

My biggest ‘win’ was NaNoWriMo. Or maybe it was having an article published. No, wait. Having my short story published. No, wait! Receiving the email from Robin Hobb. Or, being accepted into my Masters course. And, graduating from my Writing course. And, and, and…!

I want more books. Gimme gimme!

The best thing I did for someone else was read as many books as I could in a month to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis.

The best thing someone did for me was sketch me a picture based on my short story.

The best thing I did for myself was believe in myself.

The one thing I learned this year is I am the master of my own destiny. I will only receive of life what I put into it.

I am most grateful for my friends and family and their unwavering support.

I look forward to 2012 being different by writing more stories and becoming a better writer.

Questions taken from Lynn Scheurel at http://secretsofhersuccess.com/articles/your-year-in-review-questions/

Makeover time!

With the new year just around the corner, what better time to give the blog a bit of a spruce up?

Up until now, I’ve had a photo of a beach from my previous home town, Newcastle Australia, as my blog banner. I chose it to represent my love of travel, my nomadic lifestyle and of course my adopted home country, Australia.

Nobby's Beach, Newcastle NSW Australia

Since that time, however, I’ve had a growing feeling that it no longer reflected the direction the blog was taking. What I first thought might be a platform to vent a few thoughts and share a few stories, has since turned into a forum for readers, writers, book lovers and nerds alike, to share our tales and lay bear our vices, all in the name of becoming better writers, more perceptive readers and to have a bit of a gander about what makes us tick.

While I still consider myself the nomad this blog was partly named for and despite the enormous influence these escapades have on my writing, my travel adventures represent only a small share of the content of this blog.

In conclusion, new banner, new theme – new and improved blog!

My sincere thanks to New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Ilona Andrews, for giving me permission to use her amazing fantasy wallpaper art for my banner. I like to think that from stories comes magic, which is exactly what I see in Ilona’s image.

You’ll also see that my featured posts can now be viewed from the carousel at the top of the page.

Hope you love it as much as I do.

Image by Ilona Andrews

~storytelling nomad~

Christmas Down Under

We like to show Santa a good time Down Under

Hi all!

Today I have the pleasure of guest posting on the lovely Angela Wallace’s blog.

When I started this blog in June, Angela was one of the first to subscribe and support me as I wandered blindly through this blogosphere, so naturally I felt quite honoured when she invited me to appear as a guest on her blog.

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to spend Christmas by the beach (or didn’t even know such a thing existed), puzzled over whether we still sing about white Christmases, or wondered how Santa survives in his winter suit under our summer sun, head over to Angela’s blog to find out more about our strange Australian festive ways.

There’s also an excellent 90s rendition of our Australian Jingle Bells, worthy of a look.

~storytellingnomad~

Pick me! Pick me!

Dearest Readers,

Have I ever told you what a good looking bunch you are? No, really. A fine collection of fetching individuals. And the intellect, oh! the intellect! Never before have I witnessed such collective brilliance. One can only marvel.

Are you buttered up yet?

The thing is, I need your help. Yesterday I entered a short story competition on Facebook. A 420 character short story competition. Yes, you heard me; characters, not words. To give you an idea, 420 characters looks like this:

you are awesome you are awesome you are awesome you are awesome you are awesome you are awesome you are awesome you are awesome you are awesome you are awesome you are awesome you are awesome you are awesome you are awesome you are awesome you are awesome you are awesome you are awesome you are awesome you are awesome you are awesome you are awesome you are awesome you are awesome you are awesome you are awesome you

Positively microscopic, no?

In any case, this is less a competition of merit and more a popularity contest. You see, it is judged by how many ‘likes’ readers give each entry. I know, look at me go, whoring myself out to the masses. I’m cheap. Nasty even. And yet, I’d really like to win anyway.

You’ve seen the story before, albeit a somewhat *longer* version, of my 100 words of revenge. I confess, it’s not the finest piece of literature you’ll ever read (especially after cutting it down to fit the character limit), but surely it’s gotta beat the entry below mine detailing a park bench. A park bench, I tell you!

And yet, that entry is still beating mine. Sob!

All you have to do to rectify this tragedy is head to this page:

https://www.facebook.com/thewritinglab/posts/215836788471997

and click the ‘like’ button on my story, which at this stage is the second to last entry (before bench boy). You don’t have to ‘like’ the Facebook page or sign up to any garbage.  In fact you don’t even have to like my story, but I’d appreciate it if you clicked the ‘like’ button anyway, because I love you…and karma…and rainbows…and stuff. RAINBOWS.

In return, I bestow upon you my everlasting gratitude and send forth much cyber karma to use at your earliest convenience.

Your faithful servant/blogger/master,

Katy

~storytelling nomad~

A shaky start to 30 days and 30 nights of literary abandon

I got this dammit!

I have been waiting in high anticipation to embark on my very first NaNoWriMo, counting down the days until November 1st and jotting down potential ideas for my pantster approach to the 50,000 words in 30 days challenge.  The excitement was building, as were the nerves, and the thought of ending the month of November with 50,000 words was electrifying.

Of course it was bound to happen. You know that thing, where life falls apart right before something really important.

Rude.

As it turned out, November 1st came and passed sadly by as I wallowed in my sorrows and indulged in a mental health day involving lots of chocolate and reading and sleeping (and staring at walls), and not one word of writing goodness. Sigh.

So there I was this morning, November 2nd, 207 unread emails in my inbox, a suitcase to unpack and already behind on my daily wordcount.

But life goes on, and all that jazz, so today I read and responded to all those emails and soldiered through my first 1,712 words. JOY! My suitcase remains unpacked, but it’s at the very least placed neatly in the corner of my room. Who needs clean clothes to write anyway?

I realise I’m still behind, and obviously when such is the case it’s obligatory to procrastinate a great deal and instead write insignificant rambles on your blog rather than get on with the actual work, but hey, what can ya do?

So forwards and onwards with the task at hand. My fellow NaNo writing buddies have provided much inspiration with their impressive word counts so far; Stef at Dodging Commas has already reached 9,200 words. She is clearly a crazy person, but good to have around for motivational purposes.

How’s everyone else going after day 1?

My username is storytellingnomad, for the rest of you WriMos out there looking for writing buddies.  In the meantime, happy writing!

N.B. I pinched the accompanying image from a fellow blogger some weeks ago now but can’t for the life of me remember who it was. I sincerely thank you for the laughs though.

~storytelling nomad~

NaNoWriMo Newbie Jitters

In less than two weeks time begins 30 days of literary abandon. A month where writers come together in mass insanity to churn out 50,000 words before midnight, November 30th.

Insanity I tell you.

And yet, I feel obligated to inform you that I have decided to participate in said bedlam and join the others at the loony bin. This year I’m going to pop my NaNoWriMo cherry and attempt the (seemingly) impossible.

For those of you unfamiliar with this annual phenomenon, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, and every November writers are challenged to writing 50,000 words before the end of the month.

What do you win? You win a 50,000 word first draft is what! Along with what I’m guessing would be a new found love for time spent not writing, an envy of eight-handed aliens (think how much quicker you could type!), and of course the pride and absolute joy at having achieved the unachievable.

Being my first NaNo I have to admit to some nerves. Never have I ever written anything so monstously long in my life. Do I even know 50,000 words? What if I get writers’ block after day two? Will my fingers fall off if I type so much? God forbid, what if I FAIL?

All valid concerns, in my opinion. But none of them compare to the biggest issue of all; What if my story is rubbish and I realise that I’m not, in fact, a writer at all?

Cue teary break down. Pass the tissues will you?

I’ve been reading a lot about how people prepare for the challenge. Plotters and Pantsters, chapter outlines, character profiles, synopses, writing prompts, calendars, word counters, daily goals. The list goes on and yet what is resoundingly clear is that, like with any type of writing, no one way will work for everyone. You’ve got to find what works for you.

So, what am I going into this challenge with? How have I prepared for the ultimate writer’s test? Well, my plot goes something like this:

Chosen one.

Imminent evil.

Kingdom in peril.

It doesn’t look like much, huh? That’s because it isn’t. Whilst I’ve got a few ideas lulling around my bizarre little brain, I’m going to take the ‘pantster’ approach, eg, write by the seat of my pants. I suppose you could say this is an experiment of sorts, seeing as those of you who have been here a while will know that I like to plot. I NEED to plot. But I’m not going to.

Mostly, it’s out of fear that I might realise it’s rubbish before I even get to November 1st and give up before I give myself a chance. But it’s also because the idea of NaNoWriMo is not to write the next best-seller or to start December with a polished piece of high literature ready too submit to publishers and competitions around the world. It’s to overcome inertia, to not over think it, to just WRITE and have something to work with once the month is over. The website explains that:

Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It’s all about quantity, not quality. This approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that’s a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.

To build without tearing down. What a great strategy, who would’ve thought?

I’m going to have a decent go at ‘winning’, but if I finish November with just one page, one paragraph, one sentence even, of perfected prose, the root of an idea that will lead to a better one, or even 50,000 words showing how not to write a novel, then I will have gained something.

It’s certainly not for everyone, but I’m willing to give it a try.

Any other newbies out there giving it a crack? Want to hold hands and weep at the insanity of it all together? Please tell me I’m not alone here!

For anyone wanting advice on how to get through November with some semblance of sanity, head over to Terrible Minds where Chuck Wendig gives some writing advice to help you stay on target during NaNoWriMo.

Happy writing!

~storytelling nomad~

Top 10 Writing Distractions

We all have them.  Those little blighters who woo us away from the actual work, tricking us into thinking it needs to be done, like, now. Here are my top 10, in no particular order because let’s face it, procrastination has no standards.

  1. Food
    Argument: Because I need to eat to LIVE!  Right? I think that’s a pretty good argument, don’t you?
    Reality: Getting up for chocolate, or to open the fridge door and stare for five minutes only to find that it is still stocked with the same products that were there 20 minutes ago when you last looked and decided there was nothing in there you want, is not the same as eating your three meals a day so that you can, you know, live. Get in, do what you need to do, then back away. Also, if you are like me and convinced that chocolate is a plausible energy booster, keep it by your computer so that you don’t “need” to get up for it.
  2. Housework
    Argument: Because a clean house is a clean mind.
    Reality: The wardrobe that has needed cleaning out since 1982 can wait another day while you write your damn novel.
  3. Reading
    Argument: Because Stephen King said that “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.”
    Reality: Reading is so very important to writing, but if you spend absolutely ALL your time reading then you won’t have any time to use all those new skills and words in your own writing. Balance your time between the two.
  4. Staring at Walls
    Argument: Because I can.
    Reality: They’re not going anywhere, look at them later.
  5. Sleeping
    Argument: Because I can’t write with my eyes closed…and I’m tired! And dreams make great fodder for stories.
    Reality: You slept the required seven hours last night and another nanna nap is just not necessary. Yes, bed looks so good right now and it’s cold and rainy outside, but hey, you can sleep when you’re a hundred and eighty and after you’ve published your 50th bestseller.
  6. DVDs
    Argument: Because eight day Buffy & Angel marathons are totally legitimate methods of studying the fantasy genre and excellent examples of brilliant writing (thanks Joss Whedon).
    Reality: Moderation is the key. Get creative inspiration and watch an episode (or four) but then get back to business.
  7. Blogging
    Argument: Because I’m totally honing my writing skills and getting constructive feedback from a wider audience.
    Reality: While you’re blogging about writing you’re novel, you’re not actually writing your novel. Do what you need to do, but don’t forget about the bigger picture.
  8. Social Media
    Argument: Because I have to connect with my readers and get my name out there.
    Reality: Twitter and Facebook and Google+ are your frenemies. They will help you get your name out there and act all nice to your face, but just when you least expect it, BAM! Those good intentions of yours to spend a mere half hour replying to tweets and promoting your blog, all of a sudden turn into the Black Hole of Evil Time-Sucking Badness. Before you know it five hours have gone by and you come to your senses only to find that you’ve been watching ninja cats and talking unicorns called Charlie on YouTube for an unspecified amount of time. How did you even get there? The Black hole of Evil Time-Sucking Badness has ways, and social media is its minion. Don’t be a sucker.
  9. Exercise
    Argument: Because keeping healthy and fit is important.
    Reality: Thinking about exercise, buying gym clothes and talking about exercise are not the same as actually doing exercise. Or so I’m told. 30 minutes a day is all it takes. Do it, then get back to the writing.
  10. Time
    Argument: He’s my arch nemesis and purposefully made it so there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything just to spite me.
    Reality: Time is an asshole. He always has and always will be an asshole. When you have two hours to finish an assignment, he thinks it’s funny to go at the speed of light just to keep you on your toes. When you’re at work with nothing to do he slows down so the minutes drag by and you end up death staring the clock. He ain’t gonna change, so your only choice is to work with what you have seeing as the bastard is not gonna budge.
What are your biggest distractions and time wasters?
~storytelling nomad~

10,000 hits! Milestones & Head Explosions

Kodak Moment - 10,000 hits

BEWARE: Ego on the loose. Proceed with caution.

Last week I reached the 10,000 hits mark on storytelling nomad, which I felt was occasion enough for a kodak moment and a mild case of head swelling (see below for evidence of head explosion).

September was actually a bit special as far as months go with milestones hitting me left, right and centre.

In particular, I had a strong suspicion that I was being stalked by the number 100 after receiving my 100th subscriber, my 100th Twitter follower and WordPress very kindly exclaiming “Sensational!” at my 100th post.  Add to that my 100 words on revenge and I was just about ready to take out a restraining order on my three digit stalker (who I actually kinda like).

Once again, thank you all for the love.  You may have reduced me to a head-exploding-with-fireworks crazy happy person, but as long as there continues to be no complaints, I shall keep on keeping on.

Look what you have reduced me to dear readers! (this picture is not to scale)

~storytelling nomad~

Celebrating my 100th subscriber!

Yeah! 100 active subscribers!

This week marks my 100th subscriber! Hoorah! A big shout out to Darth Draconis at Maleficus Amor who was subscriber number one zero zero.

To be honest, I’m not really sure what 100 subscribers mean.  You see, I have never been much of a numbers person, words have always been my forte.  100 seems like a pretty good number to me.  It’s three digits, it’s an even number, it’s more money than I have in my bank and it’s a number I can count to (just).

But in terms of blogging, I have no idea if it’s a good number or not.  I guess any number over zero means you’re doing something right; it means that someone other than yourself likes what you’re doing.  But is 100 a ‘good’ number in the blogosphere?  Perhaps I’m making a fool of myself celebrating this milestone, while the rest of you laugh with your thousands, or hundreds of thousands of subscribers.

In which case, screw you bitches!  My 100 subscribers are way better than yours.

In the end it comes down to this.  I started this blog just over 3 months ago, with no previous blogging experience, and let’s be frank, no idea what I was doing.  I’m not here for fame or fortune, but an outlet for my writing, my ramblings and my thoughts on whatever comes to mind at any given time.  I have been using this blog as a tool to improve as a writer and to discipline myself into writing more regularly.  In that sense, I feel I have gained immensely from this humble venture.

But the fact that one hundred, and now more, of you are responding well enough to what’s being published here certainly has not slipped my attention.  It may not have been what I set out to achieve, but it’s certainly an amazing feeling knowing that you’re there.  It’s what encourages me to keep going with this little dream of mine, and I truly value the input, reception and good cyber vibes from you all.

Thanks internet peeps.  I may not know what the number 100 means in this blogosphere, but I know that YOU mean a lot to this aspiring writer.

Give yourselves a pat on the back for being awesome.

~storytelling nomad~

The Versatile Blogger Award

The wonderful Maryann over at My Reality Show recently bestowed upon me the prestigious Versatile Blogger Award.  Hoorah! Thanks Maryanne! I feel most honored!

There are four simple rules for The Versatile Blogger Award:

  • Post a link to the person who gave you the award.
  • Tell your readers seven random things about yourself.
  • Award 15 newly discovered blogs.
  • Send them a note letting them know you nominated them.

Seven random things about myself:

  1. I do an awesome pterodactyl impression.  For the best effect I like to make this noise in unsuspecting echoing stairwells.
  2. I have a younger brother called Harry who lives in Germany.  He’s pretty cool actually, although we talk more and get along far better when we live in different countries.  Hi Harry!
  3. I only drink water.  For no other reason than it tastes reallllllyyyyy good and I don’t like anything else.
  4. I will judge you if you mispronounce ‘mispronunciation’.
  5. Although I have strawberry blonde hair, I am under the constant delusion that I am actually just blonde, while the rest of the world believes I am simply a red-head. I am often referred to as a ‘ranga’, an Australia term alluding not so subtly to orangutans.  Other recent friendly names include strawbs and ginger.  At least ‘strawbs’ is relatively accurate.
  6. I am a chocaholic.  I cannot remember a time that I wasn’t, and I believe I always will be a chocaholic.
  7. I can hula hoop like a rock star.  No seriously, I can do that shit for hours.

15 newly discovered blogs:

Ok, so they’re not all ‘newly discovered’, but they are all awesome.  Check them out.  Like, now.

  1. You’re a Writer! – Fantastic encouragement and support for new writers.  I really recommend reading this.
  2. The Bailey Daily – I not long ago reposted one of Shawn’s posts for its hilarity.  I’m a fan of his work.
  3. Sarah Leaps – Recently Freshly Pressed, Sarah’s blog is not your average writers’ blog.  You see, Sarah has some wicked skills with a paint brush….the electronic kind…that you find on programs like ‘Paint’.  She complements her posts with these original artworks, which I believe are extraordinarily entertaining.
  4. The (Writer’s) Waiting Room – Hannah recently provided a run down on how she came to write her first book, in response to my post on how many writers sneakily avoid revealing their method.  Thumbs up!
  5. Divertir Publishing – An independent publisher, this blog gives an invaluable insight into the sort of things writers can do to help get their work published, and the processes that happen behind a publisher’s doors.
  6. The Wuc – This blog is absolutely freaking HILARIOUS.  I get a good chuckle out of it every. single. time.
  7. Just Coop It – I’m a big fan of this talented writer/actor/choreographer, whose book ‘The Song of Earth’ is about to hit a bookshelf near you!
  8. Angela Wallace – Believe, Dream, Awaken – Author of ‘Phoenix Feather’, Angela is a talented writer with a blog filled with book reviews, writerly musings and inspiration.
  9. That Book You Like – Chosen as one of 5 official ‘unbloggers’ for the Melbourne Writers Festival, where I was recently a volunteer, this blog gives some excellent accounts of a whole host of events, authors and sessions that made up the literary festival.
  10. She Thinks Too Much – Currently taking part in the 30 Day Book Challenge, which I had so much fun with.  Worth a read.
  11. Dodging Commas – Check out Stef’s wonderful grammar tips and writerly musings.  It was only today that she passed on this amazing link on semicolons, which I have endlessly struggled to understand.  No more, I tell you!
  12. MJCache – Hysterical blog.  Ends each post with something along the lines of, “I totally klepto all images” or “All images swiped, snatched and nabbed from dear old Google when he wasn’t looking.”
  13. Nitpickers’ Nook – I loved the post on this blog entitled ‘The (non)word that drives me nuts’.  You’ll have to head over there to find out what it is.  If you’re a nitpicker of words, grammar, language and communication in general like me and have been looking for a community of nitpickers to share your woes, then head over to this blog.
  14. Bunny Ears and Bat Wings – Lex shares some fantastic advice and thoughts on writing.  Also, this blog has an awesome name.
  15. The Happy Logophile – A logophile is a lover of words, and you will find just that at the Happy Logophile.  Jo also wrote a superb piece of flash fiction for the revenge 100 challenge.  Check it out.

~storytelling nomad~

 

100 words of revenge

It appears that a bit of phenomenon is taking place over at Chuck Wendig’s blog Terrible Minds.  Each Friday he broadcasts a Flash Fiction Challenge, invoking those willing, to come up with a 1000 word flash fiction story according to the topic or theme of the week, as set by Mister Wendig himself.

This week, however, the challenge was to do the same, but in 100 words.  Yes, write a story in ONE HUNDRED words.  Impossible (to be shouted in thick French accent)! You might protest, but alas mes cheries, it can be done.

I’ve had a crack at doing this once before when entering the 100 Words or Fewer contest, whose link can be found over to the right there under ‘Groovy Links’.  I received some pretty good feedback from my last entry into that contest, and although I didn’t win anything, I was keen to try it again.

So, with that deadline coming up again and with all the action happening at Terrible Minds, I felt that maybe the stars were aligning to send me a message.  Something along the lines of, “Get off your butt and write something.”  Not one to disagree with the star gods, I today took up the challenge.

So what is this week’s theme?  Revenge.  Muahahaha!

Check out all the details about Chuck’s challenge here.  Meanwhile, here’s my entry:

A Royal Retribution

Perched high on her dais, the Queen looked down upon the people of her kingdom.

The nobles shifted uncomfortably, their garments glittering in the afternoon light.  Beyond them, the stench of the penniless beggars rudely invaded her nostrils.

In a magnificent show of dignified ceremony she bowed low to her people and proclaimed,

“Had he remained loyal, I would have seen fit to let him live.”

Yet it was neither these words, nor the sharp sound of the sword being unsheathed that they would remember, but her gracefulness as she knelt to receive the cold blade for assassinating their King.

~storytelling nomad~

Your friendly Friday kick up the backside

Well I certainly needed this kick up the backside today.  Take heed fellow would-be-writers!

Would you have any words of advice for the would-be-writers out there?

Start today. Write. Finish what you start. Submit what you finish. Repeat. Don’t get caught up in the ‘someday I’m going to do that’ trap. Don’t blog and tell yourself that it puts you on the road to being a published fiction writer. It just makes you a blogger. Get your stories down on paper now. Don’t wait. The stories that you can and would write today are irreplaceable. The story you will write at 15 can’t wait until you are 30. It won’t be the same story. It will be gone. Don’t write a lot of stuff in other people’s worlds. You are not a cookie press pushing out dough into a pre-set shape. You’re a writer. If you don’t write your own characters and worlds now, today, no one ever will.

If you don’t write them now, your characters will shrivel up and die, unknown, unread, unmourned, and it will be ALL YOUR FAULT!

(Isn’t guilt a wonderful motivator?)

Robin Hobb in an interview at Grinding to Valhalla

~stoytelling nomad~

What brings you here, dearest bloggers?

I came across this great blog post yesterday, discussing the bizarre and wonderful search terms that had led readers to that particular blog.  Needless to say, it was not long before I was investigating the search engine referrals on my own blog and having a good old giggle and raising a few eyebrows at the search terms that were bringing people to storytelling nomad.

So, what brings you here, dearest bloggers?  Apparently Google logos are as interesting to you as they are to me, because that search comes in at number one, generating a number of hits every day.  Wallpaper background is another top hit, although I think I only mentioned it once and I don’t think I was very interesting about it.  Sorry about that.  A few people have actually searched for storytelling nomad which just brings a smile to my face.  I love you, anonymous internet fans!

But what have been some of the more peculiar searches.  Here I list the top 10, in no particular order:

  1. what does it take to make people go on quotes
    You would think this is pretty self explanatory.  A good quote makes people go on quotes.  Also, there are none on my blog so I’m sorry to have disappointed you.
  2. happy cowgirl
    I hope you, erm, found what you were looking for Woody.
  3. very old positive lady; my nanna; creepy old women; attractive old lady photo
    There are soooo many search terms about old women, presumably leading to my inner nanna post.  I picked out a few of the best.  Firstly, I’m glad that someone searched for a ‘positive’ old lady, as opposed to the negative, grouchy ones that so often plague us?  No, I’m pretty sure your nanna won’t turn up if you Google ‘my nanna’.  Creepy old women…plural?? And an attractive old lady photo.  Look mister, you need to get out more.  Seriously.
  4. if you came to 2 doors ,one is good other is bad and they look the same what question will you ask
    I would ask which one would lead you to better grammar and punctuation.  Or, depending on your preference towards good or evil, you could just ask which one is, you know, good or evil? Or for better signage?  Come on man, you Googled this?
  5. do u love me wallpaper
    No, wallpaper doesn’t love you.  Also, wallpaper is inanimate and incapable of love.
  6. ‘inception’ was masterpiece
    *Giggles*.  This person was probably unimpressed with my stance on this commonly thrown around statement.  Find out more here. #itreallywasnt
  7. spiritually connected to animals
    I’m sure you are, no really.
  8. hell of my own making text
    Please don’t hurt me.
  9. if i am a tree in autumn
    Then I am the sky in summer. Hippie love.
  10. if you tell the truth you don’t need a good memory
    I think you might be on to something here…  Those of us with bad memories, there is hope for us yet!

Okay, so your turn.  What’s the best/craziest/creepiest/weirdest most unrelated term that someone has searched for to get to your blog?

~storytelling nomad~

How to become an author in 5 incredibly difficult steps

An insightful and mildly hysterical look at the 5 painstaking steps it takes to become an author.  I literally el oh elled reading this one.  Thanks to Kate who found and shared this post on her wonderful blog Klebenleiben.

 

How to Become an Author in 5 Incredibly Difficult Steps

By Robert Brockway
June 22, 2011 389,653 views

A while back, I wrote a non-fiction book about the apocalypse. Since publishing the book, the question I get asked the most has to be: “What are you doing in my toolshed?” Second place goes to “Is that my wife’s cocktail dress?” The third is- well, let’s skip ahead to questions not relating to a highly illegal fetish revolving around forbidden sheds and stolen evening wear. People usually ask me: “How did you get your book published?” Everybody wants to know how the process works, because they think that if they can just get the steps for this secret dance memorized, it’s all plaid jackets and grad-student-blowjobs from that point forward. There are a lot of questions and answers for new authors out there on the Internet, but they always seem to skirt the subject in the name of preserving some sort of artistic mystique. As is the case with all nice things, I would like to ruin that tradition. I’ll talk to you about the publishing process honestly and unflinchingly, even when it makes the whole thing (and by extension, me) look kind of shitty.

~storytelling nomad~

Have you been tagged?

The lovely Angela Wallace has just tagged me on her blog in what’s called a meme.  As far as I can gather, it’s like a chain letter for bloggers.  Here we go…

Do you think you’re hot? I have a pretty attractive brain…I can’t prove it to you, but trust me, it’s smokin’.

Upload a picture or wallpaper that you’re using at the moment. I switch between dreamy scenery and fantasy scenes for my desktop wallpaper.

When was the last time you ate chicken meat? Yesterday…home made chicken soup nom nom

What were you thinking as you were doing this? That somebody probably should’ve thought up a better question than “when was the last time you ate chicken meat”.  In fact, I’m going to ask TWO new questions to make up for this travesty:

If you had to make a choice between never being able to read again, or never being able to write again, which would you choose? I think I’d have to go with never writing again.  I found a loophole you see…If I could read and still find inspiration to create stories…then I could just tell them and get someone else to write them.  I’m pretty clever like that.

If you could domesticate any wild animal, what would it be? A lion.  Because they’re like giant dogs, but cats.  If you haven’t heard of Christian the Lion watch this video:

Do you have nicknames? What are they? Not really. Can’t really do much with Katy.  I’ve had someone call me Kitty Kat Katy, while others just don’t understand the whole Katy with a ‘y’ thing as it’s not a common spelling in Australia, so they call me Kathy – no I didn’t forget how to spell my name douchebag, there’s no ‘h’ there for a reason!  One friend calls me Kat-why to emphasise the ‘odd’ spelling of my name.

Tag 8 blogging friends…

  1. Stef
  2. Angela
  3. Kate
  4. Danielle
  5. Charlotte
  6. Gabriellan
  7. Gajjex
  8. Andrew G. Cooper

Who’s listed as No. 1? Stef.  Our inner nannas have proclaimed us kindred spirits!  She also has a great blog over at dodging commas with some excellent writing tips amongst other great reads.

Say something about No. 5. I enjoy reading Charlotte’s posts, particularly what she had to say about females in fantasy.

How did you get to know No. 3? My NaNoWriMo writing buddy! We ‘met’ blogging through WordPress and we’ll be keeping each other motivated when we participate in NaNoWrMo this year.

How about No. 4. Again, through blogging.  Danielle is a 23 year old from Ireland and I love her accent. I’ve never actually heard it, but I love all Irish accents.

Leave a message for No. 6. Very impressed with the quality of your writing at such a young age.

Leave a lovey dovey message for No. 2. Roses are red, violets are blue, I’m sending blog love, right back at you.

Do No. 7 and No. 8 have any similarities? They are both very encouraging and supportive of my blog, and both have impressive blogs of their own.  They are also both male, which I think is worth mentioning, for no other reason than this list is 75% female.

1000 hit milestone. Yeah baby!

Two weeks of blogging bliss

It’s been two weeks since the birth of this blog, and I promise from hereon in that this won’t be a regular thing (me basking shamelessly in blog stat milestones, that is), but as the first ‘major’ one, I feel the need to celebrate.  And to thank you, dear bloggers, for taking the time to read the insignificant thoughts of my creatively inclined brain.  Please don’t stay in there too long, even I get lost sometimes…

Happy reading.

~storytelling nomad~