Writer Thoughts-Thursday: NaNoWriMo

Late in October at one of the Halloween Readings that I organize, I listened as several fellow writers and friends discussed plans to partake in this year’s NaNoWriMo. Never heard of it? It’s like a month-long marathon for us writers. It stands for National Novel Writing Month. Think of it as a writing spirit quest if you will. A writer commits to the challenge of writing 50,000 words in one month’s time, therefore writing an entire (or most of) one book. In order to accomplish this seemingly Herculean effort, a writer must write at least 1,667 words a day to finish on time.

However easy it might seem, there is something that we writers seem to excel in all the better: procrastination. It’s one of my top ten talents actually. I didn’t decide that I was going to join the scores of writers participating in NaNoWriMo until 9 days into the month. I should have had 15,0003 words written. Here we are now 19 days into the month and I still have less than 10,000 words. I’m supposed to be more than 1/2 way completed by now.

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Busy Sickly Update…

That feeling you get after you’ve been in bed with a terrible headache ALL WEEKEND…and now, it’s your day to go back to work and you SUDDENLY feel better?

That’s been my weekend, folks.

I managed to get the most demonic headache, a combination of sinus, stress, and muscle all rolled up in a ball and tossed at my head. The sinus part was caused by a Calamondin tree that I have in my apartment (or should I say “had”). The Calamondin is a strange mini fruit tree that has a tiny orange fruit that tastes much like a lime. For some reason, despite it being November, this tree has been rapidly blooming and growing more little oranges. Our weather here in Maine has been warmer than it should be and for some reason, this tree is just absolutely loving it. Problem is that the pollen from these little flowers is super potent and my entire apartment smells like them. One day of sitting here breathing it in made my head feel like I was in Willy Wonka’s tunnel of craziness. The tree is now at my parent’s house after my mom gratefully came and picked it up.

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Night Time, Dotted Line: On the Set!

Night Time, Dotted Line Film

It always amazes me the people that I meet during my day job. Last week before I went on vacation, I ended up helping a couple of guys with hiking boots for a trip to go hiking up north. Both were students from Maine Media, which provides workshops and college courses for anyone interested in film, photography, multimedia, writing, etc. While at the register, one of them noticed my book, “Night Time, Dotted Line” on display, read the back blurb, and commented that it looked like a fun idea to film. Two days later, he came back, bought the book, read it in one night, and asked if he could film a scene from it for his five minute film class project.

It’s always an authors dream to inspire someone else through their work. While I had my dream cast and dream locations, and dream everything else in my head when I wrote the book, I never thought I’d actually get to see it acted out with real people. I visited the set today and watched for about a half an hour as they fixed the lighting, rehearsed the scene, and seemed to have lots of fun doing it.

I’ll be excited to see what happens in editing and what the finished product looks like in a few weeks.

Thank you, Jeff Bienkowski, for being inspired to do this for your project and thank you to your team for having fun with it and doing such a great job so far.

Literary Cooking Adventures will return next week with a special Harry Potter-themed adventure!

Stay tuned!


That One Time I Tried To Make Instant Pudding…And Failed

Since I don’t intend to have a Video Cooking Adventure up until later tonight, I thought I might share one of my first cooking disasters with you. This, in my mind, pretty much sealed the deal for me to always have some sort of difficulty in the kitchen. I was still in school, though what age I’m not entirely sure. If I strain my brain hard enough, I think I can remember it being middle school. I did not cook at this time. My sensibilities were that I had parents, they knew how to cook, and my extent of knowledge on cooking was limited to a Home Economics class where we made granola and smoothies. Even so, cooking is really not the point of this particular memory. All I had to do was mix two things together and wait. And I failed.

My dad had asked me if I could stir up some pistachio pudding for him. I quickly found the box in the pantry and read the directions…sort of. I ripped open the package and poured the puce-colored powder into a bowl. Looking back at the directions, I read that I needed to add however many cups of COLD… I didn’t actually read the rest. In my head, the only thing I thought it could possibly mean was water. My rationality was this: on a package of cake or muffin mix or anything like that, I’d never seen anyone say to add cold milk. It just said “milk”. And no one ever asks for cold milk on any instructions! So why go to the trouble of bolding and underlining COLD on the package? Why not just write “milk” and be done with it? But water! Often times recipes call for HOT or COLD water. That made more sense.

And so, I added cold water to the pistachio pudding powder. Pushing it into the fridge to set, I waited in the living room, blindingly ignorant of the mistake I’d just made. When the requisite time had passed, I returned to the fridge and pulled out the bowl, expecting a shimmering chilled pistachio wonder. It was not to be. Instead, a liquid with the color and consistency of swamp water looked up at me. I asked my dad what I could have possibly done wrong and after we determined my mistake, he laughed and I felt like an absolute moron. He still tried to eat it, just so I wouldn’t feel so bad. But pistachio soup on top of vanilla ice cream really isn’t the same.

Never made that mistake again.



Port-Con Recap


(Pictured from left to right: Top; Scott Goudsward, Peter Dudar, Josiah Pitchforth, and Duane E. Coffill. Bottom: Dale Phillips, Katherine Silva)

This past weekend, I battled hordes of cosplaying people and visited Port-Con, an annual convention celebrating geek culture in South Portland. This was my second time doing an event like this and so naturally, I was a little nervous about some things going in. For one, I was pretty sure that some of the costumes I saw, I wouldn’t be able to unsee (I’m referring to you, man in the pink spandex suit). Some were outrageous, some were super cool, and some were unidentifiable for me. There were lots of anime characters at this con, which is one of the areas I’m not too versed on. I was able to recognize some video game characters here and there and some obvious Doctor Who impersonators (of which there were many). Didn’t see any Harry Potter which struck me as odd, though.

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Guess where I am today?


That’s right! For all of you living, visiting, or passing through the Portland, Maine area, be sure to swing in to the Double Tree Hotel across from the Maine Mall and check out this celebration of Maine’s geek culture. Basically…anyone who loves anime, comic books, superheroes, horror, Doctor Who, video games and various other things will be THRILLED.

I was lucky enough to join some of my fantastic New England Horror Writers colleagues this weekend as we present at a few panels and have our books for sale at the show. I’m joined by Scott Goudsward, Peter Dudar, Dale Philips, Josiah Pitchforth, and Duane E. Coffil. I’m looking forward to checking out some of the other panels being offered (one of which is about world building) and also looking forward to spending some much needed time promoting my latest release, “Memento Mori: Book 3 of the Monstrum Chronicles”.

We’ll be doing 3 panels over the weekend, one each day.

Friday 2 pm: The Basics of Getting Published

Saturday 2 pm: The Pros and Cons of Writer’s Groups (I’m in this one!)

Sunday 3 pm: Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing (I’m also in this one!)

Check out the Port-Con website for more information about the event, when to catch our panels, and where you can find our table in the Artist Alley!

Hope to see you here this weekend!


Updates (And a Headache)

I always have a headache

So…if you hadn’t already guessed, the lack of posts has been because I’ve been battling a pretty major headache the last few days. I thought the photo above was fitting because the new Avengers movie comes out at the end of the week! AHH! So exciting!

I should have a new Inspiration Through Music up for you next Monday, a new Horror-FAIL Friday up on Friday, and a surprise Cooking Adventure up for you all on Thursday to make up for this. Since this is practically the first time today that I haven’t been asleep or away from the computer, I thought I’d take a moment to update you on some new things happening around here.

My current WIP has been a dark quasi-apocalyptic literary fantasy thing for the last several months. I’ve actually been working on it for almost two years, taking significant breaks here and there to pursue other projects. After doing a recent poll on my facebook page, I decided to give it a new title, as it had been untitled for some time. It is now called “The Wild Dark” and I’ll be continuing work on it over the next several months.

The paperback version of “Memento Mori” has been delayed yet another month. My apologies to those who have been patiently waiting. It’s been a very busy last few months and I have been chipping away at getting it done. I’m looking at a late May release for that at the moment. What you might find exciting is that I will be having a book release/reading/signing for it at the Vose Library in Union on June 18th. More details will follow about this and I’ll be updating the website soon.

What else? I’m afraid that’s actually all for now. I’m sure I’ll remember something important after I’ve posted this. The pounding in my head is making it difficult for me to concentrate though. Rest assured if I have forgotten anything, I’ll update the post and put it in the spot hereafter.


Updates n’ Such


It’s been several months since I’ve done a proper update blog, so I wanted to just sit down, listen to my Haddaway, and give you all an idea of everything going on now. Yes… I’m listening to 80’s music. Don’t judge.

BRAND NEW WEBSITE! Yes, if you haven’t been over to the website in a while, go check it out. I’ve changed the domain name back to www.monstrumchronicles.com and have simplified the layout. It looks cleaner, it’s easier to find information, and it looks much more professional. I’m pretty satisfied with it. I’d still like to get a character page up for some of the main characters in The Monstrum Chronicles but that may take a little while.

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Snow-pocalypse: Winter Storm Writing Fun


So, if you live in Maine (or anywhere in New England for that matter), this picture above probably describes how you felt today. On three separate occasions today, I spent time digging out my door from impending snowdrifts, and even futilely attempted to dig out the staircase at ground level before the wind filled it all back in again.

Doing all that work in the bitter cold and cutting wind was, however, a welcome experience for me. Why? Because as I’ve now sat down with a nice hot cup of tea, I’ve returned to an apocalyptic story set during the Maine winter that I’d begun a couple years ago and lost my focus on. The characters have been speaking to me for a while as I’ve been working on other projects and I know I can’t ignore them any longer. I feel as though I’ve found the right mood, the right voice, and the right way to tell this story now and I can’t wait to really buckle down and work on it.

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2015 and Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes Are Happenin’!


2015 is here and the Monstrum Chronicles Blog is undergoing a Re-Vamp!

Well, I’m about fifteen days late for saying “Happy New Year” but I’m going to say it regardless. “HAPPY NEW YEAR!” It’s been a bit of a rough one for me as I’ve been recovering from a nasty kidney infection. I’m finally getting back into the swing of things and am diving right into my plans for 2015. As some of you may remember, I’ve dedicated 2015 to the pursuit of writing, blogging, and enjoying myself versus struggling to try and publish anything new. I’m standing by that assertion about 85% of the way, ha ha.

I have plans to release a paperback copy of “Memento Mori: Book 3 of the Monstrum Chronicles” which released for Amazon Kindle in December of 2014. I don’t have a release date on that at the moment but I’m hoping it should be out within the first quarter of the year (January-April). In addition to the release of a paperback Book 3, I’m currently working on a short story chronicling the adventures of a minor character from “Memento Mori”. This, too, has no release date but it will only be available as an e-book when it’s finished.

And now, for the blog! I will completely admit that I slacked off majorly during the last quarter of 2014. I was so busy trying to get that book published, and once the holidays set in, it left me with little to no time to write blogs. Therefore, since I have more time to have fun with the blog this year, I’m going to return to some blogs that I’m sure have been missed as well as some new ones…

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