until NaNoWriMo 2012 ends!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I Made This!

I Made This

Finished NaNoWriMo in the wee hours of the morning November 29th. Then I spent Sunday and Monday finishing the wine rack (we purchased the wood pre-cut -- I only had to assemble, sand and varnish it) and bottling the rest of our wine. (There's approximately fifteen litres still in the basement, as it's bottled in short bottles which don't fit in this rack.)

On The Beach

Here's our new wine rack with the store bought wine added. My father is now thinking he needs to host an "On the Beach" party to drink up some of this wine so there will be room for his plans for a 2010 vintage.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Bubble Bath FYI

FYI: If you're planning on having a bubble bath in a tub with whirlpool jets, use less product than you would use in a still-water bath tub.

Bubble Bath FYI

Way less product.

Bubble Bath FYI

This from 1/12 the manufacturer's recommended quantity of product.


It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or Treat

This year for Hallowe'en I decided to dress up as a camper at Camp NaNoWriMo.

Camp T-Shirt

November is almost upon us, and that can only mean one thing: It's time for Camp NaNoWriMo! Come join Princess Kendal (wonder dog) and me on this idyllic writers' retreat, right in the middle of your life.

Camp NaNoWriMo

Make sure you come prepared with all of the supplies you will need for camp:

Camp Supplies
Note the emergency survival kit I am displaying with my right thumb. This handy tool serves as both security blanket and emergency communications device. No camper should be without one! (Click on the photograph above to be transported to Flickr where you can view the image with notes explaining other important camp gear.)

Lost in Thought
There is little time for quiet contemplation during Camp. That is why I am taking this moment around my Hallowe'en bonfire to consult my camp handbook while I slowly cook plot ideas over the fire. Note the camp beverages perched on the edge of the fire pit.

Camp Sports

The favourite sport of Camp NaNoWriMo campers is, of course, writing!

The other Camp sport:
The Other Camp Sport
Drinking horrible, teeth-rotting syrup laced with copious quantities of taurine, ginseng and caffeine.

Camp battle cry:
Camp Battle Cry
When the going gets tough, the tough drink two-fisted.

For those less attuned to the great outdoors, there's always our luxury cabins:
Luxury Cabins
Luxury cabins come equipped with heat and electricity.

Here's to another great NaNo.
Best of luck to everyone!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

NaNovelist Woes

My first YouTube video. (Please click through to YouTube to rate it and let me know what you think.)

The story of a girl, a dream, a challenge, a trauma, and light at the end of the tunnel. (A cautionary tale about a possible post-NaNo outcome.)

This video is my entry into a contest to win a spot in Holly Lisle's How to Revise Your Novel course. I'll be working on revising three manuscripts in the new year, so any tips I can pick up from this course should be timely indeed.

Video text written and performed by me. Fabulous graphics also by me (hand drawn with a mouse!) Music by Torley Wong (a human repository of watermelony goodness who has generously released much music and other fine creations under Creative Commons licenses.

At two minutes and thirty-six seconds (actually, 2:35 when I created it -- YouTube added a second somehow) this video was pretty much at the limit of what my poor old computer could process. Even at that, I had to greatly simplify the graphics from my initial concept. The original storyboard was more complex, but involved far too many key frames, causing my animation software to hang every time I attempted to export the file. Simplify, simplify, simplify -- and a conceptual re-write of the visuals to replace a whole whack of raster images with vector transformations -- and my software and I managed to cobble together the video you see here. Sort of a mash-up of visuals à la "Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings" with narration at the speed of The West Wing dialogue.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

High Hopes for a Halcyon Hat Trick

The National Novel Writing Month web site is relaunched for 2009 (though I note it's overloaded as I write these words -- wouldn't be NaNo without a few good server crashes, would it?) and I'm reminded by Selestial's recent blog post that it's high time I updated Dragon Dreams with this year's NaNo plans. So here it is: the official "yep, we're doing this for a third time" post.

"Soaring sights of a sophomore scribe" is replaced with "High hopes for a Halcyon Hat Trick" (I'm feeling confident) and I've updated my NaNo profile with the working title of this year's effort.

When I first conceived of "Love on the Rocks" I thought it would be a < 2000 words short story. I worked on it for a couple of days last spring and quickly realized that, to tell the story I wanted, it would need to be much longer. Much, much longer. That's good news for a NaNo effort, but not so much for a story one is hoping to submit to a short story contest, so I shelved Love and got to work on a different story entirely.

I think that, during my realization that Love on the Rocks needs to be a novel-length work, I fleshed out a decent outline for the piece -- but as I've been working on completely different projects in the months since, it's a safe bet that I'll be revisiting those Love notes soon to see just what it is that I have. (I flew by the seat of my pants for my first NaNo and, while I enjoyed the experience, I'm not eager to do it that way again anytime soon.)

I've got a relatively clear schedule for November again this year, so am going for 100K words and a full novel draft. Looking forward to the ride.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Tis the Season

For the major fan-chosen science fiction and fantasy awards, that is.

The Hugo Awards (World Science Fiction Society) and the Aurora Awards (Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association) will both be presented next month at Anticipation, the 67th World Science Fiction Convention in Montreal.

Even if you're not able to attend Anticipation, the awards are a wonderful opportunity to read some fabulous science fiction and fantasy stories. This is because, not only are lists of fan favourite stories gathered together in one location for easy access, but many of these stories are currently available to read online or download for free.

With huge numbers of new titles published every year, and tight personal finances, it can be difficult to part with one's hard-earned cash to test drive a new-to-you author. Now you don't have to. Check out the list of Hugo Award Finalists for links to free downloads and online versions of most of the short form works on the Hugo ballot (including James Alan Gardner's wonderful best novelette nominee and Sturgeon Award winner "The Ray Gun: A Love Story"), plus Cory Doctorow's best novel Hugo finalist and Campbell Award winner Little Brother.

Finding free offerings from Aurora Award finalists takes a little more digging, but the awards Short List contains links to many of the author's personal web sites where more information on nominated works and often free excerpts (and in some cases entire stories) can be found. These include:

You can read my reviews of some of Rob Sawyer's novels and short stories, including reviews of two of the stories featured in Identity Theft, "Kata Bindu" and "Immortality" here and reviews of Doug Smith's Impossibilia as well as several of his short stories, including "Bouquet" here -- but don't delay jumping on this opportunity to read the actual stories themselves. Many will only be available for free for a limited time. (Voting for the Hugos closed yesterday, and Aurora Award voting closes July 15th.)

So go, read some great stories. And, if you're Canadian, please consider supporting Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy by voting for the Auroras. (Voting details can be found

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Rainbow Dragon Recommends

I met up with Douglas Smith at a genre writing convention last month at which I had the opportunity to pick up some of Doug's writing including his wonderful new short story collection Impossibilia.

The lead story in Impossibilia is so brilliant, I had to do what I could to spread the word about this important work, so I've revamped my reviews web site and added several new reviews this month (including reviews of Impossibilia and the individual stories within).

Both Impossibilia and its lead story "Bouquet of Flowers in a Vase, by Van Gogh" are finalists for the 2009 Aurora Awards. If you're a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, you can become a voting member of Canvention and cast your vote for the Auroras.

Check out my reviews, read story excerpts and get ordering information on Doug's web site, then visit the Canvention web site for voting details.

Script Frenzy

Somewhat after the fact, but...

I participated in Script Frenzy this year and met the 100 page challenge.

I got started late. Had some exams and term papers due the first week of April and consequently didn't even start to think about Screnzy until the 4th or 5th of the month. At that point, I had no plans for a story of my own that I wished to tell in script format, so I mapped out a Babylon 5 fanfic that I'd been wanting to write for a number of years.

My story is large cast and involves a number of crowd scenes as well as some large and involved sets which just wouldn't work shot on bare sound stages in front of a green screen. In short: considering the no-expenses-spared budget the B5 powers that be afforded The Lost Tales, there's not even a pipe dream of ever seeing my story on screen. But I had fun writing it, and it was good to stretch my writing muscles by playing in a different medium for a while.