NaNoWriMo Fun and Useful Resources

With NaNoWriMo almost upon us, I thought I’d post a few links to some fun and useful resources.

Designer David Seah has made available a printable NaNoWriMo word count calendar for 2013. It can be downloaded in PDF format on his website.

NaNoToons is a daily web comic about NaNoWriMo. You’ll recognize yourself and fellow writers in the characters.

Author Chuck Wendig offers solid NaNoWriMo advice along with the usual hilarious dose of snark on his blog “Terrible Minds.”

Not satisfied with your word processor as a novel writing tool? Literature & Latte is offering NaNoWriMo participants an extended free trial of their writing software Scrivener. As an added incentive, NaNoWriMo winners will receive a 50% discount off the purchase of the software.

Still don’t know what to write? TV Tropes has created a couple of hilarious, yet oddly useful generators with endless story ideas from their huge inventory of tropes and media lists.

The story generator does just that, generates story ideas.

The pitch generator comes up with high concept pitches for your next agent meeting. My favorite was “A Charlie Brown Christmas” meets “Say Yes to the Dress.”

Useful? Well, I gave the above pitch a little thought and came up with this idea for a romance.

Chuck Brown, an injured placekicker with the Minnesota Vikings, returns home for the holidays and his upcoming New Year’s Eve wedding to psychiatrist Lucy van Pelt. However Lucy seems to have gone crazy in her quest for the ultimate wedding gown. She’s even signed up for a reality TV show. Chuck suspects this might be a ruse for Lucy to take one last shot at her old flame, the show’s musical director, Schroeder. After his fussbudget fiance flies to New York for the show, Chuck takes refuge in Christmas preparations. Can his loyal dog and a red-haired beauty stranded in the snow help him see the red flags and have a truly happy New Year?

Fun, though not necessarily a story I’d like to write. Nonetheless, it did get my creative juices flowing. You never know what trope might lead to your own original story.

Good luck to all who are participating in NaNoWriMo this year!

My Bully

Free Today on Amazon

This morning, while checking out the Kindle freebies, I found a book on bullying. It’s a subject that’s been in the media a great deal and one that is close to my heart. If you have kids, you’re probably dealing with the issue in some way. If not, you were once a kid and may have been bullied, or you might have been a bully.

In my novel, “Fake,” one of my protagonists, Rhian, deals with a bully in school, while her mother, Bridie, deals with the adult variety. Bullying does not end when we graduate high school. Bullies can be found everywhere and in any age group.

I still remember the name of my grade school bully, though other names have faded away. For privacy sake, I’ll call her Cheryl. She took an instant dislike to me for reasons I will never know. A big, loud, intimidating girl, she hounded me from second grade until fifth, turning other girls against me and driving me out of our Girl Scout troop.

I lost many friends due to her. At the end of the fifth grade, Cheryl caught me alone and, with a sneer on her face, announced, “You have no friends.”

I stood up tall, put my hands on my hips, and said in a loud, “Yes, I do. I have Deana and she’s my best friend.”

Cheryl looked stunned. She walked away without saying another word. To this day, I don’t know why this affected her so much. I can only speculate that perhaps, despite her gang of girls, she didn’t have a best friend.

In sixth grade, I became friends with a wonderful, boisterous girl who let it be known that bullying me was not allowed. I have no memories of Cheryl from middle school and few from high school, except for one poignant incident.

Cheryl was absent for a lot of high school. When she did show up, she often wore some kind of cast, either on her arm, her leg, or even a neck brace. I didn’t give it much thought beyond thinking she was accident prone. In my heart of hearts, I thought, “Karma.”

One day, while I was at my locker, she pulled up next to me on her bike, her arm in the ubiquitous cast, and said, “Hi, Lori! How are you?”

She seemed so friendly and eager to talk to me. I brushed her off with a cautious “Hello.” and a lame excuse that I had to get to class early. I can honestly say I wasn’t trying to be mean. I simply didn’t want to give her the opportunity to start in on me again.

Looking back, thinking of her absences and her injuries, it’s very likely Cheryl was a battered child. She was a target and her way of coping was to place the target on someone else and spew her hurt and wrath on them. I can sympathize with that. I have forgiven her, but despite her pain, her actions are not excusable.  Bullying is never justifiable.

I know that’s a lot of heavy stuff. After that, we all deserve a little comfort, so along with the book on bullying, I included a couple of freebie comfort food cookbooks to lighten the load.

  Help! I’m Being Bullied – 10 practical strategies to stop bullying by Dr. Emily Lovegrove
A fast-track approach to helping children who are experiencing bullying. Dr Emily Lovegrove, an expert on the psychology of bullying, has written this book to help both the children who are being bullied, and their parents. It is based on her research and work with many hundreds of young people and their families. Whilst there are books aimed at teachers on this topic, this is the first book on the subject written especially for the parents of bullied children. It features a new approach to bullies and bullying that has been enormously successful largely due to the fact that it was developed in collaboration with teenagers.

  Easy Coffee Cake Recipes by Jeen van der Meer
It is not like baking a loaf of bread, nor is it as complicated as making a regular cake. Coffee cakes combine effortlessly and bake up into a nice hot sweet treat in a matter very little time. You can go from scratch to eating a slice in less than an hour, and coffee cakes are best piping hot right out of the oven.

  Hot Soups for Winter Warmth by Carol Becker and Linda Wilson
Girl Talk Cookbooks combine stories from actual real-life experiences while growing up and learning to cook with great recipes. This edition focuses on Hot Soups for Winter Warmth. Take a few minutes and remember your own childhood memories along with Carol and Linda. Then create some new memories as you prepare the scrumptious soups. In each cookbook from the Girl Talk Cookbooks series the recipes will change as well as the stories.

Descriptions provided by Amazon

Disclaimers and Disclosures

I found these books via Amazon’s Kindle eBooks store. Resources for free Kindle and other format eBooks are listed in my sidebar.

These freebies are limited time offers, so there is no guarantee any of these books will still be free when you click on the links. Grab them sooner rather than later.

Books that I have previously listed will occasionally come up free again. I add those to my current posts for people who didn’t see them the first time.