Be Iconic Live on Lounge Talk Radio Show!

It makes me wish I wasn’t working! Lounge Talk Radio and the ladies behind it are amazing. If you aren’t familiar, you should definitely have a listen! Saturday from 10-10:30pm CST.

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Amity Dawn, GoFundMe, and JaxPPD!

Another progress report, guys.  I know you’re getting sick of them.  I’ll have new content for you soon!  Right now, I’m focusing on getting ready for school, muddling through draft one of Amity Dawn, and fundraising.  It’s been an odd summer; one filled with motivation, support, and love, and it just keeps getting better.

So, let’s start with Amity Dawn.  It’s still a working title, until I can find the one that pops at me.  I’m working through chapter 7 at this point, and getting ready to convert chapters 1-4 into third person perspective.  Kadri is just about to confront the primary villain for the first time, after muddling through lead-up conflicts lackeys for the first six chapters.  I’m excited.  This novel is taking shape slowly, coming to life from the outline I began a year ago this month.  Unfortunately, I put it down for a bit too long, but better late than never, right?  Before long, I hope, I’ll be hunting down beta readers.

As for school, I still need to raise some money to buy my books.  I’m still selling Byzantine chain bracelets for $20 a piece (+$1.50 for shipping within the US).  You can see the details of that in this post.  Alternatively, you can visit my GoFundMe page and check out some of the smaller donation amounts.  They come with neat perks.  =]

Lastly!  I may be sharing a table with another writer friend of mine, J. Meridith Harmon, who has recently released his new novel Snyper: A Matter of Caliberat Jacksonville Pagan Pride Day!  Check it out on Amazon!  Anyway, I’ll be volunteering at PPD regardless, so you should come visit if you’re in the Jacksonville area on Sept 22. =]  If we do get the slot, I’ll be selling bracelets, G&L bookmarks, and possibly prayer beads (if I can settle on a couple of patterns I like, I’m being fickle).  It’s going to be awesome.

See you kids around. <3

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Fundraising for Books!

I hate plugging on G&L, but I need to throw this out there.  I go back to school in September, and I have two books I need to cover before my financial aid kicks in.  That said, I’ve got a little “business” to promote:

I’m going to be selling Byzantine chain bracelets for $20 a piece (+$1.50 for shipping within the US).  I have an array of colors on the way.  I’ll post photos as soon as the rings arrive to give everyone a good idea of the pallet.  I need to sell SEVEN of them to make up the cost of books and materials.  College books are expensive (whine bitch whine).

Here are some examples:

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2013-08-05 16.52.02Chain maille is fun. =]  I still have the black and copper in copper rings, if you’re interested in that.  The new colors are going to come in anodized aluminum.  The clasps are toggle (though I also have lobster, they’re a pain in the butt to get on one-handed).

If you’re interested in picking up one of these spiffy bracelets, feel free to contact me at katiemacconnell [at] gmail [dot] com.  I’ll give you my Paypal details and we can chat about your bracelet.  =]  IT’S FOR A GOOD CAUSE! 8D

Thanks for reading this. <3

 

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Refinement & Personal Growth

I’ve got an update!  Well, there are several updates, really, but this is the first one.

I’ve recently enrolled in Southern New Hampshire University’s creative writing BA program.  Awesome, right?  I know, I know.  I’m still an active supporter of “you don’t need a degree to write a novel.”  It’s true.  You don’t.  You do, however, need experience in editing and refining your work to make it appealing to people.  Some of us have more trouble with that than others, and so I’ve decided to go back to school for something worthy of my passion.  I’ve tried so hard to look for a degree or certificate program that would be a quick fix to my lack of professional direction, but there’s nothing out there that really makes me happy.

Writing makes me happy.

Writing is what I spend my time doing and thinking about.

Helping other writers to write well is something I take pride in.  It’s rewarding for me.

I can’t help writers with any credibility if I don’t further educate myself.  I can’t edit and rewrite my work very well, either, if you want the truth, and some guided direction is going to do wonders for me.  I just know it.  I want to be able to bring the benefit of these courses to others.  I want to be able to help you, my readers, and anyone else who might stumble on this blog.

I also have an announcement!

INKWELL IMAGININGS HAS A NEW CHAPTER!

It’s true!  Our local writers’ group has spread from a small library in Southbridge, MA to three separate states!  I’d like to welcome Inkwell Imaginings – Oklahoma City to our ranks!  Honestly, we never thought it would ever get this far.  Now that it has, though, I’d like to talk to everyone about Inkwell.  I’ve told you about it before, I think.  It’s a group created for local fiction writers to gather socially, get their work critiqued by peers, and celebrate or commiserate over their stories.

Want an Inkwell in your town?  Let’s make that happen!  Keep an eye out for a post on “How to Create an Inkwell Imaginings Chapter Near You!”  I’ll include an FAQ about Inkwell, what we do, how to join or create your own, popular meeting formats, and how to contact me.

AMITY DAWN DOES NOT HAVE A NEW CHAPTER!

Don’t judge me, I’m getting there.  Chapter 6 will be done soon.  I’m debating on whether to go back and fix my first person chapters by putting them in third person, or if I should just write the whole thing, then go back and include it in my first-pass revision.  x_x Ah, writer problems.

Coming up next, a shameless plug for chain maille bracelets that will help me buy my school books… STAY TUNED! Same Bat time, same Bat channel.

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BookTubeAThon and my failure

I began BookTubeaThon on July 15th.  It was a YouTube challenge set by padfootandprongs07 and ArielBisset put forth to drag YouTubers into an awesome readathon.

So, I wrote down my challenges and got to work.  Wouldn’t you know it, work destroyed any time I had to read in a marathon style.  I got through most of American Gods by Neil Gaiman, which is more reading than I’ve done in ages.  I finished it today, two days after the BookTubeAThon deadline  In my defense, I read a second book, short though it was, in the three hours following my triumph over American Gods.

The second book was The Hope Chest, by my friend Jenifer Jennings.  I had promised her I’d read it for AGES and I just suck at life and reading so…. It’s taken me over a year.  I’m a terrible friend.  It’s not something that’s normally up my alley, but I enjoyed it alright.  The collection of stories surrounding the Hope Chest in the novel were poignant and engaging.  I recommend it.

Now that I’m back to reading, I really do need to get more of it done.  I’ve missed it.

For those of you wondering, I will not meet my Camp NaNoWriMo word count goal, but you know what? For once I don’t feel badly about it.  I made great progress in my novel.  It’s something I won’t hate at the end of the event because it was rushed or forced or under-planned.  It’s a piece I have confidence in, and an underlying subject that means a great deal to me.  Despite my word count failure, I’m calling this a win.  Kadri and her crew are coming to life in my Scrivener file, and I can’t wait to have it printed so I can edit it and send it off.

Until next time. <3

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“Traveling with Shadow”

Hey folks!  As you are all abundantly aware (since I post about it on Facebook or Twitter every fifteen minutes), I’ve been reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman.  It’s taken me awhile to get through it, due to scheduling at work and such, but I’ve made significant progress.  All thanks to BookTubeaThon (which I will brief you on in my next post.  There was supposed to be a video, but– no, nevermind, on with the show!).

During my reading and frequent posting about my reading, I’ve met a fantastic bunch of people.  People can talk crap about Twitter all they want, but, if you use it right, you can make some amazing connections and find people you have things in common with that you might not expect.  Which brings me to the reason for this post:

American Gods is really a fantastic book, and it makes you want to follow it, see what the characters saw, and experience what the characters experience.  Shadow, the protagonist, for instance.  Well, this cool guy named Chuck has planned an entire road trip following Shadow’s journey across the U.S. during his time working for Mr. Wednesday and his “cause.”  Tell me that’s not incredibly awesome.  You can’t!  Because who doesn’t want to do that?

The thing is, the Traveling with Shadow project is obviously going to be a bit pricey, as with any trip, and Chuck and his team have created an IndieGoGo campaign to get this awesome plan on the road (pun: intended. You’re welcome).  They’re trying to raise $9000 to cover all of the expenses he’s going to incur.  It’s all broken down on the campaign page, which I’m going to share with you at the bottom of this post. So, why is Chuck doing it?

“When I first read American Gods I fell in love with the book as I’m sure many of you have too. I am curious to see the places in the book, and I think Neil would enjoy knowing that he has inspired at least one person to do this trip. The reason I’m sharing this trip with you, is so YOU can enjoy it too. This book has been loved by many, and this is my way of paying tribute to one of my favorite authors of all time. (I mean, have you read The Ocean at the end of the Lane yet? GREAT book!)”

Now, I know I have Neil Gaiman fans who read this blog, so if you love the idea, contribute!  If you can’t contribute, I absolutely urge you to share the campaign link and tell everyone just why it is you think it’s worth sharing.

I can’t do the campaign justice, so here are the links to everything so you can read up in Chuck and his team’s own words.  They’re passionate about this and so am I–if you’re a Gaiman fan, you might be, too!

Links

Traveling with Shadow – The Indie GoGo Campaign

TravelingwithShadow.net

Traveling with Shadow on FACEBOOK!

The road trip route, via Roadtrippers.com

Traveling with Shadow on G+!

Traveling with Shadow on Twitter!

There you have it, dolls!  Check it out!  Get inspired! Contribute, share, and encourage!

Until next time. *salute*

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Writers and Their Quirks (or an extremely irrelevant opinion on coffee mugs)

I’ve got a lot of friends who are legitimately (versus college dormitories, ‘apartment over the garage,’ and ‘we need ten people living here to pay the rent’ roommates) moving into their own places now, and, naturally, that comes with the need for new stuff.  Furniture, cookware, decorative nonsense, and dinnerware.   Now, I’m a person who likes organization.  I like things to match.  Furniture should be in matching sets, obviously, and your dinnerware?  Absolutely.  Plates, bowls, glasses–gotta have everything looking tidy.

But not coffee mugs.  I think people who match their coffee mugs with their plates and bowls and things have no personality.  When I choose which mug I plan to drink my coffee out of for the night, it sets the mood for everything I do afterward.  I have a mug that I tend to use when I’m catching up on TV shows I’ve missed.  I’ve got a couple for writing.  A couple for reading.  One for crocheting and doodling.  A few that serve multiple purposes.

I’m not a crazy person (that’s probably debatable.  I have no concrete proof), I just think that a coffee mug can possess a lot of character.  I’ve got one with my business card design on it.  It’s pretty.   I don’t use it much, since it doesn’t hold nearly the volume of coffee I’m used to consuming.  (I have been cutting back.  Don’t judge me.)  A coffee mug should reflect the personality of the person drinking it.

Moral of the story?  Don’t be boring.

Don’t believe none of my coffee mugs match?  HERE, LET ME SHOW YOU.  (One of them actually has coffee in it.  =D)

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What are your quirks that have nothing to do with writing?  (Points if they are beverage-related. =P)

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My First Story

So, Camp NaNoWriMo round 2 starts in 10 days, and The Office of Letters and Light is in the midst of a huge summer fundraising drive to keep their offices powered for the year.  One of the mini events associated with this drive is called “My 1st Story,” a social media call to arms for all of us to express why writing matters.  Check out the #my1ststory hashtag chat to see all of the amazing first stories Wrimos are sharing.

https://twitter.com/GogglesandLace/status/347806409246785537

This story about Mara was fully illustrated and I vaguely remember that she and the snake had been friends before she had to fight him.  It was on white construction paper and bound with that plastic party ribbon you use scissors to curl.  It stayed in my desk drawer in my room for about eight years before I threw it out.

Having written Mara’s little adventure 21 years ago, I don’t remember the details, but I’ll always remember the bubble-headed little princess with the brown hair and her squiggly evil green snake buddy.

If you want to show how Stories Matter, go to The OLL’s “My 1st Story” post and use their templates and ideas to tell us about yours!

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The Original 350 Words post, by Chuck Wendig

To prove I’m not an idea-stealing pain in the ass, I have to note that I had no idea Chuck Wendig made an ENTIRE post dedicated to the 350 words a day thing.  I only saw the graphic.  Because I’m lazy and negligent, I didn’t look deeper into it than that.  So, for your pleasure, here is the link to the actual Chuck Wendig post!

(The #350words chat is still going, though.)

HOW TO PUSH PAST THE BULLSHIT AND WRITE THAT GODDAMN NOVEL: A VERY SIMPLE NO-FUCKERY WRITING PLAN TO GET SHIT DONE

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Writing and #350words!

Okay, so I’ve been working on getting my writing together.  I’m really prone to creative slumps (otherwise known as laziness and depression), and I’m tired of giving in to it.  I want a writing career.  I want to breathe life into my characters.  I want a finished product for once.

Well, here’s my solution:Image

 

But seriously, I’ve teamed up with some friends and taken from this piece of Chuck Wendig awesome.  We are going to write 350 words per day, with weekends off, at the very minimum, and complete our works in progress.  We’re going to write as writers should: consistently.

I encourage all of my writer friends to join us!  We’ve got a Twitter hashtag chat going at #350words and we’re ready to be held accountable (and commiserate) for our creativity!

Will you join us?

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