Tag Archives: novel

Ebooks or No?

I love my Kindle.  It’s impossible to ignore the convenience of being able to purchase a book at any time, even hours after books stores are closed, and then to carry around hundreds of books at once in one small device. I get periodicals, classics, nonfiction, and new fiction on my Kindle, and I simply love the experience.

Right now I’m reading a science fiction novel – but in paperback. This seems ironic to me. Shouldn’t a futuristic book be read on a futuristic device?

There’s no way to fully explain my logic with this one, probably because there is no true logic at work. Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson (cool site!) is a hefty book, weighing in at 572 pages, and it is the first of a trilogy. It’s available on the Kindle. In fact, I might have gotten a better deal with an e-version, as some appear to combine two of the three books in one package.

Still, something about the size of this novel and the scope of its story made me yearn for the feel of actual pages and the smell of paper. At about 200 pages in, I’m glad I bought the print version. It’s great to hold the publication in my hands and hear the sound of the thick book as I flip through its leafy pages to re-read a line I particularly appreciated. The subject may be futuristic, but my enjoyment of it is strictly old school.

This makes me wonder: are there certain books that simply feel better in “real life?” Are some books easily transferable to the monitor – or even made specifically for it – while others are more fun to read in the traditional format?

Or was it just my mood at the time?  🙂

NaNoWriMo 2009: How It All Went Down

Well, I did it. Things were pretty touch-and-go for most of the month, and at one point I seriously considered giving up on NaNoWriMo, but in the end, I pushed through and hit that 50,000-word goal.

To give you an idea of how close I came to losing, here’s a rounded (up?) number for my word count three days before the end of the month: 16k.

When I looked at that number with only three days left to go, I hung my head in shame. I was going to lose. For the first time ever, I began to accept defeat in one of the things I look forward to most each year, like the holidays or my birthday. It was all over for me, and it was still just November 27. There would be no champagne. No winner’s certificate. No 50k words.

Then, feeling glum, I opened my email and read Chris Baty’s “Homestretch pep talk.” This was by way of punishment, really. I figured his words of encouragement would make me feel poorly about my lack of progress, but instead I felt, well, encouraged.

I changed my mind.

What the Great Chris Baty did to encourage me was simple. He broke down NaNo participants into three different categories:

Group One: The Superheroes.” These were the WriMos who had worked diligently all November and had already won or were going to win with no problem. According to Baty, these made up only 3% of WriMos.

Group Two: The Come-Back Kids.” These were the participants who were still pushing through the 20s or 30s and would make a final push for the finish to win at the last minute. They had had some fallbacks, but the end was in sight, and November 30th would be a day of success.

Group Three: The Go On Without Me’s.” This was my group.

I’ve never been in that group before. It’s not the worst thing in the world, I realized. In fact, after reading the pep talk email, I remembered what an incredible undertaking NaNoWriMo really is, and how impressive it is to give it a shot at all.

And then I read this note from Chris Baty to the Go On Without Me’s:

“This is going to sound really weird, but you’re in the best shape of all three groups. You’re off the map, but that’s the point of this escapade. NaNoWriMo is to there to put you in such an impossible situation that you can stop worrying about perfection and achievement and just savor the thrill that comes with making and doing. Think of the remaining days in NaNoWriMo as an anything-goes creative retreat. You sacrificed your novel to the world around you this month, and the world around you appreciated it. But you now get some time for you. You may not write 50,000 words, but you still have plenty of time to create something smaller and equally wonderful. Return to the page—there’s still a beautiful adventure waiting for you.”

That’s exactly what I did. Suddenly I felt as though anything were possible. I’d already given up, so what did I have to lose? I pulled out my calculator and did some minor division (yes, calculators are necessary; I’m a writer, not a mathematician). In order to reach 50,000 words in three days, I needed to write over 10k per day. Impossible? Of course. But if I was going to lose, I was at least going to aim high.

And so, instead of losing, I won.

Yes, I wrote over thirty-thousand words in three days. During that time, I also worked and did research for the class I’m taking. My mind is officially mush, but I exceeded my personal goals, and I’m exhausted but elated. This NaNo win has turned out to be the sweetest of them all because I tried to do something impossible, and it turned out to be possible.

At 11 p.m. on November 30, I validated my word count, and there it was:

Victory is a lovely thing. Sometimes it even comes with graphics of fireworks. 🙂

Several of my WriMo buddies won this year, too, and I applaud them! In fact, I applaud anyone who even attempted NaNo; it’s an amazing experience that has turned November into the favorite (or least favorite) month for writers all over the world. Participating in a challenge to create 50k new words within 30 days shows exactly how dedicated we all are, and we should be proud. Or locked up.

Either way, congrats to every WriMo out there.

Did you participate? How did it turn out for you? And have you dontated to NaNoWriMo yet?

Secrets revealed

I write this as I sit in our “studio,” recording the last video for Myth of the Seeker. I’m squished up against a wall with my laptop on my legs and four of my best friends around me. This is a fun night.

Myth of the Seeker is the name of the secret project I was unable to announce before, and it’s a major experience that has taken up a great deal of my time for the last two months.

Why would I lose eight weeks of sleep over this independent project? Well, for one, it was a lengthy promotion for my book. But it was so many other things, as well: a chance to exercise my creativity every day, another great step for Funnel Productions, and an incredible experience with some talented and dedicated fans.

There is nothing more invigorating than positive reactions from your audience. They’re an incredible motivator, and Funnel owes our listeners a huge amount of thanks. Yes, we read the message boards, and it was comments like these that not only kept us going, but made each day extra-special:

“Just finished listening, incredibly enjoyable, better than what I listen to on REAL radio.”

“Wow, that was great. … Is it just me, or is Creepy awesome? Sooo my kind of lady…”

“Well written and well performed. This was a wonderful way to start the day.”

“this story is getting way better than I ever expected. “

“This has been a lot of fun. I’m really glad this was my first ARG. It has been quite whimsical, which has made all the difference.”

“Really the writing was superb and the pleasure was ours.”

Snorkle256, FSURobbie, Ifihadahifi, Sheep, Tiffany48, Amandel, and everyone else who played along, the pleasure was at this end. Thank you!

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Alternate Reality Games (ARGs), I recommend you check them out. You might find another genre of storytelling that thrills you!

If you’d still like to listen to the radio show, don’t worry! All eight episodes are available to stream online. While you’re there, be sure to check out the fan page, where some incredible fan work has been posted. (and then take a look at From Light to Dark to have more fun in the worlds of the myth!)

And, of course, please let me know your thoughts.

Fiction eBook Review – From Light to Dark by Irene L. Pynn

“Irene has an excellent writing style that will draw you right into this one from the start.”
Fiction eBook Review – From Light to Dark by Irene L. Pynn

Check out this cool review of my book, From Light to Dark!

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Novels, Radios, and Secret Projects

Things have been really busy here, and it’s great.

In addition to my new novel, I’m also working on a project that’s running on another website right now (details about that after it’s over). That project takes quite a lot of time and energy, and last weekend I spent several hours running from one place to another, writing, editing, recording, delivering files, and occasionally banging my head against the wall.

It’s always great to experience the finished product, though, when it finally comes together. That makes it all worth it.

Speaking of finished products, From Light to Dark is doing great at Wild Child Publishing. It has been out less than one month, and in that time I have seen it climb the genre Bestsellers lists (for Fantasy and Young Adult) on their site. It’s a great honor to be rising closer to the top of their fantasy/young adult readership in such a short amount of time!

In other news, I’ll be a guest next month on The Funky Writer’s BlogTalkRadio show! Update to come as the time and date are finalized.

That’s all for now! Back to work over here.

Blog Talk Radio

I was interviewed as a guest on Kim Smith’s radio show on BlogTalkRadio tonight. She’s a great host, and it was a pleasure to talk about From Light to Dark with her. Let me know what you think of the show!

Decisions and Revisions

Today is a day of decisions and revisions.

I’ve been going through my short stories and a novel (requested by an agent) most of today, tightening here and adding there. Whenever I get a free moment, I’m looking at my past work and coming up with what I hope are improvements.

At times this editing process feels as dull as putting gas into my car – just another tedious stop on a long trip that keeps me from my ultimate destination.

But occasionally, revising feels really good. It’s as though I have made a terrible mess of things; there’s mud on the floor and there are clothes crumpled in the corner. Then, like Cinderella, I come whisking in with a smile and soon everything’s sparkling clean, ready for the ball.

Today’s been a little of both. Sometimes smelly petrol, sometimes shiny dance floor.

My new work in progress (Abandoned) is getting some attention, as well, though I need to catch up with my word count. Once in a while you’re having so much fun writing a scene that you linger far too long, and the next thing you know, you’ve lost track of where you were going in the first place. Time to break out the plot map and force some discipline upon myself!

The current scene I’m working on in Abandoned deals primarily with eggs. Not breakfast eggs. Not robin’s eggs. These are giant, cracking, prehistoric eggs that contain a very special secret. Shhh. Don’t tell.

Tomorrow I’ll be a guest on Kim Smith’s radio show on BlogTalkRadio at 830 p.m., EST. Be sure to tune in!

Now. Back to revisions… or eggs.