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text 2017-08-22 19:57
I Know It's Kind of Early
Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939 - Adam Hochschild
The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 - Antony Beevor

but is anyone else doing NaNoWriMo this year?


I'm doing it, but I will be writing a creative non-fiction book. I spent the afternoon in a research mode black hole and have a topic and few characters to research more. My topic is Italian-Americans who fought against fascism in the Spanish Civil War, creating a separate civil war between Italian-Americans and Mussolini's Italian army helping the fascists. And I picked up Spain in Our Hearts by Adam Hochschild to help with research off Amazon for less than $6. I already had Antony Beevor's The Battle for Spain in my home library shelf.


Got any other recs?



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review 2017-03-24 16:00
Feckless Writing: "5000 Words Per Hour - Write Faster, Write Smarter" by Chris Fox
5,000 Words Per Hour: Write Faster, Write Smarter - Chris Fox

I spend “a lot” of staring-off-into-space time doing stargazing...and find it leads not only to better scenes in my reviews, but to literature work that really hangs together. I used to write 1-3,000 words a week in my reviews...but then I felt I spent my life editing. Now, I become very suspicious of myself once I go over 1,000 words at a sitting, but that's just me. I support my writing habit by doing these posts...a process that has made me more careful than most people with 1st drafts...I've become pretty clear about what I definitely “don't” want in my posts. And yes, that slows me down. It just doesn't slow me down as much as having to decide at some later date to junk 50 or 100 words here or there. But, starting out, I too encourage people to write & write & write. Well, “marinated scenes” are indeed an important key no matter what.


This post on the 5-WPH-book that you’re reading right now made me try writing while walking. I’m still not ready to invest in Dragon yet, so I just used Google Voice to dictate an email to myself on my phone, then copied and pasted into Scrivener when I got home. I walked and talked for 10 minutes, then went in the house and set the timer to edit for another 15. I didn’t stop when my timer went off, but finished the section I was working on. It’s still a rough draft for sure, but I got 1075 words out of about 40 minutes of book reviewing writing – way faster than anything I’ve done up to this point, and I definitely hit that sense of flow.



If you're into self-help books, read on.

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review 2017-03-17 20:44
#ITHINKICAN: "Antologia do Poesia Fã Clube Novembro 2016" by Several Authors
Antologia do Poesia Fã Clube Novembro 2016 - Manuel Augusto Antão

NB: Antologia do Poesia Fâ Clube Novembro 2016 = Fan Club Poetry Anthology November 2016

I doubt anyone else is going to review this poetry book (it’s in Portuguese, not counting my three contributions in English, and it’s poetry), so I thought I’d do it. The problem with reviewing a book with something of mine inside is that it's impossible to get any distance to it. So some of the time I'll rejoice, and some of the time I'll whimper, but I'm afraid that's unavoidable. Beware.


I do agree that reading is suffering as a pleasurable activity. It seems possible though that one of the reasons for this push away from a literary (and literate as some rather startling surveys have suggested) society is that people have a damn hard time finding their niche (Rilke for some of us...) when it comes to reading even though we know where we stand when it comes to religion, politics, music, and even debates on what is and isn’t art. It's almost as if there was some obvious and oppressive majority (our friends) to either instill their taste preferences in us or push us to rebellion through the "TURN THAT SHIT OFF!" gratification system. I doubt most of us (beyond the really hideously sheltered or those raised under horrifyingly religious parents) ever had our parents aware enough of what we were reading to get to the point of telling us to "put that fucking book down and get some fresh air, you pasty hobgoblin!"


If you're into Poetry, read on.


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review 2017-03-04 16:31
50K or bust! : "No Plot? No Problem! A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days" by Chris Baty
No Plot? No Problem!: A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days - Chris Baty


“Anyway, whenever people express their reluctance to invest time in something that won’t have proven results, I ask them what they do for fun on weekends. Invariably, the time they spend running around on basketball courts, rearranging Scrabble tiles, or slaying video-game monsters is not done in an effort to make millions of dollars from corporate sponsorship. Or because they think it will make them famous. No. They do it because the challenge of the game simply feels good. They do it because they like to compete; […] because it feels really, really nice to just lose themselves in the visceral pleasure of an activity. Novel writing is just a recreational sport where you don’t have to get up out of your chair.”


In “No Plot No Problem! A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days”by Chris Baty”


In the last few years I’ve read at least one book a week. Back in the day the number was two books a week.  And yes I haven’t read Twilight yet. Have you? THAT, my dear, is the drivel that you would expect from us non-professional WriMos. I’ve been working on a SF novel since, I don’t know, ages, and if it never gets published I will be fine with that because it's for MY enjoyment and satisfaction that I could do it... Every moron seems to think that we're all illiterate Neanderthals who maybe can read Dick and Jane and Dr. Seuss, but I've read Canterbury Tales in the Middle English, Beowulf in Olde English and Shakespeare in Elizabethan English...Like to see YOU try that!


If you're into the NANOWriMo, read on.

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text 2016-12-07 19:51
NaNoWriMo 2016 Recap



It was a month of a nagging migraine, way too much coffee, and not enough sleep.  But somehow I ended up with a decent word count and a much needed dent in my current work in progress.


Now if even 2,000 of those caffeine-fueled scribbles make it into a final draft I'll count this year's attempt as a big win.


I hope all of this year's participants had as much frenetic fun as I had and that I'll see everyone at the starting gate again in 2017.

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