29 April 2011

Follow Friday For Writers

Thanks For Stopping By For Follow Friday For Writers , hosted by Elizabeth Sharp at Sharp Words

This week Elizabeth asks, "Who has been most supportive of your writing?"

The addition of the word 'most' makes answering this question a near impossiblility.  My husband is pretty supportive...(he believes I will sell a million books and facilitate his early retirement.  Most likely pipe dreams, but I love that he dreams big!  That's support.)  My fantastic friend Leslie has been a great listener and willing test subject, which are two invaluable assets as I make my way through this novel.  My sister, Rachel, is unmatched when it comes to discussing ideas, plots, and conflicts. You can always trust your sister (well, at least this brutally honest sister) to give it to you straight.  Whether she advises, "Shread it and try again, chickie," or "Love it! Keep it!" you know you're getting her honest opinion.  Last but certainly not least is my brother, Mark.  Extremely intelligent, creatively gifted, and analytical, my brother takes in my words and examines them.  He notices things I miss.  He gives a reader's perspective.  He asks how much I've written, how my writing is going, if I'm meeting my goals; he tells me that I can do this - and that I do it well.  

These pillars of support work in tandem, together forming the 'most' that I cannot relate into a singular person. ~ Nadja

27 April 2011

ROW80 Updates ~ 04272011

Hello Everyone!  Thanks For Stopping By Today's Round Updates........

It is goal day for this writer.  Thirty-five hundred-plus words written is a sweetness to relay (at least that they are written, I cannot say they will be sweet to type into the book file on my computer).  Over the week, I visited A Round Of Words to read one of the guest posts.  It talked about setting deadlines. ( Click here to read Make The Deadline Real)  I have enjoyed such success with setting weekly goals since joining this 'Round' that I think I will try on a deadline.  So, I've set June 23, 2011, as the deadline for the novel's completion.  A sense of apprehension accompanies this statement.  Can I complete my story in the set time-frame?  Will I rush because I feel the deadline looming over my shoulder as the date nears?  And ultimately....... The novel's completion places me one step closer to submissions to publishers.  What if no one likes my story?  These thoughts swirl through my mind.  I confront them by setting the deadline.  I push them aside and pick up my notebook and pencil. 
~ Nadja

24 April 2011

Easter Sunday.....Celebration, Cooking, and Check-In

Happy Resurrection Day Everyone! 

Another Sunday check-in has come around for the participants of A Round of Words in 80 Days and I can merrily confess to being ahead of schedule with my weekly goals.  My usual routine is to hang out on Friday nights with two great friends at a local coffee/book shop.  We let off some steam concerning our work, browse the shelves in search of a good story, indulge in cinnamon cookies, and laugh.  Mostly, we laugh.  (Okay, we also take a sneaky-peek at some delightful creatures that the Lord has blessed with....well....charms, let's say.  Unfortunately, they are only found online.  We have never seen one 'in the wild'.)

This week, our plans had to be cancelled, much to my dismay, but it allowed me to add another block of time for writing.  I even plotted out the next two chapters, and I, Nadja, am not known for disciplined plotting.  It was necessary, as certain story elements must happen before Drago's next match while allowing a fixed amount of time to pass between them as well.  Also, I discovered that calculations were needed to accommodate  the time difference between Hamburg and Philadelphia....(Five hour time difference, then add in for daylight savings due to the season...)  I felt like a mathematician, meteorologist, and life coach that night!  Anyway, suffice to say I made it through. 

On a lighter note, I watched The Ten Commandments with Charlton Heston and Yule Brenner last night.  What a fantastic movie!  It was certainly ahead of its time.  The significance to my post is this.....Obviously, Charlton Heston was the hero, being Moses.  Everyone loves Moses - especially the wily temptress Nefertiti.  Unfortunately, I loved Ramses.......the horrible, cruel (may I add powerful and beautiful to behold in here too) Pharaoh.  Alas!  It is my lot in life.  Annually, I watch and think Nefertiti a fool...which leaves me to ponder my preferences.  I'd love to get some feedback from others on this topic....Which is it, ladies?  (Men can choose between angelic and devilish heroines too)  Moses or Ramses?  Robin Hood or the Sheriff of Nottingham?  Count Dracula or his hunters? 
~ Nadja

22 April 2011

Friday Blog Hop For Writers

   Follow Friday Hosted by Sharp Words
Welcome to the Writer’s Follow Friday Blog Hop! Not sure if you qualify? If you have a blog to add, guess what, you’re a writer! So check out the rules, grab the link and join the hop! We’re small for now, but we hope to continue to grow.

This week’s featured guest is Michelle Ferguson of Michelle Ferguson Books .

How do you join in the fun? So glad you asked. It’s really quite simple.

The rules
  • 1)      Follow me, Elizabeth Sharp, the host of this hop
  • 2)      Follow the featured author of the week.
  • 3)      Go to Sharp words and copy the image code found there and paste it in your blog. Add your name to the link at the bottom of the post while you are there.
  • 4)      Copy and paste the rules in your blog, as well as this week’s question.
  • 5)      Answer the question
  • 6)      Follow, follow, follow. This is about networking, people, making connections with people in your community. So talk to us. We don't bite! This post serves as the perfect place for you to say hello.
  • 7)      If someone stops by, says hi and follows you, the polite thing to do is follow back.
  • 8)      Comment here and introduce yourself and you just might find a new follower or two.
enough boring stuff about me, I feel like I just answered a online dating 

This weeks question:
For me one of the most useful tool in my writing arsenal is Urban dictionary. What is your most referred to website for your writing?
I'm certain it is Google/Bing.  I constantly search for information using these two search engines.  I put post it notes on the sides of my writing (yes, I'm still writing long hand.  It makes me happy and I confess to loving the smell and feel of good 'old fashioned' paper.)  and later Google/Bing all my questions/ideas.  These websites have replaced my thesaurus, dictionary, encyclopedia, as well as saving me countless trips to the library (although I still do frequent our local library).  I also depend on these sites for images.  Recently I was researching the city of Bratislava, Slovakia.  The images  from Google were extremely helpful in aiding my description of certain parts of the city.  With a few taps on my battered keyboard, I had the city's map before me, knew the locations of various districts, and was able to see homes on the market and even take a few virtual tours.  All I can say is, "Thanks Google!  You make researching one of my favorite parts of writing."  ~ Nadja

Don't Forget To Play By The Rules.......And Have A Great Weekend!

20 April 2011

Nadja Notariani ~ ROW80 Check-In 20 April, 2011

The End Of Week Two.....Beginning Of Week Three........

A Round Of Words In 80 Days (Click Here)
Hello fellow writers!  My second week comes to a close and I prepare to begin week three's challenge.  So far so good.  Once again, I have met my word count goal.  This whole accountability thing has been great for me, and it feels extremely satisfying to watch my notebooks grow with a story I love.  I'm over the moon with my progress, and with the week in general.   

Another interesting development (at least for me) was a solid idea for my next novel.  I had been tossing around a character/plot(s)/setting that just wouldn't come together enough to satisfy me.  Well, my theory is, "Wait for it.  Good things come to those who wait.",  so I waited.  Sure enough, while laying in bed the other night in that 'half  asleep' mode after an evening spent wrestling with the issue, my eyes flew open with the proclamation,  "By Arthur Conan Doyle's nipples, I've got it!  (Okay, I didn't really proclaim those exact words...it may have sounded more like, "Please don't let me forget this by tomorrow morning.", if I even managed coherent sounds.  Work with me, people....I'm attempting to make these blog posts entertaining as well as informative.)  Anyway, about 10 pages of research later and a whole new understanding of some fantastic legend and lore from the Middle East has me plotting/planning like a maniac in the moments I'm not writing.

Putting my ridiculous sense of humor aside.....This week also marked the Passover.  Usually, this holiday is celebrated with a traditional Seder at our home.  Lamb, matzah, horseradish root, and a place for Elijah have become comforting reminders of freedom from bondage.  ADONAI led the Israelites out of their bondage under the hand of the Egyptians at the first Passover, and later He supplied The Lamb that freed us from bondage to sin, allowing death to 'pass over' us through the person of Yeshua, His Son.  We had a simple dinner this year.  I read the Passover narrative to my sons.  We will celebrate the resurrection this Sunday amongst family friends with a wonderful dinner.  I know many do not hold my beliefs, and I respect that.  Whether one does or not, the beauty of this celebration can be appreciated by all.   

Have a wonderful week everyone. ~ Nadja 

17 April 2011

Nadja Notariani ~ ROW80 17 April Check-in

Weekly Goals ~ A Round Of Words in 80 Days ~  Vini, Vidi, Vici.....
Hi Everyone!  I hope you have had a terrific week.  My novel, The Slovakian, (To see an excerpt, Click Here) is coming along nicely and I am halfway to my 3500 weekly word goal (I am in my mid-week check-in).  And I've still got this glorious Sunday to write!  Typing is an entirely different matter.  I am currently comparing Scrivener to OpenSource...... We'll see.

Yesterday was an extremely productive day for me.  My house was empty for a few hours (it was the first day of trout season - meaning exit stage left - one husband and three sons), and all I can say is what a difference a little peace and quiet make!  I wrote for three 40 minute bursts producing most of my daily goal. The rest, as they say is gravy.

 After meeting/exceeding my goals for the day, I wandered into the living room (what is that???) where my husband and oldest son were just sitting down to watch Monty Python's The Meaning of Life.  My favorite part is within the "growing up" section.  A classroom full of British boys are sitting in preparation for their lesson, which as the instructor arrives we discover is to be on the subject of sex.  The boys squirm as teacher asks if he has previously covered such subjects as foreplay, penetration, and vaginal juices.  For some classroom practice on the subject, he asks, "What are some ways to get the vaginal juices flowing?", and then calls on a student named Watson who answers meekly, "You could rub the clitoris."  Of course teacher acts as if he's just given a ridiculous answer, not because it's incorrect but because after asking another student the same question he answers, "You could give her a kiss." Already in stitches over the mock staunchness of the British while facing sensitive topics, I laughed even harder as the teacher praises the student for saying a kiss and adds, "A kiss!  Yes, How ingenious!  We won't go stampeding toward the clitoris like Watson, now will we?".   As a romance writer I have described some pretty steamy love scenes; as a reader I have encountered a great many of them, some wonderful - some awful.  Forever I will associate those poorly written, rushed love scenes with the poor Watson of the movie.   I thought Monty Python offered appropriate advice for myself and fellow romance writers...let's not go stampeding toward...well, you know. 

Enjoy the rest of your weekend ! ~ Nadja

16 April 2011

Congrats Gabrielle!

 A Shout Out To Fellow Author Gabrielle Bisset...........

The cover for Gabrielle's book, Stolen Destiny, arrived, and it is great.  Take a peek before it's release date (e-published in June and print published in November, I believe). 
Congratulations Gabrielle!  ~Nadja

15 April 2011

      Follow Friday ~ A Blog Hop For Writers......
Click here to join in the fun, but don't forget to play by the rules!

The rules
1)      Follow Elizabeth Sharp, the originator of this hop
2)      Follow the featured author of the week, Paige W. Pendleton.
3)      Go to Sharp words and copy the image code found there and paste it in your blog. Add your name to the link at the bottom of the post while you are there.
4)      Copy and paste the rules in your blog, as well as this week’s question.
5)      Answer the question
6)      Follow, follow, follow. This is about networking, people, making connections with people in your community. So talk to us. We don't bite!
7)      If someone stops by, says hi and follows you, the polite thing to do is follow back.
8)      Comment here and introduce yourself and you just might find a new follower or two.

This week, our host asks........

This week's question is: Shakespeare asked What's in a name? But we all know better. So let's talk about names, specifically our blog's name. How did you come up with yours?
I went with the straightforward approach when choosing my blog name.  As an author, I am currently working on a romance novel, but you never know what idea might take hold of me for my next book, so I went with something that will be appropriate no matter what genre I delve into!  I added a bit of my personality to the blog through my background and images, and of course, through my posts. 
Happy Friday everyone.....and welcome to the weekend!

13 April 2011

Nadja Notariani ROW80 Check-In 13 April, 2011

Finishing Up My First Week...........

Today marks my second check-in, signalling the end of week one.  I'm happy to report that I did, in fact, meet my 3500 word mark!  I'm happy to report that I did, in fact, exceed my goal to visit at least two author's pages!  I didn't, however, type a word of my novel.  I thought to purchase Microsoft Office over this coming weekend, but a fellow author and friend suggested  downloading Open Source , a free alternative.  I'm all about saving my money for more pleasurable activities (typing doesn't break my top 100 things to do...lol), such as a new wine making kit or my 'super-luxurious-vacation-fund'. 

Round of Words in 80 Days

ROW80 is still open if you are interested in joining up.  The round continues through late June, so there's plenty of 'goal reaching' time left.  The link above the image will take you directly to the ROW80 blog page where you can read all the posts of the current round. 
 I've enjoyed visiting other author's pages more than I expected to.  Thinking that it would take away from the precious little time I have for writing, I worried.  In fact, the opposite has proven true.  I've been encouraged and even challenged!  Over at Deniz Bevan's Blog the author posted a request for 'an awesome line' for one of her novels, and since I enjoy this sort of thing, I jumped right in.  I keep going back to check for other lines, and can't wait to see her final choice. 

Most importantly, I discovered something about myself as a writer.  It was accidental, I assure you, but nonetheless satisfying.  Feeling the time crunch during the week, I had only 40 minutes before I had to take one of my sons for his MMA sessions.  I set my timer to 'remind' me when it was time to leave.  It was the most productive writing time I'd had all week for such a short time period.  So, I've switched from sitting down to complete 'x' number of pages or words, and started allotting myself a set time to write before stopping.  I like the freedom to just write until the timer goes off, and my boys love knowing the exact moment I will be available for 'requests' again. 

Hope your week has been great! ~ Nadja

10 April 2011

Nadja Notariani's ROW80 Goals Update 04 April

My First Check In........

I joined this cycle of ROW80 last Tuesday evening, so this is my first check-in.  I'm happy to report that I'm more than half way to my weekly goal of 3500 words mid way through my first week (I haven't written yet for today), reaching 2120 words last night!  I'm hoping to write about 5 pages today, which will leave me only about 50 words shy of my weekly goal.  This would be a perfect scenario, as I teach during the week and have little time for writing Monday through Friday. 

Visiting at least two author's pages per week has been the easiest part of completing my goals.  I have already exceeded my weekly goal, and have enjoyed seeing other's goals and learning about their writing projects. 

Sadly, I have not typed my half hour a day I committed to......in fact, I haven't typed a word.  I'm not satisfied with the program on my computer, and have decided to purchase Microsoft Office next weekend.  Then I will have to' man-up' and get to typing.  My adorable husband offered to type for me.....and my lack of ambition tempts me to take him up on his generous offer (I'm certain he has no idea what he's actually offering......), but the sad fact is that he is possibly the worst typist on the planet, making his offer nothing more than a mirage in the desert of words I am surrounded by.....sigh.

Overall, it has been a satisfying couple of days.  Productivity is high, ideas are flowing, and Nadja's a happy woman. 

09 April 2011

A Computer Idiot At Heart..........

In an attempt to change designs, I have somehow erased most of the content of my page.  I am simply ready to throw this computer through my window, eat chocolate, and smoke cigarettes........but I won't.  I'll keep tinkering with this wretched, wretched blog design until I either figure it out or can call a friend tomorrow and hopefully discover how to fix my .......whatever.  This was supposed to be simple....I've done it before.......What the deuce??? ~Nadja

08 April 2011

Friday Bloghop

Well, Thank Goodness It's Friday!  Hope you all had a great week.  I've been writing away in an effort to meet my goals set this week for Round of Words in 80 Days.  I'm almost halfway to my minimum goal, and it feels terrific since the weekend is still before me.  I'm looking forward to spending tomorrow at home (wearing my comfy clothes) with a mug of hot tea and my antiquated notebooks furiously writing  while perched on a kitchen stool in a peaceful, quiet home with a scented candle ....wait.....
I think I confused myself with someone who doesn't have a houseful of boys running around.  But I will write!!!  (puts on my best Yule Brenner impersonation while stating in a commanding voice....,"So it is written, so it shall be done.")  Have a productive weekend everyone!
Elizabeth Sharp Hosts "Follow Friday: A Blog Hop For Writers"..............
As the title suggests, this blog is for anyone who writes whether it be novels, novellas, articles, or blog posts!  This week's question is,
How do you deal with a bad review?
That's a tough question.  I take a lot of pride in my work, so it would be very unpleasant to discover that someone thought it was terrible.  Furthermore, my reaction would hinge on the type of bad review.  For instance, if a reviewer claimed that I had made historical errors which ruined the book for him/her, I would have to seriously take a look into my research to see if I could correct my errors.  If the problem was simply that the reviewer didn't like my story, but acknowledged that it was well written, then I would let it roll off my back like water off a duck!  We can't all like the same things, right?  But if a reviewer claimed that my writing was done poorly, well......that would smart a bit.  I have fellow writers to read/critique my work.  These are people I trust to give it to me straight and that have the skills necessary to perform the job.  In the end, I would trust their judgement over any reviewer.  We would all meet up and "discuss" the reviewer and end up laughing away the evening over coffee at the local bookstore or drinks at the nearest hot spot. 
In the end, I would remember these words......,"To thine own self be true....."
How do you join in the fun? So glad you asked. It’s really quite simple.
The rules
1)      1`. Follow this blog.
2)      2.  Follow Elizabeth Sharp, the originator of this hop
3)      3.  Follow the featured author of the week.
4)      4.  Go to Sharp words and copy the image code found there and paste it in your blog. Add your name to the link at the bottom of the post while you are there.
5)      5.  Copy and paste the rules in your blog, as well as this week’s question.
6)      6.  Answer the question
7)      7.  Follow, follow, follow. This is about networking, people, making connections with people in your community. So talk to us. We don't bite!
8)      8.  If someone stops by, says hi and follows you, the polite thing to do is follow back.
9)      9.  Comment here and introduce yourself and you just might find a new follower or two.

05 April 2011

Goal Setting, Accountability, Encouragement, and New Acquaintances - All In One Stop!


A fellow author suggested I check out Round Of Words In 80 Days, which is a site dedicated to helping writers set goals, prioritize, assess goals, encourage others, and advance skill.  I was impressed when I visited, so I have signed up for the challenge!  Click the link above for more information .........

Setting goals is always scary for me!  I'm too often worried that I won't meet them due to my busy life as a wife/mother/teacher/absolute clean-freak......etc., so I neglect to carve out time for writing.  ROW80 will have check-ins each Sunday and Wednesday, and having that accountability will help me to 'push on' when I'm feeling like an early bedtime or tempted to spend my writing time reading. 

Nadja's Goals For ROW80 ~
I am working on my first novel, which I'm temporarily calling The Slovakian.  I'm not sure that title will stick, but it has won the title of...well, title by default for now.  I am currently at about 45,000 words, and I hope to reach 80,000 by the end of my 80 days!  That's almost 3500 words a week (or about 15 pages), which is a lofty goal for me, as I have been averaging 2000-2400 words a week. 

 My second goal is to begin the unhappy job of typing those words.......(yes, I have them written out longhand....no, I don't write on a computer.....yes, I'm practically medieval....and UGH!  No!  I haven't typed a word of it!!!!)  I am a fairly quick typist, but when typing large amounts, my fingers reach a point where they absolutely refuse to behave.  All of a sudden,  left thinks it's right, right is convinced it's left,......... and people are 'dink' instead of kind, and 'eyes' become 'yeys'.  My goal is to type for 1/2 hour each day.  No exceptions!  Actual word count is unimportant, I just want to discipline myself to work on it every day.  

Third, I will committ to visiting at least 2 author's pages per week.  I am new to writing, blogging, and the world of authors and publishers, and I want to make new acquaintences, share ideas, encourage, and be encouraged.  Writing is immensely satisfying for me, and I want to meet others who share that passion.  Having made a few friends who write has made a world of difference for me!  I love reading excerpts, blogposts sharing what they are currently working on, and their feedback on my thoughts, too.  

Ready for a ROW80......................