Nanowrimo Time

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I’ve got a book going during National Novel Writing Month! Thirty days to complete a book is a very short amount of time, but it’s not impossible. There are plenty of writers out there in the program, and a several have recommended that I give it a shot. So, this is the first time for me and it’s pretty exciting. Want to know what I’m writing for my thirty days? Sure you do.
It’s a new novel following detective Kathryn Lincoln. The story is brand new, so it has little to do with The Runaway Train. Hopefully, I can hammer out the first draft by the end of the month!
Click HERE for more information about NanoWrimo.

The Release Day Is Here!

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Grab Your Copy Right Here!

I’m very happy to announce that The Runaway Train is now available to purchase!  Yeah, it’s moved out of that preorder stage and right into the BUY ME NOW stage!  Of course, if you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, this Montana Marrenger Mystery is absolutely free for you.  Not that 99 cents is much of a big deal anyway, right?

What’s that, you say?  You don’t have a Kindle?  No problem.  The wonderful people over at Amazon have a plethora of apps that you can download on your phone, PC, Mac, or Tablet!  Seriously, just click here for the Free Kindle Reading App, and you can start reading The Runaway Train in a matter of seconds.

Thank you all for your support!  The Runaway Train was a blast to write, and I can’t wait to hear what all of you think of Montana Marrenger’s very first adventure!

Top Five Biggest Distractions For Writers

Do you ever sit down at your computer with every intention of dutifully hammering away at your WIP, but a little notification pops up that immediately pulls you away?  It could be anything, from an email to a tweet.  You click on the little notification, keeping in mind that you will allow the distraction for just a second before you dive back into that manuscript.  That second turns into five minutes, and that five minutes quickly evolves into an hour long discussion with a friend about the terrible ending to Game of Thrones the previous night.  By the time you come back to your project, the inspiration has passed.
It’s happened to be best of us.  We don’t exactly surround ourselves in a distraction free environment, but we expect to complete our projects in a timely manner.  Here’s my list of the top five common distractions for writers, followed by tips that can hopefully help you create a truly distraction free workplace.

  1. Facebook
  2. Twitter
  3. Notification Center
  4. Yahoo!
  5. Netflix

   Did you notice a trend in my top five?  All of them are websites, and the first three involve social networking.  Bottom line, the Internet is filled with tempting distractions that keep us from the task at hand.
   Fortunately, there are a number of tools available to help get us back on target and focused.  

StayFocusd (Chrome extension). This productivity extension for Google Chrome restricts the amount of time you can spend on time-wasting websites.
Anti-Social (Mac only). Anti-Social keeps you focused by turning off the “social parts” of the Internet, such as Facebook, Twitter and any other sites you specify.
Freedom. This app locks you away from the Internet for up to eight hours at a time.
SelfControl (Mac only). SelfControl blocks email and websites for a predetermined period of time.
Yarny As far as free services go, Yarny is a personal favorite of mine.  It has a place for you to store thoughts, undeveloped story ideas, or whatever you want.  It’s right there and readily accessible for you to begin writing.  When you are ready to go distraction free, there is a fullscreen option to allow you to focus on your writing.  Yarny works with Linux, Mac (Snow Leopard, Mountain Lion, and Lion), Windows (XP, Vista, 7, and 8).

   It can be galling to admit how much time we waste during a typical workday; but with these productivity tools at hand (and a little bit of will power), you should be able to make any computer-related task the unchallenged focus of your attention.

 
 

 

Back To It

It was a long weekend, and a struggle to get back on track.  Today, I plan on following a criminal character that the FBI has been observing.  He’s a smart guy, with OCD quirks that somehow lend to his likable nature.  It’s good that the people who have read the story enjoy this character, and I have a particular fondness for him myself because he’s technically a “bad guy” but yet there is a sympathetic quality to him.  My goal is to have him as a man who exists in that gray area.  Those type of characters have always fascinated me.

In other news, I hooked up a portable 500 gigabyte hard drive to my mac to back up all of my files.  Sure, Drop box is great, but I need my work in more than one place.  It’s sort of like a security blanket that will help me sleep at night.

 

 

 

 

 

Scrivener and Things

I’ve been organizing and writing in Scrivener quite a bit of late. I find that it’s much better than your standard word programs, because it is tailored specifically for writing long documents and keeping them organized. It’s perfect for those nano sessions too!
So, out with it fellow writers! What types of programs do you guys use?