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Nanowrimo – FS Vigilance Chapter 6

As I struggle at 37,000 words to reach 50,000 by Sunday night, I thought I’d post Chapter 6 for anyone who wants to do some long weekend reading. Look for a few more posts in the next couple of days, especially since Happily Never After has been released (written with my co-author John Peck under the penname Jack Heckel). Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the U.S.!

Chapter 6

Less than an hour later, Rigel was in the monitor room, scanning through images of women that fit the mental picture she had obtained from Snowfall, when Nightstar arrived with Protector.

“Since it was the woman who spoke to you and Snowfall, Protector, can you help with the identification?”

“Sure,” he said. His tone made Rigel stop her scan.

“It wasn’t your fault.”

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Nanowrimo – FS Vigilance Prologue

Hi Everyone! I’m going to post my Nanowrimo entries on a regular basis as I try to fight my way to 50,000 words in one month. Here’s the start (and you choose the concept, Bill Kahn!):


Agent Erica Sampson felt her stomach twist. Although she’d been on plenty of dangerous assignments even to parts of the world where just being a woman put you in jeopardy, meetings made her nervous. The fact that her meeting was in a top secret bunker buried beneath Washington, DC only made it worse. She reminded herself that her invitation was a compliment.

A couple of guards, tough-looking men that stood at attention stiffly enough to proclaim themselves as ex-military, stood in front of what looked to Erica to be a vault door. They checked her badge, before letting her step over to the computerized handprint and retina scanners on the wall next to the door. Something about the men reassured her. Computers could be hacked; humans couldn’t. Or at least, far fewer people could hack them.

She placed her hand against the cool surface of the handprint scanner. Her hand seemed small compared to the large outline. After a second, it beeped, and a blue word displayed over her hand. “Authorized.”

She peered into the retina scanner and saw flashing lights. “Authorized.”

With a metallic clang and a whoosh of air, the door swung partially open. She stepped inside to find herself not in a meeting room, but in something that resembled an airlock or decontamination chamber. She faced another metal door, sealed shut in front of her. After the door behind her closed, the hair on the back of her neck rose slightly.

She was trapped. Read the rest of this entry

Nanowrimo 2014 – What to write?

So, we have only a few days before Nanowrimo, and I feel like I’m a kid who doesn’t know what costume to wear for Halloween. One of the most important things to do before getting started on National Novel Writing Month is to have a good idea on what you want to write. You don’t want to lose momentum on writer’s block with only 30 days to do 50,000 words.

As each day ticks down, I find myself still uncertain. Here’s my logic so far:

  1. I’ll need to work on Book 3 of the Charming Tales as Jack Heckel, but John Peck, my co-author, agrees that Nanowrimo has been good to me and that I should participate.
  2. Whatever I write should be something that I already know and love so I don’t have to spend a lot of thought energy on it.
  3. Therefore, I should do my superhero team that I did last year, or the Crimson Hawks or Krueger.
  4. I think the mood of Krueger and the Hawks will take away from my ability to focus on Charming.
  5. In conclusion, I should write Freedom Squad.
  6. Finally, I can’t think of a plot for Freedom Squad. ACK!

LOL! Having gNanowrimoone through all of that, I’ll probably write Freedom Squad. If anyone has any ideas, feel free to comment. I don’t mind suggestions. Also, if anyone else is going through a similar issue with decisions, let me know.

Nanowrimo is coming!

Nanowrimo is Coming!

It’s early October and I’m suddenly struck with that feeling. It’s coming. November, aka…

National Novel Writing Month.Nanowrimo Winner

50,000 words of total writing madness in 30 days, all the while dealing with everything that life throws at you. Plus, this year, I have an extra challenge or two – new book proposals and writing on Book 3 of the Charming Tales.

Part of me, the sane part of me, says “Don’t do it this year. You don’t have time. You can’t. Would you risk Charming for National Novel Writing Month?”

The crazy part of me, says “AHA! What a great story it would make if you succeeded!”

I’ve done it every year successfully since 2009. I certainly don’t want to stop now. I always tell people who want to try that whether you succeed in writing 50,000 words in a month or not, you will certainly have more words than you started. I believe that. When I first tried Nanowrimo, I failed utterly and ended with only 8,000 words or so. That failure eventually turned into Souls of the Everwood, my first Krueger novel.

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Preparation for Nanowrimo

As the countdown continues to November 1st, I’m doing my best to get ready for novel-writing. For me, there are a couple of steps that I will be taking to make sure this year starts out well.

Love an idea and outline it –  I want to have an idea and usually I have two or three on that last day. I like having two in case I suddenly have cold feet about the one I decided to do. I’ll do some preliminary research on locations or any trivial facts that I need to get the first day off to a fantastic start. In order to write 50,000 words, I really want to make sure that I love the concept and that I have a basic outline written out. The outline might get thrown out after day 1, but it helps me to have a plan so I don’t run out of momentum. I need to make sure that I love the idea because at some point when I’m trying to write 50K in one month, I’m going to hate trying to write this book. I need to love the novel enough to get over my lack of desire to sit at the computer and type. 50,000 words is a lot of writing.

Support Group Activated! – For me, this means warning my family and friends that I’m doing nanowrimo. It’s always good to tell those close to you what you are planning so they can support you through the process. Recruiting a friend to write along with you can help as well. Before I finished the Crimson Hawks novel in 2009, I fell 10,000 words behind the pace. A buddy of mine was in the same situation. He called me and we both agreed to push each other and do a little extra every day and catch up. Unfortunately, he didn’t finish his book, but he certainly helped me finish mine. Friends have two seemingly opposed jobs: They help make sure I have time to write, and they need to pull me away from the computer before I burn out mid-month. 🙂

Noveling Supplies – A good friend of mine asked me if I had enough caffeine ready for November. It was a valid point. Personally, if you are going to stay up too late increasing your word count, I recommend water and fruit juices as opposed to soda or energy drinks. Coffee and tea work in moderation, but over-caffination (sp?- yes, I know but it should be a word) tends to run me down in the long term. Nanowrimo is a marathon, not a sprint. My writing mentor once told me that you won’t fall asleep if you have to go to the bathroom so drink lots of water. Hydration also keeps the brain working. There’s nothing wrong with a favorite snack as well, and I like to have a notepad around. Writing on paper can change my mindset and help me get through sticky plot issues. Besides, my eyes get tired staring at computer monitors.

Sleep – Of all the things I’ve listed, this is the most important. Just about everyone writes better when they’ve had more sleep. It doesn’t always feel that way, but trust me, sleep is essential. I try to get extra sleep if I can before November 1st, and I almost always take a nap after trick or treating to brace myself for midnight.

There is a lot of good advice out there for potential novelists. Take a look, see what you find, and decide what works for you!

All the best,

Harry (Vashar on




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