Monday, November 28, 2016

NaNoWriMo failure. Again.

I'm not going to make my word count for NaNoWriMo. I'm disappointed, but this has been visible in the distance for awhile now. I just couldn't keep up. I started out so strong, but I couldn't keep going on a sleep deficit and I got sick, and couldn't kick it - it kept coming back. Still, I know it was doable, I just made a choice not to sacrifice to the level I would have needed to to hit the 50,000. And I'm good with that choice still.
While I don't have as many words as I might like, I'm very happy with the words I have. At month's end (I am going to keep writing until the end even if I can't hit my words) I will switch gears to revising the previous book. I've been doing a lot of exercises on character, and I think I can use what I've learned to help significantly in the revision process.
The plus side of not pushing myself into burnout is that nearing the end of November I'm still excited about writing and my story, and not sick to death of it. I'm calling it a win. Not an official NaNoWriMo type win, but a win in my progress and growth as a writer.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Tree Blocks

Tree Quilt Blocks photo by Kara Hartz


These are the trees from the Mystery Quilt I wrote about a little while back. The colors look a little strange to me here, more brown in a few of the fabrics than in real life. I like them. I like trees. 
So I've been trying to decide what I'd like to do with these blocks now, and I think I'm going to go ahead and make up the same settings blocks from the pattern. Mine will end up smaller than the pattern, but that's okay. I think it will be cute. I'm pondering colors for the setting blocks, since I don't love the colors in the pattern, but I'd like to get started soon.
The quilting bug is nipping. Probably because I've been focused on NaNoWriMo and haven't done any sewing. I'm missing it. 


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

I'm Looking for Book Reviewers

I posted a little while back about my single Goodreads rating, and how nice it was to see a stranger enjoyed my stories. Over at Smashwords I also had this nice four star review:

"What a terrific tale. A lovely sense of mystery, awe and a little humour. My only suggestion is to change the title of the story, it gave away a little too much. Thanks for a great read."

I've since removed my books from Smashwords to use other distributors, so I can't link to that one. The wisdom in the self-publishing world seems to be that reviews are important, and these are all I've got so far. To remedy that, I'm asking anyone who has enjoyed my stories to consider posting a review somewhere. (Amazon would be great, but if you like another site, that's great too.)

If you haven't read my stories, but like the sound of them, and would like a free review copy, I'd like to make that happen. Leave a comment with some contact information, and what format you'd prefer your ebook in, and I'll get one to you. For now, this is an open ended offer - if you stumble on this post months (or years?) from now and want to take me up on this. Go for it. 

For the curious here are the books in question:


An astrobiology team discovers a planet with disturbingly familiar aliens. 
A middle manager finds out who has been stealing office supplies but knows no one will believe him.
A cleaning robot is much too efficient.
A little boy is desperate to acquire superpowers.
A military robot fights to deliver vital information before time runs out.
A translator under pressure makes a fatal mistake.


Love Thy Enemy: In a post-apocalyptic America where various factions are vying for control of what's left, Jose finds himself in love with a girl from the wrong camp. How much can they really trust each other?

The Way Home: Margaret learns a secret about her new husband's past that is difficult to understand. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Preparing for NaNoWriMo 2016

This is the first year I'm heading into NaNoWriMo with an outline. In the past I usually knew the premise and a few characters from the story I planned to write, but not much more than that. I've been experimenting with outlining recently, and I think it is working for me.

This NaNo novel will be a sequel to the one I finished up a couple months ago and am now revising. The timing worked out well for me, which is unusual. I generally suck at timing.

So, if you're participating in NaNoWriMo this year and need a writing buddy - I'm karabu on the NaNoWriMo site. Let's go!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

I Didn't Mean for it to Become a Trend

I'm six weeks post-surgery now, so I'm allowed to start exercising and doing things again. So I've started up my Couch to 5K running training program. Today, I was looking over my outline as I prepare for NaNoWriMo. Then I realized I had linked these two events together yet again.

http://karabucreations.blogspot.com/2016/03/couch-to-5k-is-my-fitness-nanowrimo.html
http://karabucreations.blogspot.com/2016/06/couch-to-5k-and-nanowrimo-again-and.html

When I wrote those two previous posts, I'd thought it was sort of a humorous coincidence, and I liked the similarity in the determination and self -discipline I needed for both activities. I didn't mean to forever attach them to each other.

I'd really love to believe this is the last year they will be attached. Not because I don't love them both. I just hope to stay well enough to not need to restart Couch to 5K from the beginning again. The other times, I knew I wouldn't be able to finish the program due to health restrictions. Now, however - I hope I remain hale and hearty and running well past the end of the program. If anything, maybe I'll be looking into a program to take me from 5 to 10 K next year. A girl can dream.

I do plan to keep participating in NaNoWriMo ever year because - why not?

Monday, October 17, 2016

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Working on a Mystery Quilt

Years ago, I found a pattern for a 'Mystery Quilt' online and it sounded fun, so I made it. When you make a mystery quilt, you have instruction for making each block, a step at a time, but you don't know what the whole quilt will look like until you finish. I made that first mystery quilt when I was just learning how to quilt still, and it was a lot of fun. I don't have a photo of it - I gave it to my mom - but I'll try to get one. I really liked how it turned out.

Our local quilt shop closed awhile back, but only their physical store. They have managed to keep an online shop going and they also design and sell patterns. They put out a fun weekly newsletter, and once in awhile they have free patterns or mystery quilts there. So I decided I'd like to do one again while I was recovering from my first surgery.

I was slow, and got way behind, so I had only finished a few weeks worth of blocks when the finial reveal came along in the newsletter. It wasn't what I had hoped for. Thimble Creek Quilts usually just blow me away, but this one was just - okay in my personal quilting tastes. So I didn't really work on it anymore. But now I have a bunch of blocks that I like from that project, so I might as well do something with them. So, while I'm not going to make the whole quilt, I will probably still go ahead and make the tree blocks to add to what I have done, then put them all together in a smaller version of my own.

The pattern isn't available for free anymore, but can be purchased here. Although if you are a quilter, it would be worth your time to get on their email list for future free patters and such.

Here are a few of my favorite blocks from the mystery project that I've finished so far:



photos by Kara Hartz

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Ileostomy Free

I've had my ileostomy reversal surgery and am home recovering. Generally, my recovery is going well. Compared to how I was feeling before surgery, I'd say it's going great.
Before my surgery I had hit some more complications with my ostomy - I'd developed pressure wounds next to my stoma from wearing my support belts too tight. Healing those turned out to be not an easy thing. They also interfered with how well my bag attached. So I was back in a bit of a bad place with leaks, and now wounds, etc. to deal with.
Because the surgeon had these wounds to deal with on top of the regular ostomy to close, she decided to leave an open wound that could drain since it would end up being a larger opening than normal. The size of the open wound freaked me out a little when I saw it - much larger than I had expected at about 5 cm square, and about 5 cm deep. Now, at almost 3 weeks post-surgery, it is quite a bit smaller. I have a wound nurse still helping me weekly, but my husband and I manage the daily bandage changes on our own. The huge hole is actually much easier to deal with then the ostomy was.
My strength is slowly returning, and the rest (well into TMI territory) is improving over time as well.
I'm looking forward to putting this behind me.
And probably using it for story inspiration.
A character with an ostomy perhaps. . . ?