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October 2016

Novel in November Checklist

Happy Halloween! And more importantly…

Happy Novel-in-November Eve!

It’s time to get in mental gear, set up your space, & set sail full blast ahead into the next month of novel-writing adventure. It’s gonna be great!

But before you push off the dock, we’ve a last-minute checklist so you can be sure you’re starting out in the direction towards success. I know. We are JUST like your mum, right?

Checklist:

1. Prepare your space                                                                                                                    

Working from home? Clear your desk of everything but what you need for writing this novel    (ie. your planning notebook, your tablet of choice). Stock up on snacks/drinks that will help fuel you when you’re burning all those creative calories. If you write to music, create a playlist that will get you in the right mood for your novel. 

** 2 items to tape to your monitor/wall (Jeff Gerke’s brillaint suggestion): 1. a picture of your target reader (so you can imagine telling him/her the story as you go), & 2. That paragraph with your story’s core idea & all the things you love about it (when you get stuck in the mud, it’ll pull you out & get you back on track 

2. Turn off your editors! (internal as well as digital)

Seriously. We’re gonna go strict teacher on this & tell you, under NO circumstance go back to edit in the next 30 days! Turn off your computer’s editing software (yes, even spellcheck). And more importantly, turn off your internal critique… he has not place in your project…for the next month at least! Sure, you may hate every word that comes out of your fingertips. Nevermind! Fix them next month. You’re certain to realise changes you shoulda coulda woulda made earlier in the story. Make a note in your document, or write it on a post-it & come back to it later! If you go back, we will know… somehow. 

The only editing tool you need for the next 30 days is your word count to make sure you’re hitting somewhere near the 1,667 word target. But it’s more important you complete scenes/ideas than just tick the word count box!

3. Get Excited!

Now swapping out our mean-teacher hat for our cheerleader hats: You are about to spend 30 days creating a story! It won’t be a perfect story, because that’s note the point. It’ll be a new, creative, in-progress story. THAT is the point. Progress. Something down on paper that you can work with & mould into something great later.

Our final advice? 

Chill out this evening. Once your space is set up, your editors off, your mobile/facebook/twitter/all-other-possible-distractions removed, get comfy, brew a BIG cup of tea, & maybe dip into your favourite book for a little literary basking.

In the next 30 days, the time for hitting your head against the wall may come. You may pull out a bit of hair or upset a clingy friend. But at the start of each new day, remember this: in the words of one incredible writer who happens to be my intelligent, creative, 10-year-old niece Anna…

Writing is suppose to be fun!

So write onward, fellow novelist, & don’t look back!

We’re with you every step of the way…

Mez & Bri

Wednesday Writers’ Cafe: explore your setting

On Monday, I threw a whole heap of things to think about when it comes to planning your novel’s setting/s. Don’t worry if the load all got a bit heavy in your arms & you let you it tumble to the ground. Today at the Writers’ Cafe, I’ve got an option of 2 exercises that should help you get your setting down on paper, whether you still haven’t got a clue where this thing’s happening or you’re ready to fill in the finer details. Ready?

          Get your notebooks. 

                              Get your pens.

                                                      FIRE!

1) Draw a map of your story “world”, be it fiction, fantasy or an actual place.

This one comes from Abi Elphinstone who says when she’s planning out her adventure stories, she begins with a map. She throws in every place she thinks would be exiting to take her characters, then sets the adventure around that! In my case, I might sketch a plan of the 17th cent. house & include such “sub-settings” as the stables (maybe the girls meet a friendly stable hand who tips them off about the mysterious visitor?), the deer park (maybe they could meet a gypsy who is more than meets the eye?), & the hall of portraits (where one of the paintings might hide an important clue in plain sight?).

Whatever you do, have fun! Draw places you feel excited to write about, then see whether they inspire any plot ideas!

*Important note: no artistry skills required! This is for your eyes only!

2) Dump your character into a strange new environment. Now make a list: what’s the first thing she notices? Jot down at least 15 impressions, from biggest to smallest, general to specific. And don’t forget all 5 senses!

This exercise will help you distill your setting descriptions. Remember, it’s not about describing every detail, but about giving your reader an overall impression & throwing in a few details for authenticity. Unless your character is Sherlock Holmes, he or she is not likely to take note of the minutia anyway, so guess what! You don’t have to either!

Want more? Revisit my post on the art of observation. You might even throw yourself into a strange environment to practice your own observational skills! Enjoy the trip!

 

Novel in November Pre-Work: Setting

So here we are, days away from embarking on the quest that is Novel in November. We’ve thought about plot (at least in theory, if not in exact detail…). We’ve perhaps gone on a first date with our characters. But one rather obvious & necessary feature still demands some forethought: Setting. As there’s no time to waste, let’s jump right in.

First, have you pinpointed the backdrop for your novel’s core idea (& the action to come)? Some key points to ponder:

Place

This may seem like spelling out the obvious, but many writers really struggle to conjure up descriptions for their story’s events. If you’re one of that score, here are just a few tips to help you get a sense for your setting:

  1. Make a visit:  If your character will be traipsing about in a forest, go for a walk in the woods! If he/she is undergoing experimentation in a clinic, visit your local hospital. Just be sure to take along your journal & jot down your own sensory experience. This weekend, I’ll be visiting the 17th century Reception House where my story’s main action takes place, so I shall practice as a I preach!
  2. Research online: Fair enough if you’ve bravely decided to set your tale in Subsaharan Africa but can’t manage to wing a trip there in the next week. Watch some videos & do your best to read up on others’ experiences.
  3. Make a Pinterest board: this is especially useful if your story is set in a fantastical world. I made a board for my last fantasy novel & resorted to it each time I got stuck on a description or simply needed to get a feel for the ambience.

As soon as you begin collecting sensory experiences, online facts & inspiring images, it becomes clear that it simply can’t all fit into your 50,000 words of novel. Don’t despair! Part of an author’s job is to be a connoisseur of description, selecting only the choicest, most effective details to present to his/her readers.

“But how do I know which bits to describe & which to leave to the imagination?” you ask. If your like me & get carried away with descriptions, I prescribe this simple question:

Is this description moving my story forward in some way?

If the answer is no, then put it down. Don’t waste your time waxing lyrical only to lose your reader’s interest. Or think of it this way. Every time you describe something, you press pause on the story’s action. Hence long descriptions slow the pace of your narrative whilst quick-fire, fleeting observations speed it up.

Another tip to bear in mind: Don’t waste your time describing the obvious or mundane. Put yourself in your character’s shoes & think what are the first, most stand-out things I would notice in this setting? What’s odd or out of place? Is this place new? Nasty? Amazing? Then describe it, & what makes it that way. But if you linger too long an something of no consequence to your tale, your reader will expect it to come into play. If you describe a long, dark corridor on the way to wherever your character is heading, your reader will be waiting on the edge of her seat for something to jump out from behind a door. So for your sake & the reader’s avoid red-herring descriptions.

Time Period

If your writing about a historical setting, here a just a couple of things to keep in mind:

  • Make it clear, but subtly: When 1 Nov. arrives & you sit down to pen your first page of historic-set fiction, how can you make it clear to the reader without spelling out in “it was the year 1776, the year America was born” fashion?  Can you drop hints through objects or dialogue? Just something to consider…
  • Know your backdrop: granted, you don’t need to be an expert on the socio-political climate of your chosen era before writing (in fact beware of over-researching & losing your story in facts!). But it’s good to have a sense of the big picture backdrop. Even if real historical events never come into play in your novel, how might they effect your characters situation? stresses? goals? Also, be conscious of imposing modern culture onto the past. For example, my novel is set in Jacobean England. It wouldn’t make sense to have a young aristocratic girl going into town unchaperoned… which means,  I either have to create another character or create a scenario in which my lead would & could sneak off into town unnoticed.

So, on the downside, writing a historical setting will almost definitely require more research. On the up, thinking about the historical backdrop can unlock new avenues for your plot!

Mood

Finally but importantly, your setting does more than conjure pictures in your reader’s mind. It evokes the atmosphere for your entire novel, including the internal mood of your characters. Think about the mood-changing effects of light & dark, rain & sun, the first snowfall. You have the seasons & the climate at your disposal! Think like a screenwriter & set your stage for each scene: cue the lights, the wind, the thunder, &… ACTION!

So if you find yourself getting lost in long-winded descriptions this November, unable to retrace your steps to pathway of your plot, remember this one thing:

The purpose of settings is create a mood, not to describe every last detail. Think impression with a few choice details. 

Feeling a little overwhelmed? Fear not! Tune into this week’s Wednesday Writers’ Cafe for some exercises that will help you select & describe your novel’s settings effectively.

Till then!

 

 

Novel In November Pre-work: The Time Bomb

First of all, I love the top image…looks like an awesome story could come from that!

I have to confess: I didn’t work too much on my story this week. But, I was able to have a Skype tea time with Mez, and that helped me iron out some things!

What I have been doing is research. I bought several books on cryptozoology and post traumatic stress disorder to help me with this story. I have been having tons of fun with the cryptozoology books and I have decided I want to do a cryptozoology tour of America someday!

However, I still have not found what cryptid Blue is going to receive…

Anyway, I highly suggest doing as much research as you can before hand. It gets very distracting, especially if you use the black hole we call the internet. Once I get on, the rabbit trails lead me further and further away…

I’ve talked about this before, so I’m leaving it at that!

The other part I’ve been working on is the countdown, or ticking time bomb, of my story. Having a time limit in your story is a really good way to ratchet up the tension. In the movie The Labyrinth, Sarah has 13 hour to rescue her brother from the Goblin King, or he will turn into a goblin and be lost forever. The labyrinth is already difficult to solve, but adding a time limit makes the watcher that much more anxious, especially when the Goblin King steals several of her hours!

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With Blue, I think her cryptid is growing. Soon, she won’t be able to hide it; she has to find a safe place for it or the evil society will get it and hurt it.

What about your story? Can you add in a time limit? Is an army approaching, a deadline for a project, or a spell about to become permanent? Something that worries your main character and makes her stress out. (Remember, no being nice! Your characters can have nice lives after their stories are told!)

Hope all of you are having fun preparing for novel in November. You are having fun, right? Nine more days! Eek!

Next week I’ll be working on the three act structure of my story and then hopefully making notecards. More on that next time! Good luck and have fun in the coming week!

Piers Torday (The Last Wild) on the makings of an author

As promised, here is the next bit of the booty collected form last weekend’s Beanstalk Bookfest 2016 in London. And today’s treasure: Piers Torday, author of The Last Wild trilogy & his brand-new book There May Be a Castle. maybeacaslte

To hear an account of Piers Today’s childhood, one would think “that kid was destined to be children’s writer!”  And yet, the road to best-selling children’s author was not exactly straight-forward.

Piers told us (me in addition to a room full of adoring children) about growing up in Northumberland, a place that might be called “the last wild” for its ratio of animals (particularly sheep) to humans. His childhood home, “Toad Hall” resided above his mother’s children’s bookshop (by the same name) where Piers grew up lending a helping hand & getting his first dose of the classics: Wind in the Willows, Winnie the Pooh, Roald Dahl & the like.

Roald Dahl birthday quiz - how well do you know your Dahl? Quentin Blake
image: thesprout.co.uk

And speaking of Roald Dahl, Fate came to visit Toad Hall one day in the form of that renowned author himself! Following up his visit, he sent little Piers a letter that would come to play a key role in his road to writer. The letter contained a little secret: the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory had in fact had an additional character, Mary Piker, with her own Oompa Loompa verse and all! So nasty was this Mary Piker, Mr. Dahl’s children insisted he chuck her out for the benefit of the whole story. And so he did!

That letter resurfaced many years later to teach Piers a valuable lesson about writing… but we’ll come to that presently.

Piers’s family eventually left Toad Hall for a house near the forest where Piers was inflicted with what he described as the “medieval form of torture called ‘making your own entertainment'”. And, of course, one outlet for self-made entertainment was story-writing!

His story began on an excellent foot: ‘One day, there was a dog, and like most dogs, he was a Detective.’ But then something happened to bring the whole enterprise to a screeching halt. Peirs had a visit from what I like to call the Horrible Whatiffer! And that mean old bogyman whispered things like “what if your story is stupid?”, & “what if you read it out at school and the other children laugh, and the teacher gives you bad marks, and your parents rue having such an unliterary boy for a son,” and onward down the spiral to despair.

And so the story remains, to this day, unfinished… at least by Piers.

But on down the road, after many a year of school, exams, more school & more exams, & that tricky thing of trying to sort out what to do when one grows up, Piers came home & rediscovered that old letter penned by Mr. Dahl. And as Piers describes it, several lightbulbs went off.

First, he realised that writing children’s books was the very thing he wanted to do with his life. And second, even a giant of children’s literature like Roald Dahl didn’t always get it right the first time. But he didn’t stop because it wasn’t good enough. Even Roald Dahl had to accept criticism from his own children in order to get better

And at the moment, Piers battled the Horrible Whatiffer at long last and won! Now he advises a much more positive use for ‘What if’:

To turn something real life into a magical story ask this simple, two-word question: What if…?

That question has served Piers well ever since, leading him to some of the most imaginative story ideas, well… imaginable!

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But as brilliant as his fiction stories are, I found his real, true-life story the most incredible, the most inspiring. The moral of the story? In Piers’s own tried-&-true words:

My #1 advice: Just keep going. No matter how silly it is, get to the end. Until you get to the end, you won’t know what was good or bad about your story.

So whether you’re Roald Dahl, Piers Torday himself, or among the many Novel in November writers confronting your own Horrible Whatiffers each day you write, take it from a best-selling author: JUST KEEP GOING!

Wednesday Writers’ Cafe: finding (& loving) your story’s core idea

Yesterday, I got a text from Bri saying, I quote, “We need to talk. Having plot problems.” My response: “Are you talking about your Novel in November plot?? because if you are, you are WAY ahead of me in the game!”

Turns out she was… and she is (ahead in the game, that is). And that’s ok! I’ll get there…

The Plot is an essential ingredient to your novel. In fact, most manuscripts rejected by agents are turned down on the basis of one of two major flaws: 1) 2 dimensional characters &/or 2) lack of/confusing/some combo of the 2 PLOT! The pansters among us may gripe, but I fear plot is a must.

Yet let’s face it. For the most of us mere human writers, plots don’t just write themselves. They take agonising, hair-pulling, pillow tossing hard work to sort out! You may, like Bri, have already travelled some steps down the road & found yourself confronted by a grumpy goblin proclaiming “You shall not pass!” (how cheeky of him to steel a line from a perfectly lovely wizard!). OR, you may find yourself in my boots, having not even begun down the Plot road yet, & wondering where to begin! So many roads, so little time in November!

Again, that’s ok! (I’m virtually patting you on the back even as I pat my own reassuringly).  Before you can concoct a plot, you need to love your story’s core idea. THAT idea will be your guide & roadmap down the plot pathway.

So depending on where you are, here are some options for your Novel in November preparatory exercises for today:

1) Pin down your “core idea”: Ask yourself ‘what, in 1 sentence, is my story about.’ write that down. Then, write a sentence to a paragraph about all the things you already know & love about that idea.
2) If you’ve already explored your “core idea”, turn it into a dust cover blurb! here’s a link from the better novel project to help you with that!
3) Make a list of your primary characters (including the villain!) & their goals in the story. See any conflicts that could blossom into plot?

If you get stuck or frustrated, you can always visit some of your own favourite books – read their back covers & try to deconstruct the bare bones of their plots. It’s usually simpler than you realise when reading the book!

And don’t forget to have a look at Bri’s post on PLOTS from earlier this week!

Inspiration from Abi Elphinstone (author of The Dreamsnatcher)

There are days, I confess, when I wish I lived anywhere but London. I’ve never been a city girl at heart – I find the fumes of petrol & the bustle of busy roads less to my liking than the smell of good, clean dirt on a damp forest floor & the cacophony of birdcalls.

But this weekend, I had reason to feel the full weight of how blessed I am to live in this city & have access to its many hidden trimg_3547easures. The occasion for my gratitude? The Beanstalk Bookfest. On Saturday, I ventured down to Sloane Square to hear 3 big name authors in the Middle Grade literature scene talk about their books & how they came to be writers.

Honestly, I think their stories were just what I needed to hear before setting my sails for Novel in November. Hence, of course, it’s only right that I share the inspiration I gleaned from these story-spinning super stars with you! Allow me to introduce the lineup: Today I’ll highlight Abi Elphistone (The Dreamsnatcher series), & follow up in the coming days with Piers Torday (The Last Wild series) & Polly Faber (Mango & Bambang the not-a-pig stories).

Abi Elphinsimg_3537tone

The morning kicked off with Abi Elphinstone’s talk (which I entered late, nearly running smack into her right as she was being introduced… she was very gracious about it afterwards!). Having been a frequenter of Abi’s blog Moontrug for yonks & a big fan of her books (see my review of The Dreamsnatcher), I was pretty excited about meeting her…ok, verging on star struck. But seconds into her talk, I realised Abi was a true kindred spirit – the adventurer/bookworm kind of gal Bri & I would have been friends with as kids. And she’s the kind of writer who doesn’t just wait for story ideas to float into her brain. She goes chasing after them, treasure hunt style! Definitely kindred spirit!

Abi graced the audience with many nuggets of hard-earned writer’s wisdom, like “If you want to write and adventure story, get your main character to break a rule in chapter 1.” And “If you can’t think of a story idea…doodle a map, find an adventure & turn it into a story!” (might have to use that one for a Wednesday writing prompt…). But not only did Abi’s words inspire, she brought along such trinkets of wonder as a fox tail Mongolian eagle hunter’s hat, a wolf’s tooth, a model yurt, not to mention many a magnificent anecdote from her own story-chasing adventures.

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But I must say, what inspired me most from Abi’s talk was her raw honesty about the long, hard road to finally becoming a published author. With perfect candour, Abi told us that the magical moment of bagging her first book deal with Simon & Schuster was no lucky break. Rather, it was the fruit of  7 years, three manuscripts & 96 rejections!!! No wonder she went hang-gliding to celebrate her breakthrough!

I must say, hearing about all Abi’s “failures” & how she rallied & persevered onward toward her goal gave me a needed kick in the pants. How many times have I felt like throwing in the towel & stomping because a first draft didn’t turn out as I hoped it would? How many times have I thought, “I’m not published yet. I must not be cut out for this writing business after all.”  And here was a writer who faced an utter onslaught of rejection letters & managed to take away something positive from each one. Rather than wallowing in negativity, Abi took every positive bit of feedback & constructed a bridge that led to her eventual success.

Wow, I say. Give me some of that attitude!

Abi shared a piece of wisdom from her mother that helped her in her doubtful moments. I think it’s worthy of pinning up on the wall beside my desk for the coming month:

If you don’t fail in life, you’re not trying hard enough.

Abi Elphinstone is a true testament to the pay off of trying hard & not quitting. We’ve said it before: writing is not for the faint of heart… Maybe an adventurer’s spirit is just what a good writer needs!

*Be sure to look for Abi’s latest project Winter Magic, a collaborative collection of wintery tales, coming to UK img_3546bookshops in November!

Novel in November Pre-work:Plot

Okay, so I didn’t just work on plot this past week. First, I was super busy and didn’t get as near as much done as I should have, but I’m getting there! Mez and I need to have tea over skype and figure out where we both are.

Anyway, this past week, I finished up my character work. I love characters who change throughout the story. One of my favorites is the young girl named Chihiro in the movie Spirited Away. 

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She changes from a whiny coward to a brave girl who risks her live for her friends, someone you really root for. Think about your favorite books and movies, comparing how the protagonist acts in the beginning and how it differs from them in the end. Can your own character change throughout your novel? Going from weak to strong, mean to nice, arrogant to humble, selfish to selfless?

I decided my character, Blue, comes very close to hating her father for some of his past mistakes. He’s a different person now, but she still wants nothing to do with him. Too bad for her; I’m going to force her to make a decision to either contact him for help, or her life is going to go up in flames (possibly literally…mwahahaha!). 

The next thing I worked on was my antagonist. Still working on that. It really really wants to be a secret society type of book, but I can’t figure out what the society’s purpose is. They have to go after Blue and her friends because of the cryptid (mythological animal like Bigfoot or Nessie) she has, but why on earth do they want it??? No clue. What is your character fighting against? A person, nature, society? What is it that’s between them and their goal, their happy ending? Chihiro is trapped in a spirit world, and if she doesn’t get her and her parents free, her parents, who have been turned into pigs, will be eaten! She’s fighting against the ruler of that world, someone with a lot more power than she will ever have.

And finally, I started on the plot. What starts off your story? What is that thing that changes your character’s normal life? Chihiro gets thrust into a spirit world unlike anything she has ever know. Harry Potter gets a strange letter. Bella Swan moves and meets Edward. Something happens out of the ordinary to get the story going. For me, Blue receives a present from her father. Normally, she would toss it, but because her friends are there and she doesn’t want to make a big deal about it, she opens it. Inside, she finds a strange egg which will hatch into a cryptid. And Blue’s life will get turned upside down.

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So that’s the beginning. I like going to the ending next if you have an idea of where you are going with it. I like happy endings, so at the very least, I know Blue and Diego will be together, they will save the cryptid, and Blue’s father (still unnamed!) will be reconciled with his family.  All pretty vague, but I know that’s where I want to end up. If you have no idea where you want to end up, no worries! Just jot down some ideas. What does a happy ending look like for you character? A bittersweet one? An unhappy one?

Then there is the middle. This is arguably the hardest part to write. There’s just so much of it! The middle is  basically one long fight between the protagonist and the antagonist. It starts small and escalates quickly. But it is also about the protagonist fighting against herself. This is where that change comes in handy. Let’s look at Chihiro again! She starts out cowardly and she doesn’t want to do anything by herself or for things to change. So what happens? Her parents get turned into pigs and she is thrust into a strange world. She is now all alone. She then had a choice: get some courage, or get caught and have no chance to escape. In the beginning, Chihiro is only brave because someone tells her exactly what to do while someone else helps her. As the story goes on, she gets more and more independent and becoming more and more courageous to save her friends and her parents.

Then there are stories like Speak. Great book and great movie. Melinda is a high school student with a terrible secret. She becomes a loner, hardly ever speaking to anyone. The entire story is about how her inability to speak, to tell her secret, is destroying her. Her grades drop, her parents are frustrated, she is bullied, and one of her old friends is in danger because she won’t tell her secret. In the end, she has to make the decision to speak her secret and end the downward spiral.

One story the character gets stronger as her opposition gets stronger. In the other, the character fights to keep from changing, and this fight makes up the story.

I think that made more sense in my head…sorry!

I had no idea what the middle of my story was about, but once I decided Blue was going to have to make the decision to call her father, I started brainstorming ways to make her need to call her dad. Here’s what I came up with, verbatim from my notebook:

  • to find out what the egg is he sent to her
  • to find out what sort of creature it is when it hatched
  • there’s someone following her
  • someone asking questions about her father and gifts he gives her
  • her room is broken into
  • mom disappears or put into hospital (something to get her out of the way for rest of story)
  • House burned down
  • Blue almost kidnapped
  • someone comes to her school

And I finally have an idea of what is going on. Maybe this won’t all happen, but it’s some interesting ideas to force Blue to realize she needs help.

How can you force your character to change? How can you make it escalate (from a simple present, to a house burning down). You don’t have to plan out every little thing, but imagine these ideas as dots. As you write, you will go from dot to dot. It will help you stay on track and give you some direction.

Okay, there it is! Sorry this got so long. Remember, 15 days left!! Here are some of the blogs we wrote earlier about this stuff, and some other people’s blogs about it.

Tug-of-War

Why Good vs Evil will never go out of fashion in Kids’ Lit

Wednesday Writers’ Cafe: plotter or ‘pantster’?

To Plot or Not

#NaNoPrep Week 2: Be a Planster

How to Build Tension and Heighten the Stakes

6 Ways to Write Better Bad Guys

Two weeks left! Time for us all to really buckle down!! Good luck, fellow writers.

The Vlog is Live!

Bri & I are first & foremost writers. And by writers, I’m talking pens, notebooks… even quills & parchment, if given the option. We are neither of us techy sorts. But we do try! And sometimes our trying leads to small victories…

I’m happy to announce one such mini victory in the materialising shape of our Video Blog (or “Vlog” – See! I’ve got a few techy terms up my sleeve!).

While the written word shall continue as our primary & most beloved medium, we’re pretty chuffed at the idea of supplementing our posts with videos of our writing retreats & Story Chasers adventures (tales of our London escapade coming soon!), because sometimes describing just doesn’t cut it. We want to take you with us, on location!

So, without further rambling, here ’tis! Our very first ever Brewhaha Book Café Vlog of this year’s Annual Writing Retreat!

Granted. We’re still newbies at the Vlog thing. But we are determined to improve, & we’d be just tickled pink if you’d saunter over to Youtube & subscribe to the Brewhaha Book Cafe Channel. We’ll do our best to bring you the creme of our Story Chasing adventures & any other tidbits you all have an appetite for. Feel free to leave comments, questions & requests! We are, as always, at your service.

*Mez*

 

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