Every fantasy story, every novel and series, needs a map. Sometimes a map is all you need to tell a story. I would imagine cartographers and historians of maps would agree. What I know is, since I was a kid I’ve been drawn to maps. Whether in color or black & white, hand drawn, topographical, or physically realistically, I love pouring over maps and imagining the places they represent. It makes sense then that any fantasy story, any tale told in an unfamiliar, fabricated universe be accompanied by a map of some kind. Be it of a city, a county, a country, or a continent, when we enter a fabulous world it is the map that first grounds us and allows us to enter into it.
National Novel Writing Month (#NaNoWriMo, for the hashtag obsessed) is moving along but my manuscript is only keeping a glacial pace. Part of the reason for this has been my focus on promoting my first novel, Adversaries Together, which I wrote last NaNoWriMo. The first week of November I made the book available through Kindle Direct Publishing and today I’ve made it available in a paperback edition through CreateSpace, which Amazon owns.
So I finally pulled the trigger and self-published the fantasy novel I wrote last November for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I’ve written about that process before, but I decided that it didn’t make sense for me to just sit on a 200 page novel. So I decided to embrace Kindle Direct Publishing, and I hope to make the book available on the Nook soon as well. I am in the process of writing book two (tentatively titled “Stricken Cities”) now and hope to have it available in the Spring of 2015. I plan on augmenting the novels with posts here to explain in more detail aspects of the story and inspiration for ideas in the story.
This last Friday I left Lawrence, Kansas and drove up to Minnesota. My wife’s father and stepmother had recently purchased a cabin, and they wanted to have us up to see it before closing it down for the winter. Then, on the way back south, we stopped at my wife’s mother and stepfather’s house to celebrate my mother-in-law’s birthday. I don’t often get to indulge in Minnesota-ness, but this five day trip was pretty packed–lakes, Scandinavia history, junk food, and beer.
I tend to read a slew of books around the same time. A few chapters here, then set it down and pick up another for a few chapters there. It’s a way for me to read more and keep my mind engaged. So for my first video blog, I thought I’d offer up the list of books I’m currently reading. My goal for the year is to read 365 books. I’m floating in the 270s right now.
So this week I didn’t make it to the grocery store and needed to make space in my cabinets. A slew of canned goods were demanding my attention. I thought I’d take the opportunity to share three easy, quick recipes that are healthy and tasting pretty good. The first is perhaps my favorite in no small part because it requires the least amount of prep and ingredients. The second is recipe makes for some excellent lunch fair. Finally, the third is perhaps the best tasting. All of these recipes are no more than 40 minutes total, including prep and cook time.
It’s been just over a year that I’ve been using Untappd, an app that describes itself as “a new way to socially share and explore the world of beer with your friends and the world.” I’ve become more than a bit obsessed with it and as we’re in the midst of Oktoberfest, I though this would be a good time to take stock of the ramifications of this app. What does this entail? Over 900 beers and nearly three hundred unique brews. It’s also led to me looking into home-brewing and acquiring various accouterments.