Kait Nolan's Blog, page 9

June 12, 2014

I love it when people have fun at weddings!



 


Ok I really love what this guy has to say about entitlement and the dying concept of noblesse oblige.  Worth watching the whole thing.



 


Who says dolphins aren’t intelligent?  This pod of dolphins led researchers to rescue a suicidal girl, THREE MILES away.  Does this make anybody want to go reread A Ring of Endless Light?


Bottlenose dolphin school foraging along the Los Angeles coastline. (Photograph by Maddalena Bearzi, Ocean Conservation Society, under NOAA permit) via NatGeo


Filed under: Awesome Things Tagged: Awesome Things, Kait Nolan

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Published on June 12, 2014 05:25 • 2 views

June 11, 2014

After several days of house/dog sitting for my in laws, we are HOME.  As soon as I brought the girls in, Callie went and curled up on her spot on the sofa (she’s not allowed on the furniture at the in laws’), Daisy got laid down on her bed, and I sat down in my chair, and there was a collective AAAAAAAAAH.  Last night I got to SLEEP IN MAH BED.  GLORY HALLELUIA!  It was fabulous.  I had absolutely no desire to get out of bed this morning because I was SO COMFY.  My bed…


30846-its-so-fluffy-gif-9hWgI am the Princess and the Pea.  What of it?  But get out of bed I did, in order to work out for the first time since Friday.  We’re not going anywhere or doing anything any time soon (that I can think of), so maybe I can FINALLY get back into a routine.  PLEASE.  Exercise.  I needs it.  I feel puffy and kind of weak.  Not like, sick weak, just…need to move.  Plus my new vintage style bikini came in yesterday and I feel a strong need to tone up…everything.


The writing has been going well.  I’ve been in splice mode the last few days, taking the first draft and pulling out what can still be used, making notes about what needs to be inserted or changed.   Some of what I thought would be able to stay needs to be rewritten.  Other stuff I thought needed to change can actually stay with minimal modification.  Crazy how that works.   I have hopes of getting through PP1 by end of the week, which would be pretty fabulous.


I’ve been making notes on a new plot bunny.  I know, what else is knew.  This is another steampunk idea, spawned from some of what I’ve been watching lately.  There might or might not be mummies involved.  :gives the shifty eyes:  Susan has been begging me to come play with her in Steamworld.  She’s a bad influence and an enabler.  She also pointed me toward a sale on Fractal Mapper ($10 as of the time of writing), this mapping software that’s usually used for RPGs.  I have a few other ideas for it, but you’ll have to wait for those. :D


Filed under: Writing Tagged: G.I.T., Kait Nolan, Progress Reports, ROW80, Work In Progress

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Published on June 11, 2014 08:43

June 9, 2014

My pal Rhenna Morgan shared this with me on FB this morning by way of Jenny Hansen over at More Cowbell.  I laughed so hard I cried.  If you have food allergies or know anybody who does, please share this with them for a laugh.



Filed under: Personal Tagged: Food Allergies, Kait Nolan

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Published on June 09, 2014 05:45

June 8, 2014

Well, I just finished Act 1 for TY.  Again.  This ended just over 25k, which is FAR more on target for my end goal of 100k than the bloated first draft.  I’m just shy of 40k overall and am on target to hit my midpoint (I got to keep several scenes from the first draft in Act 2) in another couple of weeks.  That puts me…about a month behind schedule with the detour.  I can live with that.
We’re dog/house sitting for my in laws this weekend.  There are snoozing furbabies everywhere, which is a soporific way to spend Sunday afternoon.  Now that I’ve gotten my daily wad in, I’m going to go talk hubby into a double feature for the night.  Either The Mummy or Pirates.
I conclude that there is no curse in Elvish, Entish, or the tongues of men for the foul horror that is packing peanuts.  On Friday morning it was bright and sunny.  So I hauled out the ridiculous collection of boxes that had accumulated in the garage and set them out for garbage pick up.  Between then and when I got home, Mother Nature threw a hissy fit of a storm, blew most of the boxes a quarter mile away into the pasture, and emptied  a ginormous one FULL OF PACKING PEANUTS all over the lawn of the most persnickety, perfectionist neighbor we have.  So right after work on Friday, we got to rake and shop vac up all of those.  In the drizzle.  My back hasn’t forgiven me yet for all the stooping.
I finished reading Dragons and Dirigibles this morning.  It was a quick, entertaining read, though I felt like parts were a bit rushed and more told than shown than some of its predecessors.  Not that it’ll stop me from eagerly devouring number 8 when it comes out in September.  Because Pape totally dropped a BOMB at the end of the book about THAT couple and I have to know how she rectifies it!
Next up, I think I’m moving on to Half Moon Harbor by Donna Kauffman.  It’s the second in her Bachelors of Blueberry Cove series.  I really enjoyed the first one.
I feel like there should be more news, but…I got nothing, so I’m off to get dinner started and set up our double feature.

Filed under: Sunday Summary Tagged: Kait Nolan, Progress Reports, ROW80, To Get Me To You, Wishful

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Published on June 08, 2014 14:30 • 3 views

June 6, 2014

So I have no idea if this will become a thing, but I feel like talking BOOKS today.  As we move into the weekend, I am currently reading Cindy Spencer Pape’s Dragons and Dirigibles.  This is the seventh in her Gaslight Chronicles series, which I adore.  I started it a couple weeks ago, then got derailed by City of Heavenly Fire.  I really love this series, both because I love most things steampunk, and because they’re lighter than a lot of steampunk–in the sense that you don’t drown in worldbuilding and generally they’re told with a lovely humorous tone.  The stories are fairly short–from novella to short novel length, which means they fit well into my busy schedule.  I can generally plow through them very quickly.  The narrator for those made into audio (this one hasn’t made it yet) is fabulous.  Now if ONLY the next one were out soon!


When airship engineer Melody McKay’s dirigible explodes and plunges her into the yard of a gothic manor, she suspects foul play. With her ankle injured–an indignity far too feminine for her taste–she resolves to crack the mystery while in the care of Victor Arrington, the stuffy-yet-disarming Earl of Blackwell.


Ex-Royal Navy Captain Victor runs a tight house and is on a mission to protect his niece and foil a ring of smugglers using fire-breathing metal dragons. He has no time for romantic attachments. Particularly not with women who fall from the sky wearing trousers and pilot’s goggles.


As he and Melody navigate a treachery so deep it threatens the lives of everyone in Black Heath, the earl becomes unexpectedly attached to his fiery houseguest, and Melody discovers a softness in her heart for him. But when the smugglers strike, there’s more at risk than just their future together.


I am also making my way through the third book in the Caster Chronicles, Beautiful Chaos, in audio.  I’ve always really enjoyed the narrator for this series (this is a theme with me and audiobooks), and it’s been a couple years since I read the second one, so it’s nice to revisit Gatlin and Ravenwood.


What are you reading this weekend?
Filed under: Books Tagged: Books, Kait Nolan

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Published on June 06, 2014 12:00 • 1 view

June 5, 2014

Okay this is just flipping fantastic.  Given the hold that oil companies have on our government, I think it’s a long ass way from reality, but the possibilities are phenomenal.  They’re Solar Freaking Roadways!



Because you  just WISH you had a Jenga partner like this.



 


This was an adapted VW Beetle.  There are no words for the awesome hilarity of this.



Filed under: Awesome Things Tagged: Awesome Things, Kait Nolan

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Published on June 05, 2014 05:34 • 4 views

June 4, 2014

Yeah I totally have nothing to report since the last check in.  I haven’t even posted since Sunday.  Why?   Because there are some books that life simply has to stop for.


Last week, the 6th and final book in The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, City of Heavenly Firecame out.  I loved the first three.  Then she got a contract for a continuation–another trilogy following up the first.  I read books 4 and 5 and was…well I didn’t hate them, but I didn’t love them either.  I tend to be very >.< when a writer goes and messes up my hero and shero’s HEA or HFN.  But I read them anyway because I loved the characters.  And it didn’t matter how much I was kind of eh about books 4 and 5, this book just made up for all of it.  It so beautifully wrapped up the entire arc, had gobs of delightful crossovers between this and her other series, The Infernal Devices (set about 150 years prior in the same world).  And I just had to stop everything I was doing to finish reading it (in all it’s 700+ pages of glory)–because it became very obvious early on that Cassie Clare was totally high on Game of Thrones while writing this book and I was completely in fear for ALL THE CHARACTERS’ LIVES.  Scene after scene of, “How can I make this worse?  Oh yeah THIS!”  I can just imagine her cackling in delight while writing it, imagining we readers in palpitations.  But the end, OH THE END WAS SO WORTH IT.  And to avoid spoilers, that’s all I will say about that.  I had to tag Lauren Garafalo to have mutual flails when I finished (she finished day before me).


So, today it’s BACK TO WORK on TY.  It helps that the characters of Wishful keep talking to me.  And I keep talking about them talking to me, which is amusing Susan, and probably making anybody who doesn’t know I’m a writer think I need antipsychotics.  I’ve got a very active relationship with my characters.  What can I say?


I HAVE been doing some plotting in the midst of my great Read-A-Thon.  My next Mirus project is coming along nicely and shaping up to be an actual book, with a prequel short story (I think).  So we’ll see how all that goes.  I’m a long way from drafting it or even having a complete outline, but it’s nice to revisit the world and see pieces coming together that I had no idea actually were meant to go together.


I’m also working on plotting out something else.  Well, I hesitate to call it actual PLOTTING at this stage because I don’t feel like I HAVE a plot yet.  I have a CONCEPT, a story that has a particular type of relationship arc (between characters I established elsewhere) and an idea of some of the KINDS of challenges they might face, but I have no idea of the context.  I have no antagonist yet, which means I really have no idea what happens.  This is NOT AT ALL how I generally work, so I don’t know if a story will eventually emerge from this or not.  We’ll see.


In other news, I FINALLY HAVE RUNNING SHOES THAT FIT PROPERLY.  This is the 5th pair.  I discovered a local store here that does gait analysis and full fittings.  Big shocker, I don’t ACTUALLY measure as a wide, despite the monstrous spread of my feet (please explain to me, then, what is wrong with all the regular width shoes EVERYWHERE?).  I ultimately wound up in a MEN’S size 8 of the Asics Nimbus 15.  A friend recently told me she got fitted and went a full 2 sizes up from her normal size for running shoes.  So…evidently that’s a thing?   Had a great chat with the CSR about gear, and generally I am much much happier.  Also, they aren’t a weird color.


I’m preparing to redesign my weight lifting program.  I picked up the Girls Gone Strong Modern Woman’s Guide To Strength Training program a month or two ago, and I’ve tried it out and I just…don’t like it.  Some of it is that I prefer a good electronic app to keep up with my progress instead of paper and a lot of the exercises aren’t listed in any of the apps I use and aren’t easily trackable (there’s a lot of frustration in NOT getting credit for my workout on Fitocracy because there’s just no way to record the exercise).  And some of it is that it’s really geared toward those who have access to a gym instead of a home set up.  I’ve already had to make some substitutions there.  I hate the warm up.  I mean, a warm up is necessary, certainly, but I feel like the one that goes along with this program takes about twice as long as the actual lifting portion.  And a couple of the warm up exercises make things pop that…I don’t think should pop.   There’s one hip thing and a shoulder thing and…yeah, just no.  And I just…feel kind of meh about it and don’t look forward to lifting days.  So I’m going back to my Beautiful Badass program and making some adaptations using Nia Shanks’ Intuitive Strength Training Guide.


And, before I go, one more book rec.  I mentioned on one of my Awesome Things posts a while back Meljean Brook’s serial, The Kraken King and I haven’t said anything else about it.  Well the final installment came out this week!  So now you don’t have to wait (which I know a lot of people HATE about serials).  This is 200k of Iron Seas AWESOME.  It will particularly appeal to the writers among you (the women anyway) because the hero is just…OMG I can’t say enough about how much I Ariq.  He is the perfect writer’s mate.  GO FORTH AND BUY IT.  Or, you know, hang out and wait until the compiled version comes out (not sure when that is yet).


Filed under: Personal Tagged: Books, Just Stuff, Kait Nolan, ROW80, Work In Progress

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Published on June 04, 2014 07:13 • 4 views

June 1, 2014

Went to see Maleficent today.  I really enjoyed it.  I think the people who aren’t liking it are wanting/expecting something that’s much darker, seeing a truly evil villain.  That isn’t what this movie is.  I think it’s a really good example of how everyone is the hero of their own story.  I thought Angelina Jolie did a great job in this particular role.  Some of the other characters were really shallow and one dimensional, but overall, I was happy.
It was a busy week at the EDJ helping a state agency get a grant out the door.  Don’t get me started on people who procrastinate and can’t follow directions.  :stabbity:
Because of that, I didn’t get as much done on the writing front as I’d like.  But I am solidly back to drafting TGMTY.  I turned out about 7k this week, around half of which was actual prose.  The other half was plotting.  I’m really pleased with how this revised version is coming together.
I also made some significant progress this weekend on my current Mirus plot bunny.  It’s morphing from a fuzzy thing into something with actual plot.  There’s gonna be some really cool new aspects of the world I get to show in this story.  And I figured out some links between the Clementine cell of the Underground and the one in New Orleans.  It’s aaaaaall coming together.  So I’m really happy with how that’s coming as well.
My house is officially back to normal.   All the furniture is back in place.  I can’t tell you how happy I am that my CHAIR is where it’s supposed to be.  And my library/office is back to normal, without all that excess crap cluttering it up. My house actually looks ginormous with the furniture back where it properly goes, instead of jammed cheek by jowl into all the other rooms.
I’m currently reading City of Heavenly Fire, which is the first dead tree book I’ve picked up since…well, I can’t remember the last dead tree book I read.  I read pretty much exclusively ebooks these days.  A lot of the paper books I’ve picked up have print that’s SO FLIPPING TINY.  Like 8 point font tiny.  I like being able to dial the size up on my Kindle.  Anyway, I’m really enjoying the book.  I loved books 1-3 of The Mortal Instruments.  4 and 5 weren’t bad but I didn’t love.  6 is bringing back everything that delighted me about the first three.  Plus a lot of little crossovers and Easter eggs from The Infernal Devices, and those are just awesome.
I’m currently in mourning.  Yesterday I went back to my favorite coffee shop for the first time in a month and I found out that they will no longer have my favorite biscuits.  They’re in the process of building a kitchen downstairs, and once that’s ready, they’ll bring back some kind of breakfast sandwich.  But it won’t be the same.  I haz a serious sad.  So of course my new crusade is to try and duplicate the biscuits at home.  I haven’t actually made my own, real, roll out biscuits in….God.  YEARS.  Definitely years before the gluten free thing.   The sole silver lining to this situation is that I no longer have to get up early on Saturday to get there.

Filed under: Sunday Summary Tagged: Books, Kait Nolan, ROW80, Work In Progress

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Published on June 01, 2014 18:07 • 5 views

May 29, 2014

Four words: Morgan Freeman ON HELIUM.



 


Singing kitty:



 


My current favorite Olicity ship video, with all the moments building up WHY I fangirl flail.  Spoilerish for Arrow.



Filed under: Awesome Things Tagged: Awesome Things, Kait Nolan

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Published on May 29, 2014 05:01 • 5 views

May 28, 2014

Well after standing us up on Monday because he forgot it was Memorial Day, the painter finally came yesterday.  Hubs had to take off to be there for it, which worked out because then he was HOME and we spent lunch putting the house back to rights.  The sheetrock guys are coming back this afternoon to put the ceiling fan back up (because we sure don’t have a ladder that tall) and get paid (the guy’s terrible record keeping means that he didn’t have the info to send an invoice and had lost my phone number…he better be glad I’m honest).  All that’s left is for me to iron the curtains and get THEM put back up.  Y’all, I can’t even tell you how happy I was to be IN MY CHAIR in it’s RIGHTFUL PLACE and to have my office back to usable.
I am officially back to drafting, though that’s been going slowly.   I finally hit that point where the story’s really deepening for me in my brain and a lot of character arc details are solidifying, so I’ve been taking the time to actually detail that in each scene in my outline so I don’t forget to talk about it.  I’ve also had some new characters pop up.  Well, not new exactly.  They were already in the story, just peripherally mentioned.  Since I’ve decided to pair them up, I wanted to flesh them out further and plant the seeds for that in this book.
This morning I finished setting up my classes for summer.  I’m so grateful they finally updated the version of Blackboard we’re using.  It’s much easier to copy over courses and update things than what we used to have to do.
Hubs and I went to see Godzilla this weekend.  I liked it fine…it was very much a Godzilla movie, very focused on the human element.  I prefer it to the 1998 remake, but I definitely prefer Pacific Rim.
If you’re an Audible user, here’s a $10 coupon that’s good through late July.  I’m trying to decide what to spend mine on.  I COULD go ahead and put part of it toward the Whispersync of both of the Cousins O’Dwyer books (which I’ve read and loved) from la Nora.  Dragons and Dirigibles by Cindy Spencer Pape isn’t in audio yet, or I’d have nabbed that.  It’ll keep for a bit.
Both Once Upon An Heirloom and Be Careful, It’s My Heart are out of their KDP Select exclusivity period.  You can find them at Barnes and Noble and Smashwords, at present, and they’ll be popping up at Apple, Kobo and others over time.  Kobo in particular seems to be hella behind loading anything given they’re still crunching all the influx of the Sony customers that got transferred to them.
This weekend:


Now that all the main seasons of…almost everything we watch has ended, hubs and I are finally catching up on the backlog of DVR.  What summer shows are YOU most looking forward to?

Filed under: Work In Progress Tagged: Books, Kait Nolan, Maleficent, Progress Reports, ROW80, Work In Progress

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Published on May 28, 2014 08:28 • 1 view