Month: October 2011

This is my second year participating in NaNo. Last year, when I awoke at 5 a.m. on November 2nd to commence my second day of writing, this is what I found:

Needless to say, a flooded house tends to put a crimp in the writing process, and NaNo 2010 ended up being quite a bumpy ride for me, as a result. If you want to have a laugh, go take a gander as I tell the tale of the whole sordid adventure.

One of the downsides of all the real-life drama in the midst of trying to bang out 50k+ words is that my blog presence really suffered. I didn’t put up a single post between the 5th and the 26th last year, a mistake I was anxious to avoid again.

But obviously, if I’m contributing every last word to my manuscript, how will I find subject material for blog posts, and will I have the energy to even think about it after a long day of fiction writing?

So I was toying with this dilemma the other night. At the same time, I was also concocting a set of music playlists on my laptop to have at the ready for NaNo (music is a huge part of my writing process).  Then it hit me: Why not post video/music during here at ~WSMG~ during NaNo?  I can share songs from my playlists with you groovy folks, and maybe you guys will want to join in the fun too!

And like a bolt of lightning from the blue, the NaNoWriMoVideo Songfest was born! 😀

Each day in November, I’m gonna put on my NaNo Video DJ hat and post one of my favorite videos here at ~WSMG~.  The songs will be chosen from my collection of writing music to help inspire you guys, help us stay sane during the craziness that is NaNo, and totally rock out!  Sound groovy?  But it gets better: I’d love nothing better if you joined me. 

If you’re interested in being a part of the Songfest, here’s what  you need to do:

  • Go to YouTube (or the video site of your choice), pick one of your favorite videos, then put together a post featuring the video.  To participate, post AT LEAST ONE video sometime during the month of November.  If you want to post more, knock yourself out! (Here’s a tutorial on how to embed a video, if needed). If you put up three or more posts during NaNo, I’ll list you as a DJ!
  • Comment (*details below) or send me an email at, subject line ‘VIDEO’ with the details of your post, including your link information. LATE EDIT: Of course, you can send me a Tweet too (@skymeetsground)!
  • Alternatively, like a real life DJ, I take requests!  Tell me a video you love and I’ll share it here on ~WSMG~ myself, giving you full credit, of course.
  • Each day, I’ll announce new videos, highlight the high points, and add them to the Master Playlist.
  • DISCLAIMER: You do not have to be a NaNo participant to contribute!  Just follow the directions above and you can support your fellow writers!  😀

Below you’ll see a second post entitled NaNoWriMoVideo Master Playlist (or click this link).  The Master Playlist is where I’ll link participating blogs and add videos throughout the month, listing the artist name and song title, with a link to the person/blog who sponsored the tune(s).  *Leave me a comment on this post or on the Master Playlist post if you want to be a part of this effort! (You know you wanna!)  😀   

The Goal of the NaNoWriMoVideo Songfest:

  • Have a total blast!
  • Share some awesome NaNo writing music, and get a chance to hear the tunes everyone else finds groovy.
  • Give everyone one stop shopping for a right rockin’ video playlist throughout the month.  With any luck, the combined energy of all that awesome music will help us get across that 50k word finish line just a little bit faster!  Who knows, maybe that really moving snippet of music posted by a fellow writer helps you nail a difficult scene or understand a character better.
  • Even if you’re not doing NaNo this year, why not throw one of your favorite videos into the mix to support your fellow writers and let everyone else benefit from your good taste!

Help Get The Word Out:

You’ll find a badge on the Master Playlist post below for sharing, so feel free to put it up wherever you want to help get the word out.  Please let folks know about this if you have a chance–and let’s rock out!

I’m tapping my foot just thinking about how fun this Songfest is gonna be.  Thanks, and stay groovy!


Stay tuned later this week as there’s more pre-NaNo excitement in store.  Carrie Butler, Melodie Wright, and Lisa Regan are sponsoring the Casting Call Character BlogHop.  I’m playing.  It’s sure to be a blast!  Check my sidebar for details!  I’ll also have some fun with loglines–especially the one I’ve been writing for my NaNo novel.

Also check back on Wednesday for the final #REN3 Blogfest post.  Have a rockin’ Monday, ya’all!

ONE LAST THING: You DO NOT, under ANY circumstances, talk about WRiTE Club!!!!!


Here’s the badge.  Grab and post as you see fit!

<a href=””><img src=”” width=”200″ height=”150″/> </a>

NaNoWriMoVideo DJs (three or more songs):

JP @ ~Where Sky Meets Ground~
NaNoWriMoVideo Playlist

I stumbled across this today. I love the simplicity of the arrangement. Thought you might enjoy it.

Have a great weekend! 😉

When it comes to irons in the proverbial fire, I have a few.  Of course, we are now eleven days from the kick off of National Novel Writing Month, or NaNo as the Pros from Dover call it.

I, like half the fiction writers in the World, have spent countless recent hours preparing, making sure I’m ready to get my game face on, trying to remember where I packed my game face, wondering if it still fits, rifling through numerous boxes in the crawlspace upstairs that is our attic looking for the game face, executing repairs on said game face–made necessary after the time during last year’s NaNo when I chucked the game face across the room in a fit of reprehensible, unadulterated frustration.

I haven’t found it yet, but I will.  😀

And I’m working on a post with all the details for how I’m playing NaNo this year–but if you’re impatient, you can click on my sidebar and check out my profile.  If you’re looking for a NaNo writing buddy, let me know.  The more the merrier is my motto.  Also, Sommer Leigh has put together a linky tool so we can champion our fellow writers doing Nano.  Check it out–and sign up if you’re in.  BTW, are you in?

(Plus, don’t forget, Monster Fest 2011 runs through the end of the month.  There’s still plenty to see and do over there, so don’t miss it!).

Last, but certainly not least: go check out this totally groovy interview my friend Lola Sharp did with Hilary Wagner, featuring her new book THE WHITE ASSASSIN.  The title sounds downright fascinating.  Plus, Lola’s running a contest with free stuff!  Go check it out at once!  😀


But now to the real business of the day: Part three of the #REN3 Blogfest.  This has been a ton of fun to write, and to also get around and read everyone else’s stories.  Don’t forget to check back for the finale next week!

The Leopard’s Spots
by Jon Paul
(c) 2011

Character: Calvin Rumpus
Wordcount: 600
Prompt: Betrayal is in the air.
Link to Part One (Magnus McGrool, 596 words)
Link to Part Two (Theodora Ravelstein, 597 words)

Part Three:

MAGNUS STOOD AT THE WINDOW watching employees dash to their cars in the rain. “Calvin, you moved into Carl’s office yet?”

Calvin appeared. “Not yet.”

“By Monday, Ok?”

“Ok.” Calvin turned to leave.

“One more thing.” Magnus pawed a stack of employee dossiers on the desk. “These are the first folks we let go. Monday morning.”

Calvin reached for the files.

“Nope. Leave them. Decision’s been made. Gladdis will set everything up.”

“And I just need to show up?”

Magnus smiled. “Yeah.”


They hiked up the path, making the final turn into the clearing. Calvin led, Theodora followed.

“Wow!” Theodora lifted her sunglasses. “You weren’t kidding. This is some view.”  All of Renaissance was visible: Old Town; the Schiavona Desert; the River Espadon. But scads of strip malls had materialized over the last few years, disfiguring the landscape.

Near the trailhead, they unearthed an archaic sign with rusted letters: “Renaissance–Pop. 333”. Calvin pitched it aside and sat down.

Theodora took out her camera. “How’d you find this place?”

Calvin didn’t speak, his eyes on the horizon.


A narrow smile illuminated his face, then vanished. “My grandfather used to bring me here.”

“I’m surprised more people don’t know about it.”

Theodora explored the clearing, snapping pictures until Calvin’s silence became uncomfortable. She scrutinized him for a long moment. “Listen,” she said finally, stuffing her camera back in her pack. “I think I invited myself along today. And you clearly have plenty on your mind, so–“

Calvin frowned.

“–I think I’ll be going.” Theodora zipped her pack and started down the trail.


Theodora kept walking.

Calvin jumped to his feet. “Just…wait. Ok?”

She turned, eyed him skeptically. “So?”

He chose his words carefully. “I…I’ve been distracted…the office has been crazy lately…”


They stood face to face, staring at each other for what seemed like forever. Calvin blinked twice. Theodora gazed at him through her sunglasses, waiting. Finally, Calvin ran one hand through his auburn hair and chuckled. The situation suddenly felt silly, absurd.

He squinted at her. “Please? Accept my sincerest apologies?”

“Whatever.” She strolled past him with a wry grin, placing her backpack next to his. “So what’s the story, Calvin? I hear you’ve been promoted.”

” If we’re gonna talk about work,” Calvin said. “You have to keep it under your hat.”


“I’m just filling in until we hire someone new.”

She laughed.

He cocked his head, baffled. “What?”

“Word around the watercooler is you’re being set up.”

It was Calvin’s turn to laugh. “Yeah, well people’ve been watching too much Law and Order: Renaissance. Don’t believe everything you hear.”

“I guess it’s none of my business, anyway…”


Theodora sighed, then smiled. “Office politics makes for good rumors, sure. But that McGrool guy, there’s just something not right about him.”

“When it comes to bosses, Magnus doesn’t get high marks. I get that. But it’s part of the game. I can’t just quit every time I don’t like my boss.”

“So you feel invested. Is that it?”

“Sure. I worked hard to get where I’m at. I put in my time. I can’t just walk away now.”

She studied his face, a flicker of uncertainty coloring her eyes. “You’re too nice, Calvin. For your own good, I mean.”

Calvin stood up, shouldering his pack. “Come on,” he said, a strange new distance surfacing in the space between his words. “I have to get back.”

She walked after him. The guttural crunch of gravel beneath their boots rang in her ears. She gazed out to the horizon, troubled. Had she said too much?


Thanks for stopping by!  😀


Let’s take a moment from all of our very busy lives and talk about something extremely important: sea monsters.

Yes.  Really.  😀

Actually, I’d like to talk about one kind of sea monster in particular: The Kraken.

(This is my entry for Sommer Leigh‘s month-long Monster Fest 2011.  You should go check it out immediately.  It’s fine.  I’ll wait here.  :D)

Afternoon snack?

Now when I say the word Kraken (Krake is singular), I see half of you–the Clash of the Titans fans!–nodding in profound understanding, while the other half are giving me the “What-on-earth-is-that?” raised eyebrow.  I’m with you.  On the list of imaginary, sea-vessel-crushing creatures of myth and legend (yes, such a list does exist), the Kraken don’t really rank highly, do they?

I’ve always been a big fan of mythical creatures, the ones that lay on the edge of reality, that have a place both in the lives of our ancestors and in our own dreamscapes.  The belief in monsters lends a certain mystery to the world.  Isn’t it the easiest thing to believe that rationality, common sense, reason–all that is scientific and easily derived–are the ways of the universe?  But where’s the fun in that?  So much remains unexplained.  Much more of the world is born out of our fears and irrational obsessions than from a common understanding that two plus two equals four.

And you might be surprised to discover that ancient mythical sea monsters like the Kraken are still a part of our everyday lives.  Don’t believe me?  Well, lemme tell ya ’bout it.  From Wikipedia:

Kraken are legendary sea monsters of giant proportions said to have dwelt off the coasts of Norway and Iceland….Later versions of the legend may have originated from sightings of real giant squid, which are variously estimated to grow to 13–15 m (40–50 ft) in length (including tentacles). These creatures normally live at great depths, but have been sighted at the surface and have reportedly attacked ships.

Numerous references to the Kraken exist in popular culture.  For example, as I touched on, the Kraken showed up in both versions (1981 and 2010) of Clash of The Titans, but do you remember it in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest?

Jack Sparrow: “Open up and say ahhh…savvy?”

The list of books that feature Kraken runs to several dozen as well, including Jule’s Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, Terry Brooks’ 1985 novel The Wishsong of Shannara, even a sonnet by Alfred Tennyson, among others.  And the Kraken have even shown their ugly mugs in comic books:

My copy is still in mint condition, in my underground vault, the one I won’t tell anyone about.

There’s also a rollercoaster that bears the name, at Sea World in Orlando.  Check out the review!

The scary part is when the coaster barrels through his ear canal.

Finally, and what I find most interesting, is there is a high-end spiced rum named–you guessed it!–The Kraken.

Goes extremely well with the “other other white meat.”
Mmmm….what was I saying?

According to an article about the kit that the drink comes in:

The kit is set up as a “proof” kit, each element inside is one piece of proof that the mythical Kraken sea monster exists. It includes a Kraken tooth, Kraken ink, a log book, a scroll, a feather, movies of the Kraken, and lastly a bottle of The Kraken.

See?  There’s proof.  That the Kraken exist, I mean.  Or, it’s mostly proof…?

OK, well, let’s say there’s a bit of a academic tussle over whether the Kraken did in fact exist.  But who are they kidding?  They’re just a bunch of scientists.  They don’t understand one jot or tittle about myth and legend.  They can’t even wrap their over-reasonable brains around the concepts of fear and irrationality.  Not like we fiction writers can, right?


It’s not too late to get over and check out all the posts for Friday’s Pay It Forward Blogfest.  Plus, the Rule of Three Blogfest is entering it’s 3rd week, so stay tuned, and have a blastin’ groovy Monday while you’re at it!