NaNoWriMo 2014: TGIO

Winner-2014-Web-BannerTHANK GOD IT’S OVER!!!!!!

There are not enough exclamation points to express the excitement I feel over making through the roughest NaNoWriMo I’ve ever participated in. It’s over, and though I only limped through the finish line at 50,004 words, I did in fact cross that line. I’m now 4-0 for NaNo. Feels pretty good.

I limped over because the month of working over nights and having little sleep finally caught up with me. I spent the last thousand words nodding off, wanting only to hide under my sheets, but I knew if I did that, I wouldn’t make the goal. Once I did, I collapsed and that’s all I knew until after midnight.

In addition to exhaustion, I’m now fighting a cold. It hit me yesterday morning, and that contributed to my horrific day. I’m stuffy and my throat is sore, I’m still exhausted, but I have a book review due today that will have to be postponed. So my review of Quarter Past Midnight will now be posted on the 15th of this month. The Dreamt Child will remain on the 5th of January, and The Protected will be reviewed on the 19th of January.

My NaNoNovel is not completed, but I’m going to shelve it for the time being. I’m taking this week off, and I probably won’t do any serious writing until we’re done with inventory at work and I come back to days. In fact, I’m taking a long weekend starting the 13th of this month. I probably won’t do anything until I return home. Then I’ll resume rewriting Jasmine and go from there.

At some point next year, I’ll revisit Giada and start my corrections to tell the story I want to tell. It veered off course quickly and I simply didn’t have the time to change course. I did write some good stuff that I plan to salvage, but some will be pruned and consigned to the fire. I don’t know. I’m still a little fuzzy.

For now I’m signing off. Have a great week, and for those of you who participated and won, congrats! For those who didn’t cross the 50K threshold, I’m proud of you. Just beginning a project is a huge step. Don’t be discouraged. You can do it!

If you’ll excuse me. I have a date with my pillow.

NaNoWriMo 2014: Day 30 – Limping towards the finish line

It is day thirty of this madness and I’m limping towards the finish line. I slept only a few hours last night and now I’m wide awake, exhausted, and I think…, I don’t know what I think. Right now, I’m don’t know how to think.

I’ll give you a few facts first. It’s a little after nine in the morning and I have a total of 46,799 words written. I need to write 3201 words to finish. Then factoring in the loss of words due to trying to validate, I probably need to pad my word count by at least a thousand words.

I also had the great idea that we needed to have lasagna for dinner, which since it was my idea, I get to make. From scratch. No store-bought frozen crap. I’ll even make the sauce from scratch. The lasagna noodle will be from a box. I’m not so committed that I’m going to make that from scratch. Also, I don’t own a pasta maker.

Damn I’m tired. I should have written yesterday, and I had originally planned on making it to a write-in, but I went with my brother, my sister, and her two daughters to see Mockingjay Part 1. I’ll review it later, maybe. Then I bought some shoes. Then we went to eat at Fuddruckers.

But I surely can write about 4K words by midnight, even with my stupid idea to make dinner tonight. I’ll have to postpone my book review a few days, which bums me out. I wonder if any of this is coherent. It seems so in my sleep-deprived state.

Also I’m hungry, and exhausted. I want to sleep. I also want someone to hold me.

It’s almost over….

God help me

NaNoWriMo 2014: Day 29 – Oh crap, oh crap

Two more days of this madness: where do you stand? I’ve seen many of my fellow Wrimos already surpass the 50K mark, and some others are way behind. Myself, I’m behind as well, but not too bad. I’m at 44,481, which means I lack only 5519 until I cross the finish line. That’s only 2759 words per day, though I could conceivably cross the finish line today.

Happily, I have today and tomorrow off. I’m going to spend as much time as possible writing towards the goal line. There’s a write-in in Lubbock that I hope to join, but that depends on me getting some sleep first and then waking up on time. Also, I promised my sister and brother that I would go see Mockingjay Part 1 later today. I really can’t wait!

So for now I’m off to bed, even though it’s only 7:20 in the morning. Until later this morning, have a great day. For my fellow Wrimos, you can do it!

Book Review: Lucky Sevens

November is here, and with it comes the beginning of the holiday season. Today also kicks-off National Novel Writing Month, and of course, an all-new book review for you to enjoy. Today’s selection is by Cynthia Vespia. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter, as well as her business page Original Cyn Advertising.


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Lucky Sevens © 2013 Cynthia Vespia

What city better epitomizes the struggle between good and evil, sinners and saints, than Las Vegas? Sin City is the American capital of indulgences, of gambling, sex, drugs and alcohol. Vegas is a hedonist’s oasis, where the wealthy congregate, where power resides, where lives and dreams are made and broken. It’s where fortunes are won and lost, and where ultimate price is sometimes paid.

Luck Sevens by Cynthia Vespia follows a motley crew of characters, each with their own journey, their lives intertwined by Saints and Sinners, a casino and main setting for our story.

When casino owner, Charles Vega, is found dead, after appearing to have jumped from his suite at Lucky Sevens casino, the place is sold, rebranded as Saints and Sinners, and life goes on. It’s just another day in the city of sin.

Luca “Lucky” Luchazi, head of security for Lucky Sevens, survives the transition and remains at his position. Lucky’s mentor, friend, and father figure, Vega, built Lucky Sevens from the ground up, and after Vega’s death. Though his job consumes much of his time, he bemoans the changes brought about by the new owners.

The driving force behind the story is the power play between Eddie Zeder and his main headliner, magician Chris King. Zeder, forced to drop out of law school by his father in order to manage the property, is at once out of his league, but has the desire to manage Saints and Sinners to finance his personal addictions to cocaine and later meth.

King, who’s own draw is beginning to wane, had been attempting to hijack control of the casino from the previous owner, only failing due to Vega’s untimely death. After the set back, King attempts to take the reins from Zeder, and a battle of wills ensues, one where not only egos are at stake, but lives are seen simply as collateral damage.

Lucky is caught up in the in-fighting, struggling to maintain order. He is at odds with his boss, who he sees as a petty egotist, and King. As the death count begins to rise, his own life is at risk, as he tries to get to the bottom of the situation. Once Brooklyn, Lucky’s ex, becomes involved, a woman who he still cares for and deeply loves, he knows that he must do what he can to protect her, while trying to protect his tenuous hold on his job.

There’s a lot of elements at play in this book. Like I’ve already mentioned, there’s the war for control between Zeder and King, and their disregard for anyone who stands in their way to power. There’s Lucky’s struggle with accepting his mentor’s death and seeing old Vegas make way for the new. There’s the heartbreak of a failed relationship, and the lingering feelings between the two. Add to it an element of black magic, and you have a recipe for a great book, or the potential for a mess.

Happily, Cynthia delivers, offering a action-packed, sordid tale of sex, drugs, and the pursuit for power. In lesser hands, this would have been a belabored collection of stories that would have clashed, but Cynthia expertly manages to bring to this story to life.

There were, I felt a few missed opportunities. I would have liked to have seen the black magic angle play out a little more, especially during the climax of the story. I felt as though there was no denouement. The action fell away, leaving me wanting more.

Still, this was a very enjoyable read. The best stories invite you in, as if you are experiencing the action yourself. I felt very much as if I were looking at the events unfold through Lucky’s eyes. The few negatives I found were minor, and are outweighed by the positives.

As such, I would recommend this book if you like a compelling story. This is very much a book with adult themes. Sex features prominently a several key scenes. They are written in a tantalizing manner, without becoming obscene. Drugs and alcoholism are on display as well, but again, serve as a function of the story.

The book is now on sale, with a portion of the proceeds going to benefit the Colon Cancer Research Program at Cedars-Sinai in honor of Cynthia’s mother and father.


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