April Camp, Day 22

My friend Amanda said it best the other day; sometimes, you have to take time to yourself. Sometimes you have to. Sometimes you need a break.

A lot of people say, write even when you don’t want to. Okay, that’s great. But sometimes you just literally have to take a break. Go watch a movie. Read a book. Go outside and enjoy the sunshine, or go dancing in the rain. Sit and vegetate or have a good cry. It’s not going to kill you; it’s therapeutic.

Procrastinate. Take a break. Get your mind off your project for a little while, whether you’re doing it for pleasure or profit, whether you’re writing or something else. Take time to recharge your batteries.

Whatever you’re doing, it’s not important enough to sabotage your mental, emotional, and physical health. And that’s what you’ll do if you burn yourself out and don’t give yourself a chance to recharge.

Do your words, definitely. But don’t kill yourself for them.


My Wordcount: 25224/25,000


What Natasha Does In Her Off Time: Quilting


What some of you don’t know is that I quilt. A lot. A craft more than I probably should, because I can, it’s practical, I build something with my time.

It is not, however, particularly profitable, because it turns out I don’t know how to market things. Go figure.

It’s not much of a marketplace, my blog. I don’t have a lot of followers, I don’t know a lot of people, and most of the followers I do have are writers, not shoppers. There’s not a lot of market for home-made quilts, either, especially in the coming summer. Nevertheless, I thought I’d give it a swing, maybe generate some interest. I know someone out there, somewhere, has a friend who has a friend. Someone is interested, somewhere.

Eventually I’ll make individual posts for these, along with future endeavors, which denote sizes and colors, materials, what is and is not for sale. If someone is interested in the meantime, I would be more than happy to answer all your questions.






Book Review: Podkayne of Mars by Robert A Heinlein

Podkayne of Mars by Robert A Heinlein
Readthrough: April 1, 2016 – April 13, 2016
Copy: Paperback, Ace Publishing, May 1987

I decided to pick up this book the other day during our shopping trip– and by that I mean, I chose it of my bookshelf so that I could read it during our shopping trip, not that I bought it during our shopping trip. I originally bought this book for a quarter on vacation some odd years ago, at a location which I spent maybe a hundred dollars and came away with some seven hundred dollars worth of literature.

But by some turn of fate, I thought it looked nice, I skimmed the cover, and I put it in my box. And I’m not sad I did.

Podkayne of Mars is written in a diary style, mixed just a little with first person present in the way diary style can be. It can be just a trifle confusing, because sometimes Podkayne’s brother comes and writes in it as well, but for the most part it seems to be entirely Podkayne. Because it is diary style, there are portions where it is a slew of words strung together or letters which do not always make up words; it is, after all, the diary of a teenage girl.

The book follows Podkayne on her trip to Earth, the birthplace of humankind– though of course she very much doubts that. But what I’m most fond of about this book is all the little details.

You see, because of the way this book is written, we get a lot of information dumped on us, sometimes a lot at a time, and it’s all seen through the lens of the way Podkayne sees the world. Some of it can be a little hard to piece together– you have to be sure to read it carefully, or you miss some of the detail she was trying to tell her diary. For reference, you’re the diary. Some of it is a good, cohesive way to build the universe as it stands in your mind; some of it is just a good way to build the character.

All of it is important, in it’s own way. Every piece of it makes you love the character and the world she lives in, because Podkayne Fries lives in a world that she loves and she loves living it, and if you’re reading the book like I do, you’re aiming to get invested in something, or it simply wont hold your attention.

Heinlein does a good job of getting me invested in Poddy. So much so that when the book ended, and it did, unfortunately, end, I was hooked and desperate for more. I don’t know if I’ll ever get it. I don’t think he wrote a second book to cover what happens After. But it doesn’t matter, because the book alone is enough for itself.

If I find he did make a follow up, certainly I will have to have my hands all over that. In the meantime, without spoiling anything– and I fear not much of this book can be discussed without spoiling anything– I fully recommend everybody read this book if they have the chance. It’s well written and paced nicely, and the conclusion leaves you hungry and wishing for more.

–Natasha York

April Camp, Day 15

Some authors say: write what you know. Other authors say: write what you don’t. Some say: write what will sell. Others say: write what you want.

None of them are wrong. Maybe that’s what works for them, and maybe that will be what works for you. Maybe it isn’t, and wont. There’s nothing wrong with any of it.

I write what makes me happy. What story my characters have to tell. It’s not necessarily what I know, but neither is it so excessively foreign I cannot grasp them.

I’ve never broken into a museum, as my characters have; I’ve never killed, as they. Nor have I ever broken a bone, or been shot.

What I have had is many sleepless nights, worrying and fretting over things I cannot control and things I can. I’ve had aches and pains and nightmares that kept me awake and in suffering so bad it moved me to tears. I’ve had years of frustrating jobs, and heartache and stress. I have aggravated joints, the sort that throb in pain whenever the cold weather sets in, the ones that creak and crack when you move. I’ve a knee that sometimes decides to just give out, and an arm and shoulder that often cease to exist.

I’ve nearly lost my family, and I’m not the most emotionally aware, never mind the most emphatic. I’ve got memory gaps and I’ve once upon a time had a hideous overdose of prescription pills because they assigned me way too high a dosage. Turns out sounds have colors and everything was pastel. I’ve passed out, my own body nearly killed me when I was a teenager, thanks to a nasty UTI.

But what else I know is that I’ve watched my brother turn into a handsome young man who’s growing in confidence. I’ve watched my nephew turn from infant to a young adult in so many measures. I’ve raised cats and kittens from the bottle, from day one; I’ve managed to save some, despite all the hurt that comes from losing them.

I know the quiet pride that comes from doing something right. I know the perfect world doesn’t exist, but I know how to make it as close as possible.

I know these things. I can extrapolate all these things into the things I don’t know.

I can make it work.

You don’t have to write about what you know. You don’t have to write about what you don’t. You don’t have to write what sells, or what you like, or what you want to write.

You do not have to.

But you can.

My Wordcount: 18391/25000

Repost: Emotion Wheel


Reposting for the magic that is the emotion wheel. So many words! This is something every author should look at at least once.

Showing that your MC has emotion/feelings/passion is one of the most important ingredients for great writing… I know I enjoy a story that has emotion over something flat and informational… think of the children’s story ‘Jack and Jill’… while cute and fun to read as a child, as an adult wouldn’t it be more interesting […]

via 4-13-2016 #WritingPrompt – Emotion — Finder’s Keepers – Author Tracey Clark

April Camp, Day 8

My sister got me a Barnes and Noble gift card for Christmas. I used it recently, along with a 15% off code the website sent me, to buy two books I had been eyeballing for a while but never quite had the money to afford. With the pair, I paid a grand total of “less than two dollars” and I admit to being quite satisfied.

The first came in a few days before the end of March. The second, April Fools Day. I’m using them as reward tokens for camp, along with a bunch of other miscellaneous things, like watching this recent cartoon I’ve heard about.

Every once in a while you need a break. And it’s okay to take that break. You need those breaks like you need water, or air, or sunshine. It’s important to have them.

So take a break if you need to. But don’t give up just yet.

My Wordcount: 9,357/25,000


Writing Prompt: April 2016

Last month I told you about my writing class, and I gave you the first sentence we were requested to write for. This month, I’m going to give you the second, and the sentence I acquired during the class as my response.

Give this one a try, too. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Sentence Chosen: The sharks swim.
Constructed Sentence: The dappled sharks swim with enthusiastic men and women in the shallows of the cove, where they oft play tag between human legs and occasionally demand petting from them like hairless, aquatic cats.