Showing posts from February, 2009

Pile o'books

My birthday packages from Barnes and Noble and Amazon finally arrived! I now have a nice stack of books to read! I am still waiting for another package of three Neil Gaiman books. Joey, my husband, ordered it from the "official" bookstore in Minneapolis, but we haven't heard anything yet. I am eager for its arrival since one of them is signed!

Here's the roundup:

The Forest House by Marion Zimmer Bradley
The Fairy's Return and Other Princess Tales by Gail Carson Levine
Serenity Found: More Unauthorized Essays on Joss Whedon's Serenity edited by Jane Espenson
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Dark Whispers by Bruce Colville

I am now reading Graceling by Kristin Ganshore. I hope to put a review up for it. This is the author's first book, and so far so good! I flew through the first chapter last night.

I will write more this weekend sin…

Six Word Memoirs

On Valentine's Day, I bookmarked this article about six word memoirs. It was the third time that I had seen this phenomenon mentioned on NPR. Talk of the Nation did a story on a book full of the six word memoirs, Not Quite What I Was Planning by Smith magazine in February 2008. The Bryant Park Project, my favorite (now canceled) program on NPR talked about them and posted on their blog in January 2008 asking for listener comments of their own six word memoirs. Here are my favorites:

"Born looking up at the stars." -Summer
"Wanna grow up, then too old." -Chillag
"What should I write for this?" -Yuna

I guess Smith magazine has released several different versions of the six word memoirs and have plans for more. You can go to their website and submit to various story projects and who knows? You could end up in a book! For now, your memoir will be posted to cyberspace.

Reading through these, I had some good laughs. Some aches in my heart. It is something that I…

Culture Research

This week has been quiet. I have reached my first goal of 10,000 words in KIN and I am really, really hoping that I can reach 20,000 by the end of the month. I am enjoying writing the story, but I think I need to surround myself more with Japanese culture. The story is based in its own "world", but will be influenced by the culture the story originated. This weekend some friends are coming over to our place and we are making (vegetarian) sushi. Sometimes I would also like to pop in a Hayao Miyazaki movie while I go online to scour the internet for some research, as well. I am doing research as I go, but I think it would be fun if I noticed something in the movie and created a "notes" document related to find. We shall see if I find time for reaching my next goal is my focus right now. Oh, and catching up on some reading...

My husband Joey is working on my business card right now. My friend Sue Dawe was nice enough to lend me a piece of her art for it. It is wonderf…

Book Trailers

I have decided to look into book trailers. I watched my very first one today of a young adult novel, and I am not sure what to think about it quite yet. I think it might go with my preference for real art on books, rather than real people and graphic design. Yes, it all depends on the type of books. Fantasy novels, to me, seem much more appealing if they have some beautiful art. Juliet Marillier's books, with art from John Jude Palencar and Kinuko Y. Craft, are a fine example of this.

Times are changing, and my views might as well. Right now I prefer art over graphic design. I would rather see that art and read the synopsis than see a trailer for it. I don't know why, but who knows if my views will change. Sometimes I fear if I get published, I will need to have pictures rather than paintings for my cover art. I never imagined it so, and it is hard to wrap my brain around it now. It will be interesting to see the changes the future will bring.
I celebrated my 27th bi…

Birthday Week

This week is my birthday so I have been running all over the place doing various projects and celebrating. I am ready for Joss Whedon's Dollhouse that airs its first episode tomorrow. I am huge fan of his projects and encourage you to check it out on FOX. I am in the middle of the newest Buffy Omnibus and can't put it down. Okay, I did to type this. I also started Ever by Gail Carson Levine, a change of pace from my last read. I think it will help in my mindset with what I am currently writing.

I just finished The Mists of Avalon and completely fell in the love with the book, even though it took a month to read. My husband and I visited Glastonbury (Avalon) and climbed the Tor in December after visitng Stonehenge. It was one of the most magical moments of my life and will never forget it. This book I could really envision England and all its beauty and mysteries.

There's the update on my current reads. I would love to hear what you are reading, as well. Feel free to drop a l…

Books Read 2008

To be a writer, you must read. I have heard that lesson over and over, but I always think about the day that I decided I wanted to write. I loved to read so much and I knew this is what I wanted to do. I always had a reading book with me in school, and I rode the school bus for two or more hours a day so it helped keep boredom at bay when my friends departed the school bus.

I wanted to read about 100 books/comics in 2008. I didn't come to close to my goal, but I am not beating myself up over it. I have a lot going on: Core Con, writing, work, friends, family, our Europe trip in December....

Here's what I did end up reading. I read a lot of the same authors: Shannon Hale, Gail Carson Levine, Jacqueline Carey, Cornelia Funke, Neil Gaiman, and ,my favorite, Juliet Marillier. It was a pretty good year for books! I also some Alan Moore comics and lots of Joss Whedon comics related to Buffy, Angel, and Firefly/Serenity.

I am about to finish The Mists of Avalon. After visiting Stonehe…

Newbery 2009

I arrived home to find that the John Newbery Medal was announced today. I was thrilled to see that Neil Gaiman won with his fantastic book, The Graveyard Book. I picked up this book opening week and fell in love with it. I took it to Canada with me when we attended a convention there. The year before, I read some of Neil Gaiman's short stories to my husband on the drive up there. I think it is tradition now to take Neil Gaiman's writing to Winnipeg when we go.

I actually had the opportunity last June to ask Neil Gaiman a question on NPR's now defunct The Bryant Park Project (BPP). This show, which I aboslutely adored, had a great podcast and used the Internet to connect with its listeners. One way that they did this was by putting together a book club. Their third book selection was Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys. I have read almost all of Gaiman's books, and will start on his Sandman series this year. I have fallen in love with his writing and was completely thrilled wh…

Obama and Publishing

There is an article on NPR's website called "Obama: A New Force in Publishing". It talks about how Obama is an avid reader and that if people catch side of what he is reading, they will go out and buy the book themselves.They think that his influence will be as strong as Oprah's for the book industry. Another great thing is, ""You actually have both a writer and a reader in the White House who is articulate and eloquent in his own right."

There is also a great article from the New York Times called "From Books, President Found Voice" that goes into further details about what he likes to read and probably why, such as how words help give people a voice. They also talk about the comparison between him and Lincoln.

It is exciting to think that we have a writer and a reader in the White House!


originally posted Jan 18, 2009 8:34 AM by Natasha Heck


I recently listened to Stories and Poems from Angels and Visitations by Neil Gaiman with music by Dave McKean and The Flash Girls. Track 6, titled Banshee, had some real inspiring music that had me writing down a flurry of notes while listening to it. My husband and I went on a trip to England and France in December 2008, and I love to read lots of different literature based in Great Britain. The magic and myth over there is so powerful, and this song put me there for some reason. Instead of a banshee, a different superstition found its way into my mind. There, I developed a short story. I am not sure how short it will be, but I don't see it as a novel. I am calling it "The Shortest Day".

I will reveal more when it is finished. I just thought I would share my inspiration. Have you ever been struck by something so simple inspiring a whole story? Share it here if you like!


originally posted Jan 12, 2009 10:13 PM by Natasha Heck

A Simple Plan

Here it is! My website, a new blog. I have had a private blog for seven and a half years, but I think it is time to have a writing blog for the website.

My Top New Year's Resolution:

I plan on writing every day, even if it is something as simple as my feelings or images into a poem. I must exercise my writing or life will get too much in the way. I think five minutes can even make a difference.

Let's see how this goes!

In the future I might be using some old blog and journal entries here and there that I think you might enjoy. Keep an eye out for I will write the dates they were originally written! Some might go as far back as high school depending on the amount of embarrassment I decide to put myself through in sharing those thoughts with you.


posted Jan 10, 2009 3:21 PM by Natasha Heck