On writing away from your office.

Noteboard: The Whiteboard that Folds Up from Full-Size to Pocket-Size!While I do the majority of my writing in my “Office” (ok, so it’s a very cluttered corner of my bedroom..), I do take opportunities to move outdoors, especially now that it is moving toward fall. I just want to take advantage of the last gasp of summer. Here, in the Sonoma Valley in October, that last gasp can be pretty significant. October can be and often is one of our hottest months, with temperatures rising above 80°

The regional park a few miles from my home is my usual “remote office’. It is wonderful to be out in the fresh air and sunshine enjoying the local wildlife and I think the change of location helps to encourage my muse. Sometimes I take my laptop with me, sometimes just my journal. Because my laptop is an older model, I do sometimes have a problem seeing the screen in bright sunlight, so I find myself settling for just my journal more and more often. The problem is that I have decided to attempt to storyboard my NaNoWriMo entry this year and, without my laptop, I am also without Scrivener’s wonderful storyboard facility.

Of course, I could bring a large sheet of posterboard, a folding display board and a bunch of sticky notes and use that. I have tried that before and it is unhandy to fit into the car. An additional complication is the “Sonoma Sirocco”, the powerful winds that sweep across the North Bay Area beginning around 2pm each afternoon. They make the park a great place to fly kites, and many other objects you don’t particularly want to have flying around(like sticky notes and index cards, etc).

Then, in my travels, I found this little goody. It is, essentially, a stack of index cards, each encased in plastic, joined together. Perfect for story boarding on the go! Folded up, it is the size of …well…a stack of index cards. Opened up, it is a whiteboard with each index card representing a chapter or a scene. You can used dry erase markers with different colors to represent your characters, etc. Too cool! It comes in a pouch, which doubles as an eraser. You can just take it out, unfold it and go to work. I have now bought three of them and I just love them.

Review: Theft of Swords

Theft of Swords
Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a great book. I first read “The Crown Tower” which is actually from a prequel series (Riyria Chronicles). I was waiting for the second novel in that series (The Rose and the Thorn) to be published and went looking for this series to read in the meantime. The author wrote that it was not necessary to read “The Chronicles” before reading “Revelations”. I thoroughly enjoyed both books, but I do suggest that “The Chronicles” series should be read first. For that reason, I am not going to read “Revelations” any further.

In this book, Haddrian and Royce have been working together for almost a dozen years. They receive a commission to retrieve a supposedly magical sword in order to prevent their clients death in a duel. Instead they find themselves framed of the King’s murder and charged with the protection of his son and successor who would like nothing better than to kill them. It’s no wonder they find themselves in a bad mood. But there is nothing for them to do but to carry on. They are after all, thieves…it’s what they do and they do it better than almost anyone else.

I have to admit that I am in love with these two characters and cannot wait to read the rest of “The Chronicles” to find how these two, who are so different, came to be friends and partners.

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Review: Forged in Blood II

Forged in Blood II
Forged in Blood II by Lindsay Buroker

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this series very much and am sad to say goodbye to these characters. I have mixed feelings on this final book however. I think the Sicarius POV was handled much better in Forged in Blood I. Some of his actions and thoughts in this volume didn’t ring true in that they were at odds with what we have come to know about the character. I also felt that the last three chapters felt somewhat rushed, as though the author wanted to get the book wrapped up so she could get on to something else. I do hope that we haven’t seen the last of these characters. I would like to know where they go after this.

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Review: Inferno

Inferno by Dan Brown

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I personally think this book is Dan Brown’s best since The DaVinci Code. For those who enjoy puzzle solving, scavenger hunts and learning a lot about history served along with a great thriller, this is a must read. Robert Langdon is back with another breakneck thrill ride through the streets of Italy only this time he is trying to solve a mystery without the aid of his considerable memory, at least as it applies to the previous 24 hours. You see, he can’t remember why he is there, what he is looking for, who he is running from and what happened to him and what did he do? A bit of a handicap you might say.

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