Huricane Florence and the Eastern NC

Eastern North Carolina is hunkered down and waiting to see what this storm is going to do. Currently as I type this the wind is blowing and we had a short rain shower. People are still driving and making last minute preperations. Soon all will be quiet except for the moaning howls of wind and spattering rain.

Folks will hunker down with loved ones (furbabies too) and wait for the storm’s fury to pass. On the beaches waves will mercilessly and hungerily rip and tear at the shore, while wind will shred anything it can get a hold on. Bad times are coming and yet we have held our ground and thrived.

After the storm has spent its fury and has moved on. Then the clean up and the taking stock will begin. People will pull together and life starts again. If you are in the path of the storm, be safe. I will see you folks on the otherside of this storm.

Cheers on a hurricane afrernoon. james


NaNoWriMo 2018 Goals

It has been three years since I last participated in NaNoWriMo. I focused so much on my writing that the entire month was a blur. And I couldn’t remember anything about it that wasn’t writing related. It scared me. So that summer I thought maybe I could participate in Camp NaNo and it wouldn’t be quite as intense. Well I had fun and wrote about 10K words. And that was pretty much the last serious writing I have done, excepting my journal and this blog. Although the blog has suffered greatly by my neglect. I do apologize for that. Life and myself got in the way.

What does a non-writing writer know about writing?

That question haunted me and it still rears it’s nasty lil head up every so often. However the answer to that is this, putting words on the page. No it may not be the world’s greatest piece of writing. But it has brought me back to the page and to the words. So I have decided to give NaNoWriMo another chance. Except this time it will be on my terms. Since I got so wrapped up in my writing I am cutting down my word count to 750 words per day. And I am going to start writing now, however it will not count towards the final word count. If I can get started on and maintain the 750 words then some days the words may fly fast and furious and some days maybe not. But I will be writing and that my friends is what counts most.


  • Start writing now, thru November 30th
  • Daily word count 750 vs 1667 
  • Rebuild my writing skill and confidence
  • Have fun and enjoy writing again
  • Keep blogging 

So these are my goals and I think I can keep up with them. Fingers crossed. So what goals are you setting for your NaNo writing prep season. Are you thinking about participating in NaNoWriMo? There are great resources available at

Cheers, james

Mysterious Happenings

I am part of the official NaNoWriMo facebook group and somebody posted about unsolved mysteries. People have been commenting on various mysteries thru the ages. I commented about the “Beast of Bladensboro” in North Carolina.

The story goes between 1954 and 1955 there weird animal killings, domestic and wild animals. The victims spanned from pet dogs to deer. Then the killings stopped. Speculation abounded on who or what had done the killings. One theory said it was a cougar or a large cat that had possibly escaped captivity. There were lots of more interesting theories suggested.

When I lived in the mountains, people talked about the Brown Mountain lights. The theory goes the lights are lost souls forever wondering the mountain in search of peace. Another is aliens running around just to mess with up. Another theory is the flashes are reflection of vehicles on the road which is why the lights are always moving.

So what interesting stories or mysteries do you have lurking in your backyard. Sometimes those homegrown legends can inspire your writing and spark your imagination.

Cheers, james

Writing Prep

NaNoWriMo is coming! NaNoWriMo is coming!

Ah that time of the year is soon to be upon us. The time when people go nuts from now until December 1st. Thank you Mr. Chris Beatty, as if the holidays need any extra craziness. Or could it be a refuge from the holiday insanity that takes over. Hmm food for thought for another post.

Pantser or Planner

First you need to decide which approach or a combonation approach you want to use. A “pantser” as defined is someone that is flying by the seat of their pants. Winging it, free spirited etc. approach to writing.

A “planner” is someone that plans, outlines, notes and thoroughly prepares for their writing. Anithesis of pantser.

Personally I like the combo of the two. Plenty of notes on world building, character sketches, a basic mind map of the how, when, where and whatfors. But with enough room to make a run into left field if that is where the story goes. Except I never get that far into my planning. Oh well there is always a first time.

Despite best attempts to get back into writing I haven’t. Either too much stress or just plan lack the fire and drive. Usually when life hits the fan is when my writing ramps up to help me escape the stress of the “real” world. So I am considering another run at NaNo this year.

Two months to prepare and get things organized with several story ideas in my head and also a couple of stories that I have been working on for several years. I think I can do it.

So the question you need to ask yourself is pantser or planner? Or maybe its NaNo or not to NaNo? As those answers will guide you into a writing adventure. Cheers, james

A New Notebook and a new pen

I have been watching all the excitement over the disc bound notebooks and I finally took the plunge and bought one. I got a Staple Arc 8.5 x 11 page size. So it is a hoss, especially after I up sized the binder discs to hold more pages. I have stayed with the Staples paper so far and my only complaint is the lines are narrow. *Footnote: I have gotten so used to writing on unlined paper and I tend to write larger when I use cursive. So it maybe a matter of me getting used to confined spaces again.*

Otherwise the paper handles my fountain pens easily and the ink doesn’t bleed through. I have only been using my extra fine nibs due to the line spaces. So grain of salt an all that. Fingers crossed I am going to try using my medium nib Hero 359, which writes wet. I will let you know how it goes.

I am pleased with the construction of the covers and discs. I am a little skeptical of how well the pages will stay, but so far I haven’t had any trouble. The discs are 1.5 inches and should hold 200 sheets or 400 pages. So I have plenty of space to add paper. I think I have 100 sheets currently in it.

One thing I don’t care for is how floppy this notebook is. However upon reflection I think it has to do with the disc size and the number of pages in it. I think if I had some dividers or a envelope it would be stiffer. I may decide to go back to the original disc size that came with it. It seemed to have been less floppy moving around.

Price wise it is more expensive than a regular notebook or 3 ring binder. The pages there are several options. Purchase the specialty paper with the holes already in it, Staples Arc, Levenger and others. Or purchase a special hole punch to make your own inserts. I have not invested in a hole punch because I wanted to try it first. There are at least 2 punches I have found online. One is the staples brand at a whomping $50+ and the the Levenger is around $20. There may be others but those are the two I’ve looked at so far.

Cheers, james

Pen and Ink Review

I finally got a bright green Hero fountain pen. I have been searching for a nice bright green pen since I started using fountain pens. And you can’t have an awesome green pen without a suitably awesome green ink.

So without further ado.

This is my medium nib Hero 359 in bright green inked with Diamine Golden Oasis. Oasis is a bright green ink with gold sparkles in it.

Now I had a lot of trouble finding the right pen for this ink. The sparkles or glitter causes the feed to clog and then the pen has hard starts and other problems. I tried it on the extra fine Hero 359a, the Pen Revolution Darjerling in a medium nib and my Hero 901 in medium. All of other pens wrote fine at first until the feed became swamped with the sparkles. Not only did it start writing crappy, it was a bear to clean the ink out the pens.

I have gone through a full converter of the Golden Oasis in the 359. When I cleaned it I didn’t have any problems. Although I did notice a slight sparkle in the Diamine Bilberry for the first couple of lines.

So the moral is try Golden Oasis if green ink and gold sparkle is your kinda thing, go for it. Just make sure you try it in several different pens if you have problems.

Cheers, james