Saturday, December 29, 2012


Greetings from the land of sorting out new year's resolutions. I have decided that I am just going to throw away most of my carefully planned ideas for 2013 and go with the flow.

Why? Because I have Sisu! I am a quarter Finnish through my ancestors, and I have decided that the only thing I really need is that special determination that only the Finnish can truly define. 
But there is a reason that I called my blog various things involving Sisu. It's because I have always intended to invoke as much of that special power from within as I will need to succeed.

My first step toward success: Bringing forth my latent Sisu tendencies.

My second step toward success: Launching my internet platform for my writing and joining NaNoWriMo, Twitter, and Pinterest.

My third step toward success: Discovering that cross country skiing is still, in fact, in my blood after (ugh...) a really really long time of not skiing...(like really long time...)....I just skied today for the first time in that really really long time and It. Was. Wonderful. Enough said.

So, I am going to go forth with the battle cry of Sisu! You will all get to watch me roar! I do hope you'll stick around and make more discoveries with me. You'll even get to read some new books, written by yours truly, eventually.

For now, I am off to work some of that sisu into getting rid of the holiday aftermath that hit my house.
Stay tuned for more Sisu updates in 2013! Happy New Year!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Hopeful Holidays!

May 2013 bring everyone good and wonderful things...not just the things needed for everyday, but the things needed for the heart as well!

See you then!

Be kind, find peace and give love!
Happy Holidays from HMMS Wooldrage

In Memory of our beloved cat, Fooston April 1997 - September 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Realization About Reading

0r where I preach to the choir, a little

I was ruminating while in the shower today, and came to a realization as often occurs to people who think in the shower. I realized why eBooks are good things. I still favor the turn of a paper page, but eBooks are another way to READ.
In a society that is evolving into a digital realm, where we are all communicating with words via screens, especially our children... we need to promote more reading for these devices! 

Promoting literacy needs to ramp up and include showing kids that books are on those screens too. I think this is already going on, but I know I still have a hesitancy toward showing my kids how to read on a screen. I would rather show my 3yo how to read a paper book first. That's what I do too. I know there are all the Leapfrog® type things that have been around for ages, but I believe reading out loud, without having to jab at a word with a stylus, is still the best way to learn reading.

However, older kids, who have devices to use apps, and play games, and post pictures...they should be encouraged to read on those devices. READ. Texting is one thing, and it's kind of nice that people are using typed words more to communicate. However, the fact that we are using words more is why the abbreviations in texting, and the count limitations of words in social media sites bug me. I get it, I know why the limits are out there, but they still bug me.

People are starting to name their children with social media vocabulary. Really? People are also starting to speak in these new made up "words." *shakes head* My dear daughter just told me today that she sometimes says LOL - says it - instead of actually laughing out loud! Fortunately, she also said this drives her nuts, but it's a prime example of what's going on.

Let's not destroy language (especially English) entirely, people. I agree that evolution of language is a good thing, but speaking in abbreviations lacks emotion. I hope it isn't going to become professionally acceptable someday. I hope that eBooks will preserve the language, and I hope that kids will read them and know there is more to "texting".

I guess what I am trying to say is Promote the Hell out of READING! Any form of reading is good! Except maybe reading hate...but that's morality vs. literacy, and literacy is my point. Parents, take morality up with your kids in your own way, and teach them to read any format of book available!
What do you think? Will eBooks preserve languages? Can we preserve paper books or will they go the way of the LP record albums and become expensive collectors items? Can we promote the hell out of reading?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Gift Card Give Away Hop

Gift Card Give Away Blog Hop, hosted by I'm a Reader, Not a Writer: Here's the list. I am probably doing this promotional blurb wrong, but wanted to promote these great book blogs! The give away is for gift cards to favorite bookstores. Hop around and try your luck. Happy Holidays! I am particularly promoting Cozy Mystery Book Reviews and their give away for a $15 gift card to either Amazon or Better World Books. I am a big promoter of Better World Books, so I had to jump on the band wagon.

Be Kind, Find Peace and Give Love

taking a pledge

 Last night in a haze of "should be sleeping", I decided to join this pledge thing.
I signed up after reading all of the "requirements" and I do agree with all of the convictions listed. However, there was one inference that I realized after I signed up. It was the fact that I was a "Mommy Blogger". Now, I have nothing whatsoever against "Mommy Bloggers." I think they probably get a bad wrap in the blogosphere. I just don't want my blog to become first and foremost a Mommy Blog.

As a "promise" sort of thing to the pledge that I ever serious you want to look at the pledge...I am supposed to blog what the pledge means to me. I am going to be brief. The pledge means that I agree with the importance of community, and I support other moms in everything they are trying to do. Being a mom is hard. It's a 24/7 job, and you're always on call. Moms need other moms.

This blog of mine is my sort of selfish blog. It's my place to put up whatever I want. It's primarily where I am going to talk about my journey as a writer, but I can talk about anything, even if it's family, moms, or in support of moms. I suspect as readers you already know that.

Still the pledge is worth a read. The link for it is from the badge on my right -> sidebar. It's got worthy reminders for women and men alike, and that's why I signed up. After all, the tag line on my blog is Be Kind, Find Peace and Give Love.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Blog Post Relocation PSA

All posts from my NaNoWriMoWhoas blog have been relocated to this blog. (I am glad there weren't that many.)

My NaNoWriMoWhoas blog has been deleted. Please feel free to leave comments on the relocated posts if you feel so inclined.

Thank you! I apologize for any inconvenience.

(NaNoWriMoWhoas) Title Change and an Idea

*post relocation* From Dec. 2nd, 2012 NaNoWriMoWhoas post

 I realized that I needed to change the title from NaNoWriMoWoes to NaNoWriMoWhoas. I'm not sure why it took me so long to realize that there wasn't too much to be woeful about, but I was feeling frustrated when I started this blog.

Now, however, I see that NaNoWriMo has been a journey of wonder and discovery for me, and therefore it definitely needs the title WHOAS!

I hope other WriMos will join me here. I would love to have this become a collaborative short story blog and a place for us to chat.

What do you think? Need to keep those fingers and muses nimble throughout the year? Tweet, email or comment below and I can add you to the list of authors for this blog. Hope to see you soon!
*UPDATE: (Dec. 9, 2012) - No longer thinking about doing the co-writing idea at the moment. I will keep you posted if the idea resurfaces. Thanks*

(NaNoWriMoWhoas) Yeah, Baby!

 *post relocation* From Nov. 27, 2012  NaNoWriMoWhoas post

Wooo! I couldn't be more excited. And after a few victory laps around the house, I just had to sit down and blog about it.

There really weren't many "Woes" to go along with NaNoWriMo. I have to say I have had the time of my life and I hope that I can stay in touch with everyone I met in such a short period of time. I  hope to be hanging out all year with the NaNoWriMo folks. And if you think you can't do 50K in 30 days, I did it in 18, so it is possible to reach your goals and follow your dreams!

I still have a long way to go. My journey with my novel is not finished, but I made it to the goal and ran the marathon like any good athlete. And I learned so much, shed a bucket or two of tears and learned some more. It's been amazing.

Thank you so much to everyone involved with NaNoWriMo for making the creative process so very real! And I have to thank my family and friends and fellow writing buddies. Without all of you, I wouldn't have been able to do any of this. *group hugs*

(NaNoWriMoWhoas) Home Stretch

*post relocation* From NaNoWriMoWhoas Nov. 27th Post

My sister skis the Birkebeiner Ski race every year in February up in Hayward, Wisconsin. I now have some idea of what she feels like doing such a long marathon. She skies around 56K for about 7 hours. I write 50K for a little less than a month.

I don't think either of us are any more exhausted than the other, and we still each have our own exercises to do to prepare.

I have a little over 3K to go for my word count, and it's the hardest 3K I think I have ever written. I've done all the tricks. Scene jumping, adding random scenes I know will be edited out, and other possibly less admirable shortcuts. And I can't come up with my last 3K.

Just like any marathon, I will push onward to the finish line, and I have to admit I am happy I am not physically running or skiing or swimming. If writing can make my muscles sore and me feel exhausted, I wouldn't even be able to move after a sports marathon.

How is every one else feeling on your home stretches? Remember, it's not the word count that matters, it's the fact that you're creating something full of awesome! Conversation is welcome in the comments below. I hope you will stop by! :)

(NaNoWriMoWhoas) Me vs. Muse ~ Muse Wins!

*post relocation* (from Nov. 18th 2012 post on my NaNoWriMoWhoas blog)

By now it's common knowledge that I am working on NaNoWriMo. I decided I needed a place to vent about my struggles, failures and successes. I might even invite guest WriMos to write here if I can figure out how to get blogger to cooperate.  It might even become a neat little community to carry us through until the next November.

For now, I have a confession to get off my chest. At least it feels like a confession.

I have been writing since forever, but started most actively 9ish years ago. I wrote a lot in college and had a really long non-writing dry spell. You can read about some of the trials of me being an active, unpublished writer, here.

So, I started NaNoWriMo as a way to kickstart my solo career in writing. I will be perfectly honest, I have been working on a novel since August. I ran into a wall with that, and I started NaNoWriMo with another idea I had swirling around in my brain.

Halfway through NaNoWriMo, I hit another wall. Only for me, it wasn't halfway. I am a week behind everyone who started on November 1st. I had to work fast to catch up. Suddenly, I realized my muse and I were working on two different novels. Muse was working on the original novel from August, while I was trying to spew words into a text app for a completely different novel. Muse was much more in touch with my characters. Our characters…(shhh, Muse, I am writing this blog post.)

Switching gears, I am now working on the first novel that I started in August. Is that cheating? My word count is completely authentic. I did not alter it all. The number is the number of words I have written in the novel I want to work with, and only that novel, even though I had almost 23K written for the ditched novel.

Both novels have the same main characters, but are totally different genres. One is Urban Fantasy. The other is a traditional, slightly cozy, mystery. *surprised face* The characters  conspired behind my back with Muse, and I got the clue phone yesterday. It was kind of painful. Muse threw it at me. I guess it had been ringing for awhile.

NaNoWriMo has been an incredible experience so far, and I will be using the word sprints and enjoying the wonderful fast friendships to get me to the completion of this draft, and beyond. 

Eventually, I hope people will enjoy my mystery writing as much as I do. Time will tell what other characters will whisper in my ear. Hopefully they won't throw too many phones at me.

Merry Maintenance

or blogging with stream of consciousness as I think out loud and beg a little

Good Morning ...ok, well, it's afternoon and I slept in,, an hour ago...soooo sleepy. However, I'm trying to start in on my blog maintenance for the week, and beyond. And right now it involves subjecting readers to my brainstorming. Lucky Readers! *hugs*

I tried experimenting with all kinds of blogs as you can see with my 4 currently active blogs. The big news is that I have decided to take down my NaNoWriMoWhoas blog and move the content over here to my main site. So, the next few posts will be historical and labeled as NaNoWriMoWhoas. Unfortunately, that means I won't be able to do my co-written story idea at the moment. I can always start another one later. For right now, I think most of the authors I know have enough to do.

Anyway, after a dose of my new favorite coffee drink that J Elizabeth Hill got me addicted to, I will be moving and shaking up my blog stuff. Check out J Elizabeth's new release: Bound. 1st Chapter Sample can be found Here. You know you can't resist that inherent curiosity trait of yours. ;)

I am still keeping my crochet blog, Sisu Strings. I've got 8 tiny reindeer Sisu Jellies to make for there. ;)

Here comes the wee bit of begging:
I am not sure about my book review blog. I am pretty insecure about it, actually.  I like the format of having an all book blog, but I like to read for pleasure, and reviewing is feeling a little bit too much like work. So, I might remodel the site into something like a promo site with occasional reviews, or something.

What I would really like is to get some guest bloggers on there. Anyone interested? Please? With all holiday goodies and treats on top? Anyone want to review a book on Sunday Book Brunch? Leave a comment below if you're interested. You'll get a permanent icon/photo badge, like mine, linked to your own bio, and any other personal sites linked in the side bar.

I'd like to give author access to reviewers who are interested. That way you can post a constructive, no spoiler review on any Sunday of the month. Only rules I can think of would be No Spoilers, and tweeting/sharing the post so that both the blog and the books get promoted, and only posting on a Sunday. Please leave a comment below and discussion can move forward from there. Thanks!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Back to Priorities

There is nothing sexy or fun about prioritizing. UGH. I am not good at doing it, and I inevitably find myself sucked back into things of interest in order to escape.

I think my head is as full of new information and I have a To Read Book Tower that is about to fall over. I won't even get into the fact that the holiday season has launched, except that we have not done any decorating in our house yet.

It got me to thinking that it's time for me to hole up. I need to back off of my Twitter IV Drip, since all I am seeing there right now are more books for me and/or my daughter to read and I am already buried.  I've been trying to talk myself into doing this for awhile.

I need to write. My singular goal of launching myself into the Twitterverse and beyond was so that I had my foundation in place for my future books. I plan to dazzle you all when I am ready. In order to do that I need to write.

Remember that I just tossed about 9 years of writing stuff into a "beloved but never to return to" file. That's a lot of writing and it means I have to start over on my own. So, this is going to take awhile. There's a tiny taste of a blurb for my rough draft mystery over on my NaNoWriMo page.

I feel like I need to apologize for hiding. My insecurity is that my foundation is not strong enough to hold up under my absence, and all my lovely followers and bookmarked information will *Poof* away while I am gone. I have a fear of abandonment. *sigh*

However, I have to write. I have to edit. I have to research plots and locations. I have to get my focus back onto my passion for the written word. And I have to say it all out loud to convince myself.

I hope everyone will stay tuned for some razzle dazzle. I'll keep popping in to say hi and do book reviews when I finally get some reading done. I read slowly.

Please leave a comment. Follow my blog here with the google thingie or email. I am still building my tribe and would love to hear from you! Thank you!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Bloggy Goodness

It's #MondayBlogs over at Twitter, via @MondayBlogs so I decided to bypass the character limit of Twitter and shout out a few blogs thru my blog and tweet this. Yeah, I am sneaky.

Shouting out blogs:

Fiona Chapman - Writer
Musings on writing and life with thoughtful insights

Container Chronicles 
An interesting look at the world

Michael Allen Scott
 Mystery Surreal

Donna B. McNicol 
 Roaming and writing mysteries - can't get much better than that.

Central Battery Musicworks 
Need a soundtrack for your story? Film? Booktrailer? Or anything that needs a spark?

and of course mine: Sisu Strings and NaNoWriMoWhoas (linked from tabs above).

Thanks and Happy Blog Slogging! You never know what discoveries you might find.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Gifts! Enter to win!

Who doesn't love secret tattoos? Enter to win great prizes and check out Keiran Kramer's new book. You got a love a guy who looks like this: (I just *had* to put him up on my blog so I have a constant source of eye candy. ;) )
Click the link below to go to giveaway...

Pre-Order Contest: The Earl with the Secret Tattoo by Kieran Kramer(International)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Because This Just Tickled Me

or I Felt the Need to Promote

I just added a link to my Favorites list in my side bar. It tickled me and I feel the woman, Lisa Clarke and her family could use a boost of promotion. I also want every hook on her website for my crochet addiction. Her pens look like they need to end up in my pen collection too. How much better can it get? Someone who makes gorgeous stuff that feeds into both my writing and crocheting addictions!

In the spirit of spreading the word, please check out Polka Dot Cottage! Thanks!