The Gypsy Muse – Author Rachel Kenley

November 9, 2011

Wednesday Web Wanderings – Write or Die

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30 crazy days!

A fellow writer (and Nanowrimer) turned me on to this great website called WRITE OR DIE which can be found at where they “put the PROD in PRODUCTIVITY”.  It is a fun and useful tool for helping you to write a lot in a little bit of time… or suffer the chosen consequences.

You determine 1) how long you have to write, 2) how many words you want to write during this time, 3) your consequences for how pausing will be “punished” (Gentle Mode, Normal Mode, Kamikaze Mode, and  Electric Shock Mode… okay this last one isnt quite real), and 4) your grace period before the prodding begins (Forgiving, Strict, Evil ).  I chose “Normal/Strict” and reached my goal of 500 words in 30 minutes… with a few moments of the screen going red and some awful music playing.  Be warned, “EVIL” will start to delete your words begining with the last one you wrote.  Now, that is evil.

This link: will take you right to the part with the web app (there are downloads available for your pc and ipad for purchase as well).  It’s a great tool both for fun and productivity, especially when time is short and your word count needs to be as high as possible.

Let me know if you try it and what your results are.

Now, can I count this blog in my nano word for the day?


September 14, 2011

Wednesday Wanderings – Ravenous Romance – RELEASE DAY!!

Waves of Pleasure

Today I hope everyone will wander over to where WAVES OF PLEASURE, my newest novel, released today.  It’s always so exciting to have a new book available and I am thrilled with the cover they created for the story (and if you click the cover, you’ll go to the buy page!).  Here’s the blurb:

Mermaid Lyria, knows her legends.  Humans – especially men – are not to be trusted. They can be played with and enjoyed, perhaps, but no more. But to keep the Stone of Fate hidden from Fiero, the Sea Dragon, she will need to lose herself in their world.  To keep it safe, she chooses a place she has secretly visited since she was young – the Jersey Shore.  There she meets Drew Crawford, a man she’s watched from afar for years.

A man not happy in his own skin, Drew is completely drawn to Lyria who seems to revel in hers, not taking anything too seriously, and enjoying everything around her (including Drew).Their chemistry is unmistakable, and the sex is blisteringly hot- but Fiero is on her tail, so to speak, and he will stop at nothing to get the stone from her, even if it means taking her head from her neck to get it.

Lyria may have found a love that runs deeper than the seas, but will it be enough to defeat Fiero and save the Stone of Fate?

I was on a crazy deadline writing this book, but I am so pleased with the way it turned out.  I’ll be posting excerpts  for the next week. I hope you’ll check it out and let me know what you thought.

And now.. back to my happy snoopy dance.

August 24, 2011

Wednesday Wanderings – Staples

Filed under: Wednesday Wanderings — authorrachelkenley @ 1:17 pm
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That was easy

Are all writers office supply junkies?  I suppose there are only rare instances of “all”, but I know a lot who are.  I go in to Staples as though it were a toy store.  From the little things I can always afford – like my favorite pens or colored paperclips – to the things I drool over – like *enormous* computer screens and high end laptops – I adore going in there and spending time. My kids know, once mommy’s at Staples, we’re going to be in there a while.

I sit at the desks they have set up and imagine my dream writing room.  I trail a finger over bookcases and picture them lining the walls of my office and filled, in part, with books I have written.  I page through organizers in the fervent hope that one day I will find one that magically organizes me forever (oh, admit it – you hope it’s out there too).  I take in the colors of pens and markers, thinking of the things I could create with them. I breathe in the leather of computer bags.  It’s a sensory heaven.

It's in here somewhere

“Did you find everything you needed?” they ask me at the check out.  If I’ve only bought what I came in for, it’s a miracle.  Usually, I’ve found what I needed and WAY too much more.  I’ve whittled my basket down to what I can a) make work on the day’s budget and b) what I cannot pass up.  So the answer is yes, I found what I needed and a whole lot more that I simply wanted.

What’s the store you can’t get out of?

August 10, 2011

Wednesday Web Wanderings


Yes… I’ve been off wandering through deadlines, but I’m back now.  And when I want to relax there is something wonderful about putting on a great pair of socks.  The best place I’ve found to browse and buy is Sock Dreams located in Portland, Oregon. Thank goodness for the internet – because I live in New England!

For the life of me, I can’t remember how I found them.  It may have been one of those Facebook ads on the side of the page, but I am really glad I did.  Recently I had the occasion to reward myself fora success.  Looking for a non-food reward (anyone else have this challenge?), I paged through their website and found loads of wonderful things to purchase in a wide range of prices.

But my ultimate choice was easy.

I am a *huge* Wizard of Oz fan and in their slipper sock section were Ruby Slipper socks.  The front is red and has

Ruby Slippers as socks!

a sparkle thread to it and the socks are blue, just like Dorothy wears.  And they even have little gripper bottoms so you dont slide around the kitchen.  At $8 for the pair and free shipping it was one of the best treats I’ve ever given myself. Others must agree too, because they are currently sold out, but I plan to get another pair as soon as they are back in stock.

I make this website a regular browsing stop and order from them every few weeks.  Their range of socks from dainty to heavy duty (and there are some thngs other than socks, too) keeps me hooked.  Can’t visit when I’m on deadline.

Oh look!  I’m done – another reason to celebrate and reward myself.

July 20, 2011

Wednesday Web Wanderings – IMDb

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I love movies.  I love trivia.  I love trailers and silly movie quotes. And I have a head for remembering information that does me almost no good unless I am playing Jeopardy on Facebook.  So what is my regular go-to website – .  It’s a terrific site and has improved over the years.  It’s easy to navigate and there’s lots of information on each page.

I discovered the sight about twelve years ago when a local movie theater linked to it when you clicked on a movie poster for more information. Boy, do they have information.  I can click links on titles, directors and actors for hours.  I love being able to look up the details of a movie, even discovering the uncredited actors (thank you accounting/payroll department for your wonderful records).  I can see lists of nominees and winners for awards for every year.  I can find the soundtrack songs even if a soundtrack wasn’t released (Especially good for the recent film The Sorcerer’s Apprentice which has some beautiful songs). Not to mention goofs, continuity issues, and the best quotes pulled out and ready to use in conversation.

When we’re doing that “Oh damn, what was he in?” “Who did he play?” “Wasn’t she also in…?” we run to IMDb.

For those moments when you’re watching reruns and the bit part actors who were “nobodies” then and not billed in the beginning, but you’re pretty sure it’s you-know-who, you can just type in a few words and *poof*, yup, you did recognize them.  It was particularly usefull after the recent SyFy (hate that spellig) channel Fourth of July Twilight Zone marathon.  In any given episode there are several actors who look so familiar, but you can’t place them.  Click click click – oh that’s his name?  What else have we seen him in?  It’s great fun.

If they ever charge per click… I’m gonna go broke – or have to curb my addiction.

And what does this have to do with writing?  Where do you think I am when I’m procrastinating 🙂


July 6, 2011

Wednesday Web Wanderings – Savvy Authors

Filed under: Wednesday Wanderings — authorrachelkenley @ 4:23 pm
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What’s not to love about a site that’s all about writer’s helping writers.  There are classes, opportunties to pitch to agents and editors, blogs on the art and craft of writing.  It’s a means to market and learn about marketing. It’s a place to find new authors to read and new reader for your books.

Their mission statement is: Savvy Authors strives to provide the best tools, classes, and networking opportunities for authors in all stages of their writing careers, from aspiring novelists to multi-published authors.

We at SavvyAuthors are committed to developing a community that embraces:
– Mentoring and sharing of knowledge and expertise among our members.
– Fun and respectful competition in the pursuit of writerly excellence.
– High quality opportunities for publication, promotion and advancement.
– A strong writer’s support network.
– The tools to let each of our members achieve their publication goals.

You can have a basic membership for free (can’t beat that!) and a premium membership for $30, which is also a great deal and gives you discounts on classes and access to special events.  One of my favorite premium membership benefits is the online tools and resources which includes an agent/editor database, blog tour wizard, craft sheets, and a clique finder tool!

A community of supportive writers and tools to make your writing and your career better.  Now that’s a great site!

June 29, 2011

Wednesday Wanderings – Facebook

Filed under: Wednesday Wanderings — authorrachelkenley @ 8:47 pm
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Okay… it’s not really wandering, but in a way it is.  I do get lost on the pages of Facebook and the internet, especially on weeks when I have few plans or occasions to be out and about.  Recently a friend of mine found this list on Facebook and I was wondering…

What do we, as writers, think of these rules?  I do like #10:

 Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing:
1.) Never open a book with the weather.
2.) Avoid prologs.
3.) Never use a verb other than “said” to carry dialog.
4.) Never use an adverb to modify the verb “said”
5.) Keep your exclamation points under control.
6.) Never use the words “suddenly” or “all hell broke loose”
7.) Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
8.) Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
9.) Don’t go into great detail describing places and things.
10.) Try to leave out the parts the readers tend to skip.

No opening with the weather?  Poor Snoopy. Guess he’s going to need to do some editing.

June 1, 2011

Wednesday Wanderings – Little League Baseball Games

Filed under: Wednesday Wanderings — authorrachelkenley @ 5:03 pm
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(is it really Wednesday?  With the holiday Monday I’m a little lost!)

Okay… so this isn’t something that I necessarily love to go to or seek out, but with two sons in two leagues, my scheduled is guided a lot by the 35 games of their combined seasons.  In fact, starting this Friday, I have games 6 days in a row.  I do love watching them.  My older son is very serious about his game and is an amazing athlete (It’s wild seeing your children do something you know you can’t.) My younger son just likes to have fun and for his team to win.  With getting there a half hour early and post game team meetings, I’m looking at a minimum of three hours out of my day/evening.

Which is why what I really love – is being a writer.  I think I am one of the luckiest people in the world to have this as my job and my passion because I can take my work with me.  I have learned to edited in between innings and during slow periods, do character sketches or interviews, even work out timelines.  I even print out pages to do research.  It’s wonderful.  No, it’s not my most productive time, but at least it’s not completely unproductive.

Now… as long as I stay away from those snack shack foods, everything will be great.  What do you mean I still have to make dinner??

May 4, 2011

Wednesday Wanderings – Kimball’s Ice Cream

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We all scream...

While the weather doesn’t seem to be consistently warm – or even sunny – here in New England, we are still hoping to have our ice-cream-for-dinner night soon.  One of the few things that hasn’t been taken over by one or two big chains is the local ice cream stand.  Yes, there is still Baskin Robbins and on the east coast Stone Cold Creamery is very very good, but there is nothing like that place where you know your favorite flavor will be available in a size you dreamed of ever since you were a kid.

For my family that place is Kimball Farm in Westford MA (they have four locations total).  Their portions are so large

It's worth the wait!

that having anything to eat before hand is just silly (and perhaps even insulting).  Opened first in 1939 and still family owned and run, Kimball’s is synonymous around here with great ice cream and a fun night out.  Over time, the Westford location has grown to include more things to do then eat.  There has been a country store attached to the ice cream stand for years along with a farm with animals.  Now it also includes mini golf, bumper boats, a driving range, an arcade and batting cages.  We plan to go early to enjoy the ice cream and then stay to play. 

What can be better – ice cream, supporting a local business and a night out with the whole family.  One of the true joys of summer.

What are you favorite local escapes?

April 20, 2011

Wednesday Wanderings – The ocean

The boardwalk at Belmar, NJ where I went as a kid

As a Jersey Girl, I grew up going to the shore during the summer (not the beach – the shore).  To this day I love taking trips there and go throughout the year if I can.  There is something specail about the ocean no matter when I’m there – in the fall when summer memories still linger, the winter when there’s snow everywhere else, after or just before a storm. The smell of the salt from an ocean breeze, the sound of waves breaking, gulls circling overhead wondering who is going to drop something for them to eat. It’s all wonderful.

I feel differently when I’m near the ocean.  Calmer, happier.  Quieter inside.  I know there are studies about how we are connected to the tides since there is so much water in our bodies.  I don’t particularly care if it’s true or not; I simply like the rejuvenating feelings I get when I’m there. 

Of course, in New Jersey there are also the joys of boardwalks and piers, not something I get to experience in Massachusetts, where I livenow.  I grew up playing skeeball, eating frozen custard and thinking about when I would be old enough to have a boy win me something at one of the midway-like booths.  I take my kids there now and they are as enchanted as I am, looking forward to each trip, no matter the season. They love funnel cake, sicilian pizza and salt water taffy. And skeeball (have you seen

A timeless game

the movie Dogma? Skeeball holds a special place in people’s hearts.)

And somehow when I’m back at my desk later, sometimes with a shell or a tacky gift from the arcade, my muse and I are more in tune and creativity ab0unds.  There is something so unique and yet universal about the beach that I am working on a series of paranormal romances set in a diner near the shore. I love writing it and incorporating both memories and desires into the manuscript.

Is there a place that is almost magical that you love to visit?

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