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?


November 7, 2011

Monday Writer’s Prompt – Missed Holidays

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It's that time again....

Last night on November 6th I took my sons trick or treating, almost a week after the actual Halloween holiday.  We live in Massachusetts and had an unexpected and destructive snow storm last week which caused the delay.

And it made me wonder…

How would my character feel if she didn’t get to celebrate her favorite holiday?  What would it take?  What would she do instead?  What if it was her birthday (like in Sixteen Candles when everyone forgets).  Would the hero find a way to make it up to her or create something even more special?

What would your characters do?

Have a great and productive week!

July 19, 2011

Tuesday Tell All – 2K a day

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It’s a lofty goal and one that seems impossible after only the first hundred of the morning, but I am pushing myself to write at least 2,000 words a day on WAVES OF PLEASURE so that not only do I finish the draft quickly, but have as much time as possible to polish it before sending it to my editor.

Other than during NANOWRIMO, I’ve never written this much this consistently.  On some days it’s a marathon, on others a sprint, but it always feels great to cross the daily finish line. 

It is also giving me hope on my ability to keep up this pace (or close to it) after this manuscript is complete so I am producing more work more consistently – and having more time to let it sit before editing.  Did you know Stephen King lets a manuscript sit for at least six months before revisiting it?  I’d like to be able to give my work that kind of space and time.  When I edit immediately after finishing, it’s not quite as good – or objective.

So, back to the page for me.  Hope you’re having a productive week.

June 28, 2011

Tuesday Tell All – New Contract, Better Discipline

Filed under: Tuesday Tell All — authorrachelkenley @ 11:16 am
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I am SO excited to say that PEAK EXPERIENCE has been accepted by Ellora’s Cave.  This is my older woman/younger man story which had its rough draft completed during Nanowrimo ’09.  I am thrilled to have a new book coming from the publisher who released my first book. *And* I have been accepted to write as Rachel Kenley there, which is great since my other two books with them are as Rowan West.

So now I have two books contracted to two different publishers.  I’ve gone from writing 500 words a day a few weeks ago to over 1,000 a day.  Some days it’s slow, some easy, but it is thrilling and worth every moment of “AAHHH, what have I gotten myself into?!!”

Sometimes when your dreams come true, it takes a second to get past the overwhelmed feeling – doesn’t it?

April 26, 2011

Tuesday Tell All – Fewer Excuses

Usually when I visit family or am on any sort of vacation, I let discipline slide.  This past week, however, I embraced the fact that I didn’t need to prepare daily lessons for my sons’ homeschooling and focused on my own to-do list.

And what do you know – I got 500 words every day, blogged most every day of the week, and moved forward in some online classes I’m taking.

So much for thinking I can’t work when I’m at my parent’s house. 

It’s a little like what happens during NANOWRIMO.  I discover I can write at night, write every day, hit a high word count, plow through a first draft without self editing and criticism… It’s amazing what I learn and remember that month.

In looking at when I want to have this manuscript done (by or before the end of May), I need to jump my daily word count from 500 to at least 750, but thanks to the discipline of the last few weeks, I am feeling good about my ability to do that.

Nothing like discipline combined with success to keep you motivated.

What’s working for you?  Could you use help?

February 16, 2011

Wednesday Wanderings – A Novel Cafe – Tewksbury, MA

Filed under: Wednesday Wanderings — authorrachelkenley @ 2:05 pm
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The title of this blog is The Gypsy Muse is for several reasons.  First, I find that inspiration comes to me from so many places and in so many ways.  A phrase on the radio, a commerical, a house on a street I’ve never been on before.  I have a stack of paper with notes on each page from ideas I jotted down in my car.  I have another stack from my nightstand drawer. 

The second reason is that as I writer, I like to work in different places.  I know other writers who are hardly productive outside of their normal writing spaces, but as much as I love the writing room I have in my home (and more about that another time) I find being in other places and spaces not only fun but almost necessary at times.  I need to get out of my “usual” and into something a new to get my Muse flowing and dancing again.

Many of the places I’ll blog about on Wednesday are locations I love going to – or even hope to go to – and some will be websites that draw me back over and over whether for research of pleasure.

A Novel Cafe

In the fall of 2010 the Merrimack Valley got a great new place for writers to visit.  A Novel Cafe on Rte 38 in Tewksbury is half independent book store and half full cafe with tables of various sizes, big couches and a fire place.  I spent over three hours writing there in November during Nanowrimo.  I purchased coffee and was left alone to enjoy the space, my drink, and my manuscript.  As a future Municipal Liason for Nanowrimo, I plan to schedule lots of events there over the course of next November.

Look at the great space to relax and write!

Any booklover – and bookstore lover – knows two things about independent bookstores.  They are wonderful places to visit and risky business ventures. I hope the word continues to get out about A Novel Cafe and this wonderful place to wander, shop and write is successful for a long time to come.

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