Category Archives: Random Stuff

National Novel Writing Month 2014

nanowrimoThis year I plan on taking part in National Novel Writing Month.  National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo for short),  takes place during the month of November and is a challenge to writers to write a 50,000 word novel in thirty days.

I first heard about NaNoWriMo two years ago, but this will be my first year participating. With my full-time job, part-time job and my volunteer work, November is one of my busiest month. However, I am determined to find the time complete the NaNoWriMo challenge.

While, deciding to participate was easy, deciding what to write is more difficult. There are so many stories swimming around the grey matter of my brain. I have two projects in particular that I want to work on. One is a Middle Grade fantasy about a group of eleven and twelve year-olds with special abilities that work in inconvenient ways. The other is an Adult horror that puts a new spin on the Greek myth “Pandora’s Box.” Though the middle grade story will probably only take 50,000 words to tell, I have decided to work on the adult horror story instead.  I have been reading a lot of dark fantasy lately and really want to try my hand at writing something creepy and macabre.

I hope to report my progress once a week on the blog, so be sure to check back for updates.

Bio of a #PitchWars Mentee Hopeful

Pitch-Wars-2014-logoIf I am lucky enough to be chosen by a #PitchWars Mentor, my Mentee bio would look something like this. (I apologize in advance for the lack of GIFs. I didn’t even know what they were until a few days ago. I have, however, added several links to other areas of my blog.)

About Nicole M. Carrara the person

I was born, raised and still live in central New Jersey (yes, there is a central New Jersey). I live as far away from the shore as one can live and still be considered to be from the shore. And in case you were wondering, I do not have a “Jersey” accent (people born and raised in central or south New Jersey generally do not have what out-of-staters consider to be a “Jersey” accent).  I’m an attorney (currently non-practicing), operations manager/contract analyst for a commercial janitorial service consulting company, and a cheerleading coach. I coach both recreation cheerleading and high school cheerleading, which means that from August to March, I have no free weekends, and hardly any free weeknights.

About N. M. Carrara the author

I began writing ten years ago. I have one novel completed, an adult epic fantasy title BLOOD OF ESTA. I also have an MG fantasy and adult paranormal/horror in the works, along with the sequel to BOE.  I’ve written a couple of short stories. THE GILDED MIRROR is about a woman’s irrational fear of mirrors. PANDORA’S BOX is about a guy looking for meaning in his humdrum life.

Hopping around my blog for more information about me.

One of my first blog posts, Getting to Know N. M. Carrara Part I,  is an interview I did of myself. It contains tons of info about me, my law career, cheerleading, my writing, and other fun stuff.

About a month ago, I wrote a blog post, My Writing Journey So Far, summing up my writing journey so far. It talks about the query process, writing workshops and my plans for the future.

I also have a page on my blog called Fun Facts and Stuff. I updated with funny, but pointless information about myself.

Closing words

I am excited about #PitchWars. No matter what happens, I’ve already learned a great deal. Be sure to check out the other potential Mentee Bios on Dannie Morin’s Mentee Bio Hop.

Mock Cover Designs

A few days ago I was introduced (via a Twitter friend’s blog post) to Pixlr. It is a free photo editing website that authors can use to design posters, banners and such when funds are low. Needless to say, I’ve been glued to the site the last few days doing mock-ups of cover designs for Blood of Esta.

Below is a gallery of some of the designs I’ve come up with. The first two were done in MS Paint (before I learned about Pixlr), and the rest were done in Pixlr. I really wanted to go with a background of black and red hair, because my main character, Pastella, has iridescent black and red hair. The first set of covers also feature a Uruguayan-flag-style sun. I like the idea of the sun on the cover because it is the symbol of the Tribe of Sansolo (Pastella’s race). I nixed the sun for the final mock-up, and instead, went with a picture of a woman holding a sword. Pastella is a sword fighter, so that image seemed like a good fit.

Of course, all of these covers are just for me to see what type of cover I would like the book to have. I’m still a ways away from publishing. And when I do publish, be it with a publisher or on my own, I won’t be designing the cover myself. Either the publisher will design the cover, or I will hire a professional to do it. But in the meantime, I’ll keep messing around on Pixlr and sharing my designs with you.

Getting to Know … N. M. Carrara – Part I

The “Getting to Know …” posts will be a series of interviews where I introduce you to the many characters I interact with daily. Some of the posts will be about people I work with, or have met in real life, while others will be about fictional characters I’ve created.

The first installment of “Getting to Know..” will be about the person I know better than anyone else in the world … Me. I’ll be conducting an in-depth interview with myself over the next few days, and posting it on here for all to read. Below is Part I of my interview with myself.

Nicole: Welcome, Ms. Carrara. How are you this afternoon?

N. M. Carrara: I’m well, Nicole. Thanks for asking.

N: You’re welcome. Now that we have the formalities out of the way, let’s get straight to the interview. I’ll be asking you a bunch of questions about your life, work, writing, etc… Are you okay with that?

NMC: Obviously, or I wouldn’t be here.

N: Of course. Well … let’s start at the beginning. Where were you born? Continue reading Getting to Know … N. M. Carrara – Part I

Welcome to N. M. Carrara’s New Blog

My laptop wallpaperWelcome to my new blog. On here I’ll be posting updates and information about the three main areas of my life: Writing, The Legal Profession, and Cheerleading. An unusual trio, I know. I’m and attorney and cheerleading coach by profession (I actually get paid to coach cheerleading), and a few years back I decided to add “aspiring author” to my list of things I’d like to be when I grow up. I’m working on getting my first novel published (you’ll learn a lot more about it in later posts), and I’ll be using this blog to share my life with the five of you who happen to want to read about it.

(Fun Fact: One day I got really bored in law school and painted the picture above using MS Paint. It’s been my laptop wallpaper for almost 10 years now.)