I still have no idea what I'm doing, but I'm doing it again...
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Sherry's October Writing News

Welcome to the October edition of my newsletter! It could be a while since you signed up, but you really did. Keep reading to find out how you can enter my "Name a Character" contest, and other cool stuff.

National Novel Writing Month

Yes, it is almost that time again: National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo. A personal challenge to write a 50k-word draft of a novel in 30 days. This will be my fourteenth year as a participant and my eleventh as a Municipal Liaison (also known as organizers, cheerleaders, and whip-crackers to their local participants). I recently wrote a guest blog post for Liana Brooks about what it takes to turn an ugly NaNoWriMo first draft into a polished and publishable book, so if you missed it, you can find it here.

It's pretty much an open secret that I'm planning to write the first draft of a third Nearspace novel this November. I'm getting very excited about this and anxious to start writing as ideas are growing and blooming in my brain (and in the pages of pre-writing notes I'm accumulating). If you haven't read the first two Nearspace novels yet, and you like science fiction, you should! You can find out about them on my amazon author's page.

Also, keep reading, because this month's contest is linked to this!


I recently joined Authorgraph, so it's now possible to get a digital signature to go with ebook versions of my books. It's kind of fun (and free!), so check out the service at

Name a Character Contest!

My new Nearspace novel is going to have a number of new characters who haven't made an appearance in the previous books, and they all need names. So I'm offering my subscribers a chance to name one of them! (Will it help your chances if you've read a Nearspace novel or two? Quite possibly!)

Here's how it will work: I'll give you a few types of characters and you suggest a name for one or more of them. This will not be a random draw! I'll be choosing the name that best suits the character I have in mind. The characters are:
  • a human officer in the Nearspace Protectorate (male or female)
  • a Lobor (wolf-like alien) ambassador (male or female)
  • a Vilisian (human-ish alien) scientist (male or female)
Here are the rules and a few more important details:
  • You may submit up to three entries (one for each character).
  • The contest closes at midnight Atlantic time on October 31st, 2015.
  • Anyone may enter.
  • My plan is for the character to appear in the Nearspace novel I'm writing in November. If for any reason this isn't possible, I'll write a Nearspace short story in which the character will appear, and publish it on my website.
  • I won't consider names that are (in my own personal opinion) offensive or inappropriate in any way. This decision, and the choice of a winner, is completely up to me.
  • The timeline for publication if the character appears in the novel is really out of my hands, but I will keep the winner in the loop. If the character appears in a short story instead, it will appear on the website within a year of the contest closing date.
  • I can't promise that your named character will be good, bad, have a large or small part to play, or survive the story. I just don't know yet. :)
  • If I choose your name suggestion, you are free to tell everyone and anyone that you suggested it. However, by entering, you agree that you have no control, right, or interest in the name or the character who bears it, and that I have complete creative control, copyright, and interest in it thereafter. In other words, you're giving the name to me to do whatever I want with it for ever and ever. Don't send an entry if you're not okay with that.
  • If I don't receive any name entries that are appropriate and suitable, I'm under no obligation to pick a winner or use any of the entries.
  • If I don't choose a name you suggest, you can have it back, no strings attached. You're not giving up any rights to a name that doesn't win.
Whew! Still want to play? Send your suggestions to me at with a subject line NAME CONTEST ENTRY by the closing date (midnight Atlantic time October 31st, 2015).

Remember, you must be a newsletter subscriber to enter! You can sign up at the bottom of any page on my website at

Come See Me!

I'll be lying around on piles of books just like this, wait a second, I mean I'll be hanging out with cool cats who like books at the Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia table at Hal-Con on the Halloween weekend. My signing times at the WFNS table are:
  • Friday, October 30th, 5-6 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 31st, 11 a.m - 12 noon
  • Sunday, November 1st, 1-2 p.m.
Drop by and say hello (maybe even buy a book and get it signed!) if you're at Hal-Con! The WFNS table is at F7 on your Vendor Map.


What am I working on these days? Still plugging away at The Chaos Assassin, the second Magica Incognita book. As I mentioned earlier, getting ready for the new Nearspace novel and NaNoWriMo, and I'm working on a kaiju (giant monster) short story that's turning out to be pretty fun.

I'm also sewing cosplay costumes for my family, so it's a busy time!

Writing Thoughts

When talking to some elementary school students recently, I had one first grader ask me during the Q&A time, "How do you write all those words?" That made me stop and think for a minute. What did he want to know? We'd already talked about getting ideas, planning out the story, and I'd showed them a picture of my office and my computer. He wanted to know how I actually got all the words on the page.

So I told him, "Although it seems like a big job, I can only write one word at a time. So I just think of what I want to say, and start saying it. One word turns into a few words, which makes a sentence, and you just keep going from there. It may be a lot of words, but you only have to write them one at a time."

He seemed satisfied with the answer, and I was, too. A good thought to keep in mind when the writing job ahead seems overwhelming.
Well, here we are at the end of another newsletter. Hope you've enjoyed this one, and you're considering entering the contest! If you're reading this on the web and are not a subscriber, it's easy to become one! There's a signup box at the bottom of every page on my website at

Your support and your thoughts are important to me, so if you have feedback or ideas on what you'd like to see in this newsletter, please reply to this email with your comments. I promise to read them all unless they're boring, nasty, or too long. :)

Feel free to forward this newsletter to anyone you think might enjoy it!

Talk to you again soon,

Copyright © 2015 Sherry D. Ramsey, All rights reserved.

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