Mittwoch, 31. Oktober 2012

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

Hopefully you'll all celebrate tonight or do something else you enjoy - and not suffer from what Sandy has done. Is everybody okay?

The post-Sandy pictures are horrible. I admire the courage of all those who have helped each other and those who have rescued both humans and animals during what they now call "Frankenstorm".

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NaNoWriMo 2012 starts tomorrow. Are you excited yet? I am. But I'm sure we'll all have lots of fun, too. Good luck to everybody participating!

Samstag, 27. Oktober 2012

Preparing for NaNoWriMo

It's cold and chilly today and I haven't dared to leave the house yet. That's why it's the perfect morning for the last preparations concerning NaNoWriMo (add me if you're participating, I love having writing buddies --> SalFlorentine).

Many of youz have already blogged about their NaNoWriMo-tactics, offered tips, advice and general encouragement. As a first-timer, I feel I cannot add to the good stuff that's already out there, but here's a list of what I did to get ready for NaNoWriMo - and what I do for any writing project:

Hunting for inspiration

I make a list of things I find interesting and about which I'd like to write a. I look for additional inspiration in the news, history books, and things that happened to me personally.

Picking a subject to write about

The first inspiration that I wanted to write for NaNoWriMo seemed to promise so much fun putting it to paper, but after having outlined the whole thing I felt totally indifferent about the protagonists.
I found a different prompt on my inspirations-list and did another outline. When I came to the point where I needed to find the reason why the murderer had killed a bunch of innocent teenagers on a party I couldn't find one. Plus, the whole storyline was one large cliché.
On to the next topic on the list. Writing down the first outline was like floating. Ideas kept coming. 
Everything feels right about this one so I'm going to stick with it during NaNoWriMo.


If I like a story, I write more than one outline.
The first one is pretty rough, it doesn't contain any names or places. I only refer to City A and Person B.
The second outline is more complex. I add names and subplots. Conflicts get more complex.
That's what I did for my NaNoWriMo project, too: write three outlines.


Sometimes I know a character before I know the story. Sometimes I come up with plot and don't know the cast yet.
But no matter what, I always write down some basic stuff about a character.
  • What's his/her name?
  • Who/what is he/she?
  • What's her/his job?/What does she/he do?
  • What does he/she want? Why?
  • What does she/he fear? Why?
  • Details about her family.
  • Details about her appearance.

One-sentence blurb

I like the idea of one-sentence blurbs very much. One has to stop and think about a story's basic conflict and sum it up in one sentence only. 

Having done all that, I start writing.

What about you? How do you prepare for NaNoWriMo and/or any other project?

Dienstag, 23. Oktober 2012

Crazy Days & Crazy People

My good mood has just been DESTROYED by some stupid person parking his car on our property. 

When asking him to move his car, he just shrugged and said, "There's no sign telling me this is somebody else's parking lot" and off he went.

No, there's is no sign. Because there has to be no sign. It's private property. There's a house on it. In which I live.

Some people are just total [enter mean word here]!

Mittwoch, 17. Oktober 2012

Why I Don't Read Some Blogs

I love other people's blogs. I really do. 

I read them daily, mostly on my smartphone or my tablet (I use the Google Reader App). I love how easy it is to gather all the blogs I like in one place and read each and every post in chronological order.

Still, there are many blogs I don't read - and won't read. The reason is simple: I hate - HATE! - it when only the topic and the first two or three sentences appear in my gReader.

Cut-off Posts

Cut-off posts and/or one-sentence previews are used in feeds because bloggers don't want their posts stolen, which I totally understand, and that way you'll have to click directly to their blogs to read the full article.

I don't. I won't click that link telling me to "click here to read full article". I don't have the patience to wait for a blog to load on my smartphone and then discover it's not even made to be viewed on a smartphone/tablet. I'm impatient, lazy, and get easily annoyed.

I've seen many bloggers tagging their posts now. Some include "by blogger xyz" at the top of their posts (like I did), others include a bottom line, linking to the original post and naming the author. I've even seen bloggers use this bottom line: "If you read this post somewhere else except on MY BLOG or your feed reader, it's contents have probably been stolen."

So tell me, do you tag your posts in some way or another? Do you add each and every blog to your feed reader or do you delete some from your reading list as soon as you discover they only give you the topic and first line?


Unfortunately, there's something else I totally hate about some blogs: Captchas. They make me nuts because I usually read them wrong and have to repeat the procedure of typing them in two or three times. Captchas keep me from commenting, seriously (they should be turned off in my blogs; please let me know if they aren't). 

Don't worry, if you wrote a great article and I really want to comment or get in touch, I do. I will usually "like" your site on Facebook and drop you a note there. 

So, even if I don't comment (there are other reasons besides captchas why I might be quiet; my lousy English and my low self-esteem, for example), I'll always try to connect in some other way, mostly on Facebook or Twitter (@Sal_Kaye). 

What are your thoughts on captchas? Do you leave comments in weblogs? Or do you prefer other platforms (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter...)?

Sonntag, 14. Oktober 2012


It's Sunday night already and I'm trying to find inner calm before I go to bed. 

I haven't felt calm and centered in a long while and I wonder how to change that. What do you do to end the day peacefully and relaxed?

Yesterday, I did some more brainstorming on my NaNoWriMo project. I've already outlined the whole thing but there were some minor plot changes that needed to be done. I also decided not to write in the past tense but in the present. I just don't feel like telling the story in the more traditional past tense.

Earlier today, D and I attended my uncle's 80th birthday party. I always feel like an outsider whenever I'm at family gatherings but it was a fun and entertaining afternoon nonetheless.

Do you see your family often? Do you plan family gatherings on a regular basis?

Es ist mal wieder Sonntag und ich versuche, meine innere Ruhe zu finden, bevor ich ins Bett gehe. 

Ich habe mich abends ewig nicht mehr entspannt und ruhig gefühlt und weiß beim besten Willen nicht, wie ich das ändern kann. Habt ihr Vorschläge? Heiße Schokolade und Kekse wirken bisher nicht.

Gestern habe ich mein NaNoWriMo-Projekt überarbeitet. Die Handlung habe ich bereits vollständig skizziert, aber es musste doch noch an der ein oder anderen Stelle gefeilt werden. Außerdem habe ich mich dazu entschieden, das Ganze im Präsenz zu verfassen. Mir ist einfach nicht nach Perfekt und Präteritum.

D. und ich waren heute Nachmittag zum 80. Geburtstag meines Onkels eingeladen. Obwohl ich mich auf solchen Feiern immer ein wenig wie ein Außenseiter fühle, weil mich mit kaum jemandem ein gemeinsames Erlebnis oder eine gemeinsame Vergangenheit verbindet, sehe ich meine Familie immer gern und die Feier war nett und unterhaltsam.

Wie eng sind bei euch die Familienbindungen? Sehr ihr euch regelmäßig?


This is a post by Sal Florentine.

Freitag, 12. Oktober 2012

Books On Writing

Do you like books on writing? Which ones are your favorites?

I already had a huge collection of "how to"-books on writing before I left for my short stay in the US on October, 1st. I was able to add a bunch more books to the pile. 
I purchased every single one in real, walk-in bookstores. That felt so much better than doing all book-browsing online!

Have you read any of these books? Which ones? What's your opinion about the ones you've read?


Donnerstag, 11. Oktober 2012

National Novel Writing Month 2012 (NaNoWriMo)

It's going to be another NaNoWroMo this November! Writers from all over the world will try to achieve their goal of writing 50,000 words in 30 days.

I learned about NaNoWriMo some time last year but felt very uneasy about taking part. When a friend of mine suicide in September 2011, I found myself spiraling down towards the bottom of my current depressive episode. I couldn't think about writing at all.

I hope this year to be different. I'm trying very hard to get better and writing helps a lot with getting myself back together. So yes, I signed up for this year's NaNoWriMo. 

I'm really excited about all this. I already know what I want to write. Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo, too? Add me as a writing buddy! My username is SalFlorentine. 

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Auch in diesem November wird der alljährliche NaNoWriMo stattfinden. Hierbei versuchen Schriftsteller von überall auf der Welt, innerhalb von 30 Tagen 50.000 Wörter zu Papier zu bringen.

Im vergangenen Jahr hörte ich zum ersten Mal vom NaNoWriMo, aber ich war mir unsicher, was die Teinahme betraf. Als sich einer meiner Freunde im September 2011 das Leben nahm, geriet ich in die Abwärtsspirale meiner momentanen depressiven Episode. Zu diesem Zeitpunkt konnte ich nicht einmal über das Schreiben nachdenken.

Ich hoffe, dass es in diesem Jahr anders sein wird. Ich habe hart an mir und meinem Gemütszustand gearbeitet, und Schreiben hilft mir dabei, mich wieder zu finden. Also habe ich mich in diesem Jahr tatsächlich angemeldet.

Das Ganze finde ich sehr spannend. Ich habe bereits eine gewisse Vorstellung, was ich zu Papier bringen möchte. Nimmt noch jemand am NaNoWriMo teil? Fügt mich als "writing buddy" hinzu! Mein Benutzername ist SalFlorentine.


is a post by Sal Florentine

Mittwoch, 10. Oktober 2012

Travel as much as you can!

Travel as much as you can -  while you can. Because there might be no second chances in the future.

Here's a small selection of photographs I took during my stay in the United States (photo-edits via Cheapstamatic).

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Reise so viel wie du kannst, solange du kannst. Manchmal gibt es in der Zukunft keine weitere Gelegenheit dazu.

Eine kleine Auswahl an Fotos, die ich während meines Aufenthalts in den Vereinigten Staaten aufgenommen habe (Bilder bearbeitet mit Cheapstamatic).

(Cape May, New Jersey)

USS New Jersey
(Camden, New Jersey)

(Atlantic City, New Jersey)

Hotel & Casino
(Atlantic City, New Jersey)

(New Castle, Deleware) 

William Penn
(New Castle, Deleware)

Headstone of George Read
(New Castle, Deleware)

 Sal & D.
(Long Beach, New Jersey)


"Travel as much as you can!" is a post by Sal Florentine.

Montag, 1. Oktober 2012

Reading Recommendations

How long is your gReader reading list? Mine is usually well over 1000+ posts. Why? Because I enjoy reading your blogs. Today, I want to share some recent posts by bloggers I'm following:

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Wie lang ist eure gReader-Leseliste? Meine liegt meistens bei etwa 1000+ Einträgen, denn ich lese unheimlich gern, was andere Blogger posten. Deshalb teile ich heute eine Liste von Blog-Artikeln, die mir gut gefallen:

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If there're other great blogs you can recommend, please leave a comment. Thank you. :)