Nano Yo Beeswax

**Disclosure** I may receive a small commission if you buy something from Amazon using one of my links. This doesn’t sway my opinions, though. Carry on!**

Ideas are cheap. It’s the execution that is all important.” — George R.R. Martin

Because I’m feeling particularly childish and free spirited today, I thought I’d write a post about Nanowrimo. I’m not participating this year, but am using the time my friends and fellow scribes are using to write a novel to instead work on achieving a few smaller goals, like work to improve this blog.

But, in that spirit, I’d like to at least serve as a cheerleader for everyone else. After all, the best thing about Nanowrimo, in my humble opinion, is that next month, there will be thousands upon thousands of new books either being self published or shopped to publishers. And, that’s good for readers everywhere because there will soon be more reading options. Not that my to be read pile needs any more encouragement to collapse under the weight of my great reading ambitions, but you get the gist.

When I first heard that National Novel Writing Month was even a thing, I was just a young thing myself. No wrinkles in my skin, no gray hairs. My kids were little then, too. I was just beginning to figure out what kind of person I wanted to be in the world. I always wanted to finish a novel in a November, but to tell the truth, I never did. I always started something. I always began with stars in my eyes and a powerful thirst for a story. The only novel I ever wrote in a month was The Bones Of Willow Lake (currently out of print) and it only took three weeks, but I wrote it in June (2012) instead of November.

Photo by Lucas Pezeta on

Will I ever complete an entire novel in a month or less again? Who knows. Right now, I’m working on other things and gaining my happiness from other writers and their works. When a story whispers in my ear and pulls me by the fingertips again, I’ll write it. I’ll know. And, you’ll all know too because I’m a different person when I’m actively writing a novel. Inspiration just isn’t here right now. Who knows when that little devil will show up again. I’m satisfied to be writing short posts, reading great fiction, and testing out really cool cookbooks. Life is full of flavors, after all.

If any of you get into a slump through Nanowrimo, you should know that other writers are your best resource for information. Most folks I know would be more than happy to send you off in the right direction if you get stuck or give you information regarding resources online or in your area to research your subject matter. Or maybe the story itself is the problem and you’re having some stylistic, grammatical, or structural issues.

But, if you don’t want to reach out to a friend, there are other ways to figure things out on your own.

A Kindle Unlimited subscription could be of use if you need to research and don’t have time to wait around on books to arrive on your doorstep. I have this service and it comes in handy for all sorts of situations.

If you’re having trouble formatting your manuscript to submit, I would advise you to first use the William Shunn formatting example here. This example is widely accepted from most publishers, but you should ALWAYS read submission guidelines very thoroughly. Editors are fickle beasts sometimes and I know this because I’ve done my fair share and it’s not fun. I was well known for tossing manuscripts for using Comic Sans, because, yes, people like to do that to me for some reason.

Note- Do not send anyone a manuscript in comic sans, please. It is an annoyance and I view the act as a personal attack on my character and well being. Just kidding. Or am I?

If you’re stuck and you need to figure out where to take your story next because you didn’t plot something out exactly to a tee, no fear. You can always check Reddit, look for inspiration from Pinterest, and shoot ideas back and forth with a friend. Sometimes just talking it out is a help.

If you’re interested in books, Stephen King’s On Writing is highly recommended. It’s not just a how to, it’s quite the cozy read. But, if you’re not into King’s writing style and you’re looking for more of a guide, you can always check out The Elements of Style. I used to keep a copy close, but I lent it out and never got it back years ago. I didn’t repurchase it because I just didn’t like it and the important info in there can be found online with a quick search.

Until next time, folks. Happy writing and happy reading.
And, I hope you all had a Blessed Samhain and/or a Happy Halloween.

Author Crowdfunding Gone Too Far?


*Disclaimer: No crack was consumed during the writing of this post, or ever, by the author, Rhiannon Mills. 

Being a writer is nothing like I thought it would be when I was nine years old. At that age, I read, for the first time of many, Anne Rice’s “Interview With A Vampire” after watching the film (Nine year old me did everything bass ackwards). I was hooked on writing from that moment forward because, though I’d always loved reading, I realized I could turn the mush in my head into something beautiful, too. From then on, I was a writer.

It isn’t a glamorous lifestyle for the vast majority of us, either. Writers have struggles like everyone else. We have bills to pay, children to raise (and eventually send to college), and, for many, there isn’t enough time in the day to accomplish everything we want to. I’m up before the sun to get my kids ready for school. After that, it’s laundry, grocery shopping, meal planning, and caring for home and hearth while my husband sleeps. But, it doesn’t end there. At 3:30, my husband wakes, showers, and dresses for work while I pack his lunch and stack his paperwork on top of his lunch bag. Then, the afternoon circus begins! The minute I’ve packed his last sandwich and he leaves for a long night at work, the kids waltz through the door and it’s homework and dinner time, which often takes hours. By the time everyone is fed, educated, and bathed, my brain is mush.

And, heaven forbid someone have a doctor’s appointment! I need a coffee IV and crack to get through those days! *See disclaimer at the top of the page.*

See? Who says you can’t be artistic and make money from it! That is one beautiful cake and two dozen fantastic cupcakes, if I must say so myself.

Somehow, through the disaster that is my life, I manage. My husband, bless his brave soul, is a coal truck driver. To help make ends meet, we budget every penny. I clip coupons, plan weekly menus, look for sales, compare prices on everything we buy and, on occasion, take small sewing jobs for a few extra bucks. We paid our taxes last year with money I earned baking my cousin’s wedding cake.

But, not once have I ever begged other people for money so I could write full time! Sure, I have my husband’s income, whereas a single writer would be on their own, but I really feel like I’d have more time to write if that were the case. Maybe I’m wrong about that. If I am, please leave a comment and weigh in with your own struggles (and cheers to you, too).

I’m quite certain that there are a lot of crowdfunding pages throughout the internet for very good causes. Examples of what I feel are good causes are:

  1. Families or individuals who lost everything to a natural disaster or housefire.
  2. Families or individuals inflicted with a medical crisis.
  3. Those trying to raise money for schools, nursing homes, or programs where the funds will go toward the greater good (example: new library books, walkers for the elderly, or new playground equipment to replace the faulty or unsafe).

Let me be clear.

Crowdfunding is not a means to survival! If an author cannot earn enough money through their books to live on, it’s time to evaluate needs versus wants. Example: You need to eat, but you want to sit on your butt and ponder the meaning of life.

It’s not enough to offer those who donate the prize of a few ebooks or audiobooks. Readers can just buy those from Amazon, lickity split, if they want them. Crowdfunding is not an unofficial welfare program! Your readers are not responsible for your Kibbles-N-Bits, YOU are! Your readers should be respected, not used as your personal ATM. If they enjoy your work, they’ll pay for it and you will earn a royalty check, not a handout from the magic social media fairy.

There’s a real meaning behind the phrase “starving artist.”  If you’re ever going to make it to George RR Martin or Anne Rice status, you have to start somewhere else. Nobody starts at the top. Ask Stephen King about starting small. He talks all about his humble beginnings in “On Writing.” Before you make it, you might have to fold sweaters at GAP or stock shelves at Wal-Mart first. You might even have to serve umpteen Jager Bombs to jerks who like to call you “Sugar Tits” and “Princess Pretty Panties” at a bar that only plays country music (like I did). You might have to work long days, longer nights, and drive to work through snow storms, on icy roads, and work Thanksgiving and Christmas, completely missing out on Grandma’s baked ham and pumpkin pie. But, DAMMIT, those are life experiences and they are worth every miserable minute!

Every single time your boss tells you to work Saturday when you were supposed to have that day off or your paycheck is just ten dollars short of what you need it to be, you’ve added a dirty, scummy, gritty notch in the belt of your worthwhile life experiences. And, you can’t write without life experience.

I may only be a small fish in a big sea, but the water here is fine. I’m not saying I want to be here forever. All writers have goals and mine will one day take me into deeper waters if I’m lucky. Until then, I’m going to put the work in. I’m going to submit novels, novellas, short stories, and magazine articles until editors are tired of seeing my name in their slush piles. I’ll earn my stripes, thank you. The success will taste so much sweeter that way.




About Rhiannon Mills

Rhiannon Mills lives, loves, and writes in the mysterious mountains of West Virginia. When she isn’t writing, she’s sewing, baking, blogging, reading, or watching documentaries about any number of things. 


Full Time Author by author Payne Hawthorne on GoFundMe.

NOTE–by all means, donate if you feel this is a worthy cause. Don’t let my opinions sway you. 

Buy Stephen King’s book, “On Writing” from Amazon.




Today’s Online Book Haul

Today I bought a few books online from  I thought I’d share with you the things I bought because I had no idea was even a thing. I was thrilled to bits! The books from that site are all used (from what I’ve gathered) and some come from libraries. When you choose a book to add to your cart, you can choose from which source you wish to buy and there is a description to tell you what shape the book is in.  Most of the books are in pretty good shape.  And, unlike Amazon, this site takes Paypal, which is a bonus.

Anytime I search for used books, I look for replacement books first–books to replace books people have borrowed from me and never returned (lol).  Keep in mind that if someone borrows a book and disappears with it and refuses to return it or just doesn’t acknowledge that they lost it to begin with, they’ll never borrow a book from me again. Ever. Common decency and all that.

So, I bought Stephen King’s On Writing. Hardback.  Yeah.

And then I bought Anne Rice’s The Witching Hour.  Not a hardback, but I don’t care.  My first copy wasn’t either.

And then I bought To Kill A Mockingbird. Paperback, same exact cover as the one I used to own.

Very plain cover, but I do love it.
Very plain cover, but I do love it.


And then I bought a book I have never owned. It’s called Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke.  I came across this title in an article I read about a week ago that listed all kinds of science fiction books readers were not to miss.  I hadn’t read it and it was one of the few that I hadn’t heard of.

Here is what Wikipedia has to say about the book:

An alternative history set in 19th-century England around the time of the Nepoleonic Wars, it is based on the premise that magic once existed in England and has returned with two men: Gilbert Norrell and Jonathan Strange. Centring on the relationship between these two men, the novel investigates the nature of “Englishness” and the boundaries between reason and unreason, Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Dane, and Northern and Southern English cultural tropes/stereotypes. It has been described as a fantasy novel, an alternative history, and a historical novel. It overtly inverts the Industrial Revolution conception of the North/South divide in England: in this book the North is romantic and magical, rather than rational and concrete. It can be usefully compared and contrasted with Elizabeth Gaskell’s attempts at synthesising a unitary English identity in her fiction.

Sounds right up my alley, so I can’t wait until my books arrive.  I’ve been searching for summer reading material and that fits the bill perfectly. If you have any suggestions for me, by all means, leave them in comments below! Share titles and authors you love. I’m still searching for reading material.  And, of course, when summer is over, I’m going to be looking for fall reading material, and then winter reading material, and so on.