NaNoWriMo?! Oh SHIP!

No really! I need info about ships! I’m so excited right now, it’s not even funny. I finally had an hour to sit down and write out the quick outline (which is not really an outline) of the book I’ll be writing during NaNoWriMo :

Captive1As you can tell from this quick cover I threw together from some of my photography lying around (inside the computer), there is water involved in this story…an ocean. This story is going to be a great adventure! I’m both excited and nervous to write it!


Here’s the thing, I need lots of information about sailing ships…um…I know the basics of how a ship works…you know…there are sails, a bow, an anchor, a deck, a hold, a captains quarters, a big wheel, a stern, fore and aft (I think?), um….yeah…oh! Lots of rope and some barrels. Well, I need to know MORE!

Can you help me? What do you know about large sailing vessels? Keep in mind, this is fantasy, so it doesn’t really matter what era your ship knowledge is from — as long as it’s before 1900, I’ll be happy. I just want accurate descriptions and names for things in my story and I’m kinda running out of time to do the proper research.

I’m bad, though, because I knew I would need this months ago, but I didn’t get around to it. Now I’ve decided to hop on the NaNoWriMo train and it’s not going to slow down enough for me to get my bearings, see? Get it? Bering Sea?

haha  Ohhhh, I crack myself up.


Share your shippy knowledge with me, please!  It would be good to know how and why things work the way they do! :) Thank you, most kindly!

-Rachael Ritchey

Q&A #6: Pampered Self?


Two ladies I love dearly asked very similar questions of me.  I will gladly try to answer them, because maybe one of you has a better idea…OR, you might like it how I do it so much you’ll want to try it, too!  Either way, let’s share our secrets here on the world-wide-web. :)

Cyndi and Faye asked:

I can see that you are a loving mother, wife, and daughter, but what do you do to nourish/pamper  yourself?

Lots of people who aren’t loving mothers, wives, or daughters are busy.  The world we live in seems to be ever-moving, shifting, and changing. I am probably not half so busy as I seem, but most days I feel like things just never slow down.  There is always something that must be done!

Here’s a rundown of my responsibilities:

Husband, Kids, Home, PT Job, Laundry (yes, this deserves its own category when there are six of you in a house), Family, Friends, Writing, Helping with Homework, Social-Media-ing, Blogging, etc.  I’m sure you’re thinking that some of these aren’t really responsibilities, but I can assure you that they are!

The thing is, responsibility isn’t a bad thing.  In fact, some things become a responsibility because they are a good thing and we love them.  Most of that list is full of things I adore.  Yes, there are a few I could live without, but because the not-so-fun ones are related to (and serve) the best ones, I would choose to do the unpleasant stuff over and over.

On top of taking care of everything that requires my time and attention, how to do I nourish and/or pamper myself?

  •  Well, when I feel stressed, I rearrange furniture.
  • I also pick up my pencils and draw, or take out the paints and attempt to make something beautiful on canvas.
  • I spend time with my best friends to just visit and laugh.
  • I read my Bible.
  • I sing whatever pops into my head (real songs or made up nonsense).
  • I love to read books.

These are things I do as a way of pampering.  My fingernails don’t get manicures, and the bathtub is not conducive to long soaks, so I ignore those options, but I’m sure they’re nice!

Believe it or not, all the writing I do, including this blog, help to nourish my heart and mind.

So, you could say, because I’ve got this creative bent, everything I do can nourish and pamper me if I look at it in the right light.

  • When I rearrange, the house gets clean.
  • When I draw, I have new art with which to decorate the walls or give as gifts to people I love.
  • When I spend time with my friends, I am making them a priority.
  • When I read my Bible, I grow closer to God who created me.
  • When I sing, I forget the time and cleaning goes by faster.
  • Reading, well, sometimes that can be done with my kids, and we get to enjoy a story together.
  • My writing hopefully makes a difference for someone somewhere.

So, while I pamper and nourish myself — with the right attitude — I’m also able to fulfill all my responsibilities, too!  

It’s pretty awesome how that works out!

What about you?  How do you pamper/nourish yourself?!  Tell us in the comments below.

Have a great day, Friend!


(probably not the final cover, but I'm diggin' it)

(probably not the final cover, but I’m diggin’ it)

Book ONE: The Beauty Thief

Yay! It’s almost done and ready to go to my editor, Susan Hughes, for it’s very first professional edit.  If it weren’t for my amazing friends who have already taken great pains to read through and edit the story for me first, I think I would be slightly more embarrassed to send this newest draft to Susan. Thank you Sheila, Cherie, Stephanie(& hubby’n’daughter), Kristi, Tara, & Dawn! You’ve all been so supportive through this whole endeavor. Also, gotta thank Karl & Kassi, too! There are so many people to thank, and I’m only getting started!


As some of you know, November is Nation Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I really didn’t see myself participating in this mad dash to write 50,000 words in 30 days, but since I’m just about done with book one and want to start on book two, it seems that NaNoWriMo is a perfect place to get a kickstart! I’ve been collecting my ideas for the second book since I was about half way through the original draft of the first book, so I have some place to start.

I figure I’ll post a little about my progress on book two through NaNoWriMo over the course of the month of November. I would love your support and encouragement. I am thinking it will feel a little daunting on some days. Hopefully my family will be forgiving of the time devoted to making my goals on the book!

Here is a sort-of-sneak-peek at

Book Two: Captive Hope


This story will follow after a character from book one named Idra.  I think you will like her adventure, too.  If you are interested in writing your own story along with all us other crazy folk (’cause I think it’s fun with like-minded friends), then you can sign-up for free at  Be my buddy! Search for my username: RachaelRitchey

Thanks again for checking in on me and my book-writing, author-dreaming adventure I call: A Sweet Sliver of Life!


NaNoWriMo Time


I didn’t know for sure until today that I would participate in NaNoWriMo (Nation Novel Writing Month). Well, this blog is encouraging. :) Go have a look-see. :)

Originally posted on Lit World Interviews:

I took part in the NaNoWriMo event in 2012, and completing that crazy, epic sprint to the end taught me more than I expected about the job of writing. First and foremost is the daily word quota. The more you fall behind, the less chance you have of catching up, and writing just under 1 700 words a day seems daunting. The thing is, that most of us write more words than that every day without thinking about it. We blog, we interview, we write bits of our works in process. It’s absolutely doable though.

The beauty of the NaNo is that you get to leave chunks out. You just pop over anything you’re not sure of and write on, because editing during NaNo is death. The urge to go back and at least read over what I’d written so far nearly took me out, but I knew that if…

View original 568 more words

Smart Man…

I don’t know if I’ll find time this week to spend on the blog with you, so I wanted to just leave with you a nice quote for the week.  I am looking forward to answering the next question on my list of questions people ask!  Feel free to leave me a question of your own!  What do you want to know?!

Have a great week!

fscotfitz meme


me meme1

It’s true, you know.

Compassion is a beautiful thing.

Don’t just sympathize. Do something to help someone in need. This is good advice for me, too. With Christmas coming up and the idea of St. Nicholas (giving to those in need with a gracious heart), I think it’s appropriate to share some ideas for ways we can easily help others in need.

CURE International

As Our Own

Heifer International

Compassion International

Union Gospel Mission

Immanuel’s Child

With a grateful heart, when we know we do not deserve what we have, we can receive joy in the giving!


Full Body Silhouette

After the last one, it was suggested I do a full body instead of just the head (a bust).  Well, here’s what I got.

All artwork in this picture is mine.

All artwork in this picture is mine.


Sneak Peek?

I’ve been working on cover art instead of finishing my edit…not sure why, but it’s been enjoyable all the same.

Here’s a sneak peek at part of the latest idea.

Would love your comments and feedback!

The Beauty Thief by Rachael Ritchey

The Beauty Thief by Rachael Ritchey


The future we see through broken and twisted spectacles
There is not sure sight to know the path
We trip along, hoping to grasp a rail
When in fact, none is to be had
Not with our hands, at least
Only our hearts can lead
For our hearts see what 
Eyes cannot see
Feel what hands do not feel
Touch what bone cannot touch
Deeper is marrow than that of bone
The core of one life is beyond imagining
When hearts reach out to search the blindness
Our hearts can go to places our bodies are unwilling
In the heart lies the soul of a man and desire to love is there

Just a quick poem I wrote for a friend…kinda-sorta.

Q&A #5: from Author Tracy Lawson

question of the day 5

This lovely lady, author Tracy Lawson, was kind enough to leave me a question!

Tracy Lawson speaking to an English and Publishing class at Princeton High School.

Tracy Lawson speaking to an English and Publishing class at Princeton High School.

Her second book, Counteract, is the first in a series. It was published recently and she’s doing an amazing job of marketing, but I can see it is a lot of work!  She’s working on the third book right now. The second book is in the pre-publishing stages of editing and all that jazz.

Tracy’s question for me is

How did you create the protagonist in your current WIP?

I have to laugh because this is one of those questions that makes me nervous. HAHA Why would it make me nervous? Well, the answer is that I have to divulge information about myself when I answer her question.

See, writing was not something I could just do without having really had a place to start from…a personal, almost secret place in my heart. I wanted to write for a long time but didn’t know what to write about. I couldn’t get past the fear of not knowing enough. I still struggle with fear. Some of that fear is of rejection and ridicule.

I’d like to answer her question, though.  It should be something simple! Tracy’s question isn’t meant to make me uncomfortable or fearful. Maybe answering it will help me be less so? Maybe answering it will help other writers have new(old & already done through the ages) ideas of where they can pull characters from within themselves?

Maybe I’m just complicating things! :) That sounds more like me. So, without further ado, I will introduce you to my protagonist and how I created her.

Meet Caityn.

Caityn, Princess of Taisce - betrothed to Theiandar, High Prince of the Twelve Realms

Caityn, Princess of Taisce – betrothed to Theiandar, High Prince of the Twelve Realms

Caityn is a central character to my story. While it is certainly about her, she is not the only important one. Caityn, though, is who I found in myself last year. I found her and brought her into this Work In Progress (WIP) because of my own struggles. I felt lost within myself and as though all my emotions were misplaced. I didn’t feel like I loved the way I should or that I cared for anyone beyond myself. That sounds dramatic, I know, but I felt empty. I had no good reason for it.

I was finally talking to God on our way to church one morning, pouring out my fear at who I was becoming. With my eyes fully open, I watched the rolling hills, cliffs, river, houses, dilapidated buildings, bridges, and trains all zoom by. But, it was in that small window of time while I prayed with my eyes open but not seeing where something was woken inside my mind.

This princess, this beautiful daughter of the king, who was loved and cherished was not safe in the world any more than anyone else. She was just as vulnerable to attack against her heart.

How did I create her? Well, I guess maybe I didn’t, but she was born from inside me. There was a truth that was hidden deep. That Sunday morning reminded me of it. I, like Caityn, am a beautiful daughter of the King. In his love for me, he has risked everything to save me and bring me safely home. I want to share the hope that comes from the truth of knowing you are loved and the joy that comes from loving in return.


Thanks, Tracy!

As much as I am embarrassed to share, I still love to do it!

Do you struggle with finding hope, joy, and peace? I think we all do, but I’m so thankful for the love of God.  His love gives me a place of solace and a well that never runs dry.  I can go to him and he is faithful to fill me up to overflowing.


Tell me, my authoring friends, how did you create your protagonist(s)?



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