Are you already prepping for NaNoWriMo? My thoughts – Please share yours!

I know… it’s August, but there are a couple reasons why I’m already thinking about November.


This month, I’m finishing up my novel The Witch’s Uprising, gearing up for another year of teaching kids, and reading fantasy fiction as part of a 25inFive challenge.

I like keeping busy, but I also like balance.

I have a tendency to overbook myself when I don’t plan ahead. November is a particularly interesting month in terms of being busy:

  • My birthday is at the end of November, and I thought it would be a nice gift to send The Witch’s Uprising out to as many publishers as I could before my birthday. This feels like a the right step. I’ve already begun my research, and I feel more and more confident each day.
  • November is a nexus of obligations, celebrations, and explorations. I have to plan anything I’m doing ahead of time. Wedding planning, my teaching job, family, and friends obviously come first. So I need to manage my time and energy well if I want to continue writing during the year.
  • NaNoWriMo is in November, and I love the intoxicating energy bubbling through the online writing community. Even now, I imagine myself participating, just for enjoyment.

As I research and study several avenues of self-publication, online publication, and author-related social media, I notice that I often daydream about writing new pieces outside of my mainline series. It would be nice to draft a quick 50,000 word novel, if only to have fun writing with other people in the exquisite madness of NaNoWriMo. I’d like to reconnect with the joy of writing a new piece really, really, quickly.

Here are my questions to you:

  • Are you thinking of participating in NaNoWriMo?
  • Are you already prepping for November?
  • Are you working on something else?  

Share your thoughts in any case! I WANT TO KNOW.



(Psst….. You Can Read The Witch’s Uprising: Part One on Wattpad!)

Witch's Uprising Experimental Cover


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A Poll for My Followers: How often should I post to Paper Palaces? What works for you?

Happy Sunday, everyone!

I just wanted to get some feedback from you this week. I’m trying to make an effective posting schedule without bogging you down with too many posts. Let me know!


If you’re new, you can start here.


What’s next on your reading list? #ReadWithCurtis Challenge: Day Two and Book Review Blogs

Whenever I finish a book,  I usually consult a reading list, pick a book from a stack, or go to my online reading communities via book blogs or vlogs. When you can’t decide what to read next, what do you do? What’s next on your reading list?


#ReadWithCurtis 7-Day Reading Challenge: Day Two

First, let me with you a happy Tuesday! Today’s task/bonus prompt for the #ReadWithCurtis 7-Day Reading challenge is related to the title of this post: What’s next on your reading list? 

Are you sticking with the same book that you have been reading lately? Or, are you going to venture out and sample a few others?

Additional Questions You Could Answer

  • What has gone well so far?
  • Have you completed two days of reading in a row?
  • Have you read for 20 minutes or more on each day?
  • What kind of books, articles, magazines, or blogs have you read?

Remember to use the hashtag #ReadWithCurtis so we can see what you are reading!

Read all of my 7-Day Challenge Articles here.

My Response to Today’s Daily Task:

What’s next on my reading list?

Today, I have a choice between Neil Gaiman’s Fragile Things, and David Day and Alan Lee’s illustrated edition of Tolkien’s Ring. Both books look fantastic. Gaiman’s short works of fiction are his usual mix of humorous, dark prose and wit. Tolkien’s Ring is definitely next on the list, but I don’t know if I want to finish Gaiman’s book of short works first. Anthologies lend themselves to be read piece by piece, so I may pause from Gaiman’s work and begin reading David Day’s book.

Challenge Progress

The 7-Day challenge has been great so far. I have read for twenty minutes each day, including this morning (I’m an early bird). I’m mostly sticking within my comfort zone of speculative fiction and fantasy.

To be completely honest, the #ReadWithCurtis tag has not caught on yet. However, it has made a nice place to keep track of all challenge-related posts. For the most part, I have a refreshed enthusiasm for reading, and I’m inspired by the books I’ve decided to pick up.

Although only a small community of people have joined me on the challenge, I don’t feel alone in my reading endeavor. In fact, I feel like I’m making small but meaningful connections with a lot of people across the internet. Strangely enough, it’s all been through comment threads and direct messages. I wonder if this is because it’s more personal than a hashtag. Who knows?

Book Review Blogs Worth Checking Out

Reading and sharing reading is a funny thing. I would never dream of starting a book review blog, mostly because I prefer writing about the creative process, particularly crafting fiction. Still, I have an appreciation for book blogging and book reviews.

There are so many beautiful reading review and book blogs/vlogs on the internet, and I feel like I’ve just scratched the surface with the ones I’ve found. Ashley from ThriftyBibliophile is someone I’ve recently followed because of the quality of her posts and the organization of her content.

Stephanie from Adventures of a Bibliophile is another one worth checking out. Although they have very different styles, they both deliver interesting posts in their own way. If you have an excellent book blog that you follow, please share!



Let’s Connect

What’s next on your reading list?

Instagram @CurtisWritesBooks

Facebook /curtisteichertbooks


Twitter @staghorncrown


Like What You’re Reading? Join the Reader’s Club or Become a Patron.

31 Questions to Help You Embrace the Challenges of Time-Consuming Work and Commitments

Work consumes time, and sometimes we need to work outside of our average professional day or work week. Whether your task is creative, administrative, organizational, manual, or a combination of the above, any one of these 31 questions may help. I hope they inspire you to embrace the challenges of your job, hobby, or side-hustle.

Even taking a silent minute to mentally answer or reflect on one of these questions may change your day.


It’s 6:00am on a Saturday, and I’m up. I have always been a little bit of an early bird, but today, I wake up early to have a long, reflective morning.

Throughout the week, I worked with my middle school students on picking books for an upcoming unit of study, graded papers, and participated in a variety of meetings. During my early-morning hours and after-school time, I worked out,  wrote for this blog, wrote fiction, and spent time with my fiancé.

To say I was mentally exhausted from my activities would be accurate; however, I am happily exhausted.  This Saturday will be a combination of work and play.

I hope to finish grading a stack of essays, to post a story draft and video clips to Patreon, and to further prepare for the start of the #ReadWithCurtis 7-Day Reading Challenge. 

#ReadWithCurtis (1)

I enjoy being this busy. That is no secret. More importantly, I enjoy being productive and feeling fulfilled. Part of that feeling of fulfillment comes from a small ritual. On days that I am reluctant to start an activity, I ask myself a question from the list below.

I use these questions when journaling or drinking a cup of coffee in the morning. Sometimes, I go for a walk with a question in mind.

These questions are not meant as anything other than a way to push your thoughts in a productive and positive direction. I hope they help you embrace the challenges of your own work/life commitments. 

As a note of caution, if you are also a person who likes to be busy, that’s great; but, please be aware if your body and mind are sending you signals to rest. You may be too tired to work, or maybe even fatigued. The goal, I believe, is to feel fulfilled while being productive. I have bolded my favorites.


Here are 31 Questions I use to embrace the challenges of work and other commitments:

Questions Related to Purpose:

  1. What is the bigger picture of my work today?
  2. What is the purpose of my actions today?
  3. Why am I doing this task today vs. any other day? (Be honest with this one, and you won’t procrastinate.)

Questions Related to Emotion:

  1. How can I make this task fun?
  2. How will I feel once I have completed this work?
  3. How can I be as present as possible today?
  4. How can I walk away from this task or activity feeling happy, fulfilled, or LIKE A BOSS?

Questions Related to Productivity:

  1. How efficiently can I do this task today?
  2. What are the immediate results of me finishing this task?
  3. How will finishing this task free up time for me later?
  4. In what ways can I go above and beyond?
  5. What does taking this “too far” look like? What does doing this”just right” look like?
  6. How can I simplify today’s work?
  7. If I picked one task or activity to excel at today, what would it be? Why?
  8. When in my day should I put forth my best effort or energy?

Questions Related to Your Friends, Family, Co-Workers, and Society

  1. Is there anyone who can help me accomplish my goals today?
  2. Does doing this work help another person?
  3. How can doing this work improve the life of another person, or at least my own?
  4. If I do this today, will it benefit other people?
  5. How does this work/life challenge or task make me, my family, or my friends stronger?

Questions Related to Quality of Life:

  1. If I do this today, will tomorrow be better?
  2. How can I learn from this task or experience?
  3. How can I reward myself for finishing this task right now?
  4. Am I doing meaningful work? If not, how can I make it meaningful?
  5. How does this contribute to my life goals, even in a tiny way?

Personal Mentor Questions:

  1. If Leonardo DaVinci did this, how would he do it? (You can replace Leonardo with anyone).
  2. Who has met this challenge before and conquered it?
  3. Who can be my guide today? Who can I learn from?
  4. How would my mom or dad approach today? Do I agree with that approach?
  5. How would the smartest person I know do this?
  6. How would the happiest person I know approach this?

Did these help?


Let’s Connect!


Instagram: @CurtisWritesBooks

Facebook: /curtisteichertbooks

Patreon: /CurtisWritesBooks

Twitter: @staghorncrown


WordPress Prompt of the Day: Mentor

Do you have an art blog where you post your images and creative process? Join the conversation.

Have an art blog_ WP Large

Here’s a coffee question for this week:

Do you have an art blog where you post your images and/or creative process?

If not, do you post your work on any other photo-sharing or portfolio sites?

Feel free to post a link to your site in the comments so we may visit and see your work!

I’m so excited to see how people share their creative process! Seeing the creative process, whether it is visual or written, always gives me inspiration. I hope it does the same for you!


#FantasyFansUnited – A Community of Fantasy Fiction Enthusiasts

Paper Palaces will provide a place for Fantasy Fans on WordPress and other platforms to unite, including writers, authors, artists, and other enthusiasts of fantasy fiction, art, and movies.


Fantasy Fiction Fridays: #FantasyFansUnited

Let us revel in our passion for this genre! Let’s spread the inspiration!

Who do we welcome?

  • Authors, artists, writers, teachers, readers, book reviewers, and fantasy enthusiasts that write on WordPress and/or other online platforms!
  • Any blogger, Instagram or Twitter user, content creator, and Bookstagram enthusiast

Anyone joining should some interest in any of the following subjects: fantasy fiction, fantasy movies, book reviews and commentary, reading, literature, or fantasy as a genre.

This is just to name a few. If you like the fantasy genre, you should join.

What are the primary interests of this group?

  • Everything fantasy, sci-fi, and speculative fiction
  • Producing and reading high-quality blog posts
  • Building a readership for every blogger that joins
  • Guest-posting on each other’s blogs

What are the benefits and what do we do?

  • As this community grows, your readership may grow.
  • You will get to connect with other people in the fantasy writing/reading community.
  • You won’t have to sift through the WordPress Reader to find like-minded posts, content, and interesting artwork
  • By posting in this community, your work will be referenced, re-blogged, and visible across other social media platforms

How do you join?

Create your content and include the tag FantasyFansUnited whenever the post relates to the genre of fantasy. If you post on Instagram or Twitter, use the hashtag #FantasyFansUnited.

Add this tag to your reader. It may take some time to populate with posts as we build our community.

I will re-blog and reference our highest-quality posts on WordPress and other Social Media platforms, and I encourage our community to do the same.

What if I want my blog featured, or an author to guest post?

There are two options.

Share your site in the comments section, and I will re-blog or post content on the next Fantasy Fiction Friday after previewing your site. Or, more preferably, use the form on my Coffee Questions Page. By using the form, I can connect you with other creators.

Consider joining our community by adding the FantasyFansUnited tag to your WordPress, or by using the same hashtag for your Instagram and Twitter posts.



Let’s Connect!

Instagram: @CurtisWritesBooks

Facebook: /curtisteichertbooks

Patreon: /CurtisWritesBooks

Twitter: @staghorncrown


Fantasy Fans United

We are building a community for fans of fantasy fiction. Make a post with the hashtag #FantasyFansUnited on any of your social media accounts. All posts should be related to fantasy fiction, cinema, or artwork.

Fantasy Fans United

This call to action, and this week’s Coffee Question comes from Evanston, Illinois.


Who else is looking for fantasy on WordPress?

When looking through the WordPress Reader, a friend of mine noticed the under-representation of fantasy enthusiasts on WordPress.

Knowing that there is a wealth of people interested in fantasy fiction, world building, swords and sorcery, magic, and medieval-inspired stories and novels, we couldn’t help but pose this question this week.

This Week’s Questions

Are you looking for fantasy too? What kind of fantasy content do you want to see on WordPress? Do you have a fantasy blog, website, or other content that you could share?

Sharing your thoughts, content, and WordPress sites allows other readers to see your enthusiasm for this genre.

Paper Palaces may decide to feature your blog posts and site content on Twitter and Instagram if it is relevant to future posts and questions.

Read my answers to these question below, or start sharing your own answers in the comments section!

My Answer:

I’m definitely looking for more fantasy on WordPress. I would like to see more fantasy book reviews, short stories, and novelists. I’m interested in characters with depth and magical worlds that feel complete.  Honestly, I’ll follow any content that seems interesting or tickles my interest.

For more about Coffee Questions please visit our site page.

What’s your answer? Comment below or post on your blog with the hashtag #fantasyfansunited.