Monthly Archives: April 2014

Giving Birth to a Dancing Star

…with apologies to Nietzsche.

Welcome to MY version of the Writing Process Blog Tour

Get your cameras ready

Last week, Shan Jeniah, talented writer of evocative genre fiction, invited me to join in the festivities of the Writing Process Blog Tour.  The way the tour works is: I answer four questions about my writing process and I pass the flag off to three writers I enjoy and would like you to get to know.

Not here…  I will answer the questions, but then, I giving you all a list of  authors I’ve fallen in love with for sundry reasons over the years.  I have not invited any of them to do this tour.  That’s just not my way.

Here are the four questions for the tour:

1. What am I working on?

I’ve been working on a few things lately.  The biggest project would be The Swan Song Series, four (so far) books that tell the story of a world at war.   Tralan is the cradle of two warring civilizations, forced together by terrain, religion, and extraterrestrial accident, and in this volatile time and place, three young people find peace amongst themselves.  Can they save their home and peoples, before they destroy it?

My other project, Parvenu, involves the descendents of these people after they’ve escaped the bounds of their world via space flight.  Does this mean the protagonists from Swan Song managed find peace?  Maybe.  Or maybe they got a little outside help…  But help like that costs, and now a reckoning has come.  Kieri Vestimorn thinks his father’s arrest for treason is the worst thing that could happen to him, until he learns what drove his father.  Then he has to decide if he’s willing to make the same choice or an even more dangerous one.

2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?

Well, the most obvious difference would be I’m writing it with my knowledge, experiences, style, etc.  My preferences were involved in directing the plot.

Involved…  Have to say that, because my characters are a pretty determined group of people.  They don’t appreciate people messing around with their heads and lives, but they’re willing enough to work with someone they think has their best interests at heart.  Yeah, we don’t get along all that often, but…  we make it work most of the time.  😀

3. Why do I write what I do?

I do what the voices tell me…..

Well, somewhat.  Mostly I write what I do because I enjoy it.  I enjoy reading fantasy stories, I enjoy reading science fiction and mysteries and romances and political thrillers, and I would love more stories that incorporate all these elements.  So I’m writing the stories I would love to read off the shelves today.

4. How does my writing process work?

My process, such as it is, is scattered.  I write inconsistently, read voraciously, draw sporadically,…  I even eat sporadically.  My process is chaos, thus the quote from Nietzsche in the title.  For too long, I felt guilty for this lack of discipline, but as time has passed, I’ve realized that this is what works for me, and that forcing myself into a different style does more to stop me writing than any other thing out there, including the dreaded Writers’ Block.  When I allow my process to flow, there are no blocks.

This doesn’t mean I don’t wish I were more disciplined or professional at times.  The guilt is always there to some degree.  Iliad over at Userfriendly was able to portray my feelings almost to the T in this cartoon:

We need to be committed! Userfriendly 1/22/98

Now, allow me to introduce you to some wonderful authors I’ve met through the years. Look over their pages, their books, and read their blogs if you feel like it. Discovery seems to be the goal of this blog tour, and self-discovery works best because it’s personal to you.  So, I can share things I’ve enjoyed, but I know you’ll find your own pleasure out there.

  • After years of drowning myself in The Lord of the Rings, I found I’d ignored almost anything except Tolkien and my college texts.  Then my eventual husband-to-be introduced me to Glen Cook, writer of militaristic, dark fantasy.  Hooked!  I have the signed books to prove it.
  • A high school (yes, there were books in those days) favorite of mine, author Elizabeth Ann Scarborough has written delightful romps into fantasy-land for years.  She’d also collaborated with Ann McCaffrey for years building quite the library of tomes for the genre reader.
  • Marine biologist and author, Jeffrey Carver, writes of dragons and space ships, and lover of solar power.  Meeting Jeff and his family almost twenty years ago opened my eyes to a love of writing that went far beyond the printed page.  Because of him, I’ve met so many amazing authors since, and I credit his patience and generosity for helping me realize that I could (and should).
  • Three local authors/friends, each met via books or discussions on books, each unique, and very cool: Ricky Lewis PhD, author and blogger of many things DNA, RNA and beyond; Barb Chepaitis, creator of yummy food, books, and lectures (she was my father’s English professor in college); and Laird Scranton, humanist, heretic, and explorer of ancient texts.  Each of these people helped me question ideas I thought I’d understood and known as “Truth”, and in doing so, helped me become a better writer and, I think, a better person in general.
  • Some new favorites to my list of writers come in the form of my fellow WIPpeteers.  I  won’t list everyone’s name here, but I encourage you to check into our Linky (updated every Wednesday for your reading pleasure).  There you’ll find an assortment of writing styles and creative expression.  Plus, it’s good fun!

courtesy Wikipedia

Hope you enjoyed this little foray into my creative side.  May you enjoy new and exciting things daily along your own paths of art and discovery!

Happy Chocolate Coma

Short check-in post today…  though, despite the title, I’m still all here.  But I have a special post for tomorrow that I need to work on (yes, a post on Monday–rules are meant to be broken, after all).  Shan Jeniah tagged me for the Writing Process Blog Tour, and now that I have the questions to work on…  off I go to type, type away.

Instead making of a big post for the holiday, let’s leave the grand goals check-list alone for a day and just say things are about the same as they were last Wednesday, maybe even slightly better.

And let’s end things with some Funny Little Bunnies.*

*Hard to believe there are so few videos related to Easter out there.

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Mounted Soldiers


Feeling a bit torn today…  I’ve finally got myself writing some new story pieces (mostly back story, true) for Courting.  Yay!  New fiction!  Thing is, the scenes as they stand now (in their very, very rough draft state) would be huge spoilers (not to mention that they really don’t read like much yet with all the notes and “____” that I used when I couldn’t think of a name or specific detail I didn’t want to stop writing to look up later).

But, since any work on Courting means the story is still my Work In Progress, I can happily offer you a piece of second draft level work from the story…  three sentences worth (1+6 minus the month 4):

A few mounted soldiers in what looked to be Lanii House colors gathered at attention near a footman who now stepped forward into the middle of the roadway and blocking their path.

Next to him, Lanilis Kailiis have his mount a slight kick so that he might move to the head of their small formation. The man’s off hand reached into the fold of his coat to retrieve a folded pouch of leather.

Cheers, maybe some jeers, even a few beers…for all the WIPpeteers and our creative chaperon, K.L.Schwengel, Queen of Flying Monkeys (among other things).

ROW80 Check-in

ROW80LogocopySome small progress since Sunday.  I guess that makes sense…  Two days are not that long of a time really.  But it’s progress, and I get a feeling it’s progress I’m going to be happy with for a while.

  • write every day; at the minimum, do 5 sentences didn’t write on Monday, but all better now…
  • finish a complete (rough) draft of Courting the Swan Song   started writing some backstory about Alanii’s mother and her ties to the Lanii family, as well as the ritual of Rebirthing
  • make twice weekly blog posts (WIPpet Wednesdays and Some Thing 4 Sundays) check
  • maintain active sponsor participation  check
  • energize myself with more physical activity  “dancing” in the kitchen and use of handweights…
  • reclaim my writing space no progress here, save gathering papers I’d scribbled notes on in one place for typing
  • go through some piece of my electronic home (desktop, laptop, server space, Dropbox, etc.) I watched old episodes of Cold Case and typed in some notes from scraps of paper around my desk
  • laugh more, hug my family more, share myself with friends more…  some extra family time, poetry reading and hugs with the Boodle.  Plans to get together with friends for dinner …well, a lot of things, including the weather, postponed those.
  • attend chats and sprints on Twitter (at least one of each) none