Archive for January, 2019

My super fancy goal tracking system:
sticky notes!

My new year’s resolution this year was to improve my writing income over last year’s lack-luster performance. At right, you see the super fancy organizing system I’m using to track my priorities. That’s right, I have an array of sticky notes on the edge of the desk top. Assorted small creatures stand guard.

You can probably see that I have an annual goal, then monthly and weekly goals to support the annual. This month’s goal has been to reorganize my social media. I’m feeling good about it. When I’m critiquing work, I often tell young writers that they need to focus everything on one point (their theme, big idea, etc). Now I’m taking my own advice. By this time next week, anyone who visits my web site, Facebook author page, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram should see a unified “look.”

All these changes will necessarily extend to this very blog. You must already have noticed that the tone and focus have been different. But this is where I need your help. Yes, you! I have to decide what this blog should be about going forward, and I would love to hear your suggestions.

For seven years, I had a laser-like focus on dragons. I could switch over to another type of creature. Witches, perhaps, or Fairies? Would you rather hear about fantasy tropes and why they endure? Perhaps you prefer the general ramblings about my career and work in progress.

I need to know! Please take a moment to drop me a comment and share your ideas.

Did you know I have an author newsletter? You can join! I’ll even give you a free e-book for signing up. Just click here.


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Many people enjoy web content that’s based more on images than words. That’s why my focus today is on this aspect of my social media presence.

I’ve had a presence on Pinterest for some time. All my book covers are there, of course, but you can also find some images I’m using to energize and inspire my writing. Plus, my favorite jokes about video games.

More recently, I’m also active on Instagram. I’ll slowly be adding things like snippets and cover images, but I think it’s better to post consistently over time than to place a huge burst and then go quiet. The snippet today is an example of what I’m posting there. As mentioned, I also plan to put up progress photos of my self-shuffling project.

Anyway, if you’re active on Pinterest or Instagram, I’d love for you to check it out and follow me there. It will also give me a chance to follow you back and see your stuff. Even better!

Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Available at Amazon or Draft2Digital.

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One of my ongoing projects has been to update and improve my basement library. It’s wall-to-wall shelves, but it had been turned into a junk room and then a long-term guest room. Now that the guest is gone, I’m anxious to make sure it doesn’t turn back into a junk room. This requires bringing in some modest furnishings and lighting, so you can actually read down there.

As part of this, I’m in the midst of some long-overdue organizing and alphabetizing. If you’re interested, I’m posting status photos on Instagram. Anyway, it’s a lot of work, but it also brings back memories of books I collected in the past. They reflect my interests — one might even say obsessions — since the early 1980s. Wow, that’s a long time! Among the topics I’ve unearthed:

Knights and Medieval history generally. I was into the SCA for years, until I could no longer afford the membership. (Plus, the politics were killing me.) At least some of it is still useful as research material for my fantasy novels.

Fairies in story and art. I must have three different-sized editions of Cicely Mary Barker’s Flower Fairies poetry books. There’s quite a bit of Rackham and Froud in there, too. I also found a few vintage fairy stories in used book shops. Edwardian fairy stories are their own strange and beautiful thing.

Comics, anime and graphic novels. Remember when the first graphic novels were released, and they were in that big 11×17 size? There were even science fiction magazines that tried to make it in graphic novel format. I know, because we have their back issues.

Photography was my husband’s passion. Although the career he hoped for never panned out, we have both how-to books and fine art photography books. I would suggest he prune these, but then he might point a finger at my fairy books.

Seriously, we’re both overdue for a serious weeding-out. But how can I know what to part with, unless I read them over again? I can see my Goodreads challenge is going to be big this year!

Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Available at Amazon or Draft2Digital.

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What am I doing, since I’m not blogging? Besides completing the first draft of my latest novella, that is. Reading! Reading, to me, is a way of “refilling the well.”

A friend recently told me she felt that she was reading too much. She ought to be writing, but instead she was reading. I can sympathize. In 2018 I definitely felt like was taking too much time playing video games. True confession: I got into Dragon Age at the start of school in 2017 and it sucked me in completely. I stopped even trying to write in early December, and every inch of my writing mind was jammed until the middle of May 2018. There were times when I was afraid that my writing career was over!

By the way, it isn’t just me. Dragon Age is notorious for sweeping players off on grand adventures. A different friend of mine said that you think you’re going to Texas for Spring Break and six months later you’re in Honduras wondering what happened. So true!

But, guess what? My career didn’t come to an end. At the end of May, I started a novella. It wasn’t fan fiction, though you can see hints of the situations in the games I’d been playing. Presently, I’m about to finish a second, linked novella and have hopes for a third. Between them all, it should be about 100,000 words — and that’s a novel!

At some point, I’ll have to figure out publishing these three linked novellas. A good problem to have.

If you’re making resolutions and have been scolding yourself to write more, I would urge you to stop and think. Don’t resolve to write more because you feel guilty. You won’t create your best work. (Unless you have a contractual obligation — that’s different.) Instead, look at some of the stories that are absorbing you. See what elements you can bring into a new project.

Reading time or video game time or Netflix time or whatever… It doesn’t have to be time wasted.

Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Available at Amazon or Draft2Digital.

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A snippet from my fantasy novel,
The Seven Exalted Orders. It was published by Sky Warrior Books in 2012.

It seems I can’t stay away, dear friends. Also, I have this creeping fear that you will forget all about me.

So while I’m in the process of reorganizing my outreach, here’s a snippet from one of my fantasy novels.

These snippets are likely to become a regular feature here at Wyrmflight. I hope you’ll enjoy it!

Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Available at Amazon or Draft2Digital.

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