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Archive for the ‘Writing About Writing’ Category

Return from all those blog visits, that is. Self-publishing includes a lot of effort besides the actual writing. Promotion and many other factors are part of it.

Thanks to David, Alden, Charles and Craig for hosting me. Having such great friends really lightens the load.

Now I suppose I’ll have to think of other things to blog about!


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Tomorrow, December 5th, I’ll be stopping by the blog Entertaining Stories for another turn on Lisa Burton Radio. Author C. S. Boyack hosts these fun “radio shows” where his favorite character, Lisa Burton, interviews characters from other stories.

In my case, Lisa will be chatting with Tisha, one of the two main characters from Dancer in the Grove of Ghosts. Tisha is one of the good guys, unlike Zathi, the character who visited Lisa from The Tower in the Mist. This somewhat balances the scales, and I like that.

But what I’d really like is for you to hop on over this Thursday, December 5th, and join in the fun of the radio show. I’ll be answering everyone’s questions, so I hope to hear from you there.


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I mentioned that I’m into revisions on Ice Witch and the first page isn’t quite right. I’d like share the first few lines, so you can see what I’m working with.

On the deck of the trading ship Cross Current, Meven watched the shore of Eshur glide slowly closer. Gulls screeched overhead, perfectly expressing the dread that congealed within her gut.

Some things I like about this: a) It has the character, Meven, so we know right away who the story is about. b) It has a dual setting, on the trading ship, which is approaching a place, Eshur. I always like when one sentence does the job of two. c) It has a nice image, the gulls screeching, that connects to a powerful emotion, dread.

No matter what else goes on in a story, I believe that authors have to bring in an emotion right away. This will draw readers in more than anything else.

Now, things I don’t like: a) That first sentence seems unwieldy. I could make it more direct, “Meven watched the shore… from the deck of the trading ship Cross Current.” b) The final image, dread congealing in her gut, feels awkward. Meven has ice powers that don’t seem to fit with the verb, congeal. Yet I do want a sense of something solidifying and getting heavy as she approaches a place she dreads. I really need to get the right verb there.

Here is the next paragraph. These hast two weeks at sea had been a blessing and a relief. Born on the water, but for years confined to land, she had forgotten so much. The musky tang of salt water, the constant creak of rigging and slap of waves against the hull. The rhythmic dance of herself and the ship upon the tide. Even the way her clothing was always slightly damp and clung to her legs. She hadn’t felt so safe and content since she was a young girl.

Again, some things I like: a) It gives us a time frame for how long she’s been on the ship. b) It expands on the setting with sensory details. c) The sentence “Born on the water but for years confined to land,” tells some of her back story. d) “She hadn’t felt so safe since she was a young girl” gives more back story while also hinting at her goal, which is to live on or near water.

What I don’t like: a) The sensory details are great, but there are too many of them. Three details would have a better rhythm. b) The first two sentences connect awkwardly. My words need to flow like water (ha ha) and carry the reader along.

Some of you are new writers, and I wanted to share a bit of this process with you so that you’ll know you aren’t alone in trying to make it all fit together. For those of you more experience writers, I could use a few suggestions about that pesky verb in the first paragraph.


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This weekend is a certain major holiday in the U. S. A. I’ll be chilling out with family, and I hope you all can, too. There’s a bit of suspense about when my actual family meal will be this year. Our daughter works Thursday and Friday, while my husband works Friday. I’m sure we’ll “work” it out, ha ha.

Meanwhile, I’ve finished all the blog visits I had arranged for Dancer in the Grove of Ghosts. I’m still open to appearing other places, of course, so recommendations are welcome.

Between days off work for the holiday and having no urgent posts to write, I am free to begin revisions on The Ice Witch of Fang Marsh. I’ve made most of the major decisions as far as plot and outcomes. However, the beginning needs work and there is much polishing to be done. This should keep me occupied for a week or two.

I hope you all have pleasant holidays, too.


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My sojourn today is with Alden Loveshade of the Loveshade Family Blog. Our topic is “What if the Good Guys Won?”

For those who have read my Skaythe novellas, you know that part of the setting’s history is that the evil wizard Dar-Gothull succeeded in taking over the world. My characters try to resist his regime without resorting to his own weapons of terror and violence.

I hope you’ll come join the discussion at Loveshade Family Blog.


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As planned, I read my short story, “Transformation,” at Fall Folk Festival, along with a couple of selections from Aunt Ursula’s Atlas. The crowd was tiny, but we had a great discussion about “Transformation.”

When I began work on this story, I was riffing on the idea that a witch’s spells would start randomly coming apart. But as it developed, there was a really interesting dynamic between the witch, Madame Cariyu, and the village of Yoreville.

You have that sort of traditional hostility from the village priest, while at the same time it seemed that many of the residents were turning to Cariyu for help on a regular basis. It might seem like they exploited her magic, threatening to expose her “evil ways,” yet Cariyu may have been threatening them, as well. She did the favors they asked of her, knowing that she had a long list of clients she could expose as having consorted with a witch.

How important was the witch to her village? For one thing, her name is pronounced like “carry you.” That might be a hint. Plus, there’s that demon statue up on the hill. In any case, I hope you all enjoyed the story.


Coming up, I have a sort of blog tour in support of Dancer in the Grove of Ghosts. It starts Saturday, November 16, on the blog of David Lee Summers. Then on Wednesday, November 20th, I’m visiting Charles Yallowitz on his blog, Legends of Windemere. Next up is the Loveshade Family Blog on Saturday, November 23rd. I’m also planning a stint on C. S. Boyack’s Lisa Burton Radio, but that one isn’t scheduled yet.


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This is something I mention every year, and it’s coming around again. Fall Folk Festival is a celebration of folk music, dance, and other arts. The festival is this weekend, November 9th and 10th, starting roughly at 11 am and going until the folk dancers can’t dance any more.

“Lucy D. Ford” attends to read from her contemporary fairy tales. In previous years, they’ve had me on the children’s stage on Sundays. This year I’m on Saturday. I feel like that’s a promotion.

In any case, I’ll have books to sell at the festival store, bookmarks to give away, and so forth. I’m really looking forward to the weekend.


Meanwhile, I did get Dancer in the Grove of Ghosts set up on Amazon and Draft2Digital. Click on the image in the sidebar to pre-order from Amazon, or get your other formats from D2D.

Naturally, my next thing is that I need to make a few blog appearances to support the latest book. If you have an opening in your own blog, or you can recommend someone who’s looking for interviews, please let me know!


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