Picture This

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.



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.

Filling the Well

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.

Snippet 1

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.

Dragons Just Hangin’

Guess what I got for Christmas! Actually, I got several dragons. There’s a lovely vintage print of a lady reading with her pet dragon, and a dragon wine holder, too. My friends know me well.

These dragons are my favorites, though. They are hand made from wool felt. They were most likely purchased at a local fair-trade shop, so the crafters would have created them as part of a jobs program.

Technically, they are a holiday decoration, but they’re so darned cute! I think they’ll just be hanging around my office window for the foreseeable future.

In other news, it’s the new year and I’m re-assessing certain parts of my writing career. (Not because of any crisis — you should take stock of things from time to time.) Like many writers, I tend to focus most on my current work in progress. I don’t pay as much attention as I should to actually selling copies of my books in print.

As part of this, I’m considering how Wyrmflight supports my other goals. After all, part of the reason for blogging is to draw readers and make sales.

The other piece of this is that I may have gone as far as I can with the blog’s theme of dragons. It’s been seven years, you know? I’ve kept my topic broad to include everything from books and movies to real things that are named after dragons, but what I really love is to share folk stories from around the world. Lately those are getting harder to find.

Will I cease blogging here? I don’t know. It’s brought me many friendships and helped collect enough material for a book. (See my ad, below.) Perhaps I’ll switch to another topic, such as Witches or Fairies. Perhaps I’ll find a way to re-use older posts in a new format. (I hear Instagram is hot these days.)

So this is where I thank all of you for coming along on my Wyrmflight journey. I hope you’ll stick with me, wherever my dragons may come to roost.

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

Dragon Brew

Do you like dragons? How about beer? Then I have the perfect board game for you!

Dragon Brew is a board game where you plan your estate, cultivate the grain, quest for rare ingredients, and so forth. Meanwhile, unpredictable events try to break down what you’ve built. The endgame is a brewing contest, judged by the Dragon Keeper. What is the Dragon Keeper looking for in a great beer? Those conditions change, so successive games can have surprising outcomes.

Full disclosure — I have not played this game, so I cannot attest to any quirks in the rules. I have it ordered for a certain someone, though. I’m hoping it will be here in time for Christmas. Full review to come, anyhow.

Now, as an F.Y.I, my next post would be on Wednesday, the day after Christmas. I am skipping that to play with whatever new toys I receive. Or more likely, to inhale the new books. Cheers, and I’ll read you again in a week!

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

The best known incident involving a U-2 is from 1960. Pilot Francis Gary Powers took off from Pakistan with the intention of photographing  several Soviet installations while heading for Norway. Their starting date of May 1 was a serious miscalculation, however. May Day was a huge holiday in the Soviet Union. Civilian flights were grounded to allow for military demonstration flights. The U-2 stood out in this environment. It was immediately tracked by Soviet air forces. 

Due to its high altitude, the U-2 could not be attacked directly by fighter planes. Instead, a missile brought it down. Powers ejected, but chose not to use a “poison pill” in his possession. He was captured alive. The U-2 itself was not as badly damaged as military planners had expected given a crash from such altitude. This allowed the Soviets to recover and study the wreckage, advancing their own aircraft technology. 

The C. I. A. fell back on their cover story, that the pilot had lost consciousness due to a failure of the oxygen system. After allowing the U. S. to release this information, Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev revealed the truth. This was a huge embarrassment to the United States both internally and internationally. It derailed a major diplomatic conference, two weeks later, and may eventually have led to the ouster of Khrushchev by hard-liners who thought he had been too conciliatory toward the U. S. In America, C. I. A. director Allen Dulles was excoriated at a major Congressional hearing.

As for the pilot, Powers followed his orders and cooperated with Soviet authorities. He was convicted of espionage and served time in prison before being released in 1962. Many in the U. S. blamed Powers for not using his “poison pill” after being shot down. However, it appears Powers’ orders were not explicitly that he should commit suicide. Several U-2 pilots had been killed in crashes during development and testing, so whoever wrote the orders must have considered it impossible for Powers to walk away from a crash. 

It just goes to show, you should never underestimate a Dragon Lady and her rider.

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