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Posts Tagged ‘Deby Fredericks’

I’m still fighting with the formats on Minstrels of Skaythe, but I do have an intriguing call for submissions to share with you.

Wolfsinger Productions is planning an anthology with the theme of time capsules. The first step is to submit a list of 10 items that might be placed in a time capsule, along with a letter addressed to whoever opens the time capsule. Submissions will be accepted until November 15th. See full guidelines here.

The second step is that different writers will receive the list — but not the letter. They will write a story based upon the list. Writers can choose to make their list but not write a story, or they can choose to write a story without having made a list.

There is payment, although quite small. Check it out if you’re up for an interesting challenge!


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web site, Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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Work continues on the layout for Minstrels of Skaythe. I think I’m getting close. The tweaks are getting smaller and smaller, anyway.

Meanwhile, in school, we are past the honeymoon period at the first of the year. The kids’ natural resistance is beginning to unfold. Today was a day for all the kids to melt on their desks — either at home or at school — and whimper “I don’t know” for everything I asked. (Of course, they may also have been trying to hide that they had taken their masks off.)

Anyhow! My job is as a Resource paraeducator, Resource being the part of school that supports kids with learning disabilities. For a lot of the kids, writing is really the hardest subject. Even when I dictate a simple sentence, like “I love ham,” they struggle to get the letters on the page. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if they’ve tried and failed so much that they give up hope, or if they just don’t want to do the work and so they’re acting helpless.

Like a lot of writers, reading and writing came naturally to me when I was a kid. It is humbling to realize that what I take for granted is so difficult for some of the kids. I have to deploy many strategies to encourage them to at least try — even when they are melting on the desktop.


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web site, Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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As I prepare for the second draft on Prisoners of the Wailing Tower, one thing I’m really researching is… horses. Some of the mages are mounted on horses, and a bit of combat breaks out. What I’m trying to figure out is if the loud noises and such will spook the horses.

So I reached out to some of my friends who spend a lot of time around horses. Opinions are divided between “those horses would bolt in under a minute” and “no sane mage would go into combat on a horse that isn’t trained for that sort of thing.”

(Who said the mages in Skaythe are sane?)

Seriously, I agree that the mages would train their horses if they have time. It’s not going to change the outcome, but I do want to have reasonable details and reactions.

One of my pet peeves is when animals show a humanlike understanding and intelligence. I think of it as “the Lassie Effect.” The beautiful collie dog is smarter than most of the humans in her show, and regularly saves the day.

I have nothing against animals. They are beautiful and have senses beyond what humans possess. But they don’t reason like we do.

Now, it’s different if the animal is specified as being a spirit beast, or a witch’s familiar, or blessed by some divinity. My peeve is when animals are treated as humans who happen to have fur and paws.

Anyway… back to more “horsing around” for me!


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web site, Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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Every year, I take part in Teri Polen’s book event, Bad Moon Rising, and she’s just announced her schedule of appearances. Check it out here! My date is October 24th, and I’m spot-lighting The Tower in the Mist, the opening volume of my series, Minstrels of Skaythe.

With opportunities for appearances so curtailed in 2020, I’m especially excited about this. I hope you’ll all take a look at the amazing horror and dark fantasy in Bad Moon Rising.


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web site, Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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Okay, it was a tiny sale. To a tiny market. And it’s more of a re-sale, since I sold two stories to this tiny market and they had to go on hiatus before publishing.

But the market is run by a friend of mine, and I want to support her. Plus, I want to see my work in print lots of places, not just in my self-published e-books. Sometime in January, I should be able to publish a link to my stories!

If you might be interested in submitting to a tiny market, it’s The Lorelei Signal and their guidelines are up.

Anyway, I’m calling this a win!


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web site, Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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After you were all so helpful with my question about color schemes for the cover of my next book, now I have a question about the general text format. I was all ready to show you an image with some possibilities. Unfortunately, my computer decided it wasn’t going to turn that into an image. Nope. No way.

So, I’ll just have to ask you. Drop caps — yes or no?

A drop cap, if you don’t know, is when the first letter in the first sentence of a paragraph is very large and prominent. Usually, the drop cap is set into the body of the paragraph, but sometimes it stands above the first line. A drop cap can also be a different font, or it may be enclosed in a box, or followed by bold text… There are lots of style possibilities.

This will be a printed book, and maybe it feels a bit more important than an e-book. I want to get it just right. So, what do you think?

Should I drop the idea of drop caps, or go big with them?


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web site, Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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Three possible styles for Minstrels of Skaythe.

Color schemes, that is! As I work on collecting the Minstrels of Skaythe novellas into a trade paperback, I’m pondering some options for the cover. The image here shows three possibilities for the title colors against the background art.

#1 is basically the same metallic-reflection I used on the three e-books. That has the advantage of visual consistency and identifies this as part of the same series.

#2 is a variant color with the same metallic-reflection concept.

#3 is a brighter, solid fill. This isn’t an e-book, after all, and readers looking at it may not be using the title style to identify the series.

I’d love to know what you think of these possibilities! And I know you’re all not shy, so I look forward to hearing your thoughts.


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web site, Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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School is back in session online for me, and it’s every bit as weird and stressful as I expected. Some kids don’t show up for online groups. Or they don’t know how to click out of one group and into another. It’s a lot for all of us to learn.

So anyway, you all get another word question. The phrase I’m wondering about now is “wet” your appetite. I had always heard “whet” your appetite. Either way, the phrase indicates piquing someone’s interest or making them eager for whatever the subject of the sentence is.

“Wet” does conjure an image of someone salivating with hunger. That’s not too bad if we’re talking about making someone more hungry. However, it doesn’t seem very connected to generating excitement about something.

On the other hand, “whet” indicates sharpening a tool with a whetstone. If you “whet” someone’s appetite, you are sharpening their hunger.

I think it’s interesting that our “hone in” discussion last time also had to do with sharpening as a metaphor for increased interest. In the past, tools were important and good quality ones were carefully maintained so they would last. These days, if our tools get dull, we just toss them and buy new ones.

Anyway! What do you guys think? Do you prefer to sharpen interest, or make it droll?


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web site, Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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It’s more of a phrase, actually. I hear people talk about “honing in” on something. As in, they’re going to focus intensely on a specific topic or object.

Hone = sharpen. Why would we use sharpness to indicate focus?

I always thought the phrase should be “home in,” as when homing pigeons return to their roost.

What do you guys think? Should we “home in” or “hone in?”


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web site, Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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What’s Happening. School is back in session, and my extended summer break is over. My schedule has been upended, as happens every year. Currently, our district is learning remotely. We are going through many trainings. Some are related to health and safety, while others involve the technology we’re using for the said remote learning.

Wearing a mask for 7 hours straight is a bit of a pain, but not actually difficult. The one little annoyance is that when I take off the masks at the end of the day, they can cause my earrings to fall out. So far I have lost one earring from two different pairs. Clearly, I need to develop a strategy to prevent this.

What I’m Working On. The second draft of Prisoners of the Wailing Tower is complete and off with some beta readers. I am taking the time to spiff up my promotions for all the current novellas in the Minstrels of Skaythe series, in preparation for Plan B (see below).

What’s Next. Rather than push myself to publish Prisoners before it’s truly ready, I’m falling back on Plan B. That is to collect the first three novellas into a printed book, to be released in mid-November. Since the texts are already complete, it should come together fairly easily. Interior text on printed books is more finicky than e-books, but there’s plenty of time. My current task is to select cover art, make the titles, and begin to lay the cover out.

Fun and Games. Animal Crossing goes on. This is a relaxing game without a fixed end point — perfect for when things get tense. I am also beginning a playthrough of Fallout 4, a post-apocalyptic adventure. My husband and son have both started this game but abandoned it. We’ll see if I can last any longer.

This is Labor Day weekend, so I wish you all a relaxing holiday.


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web site, Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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