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Posts Tagged ‘fantasy writer’

What’s Happening? The first of my re-issued titles is now available. Masters of Air & Fire is a juvenile fantasy. Every family has drama, even when they are dragons! Check out the links in the sidebar, if you’re interested.

What I’m Working On. A sequel to my fantasy short story, “Mistress Henbane,” is currently under way. It’s been a bit slow, but I’m still writing a page a day, 500 words, more or less. I’ll get there in time. As for The Tale of the Drakanox, my husband has the sole printed copy. He always supports my art, so he gets the privilege of the first read. Revisions don’t begin until he’s had his input.

What’s Next? Later this month, I’ll be at RadCon science fiction convention. I’m waiting anxiously for copies of Masters of Air & Fire to arrive, so I can sell a few there. In addition, I think it’s time for new covers to go on Aunt Ursula’s Atlas. Before that, I’d like to sell out the current copies. Watch this space for more on my RadCon schedule.

Fun and Games. I’m playing Subnautica Below Zero, where my character is marooned in the polar region of a water planet. I have to survive and explore a mystery. I’m also playing Animal Crossing and Ruya when I just need to chill out.

Speaking of chill, it’s been pretty cold outside. Perfect weather for reading a book!


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 websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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Recently, my attention was snagged by one of those online polls. “What does writing mean to you?” it asked. A good question, but the poll gave only two possible answers: 1) My job or 2) My hobby.

What caught me was the false choice that poll presented. To me, it implied that one’s writing (or any other art) should be judged solely on the basis of whether it makes money or not. Obviously a money-making job would be deemed worthy, and a mere hobby would be something inferior, a mere waste of time.

Frankly, this is an issue that a lot of indy writers already have to deal with. Well-meaning (or less well-meaning) family members may ask if we’re spending too much money on our little hobby. With the clear insinuation that we ought to be spending our money on something else the family member would approve of.

Rather than fret about this any more than I already have, I’m going to put forth that same poll with some options that I consider more thoughtful. I’m interested in what you think!


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 websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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The paperback layout and cover for Masters of Air & Fire are complete. Only now do I realize that Amazon wants you to do the e-book before a printed book! Ah, well. I’ll start on the e-book layout when I get done with this post.

Although Air & Fire is taking up a lot of my attention, I am still working on the rough draft of my newest short story. I felt like it was stalling out, and backed up to figure out where I got off track. The issue in this case is with the setting. I thought it would be cool to have a secret shrine hidden underneath another building. A rival religion wasn’t able to raze the shrine because of magical protection, so they built their own temple over it and tried to literally bury the old shrine. As I got into it, though, that setting wasn’t working. If you’re going to have a mystery, it helps when lots of suspects have access to the site. Today I sketched out several alternatives for where the shrine might be. One of them sprang to life for me, and I have that to push me in a new direction. Since one of my resolutions is to write more short stories, I’m glad to be working actively toward that.

The other complication is in my extended family. Our father is 94 and has been declining rapidly. Since early September, he seems to be moving from one medical facility to another. My younger sister is carrying the load on this, and then there was a huge fight over Christmas (no doubt due to stress and worry about Dad). Both sides say they aren’t speaking to each other, but they are all talking to me.

I don’t have enough oil to pour on these waters. But I do have an e-book to lay out, so I’d better get to it!


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 websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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My first solid project of the year is to re-issue Masters of Air & Fire. To that end, I have selected cover art that can be cropped for an e-book cover and also work as a paperback cover, although with some fiddling. There’s been a lot of buzz about using AI programs to create cover art, but I’m choosing to go through Shutterstock, where I’m pretty sure an actual human is being paid for their work.

My next step will be to create a splashy title to go on the cover. Then I’ll use Canva to lay it out. Once I have something to show around, I’ll begin reformatting the text for the e-book. Another step I have to do is assigning a new ISBN. However, the Bowker system is undergoing maintenance, so that that will have to wait a day or three.

These will be the easy parts. I’m hoping to handle most of it this weekend, because the trade paper process takes longer. Someone (or another AI, who knows) has to approve it and then I wait for printed copies. Hm… Maybe I should do that first?

Anyhow! It’s time to get started on that title. Cheers, all!


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 websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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What’s Happening? I finished it! The first draft of Tale of the Drakanox is complete! Also, I’ve just had a two-week winter break that encompassed two major holidays. Getting back to work will almost be a relief. In addition, I’m starting the new year off right with a new short story. “Where Gold Grows on Trees” is in the January issue of Lorelei Signal.

What I’m Working On. The plan was to rest my brain from Drakanox for a couple of weeks, but the very next day a new short story sprang into my mind. I jotted down the first couple of pages, but then started to realize how many blanks I was leaving to fill in for later. I’m still jotting, but mostly my focus has been those background details, like the names of cities and who is in charge of what.

What’s Next? Those books I got back from the defunct small press are waiting their turn to be refreshed and re-released. I just went over the options in my resolutions, last Saturday, so I’ll avoid rehashing that. My immediate plan is for Masters of Air and Fire to be ready by February, when I have my first convention of the year.

Fun and Games. I finished my play through of Skyrim in early December. Once again I saved the Empire! I found out there was an update to Subnautica, and managed to finish a play through of it without the serious crashes I was having. Currently I’m playing yet another run of Dragon Age Origins and also keeping up with Animal Crossing. I also received several jigsaw puzzles for Christmas and those will keep me occupied nicely as well.

The new year is going to be whatever we make of it. So make it wonderful!


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 websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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The end of the year always sneaks up on me. Tempus fugit and all that. I’ve started a few of the year-end writing chores, like adding up my income for tax purposes. It was a good year in terms of sales. I sold over $200 in books. Now, if I was also tracking expenses, I probably lost more than that. But, since I no longer try to deduct that as a business expense, I am free to focus on the positive. I sold books and made money, yippee!

I’m also racing against time to finish The Tale of the Drakanox. Over the past week I rammed out 5,350 words to a very rough ending, but there will be a lot of work left to bring it into a finished state. My characters keep wanting to banter with each other. However, they’re in the midst of a multi-sided magical brawl! I think it’s my way of delaying some of the painful points. But, there’s just no time for idle chat. A lot of that will have to be cut in the second draft.

As far as the Twitter Wars go, I’m still present there. The Dragon Age and comics fandoms are important to me. However, I am liking it on CounterSocial. When I open up Twitter, I see angry shouting about “Trump should be in jail!” When I open CounterSocial, I see “I watched the sun rise over the mountains and it was beautiful.” I’m sure it has to do with who I follow and how I curate my feeds. The contrast is pretty striking, all the same.

My next main chore is resolutions. I do them around my writing every year. So my next couple of posts are probably going to deal with that.

Tomorrow is a big holiday, which not everyone celebrates. So I’ll just wish you a lovely day, tomorrow and always.


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 websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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I made the leap and am writing madly toward the conclusion of The Tale of the Drakanox. As I’m pulling the threads together, there’s one thing I didn’t really consider before I got to this point. Will all of my characters survive the experience?

In previous posts, I’ve mulled over how authors decide whether characters should live or die. Sometimes a character is “bad” and needs to be “punished,” so they die in the end. Or they’re “good” and deserve to live by whatever contrived means. (Thinking of all those movies where it seems like a character is dead, but then they start breathing again.) Sometimes the author is looking for a juicy twist. Sometimes, they seem to feel that victory must have a cost. These can all be valid reasons, or they can be manipulations.

Or, both. As they say, two things can be true at the same time.

What I’m thinking about here are three main issues. First, as a pantser, I follow the most logical outcome of situations. If a character dying is most logical, then I should let it happen. Unless I need that character for later in the story. Then I will revise the situation so escape is more logical.

Second, I consider the reader’s reaction. Will they be disappointed if nobody dies? Grieving for fallen characters is a thing that some readers seem to enjoy. Other readers may be upset if the “bad guy” lives to tell the tale. Should I bump off a character to satisfy those readers?

Third and perhaps more important, I consider the underlying theme of the work. With the Minstrels of Skaythe series, it’s resisting a vicious regime through non-violence. If I end the series with a major bloodbath, that would undercut my own point and I’m certain it would disappoint readers who value my theme.

Before I go farther, I’ll probably make up one of my charts that lists all the possible outcomes. Just looking at them all laid out like that sometimes gives me a knee-jerk “yes/no” reaction that helps me. I might even roll dice for some of the choices.

Looks like I have some decisions to make!


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 websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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Another surge of disease has struck my school. Not only COVID, but also respiratory flu and a stomach flu. Many classes are down by 5 or 6 ill students. The teacher I report to has had to leave early a couple of days this week. Good thing I was there to oversee all the kids coming in to take breaks from the excitement of holiday parties.

It reminds me of last January, when so many teachers were sick and no substitutes could be found. My district shortened the school week to four days because of it. Then, I was the only one of 3 staff who didn’t get sick. Since then, I have always kept my mask on at work, even when restrictions were lifted.

“Why do you wear that mask?” asked a student who was out sick 4 of 5 days.

This is why. It might sound like I’m complaining, but actually I feel fairly heroic. Ms. Fredericks for the 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 websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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Yes, I’m nearly there with The Tale of the Drakanox. I have just the big finale to complete the first draft. Huzzah!

What has me hesitating is the scale of this last part. A huge force of mages is converging on my dauntless renegades. How will they survive without giving up their pacifist beliefs? There’s so much to remember, drawing on the endings of previous novellas, the fates of all my characters, not leaving out anyone/anything… It’s a lot! And I know it will take me until the end of the year to finish up.

But… but… that’s only two weeks! And there’s holidays and stuff at the same time!

I know I can do this. I always hesitate in this part of the book. I’ll leave you with a famous line from Dragon Age II, where the witch Flemeth gives advice to the hero, Hawke. “We stand upon the precipice of change. The world fears the inevitable plummet into the abyss. Watch for that moment… and when it comes, do not hesitate to leap. It is only when you fall that you learn whether you can fly.” (The voice of Flemeth is Kate Mulgrew, by the way, in an outstanding performance.)

Flemeth always knew what she was talking about, so I guess I’d better leap!


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 websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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Lately I’ve been re-reading some of the paperbacks on my shelves, checking in on authors whose work inspired me in the past. The author I’m revisiting at the moment is Barbara Hambly.

Hambly was an important author of the ’80s and ’90s. I used to watch for her and buy any new books I saw. But around 2000, I guess there was a change in tax law that led to a lot of publishers slashing their lists. Hambly any many others were simply dropped and have faded from public attention. She does continue to write and appears to be self-publishing novelettes in many of her series.

The series I’m currently revisiting is Sun Wolf and Starhawk, but Hambly wrote several series and trilogies. Her work is fantasy of the darkest kind. Apocalyptic invasion, demonic possession, political machinations — not to mention a dose of feminist comment on the patriarchal assumptions of fantasy.

Every author is a product of their time, and stories resonates differently in new eras. I find that Hambly’s work holds up well, 40 years on. If you get the chance, you should seek her out.


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 websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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