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Posts Tagged ‘fantasy writer’

I’ve received all the entries I’m going to get for Queen Titania’s Court, which total five. I hoped for wider participation, but this gives me enough to fill my usual Wednesdays and Saturdays schedule. I’m really excited to have these five, who are all my personal friends, take part in the series.

There are some matters of balance, though. I noticed that a few of the characters were entering the ball nervous or intimidated, so I made sure to space those out with the more confident personalities. As I threatened earlier, one of my own characters will also be making an appearance. There are a couple of other posts to set up, including one for the beginning with a table of contents, and one for the ending where I plan to have a fun crowd scene showing all the visitors enjoying the ball.

Now that I have my “table of contents,” if you will, I can start putting the actual posts together. I hope you’re all as excited as I am for a magical month of June!


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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I’m relieved to tell you that I’m no longer plodding through Prisoners of the Wailing Tower. At last, the story has begun to drag me along with it, instead of the other way around!

My typical writing week is Sunday to Thursday. On Friday evenings we have a regular gaming group. Saturdays I keep free to run around with my husband, and we usually watch anime or a movie on Saturday nights.

So far this week, I’ve got almost 4,000 words in on Prisoners. I finished a long sequence of Alemin coming face to face with the revenant of the Larder. Now I need to switch gears and do a sequence with Lorrah, who is on her way to try and rescue Alemin.

Lorrah just found out that her mean older sister is in charge of the Larder. I got about 450 words for her yesterday (Thursday), but she was all distraught about facing her sister. It was going slowly, and after I called it for that day I realized her response was simply too juvenile. Three quarters of the way in, Lorrah needs to be more forceful and ready to defend herself.

So while I’m on my writing weekend, I’ll consider alternative approaches. Most likely I’ll use much of the same dialogue that I have, but express it with different actions. If it continues going slowly, I can spend more time thinking about their past relationship. Parts of my time need to be focused on setting up blog posts for Queen Titania’s Court, anyway.

I hope you’re all keeping safe, and that you’re able to get some writing done, too.


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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One of the sales-oriented goals that I established at the beginning of 2020 was to attend 6 book events over the course of the year. As an independent author, I’m always looking for ways to publicize my books, after all.

Book events can be as simple as a couple of hours at a table in a store, chatting up customers. Or they can be as elaborate as science fiction conventions that run across a full weekend. I always have a good time meeting people and (hopefully) turning them into my fans.

This year, there’s an obvious barrier between me and my plans — pandemic closures. There’s really nothing I can do about it, and I don’t plan to moan about it (much). What I do want to mention is that there’s another aspect to book events besides the author’s fun and/or profit.

The organizers of these events are suffering, too. They work for months to get everything set up. It’s painful to see all that effort wasted. For example, this coming weekend I was supposed to attend a science fiction convention in Missoula, MT. That’s now been delayed by a year.

It can also be financially painful. Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while may recall that I’m on an SF convention organizing committee myself. I do programming, as my sneaky way of keeping in touch with all the writers around my area. So far, three genre conventions have been cancelled locally. Do we really thing we’re going to be the exception?

Our dates for 2020 are in October. It looks likely that the state will be allowing large gatherings again by then. The question is whether average fans will feel safe enough to attend a convention. That’s where the financial pain comes in.

Our event has a contract with a hotel. If there is a stay-at-home order in effect, the hotel will allow us to cancel the convention, or delay it by a year, with no fault to either side. But if the state is “open for business” they will expect us to hold our event and pay them everything we owe. Even if our instinct tells us attendance is going to fall and leave us in dire condition, we are still obligated.

I’m not blaming the hotel, either. They must have had a tremendous number of cancellations, and it’s natural that they don’t want to let go of any possible revenue. So I’m not going to moan about that, either (much).

It’s just one of the trials of a writer’s life.


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 been slow going on Prisoners of the Wailing Tower. Like a lot of us, I’m pulled in different directions right now. Just this week, I got a work assignment that appeared to be four Power Points. Four? No sweat! Then I saw that every other slide holds a link to a different, hour-long webinar. So, yes, that’s taking more of my time than first appeared.

But I’m also still finding my way into where the story needs to go. That just requires more think time than writing time. I feel guilty, like I’m not trying as hard as I could, but then when I sit down to work, I’m frustrated because I don’t know what to should happen next.

What do I do about it? I have a notebook where I just write down every idea that could possibly happen. The boring, obvious ones will get out of the way to make room for more interesting options. I keep the story in my mind while I’m weeding, washing the dishes, etc. At the end of the day, as I lie in bed, try to bring my mind back to it. Answers might come in that relaxed state.

And, I keep showing back up to the keyboard, even if my brain isn’t on fire. I open the document and read the last few pages to get a run at it. I try to write down the next sentence that comes to mind, even if it’s lame.

I keep plugging away at 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 web site, Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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Many of us writers have a personal mantra, something we repeat to ourselves as a means of inspiration or a way to keep focused on work. You know, “butt in chair,” stuff like that. So today I’m sharing my mantra with you. Ready?

“Nobody Cares.”

This might seem pretty needy, a play for attention and reassurance. To me, it’s more like a declaration of independence.

Who are some of the people who might care about my writing? Editors, agents, random people on the Internet… You know them. The folks who are so ready to tell you you’re doing it all wrong. They swear that if you change your story and do it their way, you’ll find success on whatever terms they define.

The implication is that I should care about their opinions more than, say, my own goals and desires. I should ignore my writer’s instinct and the expertise that’s already helped me to finish a bunch of books and short stories.

But when nobody cares, I am free to write what I want. I don’t have to listen to people telling me it’s too long or too short, or that I have to to sex it up, or the bad guys have to die, or that I should follow a specific formula. I don’t have to include some annoying trope when actually I’m more about questioning those tropes.

So that’s my mantra: Nobody Cares. Except maybe some of you guys. 🙂


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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Happy May, everybody. I must confess that spring is my favorite time of year. Everything is getting green and seeds are sprouting in the garden. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen pictures of my flowers. I’m even making inroads on the dandelions in my lawn. That’s thanks to the way I’m reshaping my schedule. It’s been a month and a half since I was ordered to stay home, so there’s no more excuse to act like I’m still confused.

Basically, I try to alternate my activities and keep myself alert. First thing in the morning, I take care of dishes and other chores. Then I get online, check work e-mail and sign into Teams. If my supervisor has any tasks for me, that’s where I’ll find them. Between 10 and 11, I go outside and do yard work. (The aforementioned dandelion patrol.) Around noon, I stop for lunch and play video games. Then at 1 pm it’s back online for a Zoom meeting. After the meeting, I do my first batch of writing for the day. That ends between 3 and 4, when I have more time for video games. If it’s my turn to cook, I get dinner handled. Then back upstairs for more writing until about 9.

Currently, I’m back to work on Prisoners of the Wailing Tower. Part of the reason I stopped was because I felt like I was on the wrong track. This is normal, since I don’t work with outlines. While I focused on the self-publishing part for Ice Witch, I kept mulling that over. I figured out where I went wrong and things are re-arranged. My normal goal has been to write 1 page a day (500 words, since I draft my stories single-spaced). With 2 sessions, that pushes me to 1,000 words a day.

Other ongoing projects are the pre-publicity for Ice Witch and inviting more people to join in on Queen Titania’s Court. The response has been fairly lack-luster, I must sadly admit. Maybe I’ll fill the extra spots with characters from my other books. Why not! Another project is Writers Read Writers, spear-headed by author Alma Alexander. A group of us are reading each other’s stories, and Alma is putting it out as a podcast. It should be fun, and of course I’ll let you know when my own story goes up.

At the moment, my video games are Animal Crossing and Control. Animal Crossing has saved my sanity during the pandemic, let me tell you. Control is a new one to me. It’s a fairly tense game with weird sound effects and alien monsters lurking in an apparently-abandoned office building. So far I’m really enjoying it, but I am glad I waited. I needed to be less tense before I started playing a tense game.

So that’s it! I hope you’re all holding your ground and staying safe.


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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Thank you to everyone who commented on the cover layout for The Ice Witch of Fang Marsh. I’m still working on that tricky title color, but I know I’ll get it done soon. One other very small quibble is that the illustration clearly shows palm trees. Do you think anyone will notice that there are no palm trees in the story?

In addition to that, I’ve spend the past few days in a close read-through of the text. I fixed a few typos that I suspect my grammar-check put in. The final version cut about 20 words from the 35,000 so it’s time to call that good. I will absolutely, positively, NOT go back in to add any palm trees!

My next step will be to format the novella as an e-book. I have that process down fairly well. After that, I begin the actual publishing. Assigning the ISBNs through Bowker. Uploading text, deciding what my tags should be, and so on. Those of you who self-publish know how picky it all can be.

But in the end, you’ll all get to read this novella that I’ve been hinting and fussing about for almost a year!


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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