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Posts Tagged ‘writer problems’

What’s Happening? Welcome to December and the mad holiday season. We’ve had almost a foot of snow already. Believe it or not, this isn’t a complaint. It just doesn’t feel like Christmas to me if we don’t get snow.

What I’m Working On. The Tale of the Drakanox. Yes, still! The current total is about 102,000 words. New bonds are being forged, and old ones are being broken. I’m at the beginning point for the ending, if that makes sense. There’s just nothing else that needs to develop, plot-wise. Completion within the month is possible.

What’s Next? My next firm plan is to revise Aunt Ursula’s Attic, my short story collection under the Lucy D. Ford byline. Aunt Ursula was my first effort at self-publishing, and I’ve learned a lot since then. The e-book is probably ok, but I think I can make the paperback look better. If I have enough new short stories, I may even come up with a second collection. That’s something that requires further exploration.

Fun and Games. Skyrim is my main game, with Animal Crossing and Ruya as more casual backups. I often get new games for Christmas, so we’ll see what turns up.

The holidays are hectic, so I hope you’ll have at least some time to chill. Take care, everybody!


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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Yep, we have a major snow storm going on. Woke up to 3″ on the ground and a prediction of 8″ by the end of the day. This isn’t the worse storm in my memory. We once got 6 FEET of snow over two days. But it’s enough to close the schools (not unexpectedly). My husband had to go in, and I let him borrow my Subaru, so here I am at home.

Among my tasks for the day is to keep our walks shoveled. I’m using it also as a sensory experience as I work through scenes in The Tale of the Drakanox where Meven, the Ice Witch, is exerting her powers. It’s easy to forget, as I sit in my warm house writing, what cold feels like. How it stings on exposed skin. How it burns its way into your lungs. Fingers and toes feel the cold build up, and they warm more slowly. The longer you’re out there, the more painful it becomes.

Just a little peek at the writing 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 websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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The podcast edition of Fall Folk Fest’s live radio broadcast is now live! Listen here if you are so inclined. I am in the middle of this segment, around the 34-minute mark, and it’s under my children’s pen name, Lucy D. Ford. All the performers were wonderful, and it’s worth listening all the way through.

Now to my call for posts. Not that I’m obsessed with Twitter or anything, but the changes there will truly be significant for independent authors like me. Change, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. Instead of woeful crying, maybe we should consider this an opportunity for new kinds of outreach.

With that in mind, I’m open to guest posts. I’d love to hear about what new avenues you’re exploring. Why did you choose a certain platform? How is your experience in trying to migrate? If you’re interested, you can e-mail me, cat09tales -at- hotmail -dot- com.


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 think I mentioned early this year that I was planning to ask one of my publishers, Sky Warrior, to return the rights to my book. I e-mailed, and was told she is discussing with another publisher to buy the Sky Warrior catalog. That publisher promptly sent me a contract for one book, The Seven Exalted Orders. That’s great news, but there’s no word on any of the others.

Things do take time in publishing, I understand that. The new publisher is also a small press, and they’re taking on a whole bunch of work and have to communicate with various authors. However, I’m finding it not helpful when there is no communication about expected timelines.

I’ve sent a takedown request to Sky Warrior, since they definitively said they are not planning to publish my work any longer. They have agreed to do that. Now I’m watching to see it actually happen. I’ll keep poking them until it does, and then I’ll begin trying to discuss which of my books the new publisher is serious about. Meantime, I did revamp my web site to show these books are no longer available. That was a little sad.

I need to be firm with myself, as well as them, and not let this process drag on.


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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Well, it happened. Musk bought Twitter and showed up with his usual horrible smirk, carrying a kitchen sink. Then he proceeded to fire most of the staff and introduced the idea of a subscription fee. Any posts that criticize or mock Musk seem to mysteriously vanish. People’s heads are exploding and they’re all talking about leaving for other social media.

The problem is, for writers and other creative people, there really isn’t a substitute for Twitter. It’s like Amazon. You can try to sell your books in other places, but Amazon still dominates the marketplace. Twitter is a one-stop show for industry news, calls for submissions, news about great books, and conversations with fellow authors. I’ve consistently picked up opportunities there. I frequently mention my books there.

Twitter also allows an unlimited intersection of interests. Right now my feed is a mix of publishing and writers with politics, Dragon Age fandom, environmental affairs, and cute animal pictures. So far, the alternatives I’ve seen would require me to join a different server or e-mail list for each one of my interests. It really sounds like too much work.

So what’s an independent author to do? My response has been as varied as my interests. In the past, my Twitter was separated from my Facebook. Twitter has been part of my writing and Facebook is more personal to friends and family. Since the takeover, I’ve been posting more material to both platforms. I’m considering other social media, too, although nothing has really caught my interest as yet.

I’ve been satisfying my vengeful side by rejecting a lot more ads on Twitter. I know, the company has to pay their employees (such as remain) and ads are how they do that. I’m just being more strict about the ads I’ll tolerate looking at. Promoted tweets and ads that are meant to look like comments in a thread have got to go. I’ve also gone through my followers and blocked a lot of lingerie models. If someone comes along to analyze my brand based on who I follow and who follows me, I want them to see the ACLU and a bunch of fellow writers, not would-be porn stars. Not that I judge how the models try to support themselves, but adult services are not for me.

And, yes, I blocked Musk himself after he tweeted a conspiracy theory about the vicious beating of an elderly man. Political violence is on my auto-block list.

I’m also asserting myself in terms of the algorithm that controls what tweets I see. I’m systematically watching for people whose tweets I enjoy and making sure to follow them. Then, I go to their profiles and click the bell icon so I’ll get notifications when they post. If my main feed becomes too chaotic, I can find the people I really want to see by going to my notifications.

As for Musk’s plan to institute a subscription fee, I’m actually not so upset about that. I mean, I pay a monthly fee to Pandora so I can listen to their music. My husband pays for Netflix and Disney + each month. A Twitter fee wouldn’t be that different. So I’m on the fence about that. I want to see how bad the service gets before I commit.

What about some of you? I’d love to hear if you’ve changed social media. Where did you go, and how easy or hard has it been?


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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This week I’ve been distracted by some dental work that needed to be done. I’ve had a crown for probably 15 years that broke. The tooth wasn’t hurting, but there was a recess in the center that always got stuff stuck in it, and a sharp edge that occasionally made me bite my cheek. I pulled the funds together to get it replaced.

So yesterday I had to leave work a tad early for the first part of the work. I had to get those dismal injections that numbed my jaw, and sit through the drilling as they took the broken piece off. The technology has changed a lot since I got the old crown. Instead of making molds in the office and sending them to a lab, they scanned my teeth and sent the scans to the lab. A mold will be 3-D printed there. This apparently avoids about three steps in the process where the physical mold can be ruined.

Anyway, I now have a temporary crown that feels really weird and rounded. In two weeks or so, I’ll be back in to get my permanent new crown.

I was feeling quite off during my writing time last night, big surprise. Still, I’ve managed to add about 1,100 words for The Tale of the Drakanox so far this week. I have to keep reminding myself there’s no more time for any new side plots. At just over 100K words, it’s time to start wrapping things up.


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? Things are going well at work for once. I feel comfortable the teacher I report to and I’m forming good bonds with the students. It’s a relief after so much tension at my previous school.

What I’m Working On. I’ll bet you can guess. If you said The Tale of the Drakanox, you are right! I’m up to about 98,000 words, which is definitely into novel territory as opposed to novella. I hope for a complete first draft by the end of the year.

What’s Next? October’s going to be busy for me. There’s Bad Moon Rising, a book event run in the month of October by horror author Teri Polen. My feature is The Ice Witch of Fang Marsh and it’s coming up fast. At the end of the month is the SpoCon science fiction convention. It’s nice to be this busy.

Fun and Games. I’m still playing Subnautica, but it’s become a struggle. There are an awful lot of glitches that corrupt my saves so I have to start over. One time I bumped my mini-submarine into a boulder and all the land disappeared! I’m still trying to finish a playthrough, but also looking around for my next game.

We’re coming up to the spooky season around Hallowe’en. Have fun, everybody!


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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Unless you’ve been living in a cave somewhere, you must have heard that Queen Elizabeth of England has passed away. I find myself puzzled, as always, by how interested people are over here in the United States. This is something I noticed when I was finishing up college, and there was such a furor over the marriage of Prince Charles to Lady Diana. The media was obsessed with their royal marriage, and I felt… disinterested. I mean, I am not British or Canadian, so why does this matter to me?

So now here we go again. Wall-to-wall coverage of Elizabeth’s passing, the ascension of Prince Charles to King Charles, tributes from around the world, and much dramatic speculation about whether Prince Harry will be clawed back into the family so the new king can put himself out there as a “unifier.” (And also a few, mostly overlooked, voices commenting about finally ending colonialism.)

I really don’t know what to think about Americans, with a well established democracy, being so drawn to a non-democratic institution like the British monarchy. However, monarchies are well entrenched in the fantasy genre, so this is something I will be pondering about in coming posts.

First, though, I’m interested in what you think. Why are people so fascinated by royalty?


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? The school year has officially begun, and my schedule is in disarray. I’ll get a handle on it soon, I’m sure. The other thing is, we’ve been lucky with the wildfire smoke, but now it’s arrived in force. That will be a challenge to my schedule if I’m not able to ride my bike to work as I had hoped.

What I’m Working On. The Tale of the Drakanox, of course! Sometimes it feels like I’ll never finish. That’s the thing with not having a firm plot. I’m not sure what’s going on — but in a good way, if that makes sense. It will look like everything is falling apart at once, that’s all I know.

What’s Next? I think I mentioned writing a short story, “Mistress Henbane,” earlier in the spring. A follow-up is nibbling at my mind. I’m also looking forward to a busy October, with Bad Moon Rising, a book event run in the month of October by horror author Teri Polen, and the SpoCon science fiction convention.

Fun and Games. I’m still playing Subnautica. I finished the first play through and am replaying at a higher difficulty. As part of the game I built a sweet undersea base, and that has been fun. As mentioned above, SpoCon is coming, and I’m preparing an Animal Crossing treasure hunt for that.

The summer never lasts long enough. I hope all is well for you as we move into the final third of 2022.


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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Today I’m going to dive into my technique for writing a plot that weaves several points of view together.

There are a couple of reasons I like to use multiple points of view. With a single POV, I’m limited to one location (at a time) and can only show what that POV character witnesses. Plural POVs allow me to broaden the canvas by having things happen in more than one location. Often such events are related, but each POV character only knows part of the story. Readers, who see it all, can build their own tension as they see how conflicts are building.

One way I make this work is by alternating among points of view. I’ll go for a bit with one POV, then turn to another POV for the next section. When I have more than two POVs, it gets more complicated, of course. (Whose turn is it to talk next?) The important thing is how I end each section. Sometimes I stop at a point of rest, since I know readers have to do other things like going to work, having lunch, etc.

More often, I stop with points of tension, such as in the middle of a conversation. This could be irritating, but I do it for a reason. The point of tension draws the reader forward. It also gives the reader “think time” to ponder what may happen next. This is important to keep them engaged. If they guess right, they have satisfaction with that. If they guess wrong, then I surprise them, and that’s even better.

That’s my lecture for today, class. Any questions?


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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