Wednesday, February 25, 2015


My house has been full of life this week. Winter has a way of bringing people together in a way that summer will never understand. Summer has the flashy appeal of long days with carefree nights, fireflies, and the nostalgic scents of sunscreen and chlorine. It's a delightful assault on the senses with everything from fireworks to homemade ice cream to the juice of a freshly plucked peach dribbling down your chin. Seasons are memories and summer threatens to hoard the majority. Winter is quiet. Winter forces everyone inside while it shimmers and dazzles from the other side of the window. While the company is pleasant, it doesn't always allow for a quiet moment to curl up somewhere and write without interruption. So rather than type out a witty, informative, or remotely substantial blog, I invite you to experience my week of winter.

Baked apples with fresh cream. This is how you winter.

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says "Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again."― Lewis CarrollAlice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Weight of Words

I’m still fighting off the word lag associated with finishing up a novel in a short amount of time. It’s not an official diagnosis, but I consulted Dr. Google, and I’m pretty sure that’s what I have. It’s similar to jet lag, but rather than crossing time zones at a high rate of speed, you pass through worm and plot holes. Someone really needs to write a wiki page for that condition. Writers everywhere will thank you.

Lest you think the Ransom Series is doomed to perish in premature abandonment, here is a pic I snapped minutes after writing the final words to Rise of the Seer:

I know. It’s a little crazy, but the feeling of accomplishment temporarily nulls your senses as you bask in word counts and everything that isn’t touched by the ominous red squiggles of spellcheck. (300 pages=a plethora of squiggles.) Speaking of word counts, let’s talk about words for a moment. Behold, my glorious transition. Since childhood I’ve been familiar with the phrase, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” (That paraphrase is from Tappy's Chicks: and Other Links Between Nature and Human Nature, by Mrs. George Cupples, 1872.) I say, poppycock to that whole notion. While I understand the idea is encouraging someone to let words roll off of you, rather than react in a physical altercation, I still don’t agree with the sentiment. 

Words have significant weight and value. They can make a day better or crush a heart. Words can draw people in and encourage them or they can wound viciously beyond repair. In short, what we say matters greatly. I’ve been thinking about that this week as articles have circulated about how people have lost jobs over what’s been said on social media or how some find popular literary works to be abusive and offensive. Whether they are spoken, written, signed, sung, painted or written across the sky, words are objects with remarkable substance and can stay with us forever. My hope is that there may be some word somewhere in my writing that would be a little breath of fresh air for you as a reader. I hope that there’s something in the world and characters I’m creating that will make you smile and give you a moment of happiness. Because I understand that the words we use to tell our stories, fictional or not, are each important and have the ability to impact the way we feel and respond to those around us.

Maybe today we can each choose to use our words to spread a little bit of beauty or happiness. I'll go first. Thank you, my fellow reader, for taking the time to read this post. I'm thankful for you and I truly hope that there is a moment in your day that puts a smile on your face. One final thought-*what happened when the bloodhound wrote his autobiography? It got on the best smeller list.

*I didn't make this up. To see more click here.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Now What?

I hope you’ve been vaccinated for spontaneous combustion. I know, it’s a controversial topic. We each need to decide what’s right for our own bodies. I just wanted to prepare you so that you would be informed about the risks associated with continuing to read this blog post.

I finished the first draft of RISE OF THE SEER.

Are you still with me? Good! If I happened to lose you, take heart and remember, “They’re doing remarkable things with globule research these days.”
I thought I would let you in on how this process works for me as an indie author. The very next step for me in RISE is to do…nothing. This is actually a very important step. Between December to February I’ve spewed out 49,728 words for this story. I have lived with, talked to, and dreamt about these characters intimately for the past two months. We need a break. I’m quite caught up in their world and need to clear my head so that I will be able to view it accurately as a reader. So is RISE just sitting on a shelf? Nope.

It’s now in the hands of my favorite Beta Reader. He will go through this draft and mark it up. So much red ink! This process is both a relief and a test. It’s a relief to finally share this story with a fellow reader and see if it came together or not. I haven’t been able to share key details or plot points with anyone, so it will be nice to have an outside opinion. The testing part is that when you’ve been working on something for over a year and a half, it can be challenging to not take things personally when something just doesn’t work. There is nothing in this draft that can’t be cut if it’s what works best for the story as a whole. It’s not personal. And, repeat…

The next part will look something like this:
-My Beta Reader and I will edit this first draft.
-Send out the second draft to another round of readers.
-Have the third draft professionally edited.
-When I feel like my novel is in a place where I can finally abandon it, I’ll start the actual publishing process.

In the meantime, curious to see what it looks like when you’ve dedicated an entire week solely to finishing writing your book? I know, it seems like the charmed life of an author would be all glitz and glamour. Really though, it's a lot of work at the expense of sacrificing time in some other area. Just like everything else. Revel in my splendor, fellow readers, and see for your own eyes what a REALLY good writing week looks like around here. 
I thought the sepia tone would make the pile of clean laundry seem more whimsical. 

The people I live with need food. I like for them to live, so I agree with this system.
Lest you think I subject my fellow housemates to my slovenly ways, I assure you that order has once again been restored. Clean dishes and counter tops abound, as do folded laundered items. Until the next frenzy to finish a project hits us...
Now, for the love of dish soap and dryer sheets, please buy the book. :)