Category Archives: Writing

Monday Muse

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Why reread a book when there are so many out there just wait to be read???  Is a question I get asked from time to time. My husband doesn’t understand rereading a book at all but my daughter frequently revisits books.

I reread two reasons….

(1). For comfort. When I’m stressed or just feeling overwhelmed, I will reread a book I know is guaranteed to ‘whisk me away.’ I make myself a mug of hot cocoa or a tall glass of ice tea and spend some time with old friends that have been waiting for me. They allow me to block away the ugly world for a bit. Cheaper than a therapist 🙂

The banshee cold and snow of this winter is something I seek to escape :D

The banshee cold and snow of this winter is something I seek to escape 😀

(2). For examples. As a writer, there are few other authors that I ‘hero worship.’ They develop characters with such depth that I reread the book as inspiration of what achievable. The same is true with plot twist and foreshadowing. I can read craft books and while they do help nothing brings it home like a well written book.

Books that are category one don’t always fall into category two.  I have several books, I revisit just so I can see how the author developed a character or a plot twist, reading them doesn’t necessarily provide an escape.

Do you reread books? If so why?

 

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Book Accessories

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While I’m a fan of e-books and my Kindle is second only to my laptop in favorite devices, I still LOVE book marks. Since I still read print books, I do need them. But I also use book marks in my calendar (I just CAN’T use an electric one – I have heard the praises of google calendar and all the other wonderful ones but I just can’t give up my paper one), my journal, and my cookbooks.

I may have a ‘slight’ weakness to really cool bookmarks…. I like all kinds. Ones with beads or charms, decorated paperclips, crocheted ones (I’ve done several of these myself), and printed ones.

Here is a sight that has some awesome printed bookmarks for sale. 184__185x455_winter-wings-owl

 

I took a 2014 things in 2014 challenge. Each week I have to get rid of 35 things and repurpose at least one item. I’m going to make these ribbon bookmarks for my repurpose item :). I’ll post pictures of how my turn out.

My repurpose project

My repurpose project

But here is a link to a sight that give step by step directions if you want make some.http://www.sew4home.com/projects/fabric-art-accents/scrapbusters-embellished-ribbon-bookmarks

 

What is some of your favorite book accessories???

Monday Mayhem

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Reality vs Reality of the mind….

This is what it looks like out…

photo 2 (3)

 

 

 

 

but this is what I’m thinking about…

garden

 

Gardening…. Oh the joys of warm weather. While I do have an indoor winter herb garden, it’s just not the same as sitting the sun and digging in the dirt. Yes, I’m a kid at heart. As the wind howls making the snow dance across my buried gardens, I dream of heirloom tomatoes, mini eggplants, and the creeping cuke vines.

As I go through the gardening catalogs, it’s like a drug of euphoria. The writer part of my mind is snapping with excitement.  As look at the pictures of the exotic veggies that while they will never find a home in my garden flats, they may very well end up on one of my character’s plate.

exotic-bizarre-fruit

Or maybe they will be flesh eating plants…

veggie monster

As a writer, I know inspiration can and will come from all sorts of different things. A song, a poem, a phrase and yes even a gardening catalog.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day….

Developing a Story Timeline

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My story timeline is my most important tool and the key to any story I write, be it a romance suspense or a fantasy. Now while I’m not a plotter, I do have a general idea of where I want my story to be at when I hit a certain word count. This is nothing as ridged as the ‘3 act’ or ‘5 act’ plotter’s formula because besides the event I don’t have a clue what else will happen.

cover 2For All Things Scary, I’m using the 5 perils Maeko must face as my pivot points. The third one will be the mid-point. The final one will also include her confrontation with the witch, Eduvigos.

As I’ve said while I’m not a plotter, I do take TONS of notes while I write.  My timeline starts off bare but will be packed fill of detail by the time I end the story.

I generally keep two timelines – a general overview and a detailed one. Depending on the genre of my story I use different methods is keeping my timeline. Almost always I use a calendar for my romance suspense. For fantasy, I use the plain timeline method.

Here is an example of the working one for All Things Scary ~

INTRO (5k)

–          Maeko receives the sword of truth – starting her on her quest – this is meant with much opposition especially from Bamely – who sees herself superior to Maeko

–          The witch beheads her 3rd headless horsewoman – fulfilling that part of the prophesy of when she’ll rain darkness down on all of Crencher. Eduvigos fights with her sister revealing the strain of their relationship

–          De is appointed Maeko’s companion – confirming his purpose – romantic subplot

–          De and Maeko leave the Island of Purpose

1st Peril (15k)

–          Maeko and De enter the forbidden caves in Brooly seeking the 1st gem stone

– they encounter trolls – fight

– they hear the furies circling above while camping at night and realize they also seek to stop them.

–          Eduvigos sends her three headless horsewomen out to kidnap the queen of Lukti – another part of the prophesy

2nd Peril (25k)

3rd Peril (35k) – mid point

4th Peril (45k)

5th Peril (55k)

Conclusion – (65k)

 

This timeline is kept in a separate document that I have open while I write adding details as I discover them.  This isn’t my only source of reference, I also mark on my map where events happen and I have character documents that I update with arc info and GMC info.

 

Do any of you keep timelines for your stories? I’d love to hear about your method.

 

 

 

NaNo Main Character

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It’s the first week of NaNo and I’ll be turning my full writing focus on All Things scary.

The cover for my writer's notebook for this WIP

The cover for my writer’s notebook for this WIP

Here is a working blub ~

The fragile peace between the Elf nations of Crencher is crumbling. With the murder of the Final Judge, the furies terrorize the lands, seizing any they feel have done wrong. Maeko, the honest one, is next in line to become a Final Judge but never before has one so young been chosen. She sets out to complete the five perils to proof she is ready to assume her purpose with her guide De, the virtuous one.

Maeko and De not only have to survive the five perils but also stop the witch, Eduvigos. Once every nine thousand years the seven moons of Crencher a line. This is the only night Eduvigos can destroy the barrier holding her prisoner in Granli.

 

 

I spent October developing a solid cast of secondary characters that will force my main character, Maeko down the path she needs to travel. So now it’s time to meet Maeko – the honest one.  Here is a ‘working’ picture of Maeko

 

Maeko - one of those with a 'purpose'. Only she has to survive the 5 perils and a vengeful witch to live it

Maeko – one of those with a ‘purpose’. Only she has to survive the 5 perils and a vengeful witch to live it

She lives on the Island of Purpose which is off the coast of Brooly.Maeko is the youngest elf to ever receive the Sword of Truth (in her hand in the picture). Before she can assume her role as the Final Judge to the furies, she must complete (and survive) five perils. ** I’m not sure what the perils are going to be – some ideas (again I’m pantser NOT a plotter)**

As one with a purpose (this is explained in the book), she has unlimited use of her magic.

This is Maeko’s GMC sheet ~ this will be added to as the story develops. Tomorrow, I’ll share how I developed Maeko’s GMC.

 

This will go in The All Things Scary notebook
This will go in The All Things Scary notebook

 

Muse Monday

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NaNo2013participantbadge3small_zpsf0446315I can’t wait until November 1, I’m really excited to start this 🙂

The next secondary characters for All Things Scary are Furies.

The Furies, who are usually characterized as three sisters (AlectoTisiphone, and Magaera) are the children of Gaia and Uranus. They resulted from a drop of Uranus’ blood falling onto the earth. They were placed in the Underworld by Virgil and it is there that they reside, tormenting evildoers and sinners. However, Greek poets saw them as pursuing sinners on Earth. The Furies are cruel, but are also renowned for being very fair. Female spirits who tormented evil-doers, particularly those who had committed some crime against a family member. When Theseus and Peirithous tried to abduct Persephone from the Underworld, her husband Hades tricked them into sitting on a bench to which they became permanently attached. Then he unleashed the Furies on them.

 The Furies are going to be my last ‘major’ secondary characters. My Furies are also going to be sisters – different names. They are going to be a supreme force over all of Crencher EXCEPT Granli and the Land of the Dead. Like with Greek Furies, they are going to be a bit on the cruel side but it is done in the name of justice. Currently, the Furies will be the reason one of my main characters begins his quest.

The Furies are going to have a ‘floating’ castle of sorts in the middle of the large lake that is on the Kontar, Lukti, and Brooly broader. They will seek out those who have committed – or are believed to have committed – awful crimes. The Furies will bring them back to their castle for ‘questioning.’ Only the Furies can access the castle.

I’m still working out what the Furies will look like. I do know that they will have magic which is how they travel throughout Crencher. What their source of magic is yet, I’m not sure.

I’d love to hear how you would twist the Fury mythology to fit into your story.

 

World Building Wednesday

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Here is the map of Cencher – the land of All Things Scary.

I’ve named the countries and have begun to fill in some of the details. The map will become more detailed as I write. I know there is a vapor swamp in Granli – where the witch lives.

 

Crencher - the home of All Things Scary

Crencher – the home of All Things Scary

I did something a little different with this map. I use a lot – I mean A LOT – of index cards in my writing. Sometimes I punch a hole in the corner and put them on a ring or I make a board to attach them to, etc.

For All Things Scary, I’m going to keep my world building ‘key’ on index cards attached to the map. Like this….

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The cards are attached with tape across the top. As you can see I flip them upside down but this is just personal thing. The ‘tricky’ thing about using index cards like this is taping them. The tape has to be run the full length of the card (I use the top line as my guide which is the reason I flip them upside down) and each one taped separately. Once you have figured out your spacing and taped all of the cards into place, you have two options to get them to flip smoothly.

(1)  This is what I do. You’ll need to cut the tape on each side of the card so flip up. JUST cut the top of the card not all the way through.

(2)  Make a crease in the card where the tape line is.

As always, I welcome all tips/hints or suggestions.

Thanks for stopping by 🙂