Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Writing, Breathing, Living

 Multiple Choice Blog!
 Have Fun!

1. What makes someone write?
        a. Your fifth grade English teacher
        b. Your mom wanting you to write a thank you letter to grandma
        c. Money
        d. None of the above

2. When do authors begin writing?
       a. When their teacher tells them to write about what they did during the summer
       b. When they get their first journal
       c. When they get a new computer
       d. All or none of the above

3. What do writers write about?
       a. How birds fly
       b. Superheroes
       c. Their first kiss
       d. All or none of the above

4. How do writers/authors write?
       a. On a recliner
       b. In bed
       c. At a computer table
       d. All of the above

5. What do authors look like?
      a. Judy Schachner
      b. Rick Riordan
      c. J.R.R. Tolkien




1. d. none of the above
Nothing makes an author write. Sure you can get an assignment that you have to write, but real writing comes from the heart. It's something that whispers 'write me.' I think there are probably millions of reasons people write, because there are millions of writers, including you. BTW never get into writing because you want to make money. It's rare. Get into writing because you love to write!

2. d. all or none of the above
Some writers do begin their writing when they have had to do an assignment they really enjoyed. Some began with a journal.
These days it could be when you have received your first computer. I wrote a lot of stuff in notebooks, but when I got my first used desktop, my writing world exploded into opportunity. It was like Aladdin's magic carpet-taking me to so many places.

3. d. all or none of the above.
Writers write about the things they know, they love, again, the things that whisper 'tell about me!' I met an amazing author of non-fiction books who studies her subjects, writes about poop or roadkill with equal passion, and then takes her passion to schools to help kids learn to love science.
I began writing stories about characters I saw on television. I wanted to show more than what was on television screen. I wanted these fan-fiction characters to feel real to others. I loved writing!  Later on, I wanted my original characters to do the same.

4. d all of the above.
Doesn't matter where you write--Write!!
I wrote a novel while riding a stationary bike at the gym. It took me a year.

5. d
Look in a mirror. An author looks like you! Think about what you like, what is 'whispering' in your heart and mind! And then WRITE...  in a notebook, on your computer, on a napkin. Write!!

PS. I granted my fan-fiction characters (Zorro, Buck Rogers, Capt. Crane, others) their wishes for their stories to be told for over ten years. It was exhilarating seeing what they would do next. As I wrote, I got inside their heads, saw their worlds in my mind and then on my computer. I left my sometimes drab existence of the real world as I imagined theirs. I did it because I loved it!
You have to love writing. Love putting down words, ideas, and new places.

And there is something else about writing.... Reading. Good writers read a lot.

"The real importance of reading is that it creates an ease and intimacy with the process of writing; one comes to the country of the writer with one’s papers and identification pretty much in order," says Stephen King. (Think about it!)

Monday, August 20, 2018

Backstory about Realms of the Cat

The book is no longer coming. It has arrived!!!  It has been an exciting month of promoting and enjoying seeing my 'baby' in my hands.

You already know the story, (if you read my sporadic blogs, LOL), but there is a back story that took twenty years to develop. Some of the pieces you already know if you get notifications about my author page on Facebook. (And you are certainly welcome to go to my author page and like it!)

However, with that said. Realms of the Cat came about in a strange way. Back in the late 90's, I wrote a story about young TB, Butch, Melvin, Buck and several other pets that I tentatively called I am Not a Disease! It was more real life; what the writing magazines called anthropomorphic animal story. They also said those were dead. (I wonder if they have read any of Avi's Poppy stories, or Erin Hunter's Warrior books?) Anyway, I wrote a novelette about TB's adventures as he was growing up and then I left it sitting in a file since I wasn't publishing at that time, I was writing fanfiction.




  As the years passed, TB grew up, enjoyed life and then got sick  and passed on. It was the same with Butch. Callie (the queen of the  cats in my book) found a new home and only recently died. Melvin and Buck lived a good long time, too. Even little Diego, who appeared briefly in the beginning of Realms, has since passed away.

Then one day, about five years ago, while meeting with my Etowah Writers group, the leader, Grant Fetters, suggested a prompt for a chapter. That prompt became the beginning of what was then called Portals. That meeting between TB and Rex was the result of that prompt and demanded to be continued. I did, ending up with a 200 page story of the bonds of friendship overcoming death and fear. It became a story of diverse characters working together to save a person- a little girl kidnapped from her rightful place. I have enjoyed writing it and if you choose to read it, I hope you enjoy reading it as well.

Links for the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1629899569/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i1

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Realms of the Cat- coming soon!

I have great news!  My latest novel, a fantasy named Realms of the Cat, (I alluded to that in the last blog entry.) will be available July 23rd!  I am so excited. This is a story that has taken time to get from brain to book-in-hand. The cover is magnificent (thanks, Karen), editing is wonderful, (thanks, Etowah Writers Guild, RPLA judges, and Maxine), and I actually put in a few illustrations.

Butch, one of the characters. 

Realms is a middle grade (and up) fantasy about several cats and dogs working together. Here is the blurb:

TB is perfectly happy as a free city cat until he learns he has lived another life in an alternate universe.  The human girl in his former family is in danger and TB is assigned to go through an interdimensional portal and protect her. Instead of protecting her, he has made it possible for someone to kidnap her. Now TB must gather a team of cats and dogs to go back through the portal and rescue her. At the same time, he must figure out why all of the city’s dogs are disappearing.

If you like fantasy, stories about cats and/or dogs, you will like this one!  It is currently available for pre-order from Smashwords (half price in July) and Barnes & Noble (all formats).

Monday, April 16, 2018

Getting the Groove Back

I did not wait a year and a half this time to write another blog post. This time it's only been six months! I think I might be getting my writing groove back. How did I do that? Not really sure. Simply saying that I have more time isn't the total reason. I have had more time since last May when I retired. Several people told me that retiring and walking out that door isn't the golden bullet that enables you to do all those projects you have dreamed about doing 'when you had time.' They also said it takes a while to settle into your new reality and new schedule.
In my case, the new reality included selling a house and moving halfway across the country, as well as several health issues. Now that we have been in our new home for almost three months, I have a place to do my writing (the sitting room) and a place to work on my illustrations (a local wellness/senior center where they have classes),
and a place to walk when I need to get the kinks out (nice walkway in the community). Not a rigid routine, to put it mildly; many things tend to scream for equal attention, but it's getting there.

Getting in the groove is an individual thing. I suppose there are some who do it quickly and there are those whose life issues don't allow them that opportunity, or become the excuses to never getting that groove. I only hope that I always have at least a small writing groove I can continue to work in, regardless of what my situation is. 

I do have to add a plug for NanoWriMo. Their various writing incentives have really helped this time. They do their big project in November, but do a couple of Camp Nano's during the year. I decided to join their April Camp and work on a story idea that had bounced around in my head for several months. With a Nano camp, you can set your own goal and I did--20,000 words. I have 15,000 so far and doing about 1,000 words a day average (don't do Sundays) for the month. I would highly recommend it. I might try the big November one this year now that I have my 'groove' back! 

Quick note: Portals has become Realms of the Cat with a contract from my publisher. They will use my illustrations if I can send them in with white background. That is another issue. 

Thanks for listening. And speaking of listening, I may get a voice recognition program so that I can't use any health issues as an excuse. Any recommendations?

Friday, November 24, 2017

        Have you ever had one of those moments when you looked at your last blog/note, journal entry, etc and said. "Has it really been that long?"

        In this case, it really has. The book I signed the contract for, Power Stone of Alogol, has been published for almost six months. It is the third installment in The Mendel Experiment series. Please take a moment and look at it either on Amazon.com or the World Castle Publishing site. 

         My fantasy, Portals, was a finalist in the Florida Writers' Association Royal Palm Literary Award competition this summer, but did not win a prize. Taking the judges rubrics, I am going to make improvements and then publish it on Create Space (I want to include some illustrations) or send it to my publisher (if I decide against illustrations). 
         I also submitted The Mendel Experiment to the same competition and won second place!  I was really excited!   

         I am still working on my other science fiction story. It's getting critiqued by my writer's group in Etowah. Almost there! 
         Speaking of my writers' group, the Etowah Writers' Guild, I have three stories in a horror anthology that was published in June also. It is called Haunted Houses and Terrifying Tales. 

         I am also working on a fourth (and most likely, last) Mendel story, tentatively called Secrets of the Forest. 
         In the meantime, I have had two surgeries this year; one on my shoulder and one on my knee. Both healing nicely, thank you. I also retired in May. It has been wonderful, but as you can see, I am still trying to find my motivation. We also plan on moving closer to our children. No specific timeline on that one. Anyway, that is a year and almost a half since the last blog. Seriously don't want to wait that long for the next one!!! 

Happy Holidays, friends! 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful!

The bad first--  summer vacation is over.
From the story, Hooway for Wodney Wat

It was not long enough. Now don't get me wrong, starting a new school year is exciting and being a part of a Leader in Me school is even more exciting!  That is also part of the good....

The Beautiful:

1. I just signed a contract on my 3rd Mendel novel, The Power Stone of Alogol through World Castle Publishing. I will let you know how that progresses.  (Exciting!)

2. I have finished preparing another novel, Portals, a fantasy, for submission. (If you like cats and dogs, you'll like this one!)  I am also working on editing another story that is a science fiction. So much to do, but things are moving along!    

3. I am also now part of a writer's group in Knoxville; one that I hope I will help me understand the marketing aspects of this business better.

4. Another Kindle book give-away is coming up on Friday, August 26th. If you didn't get a copy of The Mendel Experiment, this is a chance for you to get one. (And hopefully review it on Amazon, Goodreads or another reviewing body.)