Wednesday, September 12, 2007


My life is chaos, and an update (as well as writing) is sorely overdue. These, and my monthly achievements/goals will be forthcoming...

Bad News: my web site, hosted by Jatol, is gone gone gone. So it's back to square one on the web site issue.

Good News: my artist friend has completed her art (originally inteded for my web page) so for now, I've posted the image on here. She's an amazing artist. See for yourself.

Monday, August 27, 2007

8/26 Update

It's been a busy past few weeks, with very little writing completed. I'm working on some crits and some worldbuilding, and the edit is brewing on the back burner for the moment. The little one has changed sleeping schedule, and so I've had to adjust my writing time and focus. I think I have a handle on what I need to do now -- which includes scaling back some of my writing goals. Someone reminded me that I have a full time job, a house and a family. While I do better when I can obsess over my writing throughout the day, I need balance so that everything works, so that when I can write full time, the family will still be here...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

8/15 Update

Update, no not much progress...

Work/family has required more of my time and energy this week, so the writing is slow at the moment. However, I did have a brainstorm on how to edit chapter two. I need to add the full argument, but I need a scene before that, showing how compassionate Korin can be, to round him out a bit. Without knowing that, his anger is going to get on anyone's nerves, mine included.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

8/13 Progress

It's been quiet here; the day job has required more of me, mentally and physically, so there was an adjustment for my brain to go through. I'm back at it, in baby steps, and by this weekend hopefully I'll be up to my usual progress.

* Crit: done, finally. It was a good story, and I really wanted to make sure my comments made sense.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

8/5 Progress

Dealing with some sickness, but made a little progress:

* WW - researched metal working for some critical components of my Winterstorm city of Storm Hold. Felt like I was back in school in some combination of science and history class.

* Crits - still working on that one crit, just having a hard time focusing. (Bad cold, go away!)

Saturday, August 4, 2007

8/3 & 8/4 Progress: Maps!

Winter Warrior: the physical condition of the world map is mostly complete; started a pull-out for Winterstorm and am working out cultural/government/commerce details, including some subplots that tie into the main plot.

It's all encompassing, so I've ignored my other writing goals for the week.

Friday, August 3, 2007

8/2 Progress

Forgotten Star: made some decisions about Korin and his role, and will be making some subtle changes. (However I really need to get working on chapter 2 already.)

Winter Warrior: worldbuilding went really well. The extensive mapping has led me to nation relations issues (yay conflict) as well as some history. I've planned the species that habitat each nation with the intent of not filling the world up with humans who rule over everyone else, and I think I've done it. Now, for the nitty gritty of each nation and their people who have to appear in this novel.

I also wrote the first line for WW, giving my MC a voice, but strangely it was in the first person. I don't know if I really want to write an entire novel in first person. So, that's something else I have to decide in the next few weeks. The line:

No matter what the healers claim, some wounds do not fade with time--they fester. Yet despite knowing this, I step once more into the arena, very much like the one that destroyed my life.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

8/1 Progress

Winter Warrior: Worldbuilding via Mapping. I now have five nations in my world and basic geography that'll affect their cultures/economies. The world is called "Roka", meaning 'rock'.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

July Writing Update / August Goals

July Writing Accomplished:

* Forgotten Star: New Chapters - 1
* Forgotten Star: Edit Chapters - 1
* The Dragon's Bard: Short Story Edited
* The Lonely Orchard: Short Story Edited
* Winter Warrior Worldbuilding - casual
* Critiques - 1

Not too bad considering one week I was off on vacation and I had computer problems the following week.

August Goals:
* Forgotten Star: Edit 4 Chapters
* Critiques: 8
* Winter Warrior: Worldbuilding in four phases:
--races & culture
--maps & drawings
The intent here is to be ready to start the first draft by the end of August

Sunday, July 29, 2007

7/27 - 7/28 No Progress

Life took over for a few days, took a break. Unfortunately, I didn't accomplish any of my goals for the week but lots of fun was had. [1 birthday, 1 anniversary, 1 new neice]

Thursday, July 26, 2007

7/26 Progress

MS Word file has been fixed, thanks to some help. (waves at Zette). Reworked some formatting in chapters one and two, and adjusted headers. Started on Mar's crit of "Innocents". One more night should do it.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

7/25 Progress

Forgotten Star: realized chapter 2 was off, because I started it at the end of an argument between Korin and his father. I'm going to add the argument, I think that'll show their issues better than Korin's running off and sulking (even though he's right).

MS Word: still stinky. Managed to convert the unstable document to a .txt, and then break it up into three .doc files. Now I've got to reformat 560 pages of text, including line breaks and indentations that were lost in the original document. At least the haunted page breaks disappeared.

Whispers (the collaboration/for fun project): added to a scene my partner wrote. Wanted to work on the next scene, but I had to resolve the Word issues.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

7/24 Progress

Worked on the web page a bit, getting closer to my desired content.

Analyzing Chapter 2 of FS, something is missing, but I don't yet know what. I'm introducing Korin and his story question, but it doesn't feel like a complete scene. I need something more compelling? We'll see. I'll reread it one more time tonight and see what hits me.

7/23 Progress

Started the crit, with markups in the text.

Read Forgotten Star Ch 2, and started marking up where changes need to be made.

Dealing with some technical issues with MS Word, too... Stinky.

Monday, July 23, 2007

7/22 Progress & Vacation

Vacation: read some short stories, and came up with a few ideas for Winter Warrior.

7/22: Reviewed my July writing goals and came up with a plan for this week. Selected a story to crit.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

7/14 - 7/21 Absence

Vacation prep, and departure for sunnier climes will leave me out of contact, and off writing during this time. I'm taking along some small projects to work on, should the desire hit me, but it's supposed to be a vacation, so no pressure.

Friday, July 13, 2007

7/13 Progress

Forgotten Star: reviewed the layout of the next 3 chapters and rearanged a few things. Made some edit notes as well. I'm taking the chapters up to bed with me for redlining edits. The rest of my energies were spent on trip preperation.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

7/12 Progress

Whispers (fun project, not on goals list): opening written, shared with partner.

Forgotten Star: (1) Chapter 1 Scene 2 edited at 888 words. (2) Revamped chapter organization; scene 3 has been moved to the start of chapter 3, therefore (3) Chapter 1 edit is complete (and posted to SG for crit).

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

7/11 Progress

Forgotten Star -- Chapter 1, Scene 1: 1213 words edited (7 pages). Scene complete. Venian is more frightening now. [1/3 scenes]

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

7/10 Progress

The Lonely Orchard received another quick eidt/skim over lunch, and I fixed a few things that were nagging me overnight. It's in the crit queue now.

Monday, July 9, 2007

7/09 Progress

I focued on The Lonely Orchard tonight, and finished the first pass edit, and I have to say it was a thorough edit. If I missed anything, I should be able to catch it with a casual readover tomorrow.

Neglected Forgotten Star to get the short done, but now I'll be able to focus on FS entirely tomorrow.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

7/08 Progress

I am planning on using this blog to mark my daily progress. Part of the reasoning is to keep myself on track. I promised myself I would not take a full year to get through an edit, as the previous versions required. I won't have the luxury in the future, and I shouldn't take it now. My goal is 6 - 9 months, so that'll put me December - March for finishing this. I also need to maintain my other writing projects while keeping up with this novel edit, so I need to remind myself of those items as well. Here goes.

Today's Progress:

The Lonely Orchard: 2 pages edited, which includes a stronger opening scene. (2/12 pages)

Forgotten Star: Chapter 1 (the recently written chapter "A") red-lined for edit prep. Consists of three scenes to be edited electronically this week.

Update 7/8

Not too much done these past few days. I accomplished my goals for the week early, and I think my brain took a break. I picked up a book I read some time ago and skimmed over it again, as I tend to do with writing books. "Handbook of Short Story Writing, Volume II", and sure enough, some concepts hit home. Two specific stories were in mind when I read this, and I confirmed for myself that I need to add the extra scene to the start of Dragon's Bard, and just how I needed to fix the opening to The Lonely Orchard.

Edit prep and planning for the novel has gone as far as it can without turning into procrastination: the Forgotten Star edit begins today.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Update 7/5

The week is flying by, and I need to put the brakes on. I completed another crit, and I've got two more in queue now so that should hold me for a bit. I worked out (I think) the magic naming issues in Forgotten Star, and I started an edit of The Lonely Orchard (more of a review/analysis). I should hit the full edit tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Dragon's Bard

Reviewed yesterday, edited today. It took about three hours once I got into it, but I didn't go nuts with line by lines unless something really didn't feel right. I'm still very close to the story, and toyed with several possible changes (surrounding a support character) and ended up adding a scene at the beginning to sort things out. (That's becoming a common occurance for me, maybe something I need to think on when writing my first drafts).

This one will be out to the crit group shortly, can't wait for feedback!

Monday, July 2, 2007

A Few Words Tonight

I worked on Dragon's Bard over lunch (which really should be "Dragons' Bard' now), and worked out what needs to change in the edit.

This evening I added 2,067 words to Forgotten Star and completed chapter D. I'm ready to edit!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

June Writing Update / July Goals

June was rough with teething-baby/mommy-zombie, and pet issues. Still achieved a significant amount of writing.

June Writing Completed:
* The Crossing: Edited
* Treischan Strength: Edited
* Forgotten Star New Chapters B & C: Written
* Silver Griffin Crits: 3 completed
* Winter Warrior Worldbuilding underway

July is looking busy and will be a challenge, especially considering I'm taking a week off for vacation in sunny Florida. I am optimistic however, and will do my best. The editing (shorts and the novel) are priority.

June Begun Tasks Needing Completion in July:
* Forgotten Star: Chapter D (write)
* SG Crits: EST Crit (half done)

July New Goals:
* Forgotten Star Chapter Edit A - B (0/2)
* Edit Short Story "The Dragon's Bard"
* Edit Short Story "The Lonely Orchard"
* Silver Griffin Crits: 0/3
* Winter Warrior Worldbuilding

Bye Bye Baby Brakus

She was born on a farm and didn't fit in there, then was adopted by a pair of guys in a fraternity. She moved in with them and was named "Brak", after a space ghost character. As if it wasn't bad enough she had to live in the fraternity house. Brak even braved a triple tornado to travel home over a school break, once. Then, we all moved in together including two other cats and was that ever interesting - all Brak ever wanted to do was make friends, but there was always a hierarchy. Still, she made the best of it.
Brak had lots of nicknames: Brakwurst, (on sillier days) Brak-a-lak, Brakasaurus, Bracky-Wacky, Frat Cat.. among others.
The pictures above show all sides of her. The first, is the Tribble pose, on her favorite sleeping spot on the sofa. The second is on her daddy's keyboard tray (the only way to get her off the tray was to let her on his lap), and the third is on top of the much-loved cat tree. She held her own to stay at the top there - and the other two cats always competed. (She knew enough when to give in too!) All she wanted was to be loved and accepted. She was my cuddle-cat too -- when I was sad, she was the one who came to see me and cuddle with me. Very affectionate kitty, who didn't even have a real 'meow', just a chopped up attempt that sounded like "kkkkkey".
Brak's inspired my vidoe game character (her name's Braklara and she's short, with a wide berth, just like kitty). She's also supposed to appear in some of my writing, details of which haven't yet been worked out beyond a premise. (1) Braklara the dragon who is stealing knights who come to hunt her so she can force them to worship her - fantasy short story; and (2) Brakasurus Rex, something for kids about a cat that wants to be a dinosaur.
Saying good-bye was difficult, but after being sick for so long, I'm relieved that she's not suffering anymore.
Bye bye baby Brakus..

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Rough Week

Writing has been slow this week due to baby related exhaustion, but I'm still on target for making my goals. My main goal has been to make reasonable goals, and so far it's working. The crit is taking longer than I anticipated, and bills are nagging at my while I *am* writing. I'll be doing those tomrrow to shut them up. Forgotten Star is going well - the new chapters are solid, and while I have veered off my outline, it's to tighten up the story. Winter Warrior has been dancing in my thoughts again, ever since I transcribed my notes, and I'm eager to get working on it, but that has its own time and place. Right now, Forgotten Star is priority. If I can get my minimum done on Friday and Saturday, I'll be able to start editing on Sunday.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Status 6/24

I've been rereading Forgotten Star and updating my outline to reflect changes in the last draft. I had forgotten (haha) some events that were included in this novel, so this was a good time to go through the entire draft. I'm shocked at how horrible some of this stuff is written (a testament to my improvement over the years), but the foreshadowing and hinting is done right.

The new scenes are going well. It's difficult to start in with the main character back in her days of innocence and ignorance, but I made the jump and it's going well. I'm almost done with the third new chapter (C) -- still need 2 more scenes --and should be able to start the fourth (D) soon.

I wanted to start the edit early, but I'm just not quite ready for it. I'm having one issue with the magic system's naming system (of skills/abilities), so I'm planning a brainstorming session for when the read-through is finished.

The critting is continuing, and I think it has sharpened my analyzing skills.

So far, it's been a good month of writing and I'm dangerously close to meeting my goals, desprite baby's teething these past few weeks. :)

Thursday, June 21, 2007


The new name works. And I do feel the character changing a bit with the name, but not drastically. It might even help flesh her out a bit more.

I finished up Chapter B over lunch today, and outlined what needs to happen next. I have material for possibly three more chapters, and it's leaning heavily on threat and romance, so I have to decide if this is the direction I truly want to take. The only way to find out is to write it, and see how it feels.

In the meantime, I'm planning on starting the edit this weekend, regardless if the first chapters aren't complete enough.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Well, the crit's done and my reading of Forgotten Star is going well. I probably haven't read it in several years, and I was surprised at some things I wrote. My writing has definitely improved, so it's going to be a very involved edit, but I can't wait to see what the finished edit will leave me with.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Naming

Okay, here it is. It's unedited, so forgive any blunders. The sole purpose of this piece is to name the child and likely it will never appear in the novel itself.

Dego Whitewolf helped his wife down the steps of the healer's cottage, steps designed for protection from flooding, steps that hindered the pregnant woman.

"I'm keeping you from your work," Veisa said between huffs.

"The king will do fine without me, I'm here as long as you need me." The exertion of her never ending pregnancy was taking a toll, and Dego wished the child would make its appearance already. The intense summer heat didn't help, nor the drought that dried the nearby streams. It was a long walk to cooling water, but they made the walk together every morning, and hung about the watering hole as long as they could.

"It's pretty out here," Veisa said, her mind distant.

"I thought it best for you to relax these last few days."

She laughed then, a knowing laugh, and he smiled. "That's just a side effect. You wanted a natural environment for the naming, didn't you?"

At least she wasn't angry. "Tradition says I cannot create the name in advance, but it says nothing about manipulating circumstances to help widen my choices."

Veisa stopped for breath, one hand on her swollen belly. "The right name will come to you," she said when she recovered. "I believe in you."

Dego encouraged her forward, the watering hole wasn't far, but his thoughts lingered on the name. His father named him Whitewolf after the great wolf that heralded his birth thirty years ago. It was a promising, honorable name and he was proud of his father's choice. It lent him strength in difficult times, though it failed him now; worse it intimidated him.

There was little in the city to adequately name his child. The king's own sons were named 'Windstorm' and 'Ravenwing' simply because there was little enough happening. Veisa's name 'Starshine' was lovely, and truly matched the shine of her eyes when she smiled. It was here in the forest her mother had given birth to her, in the healer's cottage in the clearing where the stars shone down to lighten her birth. This is what prompted his idea to take Veisa here.

The day passed slowly for husband and wife as they awaited their child's birth, an the heat wore on. The forest remained parched and the trees wilted with them. Where was the rain? Veisa needed relief, if not in birthing this child, then at least in comfort.

Another two days passed, grating on their nerves when Veisa cried out. They had just reached the watering hole, the longest walk by far.

Dego panicked. "What's wrong?"

Veisa held her belly, and beneath her strong hands he saw the belly shift. She moaned and swayed. Dego eased her to the ground. "Veisa?"

She laughed painfully. "I have my name ready for her, do you?"

"Her?" Dego's mind whirled. What was going on?

"I dreamt last night she would be born today. She, Dego, and that she'll be a strong healer when she grows up. I thought it a dream, but--" she cried out again, "--no dream. Fetch Marianas, quickly."

The last thing he wanted to do was leave his wife alone, but he could not carry her, nor would she allow him in her condition. He sprinted back toward the cottage, but the healer met him halfway.

"Relax," she told him as she strode along, satchel over her shoulder. "I saw her this morning, I had a feeling the child would come today."

For all she told him to relax, his heart pounded. Labor took most of the day, and Dego felt useless. He could not spare his wife the pain, though Marianas did, somewhat. The pain was necessary, she claimed, lecturing about good pain and bad pain gauging the baby's progress. Pain was simply pain, and it wore on for Veisa.

Over her cries he heard the distant roll of thunder, and through the settling dusk saw the bright flashes of lightning. He knew the forest wasn't the safest place during a violent storm, and he silently urged the child to come forth. Raindrops fell as Veisa pushed the child out, mixing with the tears on her face. She settled down in relief as the child wailed into the night, announcing her arrival.

"Nerissa," the mother whispered.

Dego took the child, cleansed by rain, the same rain which cooled her mother, and would heal the withered forest. Veisa dreamt of a healer, but Dego could see nothing beyond the scrunched pink face that warmed his heart. He prayed his choice would honor her. "Rain, my daughter. Your name is Nerissa Rain. Carry it with pride."


I decided how to deal with this. In order to nail down the right name and to cement it into my skull :) I am going to write out the birth scene.

Additionally, I'm going to read through the entire novel today and update the outline (along with fix-it notes) so that should help as well.

If you're lucky, I might post the scene for reading. It won't ever end up in the book, so someone should at least enjoy it.

Monday, June 18, 2007


I've been working on the new chapters for Forgotten Star and it's been tough. This time, I'm really ready for the edit. I'm seeing everything that needs to be fixed, including renaming several characters. Renaming a character I've known for 10 years is difficult. I haven't had the same friends for ten years. The trouble is, each time I come up with a name I like, there's already a character in the novel with too similiar a name. So then I have to choose who to rename, and then that will domino into another name issue.

I'm wondering if I have too many characters in this novel. I do have a lot, but they exist in different tiers of importance. This tier will shuffle for the second and third book in the series, so I have to be careful who the main characters will be for each one so I don't end up with "Aaron and Arianna" or "Talana and Tarin", which is the trouble I'm experiencing.

I don't like using place holder names, they take just as much getting used to as the character's real name, so why go through it twice? I've also figured out in my writing that a name can influence a characters personality.

Part of me fears I'm putting way too much emphasis on this, but the other part of me says it's going to be less painful now than to do it when I have a looming book contract with deadlines.

I've further complicated the issue in this particular world by giving the naming structure some culture. The mother names the child with their public name, and the father names the child with the birth name. The birth name cannot be planned or created in advance, it has to reflect some incident with the birth itself. To celebrate birth, there are no birthday celebrations. In the spring there is a naming day celebration when everyone gathers toegher and celebrates and tells their birth story and their birth name. The importance of the birthname is to instill some importance upon the child of where they came from and where they can go.

Some examples:

Dego Whitewolf was born in his mother's cottage, where outside there was a serenade of wolves howling to the moon. The honor of being greeted by wolves is important in Dego's life becuase he has the magic of sensing animals.

Seth Windstorm was born during a tropical storm.

Eldar Wintermoon was born during the coldest night of the year, and strangely died on the coldest night much later in his life.

One man believed his daughter wasn't truly his cursed her with a delicate name to keep her from growing into a strong woman.

One of the main characters' birth name is Nightsword because his mother gave birth during an attack by (evil) beasts deep in the night. His mother ultimiately died because of the attack. Several men were injured protecting the mother. The father named the son Nightsword because he survived, and for the hope that he would someday cut down these beasts. And somehow, this child has grown into an aggressive man, strong in his beliefs with a temper as quick and sharp.

The island they live on only has about a thousand people living on it, so the naming conventions are workable. It might sound silly to you, but this is my world, my island, and my names. And apparently, my main issue right now. But I'll work through it. Sooner or later!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Updated Update 6/17

Completed the Treischan Strength edit this evening after all. :)

6/17 Update

Treischan Strength is still only half edited, it's been a busy couple of days. I completed a crit for my group, and have been thinking a lot about Forgotten Star. I'm implementing some character changes which makes a low level support character now very important. It really is important, because it'll explain some things about Crystal. I have to get to that this week.

That baby's birthday was a smashing success. She had a fun time and received cute gift. She really needed new toys so the timing was perfect. :) And today is Father's Day, so there will be little writing time...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

More Editing

Treischan Strength is coming along. A friend provided some feedback that melted the hurdle blocking my internal editor from the story. No, it's not perfect yet, but give me some time. I'm halfway through the piece tonight, I hope to finish it up tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

6/12 Update

I'm working on the Treischan Strength edit, and while I'm cleaning up grammatical issues and word choices, I'm pretty satisfied with the way it turned out. My writer's conscience consists of my muse hanging over one shoulder saying "It's beautiful! It turned out just the way I wanted it.", and my Editor hanging over the other shoulder red pen in hand. She shakes her head and scribbles across the top of the first page. "You need more distance." I don't want to pass it on to my crit group without knowing that it's as good as can be. I need to give it a major edit before I use that kind of resource (crits don't come for free, so I try to use the groups carefully). So, I'm editing what I see needs fixing for now, and then I'm going to pass it by my first readers for some opinions. (If you want to help me out, drop me an email within the next week please!)

Winter Warrior keeps dancing on the sidelines, which is good. Forgotten Star is also coming along - I'm organizing the madness that use to be my folder of notes, and trying to put them to use. Katlana's new name is Talanna. I like it, but I haven't written with it yet. I'll be doing that later today. I completed Myrddin's crit, and moving on to another one. I think this is the last one I need to hit backstory (in the form of 3/4s of a novel in order to crit. So here on out, the critting should be a little easier.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

6/09 Update

Tons of complications this week, but I still managed to get a lot done.

* June Challenge: SF story scene Midnight Rainbow done (and it's got the potential to be a children's story)

* Winter Warrior: decent amount of "casual" worldbuilding, this character is talking to me while I drive.

* Forgotten Star: came up with a different name for Korin's sister, which is still holding me back from completing this chapter.

* The Crossing: two edit passes, doubled the story length; however I'm still having issues with the opening paragraph.

* Silver Griffin Crit: took a lot longer than I would have liked, but I'm almost done. I need to finish some notes and review my line edits before I can post it for Myrddin tomorrow.

Next week is going to be rough on writing, but I'll do what I can. Baby's birthday party is on Saturday, so I have tons of house cleaning and such to handle before then. :)

Friday, June 8, 2007

Edit: The Crossing

Thursday night was useless, I've been writing all week without a break, but it was needed. I had trouble getting started tonight, but managed to get myself in gear and got something done. I started and completed the second edit pass of The Crossing. Better dialogue, better action, and I hope the plot holes are fixed.

It's ready for crit now, so I'll just hold onto it for my crit group to get going. :) And now I get to start looking for markets to submit this.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Editing, Editing, Editing

The Crossing has been edited, I am happy to say. I think it's really improved now. I may have to touch up a little here and there, but the plot is sound. It was hard to keep everything to "just the short story" as this is the short that sparked Winter Warrior.

Additionally, Valora doesn't work for Korin's twin in Forgotten Star. I have to go at it again.


What is a hero? Someone who helps us, provides for us, who wants to see us succeed and is willing to do what is neccessary to get us there. They are the ones who don't ever ask for anything in return.

I've mentioned before how far I've come in the last 4 years of writing. What I haven't told you is that I've been writing for 9 years, and these last four have been astronomical in terms of my progress. I haven't done it alone. Today, I'd like to introduce you to one person who has impacted my writing and inspired me.

Lazette Gifford is the owner and administrator of Forward Motion, my writing home online. I found FM and signed up mid 2003. It was at this time that she took over managing the site, else it would have been abandoned. Zette didn't want this to happen, and took the reins which requires many hours of her own time which she previously spent writing, editing, and publishing.

Additionally, Zette doesn't just run the place, she loves this place, and she takes care of FM members. For instance, she has posted classes on short story writing (without which I'd never have completed any decent short stories). She schedules monthly challenges (inspiriation, she makes us write!). She has put herself in the role of teacher and mentor by writing and implementing a novel writing course that takes two years to work through. Zette starts a new class every year, which means she has two classes at once. I've taken this class, suffered through it (there were some very challenging lessons in there!).

My message to Zette today:

Thank you. Thank you for being my steadfast mentor, thank you for proving that a person can work like a dog and still make the time to write; thank you for loving writing and sharing that love; thank you for your everlasting patience; thank you for your professonalism; and thank you for believing.

My message to you, if you're a writer and you haven't been to Forward Motion: GO! Right now. See for yourself what this place is. For me, it's Writer Heaven!

Forward Motion -
Vision -
Zette's website -

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Writing Update

Winter Warrior: I made the right decision to worldbuild Winter Warrior. Ideas on this world, the characters, and their goals/obstacles have started flowing.

Forgotten Star: I also realized in reviewing Forgotten Star that some character names need to change. Too many K names for prominent characters in the story. Crystal and Korin work well together because the sound is pleasing but the words are visually different. Korin's twin Katlana is going to be renamed and I'm using the name Katlana for a character in Winter Warrior.

The Crossing: The short story edit is going better. I've decided to try another method and it seems to be helping. Previously I was printing, marking up the printed copy, then inputting changes. That's really duplciate work. I'm trying to edit right into the word document using the track changes feature, which I don't have much experience using. I used it last night, and made it through a severe edit with only a little elbow grease. Of course, it took me an hour to edit a single page, but it's much better than it was before.

Critiquing: I've read all the material (backstory and current chapter) for Myrddin's crit. A lot has happened and I'm not sure I have a good feel for his writing style yet, but I'll muddle through. I see some places where I think I can help, so at the very least he'll get something from me.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

New Novel Project: Winter Warrior

Winter Warrior is my new novel project. Yes, I decided. No, I couldn't resist. Yes, I know I haven't finished Shadow of Blood. No, I'm not giving up on it. I'm committing myself to worldbuilding and outlining the new novel, probably for July. In the meantime, when ideas pertaining to this world come to me, I'll record them. I don't know when the writing will start, but I typically worldbuild for several months before I begin writing a first draft.

Writing isn't just inspriation: it's blood, sweat, tears, lots of printer toner and paper, lots of daydreaming and research, oodles of doubt and self pity, and forcing yourself to continue the story because once upon a time you saw hope in it. When Inspiration is gifted my way, I am compelled to receive it graciously.

Friday, June 1, 2007


I feel like a kid in Toys R Us right now that ditched her mom to play in the plastic clubhouse. I've started editing The Crossing and am pleased to say that it is indeed a short story in completion, it merely requires editing; however the glee I'm barely containing here is that these two characters have leapt to life in my mind and are demanding a novel from me.

I wasn't planning on writing another novel until I either edited Forgotten Star or completed the first draft of Shadow of Blood. Shadow needs a lot of work, including some more worldbuilding before I move into the next part. This new project, I'll call it Armina's Tale until I work up a better title, will require worldbuilding and outlining, which is actually much easier than picking up the pieces of an old project. Furthermore, I have 4 short stories to edit and edit again before I start submitting them, and that's by the end of the year. I had one story making the rounds, but I decided to cut it apart, and it's still awaiting my attention as well.

For the moment, I'm going to jot down notes and ideas that come to me and stick to the plan for June. I'll have to decide within the next week or so what I want to do, just so I have a game plan. I'm all right with it changing, I just need to quiet down the plotting that's afire in my head. It wants center stage, and I need to let it know when that will come.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

May Writing Update / June Goals

I'm pleased with my progress this month. Not only have a successfully made the leap back into writing regularly, but I've surpassed my Story-A-Day success. Previously, I've only written 6 for the challenge. Go me!

*Participated in the May SAD Challenge [10 stories written]
*Located and joined fantasy novel crit circle to sharpen up my analytical skills for the Forgotten Star edit [2 crits completed]

June Goals
*Edit Short Story "The Crossing"
*Edit Short Story "Treischan Strenth"
*Forgotten Star: Write new content chaps "B" and "C" as well as additional content throughout the novel;
*Silver Griffin Crits: 4 crits

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Writing Update 5/29

I needed a break from the critique I was working on this morning and decided to transcribe The Lonely Orchard that I handwrote earlier this month. The transcription was a disaster, as my handwriting has severely deteriorated. I could hardly salvage the story. I picked out what I could and focused on what I remembered and just rewrote the story. Just, haha right--just. It was heartbreaking. Through the rewrite I knew the story lost its magic, I knew I had ruined it by not transcribing right away. I read it again once it was typed up and surprised myself. By focusing as I did, I managed to eliminate the extra (unncessary) story elements and write the core story, which in my opinion, makes it stronger.

Strange how these things happen, isn't it?

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Short Story: Imminence

This story has an interesting history in its planning. I used both a generated prompt and a challenge issued by my father-in-law in "Clue" style. His challenge was: "Nancy" and "Nanites" in "the conference room". Two years later, I made it work. The title Imminence is only temporary. This story needs a major rewrite. It's science fiction because of the nanites and their role, and I rarely write SF anymore. Mostly I don't write science fiction because I love fantasy more, and I'm afraid of writing Star Trek / Star Wars stories. I did like writing SF this time though, it was a pleasant change.

This story was the tenth in my challenge, and I've met my goal. This is also the most short stories I've ever written in a calendar year (yes I keep track, that shouldn't surprise you). So it's a double goal.

All I need now is to get these edited and out the door.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Short Story: The Dragon's Bard

The Dragon's Bard is complete, though it needs a lot of work in the rewrite. Bard means music, and song means poetry. I'm not really good at poetry, but the story called for it and I had to deliver. I enjoyed writing it, but I'm a little afraid of the edit.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Short Story: Treischan Strength

Treischan Strength, written over lunch today, came from a prompt for the monthly challenge. I had an immediate image of a story, and pitched it out right away as cliche. Then I had another idea, and that too was cliche, so it was a goner. Then I decided on something I've never done before: I wrote from the point of view of a creature that was not humanoid in any sense.


Spring arrived and wakened the Treischans; limbs stiff from more than a winter slumber plagued Shasss and fear rippled from his aching roots, up his cracked trunk, to the weak limbs he could barely hold overhead. His leaves had not returned, none of the Treischans would leaf this early in the season, but Shasss knew his would come last, if at all. It was time to talk to his sons.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Short Story: Kalila's Veil & General Writing Update

Kalila's Veil is more of an urban fantasy whereas most of my fantasy is epic, along the lines of Mercedes Lackey or Raymon Feist. This one wanted to be different. Partially because of the prompt I worked from, partially because this prompt was from my 2005 Story-A-Day challenge. I wasn't able to write the story I wanted then, and even now I haven't been able to write the story I had originally envisioned. It changed. And why shouldn't it -- I've changed quite a bit since 2005.

I've changed so much I can't even look at the novel I stopped midway through because of my pregnancy. It was too dark, I couldn't have my child feel the things I needed to feel in order to write Shadow of Blood. I hope to get back to it one day, but I need to remove some of the graphic scenes, they just aren't in me anymore.

My writing has defintely stepped up these past few weeks. I've joined a critique group on and managed my first critique tonight. I started with Chapters 25 and 26 of a novel. What a strange place to start. I read chapters summaries of the previous chapters, so I was prepared storywise. I'm starting slow with the group right now. I tend to overcommit, a repeated problem in my life (just ask me about senior year in high school). Pacing is key. I don't want to ruin it, as this group seems to be going at a decently reasonable pace, and their writing/critiquing level is above mine enough that I can learn from them but not so far ahead that I can't help them in return. We'll see how that goes, but I feel fairly positive about working with them. :-)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Short Story: Knights of the Scarlet Rose

Today's short story, Knights of the Scarlet Rose, broke my record for the most short stories I've ever written in a month. I've come a long way, and am having much more fun now that I'm not struggling with the form. This one is different because I've never written about knights before, and I rarely if ever write about dragons, though it isn't the typical dragon hunt you've read before...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Short Story: The Crossing

The Crossing is today's short story, written from the point of view of a boatman who uses magic to steal from his passengers. I wanted to convey some humor in this one, but I'm going to have to wait for some feedback on that. Humor is not my strongpoint in writing. Regardless, this one's a keeper.

It also seems to me, the more stories I write, the more I like what I've written. I think I've grown, I think my skills are improved, and I think I need to get moving and edit my shorts!

Blurb from The Crossing

Everdeep Lake was chilled by a grey mist this morning, a mist that was bad for business. A dock hidden by mist lost customers; a boat enveloped by mist would be invisible to waiting passengers and even discourage them to take the day long hike to the bridge south of the dock. Mist was bad, definitely bad, but when Beltair rowed the rectangular boat up to his dock, he smiled at what the mist had obscured from him.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Short Story: Storm Song

The fourth story out of my goal of ten, is about a Sentinel hunting a murder, all of which happens at sea, under a thousand words. I wrote this one off a prompt, with a rapid first draft written on the fuel of inspriation.

The two sentinels sped through the raging sea toward the Storm Song. Their gills opened and closed at an exhausting rate, their triceptus fins cut the storm forged waters more sharply than ever. They were depserate to stop her.

Short Story: The Knot

This one has been transcribed and completed. I did less prep for it than I normally do. Though it originated from a writing prompt, was written more out of inspriation than planning. The style is first person, something I don't try very often, but enjoy in a short story. This one is definitely going on the edit stack.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

My Computer Has Me Spoiled

If I had to choose between a television and a computer, I'd take the computer hands down.

Yes my computer spoils me. I type quickly, a skill I credit online role playing. I think it, and my fingers have typed it. This skill makes writing a more enjoyable process, except when I'm not at my computer, or when I'm stumped, and the tactile feel of a pen in my hand wakes up my brain and I resort to the painstaking process of writing it on paper. I don't know if it's because I'm getting older, or because my pregnancy damaged my hands (still questioning this), but my handwriting has become horrible.

I've written one story by hand (owie) and am working on another. It's done, I guess, but without the typed up version, I feel like I'm cheating. If it's not electronic, and I can't save or send it, or print it out in neat legible letters, it feels like it doesn't exist.

Mostly I'm afraid I won't be able to read my own handwriting later. So yes, my computer has me spoiled.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Short Story: The Lonely Orchard

This latest prompt caused me some grief. I came up with two story ideas, then had to choose between the two, which needless to say showed its grief in the form of writing confusion. I started my choice of the two on several different occassions, and deleting the garbage every time. I just couldn't connect with what I wanted to write. I couldn't even decide on a workign title, something I rarely have trouble creating. Finally, I sat down over lunch today with pen and paper and decided to focus on an outline (why the heck did I try to write without one, anyway?).

Instead of writing an outline, I handwrote the entire story. Eight pages of blaring red ink that I need to type up this evening. The good news: I reconnected with the story. It's going to need a lot of editing, but I like it.

The title: The Lonely Orchard

No blurb this time, you'll have to wait for the edit. :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Short Story: Apotheosis

My favorite writing challenge of the year has begun: Forward Motion's "Story A Day" Challenge. It isn't truly a story a day unless I choose it to be, but it's a great focus time to work on short stories.

I wrote my first one today, a fantasy story about a man looking for salvation in a sword. He doesn't find it in the sword of course, but you'll have to read about it. :) Here's the opening (subject to change upon editing):

Apotheosis promised life remade, a chance not only for redemption, but restitution, and it lay beneath his feet. Matthew sunk to his knees and studied the map he had drawn months ago, drawn with a mathematical fervor that could not be matched by his wife's anger as she left their home that last time, nor the burning hatred in the eyes of his neighbors.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Forgotten Star, Not Forgotten

The new chapter one (affectionately called Chapter "A") is complete today. It took a while to get through, what with life (baby, eye surgery, etc). I've recently started reading Elizabeth Haydon and she reminded me why I love writing, hence the push to finish this chapter.

It's easy to forget these things when Life gets crazy. That is the role of Life, and why we struggle to make time for the things we love.

Spoiler from Chapter "A":

Crystal felt strange suddenly, and dropped the smile. "It's quiet."

"Too quiet," Jaylon agreed. "Mount up, we're not waiting for the hunters." He turned to retrieve her mare, and in that instant the shadow leapt onto her, the stench from its massive jaws terrifying her to stillness even as it sunk its teeth into her outstretched arms.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007


It took me a little while to find my way, but I finally I reached the point where I was ready and my body and mind were able to take me there.

I ditched the small projects as they didn't require a full committment from my writing mind. I enjoy short stories, but they have always been more difficult for me than novels. No, novels are my first love and always will be. If I'm going to work on something after a long day of work, baby, and chores, then it has to be something I truly love and am willing to lose sleep over.

Forgotten Star has risen from the ashes (gathered dust) of my filing cabinet for a fourth (and final!) edit. Using resources I've gathered over the years, I've prepped myself for editing and my sleeves are rolled up. I'm going to be posting here with my progress on it, which may not be the most exciting thing but it'll help me track where I've gone off the deep end. (Speaking of which, it IS 3am here).

My first issue came up in the edit prep. My notes are gathered; outlines, character profiles, and manuscript are all cleanly printed and ready for markup; notebook ready for notes, and I found myself stuck on a simple exercise trying to identify my theme. Faith, yes, that's it, but there's more, so much more, but I just couldn't nail it down. I needed help.

I logged onto my favorite writing locale and searched for posts subjected "theme" and came up with oh, about 150 threads. I pulled one at random (yes, it was near the top of the list) that one of our authors started. She tends to start good discussion threads, so I figured it might clue me in to what I was missing. (Not so random anymore, huh?) Well, as I read her question about writing with or without your theme in mind, I noticed something odd at the bottom of the posters list: my name. I posted about Forgotten Star.

"Faith", I wrote, "in yourself, in your deity, in your loved ones. Troubles pile up when any of these three are denied by the main characters, but when they truly believe in themselves, come to believe in their diety, and their families finally trust them and their judgement - things begin to improve. "

Strangely, this theme is an issue I've been facing with my writing. I shied away when it became difficult, falling back on "I'm tired" or "the baby needs me", and while I do need my sleep (she's still only 7 months old), I need my writing as well. Not only has it haunted me with ideas since I stopped writing actively, it's riddled me with guilt. To have this thing that brings me so much joy and deny it, is a waste.

I'm done wasting my gift, my joy. There's room in my life for family, work, and writing. I've regained my faith in myself and the improvements are right before me.