Learning a Little Thing about a World I Created

You know someone is a bona fide writer once you hear them speak. They don’t even need to read an excerpt of their work for you to know how good of a writer they are. When you are done listening to them you will walk away not just saying wow, but you will feel inspired to continue with your own works.

That is how I felt today when I left the meeting at my local writers’ group, The Monadnock Writers’ Group. Our speaker was James Patrick Kelly. Do I need to say more? – Fabulous speaker –

Actually, I had never heard of him before today. At least, I don’t remember hearing of him, even though I used to subscribe to Asimov’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazine years ago. From what I learned today, James is a regular to that magazine.

He spoke about the differences between Science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Then he even touched a little bit on playwriting. Each subject he spoke about struck a note inside me, the kind that awakens the Kraken – the Muse. Having my Muse awoken was a welcome feeling.

Dragon background design provided by: NVT Office Clips

He touched the subject of Slipstream. Before I had written Aaron and Keja, I didn’t know what Slipstream was or that it existed. It took someone to tag my book Slipstream for me to go and investigate what that term meant, and then I still wasn’t sure about it. I thought it was just for books that used portals between worlds. I didn’t know that it was for stories written without a set of rules to adhere. As when the Orcs find Aaron and suddenly they have no problem communicating with her without the help of the talisman given to them by Arch Lankus.

Thinking about this causes me to rethink why she can do this. Well, if she can read the minds or hear the minds of the creatures – big and small, then what is there to keep her from being able to understand the creatures and humanoids of the other world?

If you have ever read fantasy books, or epics, then you will know that each world has its own set of rules. So if Aaron does not follow the rules of the world, then that must mean she is a rule breaker.

Now that I know that I have a rule breaker on the loose in Orgarlan, I know that anything can go.

So here is to the letting go of realm rules.

May the Gods, Goddesses, and Dragons have mercy on the inhabitants of Orgarlan in the coming pages.

Who rules that world? Frankly I don’t know, but all the inhabitants have their own opinion on who is the overseer of their world.

Lifting the Fog


Original image via Bing Creative Commons, courtesy of 55Laney69 on Flickr Photos

Spring is about to be sprung in my part of the States. After going through such a cold, seemingly long winter, I am ready for the warmer weather. It may have had something to do with the reason why I had stopped posting and work on my work in progress slowed down to almost a complete halt.

I kept saying, next month I will get my butt in gear. Well, you know what? It is the next month, and it almost passed me by in a blink of an eye. It is April, and I need to get myself in gear and get some writing done.

So what have I been up to during my little disappearing act?

I worked a little bit on the next book in my Orgarlan Saga. I am eating that elephant one bite at a time. There is not much to say at this time, except I am meeting my character and relearning them. Aaron is bored, and I need to find something for her and her friends to do. I could burn down the tower where they are staying, but how many times are you allowed to burn things down before your characters are accused of arson?

In the meantime, I have begun exploring Wattpad. That is right! I joined Wattpad back in 2010, and I never went any further with the site other than creating a profile, which I have since then have changed. They have a neat feature on the site. You can post short stories you are working on or even chapters of a story, one at a time. Readers can then vote and comment on your stories.

I hadn’t done anything like this since posting on Myspace back in the heyday when that social media site was bigger than Facebook. It changed when the site began leaning toward music after Tom left the site he built from the ground up.

This past weekend I began working on a side project I want to build on Wattpad. I’m calling it, Sleeping on the Beach. It is about a woman who hears strange noises in her home when she is sleeping. After making a few discoveries, she begins to believe she is sleep walking. I’m hoping readers will help me brainstorm this story line since I am panstering instead of plotting.

I’m hoping to post a new chapter once a week.

 

My free book promotion period is over. All three books did better than I had planned. Now if only the reviews would start coming in, that would be neat.

 

Thank God the Brain Fog has finally lifted!


Original image via Bing Creative Commons, courtesy of Lida on Flickr Photos

 

Free EBook Editions of the Wings From Ashes Series

It has been a while since I have given any of my eBooks away. Since I recently updated the editions with some edits and new book covers, I think it is time for a relaunch promotion.

So here they are, the entire series of Wings From Ashes will be free for a limited time. Hurry and get your copies. I’m not sure how long this giveaway will last.

 

Another EBook Venue Bites the Dust


Original image via Bing Creative Commons, courtesy of http://gadgetvirtualtour.wikispaces.com/ereaders

 

A month or two ago, Sony announced they were closing their eBook Store and all accounts were being taken over by Kobo. Today, another eBook Store announced they were closing down – Diesel EBooks.

What does this mean for the eBook industry?

Is publishing going through another change?

Could this mean that paperback or print books in general are making a comeback?

Since 2010, publishing in general has been on a fast track of change. With the introduction to eReader and eBooks, the delivery process of books has made it easier on readers to get their next read faster. But how much staying power does eBooks actually have?

I think that they will not go the way of the dinosaur as was thought to be what was to happen to the print books. The fact that print books appear to be picking up in sales may have some indicator to the overall economy. When the economy falters, some readers will look for ways to acquire their next read at the lowest cost possible. This could be via free books or low priced books.

Recently I have noted that not as many people are interested in the free books. What could this mean? But when it comes to free paperbacks the interest is still there.

Most of my friends want print books. They like being able to hold an actual book in their hands when they read. I know that when I bought my Kindle I had to go out and buy a cover that made my eReader handle more like a book. I didn’t buy the cover to protect the eReader. The cover helped me make the transitions to eBooks.

There has also been a lot of buzzing about the new eBook venues appearing on the web. Scribed and Oyster has been getting a lot of authors in an uproar. Some have been accusing these venues of pirating their works.

Is the work actually pirated if it is on the site and no-body buys it because they do not know the venue exists?

Regardless, I will be one of those few authors who is willing to let my books continue to be picked up by Oyster and Scribed. If my books pick up readers by being offered by a subscription service, then so be it. What is the difference anyways between a subscription service and a local library?

In my mind, not much.

 

ROW 80 Update:

 


The writing has been going slow. I don’t think I have burnout, but it could have been close to burnout if I had not decided to allowed myself to step away from blogging, social media and writing in general. My brain has been slogging. I have tried several different approaches to writing, and none of them were working for me. I even tried digging out old works in progress that have been left sitting on the back burner for a few years. This would work for a thousand words or so and then nothing would come.

So for the past month I have taken my fingers off the keyboard and gone back to my online gaming. I am a World of Warcraft enthusiast. I even do WOW binges where it is the only thing I do when I am online. This has been helping me let my mind rest, seeing as this is the first post I have been able to make in weeks where I didn’t have to push to get the words out of my brain.

 

 

This is my level 90 human mage. She kicks ass! Right now she is wearing a Panderian Outfit. I have not gotten her any of the rare items as of yet. I will soon, that is if I suddenly don’t get the urge to start writing once again.

 

Something I have noticed of late: Auto Correct!

It appears that my brain has invoked its own auto correct. When I am talking, sometimes my brain is changing a word to something different than what I was thinking of when I speak, and I find myself saying, “Damn auto correct.”

Anyone else having this problem?

How To Eat Elephant When Your Work in Progress Looks Like One

I would like to start off by apologizing to those of you who have been following my blog. My writing has been off for the past month or so, and the words have been truly struggling to find the page. I only stopped posting in hopes that I could regroup and start again with the writing process.

It is a success!

Our last month’s challenge for my RWA Chapter was to learn how to eat Elephant. They are such large animals and can be compared to our works in progress. When you look at that first word posted to your work in progress, it can be a little intimidating.

 

 

 

 

 

Do I have to write all that?

In order to eat an elephant one must do it in small bites, one bite at a time. And chew, sometimes the meat/writing can be difficult, so the more you chew, the easier it becomes to digest.

I shrunk my bites down to bits, writing bits of 300 words a night. Tonight was a terrific night as I hit 500 words, not counting this blog post. If I do the math, the word count will come out to 2100 words a week. Which is 8400 words a month. If I were to do this for, say four months, I will be at 33600 words. In turn, if this were to cause some truly fantastic writing days I might possible be done in about 6 months with the first draft.

All of this is to help me break through my writers block. So far it is working.

Have you ever tried to eat an elephant?

How long did it take you?

I would love to hear.

Overcoming my Writer’s Laryngitis – #ROW80 Check In

After suffering for the past few months of writer’s block, I believe I have begun to break through and piece words together again. It was sort of like having writing laryngitis, if there is such a thing.

Twice this week I was able to add over 300 words to the work in progress. It is a start.

Our challenge this month for my local RWA Chapter is small bites.

“How do you eat an elephant?”

“One bite at a time.”

That’s what I have been working on this week, though my blog posts seem to suffer from putting my bites on my wip instead of the scheduled post. But I’m here now and that is all that counts, right?

So, for my ROW80 check in for today I can report that since Wednesday I was able to add 1k words to the work in progress. Not too shabby for someone suffering from Writer’s Laryngitis.

I remember many years ago, when I had come down with a very bad case of Laryngitis while I was working for Ames Department Store as a customer service representative. Part of my job was to answer the phone. How funny is that when you have laryngitis? I had to have someone else take my place that day. Customers thought they had reverse prank calls. It was funny. You had to be there, I guess.

I haven’t had laryngitis that bad in years. It was kind of weird too. I didn’t have a cold, or a sore throat. Though, it was very cold that winter. It may have been due to the dry air.

How is your writing going?

Have you been having trouble with Writer’s Laryngitis? I like the sound of that better than Writer’s Block, don’t you?

Stop by and share how your week is going. I’d love to hear.

One more moth to go until Spring arrives!

I can’t wait!

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Our Stigma of Addiction

Original image via Bing Creative Commons, courtesy of Cinezapping.com

Ever since Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death, the world has been in an uproar over the mess our country is in when it comes to drug addiction. How did the addiction problem get to the point of competing with Cancer as one of the top deaths in the United States?

On the east coast, there are several states where heroin addiction is the most used drug reported when a client enters rehab. Not alcohol, not pot or coke. It is opiates and heroin. Even death rates have grown over the past ten years due to the increase of heroin and prescription drug abuse.

Should we be blaming anyone? Maybe you feel the doctors are to blame? Do you think that addiction is a character flaw?

Before my son entered his stay in the long term rehab, a few years back, I had been battling with the stigma of his addiction. Embarrassment was what I had been taught to feel over such a topic. I thought I was a terrible mother for having a child become an addict. So I wanted to start blaming the doctors for his problem and everyone else for that matter. The doctors had turned my son into a bad person.

Well, that’s not actually how it is.

Our country needs to change its perception the same way they changed their perception about slavery, women’s rights, and the gay rights movement. If the perception changed for our attitudes about addicts, perceptions of our addicts would begin to change too. They search for relentless compassion and understanding and can never seem to find it unless they are in the room of fellow addicts who are trying to overcome their similar needs. We need to remove the stigma from addiction. Addicts are not evil people. They never were bad people before they began using. It is the chemical entering their bodies that made it hard for their brains to think correctly, making it hard for them to make sound choices.

The perception for Recovery from addiction needs to change too. They have to work at their recovery on a daily basis, and it will be a struggle for the rest of their lives.

Our nation must first learn compassion toward our addicts in order to help them want to seek recovery. Most are too ashamed to admit they have a problem, causing a vicious cycle.

They can’t admit they need help; therefore, they don’t have a problem. This makes things spiral down more and more over time. Using is a game of roulette, gambling their life away. At any given moment, they could take that one dose that ends their life.

When my son was young he was a truly talented kid. He listened when he was told to do something. Even in school, he was a grade A student.

Then things changed almost overnight. He started keeping friends with a rough crowd. That is misery keeping company with misery. Next he wouldn’t do as he was told and began behaving as that of a delinquent. His grades fell, and next came the life of crime.

His life depicted a downward spiral filled with embarrassment and shame for him and for me.

When he entered his rehab program, things began to change. Not only was he educated about his addiction, but I was, as well. Both of our perceptions began to change from that moment on. Just by this change of how I viewed his emotional stability and his mental health due to his drug usage I began to learn compassion.

Many addicts complain about aches and pains. They blame these aches and pains on things they may have done in the past or in the present. With knowledge learned, the addict’s family will learn that these aches and pains are actually clues to the addict being clean or sober. This is how their bodies react to the abuse of substances. The number one organ that causes these aches is the liver seeking to remove all the toxins from the body as fast as it can.

Just this knowledge by itself allows the family member to know that the addict’s aches and pains are not the family members fault. This allows the feelings of embarrassment and shame to be replaced with compassion.

Perceptions like these take time to change. But the more we learn about addiction and how to cope with it, maybe we will be able to find hope in our hearts for all addicts.

 

How has addiction affected your life?

Do you feel it is time for society to change the way they feel about addiction?

Scribbling with Scrivener

For the past few months, I have been trapped in the block writers dread. No matter what I did I couldn’t come up with a single word for my work in progress. I tried stepping away from the file. I threatened to bury the file. Neither of these offered me any peace of mind. Nothing was working for me. The only thing I could do was fret about staring at a blank page before me.

Then one of my comrades from my NHRWA group, Lisa Olech said, “Linda, why don’t you do some plotting. Did you plot your world out yet?”

My answer was no.

So I tried to plot the world. But then it dawned on me, maybe I need to do a lot more research before I can even start the world. I have to get back to the basics of writing what I know.

But I don’t know anything. Or so I thought.

I have a series that is waiting to be finished. I know the characters, I know – sort of – the world of this series (which is more than I know about the other work in progress). And, I know what the inciting incident is to get the next book off the ground floor.

Nope, I still don’t have any kind of word count to report. I have been doing as Lisa O suggested. I’ve been world building with setting sheets and character sheets.

In the meantime, I was sort of wasting my precious writing minutes while browsing around on Amazon, and I couldn’t help but notice Scrivener. I’ve heard a lot of nifty things about this program, but I had never used it before now since I have a windows machine and not an apple. Last year, as far as I knew, Scrivener was only for Macs and not for Windows, but alas, it is now available and I took the trial version.

The plotting Gods have answered my dreams!

Once I loaded the program I immediately found myself being prompted to check out the tutorial. Good Idea!

I had heard Scrivener being complicated to use, and I have to agree, it is. There are so many different features found in this program that I don’t know where to start. I think the best feature is the cork board followed close behind by the note cards. The way the program allows you to have multiple windows open for, say your plots and character cheat sheets without having to move the word processor around to accommodate the extra windows.

The other neat feature this program offers is the fact that when they say you have a 30 day trial they mean it. Trial days do not count the days you do not open the program. It only counts the times the program is opened. The creator of the program must feel pretty confident we will purchase the key code when our time is up.

Do you know what?

I will be getting mine. (Two thumbs up for Scrivener)

ROW80 Check In:

Lisa O will be pleased with me. I have most of the next Orgarlan Saga book plotted out and then some. I scoured through the first two books so that I could make a list of every character appearing in the story, even if they had a very minor part. Then I gave them wants, wishes, and fears.

The neat thing about Scrivener is how you can write in scenes, leaving a short synopsis of each scene on a note card. Then, when you are in the editing mode, you can rearrange these scenes just by click and drag to where you want it to be. Pretty nifty. No more cut and paste while editing. I like that.

With a little bit more of brainstorming, I should be good to go and get writing this story.

How are you doing on your work in progress?

Have you ever tried Scrivener?

Did you like it? Tell me what you did and did not like about the program. I’d love to hear about your experiences. Did it do what you were hoping it would do?

The old Days of Black and White

I don’t know about you, but writing has been something I have always wanted to do. Way back when I was in grade school I toyed around with writing stories. It was a fun way to spend a rainy afternoon when you weren’t allowed to go outside to play.

Back then, we didn’t have internet, or video games. I don’t even think Pong was around yet. The TVs were in color and Black and White. In fact, I do remember that our Channel 9, WMUR, was the last channel to switch to color in 1973. Can you imagine that? Watching Black and White TV?

Look at how far we have come in the past forty years with technology. Back in the 70′s, cellphones were just a dream, as was Skype. The internet was something from a sci-fi novel.

Original image via Bing Creative Commons, courtesy of television-news.wikispaces.com

All those shows from the 70′s are now classics. They were fantastic shows too. Down to earth, with clean comedy humor. Take All in the Family for one, Archie Bunker will live on with his attitudes and mannerism.

Then we had our cop show – Adam 12. I still think I remember seeing a couple of those episodes in Black and White.

Bewitched was another show that aired originally in Black and White.

There were so many marvelous classic shows way back then. You can jog your memory by visiting http://classic-tv.com/70s-shows/

So now we have the internet and too many video games and not enough outside time for our kids growing up in today’s world. What ever happened to using your imagination and dreaming up stories and play acting them out with your friends?

Gone…

But you can still view those good old shows on the internet.