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Monday, May 27, 2013

My writing battery

Recently I had a fellow author friend on Facebook mention that she was finding it difficult to write. She was attempting to influence her mind with music and other various methods so that she could jump start the creative process. I can tell you this now, when it isn't time to write, don't write. If you do, you will find that your work is substandard and you will most likely erase most of it in the long run.

For me it works out that at times I have a lot to write and am eager to get to my computer every day. The ideas flow and I am constantly working on them. My friends recognize these times because I will fade off and look distant for a few moments. Usually I am considering a scene or story point that just popped into my head and am working it out. These are some of the best times when I am deep inside my story and the characters.

Then there are the in-between times. When I finish a novel and am at the editing and smoothing out stage, my brain is cooling off. The writers battery is drained. It bothers me at times. When I finished my first novel and couldn't seem to get myself up and running with the next right away I actually worried that I only had one good book in me. I fretted, which is a hobby of mine. But, after a while I found my battery was good to go and I started in again.

Now, during the down times, I still write. It is during these times that I write shorter stories and add a little
more to my unpublished work. The Bark stories were part of this recharging period. Nothing too deep, just fun and simple. I have mentioned before that I wrote some Star Trek novels that are unpublished. Well, that is another area where I can just fun-write. I have a huge backlog of short episodes in my own little Star Trek story line with my own characters and events, each one hardly long enough to be called a short story, but I don't really pour myself into them. I don't worry about the idea of them being published one day, or needing to be edited all that much, just write for writings sake. Just about the only use I get out of them is during long car rides I will read them aloud like a radio show.

It can take me as long as writing a full length novel to write a 100 page short story because I take it easy. During this time my battery gets recharged and I am ready to write again. That doesn't mean that I will pump out a new novel every year, sometimes I simply am not inspired and I keep plugging away at the shorts. But, I never stop writing, and I try to not worry about it. If I begin to worry, then this will become real work and I just don't know if I am ready for that.

Last note: When my battery is really low and I am not even wanting to write a short story, I let it go. I read,  draw, stitch more, watch movies, listen to music, do anything that is inspirational. I am not trying to inspire a book, just keep my creative nature nurtured and primed for when novel inspiration strikes.

p.s. if you ask nicely, I will tell you about my Star Trek story.

Monday, May 20, 2013

More art

I am feeling a little down right now and don't want to sit here and write up a whiny drama filled post. So, instead I am just going to post some more of my art. I hope you enjoy it.

I'll start with something I drew at Church. On Wednesdays I took a class at church, but I was always half an hour early because I also worked the Food Pantry Wednesdays. So, while I waited I started to play with the dry erase markers and drew on the board. Everyone liked it so I kept adding more and more to it to see how long it would take before they erased it. Here is the progression. 

Week 1: Thought it was fun to draw, expected it to be erased by the next weeks class. (The room is used by other classes and groups during the week.)

Week 2: Okay, they did not erase so I decided to add to it for fun. 

Week 3: Now I find that they have drawn a line on the board showing that they won't erase, just use half the board. Now I am intrigued. I add the lion and keep watching. 

Week 4: Okay, now I am really curious as to how far I can take this before they give up. I add the arc. 

Week 4.5: This is the last night of classes and I have even more time so after drawing the arc I ask myself, "Well, do I leave them a little board space or use it all? Use it all of course" 

As of Week 5: Still there. 

Okay, done with that. Here are some other pieces I have drawn. They were mostly for fun, but I expect to use them in upcoming novels for the Bark story. 

< B&W pencil

Detailed & colored>

This is Colin Wayne's superhero, named Arx, which is Latin for stronghold. He will have a cameo in the next novel.

<Next we have Colin Wayne posing for Bolt, as I wanted a full figured drawing of Bolt and this worked perfectly. Not sure if I am going to add color or not. 

 Stopped by an overlook near my hometown and took a few pictures. East Tennessee is such a beautiful place to live. >

And last we have the project that I am working on through a correspondence class from the Embroiderers Guild of America. This is pulled thread work. Never done this before, not sure if I have the hang of it yet. I will show you the project as I progress alone.  

Sunday, May 12, 2013


I know this is a day behind, but I like to post in my blog on Monday's so you are just going to have to accept it. This is a mothers day post in honor of my own mother.

My mother has been many things in my life, my educator, my inspiration, my encourager. She was often also the disciplinarian, the rule setter, the one who broke up the fights between my brother and me. She was the first one to truly push me to write. I had already shown an interest, but never the passion to seek this is a profession. But, she wouldn't stop pushing. I had written a lot of Star Trek fan fiction and a little poetry, but nothing that I ever intended on publishing. I thought that authors had to be highly educated people with degrees and decades of experience behind them. I was too young, and I do not have a degree in anything.

One day, she just said "All you can do is fail." What I took that to mean is that I will eternally fail if I never try. So, I sat myself down and wrote my first novel. When I was done I was scared to let anyone read it, I thought it stunk. She took it from me and read it, and told me that it was good. Now, I know that as my mother she will never see my work without those rose colored glasses. But, she does have a constructively critical side to her that she will always use on her children. Even though she will not say anything I write is just plain bad, she is willing to point out flaws and offer suggestions.

Next she took on the role as editor, offering to take my work and scrutinize it and help me smooth it out. She will be the first to admit that she is no pro, and I do need the help of a pro to finalize any project. What I rely
on her for is content more than structure. She can point out glaring grammatical mistakes, and does so quickly. But, her best job is in asking the questions that all readers will ask. "Where did he come from there?" "Didn't he loose his weapon a few pages back, why does he have it in his hand now?" "You forgot to mention that she is 300 years old, that is important." And most important of all, "Your readers will want to know..... (fill in the blank) " These questions direct me to see where I had screwed up continuity, or left a question that really needs to be answered. Often times I watch movies or read stories and see these kinds mistakes and wonder where all those high paid editors are. Mom does all this for free.

Secondly, she is my sounding board. I will come up with story ideas, scenes, characters, whatever and talk with her about them before I write them. She offers me advice as to if these ideas are good or not. Often I find myself talking through a writers block with her just listening. I go in expecting to get her to help me break the block, but before I am done talking it out in front of her I have overcome it on my own. Yet, for some reason, if she weren't there listening, I would never had made it work.

Last, and possibly most important: She is my censor. I want to write family friendly, clean, good work. If you want dirty and grim, watch the news. How I know what I write is clean enough? If I would be ashamed for my mother to read it, then it is edited out. Simple as that. Very, very seldomly have I come up with something that she has frowned at me over, and often it was the double entendre that I completely missed and quickly fixed to eliminate the unintended message.

As a result, Mom has made it into most of my stories as a character. If you read my first book, the witch Gorgeous is based on my mother. If you read The Crystal Needle you will find some of mom in Elsabethe, and most obvious is in my Star Trek novels, there is an Admiral who has the same name and most of the personality traits of the real life person.

My mother taught me to stitch 23 years ago. My mother made me a part of Sigma Alpha Iota which has turned into one of my favorite experiences each time I get to be with other SAI. My mother has always encouraged me to follow my dreams no matter how difficult and far away they might seem. For Mothers Day, belated of course, I say thank you Mom.

Note: The pictures I posted here are some of my moms favorites among my drawings, in case you were wondering about the reason they are here.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Art for Art's sake

I am an artist. No, I am not a hippy who stacks garbage and then labels it some obscure name to elicit profound thoughts. Never in my artistic life do I want to create art solely for the point of attempting to change the sociopolitical atmosphere of  a nation, to me that is a silly notion.  I just love to create things that just happen to be considered forms of art. Am I good at it? I am not privy to say. The definition of art is in the heart, mind and eye of the beholder.

What have I dabbled in? I have worked on stage as a dancer/singer/actor, I have been a student of embroidery for over 20 years, I draw a little and I like taking pictures. And last, but certainly not least, I write. I have written short stories, poems, and books. None of the above has been all that successful but I simply cannot stop myself, I love to create. Out of all that I do, I think that writing remains my favorite. I began to want to write books in the fourth grade and that particular side of me has been the strongest and loudest. So, I have attempted to make it a profession, though that hasn't proven entirely too successful yet.

My favorite hobby of art is split between stitching and drawing. Often I have absolutely no reason why, I just draw or stitch to do something to pass the time. I will be bored and simply grab a blank piece of paper and draw or if my stitching supplies are nearby I will picked up a scrap of mono-canvas and stitch. No purpose, just because I love to create. Often I will either give away what I do or eventually incorporate it into something else like a book.

Here are some examples of pointless art from yours truly:

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Where am I?

I hope everyone got a chance to read my last post about my experience with one of the worlds worst "publishers". (And the word publisher is used loosely when speaking about them.) Now I want to tell you about happier times. No, I haven't been picked up by a major publisher or am looking at millions of fans....yet. But, I got over my fears and concerns and moved on.

One of the best things that have happened to me in the writing world is meeting other writers/readers. They have encouraged me and given me the confidence to put my foot back in the waters and realize that not every inch of ocean is filled with sharks.

So, this post is going to be short. You're welcome. I just wanted to thank everyone who left a note of encouragement or sympathy on my last post. And, I wanted to give a list of links where you can find the books I do want to promote.

Without much further ado: my books. (Each location is also a link to that locations page.)

The Crystal Needle: (ebook: 2.99 Print book: 11.99)

Amazon: Ebook

Amazon: Print

The Crystal Needle: A Christmas To Remember 
(Ebook: 0.99 Print Book: 6.99)

Amazon Ebook

Amazon Print:

Bark: Origins of a Superhero (Free Everywhere) 








p.s. nothing encourages an author more than a good review. hint hint