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5 Min – Day 6 – What’s free?

Last night I finished editing two more chapters for Dragons Flame, and wrote the last chapter. That last chapter had gone incomplete for a while. But this get’s me even closer to the end of the writing.

I also did a bunch of newsletters to let people know about the free short stories this weekend. If you’re interested you can find them here:  Small Bites 1 and Hidden Treasures for free this weekend, and  Witch’s Sacrifice is back on sale for 99 cents, along with most of my short stories being 99 cents.

 

 

 

But no progress on the declutter front yesterday. Life is about balance, trying to find that sweet spot of work, chores, family and everything else you have going on in  your life. And so I’m trying to do that. I know I work from 12:30 to 10:30 five days a week, including the commute to and from. I know that I have some time in the evenings with Gregg. And I know that in the morning I am carving out five minutes for this blog post. The other things, like writing and reading, and playing a game, or decluttering my life…those all take second fiddle to the facts of keeping a roof over our head, and spending time with my boyfriend so we don’t feel like we’re ignoring one another.

Some days I wish I could go back to being a house wife. I had a lot more time then, and would sometimes spend weeks just doing spring cleaning. Sometimes you  have to spend a lot of time to find all those little nooks and crannies where soup or spaghetti found their way. Especially when you have toddlers.

Maybe I don’t have toddlers anymore, but I do have a house filled with stuff.

And that’s my five.

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2017 in Updates

 

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Update all the things!

I’flightofgriffve been slowly working my way through old book covers, updating them and making them look nicer. A few months ago I updated Potion Shop and Prophecy by Barlight. Then I took a crack at Flight of the Griffins.

This week I tried updating all of the “Illicit Gains” series.

The original covers were okay in their simplicity, and in all honesty I haven’t changed them a lot. The biggest thing is that I’ve gotten better at typography. Still not perfect, but way better.

illiI wanted to stay with the theme since each story is about a specific object. A ring that teleports the wearer wherever he is thinking about. A camera that saves things in a denominational pocket. A necklace that changes the persons personality.

And you might have already noticed that there is a fourth book the second set. I’ll be publishing The Mirror by the end of the week.
illicitAll of the items had to come from somewhere, after all.

This also meant renumbering the stories, since The Mirror is now the first in the series, not the ring, but nothing else has really changed. I still have two more planned for this series, The Pocket Watch and Marco.

It’s been a fun series to write. Their short reads, all short stories, so I don’t mind doing them out of love rather than for my career. Each one of them is inspired by Stephen King, Friday the 13, and Warehouse 13. Shows about cursed items, and what they do to people. I loved that troupe, so of course I had to write it myself.

But, alas, I have novels to finish, so this series gets written as I have time. I’m just happy to give it better covers at the moment.

 
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Posted by on September 8, 2016 in On Writing

 

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And it’s out!

thisIt’s here! The Scarab Necklace

A prima donna pop star. Her mousy assistant. And a cursed necklace that slowly changes their personalities.

It is longer then the other Illicit Gains Saga shorts and qualifies as a “novelette”, but who actually uses that word anyway? So i guess it’s a really long short story. All I know is: it’s good. I love it, and I’m so happy it’s finished and out for everyone to read.

The next one in the series is going to be a little complicated. It’s about a pocket watch and involves time travel. I’m going to need a timeline and a lot of notes. Thankfully I already have a basic plot.

I also have “Mirror” which was sent to my newsletter a few weeks ago. That is episode zero of this series. I’ll be editing that and publishing it May 27 or Jun 3rd.

Anprophec3yd I think I potionshopshould mention that Prophecy by Barlight and Potion Shop are free this weekend. If you haven’t picked them up yet now is a great time to do so.

 

Even more exciting news! Witch’s Stand should be out in two weeks!!!!! I’ve got the edits back and I just need to do my revision, and send it back to the editor (which takes less time the second time around) and then a quick revision before uploading it. So excited!

Plus, just look how great these covers look together: threecovers

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2016 in On Writing

 

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Footprints

footprintsmini And “Footprints” is OUT! Only 99 cents for the weekend.

A short story about a man who loses his father, and goes away to a cabin in the woods to deal with the memories and emotions that threaten to overwhelm him.

But he isn’t alone. There’s something in the woods. And now it’s stalking him.

This story has an underlying paranormal aspect, but like most of my tales it is about the human aspect. The emotion and the lose. The paranormal aspect is just a backdrop.

Designing the cover for this one was fun. The footprints started as bear prints in the snow. I had to add an extra toe, and reshape them to give them the right aspect. The trees, are also free-form with a little texture from snow covered trees thrown in.

Also, I have to say that it feels good to publish something. I haven’t published anything since October. It’s understandable since I’ve been working so hard on my novel, but after putting out so many short stories and novellas it almost felt like I was neglecting my publications. The fact that “Zombie Swarm” has been so difficult to write doesn’t make it any easier.

“Mermaids Curse” is now 85% finished, and getting closer every day. I’m working on the ending at the moment. It’s become a high fantasy novel, filled with magic and curses, with an underlying love story that runs through it.

Maybe that’s what my stories are. Stories of heart, lose, and love, set in fantastical places. I love the idea of creating new worlds, and creatures. I love using magic or advance science to do things that aren’t quite possible in this world. But the human aspect, the heart, is just as important.  Now I just need to come up with a tagline for that.

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2014 in On Writing, Stories

 

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A little update

I’m at 80% into my first novel to be published. After lots of polish and editing, of course. Longer story means lots more work to make it publishable.

I started this back in November, and while six months doesn’t seem like a horribly long time in the grand scheme of things, it’s been a long road for me. Just sitting down and plowing through a thousand words on a project I was some days thoroughly sick of looking at. Knowing what happens but telling myself “now show the reader”. FINISHING! I’m not quite finished yet, but I can see the end of the tunnel and the light is very bright.

I’ve learned a lot doing this. I’ve started to write faster and just let go and let the story happen. Some days its easier then others. Sometimes it means just throwing out everything I have for a specific chapter and redoing it. But the end result is worth it.

When I took a break from “Mermaids Curse” I worked on writing the beats for the next Eternal Tapestry book, or the beats for my Silo novella. It means that when I finish “Mermaids Curse” I can go onto the next project, and possibly write it even faster.

The thing about MC… I didn’t have beats written for it when I started. Just a very general outline. So much has changed from the first sketchy outline because I didn’t really know what was going on in certain parts. I wrote a lot of it by pantsing. Figuring out that this prisoner needed rescuing. Realizing how the original curse got cast, and then changed. Knowing that a sylph would be be causing mischief and cause some of the characters to run for their life. All of it discovered while I wrote.

I am hoping that by finishing proper beats and knowing exactly where I am going with the next book, and how A leads to B, and C leads to D, that I will actually be able to finish a book, a WHOLE book, in two months. That’s my goal, at least. Two months to write. One month to edit, design, format, and make a cover, and then finally… PUBLISH! Every three months.

I’ve decided that I need ten full length books out, plus my three series (Eversword, Eternal Tapestry, and Illgotten Gains) in order to feel like I’ve given a writing career a real stab. Till then I just need to keep plugging away. And hopefully faster each time I pick up the keyboard.

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2014 in On Writing

 

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That’s What He Said

I use to use google reviews as ways to check out new businesses. They aren’t scammy like yelp. But right now my company is trying to get google reviews. And boy are they pushing it.

“Look at this as an opportunity to practice promoting yourself” said my boss. He knows that I’ve published books, and that I’m struggling with getting noticed, reviews, and basically anything that says ‘hey look at me, I wrote this, you should read it’.

And he isn’t wrong.

It’s incredibly difficult to draw attention to myself, or anything I do. It goes against everything I was trained… stay unseen. Stay unheard. Your opinion isn’t valuable. No one cares. You’re not worth it. No one likes you. No one will ever love you.

So I find myself confronting all these things I heard for all of those years. And some days I make little breakthroughs and I can say ‘see, I did this and I think it’s good.’ (Well, mostly I say I think it’s ‘okay’ because I don’t want to disappoint anyone.)

And other days I freeze. The words get stuck on my tongue. I want to run, hide, cry, and just get everyones attention off of me somehow, anyway possible.

I recognize that this was caused by years of abuse. I recognize that the whispering in my head telling me that no one cares, and no one wants to hear what I have to say isn’t right. DEPRESSION IS A LYING BASTARD!

Half the struggle is recognizing this. Before I knew why this was happening I let my fight or flight system kick in and I would retreat. Get quite. Go unnoticed. After 30+ years of practice I’m really good at it.

But I don’t want to be that person anymore. I want to write, and I want to share my stories with people. I want to know that my words will live on even when I’m gone. I want to inspire others to follow their passions, and their loves.

And really… I don’t want to be broken anymore. I don’t want what he did to me to be what dictates my life from here on out. This is my life, and I am worthwhile, and I have something amazing to say. People do want to listen to me. They do want to talk to me.

So… I wrote a book. And I’m really proud of it. I hope you read it some day.

image

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2014 in Commentary

 

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Of Gods and Goddesses

I once wrote an article about the origins of fantasy, namely mythology. It was many years ago, under a different name, still existing in cyber space somewhere, and it makes me cringe a little if I think about it. Not because my ideas were wrong, but because I, as a writer, have increased my skills so much in the last ten years or so that the old article just looks bad.

It’s a good reminder of where I was, and were I am, and hopefully a prelude of where I am going.

I loved mythology as a child. I couldn’t get enough of Greek and Roman gods causing wars, cheating, turning people to stone, and wrecking the world around them, or saving it at a whim.

There was the bittersweet love story of Psych and Eros. A woman who’s curiosity, and distrust, deprived her of the wonderful love given to her by a god.

There was the Trojan horse, and a war fought all in the name of love (or ownership) of the beautiful Helen of Troy.

There were the heroes, like Hercules, and Perseus, who braved mythical beasts and crossed entire continents to fulfill their quests.

In each of these stories we see the first structures of modern day tales. Romance, quests, revenge, war, suffering. Each an intrinsic part of the human narrative. Each a part of what has made our history.

When I wrote Forgotten Ones I attempted to pull on subtle hints of these gods, to capture their struggle with each other, and with the humanity which myth said they created.

That battle, in many ways, is real. Created from primordial pools of DNA, evolving into thinking, feeling, creative individuals, we still struggle against the world, the universe, that created us, and against one another. Massive natural disasters. Fires. Floods. Wars. Famines. The list goes on…

Struggle is what makes a book interesting. Overcoming adversity, and beating the odds. Whether it is a god, a goddess, or a human being.

And why shouldn’t the ancient myths reflect a very real struggle between man and the environment? Ancient men labored closer to, and had greater fear of, the wild places then we do in this day. They did not have guns to protect them, or metal sky scrapers to take them up above the wilds. They didn’t have planes, and satellites to tell them when the waters would rise, or crops fail.

But it’s a new age. The weather seems to be changing drastically with every turn of the clock. Tsunamis, fires, sinkholes, and even meteors pose real threats to people. So now we’re creating our own mythology in movies like “Dante’s Peak” and “Armageddon”. And it makes sense. Our myths are based on science, instead of gods, even if the science is faulty.

I think one of the reasons the old myths are so interesting is the human quality of a god or goddess. Maybe they are more powerful, invincible, and immortal, but they still love, and hate, and fight. They still have emotions. Something an equation, or a volcano can not do. You can reason with a god, or trick them. A volcano will blow no matter what you do, or what you promise.

So, yes, fantasy and story telling started with those great myths from the past. They started with fears, hopes, and dreams of men who came long before us. But we are continuing on in their fashion, fighting against the shadows in the night with words, and hope in the form of new stories, and new myths.

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2014 in Commentary

 

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