Photo 365 #236

That’s right, I’m still waxing poetic about the weather.  It’s another lovely day out there, and I’ve got a nice, long lunch break ahead of me to fill with stories to my heart’s content.

productive

More of this is definitely in store today.  I can’t wait to get out there and enjoy the sunshine of another world for a little while! 🙂

How about you – what do you enjoy doing on beautiful sunny days?

(c) 2015.  All rights reserved.

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Photo 365 #235

It is an absolutely glorious day out there.  It’s so pretty, it’s hard to believe it’s actually a Monday.  Well, sort of.  After a crazy busy weekend full of family and fun, my brain’s a bit fried, so maybe it’s not all that hard to believe it’s really Monday after all. 🙂

Anyway.

sunburst

See?  Told you it was gorgeous.  It’s pushing 70 and beautiful out there, and I wish I didn’t have to stay chained to my desk for another four hours so that I could go outside and enjoy myself.  Maybe the fresh air would wake my brain up.

On the bright side, I did get out there during my lunch break.  Beautiful sky, sunny day, writing progress – it was a great lunch.  Too bad it couldn’t have lasted longer. 🙂

(c) 2015.  All rights reserved.

Getting to know Vatren Martoka

Back in January, my friend and fellow author, Sam Dogra, tagged me in a character development challenge.  I started working on my answers before her post went live, but it’s taken me till now to finally finish them.  I’ve spent ten years getting to know this character, yet there were things I didn’t know about him till I filled out this questionnaire.  It was quite a lot of fun, and I’m thinking about turning this into a series of posts about each of my main characters.

I’ve done this as an interview.  I hope you enjoy learning about Vatren as much as I did! 🙂

Vatren Artwork by Hazel Butler

Vatren
Artwork by Hazel Butler

What position do you sleep in? ( i.e; stomach, side, back, etc.) Why?

I sleep on my back, propped up a bit so that I appear awake from a distance.  I used to sleep flat on my back, but these are dangerous times.

Do you have any noteworthy features? Freckles? Dimples? A scar somewhere unusual?

I’m afraid not.  I’m perfectly ordinary, except for the prince bit.

Do you have an accent? What does it sound like?

An accent?  Of course not.  I speak normally.  Well, as normally as any other noble Lokani citizen.  Accents belong to the poor and uneducated.  But not to me.

Do you have any verbal tics? Do you have trouble pronouncing certain words or getting your thoughts across clearly?

Verbal what?  Well…

Photo 365 #234

One of the things I love to read in the spring (yes, there are a couple of them) is my collection of Shakespearean sonnets.  I don’t know why, but poetry and spring are inextricably linked for me (which works out well, since April is National Poetry Month).

Though I love the plays, the sonnets are the thing for me.  I’m terrible at writing them, but Shakespeare was a master wordsmith and every time I open this book, I marvel at his ability.  I actually have two collections of his sonnets – the volume pictured is a complete collection, while the one it replaced contained only selected poems – and I treasure them both.

If you like Shakespeare’s poetry, might I recommend this site?  I found it the other afternoon and it’s got loads of neat stuff.  Spend a day getting lost in it, or perhaps another book.  Have a great day! 🙂

(c) 2015.  All rights reserved.

Getting acquainted with Harriet Goodchild

I know I’ve mentioned that I love being part of the writing community and helping out fellow authors before, but I have to say it again: The writing community rocks.  It rocks so hard.  Know why?

This is why:

If you haven’t heard of Harriet Goodchild yet, you should have.  And you’re in luck!  Because today, she’s going to chat with me about writing, fantasy, and her latest book, After the Ruin.

KK: Hi, Harriet.  Tell us about yourself.

HG: I live in Edinburgh now but I was born in the west of Scotland and go back there whenever I can. Lest that sound a narrow life, I’ll say I’ve lived in a few other places as well, including the United States and Australia, and spent twelve years in Oxford. Life in Oxford is rather like living in a fantasy novel: pretty soon you start meeting seneschals or quaffing from an aurochs horn after dinner.

I share my flat with two pets: a Bengal cat called Talisker and a very large goldfish called, imaginatively, Big Fish. Big Fish is outgrowing her third tank and soon I’m going to have to find a safe pond in which to rehome her. Until then, Talisker enjoys sitting nearby her tank to keep her company. Or at least I think that’s her reason. Never assume nefarious intent, even in cats!

KK: Have you always written?

HG: In my teens I wrote a lot. Short stories and poetry, mostly, and a novel that rambled on and on through several college notebooks, acquiring characters along the way. It wasn’t good – and I hope it never surfaces – but I enjoyed writing it hugely and that’s all that matters. Some of the ideas in those stories, in fact, laid the groundwork for all that I’ve written since, although I think my writing has improved since my teenage years. After that, reading a lot and writing a bit was enough, although I published some non-fiction along the way. Then, about five years ago…

Photo 365 #233

We’ve had two beautiful days in a row.  It’s so pretty outside!

tulip

Okay, so it’s a little chilly, but still – the sun is shining, there’s not a cloud in the sky (that I can see without my sunglasses), and it makes one feel good to be alive.  Much like this pretty, pretty tulip. 🙂

(c) 2015.  All rights reserved.

Photo Friday besties edition, round 3

This week’s throwback is from my senior year of high school.  I find it hard to believe that this picture is thirteen years old, but the date stamp in the bottom corner doesn’t lie.

Or does it? 😛

You couldn't beat the Rollerdrome for a good time.

You couldn’t beat the Rollerdrome for a good time.

This girl, y’all.  We’ve been best friends since kindergarten.  Whatever life throws at us, we get through it together.  She’s the kind of friend you don’t find often, and ours is the kind of friendship that you hold onto with both hands and don’t let go of.

So here’s to another twenty-six years of being best friends.  And may our kids have the kind of relationship that our moms had and that we have, because that would just be awesome. 🙂

How long have you been friends with your best pal?  Do you have any lifelong friends?

Don’t forget to check out Charnele’s throwback post!

(c) 2015.  All rights reserved.

Photo 365 #232

Last night, Seymour and Bubbles spent the remaining light of day playing catch out in the yard.  Cricket, not one to be left behind, was desperate to go outside and join them.  I snapped this as he was hurrying through getting his shoes and coat on.  He was so excited that I had to be quick with the camera if I wanted to capture even a bit of his joy.

I imagine I might look a bit like this come five o’clock this evening… 🙂

(c) 2015.  All rights reserved.

It’s a sale!

TD-SWASFAS-EcoverHey, everybody! It’s a beautiful Thursday afternoon and I woke up to some amazing news this morning, so I’ve decided to put my books on sale. From now until April 1, 2015, you can pick up Tuesday Daydreams and A Song for All Seasons for just $1.99! Find them on Smashwords and enter coupon code WN73K for Tuesday Daydreams or coupon code JR38E for A Song for All Seasons.

Enjoy, and have a great day! 🙂

(c) 2015.  All rights reserved.

Photo 365 #231: Trials and tribulations

After months of only creeping, inching progress on my rewrite, I’ve finally managed to stitch together two parts of my book with all-new material.  Writing the all-new stuff was like pulling teeth; the words often flat-out refused to come.

I hate when writing is like that.

Nevertheless, I pushed through it.  I’m fairly certain that most of what I wrote is rubbish, but that’s what revising is for, right?  Polishing up the parts you don’t like?

At long last, I’m back to the polishing part.  The writing is going much more smoothly now that I’m in full-on polishing mode.  Still, part of me can’t believe how bad some of what I’d written is.  There are parts that are positively purple; they remind me of the steady diet of soap operas I consumed as a teenager.  There are parts that just don’t read quite right, for some reason; they have me in agony as I can’t quite figure out what’s wrong, never mind how to fix them.

And then there are the parts that just make me cringe, like whole-body, might-possibly-be-mistaken-for-a-seizure-type cringing.  People’s Exhibit A: the two-paragraph section where I started four consecutive sentences with the word he.  Talk about an epic facepalm moment.

 

Ch23Excerpt

*cringe*

 

*groans*

*cries*

For the most part, I love writing.  I love the act of writing, the sheer physical quality of my pencil scratching out worlds across the paper; I love rewriting and making things shine.  But at the moment, I seem mired in the depths of suck, where everything is hard and it’s not looking to improve any time soon.  Maybe it’s because I’m exhausted and stressed about things other than writing; maybe it’s because I’ve been working on this story for ten years and I don’t feel any closer to finishing it now than I did when I started it.

Whatever the reason, I’m ready to be overwhelmed by the joy of writing again.  It’s been a long while since I’ve experienced the euphoria of having written something that you know in the marrow of your bones is good.  It’s addicting, that feeling.

I know I’ll find it again, but when everything else is so gray, too, it’s hard to bear that in mind.  In the meantime, thank goodness for things like this:

If you’re worried about not being good enough? Hey, let’s remember, I wasn’t good enough for 17 years. (If you read some of my negative reviews, then ha ha ha, oops, I’m still not good enough.) … Keep at it. Eventually you’ll knock over that brick wall if you commit to the vigorous act of endless headbutting.  -Chuck Wendig

Check out the whole article here.  It’s well worth the read.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to the vigorous act of endless headbutting.

*grabs economy-size bottle of ibuprofen*

*scampers off to writing cave*

(c) 2015.  All rights reserved.