Photo 365 #153

2013-04-29 12.10.19I’ve been hard at work on a couple of projects this week.  It’s nice to feel that I’m being productive again, after an extended bout with the lazy bug.

Oh, who am I kidding?  I needed an extended bout with the lazy bug. 🙂

Anyway, I finished rewriting chapter 16 of The Price of Mercy and got a decent start on chapter 17 this noon.  I’ve been polishing my query up a little more, too.  I’ve finished formatting the e-book version of my new poetry book and have moved on to working on the cover.  And have I mentioned the story that Miss Tadpole commissioned?  I’ve been working on that, too, and have set it in Lokana, about a thousand years before the events in The Price of Mercy.  It rhymes and is rather like a fairy tale, which has been both interesting and challenging because it’s not the sort of thing I normally write.

There’s still lots to be done on all of these projects, but I’m having a lot of fun with them.  What are you working on right now?

(c) 2015.  All rights reserved.

Queryland revisited

Zandoor Artwork by Hazel Butler

Zandoor
Artwork by Hazel Butler

Hoo boy, am I ever tired! I finally finished reading the Query Shark archives last week and boy, did all that education wear me out. Two hundred and sixty-six queries, plus revisions, plus comments. Talk about a learning experience! That and the comments I received as part of Michelle Hauck’s query critique blog hop have really helped me shine up my query. And further brainstorming led to a name change for my MC.

Behold, my new and improved query:

Dear Super Agent:

Nineteen-year-old Prince Zandoor is expected to follow in his father’s corrupt footsteps.  His first task: Marry a wealthy noblewoman and fill the royal coffers to the brim.  But the prince has other ideas.

When he falls in love with a peasant…

Why do I write what I write?

Jenny at readsbyredriverbanks asked me to take part in the Writer’s Blog Tour last weekend, and I’ve finally taken a few minutes to sit down and type up a post.  I did a post on the same topic back in May, when the ever-lovely Tricia Drammeh asked me to take part.  That time I answered the questions with more of a focus on my fiction writing, but this time I decided to focus a bit more on my poetry.

TDSWWhy do I write what I do?
I write poetry because it’s something I’ve always enjoyed reading.  I remember as a kid I spent a whole afternoon in one of the trees out at my grandparents’ place writing poems about my summer vacation as a school project.  I used to really like free verse, and sometimes I still write a bit of it, but I’ve found haiku to be an interesting challenge, and it’s really quite satisfying to be able to cram a world of emotion into 17 syllables.

What am I working on?
I’m still working on…

Holiday query blog hop!

Vegin Artwork by Hazel Butler

Vegin
Artwork by Hazel Butler

Once again, Michelle Hauck is hosting a blog hop to help authors get their stuff together.  This time, though, instead of first page critiques, it’s a query critique!  Like my first page, I’m sure that my query needs as much help as it can get, so here it is:

Dear Super Agent:

As the Crown Prince of Lokana, nineteen-year-old Vegin is expected to follow in his father’s corrupt footsteps by marrying a wealthy noblewoman and filling the royal coffers to the brim.  But the prince has other ideas, and when he falls in love with a peasant named Lipei, his father threatens to deny him the crown and live forever.  Though Vegin knows his father is serious, he insists that he will marry for love or not at all.

But there are bigger problems facing the kingdom than succession.

Photo 365 #121

Today was a beautiful day to get started on the next chapter in my rewrite of The Price of Mercy.

image

It was kind of a long day, but at least I got something done while the boys napped.

What did you do today?

(c) 2014. All rights reserved.

Revised!

I finally got around to revising my first page, as posted here for Michelle Hauck’s first page critique blog hop.  It’s taken a lot of time, a lot of thought, and a lot of quiet to get something figured out, but I think it’s good.  It’s longer, but less wordy, and hopefully, more showy and less telly.  Either way, it wouldn’t be what it is without your input, so thank you very much!

I’ve posted the revision at the top of the original post (clearly marked so you know what’s what), and would love some comments on the revision as well.  Because, you know, we writers are nothing if not insecure.  But on the off chance that you don’t feel like digging back through ten days of blog posts, I’ve also posted it for your reading pleasure below.

***

“Please, your Highness, have mercy.  I beg you.”

“I would very much like to, sir,” Prince Vegin said.

First page critique blog hop!

The lovely and talented Michelle Hauck is running a blog hop to critique first pages and I am super excited to be taking part!  If you’d like to join in the fun, here’s the post with all the details.  Methinks the first page of The Price of Mercy could use a bit of help, but I’m not entirely sure where, so if you’ve got ideas on what would take it from blah to AMAZING, please, drop ’em in the comments below!

***

Revision (The revised version is a bit longer than 250 words (think ~280), but I wanted to include everything I covered in the original entry, so you get an extra thirty words of fun). 🙂

Adult Fantasy

“Please, your Highness, have mercy.  I beg you.”

“I would very much like to, sir,” Prince Vegin said.  Light filtered into the gallery through twin rows of stained glass windows, exaggerating the poor farmer’s haggard appearance.  “I sympathize with you, but drought or no, you’ve still got taxes to pay.  I cannot simply let you go.”

“Your Highness, I’ll do anything – anything at all – only let me go back to my family.”  Dirty tears carved grooves through the layers of grime on his face, but hope shone in his eyes.

Before Vegin could reply, the chamber’s heavy wooden door burst open.  The prince flinched as his father stalked into the room, the queen trailing behind him.  King Tol’s gaze swept the room as the court fell to its knees.  The guards scattered about the room stood a little straighter, not wanting to provoke the king’s famous temper.  The peasant trembled before him, suddenly afraid for his life.  The prince groaned inwardly – he hated fighting with his father, especially in public.

“Vegin!”  Tol’s voice boomed through the chamber.  “If you’re not going to sentence this man, I’ll be more than happy to do it for you.”

The prince’s eyes narrowed.

Barren Island Books interviews Anna Martoka!

Anná Artwork by Hazel Butler

Anná
Artwork by Hazel Butler

What’s new in the world of The Lokana Chronicles? Well, today Anna Martoka was interviewed as part of the Barren Island Books interview series that my wonderful friend and fellow author, A.F.E. Smith, runs on her blog. If you’d like to know which books Anna counts among her favorites, head on over and check out her interview!

And while you’re there, don’t forget to check out some of the other interviews. There’s loads of great books just waiting to be discovered at Barren Island Books!

(c) 2014. All rights reserved.

Photo 365 #68

I had the day off work today, so I took advantage of the free time and got some writing done.

Like, a lot of writing.  Somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,000 words, if I’m not mistaken.

writeday

This excites me greatly because I’m not always able to get a lot of writing done on my days off and also because I managed to get a bunch of other things (cooking, a load of laundry, a bit of light cleaning) done today as well.  Must be my long-lost time management skills trying to reassert themselves. 🙂

I hope today was as wonderful and productive for you as it was for me!  How did you spend your day?

Photo Friday: Beginnings

This picture actually features a beginning as well as a middle and an end:

IMG_20141010_120259

The top notebook (as well as the draft beneath it) contains my revisions for The Price of Mercy.  I’m just over halfway through the rewrite/revision process, judging by total page count.  Of course, I still have a lot of work ahead, but I hope I’ll be able to start querying in January.  It’s definitely a stronger story now than when I initially queried it a couple of years ago (I still don’t know what I was thinking then).

But the bottom notebook holds a brand new short story that I started working on late yesterday afternoon.  It’s not as fluffy as my usual work, but I hope it’s good.

Don’t forget to stop by Charnele’s blog and check out her beginnings!

(c) 2014.  All rights reserved.