All good things must end

autho

It’s true, isn’t it? All good things must, eventually, end. Like childhood, summer vacation, and a favorite book series, Authonomy is about to go the way of the dodo.

*sniffles*

True, I haven’t hung out there regularly in a very long time. Years, even. But without it…

Photo 365 #340: Where everybody knows your name

Mmm, reuben and chips, omnomnom!

Mmm, reuben and chips, omnomnom!

Writing, of late, has been an odd sort of chore. I love to write – I yearn to write – but lately when I find myself alone with my thoughts and a pencil, I find that the words won’t come. They used to spill forth from my fingers like fat drops of rain from a heavy summer storm cloud.  They used to burst froth from my pencil like rushing floodwaters through a broken dam.

But now?

Now, I find myself extracting each precious word like a miner with a gem. Or, more accurately, like a  dentist with a particularly stubborn tooth. Bubbles’ first tooth, with its inch-long root and insistence on clinging to his lower gum, springs instantly to mind.

But that’s if the words come at all.

Today, for a change of pace…

Photo 365 #335

When I’m not busy running around like a chicken with my head cut off, I’m still hard at work on The Lokana Chronicles and, as writing has been on my mind quite a lot lately, today’s photo features a progress update:

2015-07-08 13.18.58

Do you leave notes for yourself in the margins of your WIPs?  I do it all the time – if I didn’t, I’d forget everything that crossed my mind while writing. *sigh*

In other news, I’m going to be doing my first book signing next week, and I’m kind of excited about it.  If you’re heading out to the Tama County Fair on Thursday the 16th, stop on over to Smith’s General Store and say hi!  I’ll be there from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., signing books and chatting with anyone who wanders in.  I’m planning a giveaway for those who subscribe to my mailing list (see the link in my sidebar – no spam, I promise!), and I know it’s going to be a ton of fun.

A metric ton, even. 🙂

Also, congratulations to Piper McDermott, the lucky winner of e-book copies of Tuesday Daydreams and A Song for All Seasons!

(c) 2015.  All rights reserved.

I’m a guest!

Today I’m being interviewed by the wonderful Susan Finlay.  We talk all things writing, so if you’d like to find out more about my books and some of the other kinds of writing I’ve done, be sure to check it out!

And don’t forget to check out Susan’s books.  She’s got three mystery series going, one of which involves time travel, and I can’t wait to check it out. 🙂

(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 #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.

Photo 365 #214

It’s not much, but it took me all weekend:
image
Of course, that’s probably because we cleaned all day Saturday in advance of my in-laws visiting, and then it was off to a neighboring town for the Army Field Band concert, and then there was volleyball practice and a trip to the doctor and general recovery from the lack of sleep inflicted by Daylight Savings Time.

I’m ready to fall back now. No need to wait till October – let’s do it tonight! Who’s with me? 😀

(c) 2015. All rights reserved.

Photo 365 #191

Revisions continue, and I’m happy to report that I think I’ve crossed that hump I was stuck on.

2015-02-12 12.13.52

I scan my handwritten pages so that I can type them up later, and as I was trying to open the scanner app on my phone, I accidentally activated my camera instead.  When it opened, it showed the image above.  For whatever reason, it spoke to me, and I wanted to share.  I really hope the rest of this revision goes as swimmingly as today’s writing session; I’d love to be done with this revision so that I can polish it up and send it out!

(c) 2015.  All rights reserved.