My little cat helper

May 10, 2018

Bella is in her usual spot this morning. I like to work on audio first thing in the morning. She sits as close to where I set my mouse so that as I move it, she gets *unintentionally* petted.

Today we are waiting for updates to finish. Here’s how she really feels about this: Read the rest of this entry »


Onesong – Chapter 42

May 9, 2018

The scenes you are about to get today, there are two of them, are not completely fleshed out. I feel there is more coming. It’s also another section which I’m not sure belongs right here.

And, after watching Infinity Wars this last weekend, I wonder if what I’m setting up in the first scene is even a good idea or not. It might lead to an overpowered character that my current characters have no hope of defeating. Yeah, I suspect that before these scenes become official in print, they will change greatly. But you get to see the original acorn of the idea.

Okay, let’s get onto it.

Onesong is an epic fantasy story filled with action, adventure, and sword and sorcery. Chapter 42 is available for 1 week only! Then it will turn back into a pumpkin and a new chapter will appear!  Read the rest of this entry »

What the cat dragged in

May 8, 2018

I write in the dark, which means that I like to write without planning out the entire story.

For the longest time, I was convinced that I was the only person who wrote like us. It seemed like everybody else had plot outlines and character sheets and notes and research. I seem to be the only one who likes to write the story and then go back and have the elements that I needed. I like to discover the story as I went to log.

I can’t tell you the amount of relief that I felt when I discovered that there were other writers, as well as a term, a couple of them actually, for those who like to write into the dark. Discovery writers, is another term. Pantster, yet another. My preferences would have to be writing into the dark, or discovery writer.

But that does bring up a good question: what do you do when you need to know certain elements of the story?

I was thinking about this as I was driving to work. I like to take the country roads, mostly so that I can think, talk to myself, and be in my Zen head at 50 miles per hour rather than 80 miles per hour. I’m not insane. So as I was driving along enjoying the country morning, I got to thinking about what I need to do in the next Sacred Knight book.

That’s when, of course, the little voice had to pop up, “Aren’t you writing this story into the dark? Shouldn’t you be discovering this as you write, instead of pre-planning this?”

I spent enough time with my cynical voice to know it when I hear it. If it’s snarky, and sounds little bit like Dragzel, it’s my critical voice.

I instantly found myself replying back, out loud, “I’m just throwing things into the hopper to let it walk around in my subconscious. I don’t need to make firm plans. I’m just mulling it over. Then we’ll see what the cat actually spits out.”

A lot of times as I’m driving and thinking about things, I do have great ideas. It is one of the reasons why I dictate while I drive. Don’t judge me. I know you talk to yourself, or sing to the radio. Same diff.

But yes, in some ways mulling things over is equivalent to plotting things out. Although, I would put forth one major difference. When the scene decides to arrive to discovery writer, it comes full force, the complete scene, meaning: narrative, dialogue, setting, the whole shebang. While I can’t say it’s completely true, I would say that people who plot their stories would only get a certain elements, such as just an action, needed in order to craft the scene. I’m not saying that one way of writing is better than another. I’m merely saying that there are differences, and I think those differences are and how the scenes land in our head. I would even say, that in truth, writers are really a combination of both at all times. Even when you’re plotting, you don’t know what’s going to happen until you make the decision to make it part of the plot.

I personally would rather get the writing down then have to think things up. Because what I’m thinking things up, I am forcing the story and I’m losing energy out of it. But that’s merely my thoughts about that.

So, I know that when I get the right scene for the story that I’m been mulling over, it will come complete and perfect. At least in my head. What actually arrives down on the page will not be as perfect as it is in my head. It never is. But that’s a discussion for another day.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I must get back to mulling things over.

New development on Onesong

May 3, 2018

It’s been an interesting couple of days for Onesong.

I finalized the cover idea for Onesong. I’ve basically spent time the last two mornings on it — time I usually reserve for audiobook work and editing, but my artist child wouldn’t leave me alone. I am still working on the title, though I think I have it now. Not completely sure. I want to live with it for a moment.

I have also been looking at where to divide the story. I suspect it’ll be two novels, each about 70,000 words. Looking at the dividing point, it would be somewhere around chapter 20 and I do have a great spot. It’s where Nyree tells Rivic to walk the path.

It was as I woke up this morning that I realized Walk the Path might make a good title for it. I am still open to suggestions though. If any of you, especially the readers who have been with me since near the beginning, have any ideas, I’d love to hear them. Read the rest of this entry »

Onesong – Chapter 41

May 2, 2018

There is part of this chapter that I’m unsure about. I feel that it needs to happen, because Rivic gets information he needs, but it just feels a little out of place. I think I need to add a scene or two earlier. I’ve talked about placeholders in the story, usually put there unintentionally by me until I figure out what I’m really going to place there and sometimes not. But as I recall, I have a placeholder which I had already fleshed out once, but it still feels a little lacking to me — it might be because I need to add a visit to the tea shop when Nyree is showing Rivic around Gohaldinest (remember that? Forever ago, huh?)

For the second time, I have “finished” writing this story. At least until yesterday when I was thinking that I still have several scenes to finish in addition to the list I already had made. I use to think that Sacred Knight was the never-ending story. I’m beginning to think it’s really Onesong. (grin)

But I did have to get back to writing Dragons of Wellsdeep while Onesong was in a cooling and reflection period. Something happened in Dragons that I realized I needed to put into Onesong. I have absolutely no idea what it was as I’m writing this, but I know its safe within Dragons.

We’re also getting closer to a new cover for Onesong (or the 1st book in the series), but more on that later.

Okay, let’s get onto it.

Onesong is an epic fantasy story filled with action, adventure, and sword and sorcery. Chapter 41 is available for 1 week only! Then it will turn back into a pumpkin and a new chapter will appear!  Read the rest of this entry »

Writing gimmicks

March 6, 2018

I was listening to a podcast where the writer was talking about using AI to write books. This writer was all for using every tool available, wanting to feed in her books as well as books by authors she likes and have it spit out a new novel for her.

Wow, I guess I’m old-fashioned. This appalled me to my very core. Yes, I’m all for using tools. I love to use Word over my old typewriter, or writing by hand. I love to draw in Clip Studio and am learning to use the vast array of tools in it like the perspective rulers. I’ve used the materials to make my drawings better. But letting the tools do all the work for you?

Where is the fun in that?

Don’t get me wrong: I do believe that technology offers us many great things. I’m glad to be living in this day and age. I’m so glad that technology gives me many opportunities with publishing that I didn’t have 25 years ago. I work digitally and traditionally with my art. But I don’t want technology actually “thinking for me” and creating my art. I never did like the software programs that helped a writer to plot a story. I like the process of discovery, of learning the story as I write. If AI is doing all that for me, or even part of it for me, then it is no longer my story. Why would writers want this?  Are we evolving to such a point that even creativity is being turned over to technology?

This just scares me as I see more and more people trying to convince others that they have a “system” that will help them to achieve success. Come take this seminar. Here’s my step-by-step program to________. All you have to do is X and you will receive $$$.  It feels like one desperate cry after another. Coach me. Follow this plan and you’ll get 10,000 people on your mailing list. Get you next 10 reviews on your book. Give me quick, give me easy, give me steps I can follow — gimme, gimme, gimme. Oh wait, get my advanced course and if you act now you’ll get my $999 course for only $49. Don’t forget the bonus content worth $2500. Granted, I wrote all that bonus content and you can actually get it for free from following my blog, and I set the value on it, but you’ll get it free.

It’s no wonder that everyone gets their hopes up and then feel devastated when things don’t work out.

Now it’ll be: take my free seminar and learn how to program your AI to write, market, and review your book. When does it end?

When is creativity no longer creative? If you take the human out of the art, either in partial or whole, can it still benefit humanity or is it just a tin can now? Once the novelty has worn off, will creativity actually created by human hands come back into fashion?

With all this going on, I just want to tell great stories and draw beautiful pictures. I like writing stories that play with people’s minds; I love being the first one to enjoy the adventure before I release it. I’m still working on the beautiful pictures — I’ll probably never being the artist I wish I could be, but that’s not going to stop me from enjoying what I’m doing.

People want success and they want it now. They forget they are building. My dad always told me that forts without foundations didn’t last long. I didn’t understand what he meant because he never explained what a foundation was in a way that I understood. I get it now. People take the seminars and adopt anything that can shorten their journey without actually working on their craft. When the going gets tough, they give up or hope for another strategy.

I wish I could say I was any different. I wish I could spend more time writing and make more money from it. I want it now. But I know that no seminar, technology, or success guaranteed or your money back box set is going to do what really needs to get done: the work, my work, my stories, my drawings. Only time and doing my best work at that moment in time will actually build the audience to sustain my career over the long term. AI won’t tell the stories like I will. I want readers to see my stories, not stories from someone else’s brain. Same reason I won’t hire ghostwriters.

Maybe I love doing all this work too much myself.

Maybe I’m too stubborn.

Maybe I am more old-fashioned than I think.

Maybe someday I’ll be in vintage fashion, a human actually creating art from my own thoughts. How can that possibly be? What do you mean she doesn’t use any gimmicks?

Yeah, that’ll be the story to tell.


Painting progress- 02/09/18

February 9, 2018

Like I said in my Monday progress post, I didn’t get much painting done last week, but I did enough to do a 10″x8″ study painting. Read the rest of this entry »