Progress – August 20, 2018

August 20, 2018
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View while I’m walking of the college campus

While taking my lunchtime walks this week, I finished up listening to Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s audiobook, The Freelancer’s Survival Guide. It’s interesting to see how things have changed in the 5+ years since this book was written as posts on her blog, then published. While there were many good gems in this book (brilliant advise I wish I’d had ages ago and some that I will be delving into myself over the next few years), there was one thing that really struck me and I want to share.

Don’t make the words fancy. Translation into other languages translates the story, not the words.

These were my notes, so I’m certain I paraphrased for me to remember. So often, I know I try to strive for just the right sentence or word. All too often, I feel like I’m just using the same words over and over. Oh look, another THE. How about and AND. Yes, I’m oversimplifying here, but that’s how it feels some days. It’s if I’ve just taken every word I learned in first grade, probably when we were pasting words into the sentences on our sheets, thrown them into a bag and shook them, and now I take them out one by one and line them up all in a row just like I did then.

I remind myself that my purpose it to entertain with a good story, not fancy words. I don’t want to mire my readers in a deluge of words to get through. No slough for them to cut through.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Ideas in weird places

August 2, 2018

Writers are often asked where they get their ideas.

While I can’t speak for other writers, I know that generally something (anything) sparks a character to start speaking to me. The ones that stick are typically very loud and won’t leave me alone. They tell me their story.

But that’s how the stories get started. Sometimes the more important plot elements of the story come from different places. I never know where I will get inspired.

Here are some examples and a little bit about what they roused: Read the rest of this entry »


Views from Salt Lake Gaming Con

July 6, 2018

Some views of and from my booth:


Progress – June 4, 2018

June 4, 2018

Have I mentioned my Instant Pot?

Yes, I’m still enjoying the new, shiny object. I don’t know who has been using it more: me or my son. He took a discounted pork roast that he found for $2.98 and made it into dinner for us for two nights. I’ve had $15 meals that didn’t taste as good as what he had prepared for us. We’re learning to use it to warm food up, even to cook something fresh and warm up something else. I made applesauce on Sunday night right before writing up this post.  Read the rest of this entry »


Onesong – Chapter 45

May 30, 2018

Keeping it short and sweet this week.

I thought about adding the next chapter after this one to the story, but the ending of the first part really needs a good break, so I left it here. It might end up being in the end of the previous chapter since it’s not very long at all.

I have divided the book and am beginning my review of the Tangled Magic section of it. I’ll have to re-imagine the ending a bit because it’s not solid right now, but it will all sort itself out. I trust the process. And I know it will be spectacular.

Thank you to readers who have finished Prince of the Ruined Land and excitedly wrote to me to find out if I was going to have the 5th Sacred Knight out soon (The Missing Thread) or these books in the Onesong series. Yes, Onesong is up next. I feel that I needed this part of the story first. The Missing Thread is my current Frankenstein’s monster. Well, sort of. It’s more like pieces and parts lying all around my lab on shelves waiting for me to return to them.

I have wondered if Steigan’s uncertainty is what is keeping me from writing the scene where Keteria wakes up. This is my biggest unknown at the moment. It’s not like I haven’t written the scene where she wakes up; I’ve actually drafted 4 different versions of it, then threw them all out because they aren’t right. Steigan is so worried about her and what’s going to happen, that I now have the nervous jitters about it.  Read the rest of this entry »


Progress – May 21, 2018

May 21, 2018

Oh, shiny!

That describes this week. At least partially.

I started off pretty good. Then I read a blog and it’s accompanying comments that irritated me. It was a writer’s blog by someone I respect, and even though my name wasn’t mentioned I felt as if this writer was taking a shot right at me and some of the things I’ve been saying on my blog lately. I felt as if I was being told that I was completely wrong, I’d never make it as a professional writer, and I might as well give up and quit wasting my time.

I really wanted to fire back with venom, but I listened to the wise little voice inside me which said not to, that I shouldn’t take on this battle, especially since who knows what inspired that writer to start taking fire. Did I really want to play Whack-A-Mole? No, best not to pop up my head.

Let’s face it: I’m probably not even a blip on this writer’s radar. Why take it so personally?

But my irritation stayed with me all day. Later that evening, still unable to shake it, I sat down with one of my oracle card decks and asked why I needed to have that experience.

I got two cards. The first said to remember that Love was the best teacher. The second said to view the situation with Love and see what it was trying to teach. So I did just that. I asked myself why I had to get angry over the lesson being spoken in this blog. Why was it hard for me to accept? Did I view it as true but I couldn’t admit it to myself?

I got an interesting answer. 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.