Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Creative Mind

There are many ways an artist tunes up his/her mind in order to keep it brimming with ideas. Some people meditate, while others enjoy the stimulating company of other people. Whatever your choice is, it's important to feed your creativity on a regular basis.

Here are some ways to stimulate your mind (in no particular order):

1. Puzzles and games: these offer challenges to the mind as you work out the solutions to the problems.

2. Plays and movies: these offer dramatic input.

3. Books: reading brings new ideas for the artist's own work.

4. Music: relaxes the soul and also revs up the creative mind.

5. A walk or drive in new surroundings: seeing new places stimulates our curiosity.

6. Artwork: relaxes the body and mind.

Whatever you choose to do (and there are more not on this list) you can be sure that you'll find yourself refreshed and ready to begin new creations. What do you like to do to stimulate your creative mind?

Friday, August 14, 2015

Galaxy Nomads: Free For You!

Now! Just until August 30th you can get a copy of Galaxy Nomads: Chronicles of the MacKenzie Clan FREE!

Use this coupon FP94H and go to Smashwords HERE. I hope you enjoy reading this exciting book.

Galaxy Nomads
Chronicles of the MacKenzie Clan

The MacKenzie clan is forced to flee from the devastating destruction of a supernova and is challenged to a ruthless game of survival. When all seems hopeless, a new generation arises to battle their worst enemy in a unique battle of wits. Will the MacKenzies survive betrayal, pirates and wormholes to the outer quadrants? Here they find a new race of people on the Patchouli planet where the female is Alpha. They learn wisdom from the mystics and seers on their jaunt through the universe and from across the galaxy two brothers are reconciled to each other. They experience love and hate in the Merridian sector when a prince is abducted and must be rescued before a cruel cousin steals the throne. An epic read that will send you spiraling at warp speed through all the MacKenzie generations.

"Anyone who tells you it's impossible is wrong and you should probably stop taking their advice."  ~~James Patterson ~~

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Beginning of "Blue Moon"

In the middle of working on a sequel to my latest novel I found myself sketching out the beginning of a short story. I have so much fun creating new stories. Now I want to share the beginning of Blue Moon with you.

Blue Moon

The Beginning

One final scorching war on Earth caused the Terrans to scatter across the universe. The planet suffered from a war of paralyzing toxins that sent the survivors scrambling for clean air. They searched for soil unfettered from the poisons that covered the ground, making Earth an impotent ball of rock. It had become a dust bowl unable to produce any kind of growth. Through the search for better land, the clans sprang up. They were groups of people bound together for survival. Connor was a rare specimen, who still had muscle mass even on the food supplements his clan could provide. Because of this, he became a protector. A warrior in his clan, trained to fight and win.
Although food was scarce on Earth, technology continued to increase. Interplanetary travel had been developed for large groups and many clans left Earth for more fertile worlds. Connor’s clan was small, with only fifty-four ships in its fleet, so they didn’t have enough firepower to win a skirmish over a place to stay. They became galactic gypsies; trading their services and goods for a brief respite on a planet. That is, until they found what was called the Blue Moon orbiting the large planet Arcturus. The Blue Moon was a century’s old, uninhabited planet that was rejected by other civilizations because of its proximity to the well of evil that occupied Arcturus. That evil called itself the Hunters.
The Hunters possessed technology that was arcane to most worlds and they used it to create a weapon so terrible that it was outlawed on most other planets. This was the latchpin. A device that, on its highest setting, would melt its way through a Terran, leaving only fizzling goo behind. The Hunters were proud of their skills at domination and supremacy. They would make war on all who would appear in their quadrant. Those that survived became their slaves.
Connor’s clan hadn’t met up with their society before, but they were desperate for a place to rest and recuperate. Regardless of the latchpin stories, they decided to negotiate a treaty with the Hunters. After all, they couldn’t let a perfectly good planet go to waste.

I hope you enjoyed this prologue to Blue Moon. The entire story will be available near the end of the year. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

First Drafts

Are first drafts always the hardest part of your WIP to hammer out? Or do you breeze through, typing from an outline that fills in like a color-by-the-number painting?

I've found that even though I have an outline, I still struggle with fleshing out my characters and making them individuals. I don't think I've ever breezed through a first draft.I wish I could get through the entire manuscript without wanting to change everything before I finish.

Right now I'm on chapter 8 (working with an outline) and I'm adding in extra ideas that are causing the chapter to go in a different direction. How will I make it to chapter 9? Have you ever experienced this dilemma? What did you do? I'm considering re-writing chapter 8 again. Or should I continue on and finish the first draft before I do anymore re-writes?

Tell me what you think about first drafts and how you solve any problems in them. Do you ignore mistakes and finish the draft?

Monday, July 20, 2015

Re-Post: Splitting Infinitives

To Boldly Go!

This was originally posted on Sunday August 18, 2013. This was a good point that I wanted to share again.

 Have you had a grammar lesson lately?

I was doing a little reading this morning and discovered I have a bad habit. I like to split infinitives. What it that? Infinitives are words starting with to, for example-. To go, to run, to walk. When you split them, you generally add an adverb between the to and the word-to boldly go, to quickly run, to slowly walk. The most famous one comes from Star Trek, To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before.

Over time, the rules bend and change about grammar. Originally, English rules were taken from those of Latin. And since an infinitive was not split in Latin, it was carried over into English. That was then, and this is now. To see an infinitive split in writing and not be edited out shows evolution of the English language. We are more accepting of how we use our language.

I'm not an expert on grammar. I don't have a degree in English, nor do I pretend to have some extensive research done on the subject. But I spend a portion of each day as most of you do, hammering out those sentences that create our stories. This counts for something, I hope. And my belief is that we need to create the most exciting, emotional experience for our readers that we can. And if it means to split a few infinitives along the way, I only hope they don't get eliminated when they reach the editor's pen.

Do you split infinitives? Does it matter to you? Do you see grammar rules changing? 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Summer Doldrums

Summertime is the time when I lay back and relax. Although I'm working on a sequel to Galaxy Nomads, called Gemini: Chronicles of the MacKenzie Clan, I'm moving at a slower pace. I like to call it the summer doldrums because I'm like this picture: I'm lying on the beach staring out at the water wishing I was somewhere else.

But I'm not somewhere else, so I have to make the most of these lazy days. The caption on this picture says: Make Each Day A Memory! While I lie on the beach, I need to do something that will make this day special. It doesn't have to be something major, just a small thing to remember. The fun thing is that some of those special things I can use in my books. It's the things that I do and observe that develop into parts of my stories.

How do you make memories and get special ideas for your books? Are you in the summer doldrums? What do you do to get out of them?

Thursday, July 9, 2015

A Silent Soliloquy Blog Tour

I'm happy to welcome L.G. Keltner on day 4 of her blog tour. I asked Ms. Keltner to talk about the writing process that evolved into her new book A Silent Soliloquy.

First of all, I’d like to thank Karen Elizabeth Brown for letting me stop by her blog today!

I’d like to talk a little about the writing process behind A Silent Soliloquy.  This story developed in a rather disjointed and bizarre way.  Anyone who knows me won’t be shocked by this fact.  It started life as a couple of short stories that didn’t seem to have all that much to do with each other at first.  Kali’s storyline began as a piece of flash fiction that went on to be rejected by a couple of online magazines.  In retrospect, I’m glad it was rejected now.  My novella probably wouldn’t exist in its current form if that rejection hadn’t happened.

Around that same time, I was working on a slightly longer short story that involved Lassandra Rourke and The Dream Factory.  I became caught up in her story and the kind of world she lived in.  It was clearly a dystopian society, but I wanted to know more about it.  Even though it was originally meant to be a standalone short, I felt like there was more to be discovered.  Still, I didn’t know what that nebulous “more” was, so I set aside for a while.

During this time, I had the disconcerting feeling that I’d never be able to finish anything.  I suspect we’ve all felt that way before.

A few months later, I touched on Mitchell’s story for a blogfest.  The portrayal of an awkward kiss and Mitchell’s need for secrecy inspired me to ask a fateful question: How would it feel to be fundamentally unable to communicate with the world around you?  That question seemed to link up with the portrayal of mental illness and exploitation in The Dream Factory.  It also made me think of the genetic experimentation in Kali’s story, and I began to envision a silent girl.  This girl had been weaponized, but the process that made this possible left an intact personality trapped inside, unable to speak or control the body she lived in.

The connections between the stories grew stronger as I pondered them, and over time, I was able to weave them together to create A Silent Soliloquy.  The project was both exhilarating and daunting, and it took me quite some time to get it to the point where I felt pleased with the result.  Though I frequently felt frustrated, I couldn’t give up.  This story demanded to be told, and I can only hope I’ve done it justice.

*   *   *

Title: A Silent Soliloquy
Author: L.G. Keltner
Genre: Science Fiction/Dystopian
Length: 28,000 words
Cover Art: Devross
Release Date: July 6th, 2015


TIPPIE was created to be a weapon.  By all appearances, she's an ordinary girl of 18, and she uses that to her advantage in her work for The Facility.  What no one sees is that there's another girl buried deep inside.  She can't speak or control the movements of the body she inhabits.  As TIPPIE's silent passenger, she can only observe.  She uses the details she learns from TIPPIE's work to reconstruct the stories of other people's lives.  It helps her feel a little more connected to the world she can only watch.

When TIPPIE's work leads her to David, a young man with a haunted past and information that The Facility wants, TIPPIE uses her skills to earn his trust.  The silent girl beneath the surface knows that TIPPIE is only going to hurt him, but she can't help but feel for him.  Those feelings only grow, but she knows all too well that TIPPIE's work will soon come to an end.


L.G. Keltner spends most of her time trying to write while also cleaning up after her crazy but wonderful kids and hanging out with her husband.  Her favorite genre of all time is science fiction, and she’s been trying to write novels since the age of six.  Needless to say, those earliest attempts weren’t all that good. 

Her non-writing hobbies include astronomy and playing Trivial Pursuit.

You can typically find L.G. lurking around herblog, on Twitter, or on her Facebook page.

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You can also add it on Goodreads.