Reflections from an emerging writer as she journeys through the creative process.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

To Kill or Not To Kill?

I'm just now finishing the last installment of the Dragon Stone Trilogy, Dragon's Fury and I find myself in a predicament with the antagonist who has been continually causing havoc throughout all three books. It was suggested to me that it would be too easy to just kill him off and I should consider other options for his demise.

One suggestion was to make him a servant to those whom he had caused the most trouble to. But that seemed a little trite and not the most effective way to show his punishment. Would he feel remorse because he had to serve his enemies? I doubt it. He needs to experience fear, which was something he never did feel all through the trilogy. Being arrogant and hateful, he never expected to lose.

Perhaps it will end in a face down with the dragons who are crying out for revenge. They desire that he face the Crown of Mar and stand before the Queen to receive his sentence. But would it be a cop out to have him escape? After three installments, I think everyone is ready to see him get his due.

To find out what happens to the evil sorcerer in Dragon's Fury, you'll have to wait until September 1st when it will be available on Smashwords and Amazon. Be prepared for a twist in his fate and not just a straight execution.



Dragon’s Fury

Somewhere in another timeline, Sebastian escaped from Kai, a magnificent dragon whose lifetime spans longer than most. Now Kai is trapped in the Valley of the Dragons after Sebastian set his magical barrier on top of its mountains. Kai roars fire and thrashes his wings against Sebastian’s devious spell. The seers proclaim that another young dragon and its rider will soon come to break the spell and release Kai from his imprisonment. He will finally be free! But Kai will not rest until Sebastian pays for his treacherous crimes against the entire kingdom. And so he waits until the day of reckoning; the day Sebastian will stand before the Crown of Mar.


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Insecure Writer's Support Group

Today is the first Wednesday of the month which means the Insecure Writer's Support Group convenes. Our host is Alex J. Cavanaugh (along with a few others) and the main web page can be found HERE.

I want to talk about something close to my heart right now. It's remembering to tell those around you that you care about them. Saying those fleeting thoughts of kindness may make all the difference in the world to a person who is feeling down or insecure.

On a personal note, my daughter Heather is in the hospital, in ICU and has been there for six days. Although she is finally getting better, there was a couple of days when she was critical and we didn't know which way she would go. I thought of all those things I wanted to say to her. How her life could be enriched with those words. Would I get the chance? Fortunately, I will. But it took this kind of disaster to make me remember that we must voice our feelings to family and friends.

I hope you are remembering to tell your friends that they are cared about and are special. If you haven't done so today, pick out someone and remember to encourage them.



Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Completing Tasks

Phew! I just finished the second edit on Damian of the Gods and sent it off to Dragon Knight Chronicles. This is hard work but exciting, as my story will be published in their anthology, along with an online edition.

I've discovered having a deadline makes me work more efficiently because I can't make excuses about the tasks I have to complete. I had to get the edit done by the 17th or be excluded from the anthology. So, I sat down and started working. I made a list of what I needed to accomplish each day and by the end of the day my list was all crossed off.

The only problem I had was interruptions. Telephone calls were the most annoying ones, especially when they were telemarketers, trying to sell me something. One day I felt like disconnecting my phone (which is an option for you extremists, but I like to talk to a few people). So, I allowed myself some talking time and told callers that I was working and only had limited time. That way, I didn't feel cheated, but got my work done at the same time.

I have the final edit still to do, but I feel it will go much smoother than the first two did. I'm prepared for the work and as soon as they return my manuscript I'll be back at the grindstone. It feels good to have a project to do, however, I had to put off finishing the last book of the Dragon Stone Trilogy, Dragon's Fury. I've had to push the publication date back to early fall so it can get edited.

I hope each one of you is working on a project that is as exciting to you as mine is to me. What are you working on? Do you have a publication date?

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Attitudes and Positive Affirmations

Attitudes make all the difference in the world. I've been exploring my own attitude about being a writer and how it affects my work. I've discovered that the poorer the attitude, the harder it is to write a good story. Lately, I've discovered a definite lack of positive affirmations to build me up and give me the courage to write. I constantly question my writing skills.

Am I really writing on a level that portrays what I'm trying to say?

Am I good enough to put my work out to the public?

I see other writers that are able to say their work is good. Why am I afraid to do this? Sometimes I lack confidence in myself and will find myself running self-criticism in my head. This is called your inner critic. An example of this is when I recently won third place in a writing contest. My reaction was: What? Did only three people enter?

I've been told that all writers go through periods of self-doubt and lack of confidence. With this in mind, I can lean on the fact that all writers have been through what I've experienced. Therefore, I've decided to give myself an exercise and attack the inner critic with a barrage of positive self-talk.

  1. I am an aspiring writer, climbing up the ladder and learning as I go.
  2. I can only be who I am and the more I write the better I will become.
  3. As my urge to write increases, my desire for more knowledge expands with it. This will make each story more in exciting and appealing.
  4. I am not alone, even though as a writer I write alone. My friends and colleagues support me with their critiques and friendship.
  5. I am a good writer. Each stage of growth proves that I grow and become better all the time.
Even as I write these positive affirmations I feel my inner being becoming stronger and lighter. The heavy burden of intense criticism is peeling away like the layers of an onion. What's left is the honest critiques that we give ourselves as writers.

If you are suffering from an inner critic that is hammering at you, try writing some "love notes" to yourself and see what happens! 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Insecure Writer's Support Group

I've been away from my blog for more time than usual as I finish up the last few chapters of my final novel in my Dragon Stone Trilogy and I re-write and edit a short story for a book. I apologize to my readers, since it is you who are left hanging.

I've been at a loss for what to post the last couple of weeks. My mind has been wavering on wondering why I should continue to post and what is it I could possibly have to say. Today I will tell you I'm feeling overwhelmed by edits and re-writes that make me wonder if my work is up to par. Perhaps all writers go through this stage while trying to get a manuscript published, and I shouldn't get too worried about it.

Whatever the reason, I can't wait to come up for air so I can take a breather. I'm swamped with chopping adverbs and re-arranging sentences to make the best presentation. Now, even when I'm writing a single paragraph of a letter, I find myself doing re-writes.

Do I feel insecure today? Absolutely! But the famous saying, this too shall pass, is hanging on my lips as I struggle onward.

Coming soon: Dragon's Fury (Dragon Stone Trilogy, Book 3)
 
Darius, the seventh son of the King’s new acolyte, is wanted by the King. Escaping arrest, he’s given a dragon stone and a dragon egg to guard until the egg hatches. Taking the egg to the desert, where the Zandir place him under their protection, the dragon hatches and becomes a loyal friend and fierce protector. The Great One, Zandir’s voice of the gods, gives them a mission to save the kingdom of Mar and reveals the well-kept secret that there is one left alive of the true King’s line. The Queen of Mar has been in hiding with the Zandir. But the false King refuses to go quietly and is exposed as an evil sorcerer that has been traveling through the timelines, taking what he will.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Congratulations


I'm giving myself a big pat on the back! I wrote a short story, Damian of the Gods, and it has been selected as the 3rd prize winner in a short story contest. It will be published in the Dragon Knight Chronicles, an online publication.

When I wrote this story, I had no idea that it would actually become selected from all their entries. In fact, recently, I've been feeling a little perplexed about my place in the scheme of things. Does my writing measure up? Is it actually giving my readers what they want?

Dragon Knight Chronicles called my story exciting. I had to go back and re-read Damian of the Gods to discover what it was about. It was about a young man discovering his place in the world and whether he was ruled by the gods or if he ruled himself. I sometimes ask that same question. You know, the chicken or the egg? Anyway, it was good to get some recognition. I think we all need that once in a while.

Have you written any short stories lately? Have you entered them in any contests? It takes guts to enter your stories, doesn't it? It steels the nerves, even when most of the time you don't win.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Aspiring Writers


As an aspiring writer, I got a kick out of this diagram. So many times I sit down to write and wonder why I decided to do this. I'm on the last part of my new novel, Dragon's Fury, and I've been writing and re-writing the same passages for the last week and a half. The ending is the worst part for me. It has to be just right. I'm sure you've had a little of these feelings, haven't you?