“Apple butter!” a
little voice exclaimed.Belle looked up
to see a small boy in the doorway.He
ran to her side and grabbed her sleeve.“Did you bring any with you?” ~BB Rab was
hunting.Belle watched him creeping under
the ivy by the stone wall fence.Then
his body poised motionless, nothing acknowledging his mistress’ presence except
the flick of his tail. ~BB Annie stood up
from the table and carried her empty bowl to the dish basin, scrubbing the
remnants of oatmeal from her bowl.She looked
over her shoulder at Belle.“Were you
much frightened, miss?” she asked.“Last
night, I mean.” Belle’s heart
squeezed uncomfortably at the memory.“Yes,” she said, simply.She
still felt a little terrified. ~BB In all honesty,
there were few flash-backs of his life that brought the duke any comfort.He turned his eyes away from his brother’s
gaze and ducked behind a small group of nobility who were discussing the
follies of neighboring kingdoms.Intolerable small talk, thought the
duke.He only attended parties f…
As I have mentioned before, there are a couple blogs that have been especially inspiring to me as a writer. Periodically, I analyze these blogs -- what exactly do I love about them? What makes me keep coming back for more? And, as I marvel at their greatness, I hope to one day be able to write just as well.
Over the past few weeks, I took a different tactic. I started reading the archives of one of the blogs, pouring over the posts from her first year. And you know what? While sparkling with potential, they were not so great as to have captivated me.
Those clumsy attempts at blogging are now hidden in the archives, but I feel that I am currently writing my own archives. The encouragment in this is that, as I continue to work on it, I have every bit as much of a chance for excellence. I have a tendency to want to do something perfectly from the moment I start it, but that is not always the way it works. Even the greats began somewhere, writing the things that wo…
I spoke with a representative from a self-publishing company the other day. None of my projects are ready to publish, but it is sometimes beneficial to study your publishing options ahead of time. I looked at several companies and ordered free information packets from a couple of them. One company then had a representative call me.
She had several interesting and helpful things to say, and perhaps I will share them in another post sometime. But one word of wisdom appeared when I confessed I had 3 works in progress.
You should focus on and finish your novels one at a time.
It's not a bad piece of advice. I find that I do my best work when one project takes the lead and it becomes my sole focus. So why do I have 3 projects?
Perhaps it is my immaturity as a writer. There are times when one project is "stuck," and I find it very therapeutic to work on something else for a little while.
Plus, my three current projects are Dungeon, BB, and Aria…
My BB project has over 28,000 words now. That makes it longer than any of my other current projects. I think this will be a full-length novel when it is finished.
Flashbacks are a big part of this story. The story I want to tell is the one happening in Rottly Mansion, but there is a history that affects the "now" of the story. I feel like the reader needs to know the history in order to fully understand both my hero and my villain. But there are many ways to introduce a reader to the history and I am experimenting with multiple types.
As the narrator, I can simply tell the history in a few short words.
Or my character can have a flashback --whatever scene they are in currently is interrupted by their mind's journey into the past where they relive some moment from their history.
Or multiple characters can discuss the past together (George says, "Hey, Frank, remember when we tried to tame that wild pony?" and Frank says, "You m…
Greetings, all! I was reading other people's blogs earlier this week and was impressed with this one.We tend to compare ourselves to the standards around us, basing our value on these things. Where does that lead us? Nowhere. Whether we meet the social standards or not, we usually end up disatisfied with the comparison (unless we are terribly cocky...and even then...). So check out what the author has to say: Dancing with God.
So, Joy sweetly commented that she was interested in knowing more about Ariana's Island. So here is the clip where Ariana finds part of a name or a sign. It is not polished yet, but you get the idea of what is happening. Enjoy!
Ariana set off
through the trees and underbrush, headed for the beach. The southeast
beach was the closest.Ariana stepped
out onto the sand with a happy sigh.She
truly loved it here on the island.She
kicked her shoes off at the edge of the forest and stepped into the loose sand
with bare toes. Ariana took
her time as she strolled along the beach near the water, picking up shells and
other small things that struck her fancy.The sand was warm, and it stuck to her wet legs. Ahead of her,
a wave toyed with a piece of wood.It
was not a large piece of wood, but it caught Ariana’s attention.She splashed through the next approaching
wave and picked it up. It was flat,
like a board, and badly broken around the edges.Ariana turned the board over in her
August18 Cochina left
the plane wreckage at sunrise.She was
off to do her own hunting.I ate a
breakfast of nuts and berries and made a mental note to go fishing later today.
about what Alden Johnson had said about this island not being on the maps.That’s what our pilot had said, too.“He-llo!I haven’t seen that before,” he had said.It’s funny how these things play over and
over in your head. After Papa’s
illness and death, Grandma thought Eric and I needed a trip.There was an event at the Southeast Avian
Conservatory.Eric loved birds.He was so excited.Grandma found a private pilot to take us
there.I would have preferred to stay at
home but Eric couldn’t go without me.I
had to laugh as I boarded the plane (Cochino, as the pilot called it) because
both Eric and Grandma each presented me with a journal as a “thank you for
going” gift.What was I going to do with
2 journals on such a short weekend? The flight was
wonderful until a storm dr…
My villain starts out as a shy little boy. His natural personality is to be cautious, and, as a child, he tends to dream about things more than actually do them. At this age, he has the potential to become something great, something that HE was meant to do.
He is born to the second wife of a king. The king truly loved his first wife, marrying again only because he was pressured to provide a queen for the kingdom. From his first wife, he had a son named Alton.
Alton took very naturally to kingly things. He was a leader of men, strong and capable. He won the people's hearts by his actions as much as by his bloodline. And his father was very proud of him. Alton was the sort of son he could take with him everywhere.
My villain, as a little boy, was usually left at home with his mother and his nursemaids. In truth, the little boy was so shy and awkward that the king assumed he was happier at home. However, the little boy perceived it as a lack of love.
So, in February, I won a raffle hosted by Anne-girl on her blog: Scribblings of My Pen and Tappings of My Keyboard . The prizes were 4 "for fun" bookcovers designed by her. I won two of them.
The first bookcover she did for me was for Dungeon. You can see a post about that one here.
The second one is the one you see here in this post. It is for a story called "Ariana's Island." What do you think of it? I think it is beautiful, and I feel like the cover would attract me if I were to see it on a shelf somewhere. At least, I would pick it up and flip through it to see if it were any good.
Again, it was a delight to work with Anne-girl as she created this for me. Thank you, Anne-girl!
P.S. If you want to read more about Ariana's Island, click on the label by that name or look under the page "Works in the Wings."
So today is my 6-month anniversary of starting this blog. I started in October and it is April now. So far, I have 5 "followers", 23 published comments, and 1,923 pageviews. I expect that, by the end of the year, I will look back on these numbers at laugh at their smallness. But, for now, I am happy.
It seems like an anniversary is a good time to celebrate. And, since this is a writing blog, I decided to celebrate with a short story challenge. Short stories are great opportunities for honing your skills, and, if you are buried in a much longer project, they can be a welcome break. Give this a try! For those of you who like a prompt, you can start the story with the words: "He never knew..."
See what you can come up with! It should be fun to see what everybody writes. Once you write your story, you can post it on your own blog and then paste the link to it in the comments section below. I can hardly wait to read it.
There is more information…
Katie at Whisperings of the Pen is hosting another writing snippets link-up. Here are my recent snippets from BB and Ariana's Island. (Dungeon is under a rewrite and I don't feel like I have anything clever to share from that project yet.) So, without further ado, here are my snippets: Rab rubbed his
cheek against her knee comfortingly and looked up at her with big eyes that
seemed to say, “Milk will make us feel better.” ~BB Grimm’s eyes flew
open.For a moment, he did not know
where he was.Then his eyes landed on
the ornate bedpost of the rotting frame he slept on, and he remember that he
was banished to a dilapidated mansion in a remote area to care for a shamefully
ill master.Grimm groaned and rolled
A chicken stirred in the grasses, settling in for the night.Rab hissed at it.He was beginning to feel irritated with the world. ~BB “Because we will
die,” Grimm said.“If we are found, we
will all die.”Grimm hated his
position.He hated being forced to hide
I remember a dance instructor I had when I was a little girl. She professed to have a short attention span, and all the little girls loved her for it. In truth, she was dynamic and energetic. She kept the class moving, and the focus of every little girl was on her. She claimed that she did it like that so she wouldn't get bored, but it had the same benefit for us, too. We loved her.
Sometimes I want to approach my writing the same way. If I am bored...surely my readers will be, too. That's not to say that everything must be fast-paced action, but it should be something that you (the author) would like to read.
Withdrawing her hand from the engraved door, the princess glanced around her.This had been her life.She rarely left these two floors – what need had there been? – and even in her usual haunts she did not open all the doors.She passed doors every day that were known to be merely the shortcuts for servants or unused rooms.The nagging thought that a dungeon could have existed in her own castle without her knowledge emerged again.She felt like she knew her castle, but did she? ~Dungeon
Editing novels is new to me -- especially editing my own. It is not an easy process. In emailing a friend the other day, I described my allegorical baby encased in concrete while I stood over it with an axe. Somehow, I have to chip the concrete away -- my baby cannot live like he is. And yet I hesitate for fear that I will hurt him,. I can hardly tell which is concrete and which is baby. What if I whack away the wrong piece? This is what editing feels like to me.
The fact remains that…
Anne-girl is nearly finished the second bookcover for me. I am so excited. Here is a picture she made for me, and below that is an excerpt from Ariana's Island. A Stormy Night The rain
started the next morning, softly at first but gaining strength.By the late evening, Ariana and her falcon
took shelter in her wreckage to wait out the storm.Ariana lit her candle and wrote some more in
August 15 It’s raining.The wind is picking up and the sky looks
angry.I would hate to be on the sea
tonight.I am quite content to stay in
my airplane wreckage with my bird and feast on berries and seaweed.
up and stroked her falcon’s spotted chest.The bird blinked sleepily and made a contented coo.Ariana took up her pen again to continue
I wish I knew what kind of bird she
is.All I know is that she is some type
of bird of prey.My brother Eric would
have known.He loved birds. I named her Cochina.The pilot whose plane we rented said he had
named his plane “Cochino” becaus…
Rob breezed through the front door, hung his coat on its hook, and grabbed the mail from his slot. No one else was home so he headed to his room. He was a little surprised to find the house so quiet. Usually it was alive with his four younger siblings and all the little neighborhood children. And Spot. Where was Spot? Rob looked around for the exuberant puppy and whistled, but no sound of scampering paws met his ears and no adoring eyes appeared to watch his every move. Strange.
No doubt they were all outside somewhere doing childish things. Rob squared his shoulders, feeling very proud of his new job at the pharmacy. He was a man now, with all of his 16 years, and too old to romp with the neighborhood children as he had last summer.
He flopped across his bed, sorting through the mail. There wasn't much of interest. He read the title of a magazine and then let his eyes wander across the room. They focused on a pill bottle, capsized on the floor. What …
The damp leaves were silent under my feet, for which I was grateful. The more invisible I was the better. I had seen no sign on my pursuers for some time and was hopeful that they had given up. But still I felt the need to discreetly put as much distance as possible between myself and the world I left behind.
The land rose and fell before me as I climbed through a series of small ravines that had once been creeks and tributaries. At the top of one of these, I paused to soak in my surroundings.
The birds chirped and pecked, accepting me as one of the forest folk. It made me feel strangely accepted, and my heart was comforted. Perhaps here was where I belonged.
The rain from the night before made everything soft and supple. The oranges, reds, and golds of autumn leaves looked even more brilliant with water still clinging to them, and they contrasted against the wet bark of the trees. I inhaled the soft, musky-sweet scent, almost tasting it, as I scanned th…