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Showing posts from August, 2014

Snippets of August

Below are some snippets from my current secret project:

William shook his head, mumbling to himself.He was not sure what he had expected from his father’s return, but this boisterous man before him was not it.

“Prince William?” Peter called, lifting his torch to see his master.“So God has seen fit to bring you both back to us in one piece, eh?” ***
     ...And William awoke in a sweat.He drew a shaky breath, silently cursing his father for ruining his dreams with his return.Then he raised his head from the pillow and looked about him, hoping that the sight of reality would drive his dream into oblivion. ***
The prince raised his hand, pointing an angry finger toward Decellus.“You think you have beaten me, but I will outsmart you yet!” he threatened. Decellus smiled, his eyes crinkling up in amusement.“Good,” he said.“You do that.” ***
“I always thought it was care for the people and support of her husband that were a queen’s first duties,” she argued, hating to think ill of Leramay’…

Secret Project Update

19,687 words      Last night, I finished my first draft of my secret project.  Do you know how delicious that feels?  I lean back in my chair and sigh.  My arms hang limp as though I have exhausted myself in some incredible athletic feat, my heart pounds with relief, and a warm contented feeling spreads over me.  My mind tries to temper any wild excitement with reminders of how much work is yet ahead of me.  The editing process looms, not letting me say that I am "all the way" done.  But another part of me hushes this logic, wanting to enjoy the feeling of completion, if but for a moment.  A hen could not crow more triumphantly over her egg than I can, at this minute, crow over mine.  I feel completely spent but happy.  I am done!  My first draft is done!  What a delicious feeling!      Stay tuned.  In a couple days, I will post some snippets from my first draft.  In the meantime, rejoice with me!

Reminders: Half-Baked and Plenilune

Just a quick reminder that Anne-girl's new blog, Half-Baked, is starting next Monday on September 1st.  Check it out.  :)

And, after that, we will have:
     Jenny's cover reveal for her upcoming book, Plenilune, on October 6th.  You can always see more about Jenny and Plenilune on her blog:

A Blogger's Challenge: Picture Story

Hello, all!  I have a bit of a challenge for you, if you will accept it.  I challenge you to write the beginning of a story based on the picture of your choosing.  This is purely meant to be an exercise in spontaneous writing and in building a good "hook" into your scene.  So, here is the rules:

1. Find a picture (pinterest, the internet, your own files, or somewhere else)

2. Write a scene, inspired by that picture.  It can be an opening scene or a scene anywhere in the book.

3. Post your picture and scene on your blog.

4. Leave a link to your post in my comments below.

5. Check back and see what others wrote.

     Easy enough, right?  And it should be lots of fun.  I can't wait to see what you guys write!

Some Blogs I Follow

     Today seemed like a good day to talk about some of the blogs that I follow.  I don't have a lot of time so I am not going to be wordy about it, but I wanted to share these with you.  Enjoy!
Here are some of the blogs that I follow:

Broken Clouds

"It will be good.  It will be normal, and, heaven knows, you need a bit of normalcy."  The words echoed in my mind as I stared out the window and waited for the plane to leave the tarmac.  My madre adottiva had spoken them 2 weeks before I left.  I could still see her frizzled blonde hair sticking out at odd angles as she stopped and ran her finger along my chin.  Always busy, she was.  Always rushing around to take care of the 9 children in her care, but she stopped for me...for that one moment.  Her eyebrows rose toward each other worriedly, and her lopsided smile showed that she pitied me for my hard life.
     Was my life hard?  I shifted in my seat, and the window showed me my reflection.  With my ash blonde hair tied back in a bun, you could see my facial features clearly.  My eyes were big and green, my nose very straight, and my chin small and pointed.  I tried to study my eyes to see what sort of person I was.  I have always found that you could tell a lot abo…

Announcement: Annegirl to Start a New Blog: Half-Baked

Most of you have heard me mention Anne-girl before.  I follow her blog (  She is one of the bloggers whom I feel has helped me to improve my writing, and, since I like her writing style, I trust her advice when it is given.
     I am pleased to announce that she is starting a new blog, especially designed to help aspiring authors to write better stories.  Here is what she says about it:

"Half Baked is a blog dedicated to the art of writing and exploring what goes into a solid story. The blog operates on the principal that most stories are like cake, delicious and scrumptious and all the other cake words that are out there. But just like cake, a story can come out gooey and shaky in the middle, half baked. This blog is meant to help turn awesome ideas into solid, fully baked novels. Stop by on September first to join in the release party. There will be contests and a giveaway and of course virtual cake.&quo…

Mixing Personal Life and Business

I happen to like James Herriot's books.  It has multiple elements that attract me: animals, medicine, veterinarians, country life, Great Britain, humor, life, death, joy, sorrow, and so much more.
      But one thing that makes them special -- a combination that I think not even Herriot realized would help make his books successful -- is the portion of his own life that is incorporated in the books.  It not only listed the amazing cases that he saw, and it not only gave a peek into the lives of the dale farmers, but it also followed James through his own life changes (new job, courtship, marriage, family, and so on).
     Which leads me to make two points:
1. Put yourself into your books.  Don't be afraid to share pieces from your own life.  Don't be afraid to be included in the story -- people care more than you think they might.
2. Your hero -- the person that your readers are following through the tale -- needs to speak to them in a way that makes them care about …

InkpenAuthoress Giveaway has started!

Hello, all!  If you live in the United States, you can enter this givaway hosted by Rachel Heffington at  She is giving away 3 books to the winner: Fly Away Home, Five Glass Slippers, and Eats Shoots & Leaves.  So go to the post: The Half-Dozen Giveaway Begins and check it out.

Liebster Award from Jessie

So, Jessie from Barefoot in the Snow, nominated me for the Liebster Award via a comment she left on my blog the other day.  I had no idea what she was talking about.  But, thankfully, I then went to HER blog and found a post about it.
     Its name makes no sense -- I do not know why it is called "Liebster" or "Award".  Essentially, it is an opportunity to answer someone else's questions for you and then, in turn, to ask questions of other people.  You can see it done properly on Jessie's post here (<--click on the word "here").
     So here are the questions that Jessie asked me and my answers to them:

#1: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where is the first place you'd go?  Why?
     First of all, you have to understand that my answer to this question changes constantly.  I have so many places that I would like to go -- I am really not sure where I would go first!
    But if I was picking one spot this very instant, I would li…

Happy Colors

(This has nothing to do with writing, but I saw this online and wanted to share it.  It makes me smile.)
Ever make mistakes in life? Let's make them birds... ...yeah, they're birds now.J

BB Villain posts

La Fin
     Hi, everyone!  I hope you enjoyed the BB Villain posts.  If you missed any, here is the collection:

Villain Scenes:
The World He Was Born Into
Gossip After His Birth
A Little Boy
Confession Letters
The Forgotten Prince
Attack the Weak
Lost Without You
The First Rat
The Cloak of War
Anything Alton Can Have, I Can Have
A Prince is Born
The Reaping Years

     Basically, in summary, I felt the need to explore my BB villain's backstory -- how did he become a villain?  I didn't want to write a whole book about a villain, but he really didn't want to be ignored either.
     And so I wrote this series of posts to help me see where Newel, Duke of Northumber, came from.  The last one,"Catalyst," takes place shortly before the beginning of my BB book. 
     If you want to know what happened to Newel after "Catalyst", then you will have to read BB (after I finish writing it).  But these 14 scenes that I have posted are all that I intend to post ab…

Beautiful People: August

Beautiful People is back.  Skye has posted the August questions.  I am answering the questions for 3 characters from my Secret Project.  Here it goes:

HERO From Secret Project:
1) What does your character regret the most in their life?
     The years he spent mourning for and hating his father.
2) What is your character's happiest memory? Most sorrowful memory?
Happiest: horseback riding with his father
     Most sorrowful: his father leaving him
3) What majorly gets on your character’s nerves?
Tedious rambling from other people
     Nosy people
     Bossy people
4) Do they act differently when they're around people as opposed to being alone? If so, how?
     Alone he is quiet and, if something has triggered a memory of his father, then he is tormented by all the same questions that tormented him when his father left.  He tries to occupy his mind on other things.
     Alone with his horse, he is content.  He is firm in his demands, but gentle and understanding, too.  And, espe…

InkpenAuthoress Giveaway

In honor of the six-month anniversary of her first published novel, Rachel Heffington is hosting a giveaway.  You can check it out on her blog.  It is first mentioned in this post "Half Dozen is a Cozy Term."

BB Villain: Catalyst

The sun was shining, and the world seemed dazzlingly brilliant.  Newel mounted his horse and rode for the castle.  With the news of his expected heir still ringing in his ears, he could not wait to look his brother in the eye, knowing that, at last, Newel had everything he wanted.
     Nothing but the sweet taste of long-awaited triumph filled Newel's mind as he arrived at the castle.  One servant helped him dismount, and another took his horse's reins.
     Newel bounded up the steps and into the castle with the light step of a man coming home after a long absence.  For once, Newel truly felt like he owned the world.
    "The Duke of Northumber," exclaimed a steward, rushing up to assist him with a look of surprise that said he was not expecting the visit.  "Can I help you?"
    "I'm looking for my brother," Newel answered.  He waved the steward away.  "Never mind, I will find him myself."  And Newel strode off, leaving the ste…

Cover Reveal for Plenilune coming soon!

I am posting this for Jenny:

BB Villain: The Reaping Years

The next 20 years were relatively stable ones.  Nothing dramatic happened to change the courses of Alton's and Newel's families.
     Alton and Newel worked out a relationship of polite distrust.  Always proper in appearances, always saying appropriate things with their lips, always watching the other for a misstep.  Each were convinced of the other's hatred.  Alton believed Newel was seeking his first opportunity to cause harm to the royal family in some way.  Newel believed that Alton was ever ready to humiliate or destroy him.  But they lacked either the proof or the power that would allow them to openly denounce the other.  And so they smiled at each other while their eyes warned, "one wrong move from you and I will barely let you live long enough to regret it."
     Newel's Rats were his fondest project.  He continued to develop its members, taking whatever talents suited him.  The Rats came from every station in life -- some were outcasts of the l…

Beautiful People: Heroine from Secret Project

I used July's Beautiful People for Willie from BB, but I am going to use it again for a character from my secret project.
     She is the daughter of a gardener, and she has lived her whole life on the estate of Lord Ives.

1) What’s their favourite food? (Bonus: favourite flavor of chocolate!)
She loves broccoli -- not cooked but raw.  And her father makes a cheesy buttermilk sauce to dip the florets into.  It's absolutely delicious, and he won't tell her how he makes it...not even now, when she is old enough to do the cooking.
2) What do they absolutely hate?
She hates to see people wronged.  She hates the way Lord Ives runs his estate.  She hates to see pain come to people she loves. 
3) What do they enjoy learning about?
She loves to read -- especially fictional stories.
And she loves to learn about plants from her father.
4) Who is the most influential person in their life?
Her father, of course.  Her world revolves around him.
5) What is their childhood fear?…

Mood Music

I was working on a scene about my BB villain (you can see the scene in the post here).  Naturally, I had to concentrate to delve into the mood of the scene. This is usually not too hard for me, but this time is was next to impossible because my sister was whistling this tune from the cartoon Robin Hood:

Needless to say, I needed one of these on my ears to finish the scene: J

Talk to Me: Colors

Jessie is hosting her monthly event: Talk to Me.  This month is "colors" and I am inviting my heroine from my secret project to talk on here.

Dear Readers,
My name is…a secret, at the moment.But I can tell you other things about myself.I am the gardener’s daughter.I have lived all my life on Lord Ives estate, wandering about the gardens with my father.
Perhaps this is why I was chosen to write about colors today.How I love them!The goldenrods, sunny susans, pink ladyslocks, gladiolas of every color, red roses, purple asters, blue speedwell, peonies and petunias, orange firehocks, burgundy pansies, violets, and every other flower under my father’s care have filled my life with color.
The color and sunshine go together.Every shade of every color is that much more vibrant in the sunlight.No wonder some of the flowers close up at night.I feel the same way.
Not all colors are the same, however.The colors of the flowers in the garden make me feel safe and happy, but the red and gray of…