Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The writing life...

Starts, stops, lulls, creative sparks, flashes of brilliance, rewrites, doubts, re-dedication and determination, and ultimately writing is happening! Book two is in the works, though painfully slower than I'd hoped...but still faster than book one! Loving the continued support of friends, family, readers, and peers!

I have decided to finish writing the complete series and then publish the remaining books back-to-back.  And then it will be on to the next series, a prequel to Celestina Silvenfare: The Legend Begins, featuring all the great aunts in their youth.  

Also hoping to publish a few novellas in between all this series writing and publication.  I have so many fun and interesting characters, I think it will be interesting to let some of them have a few adventures on their own.

It's up to me at this point.  I'm the only one standing in my way.  "Down in front!" 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Google me this, Batman?

Why are there more than a couple of words in the English language to describe a quantity of "2 or more?"  Aside from the obvious word "two" which can only ever be a quantity of 2, you would think there existed  one more word that could be substituted to specify a quantity of two, and that other specific words would  then describe quantities greater than two.  But, you, and until recently, I, would be wrong.

My lesson occurred just before Thanksgiving 2013 during a quasi-heated discussion I participated in between me and my parents, Sue & Phil (a "couple" by definition when describing two people who are married, living together, or on a date), about words that describe quantities.  What I learned is that these words are not as cut-and-dry as I previously thought.  Now typically, during any argument involving me, Sue (a very intelligent, well-read, super-smart woman) and Phil (an aggressive arguer who enjoys a lively debate and will sometimes argue for the sake of argument), I'm on Sue's side.  She's rarely wrong; but even knowing this I apparently had some strong opinions about the correct use of certain words describing quantities, and inexplicably, Phil shared the same viewpoint.  So we argued until someone (that someone being Sue) thought to pull out their "smart" phone and put the debate to rest.

Before I share what I learned, and what you may already know, I'd like to present my side of the argument.  I mean, if "selfies" can become a word and be added to the urban dictionary, why can't we alter the definitions of existing words as they evolve in our ever-changing cultural vernacular?  Or maybe I'm just being an idiot.  I'll let your comments decide.

My argument is/was as follows: a "couple" is two; a "few" is at least three but not more than six; "many" is more than three but less than ten; and "several" is four or more.  I thought that was a sound argument; turns out I was wrong on every count.

According to our research, we learned the following: a "couple" is "two or more;" a "few" is described as "more than one" but I also read other very vague definitions that didn't narrow down a quantity range; "many" was equally vague with regard to specific number ranges; and "several" is described as "more than one" but also as "at least two but less than many."  Huh?

I think the best use of these words can be summed up as follows: We have a few too many words to describe a couple of things!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

I LOVE Barnes & Noble Bookstores

I was fortunate enough to be a part of the booksellers "Discovery Friday" event on November 22nd, 2013. I spent the day at the Barnes & Noble in Morrow, GA, where I grew up, and was able to promote and sign books most of the day.  Amy Allen, the CRM at that location, was extremely gracious, as was the entire staff, including the store manager.  I felt appreciated and respected as a writer, and the reader interaction was priceless.  This was a definite high point in my literary career and it helped remind me of why I do what I do.  It is the reason I drove five hours (traffic!) there and four hours back, van loaded with books, signs, cards, postcards, and anything else I could cram in, all for the chance to meet folks that might want to read my book.

I met several, as it turns out, and the experience reinvigorated me.  It also changed my thinking on at least one important thing.  I realized that if Barnes & Noble is supporting writers in that way, why am I not supporting them more?  Sooo... Goodbye Kindle, Hello Nook!  Amazon can't put me face-to-face with hundreds of potential readers, though I would like to state that Amazon does provide great services for writers and readers.  It's just that I can't imagine life without a great brick & mortar bookstore like Barnes & Noble.  If I accomplish nothing else with this blog, I hope I at least get you thinking about where you make your next book purchase.  I don't know about you, but I remember spending hours shopping for great fantasy books when I was a kid and then later into adulthood (until I was lulled into the great bastion of online shopping that is Amazon), perusing book covers, holding a physical book in my hand prior to purchase, stacking them up until it came to final decision time on my purchase.  I miss that; I want more of that.

With that said, the only gifts I'm giving this holiday season are Barnes & Noble gift cards!      

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

All right, already, I'll start blogging...

I was told recently that I'm not as funny as I think I am.  Ouch!  Well, I always thought I was at least clever, which begs the question, Why aren't I blogging?  I mean, isn't that what writers are supposed to do?  I did make a previous attempt to start a blog a little over a year ago, and managed to create one lonely post that attracted zero comments; I'll never know if it even reached anyone.  This was back before I published my first book.  I had read that it was important to have an "Author Platform" prior to releasing a book.  This never made sense to me, especially for a fantasy fiction series, but then, I've learned much in the months since, and one very important thing I've learned is that writers should be doing anything and everything in an effort to connect with readers.

So, in an effort to start connecting, here's the story of how I became a writer.  I received the inspiration for my main character, Celestina Silvenfare, on July 3rd, 2008, while driving along the picturesque mountain roads of East Tennessee on the way to Gatlinburg.  I remember it so well because I was in the midst of studying a metaphysics course on witchcraft and the ideas for the story began filling my brain so rapidly I had to flip my course reading over and start jotting notes about characters, story ideas, etc., so as not to lose the inspiration.  Much of what I wrote during that two-hour car ride made its way into my first novel.  I eventually finished the course--from which I gleaned a ton of research for my main character--and I still have the original handwritten notes to cherish forever.  I like to refer back to them from time-to-time to reflect on the exact moment my life changed forever: the moment I embarked on a path to becoming a writer.  

So hopefully we're starting to connect, you and I.  It's a start, anyway.