Friday, September 21, 2018

Ripping Apart Your Own Work

Two weeks ago I finally finished the first draft of my outline for Veridian. This week I am trying to stitch it back together. This always happens. I finally get the outline done and then I talk it through with my husband who is my sounding board.  He inevitably asks questions that lead to more questions that lead to a meltdown because my plot has holes I didn't see before and now everything is ruined! Or something to that effect.

This time I was going over the technology predictions and political map of my scifi thriller and he pointed out some things I could do better...and some things that I could do without. Needless to say I was both excited to make the changes and frustrated to be back at square-one after finally finishing an outline that was truly a struggle to wrangle into completion in the first place. Blerg!

But a fellow author friend of mine who gives me the best encouragement sent me the graphic above. Its great advice that I promised to keep in mind. What I am doing now is just the beginning. I don't know why I forget this EVERY time I start another book.

Maybe its the dreamer in me that wishes to show you with perfect detail the amazing sights I have in mind. Whatever the reason...I will remind myself that first drafts suck as a rule. I can't very well edit something that isn't there.

So as I head into the weekend I plan on getting a ton done on this outline. We'll see!  Hope you all have a wonderful time recuperating from this busy week!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Giveaway and Skywatch Musings

July and August are my favorite months of the year because the sky has to offer so much to skywatchers like myself. From aphelion to Mars in opposition, its summers should be.

However, as we slide into September, big changes are on their way. Venus sinks deeper towards the horizon and gets brighter. The gas giants will dominate the southern view of the sky. And all of it points towards the autumn equinox on the 22nd.

I find skywatching both relaxing and exciting. If there is a thing. I anticipate the beauty and fun with my family. We often have viewing parties and we blow up an inflatable mattress, haul out the hot coco, and snuggle in soft blankets with our faces towards the heavens. But after the kids have grown fidgety and gone to bed and hubby wanders off to grade papers, I relax and wait for the moon rise or the fleeting streak of a comet.

I am trying to keep this attitude with my current WIP. Right now there is the anticipation that research and daydreaming and plotting brings. The want of what will come. But I am not enjoying the rest and enjoy part of it. I need to change that.

So today I broke out the watercolors and messed around with adding some creativity other than writing to my daily life. I am not good at painting. Terrible really. Which is freeing somehow because I can do it with the goal of having fun as opposed to making it perfect.

I keep trying to remind myself that the first draft is the sand. I'm shoveling it into the sandbox so that I can make castles later. Thank you, Shannon Hale, for that awesome reminder that first drafts are supposed to suck. 

I have some great news to share with all of you! This month until September 20th The Tremblers will be .99!  Its to celebrate this HUGE giveaway and contest going on over at My Book Cave. There's prizes up to $400 and tons of gifts.

So if you'd like to check it out, head on over to My Book Cave's Pelican Book Group Extravaganza! And check out The Tremblers a steampunk thriller for only 99 cents!

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Wax Seals and Penny Dreadfuls: A Writer's Tools

One of the things I love most about the writing life is that I allows me to connect with other people. Some from far, far away whom I might never have met otherwise.  So when I send out signed copies for prizes or what not, I always try to include a special letter to my fellow book lovers.
The one I wrote for the Blackburn series is especially dear to me because it talks about how the heroine, Charlotte, helped me to process memories of some difficult times.  I hope her story inspires you like it did me.
Plus...I get to play with fancy quills and wax seals. Also a major writerly perk.
To keep from going mad with all the deadlines and writing goals, I have resolved to work more reading time into my schedule. I'm currently reading a lovely Penny Dreadful compilation I picked up a while ago. It begins with the estimable Mary Shelly. I haven't read Frankenstein in over a decade.  
It even has The Mummy's Curse by Louisa May Alcott. I've not had the pleasure of reading anything of hers other than Little Women so this should be a treat. I hear it is a creepy little tale involving hapless Egyptologists and ancient curses.
I'm currently working on a near future scifi thriller. So I get to do a lot of research on mega structures and neurotechnology. Not to mention wade through the space elevator arguments. There are apparently wildly differing opinions on the feasibility of such a thing.
It is great fun to imagine what might be. And creating the moody atmosphere of Veridian with all its neon and smooth, cold glass is something of a challenge. Its amazing how much I want to juxtaposition lush fabrics and vivid colors to that sterile world. Working on the wardrobe aesthetic of my main gal, Elara. Beauty, brains, and a bad temper.  I think some blood red lips might do. 

Photos by: m-ban, eden acrchives, and art of soulburn.