• Writing

    And here we go…

    So I did it. I signed up for the 100 day challenge to write a book. I kind of feel like I’m cheating, since I’m  close to 3/4 done. My plan, though, is to use the time to go back through and start revising and get feedback on what I have done, put some polish on it, and use the deadlines and framework as some structure to add some discipline. The writing process has been so long that I’m not entirely sure I’m even going to like what I go back to re-read. The prospect, though, of having a completed manuscript by September is so very, very exciting. The challenge…

  • Writing

    Figuring Out What’s Next

    It’s been a while. Ages actually. I’d originally wanted to be done with my book by now, but life had other plans. I feel like the seasons outside my window are displaying my life; the last is fading and a new one is rushing at me. I’m looking at the months on the calendar and realizing that there is so much that is going to be changing in the next five months. I dropped my littlest off for two full days at school this week. They had a field trip to the zoo one day, and a field day for P.E. the other. But I pulled up and she jumped…

  • Writing

    Breaking the Rules

    I seem to have a habit of breaking the rules. Most of the guidance I’ve read about writing suggest that the cast of characters for a novel should be limited in number. I started with a limited cast, but as the story has come out, there just are more people involved that I initially thought. I started with Edward, the middle-aged mapmaker. And I had a “villian,” though I’ve come to use the term loosely as I’ve developed him, a king called Cartok. I discovered that Edward has a guard assigned to him, Welter, who has become more well-rounded and versatile the more I learn. And there’s a brother and…

  • Writing

    My Own Harshest Critic

    Hate and fear and anger are emotions that can eat you alive. They gnaw on your core, writhe in your gut and poison your thoughts. They turn you into a hollow version of the person you used to be. A pumpkin carved out and emptied, devoid of the seeds that let you grow, with a mask plastered over your features, pretending to be what you wish you were. I heard from a friend this week that their son has been struggling at school with a teacher that has failed utterly to be an adult. This kid has waded through a very dark time, and finally reached a point that he…

  • Writing

    Eaten Alive

    Hate and fear and anger are emotions that can eat you alive. They gnaw on your core, writhe in your gut and poison your thoughts. They turn you into a hollow version of the person you used to be. A pumpkin carved out and emptied, devoid of the seeds that let you grow, with a mask plastered over your features, pretending to be what you wish you were. I heard from a friend this week that their son has been struggling at school with a teacher that has failed utterly to be an adult. This kid has waded through a very dark time, and finally reached a point that he…

  • Writing

    Getting from Point L to Point M

    I’ve spent the last two weeks working on a single scene in my draft. One. Single. Scene. I have this picture in my head. I see how it was supposed to happen. I see the progression of events, and I know what happened afterward. I see the distinct body mannerisms, and I know how I WANT it to go, but I have been struggling to get it down on the page. I remember a paper I had to write in high school. We were working through several stylistic exercises, modeling our writing after Hemingway or Steinbeck. Using shorter sentence structures. Or longer ones. No adverbs, no adjectives, or tons of…

  • Writing

    Surprises and Originality

    What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1:9 I’ve been working through my plot. Figuring out all I want to put into this book, because there’s so much to this story and not all of it is going to end up in this book. All of it affects the story in some way, but not all of it is going to be actually written down in ink on the page. As I’ve worked through who is where, at what point in the story (which is turning out to be harder than I initially thought, by the…

  • Writing

    Excerpt #1

    I’ve been doing research, reading other authors, trying to make my writing better and into more of something that other people will want to read. And the more research I do, the more I try to classify and refine and mold my writing, the more I’m finding I’m not any other writer. I have a story in my head. I have characters I’d like you to meet. Some of them, I’m sure you’ll dislike, and others I hope you love nearly as much as I do. But my story isn’t like anyone else’s. I can’t force it to be something different or even something more. All the research has been…

  • Writing

    Dead Ends or U-Turns

    I finished a chunk of my book this week. It felt like this huge victory. Yes! Done. And then I stared at the cursor blinking and stared….and stared, and my fingers hovered over the keys and there was nothing else. I’d finished this section that I’d been planning and working on, and I hadn’t put much thought into what came next. The same day, I had a conversation with my daughter. She’s been doing gymnastics for about a year, and is so motivated to perfect these new skills she’s learning. She’s focused on getting every step correct. Beginning, middle, and then she gets so excited that she’s getting close to…

  • Writing

    Power of a Map

    Many of you may have noticed that I’ve used the same picture for my articles so far. A black and white map, aged, but detailed. There is a reason. You’ll continue to see that map crop up, as I write more articles related to this book I’m writing. I’ve chosen that map in particular, because it was one of my first physical pieces of inspiration. Since then, I’ve stocked away a bunch of items, but this is one that got this whole thing started. When I look at a map, of my town, or my state, or spin a globe, I have this tendency to want to find my home.…