Warning up front: TvTropes can make you lose hours – if not days – of your life.

To quote from the front page:

Tropes are devices and conventions that a writer can reasonably rely on as being present in the audience members’ minds and expectations. […] The wiki is called “TV Tropes” because TV is where we started. Over the course of a few years, our scope has crept out to include other media. Tropes transcend television. They reflect life. Since a lot of art, especially the popular arts, does its best to reflect life, tropes are likely to show up everywhere.

Tropes should be considered first and foremost to be tools. You could even call them the building blocks of fiction. Continue reading

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Decision Made!

As I posted about previously, I lost more than two months of productive work due to a ridiculous migraine. When it went away it was like being reborn… with a full in-tray.

Over the past ten days I have done a boatload of proof-reading and editing (95% on my own stuff, but I also did a read for a friend). I’ve recruited beta readers for The Long Dark (coming soon!), and read through what I got down of Unbreaking in November.

So my dilemma, also as previously stated, was this: Do I get back to writing Unbreaking or do I put that off until July and work on other things. As it turns out, I don’t have enough other things and Unbreaking is calling to me. Very loudly.

So! I will not wait until July to finish writing Unbreaking. I simply can’t wait that long.

That will give me more time to develop the next Daganu book. I have a couple different Daganu plot bunnies hopping around, one of which actually has some outlining done already…

Okeedokee, back to work!

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My First Guest Speaking Event

I had to take two and a half months off due to a migraine, so this story isn’t fresh, but I wanted to tell it.

My youngest started a creative writing club at her junior high school. That all by itself makes me proud fit to burst! She loves to write and she likes to talk about writing, as well.

So she coordinated with the eighth grade English teachers and started a club. After a couple of weeks, she asked if I could come and be a guest speaker. Of course I said yes!! I’ve no love of speaking in public, or, for that matter, being the center of attention. But I love writing, I really do, and I was very happy to have the opportunity to talk to young people and encourage them.

So Youngest called the meeting to order and then introduced me. The funniest part was when she suggested that my work may not be appropriate for her age-group. Well, sex is mentioned… Anyway, then it was show-time.

I further introduced myself, to start with. Then I invited them to ask questions. They were all good, thoughtful, questions. They asked about dialogue tags and character development, for instance. I wish I had written this closer to the event so I could give those kids all the credit they deserve. The teachers also asked questions, and I really got the feeling that they were asking for their own benefit, rather than leading the children. Youngest was totally in charge; usually only one teacher is present (it’s on school grounds, there has to be an adult present), but on this day both attended because they, too, wanted to listen to a real live author talk about writing.

Later one of the teachers asked if I would be willing to come to her class in the spring, when they get to a creative writing unit. I said yes, of course. Doesn’t everyone love to talk about their passion? Especially to an audience that really wants to hear it.

I don’t have any particular point to this story, just sharing a nice experience. Also I’m really really glad my migraine is gone and I can work again! I encourage my fellow writers to offer the benefit of their experience to school-children.

Okay, back to work!

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Nathan Weaver Killed Me

Fictionally! I’m not posting from beyond the grave!

Nathan Weaver is a friend of mine who is also an author. He’s taken on a project to try to actually make some money as a writer (which I can understand!) in which he will write a short story or flash fiction for five dollars in which the customer is the main character and is somehow killed. This is a lot of work for five dollars, especially as he has a week to deliver! To read all about his project, including how you can be killed, click here.

With no further ado, after the jump, here is the text of the story he wrote for me, his first victim. Continue reading

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Long Time No See

My goodness, it’s been ten months since I wrote a post for my blog!

2014 wasn’t a good year for me. Not because of things that happened that year, it just sort of… worked out that way. At first I was waiting to feel better – I have fibromyalgia and chronic myofacial pain syndrome. Then I had what most delicately would be described as a bump in the road, mental-health-wise. That knocked me down more than I care to remember. In the summer I went to Hawaii, and then fall was coming and I had to start preparing for NaNoWriMo.

I did win at NaNo, but on November 28th, I got a migraine, so when I got to fifty thousand words – becoming an official winner – I stopped writing. Continue reading

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Letter from Ko

The Spell Builders was meant to be a short story, just the facts, tell don’t show. But I was having trouble finding my narrator’s voice. Finally I thought to ask her to write me a letter, telling me about herself. The following 612 words changed the whole project. The Spell Builders turned out to be a full length novel that was all about the story as Ko went through it, rather than as a dry history. It’s one of my favorite Daganu books, and I look forward to publishing it next year. I also learned that my narrator is a brat, but I’ve always had a soft spot for brats.
Continue reading

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Listening to Characters

I swear, I never sound crazier than when I’m talking about characters. So let me say that I don’t really believe my characters have an independent existence. It’s a metaphor.

So let the crazy begin. Continue reading

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Life as a NaNo Rebel

I chose to do NaNoWriMo a bit differently this time around. I felt a little funny being a NaNo Rebel, after a few years of pumping out a full first draft in a month.

You see, NaNoWriMo started something a couple years back for writers who couldn’t quite wait a whole year to do it again. They created Camp NaNoWriMo, where you pick a month in the summer to do your writing. It differs from the November challenge in that you can set your word-count goal yourself, rather than the usual 50K word goal.

So last July I set myself a goal of 15K words to write a short story. I made my word count goal easily, but ran into a problem: It wasn’t a short story. Continue reading

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The Unchanging Heavens is here!

I am very pleased to announce that The Unchanging Heavens is now available at Smashwords and Amazon!

To celebrate, I am offering a 50% off coupon for purchases from Smashwords. I regret being unable to offer a coupon for Amazon, but you can purchase a kindle file from Smashwords. The coupon is valid through December 10th. Coupon code: XS32A (not case sensitive).

The third full length Daganu novel, The Unchanging Heavens takes Joe, Kristy and Becky deeper into the magic and mystery of Daganu than ever before, as they have to procure rare talismans to enter the feared land of Bistami Stulba and try to help Emily and Chen find happiness, rather than exile.

If you haven’t read any Daganu stories before, you can find all of them on sale at Smashwords through the month of November.

Happy Reading!

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Daganu News and Coupons!

Great news! The Unchanging Heavens is mere days from publication!

As The Unchanging Heavens is the third full-length Daganu novel, you might like to start from the beginning. To make that easier for you, I’ve created a sale!

For the month of November, The Sunshine Line and The Mirror’s Image are 50% off at Smashwords. The short story, The Animal Place, is, as always, Set Your Own Price. You can be totally caught up on the series for only four dollars!

And keep your eyes peeled: There will be a coupon for The Unchanging Heavens when it comes out!

The coupon codes are below. They are not case sensitive, but will only work at Smashwords, as Amazon doesn’t let me put things on sale. Fear not, you can still buy a kindle version at Smashwords! All titles are available from the Daganu Series Page.

The Sunshine Line: VY96C

The Mirror’s Image: UF43C

The Animal Place is always “You set the price”!

Happy Reading!

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