Tag Archives: author

NaNo is Coming!

In light of my previous poll, I’ve decided to rewrite and continue my failed Camp NaNo novel from 2011, Glass Dragons.  It was the very first novel I began in my Cloneverse (which now consists of several stories) and a 50-page companion book (which is not even faintly close to finished).  The story follows Ethaniel, the first successful genetically-enhanced human clone in this particular project, and his adventures with Niran, an Ularian king of the Kirit criminal underground.

Naturally, I’m super excited!  I know that the spirit of NaNo is to start something new, but I have issues finishing things. NaNo is no challenge, but finishing something completely will be!  Glass Dragons is a fun concept that I don’t want to rot away, unfinished.

So, in light of that, I have a challenge. For everyone who loves NaNo but never finishes beyond the 50k, I challenge you to pick your favorite unfinished NaNo project to date and finish it this November!  Rework the outline, untangle your plot-knots, and pull yourself out of that corner! This NaNoWriMo on Goggles & Lace, it’s a Finish-Your-Novel-a-thon! When the forums reset, I’ll create a thread for us to chat about it!

Okay, folks, think about it! =]

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Another Update!

… Then it’s back to our regularly scheduled programming.  I promise.

Okay!  So my GoFundMe has been successful!  Thanks to the donations of the following fantastic people:

  • Jessica P. for purchasing two chain bracelets!
  • Keith L. for donating FIRST $25 and THEN another $10!
  • Mr. Anonymous for donating $25!
  • Shelley T. for donating $5!
  • Lounge Talk Radio (seriously, check out Gretchen & Toni and all they do. They’re amazing!) for donating $40!
  • Chris B. for donating $50!

Really, there’s no way I could have bought these books without all of you.  You’re so amazing.  I swear, my first novel will include a thanks to all of you for being so generous and supportive of my trek into the “down and dirty” aspect of creative writing.  If you wanted a bracelet, but couldn’t make it in time for the Book Fund drive, that’s okay!  I still make them, and I’ll have other designs up soon!  I’ll post my Etsy shop as soon as I revamp it, make some back stock, and get some decent photos!

For everyone who is entitled a bracelet or a key fob or earrings, etc, I got my rings in! I’ll be photographing the colors as soon as the sky stops being so dismal so I can steal some decent lighting.  Then you can give me your measurements and color choices.  It could be 10 days until I can make all of them.  I’ll get as many as I can out with what I have, but I have another shipment of rings on the way. <3

On another note, I’ve got more Writing Life content stewing around in my brain.  I really just need to find the time to write it down.  I’m also working on the plots for some short fiction that will be thrown about in here.  And, by popular demand, I will be restructuring Letters from Blackford Hill and using that plot for my NaNoWriMo this November!  Instead of seeking publication for it, I think I may self-publish it and make it available on G&L.  Very exciting things to come, my loves!

I also need to work on a signature for my posts….  I have a tablet, I can do it easily, I just keep forgetting.  TONIGHT!  Yes.

All of my love, G&Lers. <3

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Refinement & Personal Growth

I’ve got an update!  Well, there are several updates, really, but this is the first one.

I’ve recently enrolled in Southern New Hampshire University’s creative writing BA program.  Awesome, right?  I know, I know.  I’m still an active supporter of “you don’t need a degree to write a novel.”  It’s true.  You don’t.  You do, however, need experience in editing and refining your work to make it appealing to people.  Some of us have more trouble with that than others, and so I’ve decided to go back to school for something worthy of my passion.  I’ve tried so hard to look for a degree or certificate program that would be a quick fix to my lack of professional direction, but there’s nothing out there that really makes me happy.

Writing makes me happy.

Writing is what I spend my time doing and thinking about.

Helping other writers to write well is something I take pride in.  It’s rewarding for me.

I can’t help writers with any credibility if I don’t further educate myself.  I can’t edit and rewrite my work very well, either, if you want the truth, and some guided direction is going to do wonders for me.  I just know it.  I want to be able to bring the benefit of these courses to others.  I want to be able to help you, my readers, and anyone else who might stumble on this blog.

I also have an announcement!

INKWELL IMAGININGS HAS A NEW CHAPTER!

It’s true!  Our local writers’ group has spread from a small library in Southbridge, MA to three separate states!  I’d like to welcome Inkwell Imaginings – Oklahoma City to our ranks!  Honestly, we never thought it would ever get this far.  Now that it has, though, I’d like to talk to everyone about Inkwell.  I’ve told you about it before, I think.  It’s a group created for local fiction writers to gather socially, get their work critiqued by peers, and celebrate or commiserate over their stories.

Want an Inkwell in your town?  Let’s make that happen!  Keep an eye out for a post on “How to Create an Inkwell Imaginings Chapter Near You!”  I’ll include an FAQ about Inkwell, what we do, how to join or create your own, popular meeting formats, and how to contact me.

AMITY DAWN DOES NOT HAVE A NEW CHAPTER!

Don’t judge me, I’m getting there.  Chapter 6 will be done soon.  I’m debating on whether to go back and fix my first person chapters by putting them in third person, or if I should just write the whole thing, then go back and include it in my first-pass revision.  x_x Ah, writer problems.

Coming up next, a shameless plug for chain maille bracelets that will help me buy my school books… STAY TUNED! Same Bat time, same Bat channel.

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Writing and #350words!

Okay, so I’ve been working on getting my writing together.  I’m really prone to creative slumps (otherwise known as laziness and depression), and I’m tired of giving in to it.  I want a writing career.  I want to breathe life into my characters.  I want a finished product for once.

Well, here’s my solution:Image

 

But seriously, I’ve teamed up with some friends and taken from this piece of Chuck Wendig awesome.  We are going to write 350 words per day, with weekends off, at the very minimum, and complete our works in progress.  We’re going to write as writers should: consistently.

I encourage all of my writer friends to join us!  We’ve got a Twitter hashtag chat going at #350words and we’re ready to be held accountable (and commiserate) for our creativity!

Will you join us?

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Writing Life: A Writer’s Impact/Role in the Community

Since this topic was suggested a couple of years ago, I struggled in defining the role of a writer in both society and community.  I’ve read and researched and worked to narrow down the title of “writer” in a sea of professions.  It occurred to me recently that, maybe, it wasn’t a “profession.”  Writing is something people do from the heart, and lumping it in with “making a living” completely defaces the point.  So,  I tried again, this time without books or search engines trying to define the role of “a person who writes” on “people who don’t write.”

There are different types of writers with different end-goals in mind when they put pen to paper.  Some of us want to change the world, make it better.  Some of us want to turn a profit.  Some of us just want the experience of writing.   The options are endless and no two writers will give you exactly the same answer.  The role of a writer, as a writer, in his community and in society will ultimately be defined by the role of writing in the life of the writer.  This is a blog that centers around fiction, so, for the sake of consistency, let’s stick to the topic in terms of writers of fiction.  Also, I can’t tell you how or if a writer may choose to impact their community, I can only tell you how I hope to impact my community in terms of my writing.

  1. I want to empower women and girls.  I strive to write strong women, or girls who grow into their strength, in the hopes that someone, somewhere may read it and identify.  I want that strength to be transferable.
  2. I want to help other writers.  The road to publication and a strong reader base is not a competition for me.  Everyone needs a hand up now and then.  By reading the work of my favorite authors, my life has been greatly impacted, my outlooks changed, and my skills as a writer developed.  If there is anything I can do to pay that incredibly valuable service forward, I will put myself out there to make it happen.
  3. I want to encourage literacy, and even just the basic picking up of a book.  So many people consider reading boring, and it breaks my heart.  If I can be the one to suggest the book that draws a person into the world of reading and learning, I would consider that an amazing accomplishment.

The list isn’t long, but those three points are very important to me.  So, instead of telling you what your role as a writer should be in your community, I want you to tell  me what you feel your role is.

What parts of you, as a writer, do you feel are valuable in your community, locally and globally?  How do you translate your love of writing into helping others?

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NaNoWriMo Approacheth!

I’ve been on the 6-day work week for awhile now, and I’m sad to say that my writing has taken a backseat to making a living (which isn’t panning out much, either, really).  Every year I try to make time for writing during NaNoWriMo, and my 5-year-run, with 2 wins and 3 losses, has been a fixture in my creative life.  You all have been with me on that journey for the last two years, and I’ve adored every minute of feedback and commiseration I’ve shared with all of you.

That sounded oddly like a farewell, didn’t it?  Well, it’s not.  NaNo is around the corner, and I’m world building like the universe is about to come to a crashing halt and my ideas are the only thing between us and utter extinction.  I have two whiteboards that are being filled over and over, recorded into notebooks, and transcribed into Scrivener files.  Characters who need fleshing out.  Locations that need to be detailed.

It’s a lot to do in a short amount of time, but you know what?  I always feel so… in my element when I’m plotting for NaNo.  Even now, coming off of another lengthy dry spell, I’m doing much better plotting for NaNo than I have for anything else in the last few months.

I just wanted to send out a reminder that I’m still alive and NaNo is coming, so if you haven’t started plotting– GET ON THAT!  Woo!

Damn it’s good to be home! <3  I’ll race you all to the start of 50k!

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October 22, 2012 · 10:58 PM

Writing Life: A Writer’s Role in the Apocalypse

Castle Romeo Thermonuclear Test 1954

Image borrowed from The Official CTBTO Photostream on Flickr.

Everyone seems to be on a zombie kick the last few years.  Pair that with the impending 2012 prophecy coming to (possible, but incredibly unlikely) fruition, and you’ve got some awesome apocalypse plans, stories, and quite the barrage of “THESKYISFALLING!” media.

Don’t get me wrong, I love it.  You’ve got Falling Skies, the cancelled-before-its-time  Jericho, and the coming-soon Revolution.  Not to mention the Resident Evil franchise, the Fallout series, and the list goes on.  Even The Hunger Games was a post-modern-society setting.  To say that we’re all a little disenchanted with the way things are, to the point where we have to destroy it and kill damn near everyone with our imaginations, might be a bit of an understatement.

And that brings me to today’s Writing Life topic: a writer’s role in the apocalypse.

I mean, let’s face it.  The more resourceful of us are going to survive, right?  We write this stuff.  We’ve thought up the worst case scenarios, killed off our favorite characters in our new vicious, unforgiving versions of the world.  With that small fact (we will survive this nonsense) established, it’s time to hash out just where we stand at the end of it all.

No electricity.  And where there is electricity, there will be evil street gangs or crime syndicates (ie: the US government or Gary Oldman) hoarding the generators.  Naturally, TV is no longer a staple in our daily lives.  You’ll no longer be able to schedule your week around True Blood or Extreme Couponing.  People will need the blissful escape that fiction provides.  As the years go on, books will be more useful as kindling (blasphemy, I know), and so oral tradition will probably pull itself back to the forefront of our culture.  We, as writers, are story-weavers.  We can give them the escape that they crave.

No more formal education.  We don’t know everything, that’s a fact.  But writers, on the whole, tend to be decently-read and researched people.  In our smaller communities, where teachers may no longer exist, it may fall to writers to keep the written language around for a bit longer.  In educating our hardened and deprived youth, we can keep that thread of creativity and imagination going, providing hope in a world where there isn’t any.

History is written by the winners.  But in the apocalypse, there are no winners.  (Unless they are aliens, and we don’t speak alien anyway, do we?  And I won’t learn!  Filthy, world-thieving bastards!  I’ll see your death ray and raise you an explosion on your comm tower!  Tic-Tic-Boom!)  It’ll fall, in part, to writers to keep track of things.  Victories.  Defeats.  Logs of changes, progress, failures, etc.  And if we aren’t the record keepers, we sure as hell are the ones who’ll tell those stories with some flare!

Hope.  It’s a fragile thing, and writers are some of the most emotionally resilient people I can think of.  We take rejection and defeat, and turn it into determination, progress, and an opportunity to learn.  We’ve read the greats before burning their pages for warmth!  We know the great battles of fiction and of history and we can offer our insight from a creative, non-military standpoint.  Most of all, of all of our educational and emotional exploits, we keep our heads up and keep looking forward.  Tomorrow is another day, and it can only be better than today.

So, remember, just because you’re a writer doesn’t mean you’d be useless when the world ends.  In fact, your role in the progression of mankind is critical.  

Do you know of any other ways that writers will be useful at the end of the world?  Share them!

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Kestrel, Flash Fics, and Other Nonsense

Salut.

Recently, I’ve been consumed by writing and the progress I’m attempting to make in my own little writing world.  For instance, I bought a large white board, a small white board, a cork board, index cards, a new printer/scanner, a new flash drive, eight notebooks, pens, highlighters, dry erase markers, and a folder.  (Did I mention that I’m in love with “back-to-school” time?  It gets a little out of hand.)

I hung my cork board, plotted nine scenes in Kestrel (even the first two that needed reworking), hung those index cards on the cork board, and then… stared at them.

My next step?  I clearly hadn’t plotted far enough and I didn’t have any desk calendar paper left!  Tragedy. So I bought that white board.  Hung it.  Inside of ten minutes it looked like this:

Cell phone photos make me cry inside. I should get a camera.

Naturally I had to transfer all of that into my Scrivener document.  So I did.   Then?  I decided I loved a side character more than I should have, and needed to give her her own short story.  (I call it  character research because I needed to “get to know her.”  It’s mostly just self-indulgence.)  So I plotted that.  And that spurred me on to other character-exploration nonsense, so now I have a flash fiction to write that explores the exile-practices of Ularis.

Awesome.

I also got business card magnets, business cards, and a mug….  I’m making progress AROUND my writing, it seems, but not so much on the ACTUAL writing.

I’m trying!  August is going to be here soon, and I expect all you Camp NaNoWriMo participants to get moving on writing with me!  We’ll encourage each other!  No more excuses in the guise of progress! WE ARE WRITERS!

In short?  Write with me!  I may even create a G&L chat room to facilitate our writerly commiseration.  We shall see.  If there’s any interest in that, let me know. <3

Now… back to make-believe-progress.

À bientôt.

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New Author Business Cards!

I’m so excited!  I just ordered my first batch of business cards as an author!

And seriously, if you don’t know InkGarden, you should check it out.  I got 50 business card magnets for $2 plus shipping.  (The code is MAGNET2 and its valid until July 31.)  If you need business cards (or like the novelty of business card magnets), then check out InkGarden, and all the awesome things they have there.  Use the link in this post, and you’ll get a coffee mug for a dollar!

Shiny, right? I love it. <3

Anyway, check it out.  =]  Marketing for cheap is the best kind of marketing!

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Writing Life: “Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll”

Today’s post comes from my friend Jade Bennett over at Jade Bennett Writes. Who also, if you hadn’t heard, launched her IndieGoGo campaign today!  She’s aiming to raise money to self-publish her first novel Mechanics of Magic, the first in a series titled Mechanical Maladies.  Check her out, and if you support her cause, please donate or share her IndieGoGo page!  Thanks, everyone!

Now, about Writing Life.

I’ve spoken on the topic of saying what you mean to say, how you mean to say it, multiple times, and this post isn’t going to change that tune.  I’ve been asked by several people why I choose to portray controversial subjects in my writing, how I approach those topics, and how I deal with the “backlash.”

Truth?  I’ve never really had any backlash.  I own what I write, and if people don’t like it, they can go complain on the internet.  (You know, like I do all the time.  You guys know.  =P)  If something means a lot to you, and you want to put that down on paper, that’s your call.  Gaining the courage to show the world is an entirely different matter.

Let’s face it: a stranger’s opinion is the difference between the cost of one book in our pocket and one less digit on our sales sheet, and that’s big.  But not as big as how we feel about, say, our mother reading that gay romance novel we wrote, chock full of drug abuse, rape, and our main character’s struggle to get by in an anti-equality society.  Or our father running across our heart-rending essays on teen suicide or our flash fiction about parental alcoholism.

It doesn’t matter.  I swear to you, write what you’re passionate about.  It may not be pretty and it may cause some controversy, but that’s okay.  Our modern world was built on controversy.  Voices rise and things change, but if we keep silent, we’re stagnant.  Even if it’s in your fiction, in a small, indirect way, say what you mean.  Even if it’s through your characters in a fictional realm on a fictional planet, address those things that call to your heart because only you can say them the way you intend them to be said.

Stand up.  Your friends and families will judge you.  Strangers will judge you.  But at least you can say that you stood for something.  So few people see what courage there is in writing fiction.

Be blunt.  You don’t have to be crass, but be honest.  If it’s not honesty from your perspective, be honest from an opposite perspective.  Fiction always displays at least two sides, if not always evenly.

Moral of the story?  Don’t be afraid to write about the hard things in life.  Your family may not approve, but you’ll be a voice for so many people who stand beside you.   More than you might realize.  Don’t let fear silence you. <3

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