Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Re-told

I read a lot of mythology and folk lore. I read a lot of books based off of mythology. I also like to watch movies and series based off of mythology.

Something that happens quite frequently when I am partaking in the second of these two activities is an indignant exclamation of "That's not how it happens!"

Alas, when others are in the room at said times they will then ask me about "the original", the "true" story, the "golden mean", the "master copy".

Oops.

I am then left explaining to them how folk lore any mythology doesn't actually have an original. All stories in these categories --and I do mean all --have developed over time in many different manifestations. There is no original unless the original is the universal consciousness of mankind. Even the oldest manuscripts we have of the oldest stories are already re-tellings of re-tellings. The story of what it is to be human has been told and will be told into infinity.

This is generally received with blank looks or a roll of the eyes at which point I wonder if I ought to have left out the bits about collective consciousness and infinity and stuck to the facts about the manuscripts.

Regardless, there is no original or "true" version of any myth or folk tale. Each individual version of each individual story is its own truth. Yes, it is rooted in all the versions that have come before it, but it is its own story in its own moment. It is reborn. It is retold.

This leads me back to my indignant exclamation of "That's not how it happens!" No, it isn't. Not in the older version I have already read. But this is a new version. It is going to take on a life of its own.

That isn't to say that one version can't hold a truth that I resonate with more strongly. One story can feel "more right" for me but that doesn't mean that it will be more authentic than the one that comes after.

Perhaps what I ought to exclaim is "I prefer the older version!" or "This retelling uses the same devices to explore a completely different metaphor that I find much less relate-able!"

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Weekend Writing Wariors #3

Hello again. I hope you have all had a fantastic week and are enjoying browsing through the gems of Weekend Writing Warriors. Or if you aren't enjoying them yet I hope you will check them out now. There are samples of a lot of great writing.

Here's a 3rd snippet from my upcoming YA Dark Fantasy SNOW ROSES.


The cry sounded again. It was closer now. Hidden only by the thin cottage walls. I should have been moving away from the scream but somehow I couldn't. Not when it had felt so much like a cry wrenched from my own soul.
I stopped when I reached the cottage door. It was open, creaking back and forth on its hinges. A thick darkness loomed inside.



And in case you wanted a little context for that, here is the summery for SNOW ROSES.


Snow locks herself in her chamber when her Papa dies. As the days pass it grows harder and harder to tell the difference between grief and nightmares. She is sad but she is also afraid. Afraid of her stepmother, the queen Lucille. Afraid of memories she wishes she didn't have.

One night an attempt is made on Snow's life and she is forced into the dangers of a haunted wood where she can no longer hide from the truth.


Rose never asked who she was. She never wondered how she had come to live with the village spinster or why her guardian seemed to be afraid of laughter and bright colors. She was content to do her work, looking forward to the nights her Gran would come to visit.

Until the night her Gran didn't come. Until the night Rose stepped out of her safe, predictable village into a dark wood full of ghosts and monsters to look for her.


Snow and Rose meet each other in the wood. With no where else left to go they create a haven for themselves, learning to protect each other from the dangers. But the queen Lucille has powers far beyond their grasp and is used to getting what she wants. It will take something much more mysterious than secrets and much more powerful than magic to defeat her.



Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Snow Roses Summery

Snow locks herself in her chamber when her Papa, the king, dies. As the days pass it grows harder and harder to tell the difference between grief and nightmares. She is sad but she is also afraid. Afraid of her stepmother, Lucille. Afraid of the things she wishes she didn't know.

Until the night she can no longer hide from the truth. An attempt on her life forces Snow out into the dangers of a haunted wood.


Rose never asked who she was. She never wondered how she had come to live with the village spinster or why her guardian seemed to be afraid of laughter and bright colors. She was content to do her work, looking forward to the nights her Gran would come to visit.

Until the night her Gran didn't come. Until the night Rose stepped out of her safe, predictable village into a dark wood full of ghosts and monsters to look for her.


With no where else left to go Snow and Rose create a haven for themselves in the wood, learning to protect each other from the dangers. But the queen Lucille has powers far beyond their grasp and is used to getting what she wants. It will take something much more mysterious than secrets and much more powerful than magic to defeat her.





Let me know what you think! And if you would like a copy of the bookmark pictured above leave a comment with your address and I will send it to you!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Weekend Writing Warriors

Here is another snippet of my upcoming book Snow Roses. I hope you enjoy it along with the rest of the Weekend Writing Warriors excerpts.

It might be worth mentioning that the "I" in this snippet is a different narrator than before.

There. I'd done it. I'd stepped out of the village. Farther from home than I'd ever been before. Farther than any of the villagers had gone.
Any of the live ones that is.
I moved forward. The jitters fluttering through my chest dissolved as I turned the constant steps, one after the other, into a kind of rhythmic dance. My fingers and nose turned numb with cold.



Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Indie Publishing

There are a lot of different reasons writers decide not to publish traditionally. There are a lot of different ways to analyze and assess the pros and cons of such a choice.

I don't know very much about that. In fact, my reasons for deciding on indie publishing has very little to do with pros or cons.

When I first started writing as a kid it was mostly because my friends had decided that we were too old to dress up and play make believe (they were wrong, of course, and apparently didn't know about Renaissance Faires and SCA). I liked books and it was a fun way to channel my imagination.

It wasn't until I'd graduated high school and had already written two books that I began to seriously consider publication. Everyone was suddenly asking me what I was going to do with my life and I thought, well I like writing stories. I like playing ideas and characters and possibilities.

I've grown a lot as a writer since then. I've learned from classes and books and other writers. I know more about how the business works and what the readers expect. My writing is better because of it but somewhere along the way I started focusing less on fostering my imagination and telling a good story and more on "succeeding as a writer".

I wanted a reward for my work. A paycheck. Some important person giving me that stamp of approval. "Yes, you are a writer", "Yes, people care what you have to say", "Yes, you should write more".

But I don't need that. That's the kind of utilitarian thinking that is never satisfied. The process of writing is its own reward and the only person I have to impress is myself.

That's my first reason for deciding on indie publishing. Not because I think there is anything wrong with traditional publishing or that writers shouldn't want payment or appreciation for their work but because I remember what it's like to surrender completely to the story I am trying to tell and let everything else go. I want to enjoy the process and not worry about what I am going to earn in exchange for it. Art for art's sake.

The second reason is a little more psychological and related specifically to me. I tend to be a very cautious person. I like to research decisions before I make them. I like to know what I am getting into. I analyze. I decipher. I consider.

Unfortunately I rarely feel I have enough information to know anything for certain and so I put off making decisions. Sometimes for years. Sometimes forever until the opportunity is beyond gone.

I believe it is time for me to jump, eyes closed, future uncertain, into the great abyss. Maybe I'll crash. Maybe I'll break a few things.

Maybe I'll fly.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Writing Warriors

Greetings. This is my first time participating in Weekend Writing Warriors. I look forward to sampling everyone's writing. Below are the first eight sentences of my dark fantasy SNOW ROSES.

I grew used to papa's death the way summer dwindles into winter; silently, laboriously, without hope.
I do not know when the funeral was held. I do not know how many foreign dignitaries attended or how the common folk mourned the loss of their ruler. I imagine I was invited --expected to attend in somber black silk, suffering silently by my stepmother's side. I imagine that my handmaidens pleaded with me to allow them to dress me but I never heard them. I paced across the intricate weave of my chamber's rug, losing myself in it's elaborate swirls, trying to conceive some kind of consistent pattern. My eyes grew raw and tender around the rims and I slept little and ate only when coerced. My already slight form and pale skin became a rattle of bones and a ghostly pallor.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Snow Roses

I've been putting off making this official because . . .

Well I'm more than a little terrified of my decision. But I know it's the right decision. For me and for this project.

So. Officially.

I have decided to publish my book SNOW ROSES all on me ownsome.

There. No backing out of it now. Official.