Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Every story has as many versions as it has characters. I don't usually like to say much on here with too strong of political bent, but as you celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow I would like you to challenge the myth of the cozy pilgrims and "Indians" working together in harmony.

Some of them might have. I am sure there were friendships as well as violence because people are complex individuals and not the blanket societies we learn about in history books. But don't forget that the pilgrims were invaders. They may have been more peaceful than some of the other settles but they were still fighting a kind of war over the land. Some of the natives may have genuinely wished them well but just as many were afraid of them. And regardless of what the feelings were at the time, the supposed harmony of that harvest celebration we colored so many pictures of in the class room didn't last very long. We have the rest of history to prove that.

Myths have power. Most of them come from a grain of truth but they can control the way we think about things if we let them. I could never object to a holiday that celebrates food, family, and thankfulness (especially the food), but I don't think we should be unaware of the stories we tell about it. Please don't forget. Not everyone in that story had a happy ending.

And have a very happy Thanksgiving

Monday, November 19, 2012

If Music Be the Food of Love . . .

I'm sure it's been done before but for my current WIP instead of writing a traditional outline I wrote a playlist. I've been wanting to do that for a long time but usually I have so many characters to manage that it gets hard to keep a playlist on track and even harder to follow it from plot point to plot point. Snow Roses turned out to be the perfect book for this kind of outline because:

1) It's written in *gasp* first person so I have a limited viewpoint for the songs (Meaning I can't say "This song works for the villain and this one works for the main character's little brother and this one works for the stable hand and . . . " it gets hard to focus on plot once that I start doing that)

2) It's a romance. Whatever the external events the main focus needs to be on inner emotions. Songs are good for outlining the progression of inner emotions.

I have a basic list of things that need to happen in the order they need to happen in too, of course, but I'm hoping the playlist will help me with the pacing. One chapter per song. No exceptions. (Well we'll see. Sticking to outlines has never been my strong point)

Here are a couple of the songs from the list:

Do you ever use music to inspire or guide your writing?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Fist Full of Poesy


Thick walls resist the flames of outward heat
While ashen coals wither to dust inside.
An empty tomb, void of human carcass,
Locked in the iron caress of silence.
A tuneless dirge rots to a molten beat.
White-hot screams and fire wrenched joys subside.
A mound of flesh lurches with lifelessness,
Blind to the flicker of unmet brilliance.
Terror holds sunlight safe in the darkest deep,
Hidden from noise, robbed of the cause to weep.


Sun shimmers in a gentle, blinding scorch.
I lay my soul bare against the earth's core,
Extracting strength from the coils of life.
I reach for the vast distance of the stars,
Holding my being as an inner torch.
Joys and sorrows ebb against my heart's shore.
As I release relentless strains of strife.
My song is your song, pock-riddled with scars.
Renewed with wisdom, embalmed for death,
I embrace the forever flow of breath.


Brittle bones shook at the threat of your bite
Hollow heart screeched with fear of the wild
Sallow skin faded, fondled and caressed
By finger-soft fetters made from your dust.

Water hardens in wake of winter's night.
A giant grows in place of ghost child,
Stretched taunt inside the height of her proudest
Death and fueled with fumes of molded lust.

Yesterday's yearnings slacken to finite
Remembrances. Cold. Lifeless. Defiled.
You severed your soul from my bleating chest,
I am free from the creaking aches of rust.

Poisoned morrow molds to an iron will,
Blackened by sorrow, trained to hunt and kill.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

Chattering about my current WIP? Forcing fellow bloggers to tell me about theirs? Sounds like fun to me! Thank you Erin Kane Spock for the tag!

What is your working title of your book?
Snow Roses. It's a darker take on the fairy tale Snow White and Rose Red. In this version they aren't sisters and I'm integrating elements from the Grimm Brothers' other Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Little Red Riding Hood into it.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
I've had the story of Snow White and Rose Red in the back of my mind for awhile. I thought maybe the characters would show up in a version of Kate Crackernut or Jack the Giant Killer that I'd been toying with if I ever got around to starting them. Then one night I was discussing fairy tales with my mom and sister and . . . the pieces just starting spinning together. Two girls hiding together in a haunted wood. The secrets they discover about their past and future and how each thread connects to the others. I had to start writing it all down.

What genre does your book fall under?

Young Adult Fantasy Romance --which surprised me, given the current popularity of that genre. I'm not usually a trend follower.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Snow would be Christina Ricci

and Rose would be Rose Byrne

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
I haven't polished one yet but I suppose now is as good a time as any to start working on one. Let's see . . . Snow and Rose find comfort, cocooned together in the darkness of a haunted wood, but the witch Lucille has never stopped hunting for either of them.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Who knows but I will certainly shoot for an agency.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I'm only a couple chapters in. I started in July then took a break to edit my other manuscript. So far I've done more pre-writing than actual drafting.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Maybe Juliette Marillier's Heart's Blood? I won't know for sure until I'm finished.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
When I was six years old I checked out a version of Cinderella from the library in which the stepsisters cut off parts of their feet so that they could fit into Cinderella's slipper. The prince recognized them as imposters when he saw blood dripping onto the ground. At six this disturbed me but it was also more interesting than the Disney version with the cute little mice and clearly defined villains. Since then I've read a lot of fairy tales. The older, darker versions have always resonated with me more strongly and I've wanted to explore a retelling of my own for quite some time.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Ghosts. Werewolves. Enchanted princes. Jealous lovers. Revenge. Secrets of birth. Stolen kingdoms. Witchcraft. Evil queens. Knife fights. All that good stuff.

Here's the hard part -- Tag, you're it! (only if you want to, that is)
Misha Gericke - My First Book
Stephanie Thornton
Wise Herb's Random Jottings
S.L. Stevens - Scroll of a Modern Scribe
L.G. Smith - Bards and Prophets

Rules for The Next Big Thing Blog Hop:

***Use this format for your post
***Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (work in progress)
***Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.

Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing:
What is your working title of your book?
Where did the idea come from for the book?
What genre does your book fall under?
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Include the link of who tagged you and this explanation for the people you have tagged.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

This Years Version of NaNoWriMo

No, I shan't be attempting to write an entire novel in thirty days. One year I actually will but November is usually . . . not the quietest time of year for me. This year is espeicially busy. New jobs. Finals to study for. Holidays to prepare for. (Let us pause in a moment of silence to commend all those who find the time to fulfill obligations such as these AND write a quality novel in thirty days. You are truly superhuman.) Nonetheless I shall be challengeing myself in a somewhat less rigorous way throughout the month of November. I vow to:

1) Write at least an hour every day


2) Finish at least one short story

Small goals, yes, but I prefer to take on projects I know I can complete ---For short term goals that is. Long term goals are a different story entirely which is probably why I have to break them into tiny bite sized pieces.

My personal declaration made,


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Hellooooo Again

Hello. Oh my! It has been awhile since I bailed right in the middle of A-Z last spring. Hello Blog! Nice to see you again.

And hello bloggers!!! How have you all been?

Things that have happened since then in my writing life:

1) I finished my (for now) final draft of White Hart. So excited, but scared to finally be querying!!

2) I Started a new novel project called Snow Roses that I, so far, absolutely love

3) I put my zines up on etsy. Here is the link if you are interested in reading some hand printed stories, poetry, and articles.

4) I went to ALA in Anaheim! So many books! So many authors! It was amazing.

I'll try to put something more thoughtful and content filled later this week but for now, how has the blogosphere been faring? I trust all of your writing projects have been progressing well and you have read many, fabulous books.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

N: Nixies and O: Ogres

Nixies are water shape shifting water spirits from Germany. They are fond of music and dancing and can change into fish, serpent, or human form. In human form however they always have trace of wildness left on them such as green teeth or a damp skirt. They are, above all wild, and therefore can be as harmful as they can be helpful. (Anyone else having trouble seperating paragraphs with blogger's new set up?) An ogre is a humanoid monster of French origin. They are typically depicted as large, bullying animals who brutalize men and women and eat their flesh.

Monday, April 23, 2012

L: Little People and M: Mermaids

Little People (also known as Leprchauns but be careful calling them that. They can be tempermental and might curdle your milk) are the shoemakers of faeryland. They originally wore red but are now more often depicted as wearing green. They hoard their gold and keep it in a pot at the end of the rainbow. If you catch one they have to grant you three wishes before they can go free but be carefull. Little people are tricky and may not give you what you meant to ask for. They love to solve riddles but even more they like to confuse people with them.

Amazing book featuring Little People:

Instead of Three Wishes --by Megan Whelan Turner

Mermaids are half fish, half human creatures. There are meremaid myths in every part of the world with access to the sea. In most tales their lovely voices and alluring beauty lead sailors to their doom out on the ocean. It some stories they inter marry with humans and live in elaborate underwater societies. Some mermaids cry pearls while others posess healing powers or the power to call on the wind and rain to sink ships. In most British folklore mermaids were said not to have immortal souls.

Mermen are less often talked about but also existed in most of the folklore. They are often cosidered ugly as opossed to the beauty of mermaids. Matsya Avatar, the first incarnation of Vishnu was said to be half man and half fish.

Amazing stories featuring Mermaids:

The Magic Mirror of the Mermaid Queen --by Delia Sherman
The Little Mermaid --by Hans Christain Anderson (There will be more about this if you join me for my fairy tale series in May)
The Golden Bird --by the Grim Brothers

Rope and Mast
Salt stinging spray, collecting on my face
A wind dried throat, burning with pain.
You grasp at my soul for your saving grace,
Mock my desperation with self disdain.
My lungs are weak like yours, gasping for air,
My eyes blinded by wind, squinting for light.
My skin withers under the sun's false glare
I can drown too in the sky's endless fight.
You chase your will-o-the-wisp, your siren.
You beg the fish-girls for a a place in their waves,
Careless that their kiss is as deadly as sin.
You flail and you rave, too afraid to save.
I will not drown whatever my life costs.
If you plunge to the depths it's you who's lost.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

J: Jinn and K: Kelpie

Jinn were originally spirits in middle eastern cultures. Another common name for them is genie. In later folk lore they are prescribed as living in a jar, bottle, or lamp and granting wishes with their powers. They can be benevolent, malevolent, or anywhere in between depending on the particular jinn, but most wishes end up being double edged and hurt the wisher more than help him. Jinns can take most any form from a winged human to any kind of animal. They travel fast across great distances and often hold great but dangerous knowledge.

Amazing books with jinn in them:

A Thousand and One Nights
Castle in the Air --by Diana Wynne Jones

A Kelpie is a Celtic water horse that can often change into human form to lure young men and women to watery deaths. They are sometimes dripping wet with wild reed ridden hair while in their human form. It the water horse form the kelpie lures people, often children onto it's back so that it can drown and eat them.

The best way to control a kelpie is to get a hold of it's bridle.

Unfortunately there seems to be a lack of good kelpie books. If you know of any please give me the title so I can read them.

Friday, April 20, 2012

H: Harpy and I:Incubus

Harpies are bird-woman, usually bad tempered thieves since their name means "Snatcher". In Greek mythology they are a set of either two or three sisters who steal food and are eventually driven away by the North Wind. In Medivial times they were sometimes refereed to as virgin eagle.

My favorite book with a harpy:

The Last Unicorn --by Peter S. Beagle

"Here the repellent harpies make their nests,

Who drove the Trojans from the Strophades
With dire announcements of the coming woe.
They have broad wings, a human neck and face,

Clawed feet and swollen, feathered bellies; they caw
Their lamentations in the eerie trees"
--Dante's Inferno

An Incubus is a demon in mail form who takes human lovers sometimes willing and sometimes by force. The same demon in female form is called a succubus. In Arthurian legend Merlin's father was said to be an incubus. Incubi originated in Mesopotamian mythology but there are many similar creatures of other cultures such as the Brazilian boto or the trauco of Chile.

My favorite book featuring an incubus:

American Gods --by Neil Gaiman

Thursday, April 19, 2012

G: Goblins

A goblin is a mythical humanoide creature typically of malicious intentions and unsightly appearance. They are seldom friendly and often eat humans but their existence is more often wretched than synester. They are small, hardworking creatures who wish good to no one.

Hobgoblins are even smaller than regular goblin and can therefore get up to even more harmful mischeif

Amazing books involving Gablins:

Snuff --by Terry Pratchett
The Princess and the Goblin --by George MacDonald

In The Princess and the Goblin Goblins are repelled by singing:

Curdie's Song
'Ring! dod! bang!
Go the hammers' clang!
Hit and turn and bore!
Whizz and puff and roar!
Thus we rive the rocks,
Force the goblin locks. -
See the shining ore!
One, two, three -
Bright as gold can be!
Four, five, six -
Shovels, mattocks, picks!
Seven, eight, nine -
Light your lamp at mine.
Ten, eleven, twelve -
Loosely hold the helve.
We're the merry miner-boys,
Make the goblins hold their noise.'


'Hush! scush! scurry!
There you go in a hurry!
Gobble! gobble! goblin!
There you go a wobblin';
Hobble, hobble, hobblin' -
Cobble! cobble! cobblin'!
Hob-bob-goblin! -

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

F: Fair Folk

The Fair Folk are etherial human-like creatures who inhabit the earth. You might know them better as "Fairies", "Fay", "Faeries", or elves. Almost any mythical being with a vaguely human appearance could be considered one of the Fair Folk depending on which folklore or mythology you are following. Most often they are associated with the sorts of beings who live in faeryland: small, flutery things on wings, siren-like queens who entice young men away from their sweethearts, pointed eared beauties, mischevious imps who like to play tricks on people. However, they can also include more obviously dangerous creatures like goblins and trolls.

Even the more beautiful versions of the Fair Folk are more dangerous than benign. Among their most famous exploits is the changling --switching a human child with one of theirs and raising it as a sort of pampered pet while the human's parents are left with a tempormental faery wreaking havoc on their lives. They are also known to entice adults --particularly men--away from their lives with their honeysicle words and wild night dancing. Many of them can change shape and appear to be something harmless until it is too late. The simplest way to keep them from harming you is by keeping a bit of iron on you.

Two of my favorite books involving the Fair Folk:
A Midsummer Night's Dream --by William Shakespeare
Perlious Guard --by Elizabeth Marie Pope

La Belle Dame Sans Merci
--by John Keats

Ah, what can ail thee, wretched wight,
Alone and palely loitering;
The sedge is wither'd from the lake,
And no birds sing.

Ah, what can ail thee, wretched wight,
So haggard and so woe-begone?
The squirrel's granary is full,
And the harvest's done.

I see a lily on thy brow,
With anguish moist and fever dew;
And on thy cheek a fading rose
Fast withereth too.

I met a lady in the meads
Full beautiful, a faery's child;
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild.

I set her on my pacing steed,
And nothing else saw all day long;
For sideways would she lean, and sing
A faery's song.

I made a garland for her head,
And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;
She look'd at me as she did love,
And made sweet moan.

She found me roots of relish sweet,
And honey wild, and manna dew;
And sure in language strange she said,
I love thee true.

She took me to her elfin grot,
And there she gaz'd and sighed deep,
And there I shut her wild sad eyes--
So kiss'd to sleep.

And there we slumber'd on the moss,
And there I dream'd, ah woe betide,
The latest dream I ever dream'd
On the cold hill side.

I saw pale kings, and princes too,
Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
Who cry'd--"La belle Dame sans merci
Hath thee in thrall!"

I saw their starv'd lips in the gloam
With horrid warning gaped wide,
And I awoke, and found me here
On the cold hill side.

And this is why I sojourn here
Alone and palely loitering,
Though the sedge is wither'd from the lake,
And no birds sing.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

E: Elephant

No, they aren't exactly mythical but they are AWESOME.

I've always quite loved elephants. I swear there is wisdom in those huge dark eyes. And they hold funeral wakes and cry over their dead. That is really amazing, especially for such a big powerful creature. They are the largest living land animals and yet they show many almost humanistic signs of intelligence such as play and tool making. It is no wonder that they symbolize wisdom in Asia.

Amazing story involving an elephant:
Water for Elephants

Curtsey of Samwise Gamgee:

Grey as a mouse,
Big as a house,
Nose like a snake.
I make the earth shake,
As I tramp through the grass.
Tree's crack as I pass.
With horns in my mouth,
I walk in the South,
Flapping big ears.
Beyond count of years,
I stump round and round,
Never lie on the ground,
Not even to die.
Oliphant am I,
If you ever meet me,
You wouln't forget me.
If you never do,
You won't think I'm true.
But ole' Oliphant am I,
And I never lie.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

D: Dragon

What? Falling behind? Me? I don't know what you're talking about.

Ok. Yes. Yes I do. I am sorry. There were some unforseen life circumstances (my own inner and outer dragons) that have been taking up all of my energy over the last week or so. I will do my best to catch up but that may mean doubling up some letters. Thank you for all your lovely comments. I will be making my rounds to catch up on your A-Z posts :)

Dragons are probably one of the most, if not the most, well known of mythical beings. Also they really existed. You've seen "dinasour" bones right? Giant lizards? Yeah. Dragons. Whether or not they lived on earth at the same time as humans I don't think people told stories about them for hundreds of years because they didn't know they existed. There was some sort of deep DNA memory or something going on there.

A dragon is a giant lizard, usually with wings and the ability to breath fire. In some legends they have feathers or no front arms. In most stories they are depicted as destructive, wiley monsters who hoard treasure, live in caves, eat virgins, and ransack villages. They are also wise, however, if a hero can ever get close enough to one to ask a question. If they know which question won't get them eaten.

Every culture has its own Dragon legends. Britain alone has two dragon stories that all but define parts of it's culture; St. George and the the Dragon and the Red Dragon of Wales. Even King Arthur has the sirname of "Pendragon" and European dragons are the most well known in modern fiction.

Chinese and Japanese dragons are more serpantine creatures without wings. They are usually associated with water and are powerful but lucky more than dangerous.

Most Russian dragons have three heads.

Two of my favorite books featuring dragons:
Farmer Giles of Ham by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Reluctant Dragon by Kenneth Grahame.

Here There Be Dragons
The ocean's blue gleams against scales of green,
My reflection dripping in saliva.
Teeth gnash. I sharpen my claws for hunting.
My prey struggles against an armada
of chains welded with fear made mania.
I can not escape the shrieks of my heart ,
self lit fires impeding nirvana.
I am imprisoned by a breath scorched art
of my creation; poison bled from my own dart.

Growling the secrets of safety, of lies,
My longing becomes a song of restrain.
Devouring the stinging salt of sighs,
a gust of destruction guards in my veins,
That place of horror where my mind still reigns,
A key buried deep in a weave of nest,
the chord pulling tight against heavy strains.
Here there be dragons, warring in my breast.
But past the sea's horizon lies eternal rest.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

C: Centaur

A centaur is a creature from Greek mythology with a horse body and the torso, head, and arms of a man. They are also adopted by Roman mythology. Most centaurs are associated with wisdom and learning. They were also warriors and sometimes said to lead chariots into battle. A similar creature in Indian mythology is called a Kinnaras.

My favorite book with a centaur in it: The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis. The children are allowed to actually ride a centaur in this book. A very great honor indeed.

This fantastic centaur was drawn by my fantastic sister Hallel Tyler for your viewing pleasure

Monday, April 2, 2012

B: Banshee

Most of know banshees as faery women in Irish folk lore who wail, foretelling a death. The details, however, vary a lot depending on the particular story.

In the older legends a banshee heralds a death rather than foretells it so that family members far away can be warned before they are sent the official news. In some legends banshees are old hags and others beautiful young women or they can change between the two as they will. Sometimes a banshee is a ghost and sometimes a faery. Sometimes they wail in groups when someone important dies. In Scottish folk lore they are washer women who can be found washing the blood stained clothes of those who are about to die. They usually wear long robes and hoods in blacks, grays, or reds.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A: Avatar

No, I don't mean the blue people.

Or the amazingly cheesy anime series involving Ang, the last airbender.

I don't mean your RPG characters or the icon on your yahoo page either.

I mean the root for these uses of the word; a hindu gods' phyisical form on earth.

Most often the term refers to manifestations of Vishnu, the supreme God, coming to restore the earth to it's natural order. With that in mind you can see how the blue people movie got its title. A story about restoring the earth to ballence. Characters manifest themselves in a new form in order to inhabit the planet.

The Last Airbender probably follows the root the closest. Ang is the Avator of his world, incarnated in the form of a boy to restore ballance to the world.

Even RPG characters have some remnant of the root left. When the god Ganesha manifests on earth he is said to destroy demons.

As for yahoo . . . well it's representing you in the world of the internet where you, like the hindu gods, can't exist in your current form, but I don't know if forwarding those cat pictures to everyong you know really counts as restoring ballence to the universe.

p.s. It is not April Fools. Do not be warned of the coming mayem the day will bring.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Once Upon a Time . . .

Lately I have a had a lot of people ask me about the origins of certain legends and fairy tales. I've read (devoured) a great deal of such stories but I can't say I know the origins and details of every bit of folk lore ever told.

I want to though.

And so, I am planning a blog series starting in May (after the impending A-Z Challenge we will all {most} be absorbed in through April)about the origins of fairy tales. I will research what I can about about a new fairy tale each week and post what I find.

This will be fun! Let me know if there are any particular stories you would like me to cover.

I can tell you right now there aren't any actual original version. Not in the way there is an original Peter Pan or an Original Sherlock Holmes. Fairy Tales were originally told in taverns and around fires. Each telling was different. They drew elements from each other (what we might consider today an infringment of coppyrights) and developed with the times and people who told them. Stories traveled from region to region, mixing with each other, and gathering new life with each generation. Even the first written collections were only one man's copy of what he heard in the local villages. The stories had existed in many different versions for years before that depending on where, and by whom, they were told.

I could easily spend years trying to pin-point the origins of a single story but we'll see what I can uncover in a week. I'm looking forward to this! I hope you have a lot of fairy tale questions for me!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Manuscript Massacre and Why Editing is Like Piano Practice

I apologize for the absence the last couple weeks. I have been rather absorbed in the task of hacking my manuscript to bits and pieces.

It is a bit odd. I hated editing my last manuscript. Every time I had to cut out a clip of dialogue or a good description I would wince. No. I worked hard to make that. You can't just take it OUT.

"I can" my inner editor would reply "if it isn't helping the story."

Pout. Sulk. Threaten to use even more run on sentences and "ing" words. Finally relent and click delete.

But this time I've only been editing a couple of weeks and I've already cut out three whole scenes. And you know what? I don't miss them. Not a whit. They weren't bad but they were unneeded and bogged down the plot. I'm feeling rather ruthless with my words right now. Half the scenes I've kept in so far have been paired down quite a bit.

Slash. Stab. Parry. Watch the ink drip in little black blobs on the bottom of the page. The extra words fall away for stronger prose, better emphasis to the important parts of the story.

For me having a finished draft is a bit like struggling through a piece of sheet music for the first time. Yeah you have an idea of where your fingers have to go and where the difficult chords are but the piece is far from learned. And any good music teacher will tell you that playing it over and over straight through won't do you much good. You have to take it a few measures at a time, zone in on the trouble spots, and really learn the music phrase by phrase, before you can smooth it out as a finished piece.

So that's what I've been attempting. It's slow progress but progress. I can't wait to see it all fit together.

What is your editing process like?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Soooooooooooo Close

This is me and my manuscript right now.

I have somewhere between ten and fifteen pages left of draft one (my best estimate is twelve but you never know for sure) but unfortunately I won't have time to really work on it for a couple of days yet. I'm still a bit stunned though that I wrote the last hundred and fifty pages within the last two months. I have never and I mean NEVER written that fast in my life. Hopefully the writing isn't sloppier than usual but if it is that's what editing is for.

Well I'm off to return to my To Do List and try not to think about my beloved and currently estranged manuscript.

Happy writing my friends :D

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

True Love Ways (In Which I Gush Over Books)

One of the things I've decided I would do this year is shop at less big name corporate stores. It's been a slow weening process. Old habits are hard to break and I already know where all the bigger stores are. They can be so much more convienent but also less interesting and more like an asembly line so I'm working on it. Slowly, yes, but I'm working on it.

The hardest one, of course, has been staying away from Barnes and Nobles. I do know where a lot of little used bookstores are but they usually have limited hours and then there is that annoying fact that when new books come out they don't have them yet. Weeks pass. Months. And they STIL don't have them.

Sigh. Lament. Break down and drive to Barny's (see I even have an endearing nick name for them, how could I possibly stay away? The course of true love never did run smooth)

Or, as I managed to do this last weekend, take a slightly longer and more adventruous trip down to Mysterious Galaxy

If I read a lot of romance or memoir or something this store probably wouldn't do me much good, but considering that my main genre is and always will be fantasty, I can feel like a good virtuous hipster and drool over new books at the same time. Here is what this trip yielded:

Heart's Blood by Juliet Marillier
--This one looks really good. If nothing else I will enjoy Marillier's stunning descriptions. She is such a beautiful world builder.

A Million Suns by Bev Revis
--The first book in this series, Across the Universe, simultamiously disturbed me and made me fall in love with it. I've been quite literally* dieing to know what happens next.

Snuff by Terry Pratchett
--It's Terry Pratchett. And it has Vimes in it. There is no way I'm not going to love it.



Reach for covers, unable to decide which one.

Make a decison. Change it.

Remember that I've promised myself I would finsih draft one of my manuscript before reading any of them.

Oh yeah. My manuscript.

Lunge for my lap top and start typing as fast as I can.

So that's what I've been up to. How about you?

*Ok. Not litterally. It's a metaphor. But still.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Rope and Mast

Salt stinging spray, collecting on my face

A wind dried throat, burning with pain.

You grasp at my soul for your saving grace,

Mock my desperation with self disdain.

My lungs are weak like yours. They gasp for air.

My eyes, blinded by wind, squint for their sight.

While skin withers under the sun's false glare.

I can drown too in the sky's endless fight.

You chase your will-o-the-wisp, your siren.

You beg the fish-girls for a a place in their waves,

Careless that their kiss is as deadly as sin.

You flail and you rave, too afraid to save.

I will not drown whatever my life costs.

If you plunge to the depths it's you who's lost.

ps -- I hope the new background doesn't confuse you too much. I like a change of scenery every once in awhile

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Posting at the Archives Today

Hey guys! It's Thursday which means I've posted over at
The Secret Archives of the Alliterati
We got a bit of a late start but we're putting together a new and improved Archives for 2012! Check out our new theme weeks so you can hear five perspectives on the same topic every week. And believe, me. We are all as different as you can get.

This week's theme is a wish list for 2012.

Monday, from L.T. Host
Tuesday, From Keriann Greaney Martin
Wednesday, from Matthew Delman
Thursday, from me!

Happy Writing!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Burns Night (and haggis!)

So last Wednesday, January 25th, was Burns night.

What is Burns' Night you ask?

A commemoration day of the Scottish national poet Robert Burns,the Scottish romantic poet who championed nature and the common people and probably had one too many girlfriends. And of course, being a mite obsessed with all the romantic poets, I couldn't resist having a Burns supper, complete with haggis.

Well I may have cheated as little. As a vegetarian sheep's heart, liver, and lungs cooked with oatmeal and onions inside a stomach dinna sound so bonny. I made this vegan version.

It came out like this:

I served it which neeps (rutabaga) mashed with potatoes

And it was delicious!

I made Cranachan for dessert but was too absorbed in eating it to take pictures.

And after dinner I made my sister and her boyfriend sit in a circle with me and read Burns's poetry. It was pretty interesting trying to decipher our way through the Scottishisms but also fun. Let's just say we all have really bad Scottish accents and it's hard to read Burns without one.

Here is one of Robbie's poems you've probably heard before if you listen to Celtic music at all to help you get the idea. It's hard to make sense of in general but try reading it out loud! It was fun though. A tradition I am definitely going to keep up.

Green grow the rashes, O;
Green grow the rashes, O;
The sweetest hours that e'er I spend,
Are spent among the lasses, O.

There's nought but care on ev'ry han',
In every hour that passes, O:
What signifies the life o' man,
An' 'twere na for the lasses, O.

The war'ly race may riches chase,
An' riches still may fly them, O;
An' tho' at last they catch them fast,
Their hearts can ne'er enjoy them, O.

But gie me a cannie hour at e'en,
My arms about my dearie, O,
An' war'ly cares an' war'ly men
May a' gae tapsalteerie, O!

For you sae douce, ye sneer at this;
Ye're nought but senseless asses, O;
The wisest man the warl' e'er saw,
He dearly lov'd the lasses, O.

Auld Nature swears, the lovely dears
Her noblest work she classes, O:
Her prentice han' she try'd on man,
An' then she made the lasses, O.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Character Interview: Head Stableman of Camelot

Hi guys! I haven't been posting a lot of characeter interviews in awhile. The truth is most of my characters have been pretty busy advancing WHITE HART's plot lately and have been hard to get in touch with. No time for me anymore I guess *sigh*. But such is life. I did manage. however, to flag down the head stable man at Camelot and he agreed to answer a few questions.


To mix things up a little I wondered if any of you had characters who you would like me to interview. If so e-mail me at

Or, if your characters are shy maybe you'd like to interview one of mine. I'll keep you posted on who's available. Merlin seems to have been quiet in the background lately and so has Lady Nimue. And there is a dwarf called Abelhard who's been a little impatient for his scenes so he'll probably come out for a chat if a reader demands it (because, after all, who am I but his humble creator?). There is also a ship's boy and crazy priest from a short story I've been working on. So, again, e-mail me if you want to fix up an interview.

But back to Camelot . . .

Me: So how do you like working at Camelot?

HSm: It's a job. I've had worse.

Me: Like what?

HSm: I used to man the horses for King Uther's army. I never got any time off either. That man was ALWAYS at war. Half the time he didn't even remember what he was fighting over I think. Or maybe he didn't care And if a horse slipped a shoe or went down in a fight guess who got the blame? Yeah. You guessed it. Of course I was only a stable hand back then so I got an ear full --sometimes even a fist full --from the knights AND my boss.

Me: So Arthur is a somewhat easier king to work for?

HSm: Most of the time. Although I'm beginning to wish he'd never decided to get married.

Me: You feel a sense of foreboding too? Like the marriage isn't going to work out the way he thinks?

HSm: Oh no. Nothing like that. Guenerere seems like a fine enough queen. It's just been so much work preparing for the wedding. You'd think in a stable that wouldn't be too much trouble right? Wrong. Every guest has a different idea about how their horses should be taken care of. There was even a bloke in here the other day who insisted that he look after his charger himself. A wild flighty cold too. Very valuable and very dangerous and honestly I don't have the time to make sure he doesn't hurt his precious noble master's neck. I can't afford that kind of liability right now. Especially with the horses for the cerimony to prepare. The king insists I don't use any iron in their tack or shoes. You know how hard it is too find gold or silver or really any other kind of metal bits and horse shoes? And I've got every blacksmith on the isle coming in every day claiming they've got the best iron in all of Britain. Very well. If I ever need iron I will let you know but aparently the king doesn't.

Me: Sounds like you need to get back to work.

HSm: You bet I do.

Me: Any closing comments?

HSm: If you're coming to Camelot anytime soon do me a favor and come on foot.

Me: I'll keep that in mind. It was nice talking to you. I hope you get a nice long rest once this wedding is over.

HSm: Don't hold your breath.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Well Hello There

I know I have been apsolutely AWFUL about posting in the last three months but I am back and hope to get Taliesin running semi consistently again.

What was that? You hadn't noticed I was gone? Well as it happens I had tea with a faun and stayed away for hours and hours . . .

and now i've returned to ramble about what's new in my writing and I have to say I am pretty excited right now because


After 61 pages (or three and a half chapters) of comings and goings and getting to know new characters, explanatory dialogue, setting up plot points, letting more back story trickle in, getting a clearer picture of the dynamic between characters etc. my manuscript is starting to pick up speed again.

There will be blood tonight!

Or heavier action anyways. If those 61 pages are as long to read as they were to write I will have some serious re-writing to do but I'm hoping that since my readers don't already know what is going to happen (hopefully) the slower bit will be suspenseful and mysterious. I'll just have to wait and see.

But for now I can write at last with full force toward the climax! I can see it in sight and I'm already salivating, chomping at the bit, etc. Hopefully I don't rush the ending. This is somewhat new pacing to me since my last manuscript had so many plot lines rolling at once there was always something exciting, dramatic, or both going on somewhere.

But then a good story doesn't have to be exciting and dramatic the whole time. Slow parts are good.

I think.

I hope.

So where are you in your manuscripts? A hard part? Easy part? How do you balance the drama and the needed detail. Please share. The suspense is killing me.

Not that I'm an impatient person or anything.

And here is a good song to write to (or work on other January goals to) today