I fancy myself a writer.

Latest

I think it’s time to start #writing

English: penulis = writer

Writers write! | English: penulis = writer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My notes on my new novel have reached 12 pages and 6,500 words. I have come up with a focal point to build my story around. The more I think about it, the more convoluted the story becomes. I think it’s time to start writing!

I seem to have also discovered my main writing genre, despite the fact that there are other genres I would like to write in. The book I originally planned to write next was adult fiction with a little bit of magic and fantasy thrown in. It was going to be dark, and in many ways, devious. I still really want to write that book. However, it seems to make more sense in this moment to maintain the momentum I have built with Valley of the Bees and stick with future-fantastic dystopia.

I also can’t ignore the fact that this new novel is demanding to take center stage at the moment! Read the rest of this page »

Reining it in: How to focus your #story so it doesn’t run away with you #amwriting

Animated sequence of a race horse galloping. P...

Animated sequence of a race horse galloping. Photos taken by Eadweard Muybridge (died 1904), first published in 1887 at Philadelphia (Animal Locomotion). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My new novel has topped 3,500 words of notes as I freewrite and brainstorm my way into an outline. I had a moment today when a sudden realization about what my novel is really about struck me. A shiver ran down my spine as I realized the possible implications of the totally subversive idea that emerged from the murky depths of my subconscious mind.

“This is big,” I thought.

And then, “This is probably going to piss a lot of people off.”

Muahahaha!

Not literally, but I was thinking it.

As I typed out the details of my idea, another idea struck me. By “struck me,” what I mean is that it wacked me upside the head like a baseball bat. Read the rest of this page »

New novel worries: How do you know when an idea is worth #writing?

Freytag's pyramid

Freytag’s pyramid (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As I run down the final stretch of publishing Valley of the Bees, I am itching to get started on my next novel. I don’t want to waste all of this momentum I have built while writing my last novel. After all, gathering and maintaining momentum seems to be half the battle of writing!

My first problem was what to write. Luckily, I had plenty of ideas. I just couldn’t seem to choose one. I was ready to write one novel one day and a completely different story the next. When I finally settled on an idea that held my attention for more than a couple of days, I thought the battle had been won. A vibrant story world has taken shape in my mind, and my main cast of characters is coming to life.

Then I realized: I have no plot! Read the rest of this page »

Look! It’s a book! An actual-factual book! #VotB #publishing & New Year’s #writingresolutions

Thanks to the U.S. Postal Service and speedy work by CreateSpace, I am starting off 2017 with a copy of my new book in hand! That’s right, folks! I received my first set of proofs for the Valley of the Bees omnibus print edition in the mail today, and I plan to ring in the new year by reviewing my proofs for errors!

It looks like a real book!

It looks like a real book!

In addition to finalizing my proofs, I am also raising the funds to implement the next step in my marketing campaign. I plan to purchase a Kirkus Review and have my novel listed with them as soon as I can come up with the cash. If you are interested in helping out an indie author/publisher, please check out my GoFundMe campaign and throw a couple of dollars my way. Each $25+ donor will receive a free signed copy of Valley of the Bees upon release (U.S. addresses only)! Read the rest of this page »

A bit of #randomness to round out the holiday season

One of my favorite things about working at a university is the nice little chunk of paid time off I get for the winter break each year. It’s a little less than two weeks for office staff, but it’s just what the doctor ordered this time of year. Extra sleep, a chance to get over my annual sinus infection, family time, good eats, and a little extra writing time to boot, if I don’t let myself get too lazy!

I don’t use Twitter much, but I found myself yesterday with the urge to narrate my time off on Facebook, where I already probably post a bit too much. So, I got the idea to dust off my Twitter account and started tweeting. Oddly enough, my random posts have netted me several new followers and even a retweet from a Tweeter with more than 3000 followers of science fiction. It will be interesting to see if that generates even more followers. Perhaps I should check out Twitter more often! Check out my Twitter profile to see what I’ve been up to!

At any rate, I’ve been up to random randomness the past two days and am feeling rather accomplished. I literally just ordered my first set of proofs for the print edition of Valley of the Bees! This seems like a good time for a cover reveal, so… TA-DA!

capture

And now… well, I’m just sitting here waiting for the family to show up for our annual cousin cookie baking party and face-stuffing with our favorite finger foods. Read the rest of this page »

Keeper of the Bees: An #ebook excerpt

Severe thunderstorms containing hail can exhib...

Severe thunderstorms containing hail can exhibit a characteristic green coloration Frank W. Gallagher, III. (October 2000). “Distant Green Thunderstorms – Frazer’s Theory Revisited”. Journal of Applied Meteorology (American Meteorological Society) 39 (10) : 1754. Bibcode 2000JApMe..39.1754G. doi:10.1175/1520-0450-39.10.1754. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m in the final stretch of prepping my Valley of the Bees manuscript to go to print, and I found this particular chapter so thrilling that I wanted to share an excerpt. I think you’ll want to go right out and buy the book to see what happens! Here’s an excerpt from Keeper of the Bees: Valley of the Bees #3, which you can now pre-order from most eBook vendors:

Excerpt from Chapter 46: On the Bat’s Back I do Fly

In a few short hours, they had loaded the wagons down with as much as they could hold, while still leaving room for passengers. It was only then that Valley looked to the sky and noticed the dark clouds that were rolling in from the west.

“I think it’s time we packed up and headed home before we get drenched,” Valley said. She pointed toward a horizon line that was obscured by an ominous, green layer that moved quickly in their direction.

“I think you’re right,” Brute said. “Green skies are never a good sign this time of year.” Read the rest of this page »

Wanted: Your opinions, please!

Each day, I draw closer to completing my Valley of the Bees book project. My manuscript is in the final formatting phase, and the time has come to make an endless number of decisions that most readers will never think of. Today, I am agonizing over the formatting of my chapter headings, and I’m hoping some of you might have an informed opinion to share on this subject. Here is an example of what my chapter headings look like now:

chapter heading format sample

What do you think: should “Chapter 46” be bold?

So, here’s my dilemma: I think the chapter number and chapter name should be set apart in some way. I’m think of bolding the chapter number. What do you think?  Read the rest of this page »

So, I’ve totally bombed #NaNoWriMo—but that’s okay!

If you’re doing NaNoWriMo this year, I hope you’re doing better than I am. With Thanksgiving only a couple of days away, and me at like 2,000 words, tops, I think it’s time to throw in the towel and admit this just isn’t my year. I’ve still been getting writing stuff done though, so I have no regrets. Well, maybe just a couple. But, that’s life, right?

Anyway, I have my full manuscript of Valley of the Bees with a professional proofer at the moment, and I’ve been working on page layout for the print edition of all three eBooks in one big book, which is scheduled to release in March. I printed out the front pages and the first several chapters to get an idea of how things look, and I was pleasantly surprised at how much it looks like—well—an actual BOOK!

The Valley of the Bees Omnibus print edition is shaping up quite well!

The Valley of the Bees Omnibus print edition is shaping up quite well!

I have done a pretty stellar job with page layout, if I do say so myself. I can’t wait to order my first real proof. Then, it will be real. Really real! Read the rest of this page »

If you don’t ask, the answer is “no.”

Creative writing class-fine arts center (40269...

Creative writing class-fine arts center (402690951) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Two years ago, I took a full-time job working as a civil servant in an academic department at a state university. I’m a media manager, writing the occasional news story about my department, editing the department newsletter, liaising with textbook reps, and doing all sorts of tedious work (like putting together course evaluation packets) that have nothing to do with anything I went to college for. It’s not exactly my dream job, but it allows me the flexibility I need to be able to pursue my dream career, which is writing.

Prior to taking this job, I worked as an adjunct instructor at a state technical college. It’s a typical career path for many in my situation, but I soon learned that it was not conducive to writing. Sure, I only spent a couple of hours in the classroom each week and was able to work at home the rest of the time. But, I spent many of those long hours at home grading papers, reading basic essays written by students who really did not want to write them. There was a lot of drudge work involved for very little pay, and it left very little time for my own writing pursuits. Read the rest of this page »

Exploring my writing roots at 2 a.m. on a Saturday morning

A picture of my Grandma Webster

I dug all through my digital photo albums looking for a picture of Grandma Webster, and this is the only one I could find. I need to remedy that!

Have I ever told you about my writing roots? I feel like I haven’t, and that’s odd, because you would think that would be a natural topic of discussion on a writing blog, right? At any rate, storytelling seems to be embedded in my genes, as much as my early graying hair and the extra fat that I tend to carry around in my gut. Those are a few of the things I get from my mom’s side (along with some good things, too, don’t get me wrong.) But, the storytelling gene runs strong on my dad’s side of the family.

My dad’s paternal grandfather – my great grandfather – Ralph Webster, is a bit of a legend in our family. It is said that he could pick up any musical instrument and hear any song one time and play the song on that instrument. The accordion was his chosen instrument, but his voice was a major talent as well; one that he often put to good use spinning yarns for anyone who cared to listen.

Oral storytelling is a popular pastime in that branch of my family tree. My father is no exception. Many a family wedding photo has captured my dad gesticulating largely as he tells one of his stories that never fail to hold his audience in thrall. Not only does he tell fabulous stories of the hilarity that seems to ensue in his daily life, but he is also a connoisseur of family history. His brain is a magical treasure trove of stories that beg to be written down for posterity, but he’s not one to spend time sitting down to write. Read the rest of this page »

%d bloggers like this: