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Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Wednesday Whittleings — Fantasy Building Silliness and Dr. Dolittle

Wednesdays are my day to randomly babble. Sometimes about children's books, others about writing, and whatever else strikes my mind. Random thoughts...random whittleings.

As some of you know, I'm currently hitting new ground (for me) in writing and am working on a co-authored project. If you want to know the truth, it's a ton of fun. Not only is it great to finally bounce ideas back and forth without having to deal with eye rolls and disinterest...

...my family members don't need to listen to my non-stop babbling about whatever I'm writing on at the moment. 

But it's a blast to play around in a fantasy world with someone else. I thought I'd share an email from my co-author, when I had a question about the magic building he'd set up (just to give you a hint at how crazy and hilarious this process is). And this is the email.

"All right! So first off, I want to thank you all for coming here today...if this is your first visit to my head, don't forget to fill out the new personality form back there on the table as you enter. As always, snacks are free, but the bar is cash only."
 *audible grumble*
"First order of business.  Necromancy. Now, I know this is old news for some of you, but we have a visitor, so please, be respectful.Necromancy is an off shoot of witchcraft, which is a religion, and therefore, anyone can partake in. Now of course, we're not talking Harry Potter here."
 *chuckles from the peanut gallery*
"So I'll turn it over to an expert in the subject. Lady Dolethea?"
A pale thin dark haired personality with bright violet eyes steps behind the podium. She sweeps a gaze across the crowd with a mixture of arrogance and disdain.
"Fools. You know nothing!" Her face softens. "Ahem. So, let's start with the basics...
One doesn't need any special abilities to become a witch. You simply have to understand the flow of energies binding the universe together. Inviting a spirit guide to help you through the process is an important initiation ritual dating back before recorded history. As you progress in your journey to enlightenment—assuming, of course, you please your spirit guide—he, she or it will open new doors to abilities you never thought possible."
"Excuse me."
Dolethea squints into the crowd, shielding her eyes from the lights. "Yes, we have a question?"
A man in black clerical robes stands up. "Forgive me, but I'd like to point out that this is completely against our religious beliefs..."
Dolethea points at him, and he sits back down. "Yes, well... This process is defiantly one used by Satan throughout the ages. Hinduism, Taoism, Zoroastrian and many others employ the same..." She coughs. "We're not converting...just covering how things work where I'm from. Where was I? Oh yes. The spirit guide demands payment.  In fact, even accepting the guide's assistance requires surrendering some aspect of yourself to it. Other abilities require greater sacrifices. As Necromancy lies a the far end of the dark path, this tends to involve some rather nasty business."
Gandalf rises leaning on his staff. "And how does this differ from wizardry?"
Dolethea nods. "So glad you asked." She leans in close to the microphone with a barely vocalized whisper. "It doesn't."
Galdalf chuckles. "I never summoned a spirit guide."
Dolethea smiles. "No? Maybe not consciously, and maybe you don't walk the dark path, but when you speak a spell, who are you talking to?"
Gandalf works his lips nervously.
Dolethea smiles. "Exactly. The natives of every culture on the planet believed, and still do, that spirits inhabit everything. Air, rocks, literally everything. Magic is nothing more than convincing these spirits to give a darn about what you want and getting them to act accordingly. Wizards placate, as do some witches, but necromancers deal with the spirits beyond this world. Our influence among the living is...more forceful." Her face falls and she shudders slightly. "And comes with great cost."
She leaves the podium much more shaken and desperate than before.
I return to the microphone applauding. "Well, I must say...I hope you all enjoyed Dolethea's exposé. And let's hope she gets the help she needs after that speech. Next week, Dr. Dolittle will give a talk on the art of sitting on your hands. Thanks for coming!"

And that's a glimpse into our world...or my co-author's head...which is a very interesting place to visit. Believe me. Oh, and it took me awhile to get his Dr. Dolittle joke.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Happy Book Birthday, Garden of Ravens by Krystal Jane Ruin with Giveaway!

A collection of dark poetry that journeys through folklore, twisted tales, mental breakdowns, and depression. 

We hide in shadows
We wither under layers
Sunlight is for beautiful people
Darkness is for us

And here she is...
Krystal is a writer of paranormal and supernatural fiction residing in the Tennessee Valley. When she’s not writing, she can be found sipping matcha frappucinos and searching for unicorns in the wild.

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Wednesday, August 7, 2019

IWSG: Boom! Bang! Never Saw That Coming

It's IWSG time!

Every first Wednesday of the month, this group of writers come together to offer support, advice, encouragement or simply to let out frustrations and woes. Writing is a tough journey, and we don't have to go it alone.

Thanks goes to the brain behind this group, Alex J. Cavanaugh! If you want to join in or find out more (because there is so much more to this group) then head on over here.

Special thanks goes to this month's co-hosts:  Renee Scattergood,Sadira Stone, Jacqui Murray, Tamara Narayan, and LG Keltner!

August is upon us.

August is upon us?

August is upon us!

Nope, this isn't a play on punctuation or even a hint at any deep meaning or thoughts. It's me freaking out because...
Holy Crow! Where did the summer go?

I do wish I'd had more time for blogging, and I'm not even going to start on how bad I was at visiting others. (Talk about embarrassing!)  I'm planning on changing these problems this coming September because things will surely slow down by then, and I'll have tons of more time on my hands.


Yeah, I don't believe it either.

Well, before I dive into this month's question, there are a couple quick things I'd like to shout out.

A few days ago, I received the cover for the audio book version of Music Boxes! Plus, I heard the first two chapters and am over the moon. The voice actress, Nance Weber, has to be one of the most talented individuals ever. Yep, I'm a total fan.

Also, I'm busy this month on the book signing front. I'll be at the Barnes and Noble in Rogers, Arkansas from 11 am to 2 pm this Saturday, August 10th. Then, I'll be at the Barnes and Noble in Springfield, Missouri from 10 am to 2 pm on Saturday, August 17th. If you just happen to be in either of these areas and have a little time on your hands, feel free to pop by and say 'hi'! I'd love meeting every single one of you.

And now, off to the meat of this month's IWSG:

Has your writing ever taken you by surprise? For example, a positive and belated response to a submission you'd forgotten about or an ending you never saw coming?

Yes. Yes. And again, yes.

I once sent out a query and received a full request fourteen months later. It never lead to anything...or maybe they don't respond to fulls for several years?

And as to surprises in my writing, these happen constantly. Although I'm a plotter (mostly), characters and story lines tend to have a mind of their own. For example: Broussard in Music Boxes loves apples. There's even an apple on the cover. I'd never dreamed he, as a dog, would like apples, nor did I ever think apples would have anything to do with the story. But obviously, that's not what Broussard wanted. Lindsey met him on the street just like she should, and...Boom!...suddenly he demanded an apple. Tricky dog!

Or let's take my current WIP. One of the main characters, Myra, is helping her parents finish up the mushroom harvest. The plot was flowing along nicely as she chatted with her mother about executions and the new boy at the market and knives and such (regular mommy-daughter sorts of things). Then... Bang!...suddenly she's insisting that they take a trip the next day to an underground lake. Why? I have no clue. But that lake became one of her favorite spots in the world and harbors more symbolism and memories than I would have ever believed. (*ahm* That's if my co-author agrees. She hasn't shared this secret with him yet)

That's one of my favorite things about writing. No matter how much I plan or mold or map out, the characters and plot take on a life of their own. There's no telling what surprises they have in store. It's always so exciting!

What about you? Enjoy a crisp apple? Ever talk to your mother about the horrors of death magic? Are you an audio book fan with a favorite voice actor/actress?

Does your writing surprise you too?