"Draw your chair up close to the edge of the precipice and I'll tell you a story." ~F. Scott Fitzgerald

15 October 2013

on writing...

First of all, I have to confess to borrowing that title. If you want some real words of wisdom, check out Stephen King's book by the same title--if you have any interest in writing, I highly recommend it. Quite a few quotes from that book have made their way into my quote notebook that's never far from me!

So, a couple of weeks ago I did something crazy amazing (well, to me anyways). I sat out on a bench in the park in the rain and wrote for 3 hours.

Yes, you read that right. Granted, it wasn't a downpour. I was under the cover of the trees and the rain was light enough that I only felt a drop every once in a while. I was able to have my notebook out on my lap without the paper getting wet.

It was unbelievably quiet.
So quiet, in fact, that I actually heard the hop of the rabbit that was surprised to see me in the rain before I ever saw him.

Right after he left, I got to see a mink run across the trail a little ways from where I was sitting. It's pretty amazing what you get to see in nature when there aren't any other people around, sitting like a crazy person writing in the rain.

3 hours in the rain, and I walked away from it feeling more relaxed and refreshed than I can describe. I would have stayed longer but I had to go to class...you know, get back to the real world.

Even after that, though, there's something I hesitate to do--
   it's still hard to call myself a writer.

I have a book out (it's only 99 cents this month (shameless plug right there)) and I don't feel like the same person when I don't take the time to write
   and I'm willing to sit in the rain for 3 hours to write
and it's truly what I would love to spend the rest of my life doing.

But for some reason, I still can't call myself a writer.

People ask me about my writing, and I clam up. I usually mutter something along the lines of, "Oh, it's fantasy--you know, kings and wizards and magic and stuff," and then I change the subject.

Not really the best idea for someone whose only marketing comes from word of mouth, huh?

It makes me crazy, yet it's not something I know how to fix. I read amazing articles about how the first step to becoming a professional writer is to refer to yourself as a writer, to claim the title, but for some reason I just can't make myself do it.

I am a writer.

Guh. Even typing those words leaves a bad taste in my mouth and makes me desperate to change the subject. I feel like a fraud, to tell you the truth.

I write. I like to write. I'm not myself when I don't write.

But to claim the title of Writer? That magical word that brings to mind people like Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Andre Norton, and Max Lucado (a rather eclectic group, I know)?

I still don't feel like I have the right to claim it.
And to tell you the truth, I'm not sure I ever will.

20 August 2013

sneak peek!

So, it's been almost 2 months since I wrote anything on here. I have all the usual excuses--life has been crazy, never any time, too busy--but none of them really matter. So, I'll beg your forgiveness and give you something I mentioned the other day on my facebook page: a sneak preview of what's coming next!

THE PROPHECY has done better than I ever would have imagined. Not that its sales have been off the chart or anything, but to be honest I'm just honored that people are choosing to spend their hard-earned money on something I wrote! Some would think that I would be content now, glad I got that whole "writing bug" thing taken care of, but I'm actually the exact opposite. All I want to do is write more, partly because writing keeps me sane but also because I want to put something better out there.

Don't get me wrong, I'm proud of what I've written. At the same time, though, I look back at it and have to cringe a little bit every once in a while. Like, I imagine, all first novels, it's a bit rough in places. I'm anxious to write and put something else out there because I know I can do better. Please don't take that the wrong way, because I really don't mean to sound as conceited as that last sentence came out. Like everything, though, good writing takes practice. Now that I've gotten a little more practiced, I'm excited to try again!

So, now that all that stuff's out of the way, here's a peak into Roedel's world and the story I'm working on right now...

"Long ago, a new presence came to Paideia. No one knew where it came from or why it came, but none of that mattered. All that mattered was that this new presence was bent on nothing but destruction, and it came in a form no one could stop.

They were called the Feron, a name which quickly had the ability to drive even the bravest to tears and desperation. The Feron were ruthless, cutting down anyting in their path. There was no common decency to be found among any in their ranks, no honor in their actions. When they razed a town, no one was spared. Their arrows flew true, and it is said that if you were unlucky enough to escape the pierce of their arrows, a worse fate awaited you should you fall into their hands.

A single touch brought agony so intense it left the victims begging for the mercy of death. That was a request always granted, though never for mercy's sake. Those who died at the hands of the Feron died quickly, but their deaths were far from simple. From the look of fear frozen permanently on their faces, the pure agony in which they died evident in the expression frozen there at the moment of death, all those who saw the victims of the Feron could do nothing more than pray their own death would come from the merciful hail of arrows.

There would be no warning of an attack before it occurred. The number of scouts sent out or sentries posted was inconsequential, for the Feron appeared out of thin air, seemingly formed from nothing more than the dust in the breeze. They were ghostly beings, tall and transparent. They carried weapons which appeared as ghostly as themselves, yet they became anything but ghostly as they passed through flesh.

Though many fought valiantly against them, the battle was futile. No weapon raised against the Feron could prosper. Arrows soared through their incorporeal forms to fall harmlessly to the ground. Knives and swords passed through them as easily as if they were passing through smoke, and the Feron never reacted to a single blow. Entire towns were burned to the ground without even a scrap of food left behind, for the Feron needed no sustenance to maintain their army.

They moved south across Paideia, a horde of pure evil swarming across the land. All the peoples of the land fled in terror, unable to do anything else.

Then one day, they vanished.

There one moment and gone the next, the Feron vanished as if they had never been anything more than a nightmare. Their ghostly weapons and ghostly forms melted back into the wind. The only evidence of their existence was found in the razed towns and the stories of the dead, those whose agony haunted the dreams and tales of every people of Paideia.

But the peoples of our land are strong. They picked up, carried on, and moved forward, knowing that one day the Feron would once again form out of the mists.

Now," Roedel said, his voice low and his hand turning the smooth stone in his pocket, "the Feron have returned. Once again they swarm across the land, appearing without warning. Their weapons wound grievously, but they themselves feel no strike and fear no archer."

"And all that stands between this unnatural army and the total destruction of Paideia and her children," Beryl spoke up, "is a group of misfits..."

27 June 2013

a big thank you!

I was looking at the stats for THE PROPHECY today (yes, I'm still a bit obsessive about it--this thing has been a long time in coming and sometimes I still find it hard to believe that people are buying my story and actually reading my words), and I came to an odd realization:

my writing has actually made enough to pay a month's rent.

That's definitely not a fortune or anything, and there are a lot of bills that go above and beyond the rent payment, but it was still a bit of a shocker for me.

I mean, who would have ever thought that putting a book out there would pay for my family to have a place to live for an entire month? That's pretty crazy to me!

The thing is, I owe all of you all a huge THANKS! for that. If it wasn't for you reading my words here, no matter how disjointed my thoughts may be from one sporadic post to the next, and then telling somebody else to give this crazy new writer a shot, none of this would ever have happened. If it wasn't for the encouragement I get from you guys, writing stories would have slipped into the category of "hobby" a long time ago.

Now, I'm getting to experience something a lot of people never get the chance to experience. I'm actually seeing a dream come true right before my eyes, and let me tell you--
    --it's crazy-amazing!

For those of you who know me and may start worrying for my babies' well-being at the thought that I've suddenly decided to live off my writing, don't worry. I'm still a scientist and something of a realist by nature (though the dreamer inside is finally getting to spread her wings a bit more lately). I'm well aware that the 3-week success of a first (and so far only finished) book in no way means it's time for a career change!

That said, though, thank you again to all of you who have read my words and offered support and encouragement and told other people to take a risk on a new writer in a genre that lots of people still shy away from for the most part.
You guys are the best :)

13 June 2013

have you gotten your copy?

First off, let me say thank you to all of you who have been reading my writing here so faithfully. Your support means more to me than you can imagine, and it has kept me writing even when the words didn't come easily.

So, I want to make sure everyone knows that THE PROPHECY is available free for the Kindle on Amazon! The promotion will last through Monday, so if you are an ebook person stop over and pick it up...then let me know what you think about it :0)

Second, I thought I would tell you all a little bit about the story that's coming next. It's definitely quite a ways from being finished, but I'm having a lot of fun writing it!

It's not part 2 for the Sons of Tundyel (that one is still in the planning stages). I've delved into a different type of world for this one. My hero Roedel is of the Ula Ros--think elf-like for that one--and he has found out that somehow he is the only hope for the defeat of an army that threatens the whole land. Roedel is traveling with 3 others from 3 different races. His companions are responsible for getting him safely to the Vale in search of a teacher who can help him understand his powers. The problem with that is, the Ula Ros have been forbidden from ever returning to the Vale.

Like I said, I'm having fun writing this story. Roedel is a bit young and clumsy, and I'm finding myself amused and befuddled by some of the things he does (that sounds weird; I'm writing about him and yet still being surprised by him). His companions have kind of mixed feelings towards him as well, so their journey is a bit... interesting.

Again, thank you for taking an interest in the crazy ramblings of someone addicted to writing! If you haven't gotten it yet, head here to pick up your free Kindle copy of THE PROPHECY (and sorry, but the Kindle version is the only ebook available right now due to a 90 day exclusivity agreement with Amazon).

I hope you enjoy it, and I hope it won't take me nearly as long to get this second story finished :0)

01 June 2013

the big reveal...

I'm incredibly excited (and a bit terrified) to say...

 This little thing (I say that, but it actually came to a whopping 496 pages...never would have imagined that!) has been a long time coming, but it is finally available in its entirety. You can get to it by clicking on the picture above for right now, because createspace is the only place you'll find it for a few days. Before long both the print edition and the Kindle ebook will be available through Amazon. I'll be sure to let you know when that happens--the ebook should be available by the end of the day today :0)

If you are an Amazon Prime member with a Kindle (or the Kindle for PC/MAC, or whatever other Kindle readers there are out there...I'm not very well versed in it myself!), you'll be able to borrow the book for free!

Can I ask a huge favor? If you get the chance to read it, would you take a minute to review it on Amazon for me when the book shows up? Good or bad, I would love to know what you think!

30 May 2013

the big event!

I've been writing and editing furiously lately, in the hour or so I have between dropping my daughter off at school and teaching my physics lab each morning. And it has paid off--all the editing and rewriting is DONE!

I am beyond excited to say that this means the whole (first) story of Paodin and Syndria is ready to share with all of you, and it will be available on Amazon starting tomorrow, 31 May 2013.

I want to say thank you to all of you who stuck it out all this time, who have stopped by on occasion to see how this crazy writing journey of mine is going. It's been a bit of a bumpy road at times, but it's been fun so far...and I'm definitely not done yet!

The next part of Tundyel's story is outlined, not to mention Roedel's story that I carry around in my bag so I can write any time I have a spare minute (though I have to admit, Roedel's been abandoned lately while I've finished working on my first brain-child!). Writing is a part of me, and there's no way I'll be stopping any time soon.
*map made by my husband

SONS OF TUNDYEL: THE PROPHECY will be available both as an ebook and as a really truly paperback,so if you're like me and haven't given in to the idea of trading the smell of paper and ink for an electronic reader, I've got you covered ;0) Stop back by tomorrow and I'll have the links to where you can find both versions.

Again, thank you to everybody who has followed this path with me. Your comments and encouragement has meant the world, and I hope that in exchange you've gotten to escape the real world for a little while!

18 May 2013

something's missing...

I've been doing some editing lately, trying to get SoT:The Prophecy ready to sell on Amazon (that still seems strange for me to say...). I actually printed the whole story out, after shrinking everything down and then printing two pages of the story to each printed page (what can I say--I really didn't want to go through that much paper and ink!).

A funny thing happened when I was getting everything ready.

I realized that I'm missing a chapter.

Yup, an entire chapter. And this is after I had "finished" and completely walked away from the story I'm thinking that maybe "oops" doesn't really cover it, huh?

I remember not writing it now. I was stuck and didn't really know how to get the story from point A to point B, so my mom suggested I just skip forward and then go back to it later. That's what I did, just with that one minor difference of not going back to it later.

So now, I'm finishing the editing and reading the story start to finish for the first time, believe it or not. I haven't quite gotten to that missing chapter yet, but it won't be too much longer before I get there. Then the story will truly be finished and I'll be ready--or at least as ready as I'll ever be--to put it out there for people to read in its entirety.

Roedel and his journey have been pushed to the back burner for a little while since I'm still planning on having SoT available by the end of the month, but I can tell you that I'm anxious and excited to get back to him. As a bit of a glimpse into his story, when I left him Roedel and his companions were approaching the Vale and trying to disguise Roedel's unruly red curls so the Ula Eos wouldn't recognize him as a halfbreed...