Category Archives: blogging

Mini-Musing 12/8/16

I’m sitting here doing homework, and am doing all right in this course so far – Rhetoric and Critical Thinking – another class I’ll likely ace.  Oh yes, A- in my Literature class but was anyone really surprised by that?  Not me!

Anyway, I’m sitting here thinking of shutting everything down.  Just not updating my blog, making Twitter posts and disconnecting my Facebook page for awhile.  Can’t let Big Brother know about this, though.  I’m thinking of what to do about my current and future works.  Since starting, I’ve had little to no desire to work on Immortal Stream, let along finish it, among other things.  If I’m not working at the 9 to 5, I’m doing homework which often takes several nights and more words than I’ve ever written at one time. 

I just wish Stella wasn’t the only one who got her Groove back.  Maybe I’ll feel good enough and have enough time to throw myself back into writing when I graduate which will be in June, 2017 but I’m not counting on it.  Unless something good happens in between now and then.

Peace~

CJ

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Mini-Musing –This is a Scary Business

So I’m cleaning my office today, despite being on stay-cation.  Trust me, it’s messy and needs it.  Now last time I did this I mentioned on Facebook that I came across some books I don’t recall purchasing and/or reading.  I guess it happens when you have almost 400 books in your office alone and keep buying more every month or so.

Some of the books, I took the time to look up the authors to learn more about them and to see if they had more works.  Some did of course but many didn’t.  In fact a few of them seemed to have dropped off the face of the earth – or at least off of the internet.  It just makes you wonder what happened.  Did life make it impossible from them to continue?  Did the publishers cancel their contracts for whatever reason?  Did they decide writing wasn’t for them or only wanted to do one or two books?  Did they pass away?  

For example here are some of the books I have been looking over and whether or not they have a sequel.

Diana Marcellas – Mother Ocean, Daughter Sea.  There seems to be one sequel and a few other books and some reprints by another publisher.  The last being 2014.  There’s no website or blog for her.  I did find a posting on Goodreads from her ex- who gives some additional info and provides pen names, but there’ still nothing recent.

S.D. Tower – The Assassins of Tamurin.  I really liked this book if I recall.  But she’s not written anything since, looks like or at least I’m not finding anything.

Devin Cary – The Winter Queen.  This is another book I liked reading and again nothing online except re-sale copies.

Drew Bowling – The Tower of Shadows.  I haven’t read this yet and I want to but it’s Book 1 and there’s no indication of a Book 2.

Caiseal Mor – The Meeting of the Waters.  It looks like the author is concentrating on music which is cool of course but this has one sequel and that was in 2010.

This is just a sampling.  I hope all of the authors are planning to return to this hectic thing that we all love called writing, because I’d love to see the continuation of their stories.  In the meantime, I’m going to try and find as many new authors that I can and discover new works.  And of course, purchase more bookshelves.

Peace~

CJ

Musing 5/30/16–OK, so I bent the rules a bit.

First off, have a great Memorial Day everyone and remember to take the time to honor the brave men and women who protect our freedoms!  I have an important article posted on my Facebook page but here is it again: Memorial Day 2016: In defense of memorials to our military heroes.  Read it and look to see if there’s a monument you may have to protect.

I’m on stay-cation right now which to me is the best type of vacation you can take.  I’m finishing up school work and chores today then I’ll have the entire week to do my thing.

I had a very interesting last week.  I participated in Query Kombat as stated in my last post and actually had a blast!  The contest is fairly well known and is presented by authors Michelle Hauck, Michael Anthony and Laura Heffernan.

My query wasn’t chosen but I have had two very nice authors volunteer to critique my query, so here’s a shout out to the fabulous, Elizabeth Roderick  and T. Frohock!  Elizabeth BTW is the author who gave me the heads-up about the chat and stuck with me throughout the contest.

Now here’s where I bent my own rule.  After Query Kombat there was a 140 Twitter Pitch contest for those authors whose queries weren’t chosen.  Now you’ve read how I feel about Twitter Pitch contests and how my feelings haven’t changed.  But again after posting this:

2016-05-30 (1)

I received an extraordinary amount of positive feedback, encouraging me not to let some a**hole (well maybe not that word but you get the idea) ruin it for me.  And I’m giving a shout-out to them all!  May your books end up on the bestseller list!  So with the help of author Kathleen S. Allen (MAJOR SHOUT OUT!) to help me tweak the choices I obtained from Carissa Taylor’s Twitter Pitch Logline Generator, with a shout-out to author Tina Spear,  I was actually able to come up with a few good pitches, and then of course received the request to critiques.  So I guess I can try another one.  I’m still a bit wary because this was only one contest so I suppose we’ll see how the next ones goes.  Peace ~

CJ

 

GUEST POST ~ AUTHOR KELLI RIFFLE

And now I’d like to welcome back my dear friend and author Kelli Riffle!  Kelli talks about geography in a novel among other things that all writers need to pay attention to.  Thanks again Kelli!
I know how bad writers tend to NEED to jump right in and start something they want to do. Then, usually, get started and hit chapter four and, whoops, it’s not right. For those who write Fantasy, Science Fiction, some Paranormal and Adventure (and more) there is one thing to start right off the bat with and it will come in very handy all throughout your writing process. The first and simplest place to start, and very convenient, is a map.
            A map is an essential tool for creating worlds. In a way, you get to play God. But, the rules have to make sense and I will be talking about this later in my blog posts. You do get to draw, and I already hear the sighs and the rolling of eyes. Yes, some of you rolled your eyes so hard, I could hear them. You really don’t need to be able to draw, don’t need to draw a straight line. Look at a map and see how many straight lines there are in natural land formations. There are none, at least none I have been able to define. Look at beaches and shorelines, lakes and rivers, islands and continents. Do you see any straight lines? I really can’t draw a straight line, but I can scribble some jagged little outlines of a land or world. Even country and state lines are not straight (the Mason-Dixon Line may be the only suggestion I can give and even then I doubt it is perfectly straight.) So, get a piece of paper or a sketch pad, and start designing a map. You don’t even have to include it in the finished draft, but it helps, and let your mind go. If you don’t like it, turn the page and start over. My last map for my fantasy novel really sucked. It had straight lines. It didn’t look right. Didn’t look natural or real, and that is something you want to avoid. You will be coming back to this map repeatedly throughout your writing process.
            But, you need to consider brushing up on basic geography. Look at the United States for example. On the west coast, you have many geographic areas, from deserts and beaches to mountains, and moving further north with the states the climate changes a bit to have milder winters. Moving east there are the Rocky Mountains. Even further east are the plains states, where they have harsher winters than other areas because of the Jet Stream mostly. Then you work your way into the eastern woodlands areas. (This is just a brief example) Knowing your physical geography is important because, even in a world created by you and filled with magic, readers will let you know when you have not done your research.

 

            In addition to all this, maps are a good way to keep yourself oriented, period. If you don’t know what direction you’re going, neither will your characters. This will also give you an idea how long they need to travel from place to place, and also what the weather will be like and what kind of food and other supplies they need. Besides, they can be fun to create and play with while you are waiting for all your ideas as they develop.
Thanks again for dropping by Black Satin, Kelli!
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