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Showing posts from February, 2014

From the Archives of "The Daring/The Fortune"

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So, it has been nearly a week since I have shared anything. You may be wondering if I got lost in the pages of a manuscript somewhere. Well, that's somewhat true. I am currently juggling four different manuscripts right now. While they are mostly written (first draft) at this time, I find my mind constantly jumping between story lines, from one idea and scene to the next. My one accomplishment recently has been the completion of one manuscript, which has entered its first editing stages while I continue to plunge through the maze of my other stories.

Today, I have been sifting through several three-ring binders filled with various material for past and current novels. One in which I found a stack of printed pages to my published novel "The Fortune" (The second book in my "Captain Thorne of the SS Daring" series) including my first draft notes and scribblings.

So, I thought I would take a photo and share it here (and in so doing, let you know I'm still alive…

Save a Writer, Read the Book

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90% of books are better than the movie. Everyone wants to see the movie. But how many want to read the book? As a book lover, I cannot imagine my life without books. It's like oxygen. How can you survive without it? It is difficult for me to fathom those people who don't like to read.

I enjoy movies, don't get me wrong. There are some great films out there. Yet, it deeply distresses me to see a wonderful novel turned into a movie and the storyline and characters get butchered. I see that happen way too often. The book is great! Why must you ruin it?

I will not list those failures here. Though I could, and I might even want to. But there is no use in ranting.

Granted, this is not always the case. I applaud those filmmakers and directors who can keep the heart of the story in place, even when some details are changed. Film will never be like a book. It can't be. Film is great in it's own way, just as books are great in their way.

Regardless of how true or not the mov…

A Writer's Life

This may be difficult to believe. This may shock you. The everyday life of the writer is not a non-stop exciting adventure. We are actually mostly normal. Mostly, except for the constant voices in our head and the sometimes glazed over look in our eyes where our minds leave reality behind at random intervals.

People have asked me quite often where I get my ideas from. Honestly? A good deal of the time, I can't remember exactly where it's origin began, or how it developed in it's early stages to the story it became.

I live a normal life. I work a normal job where my tasks are fairly routine with few occurrences to disrupt that routine. I hunt for groceries—at the store and at home in my fridge—organize bills, and try to keep at least one counter in my kitchen clean on a daily basis, as well as the never-ending task of trying to find those missing socks that always get lost in the laundry.

I suppose the one thing that changes all of that as a writer is an overactive imaginat…

The Problem with Villains

What makes a bad guy the villain in the story? Some stories go to an extreme, and the villain is like the devil himself, completely dark and and completely evil. He cannot be redeemed. Then, there are the stories where the villain has that darkness about him, but something in his life offers light. Hope. A hope for redemption. Whether or not that comes to pass is up to the individual story.

Whenever I am looking at a villain, be it my own story or someone else's, I ask the question: "What made him/her become so dark? Why is he/she the way they are?"

Because, everyone has a story. Everyone believes in who they are or what they are doing to some extent. They believe in their cause. Just as the hero has a story, so does the villain.

I want to know if the villain I am reading/writing about has the potential to be redeemed or not. The problem with villains is that they are three-dimensional just like anyone else. You can chose to hate them for who they have become, but they a…

"Don't Hand Me That Line, I WROTE That Line!"

The longer I write, the more complex my characters can become. Sometimes I think I know them completely, and then sometimes they surprise me and catch me completely off guard by doing or saying something I never expected. I'm writing along, and everything is going great. I'm in a groove. And then, WHAM! I stare at the screen and wonder: What did he just say THAT for?! I don't think I meant for that to happen...

Have you ever watched "Nim's Island"? (The first one, not the second one. I tried watching the second one and only got through the first ten minutes before I shut it off) I love that movie. As a movie-watcher, I love it because it is such a fun story. As a writer, I love it because it reflects a certain reality for writers and their characters.

You see, Alex Rover (played by Jodie Foster) is a writer. And she is struggling. She doesn't know how to finish her novel. And through the whole movie, she has "conversations" with her character (p…

Captain Thorne Quote

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A quote from my Captain Thorne books. Original artwork of Alena, drawn by myself.

Deadlines and Writer's Block

Writing can come easily at times, when the story just seems to flow straight from the mind onto the paper. The scenes all come together and the conversations come faster than my fingers can type. Those are days I am glad to be a writer. I thrive for those days.

Then, there are the days when I can sit in front of the computer and stare at a blank document, and that's all I see. Blank. What happened? My characters abandoned me. I search for them in vain. I can't seem to form a single scene into anything more than blurry snapshots in my head.

Writer's block.

That is when a deadline can either be a nightmare, or a blessing in disguise. Sometimes, if I don't have a deadline, I make one. Sometimes I get desperate. I just need the extra push to get something written. It's not going to be perfect, but at least it's a start. Better than a blank page. And once I dig in, it gets easier.

That is one reason why I so enjoy National Novel Writing Month. It's a deadline. G…

Meet Captain

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It is said you are either a cat person, or you are a dog person. I don't know if that's true, but I adore my cats. I don't treat my cats like people, because they aren't. (Though, sometimes, I swear they think they are!)

This is Captain. I call him 'Cappy' for short because he is still just a kitten and hasn't really grown into his name yet.

He is the newest addition to the family, having just come to me in November (just in time for Thanksgiving) as a tiny scrap of a kitten. He has certainly grown since then!

He likes to sit behind my computer while I write or listen to music and every once in awhile, stand on his hind legs and peak at me over the screen. 'Hi, Mom! Whacha doin'?'

Sometimes, he tries to help move my writing along by walking on my keyboard too. Or sitting on it. Or attacking the mouse. Or attacking anything that happens to move across the screen. Like the cursor.

And after all of this, he drapes himself across my lap and...
Well,…

The Birth of a Writer—Welcome

I've been writing stories for as long as I can remember. Before on paper (I was a terrible speller, and still am!) I was writing them in my head. I would fall asleep at night watching the scene unfold in my mind's eye like a movie, and the next night I would pick up where I left off, crafting the words in my head till they painted just the right picture.

Most of those stories I have forgotten, since I never actually wrote them down. But today, I have too many stories to keep track of (what did we ever do before computers?) and not enough time or space in my brain to write them all.

I love to read, which is a big reason why I became a writer. What is your favorite book? And why? Go ahead, tell me. Was it a character that you related to, or strongly aspired to be?

A good book is like a best friend. Because I couldn't get enough of reading, I started to write. I wanted to tell a story as if I was reading it. I might have an idea of where it will lead, but anything can happen.…