Friday, June 29, 2012

Creating My Fantasy Novel

I've been researching a 3rd W.I.P. the past several weeks. I have my outline, I've drawn my map, assigned climates and cultures to the separate peoples, created the religions, and many, many other details that go into world building. Now I need to choose some names for the main characters.

In the other two novels I am working on(books 1 and 2 of a trilogy), I used Old English, Danish, and Russian for character names. This time, some of my main characters are from a large island nation. So I am trying to decide between Egyptian  names or Indonesian. I don't necessarily match a type of culture(Middle Eastern) with the names of specific languages(Arabic) we know on Earth. So though my island might have a more Hawaiian feel, I don't want to use Hawaiian names. 

If it makes no sense to you, that's alright. This is my fantasy novel and one of the little idiosyncrasies I have. *grin*

So this made me wonder...How do YOU decide what types of names to use? Do you just pick random names you like or do you go with a similar language for all your names within each groupings of people you have? I'm getting close to actually beginning the writing process of creating this novel. (Research takes forever when I have so much fun doing it.) How long does research for a new novel generally take you?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

"WHAT IF" Fairytale Madness Blogfest

I'm going to be participating in a fun new blogfest in August and thought I'd share the fun with my other writer friends who might also be interested.

WHAT IF?

Fairytale Madness Blogfest

August 13th-17th, 2012

Have you noticed by changing one detail, one event, one character trait, one thought...you can completely alter the rest of the story?

For this bloghop, we are exploring "What if?"
Not only do we want it to be fun, but it will hopefully be a fun writing exercise and make for some fun reading during the hop. 

For rules and to enter go here: 


I have my fairy tale all picked out and plan to enter one of the following two categories.
                                            

How about you? Shout out if you will be joining me during this fabulous bloghop!


Monday, June 25, 2012

I've been talking in my sleep again...

The hubs likes to tell people about how I used to talk in my sleep most nights until I started writing my 1st novel. These days, he can tell when I've been neglecting my writing too much, because I start talking again.

The last 2 nights I have had seriously bizarre dreams. For the 1st, I had to have seen a clip of the movie, Alien3 while flipping through TV channels, because my dream starred a woman giving birth to an alien baby. I spent the entire dream wondering how in the heck she got pregnant by an alien in the first place, just like I did way back when I watched that movie. *I cringe just admitting that this was one of my dreams* The 2nd night's dream was even more bizarre, but I don't think I'll share that one because it gave me a super cool idea for a sci-fi novel I'd like to write in the future. *wink*

The truth is, the reason I talk in my sleep is because I have vivid dreams. And my dreams are speaking to me, telling me one very important thing...I haven't been writing enough the last few days. *sheepish grin* I helped host a baby shower this weekend and the days leading up to it while I feverishly created centerpieces, banners, and cupcakes, left me no time to even think about any of my 3 W.I.Ps.

Now, while a break from writing is a good thing for fresh perspective and all that and it did lead to a new story idea...there is also such thing as too much of a good thing. My dreams are letting me know that the break better be over, or I am going to have a grumpy hubs, *laughs* and an even more bizarre dream.

So, I spent several hours adding some awesome material to my W.I.P. today, and my mind is wrung out. I bet we all sleep well tonight.
How about some alien love?
Have your dreams produced any potential novel ideas? Do you talk in your sleep? What was the craziest/weirdest dream you've ever had?






Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Why blog?



The last few days I have been combing through site after site looking for information on pine trees in Egypt. I found so many that say there are, in fact, pine trees in Egypt, but none that give a specific name for those trees. Until, that is, I came to a blog that not only gave me 3 names for the Mediterranean Pine-Aleppo Pine-Pinus halepensis, but also told me a ton of useful information about this particular pine including what the Egyptians used it for.

I tell you all of this to emphasize the importance of blogging.

I have had numerous people tell me, "I don't blog because I have no idea what I would blog about." To this I say, "Bologna!" We all have some job, hobby, or interest that we know more about than most others. From parenthood, cooking, and home remedies to publishing, writing, and creating an author platform, you never know when the knowledge you take for granted may help someone.

So if you have an interest in blogging, but have not done so because you are afraid you won't have anything to talk about, look at those things you are most interested in. Share with others your hard won knowledge. You never know when something you share will be the 'Mediterranean Pine' information they were looking for.

Thanks so much to the folks over at Plantarium Maioricarum for sharing their knowledge. This writer appreciates it so much!!!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

One Lovely Blog Award Thank You

I opened up my blog today to respond to comments from my last couple of posts and found an award waiting for me. Thank so much, Elise Fallson, for granting me this award. I am glad you enjoy visiting my blog enough to think of me for this.

If any of my friends are insect enthusiasts, I would encourage you to head on over to Elise's blog and check out her April posts in which she themed all of her A to Z challenge questions on insects and shared her incredible expertise. Here is her first insect post, A is for Apis mellifera.
The rules are:

1. Name and thank the blogger.
2. List seven facts about yourself.
3) Award up to fifteen other bloggers this award.

7 Facts About Me

1. I love to dip hot, salty french fries in soft serve vanilla ice cream. Yum! 
2. I am an avid scrapbooker!
3. I cannot draw to save my life, and so really admire those who can.
4. I love to hold costume themed events at my house.
Me as Old Mother Hubbard for a Nursery Rhyme Themed BUNCO

5. I give 110% when I agree to take on a responsibility, and am baffled by those who do not share this trait.
6. I trade old fashioned letters through the mail with one of my best friends, Ashley Weeks, rather than the more modern e-mail since she made the move up to Pennsylvania. So you Pennsylvania photographers needing a model give her a call!
7. I am extremely absent-minded and would lose my own head if it weren't attached to my neck! *grin*


I am sharing this with a few of my newer blogging friends. Their blogs are lovely and I think you will enjoy what they have to share.

Friday, June 15, 2012

1 Year Blogiversary= 1 page W.I.P Excerpt

I cannot believe it has only been a year since I started this blog. I love blogging and feel as though I have been doing so for a very long time. I have made so many great friends on this journey and I definitely want to do something to thank you all for making me feel so welcome in this bloggy world!

So I have decided to post a page from my recently submitted W.I.P. You all deserve to see what your support has helped me to create. I know that I wouldn't have a completed MS without God, my family, and all of my wonderful friends, both personal and bloggy related! 

This photo was downloaded from the following site:
http://www.thewallpapers.org/desktop/35191/fantasy-space-art-wallpaper

Excerpt from my 1st finished novel, The Severing: Raised Under A Dark Shadow

***
Ruark watched his mother in silence. Her once beautiful hair, its shimmering white a stark contrast to the blacks and browns of his father’s people, reminded him of a living pearl. Now it lay limp and damp with the fever brought on by her torture. He wished he could have known her, that he could have asked about her and her people. Had her hair always been white? Were all Lytlingum born with white hair or had it occurred because of the torture? Except for the color of her hair, his mother could have been of his father’s people with her ivory skin, high cheekbones, and pale eyes. He had studied the slaves brought in from Nevia or Midun, they tended to be shorter with rounder faces and darker skin tones. But he knew almost nothing about his mother’s people and he would never be able to ask her.
The one time he had seen her before, she had been wrapped in Zimri-Lim magic so strong she had been unable to move anything but her eyes. She had looked at him then, as if trying to memorize everything about him. He admired her strength that day as her eyes glared defiantly at the priests. His heart warmed when those hard, angry eyes filled with love when looking at him.
This day, her eyes lay closed. He saw them wince as she struggled for each ragged breath. Her body inhaled, paused, and then let out a shuttering exhale as if bracing between each breath for the pain she knew would come. He stared at her face, willing her to look at him. He worked to imprint her in his mind: the dirt smudged across one of her beautiful high cheekbones, the crease of pain between her eyebrows, the shape of her mouth and the cut marring its perfection, the wheezing of air into her mouth as she took a breath.
Did she taste the blood leaking from the cut on her lip?
Despite her condition, he smelled her natural lily scent that no amount of abuse could hide. He would always associate the scent of the lily with his mother. He longed to reach out and feel the softness of her skin, would it feel like the petal of the lily?
Ruark heard his father behind him and at the small sound his mother’s eyes flew open. She stared straight at him and whispered into his mind. “Ruark, my son,” her voice beseeched him. “Koa needs you. Follow the Light. You must become the king you are meant to be. Only you and your queen can save Azerea from destruction. My successor will find you. You are the last hope of the Lytlingum. I love you. I always have.”
With what remained of her strength, she wrenched her arms free of their magical restraints and threw a blast of fire at the priest guarding her and at the General. The priest collapsed while his father blocked the attack. Ruark’s blood turned cold as his father slammed his mother against the wall. She clawed at her neck as her face turned blue.
Ruark lost control of his body and stepped between them. “Stop, you’re hurting her.”
While the blood drained from Ruark’s face, his father’s face flushed in rage. The General lifted his free hand throwing his son through the air. Ruark hit the wall with bone crunching force and slid to the floor. Pain radiated throughout his body. Each breath caused broken ribs to stab into his lungs. Ruark fought the tears but they flowed down his face as he lay dazed on the floor.
***

So here you go. A short look at my W.I.P. Sound off and let me know what you think. Does it make  you want to read more? Do you see something I should work on? The formatting didn't completely translate, so ignore that. Without critiques and feedback I cannot continue to improve and since improvement means getting one step closer to a contract...well, you see where I am going with this. *grin*

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Promotional Items?

I was cleaning my son's playroom today and came across a promotional item I was given at a local wine festival last year. It was one of those little flashlights in the shape of a bottle advertising Captain Morgan Rum. (My son likes pirates...no judging!!! *sheepish-grin*)

Seeing this item made me think about promotional items writers use. I know things like bookmarks, business cards, pens, or notepads are popular, but are these things worth the investment? Do they really make people want to buy your book? Also, should you put your name or the name of your book on the promo item?


As I get into the submission process and start dreaming about a marketing plan (yeah, I know...roll your eyes), I find myself thinking about things like this. There are so many options. Excerpt books, lip balm, notebooks, pens, pencils, stress balls, posters, computer brushes, bookmarks, post cards, etc. So I thought I'd poll my writer friends with experience for curiosity sake since I am still dancing the submission limbo *laughs* and have no need as of yet for promotional items.

What promotional items have you found to be those that give you the most bang for your buck? What have you felt really makes a difference in sales? What was a huge flop? Do your promo items have your name or your book name or both?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Writing Community

This month marks the half-way point  of my term as President of the Oklahoma City Writers, Inc. As I prepare this week for our 1st summer workshop meeting, I must admit that I am smiling. So far I have managed to do exactly what I set out to do when I decided to take on this new endeavor.

1)I've brought new life into a group that seemed a bit tired.

2)I've reached many new writers that didn't even know this group, that has been around for almost 100 years, was here.

3)I've made so many new friends and valuable connections.

4)I've found a critique group home.

And it is only half way!!!! I cannot wait to see what the 2nd half of my term brings. Hopefully a contract from the publishing house I submitted to 4 weeks ago! *wink wink*

Do you belong to a writing community? If not, I would encourage you to look around. Google is an amazing tool for finding your local community. That is how I found my group! If you belong to a local group, give them a shout out and leave a link in the comments along with the city it is located in. You never know who is roaming the blog boards hoping to find info for their area.


Monday, June 4, 2012

New Collaborative Blog Endeavor

A Feast of Fantasy
http://afeastoffantasy.tumblr.com

To all fantasy fans out there, 4 other fantasy writers and myself have started a new collaborative blog project aimed at reaching you. It will feature reviews of books, games, and movies, collaborative flash fiction pieces, and examples of our own individual work.

If this sounds like something you enjoy or if you know a friend who would really enjoy checking out something like this, please visit us at A Feast of Fantasy. Our first posts will be about introducing ourselves and today fellow FOF contributor and recently published author, Jessica Therrien, will be kicking off our introduction week with a bang. Leave us a comment and let us know how we are doing. We would love to hear from you.