Author Photo

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A little grumpy. A little squeee.

Today I'm feeling a little grumpy because I am going through the novels in the Tales of Talifar series (set in Josh Foreman's universe) and breaking apart as many long sentences as possible into little snippets. Because. Today's readers can't read long sentences.
I'm also a bit squeee. I had a lunch date with a lady in my Sunday School Class, and we are having wonderful times with each other. She is interested in literature and almost everything else in the world. She didn't run away even when I got on my obsessive monologue about introducing new crops into Rwanda. And she loves art! We set another date for next week at a Thai restaurant, and then a tour through art stores. After Mom died and another friend got a job, I've had no one to go to art stores with. I am looking forward to this.
Now, back to breaking sentences.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

This and That- February 2015

Today on FaceBook (a social media site) my oldest posted an article about zombie ladybugs and asked me to tell Nature to stop stealing his best ideas. I said I would get right on that.

In other news, the house is sold, the business is sold, and construction on our new home should begin soon. This morning I delivered cups of Valentine candy to all the neighbors who might be impacted by that construction. On each cup I attached a Valentine note saying that I was sorry if the house-building causes any inconvenience.

I'm not quite to the halfway point on the Kruliss novel. This is a lot of fun to write. Josh has been sending me incredibly beautiful pictures of Arctic and Antarctic ice. I'm submitting Sailing from Stoneshell to the Ubergroup of Scribophile (a website of people who critique each other's work.) I need to go critique a lot more pieces to get enough credit to post the whole novel. And I'm waiting on an editor we hired to work on The Scarred King. Moving along in my plan to begin publishing the Tales of Talifar series this year.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year 2015!
This is the year that at least the first in the Scarred King trilogy will be self-published, and possibly the next two as well. Or, possibly, the editor we hired will persuade Josh to connect all three into the one novel they started life as.

2014 is the year I "joined" the 500 club, as explained by Randy Ingermanssen, the SF thriller writer in Battle Ground: once the novel has been figured out, I write at least 500 words per day on the thing, no matter what. It used to take me years, but this time I wrote a novel in two months. The next novel took three months. I don't know how long it will take me to write The Journey of Pledgekept, but I expect not too long as so much of it has already been written in other novels. I merely need to take the same scenes and rework them from his viewpoint. fun, fun, fun.

I had a good time over Christmas brainstorming another novel with my oldest. With the caveat that they all need editing, here is what we have so far in The Tales of Talifar series: The Scarred King I, The Scarred King II, The Scarred King III, Sailing From Stoneshell, Killing The Siij, Finding Home, A Little Magic, the short story The Ungols Ride to War, and the two novels I'm working on now: The Journey of Pledgekept, and the Kruliss novel. The Kruliss started out life as Binkutts, but I complained that every time I tried to think of their names, I kept coming up with Binkies. I'm still fussing about the specie's name. I'd rather they had a name that did not end in two esses. So, polar bear/centaurs that live at the poles of Talifar. Josh wanted me to write a novel with a brilliant and profound ending, but he could not tell me what that might be. So I had a species I still did not understand, no plot, and no idea what profound thing any of them might do. Generally, when writing about aliens, authors will throw in a human as a point of reference, so what if we had a slave human? What would a strong, giant alien that lives on ice need a human for?

Josh wondered if we would be too (something) if we made the slave's story something like Joseph's in the Bible. I seized on that idea like a pit bull. Think of the strength of Steinbeck's East of Eden. Okay, now what. So we started to draw timelines, and discovered that what I thought Josh wanted for the big boss battle, or the climax of the book, he actually wanted as preface to all the adventures. Aargh! So we played what if for a couple days and hammered out a rough plot that I think is going to be a lot of fun to write. I've already sent him the first chapter, and he's written back what he wants to see changed. We're using the Aleut language as inspiration for names, and Vikings for the starting point that then morphs into alien morality. We're always concerned about reasonable physics, economics, and social structures. We spent a lot of time watching on-line videos about icebergs and floes, and thinking about food and physiology. Yeah, this novel is going to be fun.

2014 I threw two novels I wrote decades ago onto Amazon for downloading onto Kindle. I haven't advertised Streets of God or Pilgrimage. I just wanted them out in case Shatterworld and its sequels ever gets published and a reader wants to read more stuff by me. Josh is trying to figure out how to push Tales of Talifar without using his GuildWars connection and thereby being unethical. If he were saying these were GuildWars stories, yeah, that would be unethical. I don't think announcing that he is an artist for them is unethical. Everybody else announces what their background is. Why shouldn't he?

In 2014, I reentered the world of the hearing (although music is still hideous noise) and found out I was allergic to much of the world. Also had a gall bladder taken out and a host of medical issues came and went, so I'm in pretty good shape now, better than in years. We sold (are selling) our house and moved into a small apt. to free up money to build a strong house for us, our autistic daughter, and her caregiver that we hope will last without needing major repairs for the next forty or fifty years. If the house and business sales go through as they look as though they will, 2015 will be a busy year of continual plan revision and building. And writing.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Some recent movies, including Interstellar

I really liked the robot in the movie Interstellar. Its locomotion was tremendous. The cinematography, the acting, a lot of the plot were tremendous. The science, as in most Hollywood movies, check that, as in All Hollywood movies, was forehead slapping. My husband had to make me stop laughing in the theater when beautiful scientist's daughter gives an impassioned speech about how love is quantifiable (and what quanta does love come in?) and how love transcends space and time. Uh-huh. Then I suppose hate does too. How about indifference? Still, if you like to feel while bypassing thinking, this is one good movie. Oh, and yes, the parent-teacher conference scene alone was worth the price of admission. And that robot!

I was a kid when Robbie the robot would intone, "Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!", wave his arms around, sparkle in his glass dome head, and have various gizmos twirl. And for some reason, every show and movie thereafter had to have vaguely humanoid robots. This robot was a marvelous slab with sections that pivoted in various places. I would have rounded the corners a little bit, to save wear and tear on both corner and environment, but other than that, I thought the machine was marvelous.

As long as they follow their internal logic, I give a pass on science to cartoons and superhero movies. We took some men with us to watch The Penguins of Madagascar. We laughed a lot. Really a lot. We love those guys. Smile and wave, boys.

Big Hero 6. Despite the hollow feeling of missing a great character throughout the entire movie, I loved the show. Great animation and art. Great plot. Fun Characters. I highly recommend the movie.

Mockingjay. Not a feel-good movie. I thought it was powerful and moving. For a movie, it followed the book amazingly well. If I reread The Hunger Games, the actors are who I will see as the characters. If you can handle lots of violence and emotional turmoil, and aren't offended when the character you love suffers from PTSD, this is a movie I can recommend.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tin Swift by Devon Monk

I found a new favorite author. After hearing Devon Monk speak on a panel at Orycon, I decided to pick up one of her books to see what kind of writer she was. Oooh, my goodness! With her deft descriptions, fascinating characters, and an ear for dialogue that positively sings, I found myself thinking about the book for the rest of the night after I closed the cover, theoretically to go to sleep. What could have been a mess in someone else's hands was here a delightful melding of steam punk, western, alternate history, fantasy, horror, and science-fiction. I cannot figure out other reviewers who found the multiple POVs in the book distasteful. I thought the technique rounded the plot and gave the reader multiple people to root for. I am looking for more of her books. I enjoyed her clear, beautiful writing in this book, and want to experience more.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Another one in the series

I think it took a little more than two months to write the first draft of A Little Magic, book seven in the Tales of Talifar series which is set in Josh Foreman's universe. This is fun.

Let's see, so far this summer I've spent two weeks in Pennsylvania with my brother Bob, a week in Cleveland with my daughter and two granddaughters (bringing along a grandson for the adventure, a week in Florida with a son and two grandchildren. I came back from Florida with bronchitis and sinusitis, and came home to a flooded basement. As I type this, someone is downstairs replacing some of the sheetrock. All you guys who had stuff stored in my basement might no longer have it. We've been tossing out a lot of ruined stuff.

The son in Florida loaned me a book for the night, and here is my quick review:
Level Zero Heroes:

I truly enjoyed reading Level Zero Heroes despite the occasional bouts of rage I felt during some of the episodes. The writing was excellent and vivid. If there were typos, I did not see them. I felt confident in the level of authenticity of what I was reading and rejoiced in the happy ending of the protagonist and dog. I generally like to know what ethical people who aren’t me are experiencing, and I felt submerged in an experience I will never be able to feel directly. I wish all the people who pontificate about matters military would read this. Everybody who enjoys true military stories will like this book.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Finished rough draft of a novel in TWO months

On 6-1-14 I finished the first rough draft of Finding Home. I started on 4-4-14. I finished a novel in two months. Can you believe it? Of course, the novel is short. And finished is a relative term. I’m not altogether satisfied with the escape through the woods part, but I decided to go ahead and stick a fork in it anyway. We can change things in the editing and rewrites.



Now to see if I can come up with anything like a plot for a wizard’s apprentice tale, possibly with Fencock starring as the wizard.