Tag Archives: Wisher’s World Series

Shifting Mental Gears

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Sometimes, a writer has to take stock of a situation and begin shifting mental gears.

Now, I’ll give you the skinny on why things have slowed down on my Wisher’s World Series. I tried to pull up the completed final revision of Volume One last Sunday. The only thing available was a corrupted copy in a temp file on my hard drive. The Digital Gods had decreed that I should begin a totally new revision of the novel.

Wisher's World Vol. 1

Prelim Cover

The space beside me was occupied by my clone, who was freaking out about the situation. The anger, frustration, and normal emotional responses were being handled by the clone. The rest of me went through every retrieval procedure possible in an attempt to find the good copy.

No such luck.

What I did have was a beta reader copy that had been sent back to me with corrections, suggestions, and questions embedded in it. And another full beta reader assessment on file that I could add to the first one. Also, there was a hard copy I’d used to transfer all of those proposed changes, suggestions, etc.

I pulled up the corrected beta file and began again. I should have a new revision finished—barring more trouble—within a couple of weeks. Even though an anticipated edit should have begun this week, the delay isn’t too great. At least, not yet.

abstract_2008012903-1113int.epsMy clone still resents the interruption in the writing process. The rest of me came to a refined conclusion about the incident. Being forced to return to the beginning with fresh memories of the changes already made once, creates an opportunity to make the story better, fuller, richer. Maybe that  shifting of mental gears is a sign of writing maturity.

Wouldn’t that be nice?

Anyway, that’s how things stand with that series right now. Believe me, I have new copies of each chunk of revision done on a flash drive as well. Two other short projects wait in the wings for their time in the spotlight—a short tales chapbook of flash fiction, and an updated edition of my Writer’s Dragon book. With luck I can get all three projects out within the next month, plus a few others to outside markets.

Writer-Photographer Rebecca BarrayOh, and I’ll have another article for you on Sunday/Monday. It will be an interview with writer/photographer Rebecca Barray. We’ll be discussing her handling of the Wordsmith Studio Newsletter and what it takes to put a good newsletter together on a regular basis.

I hope you’ll stop in to learn how Rebecca does it. Until then, take time to breathe, look over your own writing process, and how you intend to work for the rest of the year. Have you looked at your goals lately?

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At Home on a Writer’s Diving Board

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Getting ready to launch isn’t easy for me. I keep asking myself if it’s easy for anyone. I never get an answer to my query.

I’ve a few projects sitting on the back end of that diving board, along with a few creeping toward the business end of that plank. The one that will dive first is Short Tales of Book Cover 02Twisted Wishes, a chapbook of flash fiction. It will launch next weekend on Kindle.

From there will come the second in the Short Tales series, and on through different themed chapbooks. My hard drive holds enough flash fiction to put together at least five or six of the little samplers. Some might ask why anyone would waste time creating these when she has bigger projects to finish.

Here’s an answer to that.

Several larger projects are on the boards. I’ve been working on them for a long time and haven’t gotten them finished yet. They’re under the pen, but novel-length work goes slower than the other writing. Why? Personal perfectionism tendencies.

Yep, if a chapbook of twenty-thirty pages can go to readers, filled with stories I loved writing for others to enjoy, I’ve won a race. True, the race is one of my own making, but given my penchant for extreme perfectionism, anything that goes out is a plus.

5b6-052714-akpCase in point: a week or so ago, a call for submissions came across my desk. The contest was a small one, with no prize money, no trophy. It asked for a 140-character complete story. Those are some of the best challenges, like tiny puzzles of the mind. The deadline was rapidly approaching—can we say a matter of an hour. I couldn’t resist.

Fifteen minutes later, I hit the send key to submit my tiny story. The actual prize for the top 10 winners was to have their stories professionally produced as individual short videos to be released on each writer’s YouTube Channel.

That prize might not seem like a lot. It might even seem lame. For me, though, it was a boon. I liked the idea of seeing a few sentences created into a book trailer with voice over, music, and good quality. It cost me fifteen minutes time and creativity. That’s all.

Now comes the wait time for my video to launch. You see, my little tear-jerker was one of those top ten stories received. It may not seem like much, but it’s a great confidence booster. It’s also a good lesson about perfectionism for me. The six sentences that comprised the story had three rewrites in that fifteen minutes, but in the end it was right.

The work went quickly. No real obsession with perfectionism prevailed. And it rewarded me with acceptance and pride in my work.

This is the second time such a prize has come my way–the first was a children’s short story produced in the U.K. a few years ago with the same scenario. It’s a terrific feeling.

My decision to work small for a while and get things out was reinforced in short order. Pun intended.

stock-photo-2-019That diving board doesn’t have to get higher than one meter right now. Springboards are just fine. My flash fiction and poetry chapbooks can act as goldfish, growing with time and then acting as feeder fish for larger projects that take longer revision times.

The launch of a novelette-length series episode is also coming soon. That’s right. The first installment of the Wisher’s World Series, Composing an Apprentice, will come out next month, too.

See, there’s going to be plenty of work done from that flexible plank at the end of the writer’s pool.

At Home Updates and Wisher’s World Excerpt

It’s that time again. I’ve been working on projects around the house these past few days. I’m still behind on my daily poetry. I’ve managed to get approximately 3000 words added to my Camp NaNo project in the last few days, Wisher’s World: Composing an Apprentice. It’s not as much as I would have liked, but I haven’t stopped writing.

I’d like for you all to see another taste of this new book of mine. This time it’s from the middle of the book. I hope you enjoy it. And please feel free to comment on it below. I’ll have the first draft done by the end of the week and then I can work on the revision and edit. After that, it’s on to Kindle for a test run.

Wisher’s World: Composing an Apprentice—ExcerptForest Path

“When the nape of his neck stirred as if tiny creatures crawled among the individual hairs, Reibe sent his attention to the other kind of stirring taking place; this one within his mind. The headache which had been rising all afternoon took an immediate plunge to a bare whisper of pain. He knew before he saw her, who had entered the room.

“You asked for me, my father?”

The soft voice so matched the feel of the young giantess from the night of the dinner that Reibe felt vindicated in his assessment of her. Lyroclae eased into a vacant chair a few feet to Reibe’s left. She wore a pale brown gown, and around her neck flowed a stone necklace of the deepest green. It was made of individual stones carved to resemble a linked metal chain. It suited her, he thought.

“Cleone, this is my daughter, Lyroclae.” Kershon’s introduction of the girl confirmed many things for Reibe, as well as created more questions.

Lyroclae dipped head and body to Cleone, saying, “It is most fine to meet you, friend Cleone.”

The soft smile she turned on Reibe made him blush to his eyebrows. “It is good to see you again, young human. Are you still troubled with pain?”

Reibe smothered an inward groan and waited. He knew Cleone would not let that question pass.

“Pain? What does Lyroclae mean, Reibe?”

“Oh, my pardon,” Lyroclae said, putting hand to mouth. “I meant no breach of silence. Truly. Father, I have erred again.”

In that instant Reibe couldn’t help himself. He laughed. This pretty giantess had sounded so much like he did to himself most of the time that it came as a relief to know that he no longer walked that path alone.

“Pardon, Lyroclae. I am laughing at myself, not you.” Reibe bowed his head and turned to Cleone.

“Since I came here, I have had terrible headaches. They sometimes go away after a while. At the dinner here, my head suddenly felt as if it would come apart.”

Cleone nodded for him to continue.

“When the pain got too bad, Lyroclae put her hand on my neck and the pain went away. She was most kind to help me. I did not mention it to anyone.”

“You did this, my daughter?” Kershon asked with obvious pride.

“He was in pain, Father. I could do naught else.” Her brown eyes challenged censure.

“My child, you make me proud.” He held out his arms to Lyroclae and received her embrace as any loving parent would.

He looked to Cleone and said, “She has been working with your mother since our arrival. She wishes to be a healer like her dead Mother.”

Lyroclae’s chin rose, showing her determination to those who might think her untried.

“That is admirable, Lyroclae,” Cleone said. “I haven’t yet spoken to my mother, but we will talk of this, I’m sure.”

“Please, ask her, Father,” the girl insisted.

“Ask me?”

“Friend Cleone, my daughter would ask to go with you on your trading trip this next time. She wants, and says she needs, to see more of the world and healing practices so that she might become a Master Healer.”

Cleone pursed her lips and rubbed her forehead. Finally, she turned to Reibe and asked with sudden intensity, “What do you think of this idea, Reibe? Would it be wrong to take young Lyroclae with us next spring?”

Reibe’s eyes widened until he was sure they might fall out. “I have no way of judging such a thing, Mistress. I do not yet know what I am supposed to do.”

“Very well. “ Cleone didn’t smile or hesitate. “Lyroclae, do you cook?”

“Yes, friend Cleone. Though, I do not know what you eat.”

Cleone waved away that disclaimer. “Are you a good traveler?”

“I do not know, friend Cleone. How do you mean? I do not ride as your people do. I have not been taught. I am healthy and not prone to illness. I was one of only a few who did not sicken with the disease.”

Again Cleone waved away the girl’s statement. “We can talk about that some other time. What can you do for us that we can’t do for ourselves?”

The question caused Lyroclae’s eyes to narrow and her chin to rise. “I can heal others. I am still learning, but I can heal. I am strong and willing to work, and I can teach others what I know of the Juton.”

Cleone smiled. “A healer is a good thing to have around. If your father and your people agree with this plan of yours, you may come with us, and I will allow you to learn what I know, take you to other healers that I know, and help you learn about humans along the way.”

Cleone reached out toward Lyroclae, palm up, and waited for the young Juton’s hand to seal the agreement. The giantess didn’t hesitate. Her own large palm covered Cleone’s and they shook on the pledge.

Reibe’s felt his head spin with the implications of the trip. He saw the speculative look that flashed across his Mistress’s eyes at Lyroclai’s assertions. He felt certain that his Mistress would not explain her decision to gain another team member. The trading team had doubled in size in one day.

What did Cleone have in mind that she would make this much change in this trip?”