Meeting my characters

Working on my first novel is living a mystery as it unfolds. Who? What? Where? How many pages until I find out?

Recently, I narrowed it down to one piece of work, and it took me some time to put away the other stories percolating in my head. Now, I am settled in to my scifi galactic empire story, and loving it.

I am meeting the characters now. They are fascinating, and I love them already.

I created Solon yesterday, the elected leader of the Zenodoran clan. He has some deep sadness in him, but keeps it hidden well. I don’t know if he will be a good guy or not, but I like his smile.

Also written into the world this week: another clan leader, some family members, and a beloved cousin. I am afraid it won’t end well for everyone when the dark cloud creeps across the empire snuffing out worlds as it moves silently across the vastness of space.



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Worldbuilding Muse

The outline of my first novel had a beginning, several plot points in the middle, an end and some key characters. I had no idea how cool it would be to create the universe in which my novel will grow! After crafting the world of my novel, I know where each of the five clans is located, their resources, talents, and weaknesses. This is beyond fun.

I struggled with naming places and people until I defined each group more carefully. Knowing their origin story helps me to narrow the list of choices. I want each clan to have its own distinctive identity, including names. I’m not giving away any secrets, though. I wonder if you will be able to guess the origin of each clan when you read it.

At this point, I can’t the words on the paper fast enough! Whatever muse is whispering in my ear, please do not stop now!




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Wisdom from Hemingway

“I learned never to empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when there was still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it.

Ernest Hemingway

Okay, I’ll admit it–if I am going to pick a book to read, it probably won’t be Ernest Hemingway. I respect his work, and his wisdom. This quote speaks to me and soothes me when I cannot write as much as I would like. Life often gets in the way of writing. I am learning to designate those times as “filling my well” of creative energy.

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OWFI 2015, part 1

OWFI 2015

Confession time—I have registered, and paid, for the Oklahoma Writers’ Federation Inc. Conference twice before, but I failed to attend even one session. This year, I showed up and attended. I attended 11 workshops over two days. I am glad that I gathered the courage to get out of my car and walk inside.

The OWFI team was welcoming and organized. The Embassy Suites did a great job hosting the meetings. The presenters were outstanding!

The sessions I chose to attend were in two categories: marketing and writing. I am a good writer, but inexperienced at actually selling my work. I am also a rusty writer.

Here is a first round of reviews from the sessions I attended.

I appreciated “Revising Like  a Professional” workshop presented by Maria Snyder. She is a college professor and author who brought a very helpful set of guidelines. It was concise and upbeat. I took away a strong sense of how streamline the editing process so that it gets out of the way of the creative action of the first draft.

“Self-Editing” was presented by Sara Henning. Sara is an editor and author who brought a wealth of practical expertise to the discussion of editing your own work. I found the discussion of consistency to the especially helpful. Much of grammar and usage can be stylistic. She affirmed that as long as you have a good reason and remain consistent, it is okay to make some stylistic choices.

“How to Hook Your Reader on Page one…and Keep Settling the Hook Deeper on Every Page Thereafter” was presented by Les Edgerton. I enjoyed his dissection of the film, “Thelma and Louise” for story structure. I found myself dissecting my own novel-in-progress in the margins of my notes as he illustrated some basic story structure terms in an aggressive analysis of the film: Inciting Incident, Crossroads, Story Problem, Magic Room, Backstory. While all of these terms should be familiar to even beginner writers, Edgerton’s experience and teaching instincts brought their immediate importance into sharp focus. Sadly, I missed his keynote presentation at the Author’s Ball Friday night. I heard that it was outstanding.

“World building From the Ground Up: What color is the sky in you mind?” was presented by Trisha Leigh. Leigh is a successful cross genre author with great marketing experience. She conducted an active discussion of the nitty gritty of world building even using excerpts to help highlight the importance of getting the details of story world right. She uses Scrivener to write, as do I, so I appreciated the way her organizational skills fit my writing style. I enjoyed Leigh’s input in this and other session during the conference. She has an engaging style of marketing which is intriguing to me.

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May 2015 Bookshelf

I just finished reading, The Lost Wife by Alyson Richman.

On my currently reading bookshelf:

A Higher Standard: Leadership Strategies from America’s First Four Star General by  Ann Dunwoody

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

The City Stained Red by Sam Sykes

The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons

Next up

Honeymoon by James Patterson

Justice is for the Lonely: A Kristen Kerry Novel by Steve Clark

Devil in the White City by Erik Larsen

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March 2015 Bookshelf

March 2015 should have been a big reading month because of a lovely beach vacation. Somehow, I failed to become engaged in reading, but enjoyed Mexico. I did enjoy books by two favorites: Nora Roberts and Robyn Carr.

The Right Path by Nora Roberts

Informed Risk and A Hero for Sophie Jones by Robyn Carr

There was another book on my list, but I abandoned it. I will not list it here, but I will say that the structure of the novel was difficult for me to follow. I had a tough time connecting with the characters, and even distinguishing between the narrators.

What I did instead of reading--limo ride in Cancun!

What I did instead of reading–limo ride in Cancun!

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April 2015 Bookshelf

In April I read the three novels in The 100 Series by Morgan Kass. I enjoyed the first two seasons of the show, The 100, on CW which deviates from the books in a very interesting way. I am obsessed with the idea of humanity surviving for several generations on an orbiting station. Well done, Morgan Kass.

The 100 by Morgan Kass

Day 21 by Morgan Kass

Homecoming by Morgan Kass

The Secret Life of Cee Cee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlain


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