Friday, October 24, 2014

Celebrate the Small Things and Prep for NaNo, part 3

Celebrate the Small Things:
(Brought to us by Viklit and her team of Celebrators)

1. My husband's hospital stay was less than 36 hours - yay! He's a healthy guy, but we had a scare that is requiring some further tests. With some minor medical care and his usual eat-healthy-bike-to-work lifestyle, he should be ok.

2. Lots of prayers, thoughts, hugs, and offers of help by family and friends. Thank you. When my prayers were in the speechless-shock-groan-of-the-heart category, I had some serious
prayer warriors intervening. Again, thank you.

3. Ashes Burnis on its 9th episode today. The three characters: Wend, Teresa, and King Bryant have intertwined stories. Wend's story updates on Mondays, Teresa's story updates on Wednesdays, and King Bryant's updates on Fridays.

4. And, these eyes . . .
Clyde, our "foundling-rescue" dog. And yes, he's full-grown - part pug, part beagle, part ?

Prep for NaNoWriMo, Part 3: Super Simple Outlines

 Loglines are a single sentence summary of the plot. Although a challenge to write, they guide me through the twisting "squirrel" chasing moments of mad writing for NaNoWriMo.

I would write more about loglines, but I found this amazing, incredible post on loglines by C. Lee Mckenzie.

After I write a logline for the whole book, I try to write one for each character.

 Logline for the novel:
Logline for the MC:
Logline for the antagonist:
Logline for the love interest/best friend/mentor:
When I get through my loglines, I expand to this style of outline:

Super Simple Outline:
1. Set up/Inciting Incident: What starts the story?

2. Three challenges/obstacles that the MC will face:

3. Mirror Moment: at what point will the MC see the difference between who she/he wants to be and who she/he is, and decide to change/make a difference?

4. Climax:

5. Resolution:

Slightly more extended outlines, like the Save the Cat 18 point outline, are where I head next . . .

Do you use simple loglines or outlines, or do you need the twenty page type outlines to write? Are you a plotter/pantser/hybrid?

What are you celebrating this week?

And don't forget your Friday Freebie: Dragonfold and Other Adventures for kindle readers. This is a book of fantastical stories and poems. Enjoy!

Also, the first two books in The Champion Trilogy, Champion in the Darkness and Champion in Flight, are currently 99 cents for ebook. This sale lasts until the end of October.





Wednesday, October 22, 2014

October Reads: Guest Post by Jeff Chapman

Leaves are changing; pumpkins are sprouting fully formed on your neighbors' porches; and there's a sharp chill in the air. It's October. Time for Halloween. Time to curl up in a cozy chair with a mug of hot chocolate (mocha for you coffee addicts) and a good book. Do you have any favorite reads for the October season? I have several.

At the top of my list is Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu's vampire tale Carmilla. Published in 1871-72—twenty-six years before Dracula—Le Fanu's novella tells the story of Laura and her father, English expatriates living in Styria, and their dealings with a strange visitor, a beautiful young woman named Carmilla. Laura documents Carmilla's strange habits. Their guest rises very late, doesn't eat much, and suffers from a perpetual langour. Carmilla also has a fixation on Laura, who is simultaneously repelled and attracted to Carmilla. Many young women among the local peasantry are succumbing to a mysterious illness that visits them in the night. You can find the text for Carmilla in Le Fanu's In a Glass Darkly. There's an excellent audio version read by Elizabeth Klett on LibriVox.

If Carmilla doesn't help you sleep soundly or ghosts and demons are more your thing, check out the stories of M. R. James. A medievalist scholar and university administrator, James penned several volumes of ghost stories and is credited with redefining the ghost story for the twentieth century. As you might expect, his antiquarian interests feature prominently in his stories. There's lots of digging around in dusty old manuscripts and visiting crumbling old buildings where his protagonists unearth evils that should have been left alone. A wonderfully creepy atmosphere pervades James's stories. Three of my favorites are Count Magnus, Canon Alberic's Scrap-Book, and The Ash-tree. If you can't get enough of James after reading the stories, check out A Podcast to the Curious.

Finally, we come to Roger Zellazny's brilliant novel A Night in the Lonsesome October. Zellazny combines many of the tropes of horror and Victorian detective fiction into a charming tale with a Lovecraftian twist. We meet the Count, a werewolf, Doctor Frankenstein, a mad monk, a witch who flies about on a broom, and the great detective. Zellazny tells his story from the perspective of the animal familiars of the players in this Lovecraftian game of openers and closers. The protagonist is Snuff, who is a watchdog for Jack—yes, that Jack—who oddly enough is one of the heroes. There's a chapter for each day of the month. You can find a wonderful audio version of the book here on YouTube.

Thanks to Tyrean for letting me borrow her blog space for the day. Happy reading, everyone.

Jeff Chapman is the author of Last Request: A Victorian Gothic and the upcoming Give Me Your Teeth: A Fae Tale. He writes software by day and speculative fiction when he should be sleeping. His tales range from fantasy to horror and they don’t all end badly. He lives with his wife, children, and cats in a house with more books than bookshelf space. You can find him musing about words and fiction at Regards, Jeff Blog Twitter Amazon Goodreads

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Back to Life

Back to Life, Back to Reality - anyone remember that chorus . . . ?

My life is back to "normal" rhythms as my husband's heart is back to normal rhythms.

After getting out of the hospital, my husband and I celebrated with a leisurely, doctor-approved bike ride for three miles. That's like a super leisurely stroll down the block for my husband who normally rides 12-30 miles a day at high speeds.

After that in the later afternoon, I was a "dock mom" for my daughter and another new canoeist as they struggled to balance in racing canoes, learn j-strokes and c-strokes, and just get around the dock while the racing team (with my kayaking daughter) were out in the harbor doing a workout that focused on technique at partial speed.

After 48 hours of stress and concern, everything just slipped back into regular life and reality, and I feel so thankful for "regular" and "normal."

I just wanted to stop here and say . . .

THANKS! Thank you for all your encouragement in writing and life!

And here's a view from a sun-break on the dock yesterday:

My daughter canoeing with two kayakers coming in behind her at the end of practice.
Hope that "normal" life is treating you with sun breaks and moments of fresh air!
Praise God for Life!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Awesome News and Answered Prayers!

My husband gets to go home from the hospital in a few minutes!!! Woohoo! Praise Jesus for health, answered prayers, thoughts, and hugs!!!


Today's post that was meant to be: Meet the Character

But . . . life is full of unexpected interruptions.

My husband has been in the hospital since yesterday morning.

I won't be able to blog comment, because my mind is scattered like a million leaves.

Speaking of which, I saw this little bit of beauty outside the hospital yesterday:

It felt like the words I couldn't seem to say, an answer to prayer, and a small reminder of how precious each moment is all at once . . . and that still isn't capturing the moment right.
And, when I got an e-mail that said one of my stories has been published at a non-paying site this morning, I didn't even want to post a link. I still don't. I love to write, but there are moments when whether or not I'm published . . . that part doesn't matter.
What matters is taking a moment to love those we love best, to drink in the beauty around us, to praise God for each breath.