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Showing posts from February, 2016

Drafting Chapter Two

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So, I'm drafting my new story right now, but instead of using the NaNoWriMo put anything down and don't look back method, I'm trying to write quickly but I am taking time to edit things a little.


Such as:

Last night, I was writing some of Chapter Two. I'm wrapping that chapter up. And as I typed, I realized that I was doing something that was a) bad writing and b) giving away the whole story. I recognized it as something I've definitely done in the past in other projects.

Here it is. It was dialogue. Ursula's mother, Mrs. Houghton, is talking to Ursula.

"Ursula, you can make a real difference here. The Maldens have pedigree, this land, this house. They have the culture and of course, the title. But one thing they don't have? They haven't unlimited funds. They can't even keep up this house in good repair!"

I could've left that ranty block of dialogue in and fixed it in the revision, right? But I thought I should fix it immediately when I…

How I Come Across Books: Reaching Readers

I started thinking about this---how do I come across books? How do I hear about books? What makes me decide to read one book over another one? I was thinking about this because I'm reading two quite different things right now and I wanted to read each of them for different reasons.

Plus, it's useful to think about this kind of stuff as an indie author. How do I learn about books? How can I parley that into future promotions, if I self-publish again?

Is it genre? Well, yeah--I tend to read mainly historical-based things, whether it's historical fiction, historical romance or history, so if there's a kernel of the historic in there, then I'm more likely to be interested. It's more likely to come up in my Goodreads recommendations.

But then, there are certain areas of history that I'm more drawn to than others and certain periods of time or personalities that I want to learn more about right at that moment in time. And I do read other genres.

Is it the author? J…

Happy 7th Birthday, Sunflower's Scribbles!

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Happy Birthday to You!

Happy Birthday To You!

Happy Birthday, dear blooo-oogg...

Happy Birthday To You!


So, seven feels like a pretty momentous number of years to be blathering on about nothing on the Internet.

Of course, in that time I've gone from posting Book the First to making all the lurches and adjustments as a writer as you write one project, then the next, then next...joining groups and forums, making writing friends, researching, learning, having critique partners, querying, self-publishing, writing a short story for an anthology...

Last year, I had a bit of a slow-down in terms of blogging ideas. I think of blogging as an extension of writing fiction in some ways and as completely separate in other ways; it's a great way to explore different aspects of writing fiction and also the perfect vehicle to write about whatever the heck I want.

So who knows what I'll feel compelled to blog about in 2016?

I was looking through some papers this past week and I came across…

Victoria, Ursula, and Beatrice

I recently began rewriting the Victorian novel that I started forming ideas for in 2014, according to the notebook I use to jot down notes for that story. As usual, in the intervening time, there have been changes to the idea.

In 2014, I wanted to write it as half Victorian and half contemporary. I drafted it like that during NaNo 2014 and kept trying to improve the little bit of the book I had.

As of 2016, the contemporary half is out. Ceases to exist. 'Bye 'bye.

Instead, I've decided to go with my strong suit: historical. The story will take place entirely in the 1890s--from about 1893 to about 1897 or 1898. But instead of the focus being entirely on my protagonist, Victoria Ponsonby-Courtney, I decided to bring in the point of views of her cousin, Lady Beatrice, and her sister-in-law, Ursula.

No, Ursula isn't purple. Or an octopus. But she might as well be to Victoria.

via GIPHY

Vera Brittain, Testament of Youth, and Letters From a Lost Generation

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Letters From A Lost Generation: First World War Letters Of Vera Brittain And Four Friends: Roland Leighton, Edward Brittain, Victor Richardson, Geoffrey Thurlow by Mark Bostridge
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book gave me a terrible feeling in the belly in some places, because these letters, albeit edited, are the real words and thoughts of four young men who died so terribly young in World War One. Their letters range from whimsical to describing the boredom of trench warfare and their very young ideas on fighting for glory--and poetry, particularly from Roland Leighton, whose "Villanelle" is incredibly powerful. Of course, without Vera Brittain, these letters and these men would simply be four more young lives lost in that terrible war a hundred years ago. There is something so moving about the written word--it can survive us and become our legacy.


View all my reviews


Testament Of Youth: An Autobiographical Study Of The Years 1900-1925 by Vera Brittain
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

IWSG: How Novel

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This is February's IWSG post. The IWSG is a super group of writers floating around in the blogosphere, led by the ninja Alex J. Cavanagh. Come check us out! Our co-hosts for February are
Allison Gammons,Tamara Narayan,Eva E. Solar,Rachel Pattison, and Ann V. Friend!

Well, the old, busted computer has gone and a new one has taken its place. All of my files were transferred over in a matter of minutes, thanks to the external hard drive and time machine that was activated in ye old computer's last days.

While anticipating the new computer's arrival, the last week of January was largely spent reading--and thinking about how I'm going to attack the novel idea I've had percolating in my head for nearly a year and a half. Some of it's written, but I have new ideas for it and I can't wait.

At first, I decided to write that novel as a half contemporary, half historical thing but it never seemed to work well. I knew the present day part was the weak link.

When I deci…