Showing posts from May, 2014

A Study of My Fanfiction

For the past few days, I haven't written a word of my WIP--but that doesn't mean that I haven't been writing. I'm still unsure as to whether or not I should go ahead with the scene I was in the middle of or to skip ahead to when the Keegans reach Bristol. I'm really not sure what to do. On the one hand, the scene would show my MC teaching his daughters something, thereby building their relationship. On the other, skipping ahead to Bristol would move the action along.

In the meantime, I've updated both of the stories I'm currently working on on

They're both in the same fandom, Downton Abbey, but are very different stories. The first one, Her Old Determination, is sort-of canon compliant. To explain, I need to SPOIL, so if you don't want to know, don't read:

A Basic Message to Writers

Dear Fellow Writers,

Just a quick little message for you all.


I wasn't even going to write this or was planning on it, BUT there was the dismaying thread, which is how I've been referring to this on my Twitter. It's on AbsoluteWrite, the writing forum I hang out on.

It's entitled Beta Readers or Professional Editor? Prepared to be aggravated and entertained. You see, the innocent poster simply asked whether he should have beta readers or a professional editor look at his work first. Which one should he go with?

Clearly, the answer is beta readers. They're cheaper :-)

Then someone chimed in with "why do you even need a beta reader? And why would you hire a professional editor at all?!!!"

(Because some of us like to have new eyes on our work before we send it out to the world, in whatever form sending it out into the world is for us)

The poster came back, said thank you, and replied that he wanted to know which ones he sho…

What is My Writing Style?

This is a thought that occurred to me in the last week or so.

Do I have a particular writing style? Do I even have a particular writing voice? I think I have a particular blogging writing voice, which is really just a more literate and voluminous version of the way I speak. Or at least the way the continual monologue in my head goes.

Ugh, writing brain, I tell ya.

But I'm less sure about my fiction. Some of it, I concede, depends on what I'm writing about. I'm thinking about some of my favorite authors---Ian McEwan, with his very literary style; Jane Austen, with her eighteenth century English, sparse description and sly and sarcastic narrative; Elizabeth Chadwick, with her immersive, personal style of writing historicals; Sherry Thomas: lush, crafted sentences with interesting words and characters; Jamie Ford, lush, descriptive, literary yet simple...

So what's my style, I wonder?

Well, it changes from story to story. But is it still me, my voice? I've been told …


I feel like I invented a new term the other day in an email--"workshop-itis."

Defined as: what happens to a budding writer when one is continually in workshop-focused writing classes and one does not react, um, well to such settings.

When You Have a New Favorite Author

As you lovely people know, I've been reading a lot--but I've also been writing quite a bit. I'm still in the middle of "part two," so no updates on that front, but I found myself at an instance where I was thinking about what I'd been reading in relation to the way my novel is structured.

If that makes any sense, lol.

20 Books Read

I've reached the halfway point in my utterly arbitrary 40-book reading challenge on Goodreads. This means that a) I'm halfway through and b) I'm 7 books ahead of where I should be.

Anyway, I finished Book 20 a few hours ago. Here is the lineup:

11. The Secret Daughter of the Tsar by Jennifer Laam---4 stars---Alternate Historical Fiction--Review

12. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen--4 stars--Classics

13. The Nazi Officer's Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived The Holocaust by Edith Hahn Beer with Susan Dworkin--4 stars--Non-fiction/Memoir/WWII

14. A Shocking Delight by Jo Beverley--3 stars--Regency Historical Romance

15. Hazard by Jo Beverley--3 stars--Regency Historical Romance

16. Zero Sum Game by SL Huang--5 stars--Thriller/ Fantasy/Sci-fi--Review

17. Washington's Spies: The Story of America's First Spy Ring by Alexander Rose--Non-fiction/History/ Revolutionary War/TV tie-in--5 stars

18. The Turning of Anne Merrick by Christine Blevins--Historical Fiction/Romance…

Real Life Inspirations: Jane Harry

My historical fiction is not about real people; that is, I'm not telling the story of a famous, infamous, or obscure historical figure, much as I love novels like that. Still, as I've gone through this long process of a serious attempt at historical fiction, I've read about some really interesting figures. I thought I'd share a little about them.

Last time, I wrote about Dido Belle, the inspiration behind Madeline Keegan. Today, I want to tell you about Jane Harry, who I read about in Daniel Livesay's dissertationChildren of Uncertain Fortune: Mixed-Race Migration from the West Indies to Britain, 1750-1820, which I read for research.

Jane Harry was the daughter of Thomas Hibbert, who was a judge and a member of Assembly in Jamaica. He was from Manchester, England, and arrived in Jamaica in 1734. He had a relationship with a free mulatto woman named Charity Harry, who in 1775, applied to the Assembly to have privileged rights, meaning all the rights whites enjoyed, …

The We Need Diverse Books Campaign

I don't know how many of you have been following the #WeNeedDiverseBooks hashtag on Twitter, but I have been and the stories and pictures attached--and the sheer diversity of people wanting to read more books about different races, religions, cultures, abilities, sexual orientation...

It's insanely inspiring. From what I understand, the campaign began as an effort among YA authors after a panel at BookCon was announced--all Caucasian authors--and a cat. 
No, really. 
Diversity in life--and in books--is one of those topics that gets me fired up, simply because of my own background (Irish and Japanese) and where I grew up (New York City, land of Every Language Ever Spoken). My best friends are, in no particular order: black, Puerto Rican, Indian (from India), Jewish, white, Irish, Hispanic...
I read one book as a kid that reflected my background--I'll post the link later--called How My Parents Learned to Eat. The ONLY book I read where the mother was Japanese and the father …

What Should I Blog About?

Every couple of weeks, I see a post on the AW Boards with a variation on the subject of, "What should I blog about?"

What should I blog about?
I want to start a blog. What can it be about?
Do I have to start a blog?
How to keep a blog going?