Wordsmith Studio homecoming blog hop number three

WSS Homecoming 2015It’s been three years since I joined a bunch of fellow platform builders in what became Wordsmith Studio.

Today: blog hop, part the third.

1) What are you currently working on?

The final (for now) revisions of Initiate of Stone, drafting Marushka, my 2014 NaNoWriMo novel, and revising one long short story that may actually be a novel in disguise 🙂 Plus, I blog.

2) For past work, what was your greatest joy or greatest challenge?

Finishing my first draft of IoS and getting my two short stories, “The Broken Places” and “Downtime” published would all have to tie for greatest joys.

My greatest challenge to date has been the first chapter of IoS. Oh, and trying to keep things balanced. Actually, the balance thing wins out in the toughest challenge category. I suck at balance.

3) For current work, what challenge are you working through now?

As mentioned above, my first chapter. For some reason, this particular opening is kicking my buttocks. I’ve tried starting the story earlier, later, a prologue (very bad), and rewriting the first chapter from scratch about four times. I’ve tried Surry Idol at the Surrey International Writer’s Conference, Ray Rhamey’s Flogging the Quill, beta readers, and advice from writing mentors.

4) For work you are just planning or starting, what challenges or growth are you expecting or hoping to encounter?

Every novel I draft, revise, or edit improves my craft. The next work I’ll be starting from scratch will be this year’s NaNoWriMo. It’s a new adult science fiction thriller. Oh yeah. That won’t be hard to sell at all 😛

5) What have successes or challenges in your work (recently) taught you?

I write a lot more than I thought I did. Others see value in my work. Tracking your writing progress is a great motivation. I generally rise to any challenge I set myself.

6) What obstacles or challenges have you not been able to overcome, or still frustrate you?

The aforementioned beginnings, though I think a breakthrough is due. Overdue, frankly.

7) How would you describe a great writing day (or week)?

A great writing day is any day that I write. Period. If I achieve my goals, that’s a lovely cherry on top of the sundae. In a way, every word is a victory 🙂

8) What specific tools or strategies help you succeed? 

Jamie Raintree’s writing spreadsheet is a fabulous tool and motivation. K.M. Weiland’s Helping Writers Become Authors blog and her books are some of the best craft advice out there. Awesome. Similarly, Roz Morris’s Nail Your Novel series and blog are teh best. And she’s so generous with her time and advice. Finally, attending conferences and conventions have been a big help. I learn metric tonnes at each one 🙂 The networking isn’t half bad either.

And there you have it.

See you on Tuesday for my Tipsday writing curation.

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Muse-inks

Advertisements

Wordsmith Studio third anniversary blog hop

Alrightie, then!

Three years ago, Wordsmith Studio got its start.

WSS Homecoming 2015

Here’s my interview:

1. Are you a WSSer (a member of Wordsmith)? If so, sound off about how long you’ve been a member, your favourite way to participate, or anything you’ve missed if you’ve been away. We’re not your mother/father… there will be no guilt about how long since your last call.

I was with WSS from the start. I’m a founding member. I’ve only contributed one post to the collective, however. Life is busy. No excuses. Just facts. I have enough trying to keep up with the day job, my blog, and, what’s most important, my writing. Oh, and there’s that pesky family thing, too 😀

2. What medium do you work in? For our writing folks, are you currently working on fiction, poetry or non-fiction, or a combination? Anyone YA or mystery or thriller or…?

I started off getting published as a poet, and won a few short story contests. Now, I’m writing fantasy novels—yes, that was plural—and science fiction short stories. I continue to blog about aspects of the writing life that are important to me.

3. What’s the name of your current project (ok multitaskers, give us your main one)?

Initiate of Stone is my epic fantasy. I’m currently in my last revision (for now—I know there will be much more coming) prior to diving into the query process later this spring. I know, I’ve been saying that forever, haven’t I?

4. What is your favourite detail, sentence or other bit you’ve written lately?

Gah! I have to pick just one? OK. Here’s the opening of a recent short story:

“I wander endless halls, time compressed by shimmering walls, thought slowed by the dance of acrylic and oil over canvas, memory smothered by ephemera. There are only three floors and a block of conjoined buildings, but the halls twist and turn back upon themselves. I can walk for hours staring at the art and collectibles, which change regularly, and then stare at the plastic card in my hand, wondering which of the rooms I’ve passed is mine.”

5. Any obstacles or I-hate-this-chapter moments?

ALL. THE. TIME. I constantly doubt myself. I just keep writing anyway. It’s what we do.

6. What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned lately from your writing?

Last year I experimented with working on multiple projects. I tried different approaches, but have realized that realistically, I can only work on two projects at a time (aside from blogging and writing short stories) and that they have to be at different stages of development. I can draft one novel and revise another, but I can’t draft two novels at the same time. It requires too much of the same kind of creative energy.

7. In what ways do you hope to grow in the next 6 months/year?

I want to become the bionic writer. I want to be faster, stronger . . . 😀 You get the idea.

8. In what ways do writing friends and communities help you do that?

I learn from everything I do and from everyone I meet. You might say I’m addicted.

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Since I didn’t blog this past weekend, I thought I’d get this posted for you.

And Tipsday will be coming up tomorrow. This will be interesting. I haven’t prepared my weekly posts in advance. This might hurt a bit . . .

“What if” Fairy Tale Madness Blogfest, Part 2

Now, it isn’t really a fairy tale, so I don’t even know if it will be accepted on that basis alone, but Washington Irving‘s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is a wonderful American short story, and one of my favourites.  It has the feel of a fairy tale to me, so to heck with it.  Caution, meet wind 🙂

Team Plot Twist

What if Katrina turned out to be totally vapid, and Ichabod couldn’t stand her family?  What if the only way he could extricate himself from this sticky mess was to fake his own death?  What if his perfect partner in crime was also his rival?

Please enjoy.

The heartless to the headless

An apparently headless Brom bent to extend his hand from horseback.

After clearing away broken bits of pumpkin and discarding his now-broken spectacles, Ichabod accepted the proffered assistance.

“You’re certain you won’t change your mind?” Brom asked.

“No, no,” said Ichabod, considering the book he’d clung to during the attack. “Katrina’s yours.  I only had to experience her family tonight to know I couldn’t countenance their relation.  It confirmed my suspicions.  Though her beauty affects me, a fickle-hearted girl like that could never make me happy.”

“You’re speaking of my bride-to-be!” Brom shrugged his head up through his cloak, his hair so awry it revealed a bald patch.  Ichabod stifled a laugh. “Watch it Ichy, or I might have to use this.”

“Put the sword away, Brom.  You’ve won.  I’ll be out of town before dawn.  You’ve nothing to fear.  You and Katrina shall be deliriously happy I should think.  I wish you nothing but the best, and several strapping, young boys such as yourself.”

Brom’s considerable brow furrowed for a moment as if trying to decide whether Ichabod was waxing sincere or sarcastic, then with a shake of his head he gave over, pulled his cloak back up over his head, and said, “You’re a strange man, and a fool to think you’d be suited to a place like Sleepy Hollow.  We’ll be as well-rid of you as you are of us.”

“Just so,” said Ichabod. “Thank you, Brom.”

“Fare well.”

“Be sure you’re well-seen tonight.”

As an answer, Brom pulled another pie-pumpkin from his saddlebag and threw at Ichabod’s feet.  Ichabod didn’t move.  The man knew his business right enough.

As he turned to fetch his donkey, Ichabod threw the book, unfinished, but not worth the effort, into the road to complete the picture.

“Rest in peace, Ichabod.”

300 words

What do you think?

“What if” Fairy Tale Madness Blogfest Part 1

Sorry to have missed a day on my blogging schedule, and a poetry day at that, but if was for a good reason.  A colleague, after 42 years of dedicated service, and service excellence, is retiring.  Her last day at work was today, but the BEA Hive took her out for dinner last night.  It was several hours of wonderful chat, memory-sharing, food and drink.  Ah, yes … there was much drinking 🙂

But so much for the excuses, and on to tonight’s post: I’m throwing my hat in the ring, the fairy ring at  that!

“What if” Fairy Tale Maddness Blogfest

So this post will tell you a bit about the blogfest, and you can join in up until 11:59 pm tonight, so get crackin’!

Part 2 will be my submission.

Onto the details.  The following is verbatim from Cassie Mae’s post (linked above).

WHAT IF?
Fairytale Madness BlogFest!
AUGUST 13th – 17th          
Have you noticed that by changing one detail; one event, one character trait, one thought…you can completely alter the rest of the story?For this bloghop we are exploring “What If?”
Not only do we want it to be fun, but it will hopefully be a fun writing exercise and make for some great reading during the hop!

To enter:
Think of your favorite “well known” fairytale and ask “What If…!”
Then, pick one of these four categories: (be sure to mention which category you’re joining, during your blog post!)

·       Best Plot Twist
·       Best Love Story
·       Best Tragedy
·       Best Comic Relief
 
Finally, write a scene(s) illustrating a new detail of the fabled fairy tale that changes our perspective.
To recap,
Is it a plot twist? (Cinderella gets knocked up by the Carriage Driver…)
An unknown romance that comes to light? (Snow White dumps the Prince for Grumpy…)
A tragic loss occurs? (The Three Little Pigs are too late to save their house…)

The wolf blows down the straw house in a 1904 ...

The wolf blows down the straw house in a 1904 adaptation of the fairy tale Three Little Pigs This is one one of the less intelligent pigs.. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A little comic relief? (Hansel and Gretel win a trip on Euro Rail, sponsored in part by M&M’s…)
Whatever the change…It’s limited only by your imagination – but please keep it PG-13 😉
Other Rules:
·       Post your story during the week of August 13 to 17.
·       Flash Fiction – 300 WORD MAX. (You don’t have to tell the whole story in three hundred words. Pick what works to illustrate your point.)

Got the flavour?  If you want to submit, the link is also on Cassie Mae’s post.

Good luck to all!  It’s been a fun challenge 🙂