Finding an Editor: A List

Saturday I spoke on “Secrets of Successful Self-Publishing” at the Allen County Public Library’s annual author fair, and I spoke on the importance of editing and of having an editor. A number of people asked where to find an editor and how to find one appropriate to one’s work, so here’s a follow-up. Continue reading

NaNoWriMo 2017 Kickoff

1993 words this session

It has begun. Our local NaNoWriMo group has an annual NaNoWeen kickoff party. Anyone else start at midnight? It’s a fun way to jumpstart with a lot of communal enthusiasm. I changed my mind last minute (Oct 31) from a new project to continuing a project I’d started four years ago and set aside. It would be great to finish it. The (temporary working) title is The Poet’s Eye.

First hour, 1993 words. I AM THE AWESOME.

Tomorrow afternoon: How do words what are plot?

This year, I have a friend to keep me motivated and on task. Meet the NaNoRhino. Continue reading

Wrap-up for #Inktober 2017

Today is October 31st! That means two things:

  1. At midnight tonight, #NaNoWriMo starts.
  2. At midnight tonight, #Inktober ends.

This is the first year I’ve done Inktober, and I’m happy with the experiment. I had fun, I made some skill progress, I pushed myself, and apparently I pushed a few other people too, in a good way, as a couple of people have told me privately that they were inspired to try something new because of my Inktober posts — and I think that’s fantastic. Being authentic and trying to improve a non-existent skill was the original goal. Continue reading

What is up with #Inktober?

Drawing a sword from the book, not stabbing the book. In case it was unclear.

Drawing a sword from the book, not stabbing the book. In case it was unclear.

If you follow my social media, you might have noticed that I’ve been posting ink drawings for #Inktober, and that they’re generally awful. You might have asked yourself why I would do that. Do I know how bad they are, or do I see my work through a blissfully ignorant filter? Is it some sort of prank?

So here’s what’s up with Inktober.

First, in case you aren’t familiar with it, #Inktober is a month for doing one drawing — in ink — and sharing it per day. You can find the brief background and this year’s optional prompt list from the creator Jake Parker. It’s something like National Novel Writing Month, but for visual artists.

Now, let’s recognize that I’m bad at drawing. No, I’m really bad at drawing. The local catchphrase for referring to truly hideous visual design is, “It looks like Laura drew it.” (Don’t feel bad. I’m often the one saying it. It’s not wrong to acknowledge my skills are in other sets.) So why on earth would I do Inktober, which unlike NaNoWriMo specifically requires publicly sharing one’s work?

I’m doing Inktober for several reasons: Continue reading

WIP updates!

So first off, let me apologize for the state of the site over the last week and a half. We got hacked, and everything went merrily into a handbasket. Things should be all fine and safe again. I’ll catch up with the writing in Ireland posts and things shortly, I hope.

#WIPjoy daily listOn a brighter note, I’m playing along this month with the #‎WIPjoy ‬collective sharing project, authors sharing about their work in progress. I’m trying to post most days about some part of one work in progress — in particular, The Lamp and the Lie. (That’s a working title, very subject to change — as it’s already the second working title….) Continue reading

Old Notes & Plots, New Year

English: Puma_Punku

Puma Punku blocks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So while I was cleaning the house — I do that every epoch or two, believe it or not — I found some index cards with plot notes. I’m not actually an index card plotter, but I did some detective work and determined, based on the debris strata and corresponding artifacts, that these were from a writers’ conference workshop from 2013, I think. We were supposed to invent a novel plot from scratch within the workshop.

Here’s the short summary I found: Continue reading

NaNoWriMo and My Secret Weapon

NaNoWriMo Winner 2015So, I won NaNoWriMo this year. But I cheated.

Okay, “cheating” may be something of an overstatement. I did not write my 50,000 words in a single project, but I did complete or make significant progress on several different projects, and that qualifies me as a “NaNo Rebel” in the NaNoWriMo community, but still a winner.

Projects included:

1) A fun little disaster tale which will be appearing in the upcoming C is for Chimera anthology (look for release details in January).

I’m pretty proud of this one, because while it isn’t the fastest story I’ve ever written, it is definitely the fastest I’ve ever produced on demand, from editor email to finished product in about a week.

2) A short story I’m intending to submit for another anthology this month. I won’t say too much on this one, because it’s not done yet and the deadline’s coming up scarily fast, and it’s a genre that’s a bit of a stretch for me. But I did get about 12,000 words written so far, so I’m certainly giving it the old college try.

3) A novel — again playing with folklore and mythology, but not Japanese or the Fae this time. Continue reading

History: When Fiction isn’t Whack Enough

Herod the Great

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Why write from history? Because seriously, even my caffeinated imagination couldn’t make some of this stuff up. From my (very rough) NaNoWriMo work in progress:

“Now, don’t judge him too harshly,” Saman said. “After all, the man is capable of deep love. When he left for the dangerous task of negotiating with Octavian, he feared that if he died, he would be separated from his wife, who would surely find another husband with her great beauty. So he left orders that should Octavian kill him, she should be executed at once, so that no other man might have her and he could be with her in death.”

Arash simply stared at his master.

“She learned of this, and rather than appreciating his vast devotion, she grew to hate him. In the end, he tried her for treason and saw her executed, and he grieved for a great while.” Saman’s voice was flippant, with a deeper undercurrent of disgust.

“I… should think he might,” Arash ventured.

“He named a tower for her,” Saman said. “The Miriame. It is quite beautiful.”

This is a lot of time-consuming research — really not ideal for the on-the-clock NaNoWriMo — but I confess to having some fun with it. I may post more findings later, but in the meantime, I’m quite behind on my word count, so back to work!

The Monumental Marathon 5k: Go, Me!

Totally just an achievement post.

Last week I was traveling, spending much of my days on a bus. In the evening I found a hotel treadmill or, one lucky evening, a great trail by a river. I wanted to lift weights, but hotels don’t always offer weights. But all hotel fitness centers have a treadmill.

One night on a treadmill, I bumped up the speed to a jog. And when I was able to maintain that pace for a solid five minutes, I felt ridiculously proud of myself. (I know, I know. Go ahead and laugh. I’ll even laugh with you.)

Where I’m going with all this is, while high in a fit of optimism and fitness enthusiasm, I stumbled across a tweet warning of the imminent closure of registration for the Monumental Marathon. I hadn’t even known it was happening, but it offered a 5k. I signed up. Continue reading