I’m very visual. Except when I’m not.

English: Drummer James Roddick of the 92nd Gor...

Drummer James Roddick of the 92nd Gordon Highlanders, defending Lieutenant Menzies during hand-to-hand fighting in Kandahar, 1880, signed and dated ‘ W. Skeoch Cumming/1894’ (lower left), pencil and watercolour, 28 x 42½ in. (71.1 x 107.9 cm.) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are two reactions I get from pretty nearly all my beta readers and critique partners, regardless of the story:

“I don’t know exactly what your characters look like; don’t you ever describe them?”

and,

“Holy smokes, your action scenes are really detailed.”

These may be phrased in various ways, but the general gist is almost always there. And it’s a problem for me. Continue reading

Teaser Tuesday — Torrent

English: Arms of the Mercedarians. Català: Esc...

Arms of the Mercedarians (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today’s #TeaserTuesday comes from “Torrent,” a science fiction short story.

Merced… Mercen… What had been the word Captain Trafalgar used?

Do you mean to search for Mercedarians?

She answered in the affirmative. Continue reading

Teaser Tuesday — Shard & Shield

Oil on Canvas

The Fallen Angel, by Alexandre Cabanel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another short excerpt for #TeaserTuesday! This one’s from Shard & Shield, which is today’s project anyway.

Ariana sipped at her drink and traced a finger through the condensation on the table, drawing loose geometric designs. Idly she asked, “Did you know some ancient art includes winged men as icons of beauty? Not quite Ryuven, but wings, anyway.” Continue reading

Teaser Tuesday — Kitsune-Mochi

Prince Hanzoku terrorized by a nine-tailed kit...

Prince Hanzoku terrorized by a nine-tailed kitsune (fox spirit). Print by Utagawa Kuniyoshi, 19th century. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another short excerpt for #TeaserTuesday! Continue reading

Teaser Tuesday — Kitsune-Mochi

I’m only flirting with the idea of #TeaserTuesday, but here’s a brief excerpt from Kitsune-Mochi. Let me know if you think #TeaserTuesday is a good idea, ‘kay?
Continue reading

Cover Reveal! Fired Up, Frantic, and Freaked Out

My non-fiction project on training is coming out! And here’s the cover, in full, glorious color:
Continue reading

The First Day of Kitsune – a folk tale

This entry is part 1 of 12 in the series Twelve Days of Kitsune

For the First Day of Kitsune, I’d like to share one of the oldest and most common folk stories about a kitsune. It’s a tale of a fox wife, similar to Western stories of fairy brides, and it features many of the key points in the kitsune legend.

Fox women (kitsune in human form). 1 print : c...

Fox women (kitsune in human form). Woodcut by Bertha Boynton Lum, 1908. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s also a story the village girl Murame hears in Kitsune-Mochi, which prompts her to do some deep thinking…. Continue reading

Twelve Days of Kitsune!

VA Tag: KITSUNE

VA Tag: KITSUNE (Photo credit: shawnblog)

Christmas is one of my favorite holidays — but it wasn’t exactly popular during Heian and Kamakura eras in Japan, for obvious reasons. So here on the blog we’re going to celebrate Twelve Days of Kitsune, and each post we’ll discover a new folk tale, period foods, or other fun surprises related to Kitsune-Tsuki and Kitsune-Mochi.

Watch for the first post in the series on Monday!

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Things To Do While Waiting To Hear Back From an Agent

In Richard Westall's Sword of Damocles, 1812, ...

Richard Westall’s Sword of Damocles, 1812. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At one point in Shard & Shield, a character is waiting for his treason to be discovered. He knows it is only a matter of time before he is identified, seized, tortured, and executed, but in the meantime he must go about his daily business as if nothing is wrong, as if he fears nothing, as if his entire world does not hang by a Damoclean thread.

I might have researched and prepared for writing such a state by sending off a manuscript for consideration.

Continue reading

Pep Talk from Hell.

Anger Controlls Him

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Someone on the NaNoWriMo chat group mentioned a technique in which a writer writes a pep talk from his or her characters. She said she had found it helpful.

I hadn’t heard of the technique, but just the thought of it scared the snot out of me. Continue reading