Sunday Book Review, Angels and Demons, #Fantasy, The Rise of Gadreel
Embrace winter with a little adventure and magic.
It’s a proper winter. Cold everywhere and shattering records for snowfall and coldness everywhere from Japan and China to the Sahara. Bad news for The Guardian – more snow than I have seen in a year or two and certainly NOT a thing of the past. Why anyone should be surprised given that the Sun went into one of its cooling cycles (Oh yes, some people think CO2 is the driver of climate/weather – that gas that plants breathe and is currently about 1/3rd of where on average it has been for the last 100 million years and despite all of the published science clearly showing that it isn’t).
Apologies – I hadn’t intended this as a climate change blog at all – I just got a tad carried away!
My walk around the Castle today took place in magnificent winter sun sparkling off of fresh snowfall amid -2C temperatures…
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In Article 4 for Self-publishing from Scratch, I wrote about building a website, why you should and what it might contain. If you missed it, it’s here. All posts are organised under the drop-down menu above: Self-publishing / Self-publishing from Scratch.
What do I focus on now?
Diana, now that you’ve shared the news that you’re writing a book with family and friends, and those you’re connected with on Facebook, including Aunt Pearl, who shared it to her 3,539 friends, and you’ve created your first website to have a home for your book, it’s time to increase your knowledge.
To be honest, every day should provide a window of opportunity to increase knowledge. It might be only five minutes, but personally, I dedicate a minimum of 30 minutes a day to expand my horizons. It’s not always about writing but more often than not, it is something I can use in my writing to enrich my stories.Continue reading
Due to Twitter’s heavy censoring of free speech and bias towards politics and news, I have banned it. There is no longer a Twitter share button at the bottom of my posts or pages. I’ve deleted the lone account I held onto (Quarter Castle Publishing), so I can’t share news I’ve enjoyed on it.
To me, Twitter no longer exists. It is the first social media platform that needs to die.
However, I can manually share news on a new platform I’m test driving. If you are on Parler, let me know. I’ll follow. You’ll find me here: Diane McGyver.
For the most part, I’ll share posts made on my pen name blog. For me, social media is going the way of the dinosaur. Eventually, I’ll just have a blog.
Be kind to your future self.
In October 2020, Allan Hudson reviewed Northern Survival and at that time, he asked for an interview for his South Branch Scribbler website. I agreed, and the interview went live today. In it, I talk about what inspired me to write Northern Survival and my fantasy novels. I also share a memory from my childhood when my family used to camp in my uncle’s old shed where my father was born and raised on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia.
You can read it here: Author Diane McGyver of Nova Scotia, Canada.
Allan is from South Branch, Kent County, New Brunswick, Canada. He’s the author of several books, including The Alexanders Vol. 1 1911 – 1920.
Description of The Alexanders Vol. 1 1911 – 1920
In the turbulent waters off Saltcoats, Scotland, Danny Alexander dies in a boating accident. He leaves behind a wife, seven children and no hope. Dominic is the middle child. With a broken heart, his mother is forced to leave him with his bachelor uncle, Duff. None of them are happy with the decision.
Eleven-year-old Dominic Alexander must earn his keep. There are no free rides. Yet despite the difficulties, he finds his place in the structured world of his uncle and overcomes his loneliness.
Fortune and misfortune follow the young man until adversity forces him to make a decision that will affect the rest of his life. Is emigrating to Canada the answer?
Happy Saturday and remember: be kind to your future self.
No discussion. No debate. The Liberal government decided for us.
If you live in Nova Scotia and you do NOT officially register to keep your organs when you die, you automatically become an organ donor.
I’m not here to debate whether you should or not, or whether it is ethical or not. I’m here to tell those in Nova Scotia who have not heard about this legislation that if they want to choose to opt-out of organ donation, they have to do it now.
The deadline is January 18, 2021.Continue reading
My first Sheluk book won’t be my last
While I’ve been following Judy Penz Sheluk for some time, Where There’s a Will is the first book by her that I’ve read. My reason: limited reading time and the mound of books waiting for me to read.
Where There’s a Will is the third book in A Glass Dolphin Mystery, but it can be easily read as a stand-alone book, which I’ve done. I don’t feel I’ve missed a huge part of the story though I’m certain the story would have been more fulfilling if I had met the characters and witnessed their earlier struggles in books one and two.
Unlike the previous two books, which contained murder for the mystery, this one is an estate mystery. No murder, or at least no concrete murder is under investigation. To avoid spoilers, I’ll stick to a general review of the book.Continue reading
If I had to wrap up the year 2020 in one word, that would be extreme. Was anything moderate except the weather? Some rode the wave of this extreme while others were sucked beneath the wave where the undertow tossed them around.
Me, I watched from the sidelines when I wasn’t busy on an adventure.
This is the day of the year I assess the goals I had made for 2020. Given the extreme energy in the air, some of those goals were met, some were not, some were exceeded.
The books I had planned to write were…
- Within the Myst: Book 2 in the Mystical series
- Gathered Stones: Book 5 Castle Keepers series
- The Helmsman: Young Adult Fantasy stand-alone novel
- Origin of the Stones: Book 6 Castle Keepers series
Here’s what actually happened. The words written went to these books.
- Seeds of Life: A stand-alone dystopian novel: First Draft Complete
- Within the Myst: Book 2 in the Mystical Series: 20,105 words written
- Gathered Stones: Book 5 Castle Keepers series: 19,284 words written
- Plus a few short stories completed
We’re at the end of an amazing year. While I look back at all the wonderful memories, I can’t help but wonder what 2021 will bring. I’m excited. I’ve waited patiently for this year. While it might be Agenda 21 year, I have my own agenda, and ain’t no government going to stop me.
Personally, I couldn’t see 2020 being worse than 2019, a horrible year from hell for me. This year, 2020, has brought many amazing things into my life: new friends, incredible adventures and a boat.
While others were consumed with news from around the world spouting off one disaster after another, bringing fear with every headline, I ignored it all and lived life the way I always do: day by day. I worked at a seasonal job I loved, met many wonderful people doing it, talked with countless customers on topics I enjoy, bought a boat with my extra money, paid off bills, went camping, sailing, hiking, exploring and reconnected with nature miles away from civilisation.
Through it all, I learned that I can depend on myself when the going gets tough. I mean really tough; oh, my god I’m going to die if I don’t knuckle down, ignore the pain and get the job done tough.
Through it all, I recalled the advice given from inspirational gurus, a list of things to do when the going gets tough. Apparently, it was the philosophy of men stuck in the ice in Antarctica in 1915. It’s what brought every man out alive. Every man.Continue reading
In Article 3 for Self-publishing from Scratch, I wrote about platforms. If you missed it, it’s here. All posts are organised under the drop-down menu above: Self-publishing / Self-publishing from Scratch.
Article 4 will focus on one particular platform: a professional website. Professional as, this is a business website, not a rant and rave page where I alienate readers on petty topics and post pictures of my weekend out with the boys, getting drunk and stuck in the mud.
Why Build a Website?
I’ve been asked this many times in the past ten years. It’s often followed by, “I already have an author Facebook page (or another social media presence); I don’t need a website.”
Yes, you do.
Remember, I’m giving this advice to my younger self, the one who wanted to self-publish her book back around 2006. Due to writing friends discouraging her from taking that step, saying it would “ruin” her career, she put off self-publishing until 2010 and by the time she had enough experience to do it well, she had missed the easy boat. By 2015, it was more difficult to get books noticed, and she swam in a sea with millions of other hopeful writers.
Let me throw this out there: she didn’t have a fiction writing career to ruin, and her friends’ advice was based on nothing more than their opinion, which they had gotten from traditionally-published writers, who looked down on those who took the reins and drove their own wagon. Perhaps they were fearful of doing it themselves.Continue reading
Good morning, everyone.
I’m sending best wishes to you and your family. I hope today is a peaceful one, where you’ll have those you love the most with you, you’ll be warm and have food on your plate. While I hope you get what you want, I hope more you get what you need.
On my Diane McGyver blog, I posted a recipe for carrot cake. If you have an excess of carrots and like this cake, check it out here: Recipe Carrot Cake.
While I’ll be writing, I’m off the Internet for the next two days. It’s my break where I indulge in movies I’ve missed over the years. I’ve already reserved a few.
Take care of yourself, and the rest will take care of itself.
In the past seven days, I’ve written 23,546 words of my current novel, Seeds of Life. I surpassed the expected 90,000-word draft, and blew by 100,000 words without realising it. Every waking moment when I wasn’t caring for the animals and the children, doing basic housework, cooking, baking, moving furniture (my daughter’s moving back in), building a duck house and shovelling snow, I was writing.
Currently, the draft sits at 106,002 words.
This morning, I’m suffering from writer’s hangover, but the story won’t let me go. It’s all I dreamt about last night. This evening, after the chores, collecting drinking water from the spring, moving the ducks to their new house, cleaning up the basement and picking up chicken food, I’m diving back into the story to see if I can get the main characters out of the danger they’re in and bring them home.Continue reading
I’ve been part of Sophia Minetos’ launch team over the past few months, and I received a free copy of Graves for Drifters and Thieves to review.
Halston Harney is my favourite character. Nowadays, for whatever reason, when I read books written by others, I often don’t have a favourite character. It’s odd. Years ago, within a few chapters, I always found a favourite character. I’m not sure why I don’t anymore. I was pleasantly surprised when I found one in this book.
Westerns are one of my favourite genres. I grew up reading the old western novels my oldest brother had bought. I also read western comics, such as Jonah Hex, and watched western television shows (Bonanza, Gunsmoke, The Lone Ranger, Dr. Quinn) and movies (Young Guns and every John Wayne and Clint Eastwood western). I’m also writing two western novels.
This made it easy to slip into Graves for Drifters and Thieves.Continue reading
This is not about writing; it’s about freedom. Freedom is what every human wants and deserves. Without freedom, we are slaves. Without freedom, we do not prosper. Without freedom, we do not have personal rights. I would give up everything for freedom.
Freedom is what my father, my grandfather and all veterans fought for in the great wars. Freedom is what our ancestors sought when they left countries where they were mere peasants under a monarch’s rule. Freedom is the ultimate goal in every society.
Fighting Against Freedom
There’s been horrible rumblings in society over the past ten months about taking away a person’s freedom to choose what goes into their body. I’m going to come right out and say this, and if you don’t like it, too bad.
This is my body. I decide what goes into it and what doesn’t. If you think otherwise and try to go against my choice, you’re in for a fight. I don’t care about your health as much as I care about mine. I’m not threatening my health to appease you. I am NOT responsible for your health – you are!
To think otherwise is foolish. To think otherwise means I have the right to tell you how to live your life to better your health. That means no more cigarettes or recreational drugs. No more three meals a day; you’re down to two. Watching TV for more than four hours a week? Not anymore. You don’t spend a minimum of two hours outside walking or doing another activity regardless of the weather? Get off the couch! Pig out on six donuts? Nope. Drink pop? Not on my watch.Continue reading
In last week’s Self-publishing from Scratch post, the advice I’d give to myself was to tell others I’m writing a book even if I was finished writing it yet. Once family, friends and neighbours are told, how do I get the word out to the world?
By building a platform.
What is a Platform?
A platform is your stage. You can jump onto it and improvise; this works well for some actors. However, most of us need preparation before the curtain rises. Every act is planned, dress-rehearsals are done and make-up is applied. Ideally, you want to know what impression you want to deliver to your audience and plan your performance with that in mind. The last thing you want to do is confuse your audience or send mixed messages.
Authors use this stage to influence the audience to buy their books, to support their writing career and to share the news about their books to those they are connected with, either personally or in social media.Continue reading