A New Year Has Begun at the Writer’s Desk

Good morning, everyone.

It’s been awhile since I’ve been here. After working every day for three years, I was in desperate need of a break. I should have taken one immediately after that seven-month out of the house, working every day for 12 to 14 hours job in 2014, but I didn’t. Instead, I jumped into a self-imposed every day, dawn to dusk working schedule of writing, editing, publishing and marketing. I squeezed in the other part of my life (family, household chores, animals, etc.) where I could.

So a break was necessary to reset my timer, recharge my batteries and reflect on what I’ve done and where I want to go next.

Continue reading “A New Year Has Begun at the Writer’s Desk”

Editing a western romance novel “Dust, Unsettle” 25

Dust, UnsettledThis is a series of posts appearing each Saturday morning, sharing the story and the editing of Dust, Unsettled, a western romance written in the 1980s by the teenage version of myself. To learn more about this exercise, check out the original post.

This story takes place in the late 1980s. I’ve decided to keep it there instead of updating it to 2016.

The first section is the original writing. It’s filled with poor dialogue tags, unnecessary words and poor story telling. In the brackets [ ] I’ll point out issues with the writing. I won’t point out every issue, only three or four per Saturday.

Word Count Comparison

Original: 515

Edited: 373

Difference: 142

Continue reading “Editing a western romance novel “Dust, Unsettle” 25”

Editing a western romance novel “Dust, Unsettle” 24

Dust, UnsettledThis is a series of posts appearing each Saturday morning, sharing the story and the editing of Dust, Unsettled, a western romance written in the 1980s by the teenage version of myself. To learn more about this exercise, check out the original post.

This story takes place in the late 1980s. I’ve decided to keep it there instead of updating it to 2016.

The first section is the original writing. It’s filled with poor dialogue tags, unnecessary words and poor story telling. In the brackets [ ] I’ll point out issues with the writing. I won’t point out every issue, only three or four per Saturday.

Word Count Comparison

Original: 508

Edited: 377

Difference: 131

Continue reading “Editing a western romance novel “Dust, Unsettle” 24”

Editing a western romance novel “Dust, Unsettle” 23

Dust, UnsettledThis is a series of posts appearing each Saturday morning, sharing the story and the editing of Dust, Unsettled, a western romance written in the 1980s by the teenage version of myself. To learn more about this exercise, check out the original post.

This story takes place in the late 1980s. I’ve decided to keep it there instead of updating it to 2016.

The first section is the original writing. It’s filled with poor dialogue tags, unnecessary words and poor story telling. In the brackets [ ] I’ll point out issues with the writing. I won’t point out every issue, only three or four per Saturday.

Word Count Comparison

Original: 430

Edited: 313

Difference: 117

Continue reading “Editing a western romance novel “Dust, Unsettle” 23”

Editing a western romance novel “Dust, Unsettle” 22

Dust, UnsettledThis is a series of posts appearing each Saturday morning, sharing the story and the editing of Dust, Unsettled, a western romance written in the 1980s by the teenage version of myself. To learn more about this exercise, check out the original post.

This story takes place in the late 1980s. I’ve decided to keep it there instead of updating it to 2016.

The first section is the original writing. It’s filled with poor dialogue tags, unnecessary words and poor story telling. In the brackets [ ] I’ll point out issues with the writing. I won’t point out every issue, only three or four per Saturday.

Word Count Comparison

Original: 435

Edited: 379

Difference: 56

Continue reading “Editing a western romance novel “Dust, Unsettle” 22”

Editing a western romance novel “Dust, Unsettle” 21

Dust, UnsettledThis is a series of posts appearing each Saturday morning, sharing the story and the editing of Dust, Unsettled, a western romance written in the 1980s by the teenage version of myself. To learn more about this exercise, check out the original post.

This story takes place in the late 1980s. I’ve decided to keep it there instead of updating it to 2016.

The first section is the original writing. It’s filled with poor dialogue tags, unnecessary words and poor story telling. In the brackets [ ] I’ll point out issues with the writing. I won’t point out every issue, only three or four per Saturday.

Word Count Comparison

Original: 451

Edited: 327

Difference: 124

Dust, Unsettled

Chapter 05 continued

Original Story

Jessica instantly tried to control her emotions, feeling all eyes were on her. She dried her eyes with her jacket sleeve and headed for the nearest exit. [I often have characters drying their eyes in their sleeve (it’s a habit of mine), but I’m working at new ways to dry wet eyes.] Down one of the service entrances, she swiftly walked, hoping to avoid any maintenance workers. She reached the outdoors and released her emotions.

Continue reading “Editing a western romance novel “Dust, Unsettle” 21”

Define Death

What is death?

I can only imagine the vast majority who walked the trails of Earth have asked this question at least once in their life. Yet there seems to be no real answer found.

Should we greet death with open arms or run from it as fast as our feet will carry us? Should we fear it or rejoice? People throughout the centuries have done all these and more.

But what is death?

Is it simply the death of the host body we call Earthling? Or does something more tragic happen? Do our souls die, cease to exist and do our screens go black?

More than a dozen years ago, my sister and I were driving on the highway. She mentioned that she feared death because there was nothing there. It all just ended in nothing. I asked her, “How do you know it ends and there is nothing there but nothing?”

Continue reading “Define Death”

Editing a western romance novel “Dust, Unsettle” 20

Dust, UnsettledThis is a series of posts appearing each Saturday morning, sharing the story and the editing of Dust, Unsettled, a western romance written in the 1980s by the teenage version of myself. To learn more about this exercise, check out the original post.

This story takes place in the late 1980s. I’ve decided to keep it there instead of updating it to 2016.

The first section is the original writing. It’s filled with poor dialogue tags, unnecessary words and poor story telling. In the brackets [ ] I’ll point out issues with the writing. I won’t point out every issue, only three or four per Saturday.

Word Count Comparison

Original: 410

Edited: 339

Difference: 71 Continue reading “Editing a western romance novel “Dust, Unsettle” 20”

Editing a western romance novel “Dust, Unsettle” 19

Dust, UnsettledThis is a series of posts appearing each Saturday morning, sharing the story and the editing of Dust, Unsettled, a western romance written in the 1980s by the teenage version of myself. To learn more about this exercise, check out the original post.

This story takes place in the late 1980s. I’ve decided to keep it there instead of updating it to 2016.

The first section is the original writing. It’s filled with poor dialogue tags, unnecessary words and poor story telling. In the brackets [ ] I’ll point out issues with the writing. I won’t point out every issue, only three or four per Saturday.

Word Count Comparison

Original: 412

Edited: 445

Difference: plus 33

Continue reading “Editing a western romance novel “Dust, Unsettle” 19”

Editing a western romance novel “Dust, Unsettle” 18

Dust, UnsettledThis is a series of posts appearing each Saturday morning, sharing the story and the editing of Dust, Unsettled, a western romance written in the 1980s by the teenage version of myself. To learn more about this exercise, check out the original post.

This story takes place in the late 1980s. I’ve decided to keep it there instead of updating it to 2016.

The first section is the original writing. It’s filled with poor dialogue tags, unnecessary words and poor story telling. In the brackets [ ] I’ll point out issues with the writing. I won’t point out every issue, only three or four per Saturday.

Word Count Comparison

Original: 392

Edited: 311

Difference: 81

Continue reading “Editing a western romance novel “Dust, Unsettle” 18”

Editing a western romance novel “Dust, Unsettle” 17

Dust, UnsettledThis is a series of posts appearing each Saturday morning, sharing the story and the editing of Dust, Unsettled, a western romance written in the 1980s by the teenage version of myself. To learn more about this exercise, check out the original post.

This story takes place in the late 1980s. I’ve decided to keep it there instead of updating it to 2016.

The first section is the original writing. It’s filled with poor dialogue tags, unnecessary words and poor story telling. In the brackets [ ] I’ll point out issues with the writing. I won’t point out every issue, only three or four per Saturday.

Word Count Comparison

Original: 392

Edited: 286

Difference: 106

Continue reading “Editing a western romance novel “Dust, Unsettle” 17”

Injecting Life into Archaic Words for My Fantasy Novel

McGyver-ScatteredStonesFRONTI love finding new words that describe what I’m trying to say perfectly, especially if they are not common words. I often find these words have fallen out of use and are labelled archaic.

Using them and introducing them to readers who have never before seen them is a treat. I love sprinkling these little gems throughout my story.

I’ve had a lot of fun finding new words for Scattered Stones. They are—of course—archaic because Ath-o’Lea is in the past, long ago before electricity and engines and words like trailer.

Continue reading “Injecting Life into Archaic Words for My Fantasy Novel”

Scattered Stones Cover Release and Proof Order

The novel I conceived in the second half of 2009 is now in the birthing canal.

Yesterday I placed an order for a proof copy of Scattered Stones. After I hit the CONFIRM button, I sat back and thought about the journey to give me a better perspective of what I had done.

In May 2010, I had written the last 60,000 words in a rush to reach the end. Then the manuscript went through multiple edits, being read and sporadically edited by beta readers. I edited and revised when I found time, often between stints of working outside the home. For six months in 2014, I barely had a chance to look at it because I worked six to seven days a week, putting in ten-hour days at a garden centre. This sort of schedule doesn’t leave much time to eat, sleep and say hello to the kids, let alone hours bellied-up to a computer to edit a novel.

Continue reading “Scattered Stones Cover Release and Proof Order”

Editing a western romance novel “Dust, Unsettle” 16

Dust, UnsettledThis is a series of posts appearing each Saturday morning, sharing the story and the editing of Dust, Unsettled, a western romance written in the 1980s by the teenage version of myself. To learn more about this exercise, check out the original post.

This story takes place in the late 1980s. I’ve decided to keep it there instead of updating it to 2016.

The first section is the original writing. It’s filled with poor dialogue tags, unnecessary words and poor story telling. In the brackets [ ] I’ll point out issues with the writing. I won’t point out every issue, only three or four per Saturday.

Word Count Comparison

Original: 433

Edited: 259

Difference: 174

Continue reading “Editing a western romance novel “Dust, Unsettle” 16”

Reclaiming my Disclaimer to reflect my personality and the story

A few months ago, I happened upon a post on The Book Designer blog regarding writing disclaimers. I have never given much thought to disclaimers; they’re as necessary for publishing as ISBNs, and just as boring.

I created the disclaimers for my novels by consulting already-published books to see the wording they used. It’s all pretty standard, and I’ve never read one that stood out. The main point was to tell everyone you didn’t write this book about a real person, so you wouldn’t be sued if someone thought they saw themselves within the story. Basically, you wanted to tell the world, “This is fiction. Nothing real to see here. Move along to the end and buy the next book in the series.”

Original Disclaimer

The disclaimer I created and used in print and eBooks came out to read as…

Continue reading “Reclaiming my Disclaimer to reflect my personality and the story”

Help Me Choose a Cover for my Epic Fantasy Novel

Scattered Stones 03Over the past few months, I’ve been toying with the cover for my next book: Scattered Stones. I’m usually not an indecisive person but with covers, I’m starting to flip flop.

A cover is vital to a book’s success. Almost everyone at some point in their life has judged a book by its cover. It doesn’t matter if the story is awesome or cruddy; the cover alone can sell a book. The goal, however, is to catch the readers’ attention long enough that they give you a second look to see if they want to buy your book.

I’ve learned a lot about how to make covers, but I know there is a large room for improvement. I also don’t have the programs designers use, so I use what I can. And I keep my ears and eyes open for tips.

Continue reading “Help Me Choose a Cover for my Epic Fantasy Novel”

Editing a western romance novel “Dust, Unsettle” 15

Dust, UnsettledThis is a series of posts appearing each Saturday morning, sharing the story and the editing of Dust, Unsettled, a western romance written in the 1980s by the teenage version of myself. To learn more about this exercise, check out the original post.

This story takes place in the late 1980s. I’ve decided to keep it there instead of updating it to 2016.

The first section is the original writing. It’s filled with poor dialogue tags, unnecessary words and poor story telling. In the brackets [ ] I’ll point out issues with the writing. I won’t point out every issue, only three or four per Saturday.

Word Count Comparison

Original: 421

Edited: 347

Difference: 74

Continue reading “Editing a western romance novel “Dust, Unsettle” 15”

The Controversy Between Shined and Shone

Writing TipThe English language is always evolving. Just when I feel I’m confident in a rule or spelling, something pops up to make me question my sanity—I mean my writing.

Two scenarios—when discovered—that cause me confusion with rules

  1. An old rule I didn’t know about because I had been originally taught the new rule (one developed in the past few decades).
  2. A new rule brought in by popular demand I didn’t know about because I used the old rule.

In the case of shined vs shone, I was using a rule that was relatively new. I didn’t know another existed. But it does and in some circles, it is still used.

Continue reading “The Controversy Between Shined and Shone”

Register Now: Online Indie Author Fringe Event April 15th

The first online Indie Author Fringe Event of 2016 kicks off at 10:00 am on Friday April 15th. This is London, England time, so in Nova Scotia, that’s 6:00 am (fours in the difference).

There’s an amazing line-up and many will recognise some of the names from the self-publishing industry:

  • Mark Coker (of Smashwords)
  • David Gaughran
  • Joanna Penn
  • Jane Friedman
  • Bob Mayer
  • Roz Morris

Continue reading “Register Now: Online Indie Author Fringe Event April 15th”

Editing a western romance novel “Dust, Unsettle” 14

Dust, UnsettledThis is a series of posts appearing each Saturday morning, sharing the story and the editing of Dust, Unsettled, a western romance written in the 1980s by the teenage version of myself. To learn more about this exercise, check out the original post.

This story takes place in the late 1980s. I’ve decided to keep it there instead of updating it to 2016.

The first section is the original writing. It’s filled with poor dialogue tags, unnecessary words and poor story telling. In the brackets [ ] I’ll point out issues with the writing. I won’t point out every issue, only three or four per Saturday.

Word Count Comparison

Original: 420

Edited: 319

Difference: 101

Continue reading “Editing a western romance novel “Dust, Unsettle” 14”