Category Archives: My Blog

Where the rubber meets the road. How real life experiences and knowledge are woven into my writing.

Bringing a Story to Life: In the Flesh

mirror_capgrasDowntime between novels but I’m far from idle.

Laying the groundwork for upcoming projects.

One of the projects brought to mind a rather interesting coincidence – finding my characters in the flesh.

Which has happened more than once.

The first time, I was at the Sandbar  in Scottsdale, AZ.  It was a working lunch so I was sitting in a booth in the bar. The bartender came over to take my order and when I looked up my eyes widened.

Big time!

The guy was a double for Parmeet Sarin, the romantic lead in The Seer, the final in the [Okracoke] Awakening Series.

He was such an exact match, he could have been Parmeet.

Knowing my expression was likely freaking him out, I quickly explained he was the perfect model for a main character in my upcoming novel.

He was amused.  Especially when I told him the guy was the romantic lead.  He said he couldn’t wait to tell his wife and mom.

It was really a shock to see my character  – down to every detail of appearance – in the flesh.

Fast forward a few years and it happened again.

With a different character in a different book.

This time I was having a casual lunch over the summer and looked up to see the main character – the protagonist – in the upcoming Metatron’s Legacy.

Not certain of a release date at this time.  Likely autumn 2019.

The young woman who was summer help was an exact match, including height, build,  hair color and style.

Not to mention, the attitude.  She carried herself with the same jaded but not too jaded air, as if daring anyone to criticize her.

She was the right age, too.

Though I didn’t mention it to her, I couldn’t help but be a bit in awe of that type of coincidence – not once but twice.

 Just another in a long list of interesting events that cross my path.

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Release Schedule Update

ma8-coverI am excited to announce that Pin:  Book 8 in the Metatron’s Army Series will be released December 1, 2018. 

The trailer is available for viewing.

I will be shortening the release cycle for the remainder of the books in the series.

A wonderful and unexpected outcome of the transition from Middlegame to Endgame.

Though there is a lot of work yet to be done to complete the series, I already have my eyes on new exciting projects.

S tay tuned…

Bringing a Story to Life: Single Title V Series

book_series-300x200As an author, I think one of my favorite stories comes from Dianna Gabaldon and since I heard it second hand I won’t quote her.

The story was related several years ago during an Oakland, CA RWA Chapter meeting – told by a NY Times Best Selling author who was trying to make a point as she shared nuggets of wisdom with us.  This author was (and is) the epitome of grace with a no-nonsense down to earth style.

Apparently, Diana was surprised – perhaps flummoxed – to find her Outlander novel filed under Romance.

It was fiction in her eyes.

The lesson that came out of it from the wonderful author talking to our group that Saturday morning was, “To sell your work to a publisher, they have to know where to put it on the shelf.”

In other words, you have to do most of the work for them before you even get a contract.

The story reminded me of when Bill Gates tried to sell the PC to Hewlett and Packard, who apparently asked, “…but what is it good for?”

In other words, how do we sell it – and to who?

The other two take-aways from that session were:

  • Get control of your covers. No bodice rippers as it makes us all seem like air-heads

I was always fascinated by the disgust the female authors had over how they were stereotyped and perhaps lessened by the marketing done to get their stuff off the shelf.

  • If you love something, you’ll find the time to do it

 One of the participants went off on how “it must be nice to be married to a rich doctor so you have time to be a novelist” to which the author smiled and replied, “I got up at 4am every morning to put in two hours of writing time before going to work so I could put my husband through Med School and now he is a surgeon and I’m a writer whose hard work paid off.”

So, where to put something on a shelf – how do you describe your work – that’s a big part of selling it.

I always tell people I do paranormal fiction and I will occasionally mention “romantic elements” but I don’t say “I write romance” because I don’t.  Nothing against romance but my stuff is spy or action adventure or sci-fi but always time travel, ghosts, parallel universes – with people who have sex – yeah – but that isn’t romance – that’s … being an adult? 

Another consideration is whether the story is a single title or part of a series.

This is a hell of a lot harder than one might think.

First of all, there is no wrong way with this.  Whatever the story is – it is.  But it can be easy to get sucked into a series if you aren’t careful.

This is especially true when you start falling in love with characters other than your main characters.

Sometimes, it’s a no-brainer.

I always knew the Kerry’s Game Series was going to be a series.  Each of the characters who work for the paranormal investigation company HQ’d in San Francisco were going to have their own stories.

Metatron’s Army was also a no-brainer though I did spend almost a year deciding on the format for that one.  I realized that having each book being like a chapter in the main character’s life was the best way to go.  To try to short cut the back story would not serve the reader and it would not serve me as the writer.

Other books started as a single title and became part of a series.

Ocracoke.

And I also have Port Gallatan.

This one is different.  The “series” which I’m not sure I’m even going to do because it was never intended to be one – is around a small town rather than a group of characters.

Interestingly, this conundrum is part of an author’s identity.

Something I’m just coming to understand.

I had two different male colleagues misinterpret the scope of books I’d written.

  • In one case, he thought Kerry’s Game was going to be a series about Kerry rather than one for each investigator.
  • In the Port Gallatan situation, he thought everything would be about Clint.

Neither was the case, nor was it ever meant to be the case.

This would be another consideration for a traditional contract – how do we position the author – series or single title?

Where’d They GOOOOOOoooo?  I have a couple of authors I love to read who started a series and then, for whatever reason, quit before it made sense.

Talk about leaving people hanging.

I keep checking back on Amazon to see if they have released anything and to my continued disappointment, no.

In one instance, the author’s adult daughter posted an explanation – her mom took time off to be a mom and though she is still around, she isn’t writing so no – don’t look for any more in her wonderful historical romance series.

Which was actually paranormal fiction but again – it’s about where a publisher thinks they can sell it. 

The attitude.  I have been lucky enough to attend two different RWA conferences.  One when I was a fledgling fiction writer and another later when I was the veteran indie writer.

In the earlier one – 2003 – I had just earned my doctorate – my company was going through merger hell – I walked.

Did the Titanic.  Not interested in the sequel.  Btw:  I’m not kidding.  We had a sandwich board at that company that said, “The difference between us and the Titanic – at least the Titanic had a band.”

A newbie, I sat at tables and watched and listened.  What I saw was an industry – if not a nation – in transition.

  • New York Times Best Selling Writers who’d never been employed out of the home and had no college education versus Harvard graduate authors who were employed full-time and also NY Best Selling Writers.
  • Older authors who referred to their male agents and editors as their spouses – when they weren’t – and younger authors who basically said “Screw that”
  • Older authors who talked about completing a manuscript as being as difficult as birthing a baby (um – no) and younger authors who looked at them like “Seriously?”  I plead the fifth but vomit comes to mind.  Especially with the whole agent/editor as a spouse thing.  Do their spouses know this?  Do the spouses of the agents/editors?!
  • Older authors who said “Chocolate and hugs and crying with your editor solves everything” and younger authors who said “When the going gets tough the tough get going.”

I literally sat there and listened to the fireworks.

Fascinating.

Honestly, each side had a lot of wisdom and a lot of right but they were too busy being threatened by each other I guess.  Or rather not understanding that it was a Brave New World for authors – just as it is now because – for better or for worse – Smashwords brought the Publishing world to its knees.

So a lot of burden goes on an indie writer.

Even one with a lot of corporate experience.

And at the end of the day I find one of my biggest struggles isn’t marketing or what search words to use but whether or not to make a story part of a series.

Each author needs to do what works for them for each project.

Bringing a Story to Life: In Character – In You

figure-thinking-mdFor the past several days I’ve been trying to finish a difficult scene in Promotion:  Book 11 in the Metatron’s Army Series.

The difficulty comes from the complexity involved.

 This book in general has been a challenge since I ended up with two versions of it.

My misguided attempt to better organize the files.

I was at least able to choose which of the versions to use and was making great progress when things started grounding to a halt.

As I had a lot going on at the time I tried stepping away – only to find I couldn’t.  I needed to get back to it.

The style of the scene – which is actually several scenes that alternate – is something I’ve never done before but it fits the progression of the story and the series perfectly.  Unfortunately, and likely due to the nature of that style – it is incredibly awkward – for me.

When I read back through it it’s fine – seamless – makes sense. 

The challenge comes from having to swap between characters going through a similar experience in two different locations.

No, not two different dimensions.  Those I can do!  Not different timelines either.

One of the alternating scenes was becoming smoother but that made sense since I knew those characters better.  Thinking that was the source of the problem – that I didn’t know the other characters as well – I took myself to lunch at a local place so I could work on it.

I went close to when it opens so it would not be crowded, chose a table away from others, ordered a glass of wine and pulled out pen and notebook.  By the time my turkey sandwich arrived, I had seven pages written.

It helped but not in the way I intended.  Getting away and working on a different angle – character backstory for one of the characters in a different context altogether – enabled me to look at the awkward scene with new, less distracted eyes.

It didn’t solve the awkwardness issue, however.

And I was getting tired of reading from the beginning.  My eyes were starting to cross!

As I sat down to again attack the situation I realized why the scene is so awkward!  It’s supposed to be!  That’s the point of it!  The characters themselves are feeling awkward!

Ironically, this tells me I did a good job with the situation because I was feeling that awkwardness!

The style was fine – transitioning between the parallel situations – it was the one alternating scene – the characters in it – that was the issue.

I’m about to get back to it but with fresh eyes.

Eyes of writer and reader both!

**  Decided to take a detour through a music break – Motley Crue – Dr. Feelgood and Shout at the Devil.  Just the thing to get the brain cells workin…

Bringing a Story to Life: Time to Pay the Piper

clipart-scotland-8Well, I’ve gone as far as I can and now I have to decide which of the two paths to “dark moment” resolution I’m going to take.

It really will have to be one or the other.

At least I’m prepared.

I spent a better part of the afternoon sorting through folders and better organizing my files.

I have a feeling that I’m going to use the stuff I wrote originally, last summer.

It provides more insight into the character relationships than the actions that drove them.

In going this route it better serves the story in its original form.

It doesn’t affect the ending or the endgame novels.

The Madness.  It took a lot of preparation to get to this point.

  • I reread books 8 and 9
  • I reorganized my files
  • I reorganized my play lists
  • I used up my get out of jail free cards (distractions)

I also took care of some of the slivers in my life; issues I’d let go because I was so focused on what I was doing with the MA series.

I pushed back on people who’d been taking advantage of the fact I was otherwise distracted. 

The Method.  I basically have to open several files simultaneously and go back and forth, knitting together the progression that leads the way.

The only way out is through.

A bit of encouragement.  I heard from my beta reader, who is nearing the end of Pin: Book 8 in the series.  They said they didn’t want to stop reading to go eat dinner and as soon as they’re finished, they are going back to the story.

The dishes can wait, apparently.

That was cool.

Bringing a Story to Life: Getting Too Far Ahead

turtoise-clipart-tortoise-and-the-hare-3.jpgWrapping up post production work for Pin: Book 8 in the Metatron’s Army Series.  It feels great to be so far ahead of release deadlines.

except…

Untying a Knot.  The books that comprise the Middle Game of the series are tied so closely to each other, I decided last summer to keep them all in one document that I would break apart into individual pieces later.

Which I did.

Trouble is, in some cases, I had difficulty remembering which scenes ended up in which books.

As I circled back around to Book 8, I realized pieces I needed to know about were in books 9, 10, 11, and maybe even 12.

Worse, I’d written scenes I planned to insert in the future then filed them in a way I thought was logical – only to find it wasn’t.

Double the Work.  To address the problem and keep it organized, I ended up having to read Pin and the other books simultaneously.

The Tale of Two Endings.  Because of good intentions gone bad, I ended up having two versions of the climax resolution.

And I like both of them!!!

Have Faith In the Process.  I suppose it serves me right for getting so far ahead.

I forgot that I did it right the first time. 

I need to trust myself more.

I’ve only been living with the Middle Game for the past 15 months straight. 

Leave It Alone Already!  I always like to reread the novel immediately prior to designing the book cover, slides for the book trailer, and writing the back of book description.  Unfortunately, it’s difficult for me to be “just the reader.”  I tweaked a couple of paragraphs then realized – my beta reader has the copy!

It’s not nice to send edits to a beta reader so I had some fun with that.

Pin will be available for purchase December 15, 2018.

The book trailer will be available November 15.

Now:  Back to Bind: Book 9.

Due March 15, 2019

 

Spooky Fun In Action

halloween-clip-art-ghost-pumpkinsI’m wrapping up the Spooky Fun series with a video about how a real-life paranormal event inspired a major plot device in the Metatron’s Army Series.

This series, more than any other writing project, has been a crossroads of fact and fiction.

Not only is there a paranormal element to the decision to publish the saga, the original material came about as a way to help me understand my Near Death Experience.

Write What You Know?  MaybeNot all paranormal elements, nor themes nor plots in my material evolved from real-life events.

My nonfiction work is another story.

Write What You Know.  It’s Real.  My understanding of the paranormal played a significant role in figuring out what was wrong with me after moving to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2000.

It only took 9 years to figure out!

In 2003, the absence of my paranormal abilities led me to a visit to the San Francisco Borders Bookstore where I found the work of Russel Targ and Joe McMoneagle.

In my opinion, the loss of Borders Bookstore was one of the worst blows to the literary industry in modern history.  They were one-of-a-kind.

The tireless decades long research of those associated with IRVA and the Stargate Project enabled me to understand the physics behind the paranormal, which led to the first and perhaps most impacting EMF remedy.

The copper, zinc, and silver bracelet.

Which, as I write in Riding the Waves: Diagnosing, Treating, and Living with EMF Sensitivity, led to my discovery of the specific geological differences in areas where I felt better or worse.  The rest stemmed from that original trip to Borders to try to figure out why suddenly, after decades, my paranormal abilities had vanished.

On the flip side of this, as I’ve recently observed, the healthier I get – the more I continue to recover from the heavy metal poisoning that was responsible for the EMF Sensitivity, the stronger my paranormal abilities become.

And the more ideas I get for my writing.

I look forward to showing readers a world they never knew existed.

Happy Halloween Season! 

Today’s video will be available after 2:30pm PST.

Spooky Fun: You Tell Me

The generation of ghosts born between the years 1944 and 1964?So, tomorrow I’m posting a video about the research interaction between my Vegas ghost and me

He’;s highly intelligent and has a ton of world smarts to boot.  And – he’s opinionated – but so am I. 

Our journey to EMF research evolved.  When he first showed up at our home in FC, aware of the rules, he kept to the sidelines. At one point, I noticed he came around when we were cooking dinner.

An activity we do as a family.

I asked him about it and he told me he liked being in the kitchen with us when we make dinner because it reminded him of when he was a kid and ate at his grandma’s house.

This was a doubled-edged sword because he didn’t have the best home life so it kind of showed him/reminded him of what he’d missed.

This led to his frequently asking, “What are you doing?” followed only by, “Why are you doing this?”

As in – you guys seem to be doing it right relative to what I had growing up.  Why? What makes you different?  I need to understand because I am one who studies life.

When I explained about the whole EMF stuff – a lot of it was internal – supplements I was trying, food choices, etc.  At one point I decided to venture out and investigate areas of suspicion.  He asked to come with me.  I figured, “What the hell?  Why not?”

At this point, I figured he was absorbing the love and warmth of being in an accepting family so I just figured he wanted to go to be around that – pick up our energy.

On the trip where he took away my migraine (yesterday’s video), he became an active participant.

I related all his comments and questions to Aaron who participated in the 3-way conversation with no issue.

Going Up.  Everything changed about a year ago.

Given what I now know, I see that I transcended to a new level of health away from the heavy metal and calcium poisoning.  This enabled me to have a clearer communication medium with the ghost(s) in my life.

Our EMF interactions took on a new …

I can honestly say as a writer I can’t find a word.  They were just so damned different.  More serious, I guess.  A new level?

He began to understand the effect of internal and external factors on my health.  Particularly, the foods I ate and drank.  He began to really discuss the matter in-depth and then make suggestions.

Including on dosages of any supplements, or when to stop taking them because he thought they were not helping or might be harming.

He began to tell me when I was heading down the wrong path.

“You don’t have to worry about that.”

This had me asking, “Do you know something I don’t know?”

I’m Not Telling you.  There are a few questions the guy just refuses to answer.

This can be unnerving.

One of them is, “Did God ask you to help me out?  Is it fate that we ended up in the room that evening?  Was it random chance that I happened to be in there – because we’d changed rooms – and I could see you?

He won’t answer.  It’s one of the subjects he won’t even share his opinion about – though I know he has one.

You Tell Me.  His interactions with me also changed.  Not that he gave me answers freely before but beginning about a year ago, when he would give me a suggestion or a hint or a thought – if I ask for clarification, he replies, “You tell me.”

I then need to talk out the entire scientific process.  He doesn’t even necessarily confirm my theories, he just listens then maybe makes me elaborate further.  In the end, I have to work through and for everything.

Meet the Crew.  About the time we began to interact at this new level, a number of ghosts showed up.

Not a coincidence. 

Each of them has had something to offer just as I’ve helped them, providing perspective, having philosophical conversations, pondering what ifs?

They have repeatedly told me they appreciate that I can just sit and not have to talk with them.  We can just sit and watch the birds, the bats, the squirrels, the spiders.  We don’t have to talk.

It has been a relationship of sharing to mutual benefit and though they haven’t immersed themselves in the EMF stuff as much as ET has, they have provided me with gems of information that have helped in other areas.

One of them has helped me understand the “white light” of the NDE experience and how the fact my doorway never closed has enabled me to see and experience things most people aren’t aware of. 

I still think God put these guys in my life for a reason – not just because they can help me but because I can – and have – helped them and they are in his care just as I am.

And there is no horror.  No fear.  No bullsh*t.

Just peace and respect nd the honest exchange of ideas.

Today’s Spooky Fun video, Ghosts as Angels 2, is now available.

 

Spooky Fun: Sphere of Awareness

main-qimg-7ad0f642a44c7121914f96a6f1813509-c.jpegIn tomorrow’s video, Ghosts as Angels 2, I discuss a time when my helpful ghost comes to my rescue.  The interesting part of it is that until that point I hadn’t seen or heard from him in several months.

This is a typical pattern for him.

He recently provided an explanation.

“I’m around but I’m staying outside your sphere of awareness.”

Since it is through my adrenals that I have the connection with him – become aware of him – I put it together – and later verified – that it’s when my adrenals are taking a hit for some reason that he stays away.

He doesn’t want to add to the burden.

If I look back on those absences, it fits with times when I was sick with EMF Sensitivity.

When we moved to FC, I started to recover.  When we moved to Arizona, regression until I took certain steps. The recovery was up and down until I understood what the root cause was and set forth a path to correct it.

This fits with an observation regarding sensitivity versus awareness.  After my husband read the article and we had an in-depth discussion of what motivated me to write it at this time, he pointed out that the EMF Sensitivity was acting as a block to my awareness of other – sensitivities.

Specifically, the X Factor, which has nothing to do with the ghosts.

As I considered this further, I came to see he is exactly correct.  It fits with EMF Research revelations I’ve gained in the past year.

ghosts-in-haunted-castle-clip-art__k39838508Holy Bleep!  A little over a year ago, as I was making incredible progress in recovering from a calcium induced health setback, my EMF life took an astonishing turn.

More ghosts!

At one point, Aaron said, “Holy BLEEP, you have the whole crew there!”

Fortunately for me, these guys are so cool, so sweet, and so very helpful.  They have given me incredible insight into EMF Sensitivity AND EMF Awareness.

Which I now understand are two different things entirely.

They have helped me test materials to determine whether or not they affect sensitivity or awareness. They’ve made suggestions on how I might lessen my sensitivity to the X Factor.

One, who liked to go with me when I went for espresso even asked me to leave my stuff on the radio because he likes the music I listen to.

But like my Vegas ghost, these guys come and go.

Gone for extended periods of time, returning to offer suggestions or perspective, then leaving again.

Come and Go.  I am so very grateful for the assistance I got from my helpful ghost, I now understand why it was such an unexpected surprise.  It wasn’t that he wasn’t around.  I wasn’t aware he was around.

For those who may wonder why it is they aren’t aware?  There’s probably something in the way.  If you are listening to one song on a radio, you aren’t aware of the others because you can’t hear them.

Even if you play two radios you will have difficulty tuning into the both of them in any meaningful way.

If you switched your dial, you’d pick up on the other songs.  Being EMF Aware is very similar.  But to be truly aware, you have to get rid of the sensitivity that blocks the awareness.

You have to be willing to change the dial.

The first of the videos that discuss how this ghost has helped me will be posted this afternoon around 2:30pm PST.

Spooky Fun: The Helpful Spirit

IMG_1904In upcoming an upcoming video (Ghosts as Angels), I discuss ways in which ghosts have been helpful. I thought I’d elaborate a bit on the EMF Research angle but also share other helpful interactions.

I’ve focused a lot on my Vegas ghost but I have interactions with others, including others who have been helpful in my EMF research.

Throughout the years I’ve run into/become aware of ghosts in a number of locations.  Some of the more memorable were encounters at Gettysburg, Chalmette, and Stones River National Parks.

The first two happened when I was a kid.

In each of these locations, just as with my tour at the House of Seven Gables, the local spirits provided insight into historical events.

Private Beltree – who I spoke with at Stones River – talked about how, upon seeing the way the wind was blowing during the U.S. Civil War, he put on the uniform of the enemy (the north) only to end up getting killed anyway. He provided me with several tidbits, including his name and where he was from – which I was later able to corroborate thanks to historical records.

In the case of my Vegas ghost, and his assistance with EMF Research, it’s a bit different.

He isn’t always around.  He has family that he keeps an eye on.  He is often gone for weeks and even months at a time.

Our working together started out more along the lines of his asking, “What are you doing?”

When he first arrived in FC, he would watch us, comment on what we were doing, etc.

He showed up one day while I was out driving around for EMF Research and we started talking.

He was very interested in what I was doing, asked a lot of questions.

He began to comment, offered insight and theories.

He also commented on the novel I was working on at the time, offered his opinion on how I might change a few things.

More recent help has been offering perspective drawn from his personal experience and knowledge.

He helped me figure out what it was about the music remedies that makes them effective.

He has suggested materials for me to test and therapies to try.

I am no longer sensitive to technology EMFs but I am still aware of various environmental ones.

As I talk about in the upcoming video You Tell Me, I have to work for everything.  He suggests things but I do all the work, including researching why the solution worked.

It makes sense I’m able to work with this “guy.”  Ghosts are EMFs.  I’m an EMF Sensitive in that I can perceive frequencies beyond average.

2 Way.  As much as he has helped me, I have helped him.

He has had to come to terms with things – having a family to keep an eye on – the reality of his situation.

I have talked to him about moving on but he has a lot of work to do still.

Watching after loved ones left behind is a common theme with the spirits I’ve talked to.

I’ve noticed that the healthier I get – the less sensitive to any electronics or technology EMFs – the stronger my paranormal senses become.

I wrote about losing paranormal abilities as part of the EMF Sensitivity issue in Riding the Waves: Diagnosing, Treating, and Living with EMF Sensitivity, pointing out that once I donned the copper, silver, and zinc bracelet, my abilities were restored.  I also mention how, after moving to FC, CO, as I began to recover, they strengthened significantly, and diversified (I got more of them).

I have gained a great deal of unique insight regarding EMF Sensitivity and the paranormal.  I feel pretty lucky to have such helpful spirits cross my path.

Today’s video, Ghost Humor 2, should be available after 2:30pm PST.