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 – The Paranormal AS Reality

mist-over-the-mountainsI’m about to post a vlog that gives a bit of insight into the Port Gallatan series.

The FICTITIOUS location for the series.

 

The West Virginia part of that story has a bit of personal meaning, and is a great illustration of how having the paranormal AS reality in my life has played out.

In a way that went way beyond being a writer.

During the autumn YEARS AGO, I found myself in West Virginia.  Though a series of events that took place over that weekend were of a paranormal nature, it was the weekend itself – and the events that led up to it – that transformed my life.; a situation where the whole was far more than the sum of its parts.

  • I was invited to come down and spend a weekend.

 

  • I would drive down right after work on Friday and arrive very late.

I had had the WEEK FROM HELL so I can’t begin to explain the basket case I was when I arrived, nor how it felt to be swept into a loving embrace, accompanied by an assurance that I was welcome and I could leave it all on the front porch.

  • There were no expectations

The individual who extended the invitation is one of the only truly altruistic people to ever cross my path.

  • The house was over 200 years old.

Spending the night in a place that had been there when my country was birthed from a revolution – at the hand of commoners who dreamed of being free from theTYRANNY of King George III cannot be easily described nor manufactured in a factory.  Farmers – not trained soldiers – led by great men – won that war.

  • The smell of cedar touched/connected with something from my Irish great-grandmother

My parents kept the quilts she handmade to keep out drafts from the walls of her home in Ireland in a cedar chest so the moths wouldn’t destroy them.

  •  My host provided acceptance that healed parts of my soul in need of healing

 

  • I was reminded of who I was at a soul level, reminded that corporate (and those in it) did not define me

Though God knows they tried.

  • I was reminded that life is what I make it (No excuses).

I don’t think I’ll ever be able to repay the individual who invited me – nor fully explain what that weekend and those nights in that house did for me.

So – the paranormal of that weekend.

We ventured to a park where there were a number of ghosts.

Story of my life since LONG before the brain surgery!

I tucked this part of the weekend into my normal “Wow, this is really cool…”space and went with it.

With regards to all the ghosts I saw on my way to the payphone?

I had to call someone to wish them happy birthday!

I believe in Democracy for ghosts.

Who am I to-tell them to go to the light ?

Paranormal experience aside, it was a turning point for me.

Did the ghosts play a part in that?  Not as much as staying in that house did.

Going Home.  I drove the PA then OH Turnpike, knowing I wouldn’t get back to MI until well past midnight, needing to report for duty to the corporate black hole early the next morning.

I was a completely changed person though I had no idea at the time just how much.

160826012942-black-hole-breakthrough-lee-pkg-00002217-exlarge-169To give a perspective of the degree of dysfunctionality of our particular sinking ship…

 

  • There was a sandwich board in the 1stfloor hallway that read the difference between us and the Titanic was that at least the Titanic had a band

 

  • There was a Far Side Cartoon with God looking at the animals and contemplating “Hmmm…pretty good – all I need is something to eat you guys…” on my boss’ office door.

With an arrow over God’s head that had the current black hole program name on it.  The animals?  There was an arrow with the name of our “sacrificial” team on it.

My boss was NOT amused.

I was NOT the orchestrator of this chaos!

Hey, at least we had a sense of humor while we were going down…

Scott Adams would have been proud.

YES – I know Scott Adams did not author the Far Side.

Around 11pm Sunday night, close to the OH-MI border, I checked my vmail.  There were a number of messages from someone who was another energy drain on my life.

Prior to the nights spent in that house – talking to the woman whose family had owned it for generations – I was somehow oblivious to the energetic damage being done by this psychic/emotional/psychological vampire.

By the time I was listening to the sixth – or seventh – vmail DEMANDING that I call him and tell him WHERE I WAS – I was rolling my eyes and acknowledging that my life needed some serious work.

Ghost to the Rescue!

Not long after, I had a visit from the ghost of my deceased maternal grandmother, reading me the riot act because my husband was about to come into my life and there was WORK TO BE DONE and there I was screwing around with a vampire!

Rattled by the dream – my maternal grandmother NEVER yelled at me – I nonetheless blew her off.

My mistake.

Immediately after, my life took a turn into a nightmarish if entropic direction.

It was as if someone yanked the tablecloth off the table of my life and every damned glass thing on it fell to the floor where it proceeded to smash to smithereens.

Those were some rough months afterward…

But as I recount in After Here: The Celestial Plane and What Happens After We Die, my husband DID enter my life a few months later.

The transformation – Cosmically Guided – was set in stone.

 The Paranormal as Reality Revisited…

I was reading an article the other day and considered where I was when this guy was blowing out an amp.

I was living in the Bay Area, seeing my husband-to-be in a vision on my Silicon Valley apartment balcony.  I actually asked him to wait – explaining I wasn’t ready yet.  This was BEFORE being chewed out, mind you.

Cosmic Time.  Upon reading the article, I realized that though it seemed like an eternity at the time – the actual space between when I saw my husband in that vision and when he showed up in my life was relatively short.

My grandmother’s admonition notwithstanding. 

heartThe rapidness with which everything else was swept away once I touched his hand when we finally found each other?  It left me with no doubt that

  • Destiny Exists
  • Love is a powerful force
  • Paranormal IS reality if you look for it

On a side note: Just before we were married, my husband took me to a place where he used to spend time during a difficult part of his life.  It was the exact location I’d seen him sitting in in the vision, though he was there two years – almost to the day – before I was in my apartment.

The speed of desire across time?

Just the information a storyteller loves to draw from.

 

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Bringing a Story to Life – The Paranormal in Action (Still)

_imgI’ll preface this piece by pointing out that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.  I don’t see every shooting star as an omen nor every coincidence as anything more than a coincidence.  But that doesn’t stop me from taking note of events that jump out due to the timing or some other characteristic that makes them unique and statistically – if not paranormally – significant.  Just such a thing happened to me today and as it followed on to a recent event of note, I thought that instead of posting as a reply to the comment, I’d put the article here.

For people who wish to experience more synchronistic events in their lives…keep track of them.  The more you observe them, the more you will see them in your life.  I also suggest thanking whatever energy you connect with (God, angels, etc) for the gift.

I woke in the middle of the night and, unable to sleep, my mind began to wander over some of my work. I wasn’t sure if I should leave the writing as it is or delete it.  This bothered me to the point I was going to get up at 3 am and delete it.

I decided that if I did get up and get on the computer, I’d never get back to sleep.  Besides, if it still bothered me when I woke up, I could always delete it then.

vector-illustration-of-sheep-fall-asleep-on-the-bed-of-a-sleepless-man-drawing_csp28883199Still unable to sleep a half hour later, I asked the angel I work with on my writing for help.  I said, “I don’t know what to do.”

I fell asleep about twenty minutes later.

I woke up feeling groggy and in serious need of espresso.  Typically, I wait to check my email until after I get back from a coffee run. For some reason, I checked the email before.  There was a message stating that someone had left a comment on one of my articles.

An article about the paranormal synchronicity I’d recently observed.

The author wrote:  I think the Universe does not want us to second guess ones self. Yet we do…. I like visions….. they’re better than a newspaper!

Well, I certainly got my answer.  Leave the writing as is and stop second guessing myself.  I thanked God and the angel and head for the coffee shop.

Part Deux!  The woman making the coffee is usually in the kitchen so I took a moment to chat with her.  She said, “I was thinking about you…about your writing…it takes a lot of work and you have to have a passion…”

Thinking about my lack of sleep I said, “And being used to sleepless nights.”

She smiled and said, “You’re doing everything right.”

I’m sure my smile was frozen on my face though I think I mumbled a thank you. 

As I walked back to the car I mentally said, “Message definitely received God, and thank you!”

I cherish such events and share them because they happen every day around the world to numerous people – reminding us that we aren’t alone…on our own.

  • Something inspired MaryAnne to post the comment when she did. 
  • I elected to read it before leaving for the coffee shop – or before deleting the writing which I very well might have. 
  • The woman making the espresso is normally in the kitchen.  She decided to make the coffee and she decided to tell me what was on her mind which was relevant. 

It was what I needed to hear when I needed to hear it. 

You never know when you might be that messenger for someone else.

Look for the synchronicities in your life…it’s worth the effort.

Bringing a Story to Life – The Paranormal in Action

rose-trellis-cj-mckendryI recently filmed several vlogs for the Metatron’s Army and Port Gallatan series.  In one of the videos, I share a bit about how paranormal events inspired the upcoming Soothsayer.  A lot of work went into the videos and as I lay in bed Friday night, I pondered one of the stories which could be interpreted more or less as a vision.

It isn’t exactly – it was more like looking through an open doorway and seeing into another … place.

I considered whether or not I should reshoot the vlog, decided to give it a couple more days to decide.

On Saturday, I attended a Native American ceremony.  One of the tribal women shared a story of sitting by a lake and having a vision. She went on to talk about the importance of visions and the helpful information that can be gained from such an experience.  As I drove home, I thought how nice it was to hear someone else talk about visions.

Visions are part of the tribal culture and so no one thought anything odd about her story.

On Sunday, we were driving to church, and I thought of the woman’s story and how it was a bit of a coincidence that after waking up feeling uncertain about telling my own story, I heard someone tell theirs – with confidence and to complete approval and understanding.

I again considered that it was a part of her culture and how fortunate she was that this was true.  I lamented that in spite of stories in the Bible, there were few current stories of visions in Christian circles.

At least not the ones I’ve been hanging out in.

I continued to think on this as I stared out at the water and listened to the service.  After the gospel, our priest shared her thoughts about its meaning and went on to tell a personal story.

She’d recently lost her mom and was feeling lonely and sad.  She visited a beautiful rose garden and prayed about her feelings.  As she sat there, a vision of Jesus appeared next to her.  Though she spoke of the comfort from the experience, my mind was on the fact she’d shared a story about a vision.

It was as if an angel tapped me on the shoulder and said, “We’re listening.”

Needless to say, I felt a lot better about the story I share on the vlog.

I will be posting the vlogs soon.

Soothsayer is slated for an October 2018 release.

Bringing a Story to Life – Integrating the Paranormal

1*sii-ojjjlh2f-NMBH3o99gI recently attended a presentation by a group of Middle School students.  As sometimes happens, a student froze up, her nervousness making it difficult to get more than a sentence out.

It was truly a deer in the headlight’s moment for her.

Her team was completely supportive and there wasn’t an adult in the room who wasn’t sympathetic.

The young woman and her parents were at my table.  I found an opportune moment to congratulate her on the wonderful job she and her team did,  and when she told me she got nervous I said, “Everyone does.  Even grown-ups.”

I went on to tell her about how – very recently – my husband was doing a remote presentation to customers when we lost Internet connectivity to our house.  I explained that it just dropped right in the middle of the presentation –that such things are a part of life.  Stuff happens.

The story made an impact and she totally relaxed.

I could see the gears turning as she realized she wasn’t so unique – she was part of a much larger group of people – a group that includes successful people. 

That conversation came home this evening as I was filming vlogs for Metatron’s Army and Soothsayer, the upcoming Port Gallatan story.  A lot of preparation goes into creating these vlogs, but this last batch merited more thought than usual… because of the subject.

The paranormal and how I integrate my paranormal abilities/experiences into my work.

After filming two of the vlogs, I realized that I was shaking.

I was nervous.

I couldn’t help thinking of the irony –  my recent conversation with the young woman intended to bolster her confidence and there I was shaking.

It was particularly ironic given the number of times in my corporate career I got up in front of hundreds of strangers and was totally fine/totally confident.

I can tell you this much – it’s a hell of a lot easier when you’re representing a large corporation than putting yourself out there on your own merit.

A false sense of confidence but there it is.

I’m proud of the work I did tonight – of the work I do – but that doesn’t mean I don’t get nervous.

And that puts me in a larger crowd

 

Bringing a Story To Life – Celestial Love

angelembrace.jpegThe love story component in Metatron’s Army has been fun but challenging at times because in honoring the NDE experience I needed to address the point of view of a celestial being.

The type of love that is felt by the celestial beings is a universal love.  There’s no favoritism in that realm. 

Even though it’s deep it could almost be considered lukewarm due to a lack of emotional peaks and valleys normally associated with the human interpretation/experience of that energy.

At the same time I have a “common man” character – Christine – who feels passion and love in a significantly different way.  She feels emotion deep whereas the celestial beings feel it more broadly and there is a wide gulf between when it comes to bringing them together in a relationship that not only makes sense but can be understood by the reader.

Layered on top of it all is that in this world, energy is the ruling force, not the rules of late twentieth century Earth.  This means dealing with lifetimes rather than age.

As one of my characters says, “It’s about energetic compatibility.

I don’t address how old the celestial characters are because it’s irrelevant.  They’re timeless because celestial beings are timeless.

They aren’t a twenty-first century invention and they aren’t a Christian invention.  If anything, physics has more to offer when understanding them because the rules of energy apply; the law of conservation of energy, Einstein’s theory of relativity, etc.

 While science played a significant role in helping me understand the NDE, there is a strong spiritual component in the environment I was in and the celestial beings I encountered.  These energy beings fell into different categories

  • Spirits of humans I’d known on Earth
  • What we would call angels
  • Watchers

These energy beings were almost inanimate objects.  They existed but they didn’t speak; they simply watched/observed.

When creating the characters for Metatron’s Army, I pulled from the celestial realm and created characters you might find in a sci-fi epic.

In mine at any rate.

Since these different species were born into a world/universe where there is celestial diversity, there was opportunity for a variety of interactions that included all the emotions (i.e. jealousy, anger, fear, and of course, love).

In the Beginning.  When I first began putting a creative storyline around the NDE, there were a handful of characters, and only three planets.

There was the Council of Twelve which is made up of an even different celestial being.

From the outset, the characters were different species, which allowed me to explore the sensations and observations I had during the NDE.  I think I’ve done justice to those original characters while filling in with additional characters who support the story and theme at the center of it all.

That love and the adventures that go with it are universal concepts that traverse all energetic beings, man and angel alike.

Bringing a Story to Life – Inviting the Reader into the Room

wine-by-log-fireSo, I’m busy working on Adjudication, the final book in the Metatron’s Army series.

 

It is no longer Book 10.  It is currently book 12.

I am working on a scene of passion, a scene I’ve mentally rehearsed for several months, tweaking as other subplots were drawn in over time.  I ran into the typical challenges, which usually involve pacing.

I tend to race through first drafts, just putting down a foundation that will later be filled in/built up around.

Once the initial work is done I can go back for an additional pass.

This pass is still part of the first draft but it’s like adding a few more finishing nails.

At this stage, I step back and watch the characters as an outsider.

As the reader would.

677240Wearing the dual hat of reader and writer, I assess the scene, determine how to move forward to fill in the details.  This generally requires me putting myself in the character’s place(s) to a degree, which allows me to answer questions such as

  • What are they doing here?
  • What are they feeling and why?
  • What do they need to accomplish and how long do they have?

The answers will drive action and any mental/emotional reflections the characters indulge in.

Take It Off.  Undressing can play a critical role in a scene of passion.  It can help build up anticipation, perhaps motivate fantasies, or allow feelings of love and happiness to amplify.  In terms of writing it can help pace the scene and set up the answer(s) to the above questions.

In this particular scene, the female is going to undress the male.  It’s the middle of the night and she had been sleeping.  The male is in a Dynamic academy uniform which means to get him out of it, one of them has to unzip the uniform and either peel it off of him or have him step out of it.

So, I’ve already provided information that suggests they have plenty of time to accomplish this slowly but – we don’t at this point know their mindsets.  He may resist.  She might be groggy from having been asleep.  How does this affect the act of getting him out of the uniform?

As a writer, I zoom in further and think about the actual act of unzipping the uniform.  In this scene, the female is going to do this.  When she reaches for the zipper, if she just tugs, it will probably accomplish nothing other than to tug it away from the guy’s body.  She needs to put a hand on his chest/shoulder to hold the uniform while she draws the zipper down.  And how far does she unzip?  Inches?  All the way to his waist?

For this scene, yes.

Then what? Well, she has some options.

  • Slide a hand through the opening
  • Lean forward and kiss the pulse beating at the base of his throat
  • Work to get him out of the uniform
  • Let him take the next step

There are a number of other options, of course, but I think you get the idea.  So, for this scene, she wants to get him out of it. How?  Again, I put myself in her shoes and think, “If it was me, I’d put my hands to the shoulders and push the uniform back and off.”

I write it more cleanly but that’s the gist.

Then What?  How does he react?  What does he do next?

He might grab her hands and look into her eyes.

What does she do next?

She might push the uniform down over his hips.

Stopping the progress of the draft itself in order to zoom in on scenes is just one of the tools I use for rounding out the story, filling in the details that make it real.

To draw the reader in.

Bringing a Story to Life – Throw it Away Already!

DSC_8309 - Version 2I just went through a cringe worthy exercise.  After getting out about 230,000 words in three weeks – most of it on Metatron’s Army – I was feeling a little burned out this morning.  Knowing how my mind works, however, I went through a series of exercises I use when trying to get in the mindset for writing.

It has to do with the need to feel productive.  Well, that and I missed my characters.

None of it worked!

Now what?  I don’t have any “big guns” to pull out at such a time.  I was far from panicked though since I knew it wasn’t writer’s block, simply mental fatigue that was the culprit.  I decided to try one last trick, sitting out in the sun.

It’s quiet.  I get to watch hummingbirds, butterflies, and dragonflies.

After about fifteen minutes during which nothing happened to stimulate the creative juices I decided to get back to my desk and sort through some old files under the Metatron’s Army folder.

I was looking for a scene I wrote over a year ago that I’m ready to use.

Though I never did find that scene, I did find plenty of others dated from 2015 – 2017 that hadn’t made it into the current material.

Now I know why.

The basic premise was the same but there were a number of differences including that several characters had different first and/or last names.

I will never discuss some of them.  They were that bad.

Groan.  What will never see the light of day, however, are the scenes that never made it into the final cut.

They were awful!

This biggest problem? They were overly dramatic!  It was worse than a soap opera!

Or a bad B sci-fi movie.

As I closed then deleted the awful stuff I couldn’t help but appreciate how much I’ve grown as a writer.

I’d say that stuff was reflective of where I was in my life but I know better, so it had to be growth as a writer, not as a person.

The interesting part of it is that this series wasn’t my first work as a novelist.

It wasn’t even my first foray into the genre though the earlier material ended up in the rubbish bin long ago. 

Perhaps it was that the characters themselves had matured between the time I started chicken scratching notes and when I sat down to work on Advantage: Book One in the Metatron’s Army Series.

About a two-year gap, give or take.

Whatever the reason, I am so grateful those alternate scenes never made it out of the folders.

To me, this is more support for the idea that writers don’t need to hang onto every scrap of paper upon which they’ve put down a thought – in case they might “use it someday.”  It probably isn’t worth the space it takes up and it may give you a case of indigestion down the road if you don’t “return it to the source” ** by deleting it.

earthat-a-glance1

** Existentially speaking, of course.

Bringing a Story to Life – When Character Goes out of Character

notebook-fountain-pen-cup-espresso-elegant-top-view-writer-s-workplace-49123943Character development is conflict  – David Macinnis Grill

Yesterday I pounded out 18K plus words for Adjudication: Book 10 in the Metatron’s Army Series.

This is the final book in the series.

Satisfied with a solid day’s progress, I went to bed at peace.

And then… 

After my routine (prayers of thanks, meditation) I thought about how good it felt to finally get to a point in the series I’d been working on for several months, if not years.

I knew what I wanted to happen – I just had to wait til the other work was down – at least in first draft – before setting to work on it. 

As I went over the scene I realized that a twist I’d added didn’t work.  It pulled the character out of character.  It had to go.

I’ve had this issue before, even in other series.  I generally figure it out fairly soon after the scene is down and rectify the situation by either pulling the scene or doing a serious rewrite.

In this case it’s a bit of both.  Most of the scene will be yanked and what’s left will be tweaked.

In this particular case, the root cause has to do with how the series evolved.  Due to the format, even as I was publishing the first in the series, I was writing a first draft of the entire saga.  I had a general idea of how many books it would take, so I set out with a fair amount of structure.

I figured it would be 8 to 10.

I began working on the series (on computer) the summer of 2016.  By that winter I had a pretty sold framework for the ten books.

I had the folders, the titles, and a fair amount of content, though books 8, 9, and 10 were more or less one long document at that point.

After setting up the framework I went back to work on each separate title.  During the process of final edit, I made appropriate changes. This had consequences for later books.

Perhaps I’d added action scenes that had my characters going in a different direction than originally planned, or they matured more quickly than I’d planned.  Perhaps their viewpoints had changed in book 3, something I needed to continue with in books 4 through10.

In this final book, much is happening relative to the other books and/or the story itself.

Plot elements are coming together (mysteries solved/questions answered), characters are coming into their own( fulfilling their destinies, or perhaps leaving the story), etc. 

pexels-photo-769525There’s a bit of freedom but plenty of challenge.  Pacing becomes critical.  In having things move too slowly or too quickly for any one character, I risk throwing the other characters out of rhythm.  I also end up with a character who has come out of character.

Yes, this guy would do what I had him do.  Just not at that point in the story.

So, with only minor heartburn, I’m going to chuck a couple thousand words and start over.

This isn’t a scene where I can just take it and put it somewhere else in the story.  It just has to go.

There was a time – and not that long ago – that the thought of tossing a scene would have left me cringing.

Worried I’d never be able to redo it…as if that moment when I set the words down was never going to come again.

Experience has taught me that I may not be able to recreate the moment but I can recreate the essence.

The lifeblood of the writing will be there, regardless.

It’s something I think only experience can teach; faith in the process and in yourself as a writer.

Though I’d venture to say that’s the same in any career.

It’s why words written – even those deleted – are never wasted.

black_hole_by_vanishin-d32u47y1The energy lives on.

Bringing a Story to Life – I’m in the Mood for…Fighting?

il_570xN.1008974312_bchrThere are good and bad times, but our mood changes more often than our fortune    – Thomas Carlyle

So, I just finished the first draft of Promotion: Book 9 in the Metatron’s Army Series.

I’ll be working on Book 10 tomorrow.

While I enjoyed working on this I did have an interesting challenge.

Well, two actually, though they are related.

Switch Scenes.  While there is a great deal of character development, if not character insight in the book, there are a number of action scenes.  The challenge comes in with transitioning scenes because – for me – I need to go with the transition in mood.

I need to get into the mindset and gut of the characters in the scene.

This was of particular challenge when I had to transition from a fight scene to a scene of passion.

I refer to it as passion rather than romance because they aren’t the same.  There is a physical release in a passion scene that may or may not be there in romance.  Or the motivations for the kissing or other physical acts may be different.

Both actions can certainly get the adrenaline going, as well as blood pressure, heart rate, but they aren’t the same mindset.  So, how do you go from one to the other?

I personally think it would be easier to go from the passion scene to fight or some other action, and in fact, there isa scene in this book where Ryal is brought in by one of the Light Beings to administer some emergency first aid.  They bring him through an energetic doorway and while it wasn’t a kidnap, it was unplanned. He growls to Verix that ten minutes earlier, and it would have gone badly since he would have been found in a compromising position.

Of course, Verix could have cared less.  Heh heh.

Going from fight to passion? Other than as an outlet for excessive energy, I think it is a more challenging transition.  Fortunately, the reality of that provided the answer.  It would be as difficult for my character – who’d been in a fight and was now in a position to have passionate interaction – as it was for me as the writer.

I’d just had my mind in a scene where they are blowing up part of a building.  I’m supposed to write about how good it feels to be in someone’s arms or kissing their lips? Yeah, right.

It was that realization that helped me because it reminded me it wouldn’t be realistic if the character went from one mood to the next without some sort of transition.  A come down if you will.  Once I realized this, a whole world of possibilities opened up.  There are a number of between activities that could help:

  • Eating
  • Showering
  • Debriefing
  • Following up with injured teammates
  • Getting into an argument because you didn’t inform certain teammates just what it was you were up to
  • All of the above – and more

Switch Characters.  A second related challenge has been that I not only need to transition characters from scene to scene, I need to transition between characters both within the action scene and again in the post-action scene.

It’s more or less like saying, “Meanwhile…”

To a degree, switching point of view can allow you to slow the pace, which theoretically could allow you to ease or justify the transition for a specific character, but this isn’t always possible.  For example, Christine is eating with a couple of her teammates after the battle, but her mind is elsewhere.  Of course, her colleagues know this and so the scene focuses more on the emotional and/or psychological component, but it means she can’t transition out of the fight state of mind.

Eating isn’t enough to do it and eating with those who were fighting alongside of you definitely won’t help.

If anything, it’s an opportunity to show a different side to a character.  In the above example, one of her teammates is married to a powerful woman so he understands and/or relates to what she is going through.  This empathy allows him to provide insight into Christine’s psyche to the reader, but also shows that one of the more formidable warriors she works with has empathy, if not a soft spot.

It took until this book to run into this, I think, because of what is taking place at this point.  I’m past the “moment” of the dark moment, so everything starts accelerating toward the finish.

As Corus would say, there are a lot of irons in the fire.

fitness-blog.jpgWhew!  Being a first draft, the important part – for me – was to just get the framework down.

Leave a trail of bread crumbs I can work from later.

I needed to put down enough that when I swing back around in the weeks and/or months ahead, I can tune into what it was I was trying to accomplish.  I don’t have to go back and wonder what it was I was up to.

Outside that cliff hanger I haven’t figured out yet.  Maybe I’ll solve it in the few pages I already have in Book 10?  As you can see, it isn’t a perfect process.

Tick. Tick. Tick.  For me, there is a sense of urgency about the process, likely because I’m so close to the end and it’s been living inside of me for so many years.

Though a great deal of the story emerged more recently.  Just the nature of the way this saga came about.

I already know what will happen in Adjudication: Book 10 in the series.

I’ve been mentally working and reworking the book at night for months now.

Knowing what I want to do doesn’t take the suspense out of it and it’s that suspense that drives me to get the words down.  Once I complete that – in a draft – there’s a sense of relief, and then I can step back and see what needs to be done next.

  • Beta reader finish Dark Bishop: Book 7
  • Book Trailer for Book 7
  • Book Cover for Book 7
  • Back of Book Info for Book 7
  • Format and Final Cut for Book 7

 Rinse and Repeat.  Following this process, which evolved as the story did, has allowed me to transition. 

Dark Bishop will be available September 2018.