Category Archives: My Blog

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

All in How You Write It

grammatical-errors-1210x423So, turned in final draft for Promotion: Book 11 in the Metatron’s Army series and working on Analysis: Book 12

Promotion is currently available for pre-release.  Officially available June 1, 2019.

I took the schedules of my team into account and decided the sooner I get book 12 ready to go the less stressful it will be for all of us.

Edit, edit, and more edit.  Though I continue to have to deal with past participles more than any other parts of speech*, I was amused to see an example of the nit picking that can happen during “final draft” editing.

Do I really need to “fix” this?**

The phrase in question is “No Light Being ever could have…”

I stared at it and pondered “ever could have” versus “could ever have.”  

Weirdly, it does make a difference. 

In keeping it “ever could have” I am drawing attention to the fact the Light Being in the scene is

Wow – I just caught a typo because I did a direct copy from the manuscript to this article – didn’t capitalize the L and B. 

In keeping the phrase as is, I’m drawing attention to the fact the Light Being in question is unparalleled relative to his peers.

In other words, if he couldn’t do it…***

This is the level of editing that goes on – for me at least – in final draft stage.

For me, final draft is the draft I turn over to the beta reader.  I do one last read through immediately prior to release just for sanity’s sake.  For book 11 that was yesterday.  It was uploaded today and will be live on time.

* I was able to let go of comma issues – issues set in place when my 5thgrade English teacher decided the rule in place back when the abacus was the computer was set in stone.

** Stephen King does a great job of covering the BS involved with nit picking – including commas – in his work On Writing,,which I highly recommend to aspiring writers.  It’s the real.

***For a bit of insight into this passionate character…

Analysis will be available on or before August 1, 2019

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Book Excerpt: Soothsayer

9-hands-on-crystal-ball-and-cryptocurrency-allan-swart.jpgBelow is an excerpt from Soothsayer, the upcoming Paranormal Journeys release.

Available Summer 2019.

I am hard at work on a number of projects.

Stay Tuned

BOOK EXCERPT:

Fountain Hills, Arizona

Seven-year-old Fiona Gladstone knew one thing for certain.  Sneaking out to meet her older brother was one of the hardest things she’d ever had to do.  Why he wanted to go hiking before the sun was up was a mystery, but he was adamant.  By the time they reached the bottom of the Arizona canyon, the sun was rising over the Four Peaks and her chest was heaving.

“Here.”

She took a long drink then looked around, handed back the water bottle.  “What -?”

Puzzled, Connor glanced at his sister.  Fiona talked more than anyone he knew so he was curious why she shut up before finishing her question.  “You see them,” the third-grader said quietly, “don’t you?”

“Who are they?”

“Apache Indians.”

“What are they doing?”

“Living,” he replied simply.

“What is that?” she asked, pointing at a curtain of shimmering air.

In response, Connor reached out.  His hand and arm, all the way up to his elbow, disappeared.

Fiona screamed.

 

Promotion and More

Just put finishing touches on the book description for Promotion: Book 11 in the Metatron’s Army series.

I spent the last half hour swapping out words and rearranging sentence order

The book trailer is in production and will be available soon.

The book will be available for purchase on or before June 1, 2019.

I’m hard at work on a number of upcoming projects:

  • Analysis: Book 12 in the series.

Slated for release on or before August 1, 2019.

  • Soothsayer

Slated for release Summer 2019.

  • Dragon Core

Still working on location scouting.

  • Ghost Games

In development.

Stay tuned.

When Art Mimics Life Mimics Art

500_F_203412141_0ZifkTsqTVfi0LzLTiYELkwhzWtrB0r2Done – Or Not?  So, the “first draft” of the Metatron’s Army series is finished but…

There’s a lot more work to be done.

  • Promotion: Book 11 is with the beta reader.
  • Promotion  Cover artwork is more or less finished
  • Promotion: Back of Book  in progress
  • Promotion: Book  Trailer in progress
  • Analysis: Book 12 is in review/re-edit.

To that end:

Something about Book 12 has been bugging me though I hadn’t been able to put my finger on it.

Until today…

Ghost in the Machine?  Normally, once I reopen a Word document I’ve been working on, I get a prompt to the right.  If I click on it, I’m taken to the location I was working on the last time I was in the document.

For Book 12 this was last night.

For whatever reason, the prompt didn’t show up.

I checked to make sure I’d clicked on the correct document. 

I’ve had kind of a – mentally draining past few weeks – with the accompanying lack of sleep – so I was in no mood to play games with the gremlin messin with my novel.

In point of fact, I was – well – upset.

For whatever reason – probably because it’s “my life” I’m dealing with – I was inspired to focus on the exact location the document did open up to.

The opening, where I define Analysis which is the title for Book 12.

As I read through the definition, I couldn’t help but smirk.

Like I said, this is my life we’re talking about.  Paranormal might as well be my middle name.

Analysis:  The study of a game or a position in order to evaluate the quality of the moves and various other aspects of the game or position.

In other words, taking stock, which is exactly where I am in this series and in my career.

You could almost liken it to New Year’s when people evaluate and decide on resolutions.

Though I have no need for resolutions I do need to evaluate in order to see if I’m on track, which means…

Am I on the path?  There is a blessing from hell in wrapping up a series that has been in the making for 35 plus years and in the works for 3.  Once it’s over…where do I go?

I have an idea but before I can move along – I need to finish what’s in front of me.

The finish is close yet there is much work to be done.

I have to make sure I don’t get so distracted laying the foundation for upcoming projects I get off track finishing what is before me.

The list or the heart?  Knowing this milestone was imminent and thinking I was clever, I came up with a list of to-do’s several days ago.

Over a week.

I was enthusiastic and excited and felt so accomplished as I went over the list with various team members.

Well, the joke was on me…

My mind may have been on track but my heart was conflicted.

Just as Shane reflects at the end of Book 10, it was as if someone had thrown a metal implement into the gears and everything came to a grinding halt.

Along with productivity.

I took as much time as I could mentally stand to work on the situation and realized that productivity can be a double-edged sword.  It can mask unresolved problems.

Like driving on a tire that has a nail in it.  You may not realize you’re losing air.

If it wasn’t for a gremlin putting a kink in my software, I might still be driving on that tire, but like a good Samaritan gesturing frantically that I needed to roll down my window so he can tell me I have a low tire, the fact the software refused to perform alerted me to a problem.  I needed to evaluate.

No.  I needed to stop.

This is more than just Am I on track? for the series.  Am I on track for my career?  Am I on track for my goals?

And who or what remaining nails might be impediments?

Let’s just say a few individuals had thrown tacks on the path in front of me; tacks I may not have seen had MS Word not taken me to an alternate location.

After some serious work I concluded that not only am I clearer on things, I now see that I have a couple of new and unexpected … helpers along the path.

People who make my day better.

It isn’t simply acknowledging how the people who do the little things – that are in no way little – help me – it’s realizing what an integral part of the process they have become.

And that’s life – and art – at its finest…

To Be [done] or Not to Be

hamlet_preview

I am proud to say I finished the first draft of Adjudication: Book 13 in the Metatron’s Army series yesterday.

This is the final book in the Metatron’s Army series, a project some 35 years in the works.

I gave myself permission to take the day off, which is really a joke because I work – in one form or another – seven days a week.

And have for decades.

I’ve been writing since I could write.  It’s effort but not “work.”

Yes, I get tired, but I love writing.  It’s in my soul.  It feeds my soul to write.  Especially fiction.

Antsy by lunch, I reviewed a number of options for getting back to work, evaluated the amount of passion energy required for each, and after several hours didn’t feel strongly one way or the other.

And I do have time which probably doesn’t help in the motivation department.

Finally, I decided to take a look at Metatron’s Legacy.

After listening to the soundtrack I’d put together several months earlier.

Pulling up my file window I noticed the date for the completed manuscript.  April Fool’s Day.  LAST YEAR!

Taking a break from writing by – WRITING!  I remember when the idea for Metatron’s Legacy took root.

I think I was working on Positional Play: Book 4 in the series.

I was mentally burned out and needed something to take my attention.

Being able to project myself into the future and write something unique with ties to the series that was feeding my soul fit the bill.

I couldn’t help but see the irony in the fact that a year after finishing Metatron’s Legacy,  I finished the series that inspired it.

Finished is a relative term.  The nature of this story means it will never really end though I am not intending to continue the saga past its used by date.

Repeat.  It’s ironic that just as a year ago, working with the manuscript this April will provide a mental break.

Crossroads.  I’m at a bit of a writing crossroads but have many options to choose from.

In other words, I’m not worried.  I used to worry about stuff like that but not in years.  I have faith.

Status Quo.  I have a couple of nonfiction projects as well, including two updates from a recent research trip.

I’m also dealing with a phenomenon that – technically – shouldn’t be possible.  I knew the physics and knew myself it shouldn’t have happened – ran it by my EE husband who confirmed it shouldn’t be possible – searched the Internet and found that though one other person claims to be worried about it – not that it happened – he is just worried – it isn’t possible. But it happened.  To me.

Story of my EMF life.

So, lots going on and lots to come, including a few videos I did but are in post-production.

And the beat goes on…

Projects Old and New

New_and_old

I’ve been hard at work on several projects, old and new.

 

  • Updates to elizabethmaxim.com

Ongoing as I put in place the framework for various new projects alongside current projects.

  • New merchandise available at the store

Fun t-shirts for the various projects, including Ghost Games, Dragon Core, and a curious cat waiting for a cool story.

I am finishing Adjudication, the final book in the series.

  • Just returned from a research trip that was not only productive, it was validating.

I will be updating emfconductor.com in the near future.

  • Created several new videos.

They will post soon.

I look forward to sharing additional information on the projects – current and upcoming – in the days ahead.

Stay tuned.

Metatron’s Army – Endgame

imprevI’m pleased to announce that Diagonals: Book 10 in the Metatron’s Army Series is now available for purchase.

Promotion:  Book 11 has been turned over to post production and will be available on or before June 1, 2019.

I am finishing the final draft of Books 12 and 13.

The Endgame of the series – Books 9 – 13 – are highly interrelated which has resulted in both challenge and joy as I’ve worked to wind the series down.

While I’ve enjoyed working on Metatron’s Army, I’m eager to get on to a number of new projects.

Details soon.

 

 

New Projects: Port Gallatan and More

pirate-telescope-clipart-0511-0810-2701-4045_Pirate_Looking_Through_a_Spyglass_clipart_image.jpgAs the Metatron’s Army series winds down, I’m working on what’s next.  With an eye toward future projects, I am making significant changes.

The series has been a lot of fun though I’m looking forward to the new projects.

  • The next book in the Port Gallatan project will be released in the not too distant future.

Release date being ironed out.

  • I have several additional books that will be part of the Port Gallatan family.

I will provide updates as appropriate.

  • I am in the final phase of location scouting for a new series.

Tying books to a location requires careful consideration.  Port Gallatan is a fun location for the books I have planned for that series, but it cannot support the needs of the new project.

  • I am in the process of redesigning the blog format for elizabethmaxim.com to better serve.

As this is an ongoing process, I ask that readers be patient.

sailing-clipart-1.jpgThank you for all your support!  I look forward to continuing the journey together…

Bringing a Story to Life – I’m in the Mood (Not)

wine-by-log-fireAs I sit here staring at the screen I find myself wanting to write, knowing I need to write, but unable to get started.  I’m not in the mood.

Unfortunately, that isn’t a very good excuse.

It isn’t the post-holiday blahs.  It isn’t the environment.  I suppose I could lay the blame at my recent detour back into nonfiction, though even that is stretching it.

I love writing fiction and prefer it.  I also have a desire to make a difference in the world which leads me to periodically release information I believe will help improve the lives of others.

It isn’t that I don’t have ideas.

Quite the contrary, I have a partially completed novel in front of me and other stories in the queue. 

In spite of this, I find myself unable to find the motivation to get to it.

Just put the fingers on the keys, right?

As I sat here, staring sightlessly, I considered a variety of potential stimulants.

I’ve already had a rare second espresso – it didn’t clear the cobwebs.

I considered listening to music but realized it would probably send me in the wrong direction.

I really need to work on the novel in front of me, not the one I’m releasing in March.

As I wrestled with the idea of working on the March release now – just to be working on something – it occurred to me what was wrong.  I’d lost touch with my current novel’s character.

Had I fallen out of love with the plot?

Careful consideration told me that no – it wasn’t the plot that was bothering me, it really was the character.  I’d lost touch with her.  How come?

Damn break!

stock-photo-months-and-dates-shown-on-a-calendar-whilst-turning-the-pages-170786750I had been away for too long.  Even before my work on Calcium: The Old Man Mineral and Its Role in EMF Sensitivity, I had been on a break after releasing two novels close together.

My mistake.

What I learned, even before this pensive episode, was that I’m not cut out to take breaks.

I actually suffer more not writing than I do writing when tired.

I’ve been writing and telling stories since I was three.  To be away from it is painful.

It’s as if I’ve had a part of me ripped out.

 Deciding that I would find a way to work through in the future wasn’t enough to get me back on track at present.  As I started to feel a bit of panic, I asked myself what would.

What’s the problem?  Identifying the problem sets us on the road to a solution.

It also keeps us from wasting energy on something that won’t fix it.

Imagine the scene.  I recalled where I left off.

When last we saw our heroine…

Listen to the director.  I imagined myself an actor on stage.  The director is coaching me.

“Picture your character.  She’s 27 years old.  She’s just flown for over fifteen hours.  She’s been living in the Outback for the last six months.  What’s your mindset?  Are you tired?  Exhilarated?  What’s your state of mind?  What are you looking forward to?  What do you dread?

Back to basics.  What am I trying to accomplish?  Who are the key players?  What is the obstacle facing the character(s)?

Of all of the tools I tapped, listening to the director  was the most helpful.  Perhaps this is because there is a bit of acting required when writing fiction.  As a novelist, you have to get inside the heads and hearts of the people you are writing to life.

Even the bad guys.

You need to strongly identify with the characters in order to write them realistically.  Yes, this takes imagination, but if you put yourself in their shoes, it brings you into the story and sets up so that the character becomes so real it’s as if he or she is telling the story and you are simply taking dictation.

You are simply the medium, your fingers the method by which the story gets down.

When I looked at it like that I found the idea of getting back to the story less daunting.

Time to get to it.

celebrate-311709_960_720

Happy 2018!

Happy reading!