Category Archives: The Latest

Bringing a Story to Life: The Rhythm of Writing

frtwice

This morning called for a second double shot espresso.

I’m ripping apart a paragraph in Cauldron of the Gods, first in the Dragon Core adventure for the fourth time.

Dragon Core is part of the Metatron’s Universe project.

It’s amazing how many different ways you can arrange a sentence and get the same meaning even as some just sound better than others.

And how many times you can change your mind about what sounds better.

It was while working on this novel that I came to see there is a rhythm to my writing.

It’s been some time since I’ve worked on something totally new.  The Metatron’s Army installments follow one to the next so in many respects it’s like one long novel.

Which is why it’s an Epic.

Soothsayer is connected to Port in a Storm and even though Blue Skye, the next Paranormal Journeys story is separate with new characters, all these novels and others in the queue fall under the P J umbrella.  Cauldron of the Gods– Dragon Core – I’m starting from scratch for the first time in years.

The Ingredients. The concept for Dragon Core, an urban fantasy, took root last fall as I was in the midst of the Metatron’s Army series and pondering what to do with Soothsayer. 

Actually, I was pondering what to do with my writing career.

Intrigued by the concept for this new series I set up a folder and began taking notes and doing research.

As the story has roots in real incidents that took place centuries ago, I quickly saw that research would not only be a big part of the up-front work, it would be a time-consuming part. I needed to factor that in when working out release dates for various projects in the queue.

By the New Year I had all the pieces in place

  • iTunes playlist for the project
  • Photographic images that represent the hero of the story
  • Files containing links to relevant historical data
  • Sample of academic work on relevant subject
  • Solid feel for the story arc that would carry not only Cauldron of the Gods but the follow-on stories in the Dragon Core series

Content I’d done everything I could given I had other priorities – aka other novels to finish and release – I set Cauldron aside and returned to finishing MA and Soothsayer

I trusted that in the ensuing months, as is typical, I would give time to the story while sitting outside observing nature, playing Free Cell and listening to music, or lying awake in the middle of the night.

The Sauce.  I’ve come to see that every book I write has its own pace and style of development.

It had been awhile since I’d worked on something completely new.

Cauldron is spaghetti sauce style.

This means I start at page one and write straight through, getting the main story arc in place, before going back and adding spice – intrigues and subplots – as appropriate.

I coined the spaghetti sauce descriptor  to describe this style of writing early in my career though not every story follows this pattern.

Only the first in the MA series – Advantage– fit that writing style profile.

This style of writing is the most energy intensive because it’s a slower paced style and requires intense focus that can be and often is cyclical.

I alternate rapid free-flowing sessions wherein I’ll get 3 – 6K words in one sitting with methodical and more time-consuming sessions which may yield 2K if I’m lucky.

Another characteristic of this style is the need to go back and reread what I’ve written in the previous session to regain momentum before continuing on.

This style is also cognitively draining relative to the rapid free-flow style that carried most of the Metatron’s Army works.

Free flow is a style where I’m simply the physical go-between for the muse, my fingers typing before I even think what it is I want/need to write.  It’s like being in a trance state, what some refer to as being “in the Zone.”

Understanding the rhythm (or not) has big time repercussions because the variability of the pacing can result in frustration.

It’s been years since I’ve dealt with a spaghetti sauce novel.  I’ve had to repeatedly remind my runaway train of a writing brain to slow down and relax – that it will all come out [right] in the end.

I have no idea at this point when Cauldron of the Gods will be ready for release but I’m enjoying the interesting path it’s taking to get there.

 

Advertisements

A Day to Celebrate

celebrate-311709_960_720

Just sat down with a glass of Chandon Brut and am admiring the roses I bought for myself – to celebrate.

And there is a lot to be happy about.

 

  • It’s a sunny day

It was quite overcast earlier.

Adjudication: The Final Installment is with the beta reader.  Release date: October 1, 2019.

  • Cauldron of the Gods: Book One in the Dragon Core Series is well underway

I’d been struggling with a few plot elements for the past several months.

  • Multiple books are in the queue

Three Paranormal Journeys stories and Inheritance: The first in the Ghost Games series.  Plus more.

  • I went on a beautiful hike

Based on events that happened four decades ago today that was not a certainty.  This is the day I had the brain hemorrhage that left me blind, paralyzed, in a coma for a bit, and dying three separate times in three days.

  • I am (and have been) able to see the good that came from such a traumatic event – which makes it easier to celebrate.

Much of the insight that helped me understand EMF Sensitivity and how to deal with it stems from that fateful day and all that transpired in the years after.

Constantly having multiple doctors ordering tests repeatedly as they claimed they didn’t trust whatever hospital or lab the last two (or three doctors)  used meant I got a serious peek into how the medical system – and technicians in it – works.

I even saw that information from my doctoral thesis, written 7 years before I figured out I was sensitive to the Ultra Low and Very Low Electromagnetic Frequencies that come from geologic fault lines in the hours and days prior to an earthquake, showed I had amazing insight.

Especially the section where I wrote about conductivity of various materials.

I may have eventually figured out what was going on with the EMF Sensitivity and I definitely would have figured out the remedies – because of my background in computer networking – but it would probably have been a lot harder – and slower.

In addition to understanding how the medical system works I gained great insight into how the body can heal from some pretty heavy stuff from my experience.

So, all this to say I’m having a great day!

And hope you are as well!

Celebrate life!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bringing a Story to Life: The Circle of Creation

df34550d4b98c906ab78970fee0a7818.jpgAnalysis:  Book 12 in the Metatron’s Army series is available for pre-order.

While I’m excited that Adjudication, the final installment of the series has been turned over to the beta reader, I’m also bittersweet and a bit anxious as the series ends.

I have new material in the works but my mindset has been so focused on this project that was 35 plus years in the development that I’m having to gauge the best way to move on to the next projects.

Ghost Games, Metatron’s Universe, and Dragon Core works.

It’s been a bit like going up and down a variety of staircases, often simultaneously.

Like in an Escher Work.

In spite of the apt visual metaphor, I decided it’s really more like a circle; a circle of creation.

Because the circle is  creation and creation doesn’t end. 

One project winds down while the next spins up.  Thus, the circle remains complete.

And unbroken.

Creation as industry is Unique.   I once belonged to an organization of executives and former executives who’d come from a variety of industries.  During one of our meetings, we went through an exercise in which we were to envision where we saw ourselves in  five, ten, twenty-five years, and beyond.

It was a goal oriented exercise.

To my amusement and surprise, I was the only one who could go out beyond ten years.

I explained I planned to continue writing and – creating.

Soon after, I was contacted privately by the facilitator who explained he’d never heard anyone talk about contributing and “working” into their twilight years the way I did.

He was used to people talking about where they would spend their retirement years and what they would be doing. 

It wasn’t work and it wasn’t creating.

I’ve heard that if you love what you do, it isn’t work.  I think that is a misnomer because every artist I know, though they love what they do, works incredibly hard.

What’s unique about creation is the nature of it.  You create. If you have a drive to create, that drive is not dependent on earning a living though you sure as hell try to marry one to the other.  Still, if you have a need to create, money – or lack of – won’t stop it.

Creation is a circle that never ends.  There’s only a segue of continuity, the constant expression of life in one form or another.

images.jpegNote:  I’ve known many a scientist and researcher who has worked up until the end.  That, too, is creation.

 

Analysis will be available August 1, 2019.

Adjudication will be available October 1, 2019.

Analysis: Book 12

nle5mm_and_07_00_ball-end-andirons.jpgA quick update/  Lots of andirons in the fire as usual.

Funny, my beta reader for a previous novel didn’t know what andirons were.  Author word!  Makes me really good at Scrabble – heh heh!

 

I am releasing Analysis:  Book 12 in the Metatron’s Army series August 1.

The trailer and synopsis were posted today.

Adjudication: Book 13 is in post production.

Release date October 1, 2019

Projects in the queue.

  • Videos
  • Paranormal Journeys
  • Ghost Games
  • Dragon Core
  • Metatron’s Universe Single Titles

Metatron’s Legacy, a Metatron’s Universe Single Title:  Release Date TBD

Stay tuned!

 

 

 

Metatron’s Universe and Paranormal Journeys

sunrise-1634197__340I am pleased to announce that Soothsayer, a book that was a year in the making, is now available for purchase.

This books follows Port in a Storm and is a Paranormal Journeys novel.

I am also happy to showcase a new website, metatronsuniverse.com.

The stories here are not (necessarily) science fiction.

There are suspense/action/adventure and urban fantasy novels in the queue.

I have posted a video on the welcome page where I talk about what Metatron’s Universe is and educate readers as to what to expect from upcoming material.

I will be updating the site on an ongoing basis, including providing pages for the new projects I’m launching.

Enjoy!

 

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…