BITE SIZE PIECES? NOT SO FAST!

Redemption has been an interesting novel to work on.  I first started toying with the idea months ago but wasn’t sure I wanted to force the issue.

It was basically an option to provide the Dragon Core series with a story that would fit into the Bite Size Pieces category.

Even after I’d gotten to a point where I was comfortable with the plot, I hesitated.

I didn’t know if the hesitation stemmed from worrying I was forcing it which I believed would result in something I wasn’t happy with or just a” point in time” situation that would resolve itself.

Deciding I was happy enough with the plot and confident enough I wouldn’t turn out something I wasn’t proud of, I forged ahead.  And then…

A block or hesitation?  From the get go I stumbled to gain traction.  I considered

  • The First 50 pages

Starting a new novel can be daunting for a variety of reasons not the least of which is this is going to take forever!

  • Mental Fatigue

I’d just kicked out several books in a short amount of time and was trying to get an app launched

  • Is it real?

Rarely have I dropped a story once I’ve decided to go with it but I was open to the possibility that even after completing 20K words my heart just wasn’t in it

  • Inertia

Having completed everything else including getting Event Horizon launched, I’d given myself a break but the break was starting to turn into more than a weekend plus a handful of days

Muse to the Rescue.  That cosmic companion that’s been with me for as long as I can remember urged me to forge ahead.  

I’m glad I listened. 

Not only did I come to understand what was going on, I gained yet another validation of the fact the creative mind is guided.

I continued to work through the lassitude hanging over me and each time I felt ready to give up that little voice egged me to keep on keeping on.

The Muse, a benevolent yet determined task master.

A Break in the Gloom.  Suddenly and without warning, the haze thinned and…

Drum roll…

An entirely different story than the one I’d been working on presented itself!

And yet I did not have to start all over!!!!

For an entire day I could do nothing but mentally grasp the enormity of what was put before me.

Like where the hell did that come from?

Well, I did do more.  I ran with the inspiration and mentally wrote scene after scene – for the next almost 24 hours.  

Who needs sleep when there are characters to meet and plot lines – like trails through a jungle – to follow?

Thrilled, I set to work the moment the awe-induced mental fugue began to clear.

And I’d downed a double shot espresso.

One thing was evident.  This novel was way longer than a Bite Size Pieces piece I’d originally envisioned.

The Go Forward?  Even though this tale will be a full-length Dragon Core story, I’m filing it as a Bite Size Pieces offering.

And pricing it accordingly because that is what I committed to my readers.

I’m really excited about how this novel is taking shape and look forward to releasing it in Autumn 2020.

Stay Tuned!

mirror now available

I’m pleased to announce that Mirror, a full-length Ghost Games Case File is now available.

I’m hard at work on Redemption, a Dragon Core story.

Redemption will be part of the Bite Size Pieces family.

I’ve also added some new merchandise to my store.

My store is divided into themed sections.  The new merchandise is in the Dragon Core and Event Horizon Sections.

Working Working.  I have several new projects in the queue.

Anticipated releases are autumn and winter 2020.

Stay tuned!

Reflections on progress

Roadblocks are funny things.  Sometimes they aren’t halting progress so much as forcing us to work a little differently.

Years ago while on vacation and driving through Northern Arizona I had to stop because road crews were doing a bit of blasting.  It was a beautiful day so I grabbed a workbook from the trunk and read up for a Novell Certification test while sunning myself on the hood of my car.

I told you it was years ago, hence the Novell Certification.

More recently I found myself feeling as if everything had come to a grinding halt and while I managed to work on bits of projects here and there I felt as if I was walking through molasses.  

To say this was frustrating would be an understatement.

Turns out the “block” wasn’t a block so much as a force nudging me to work differently.  When the block was cleared?  I looked around to find multiple projects finishing within a few days.

Apparently slow and steady really does work.

I’m happy to report the following updates

  • I’ve completed the final draft of Mirror, a Ghost Games full-length case file.

I plan to have a landing page up by tomorrow evening and anticipate availability for purchase within 10 – 14 days.

  • The app I developed is in testing phase and will be available shortly.  

I will be providing more detailed information on the app within the next week.

  • Redemption, a Dragon Core short is well underway.

I anticipate a late September – mid October 2020 release.

Stay tuned!

the muse in the music

I’m learning there is a method to the madness – I mean the rhythm – of my writing.  

Thankfully.  There’s enough chaos involved with writing a book.  Understanding why your mind suddenly embraces inertia?  Sublime!

Working on Redemption, a Dragon Core Bite Size Pieces offering.

Or trying to, at least.

I have the whole story in my mind, setting and time, characters, story arc, subplots, the wholeshebang.

So why can’t I get past the first 500 words?

Trust the Process.  Fortunately, I’ve been through this before.  I know that eventually it will all come together, and I’ll kick the whole thing out in a week to ten days.

Maybe two weeks.  It’s almost a feast or famine thing.  One of those where I’m being called for dinner as I furiously type “just one more thing.”

Thankfully, it doesn’t happen often.

Two previous times several years apart.

No Really.  Trust.  It’s because I’ve been down this path that, though I keep a careful eye on the situation – I do have a timeline after all – I don’t stress about it.

Like I did the first, second,….

But even as I remained relaxed, told myself it will all come out in the wash, I worked.

It’s how I help myself relax about the inertia.

I played Free Cell during which I wrote the entire book in my head – running through various scenes as a “movie” playing on my mental screen.  I  did another thing.  I wondered what the hell was going on?

I like to understand things – see if I need to step in and fix something.

You know, to help the process along.

The muse at work.  As I sat rerunning a plot twist through my mind, adding characters and dialogue to the location, I realized with no small amount of annoyance that a song kept running over and over through my head.

I like the song but at that moment – did not want to listen to it once let alone a dozen times over in my mind.

I told a fellow creative sitting nearby what was going on.  She suggested I listen to the song.

I’ve done this before with great success – it typically works to get it “out of my system.”

I explained I didn’t want to this time.  However…  

It didn’t mean I couldn’t listen to a different song by the same artist!  

Here’s what happened.

As I continued staring “sightlessly” at the mindless game, allowed my mind to drift, I realized that the other song from the same artist is absolutely perfect for the book!  Within seconds of that Eureka! Moment I realized the next four songs from the same album were also perfect!  Then it occurred to me…

I didn’t have a Book Playlist Yet!!!

I LOVE to do iTunes playlists for my novels.  It provides an injection of passion into the entirety of it all.

, From process to finished product.

I’ve long understood there’s a relationship between the muse and the music but until today I had no idea just how tightly music is entwined with novel writing.

For me at least.

It’s the equivalent of naming the missing spice in the sauce!  What’s more, I realized there was purpose behind the inertia.

Sonia Choquette writes about this in her book Trust your Vibes.

There was something important the muse was trying to tell me!

Thanks to the music I now have far more vivid imagery for the scenes that make up the plot twist in my story.

And thus, I’m able to move forward with the rest of the story.  

Redemption is on track for a Late Summer/Early Fall 2020 release.

Stay tuned!

Up Next: Redemption

So – happy to report I’m finally done with the final draft of Mirror, a Ghost Games Case File.

It is now in the hands of the beta reader.

I anticipate a Late August/Early September 2020 release date.

A landing page will be up within the next couple of weeks.

Though I’m also working on an app I’m hoping to release Late Summer/ Early Fall 2020, I managed to figure out the next story, to work on Redemption, a Dragon Core Short Story.

This will be a Bite Size Pieces offering.

Though not part of the original series, like Shadow of the Gods, Redemption will further immerse readers in the world of Dragon Core, providing insight into a different shadow species.

Readers of the series will find plenty of familiar characters alongside new ones.

I anticipate a Late Summer Early Fall 2020 release for this Dragon Core installment.

Stay Tuned!

Every book has its rhythm

So, happy to have finished “the final edit” of Mirror, I went off to eat dinner then enjoy a relaxing evening reading someone else’s work.

As I was sitting on the sofa reading about the kick ass nuns a thought bubbled to the mental surface:  You know?  You really need to add that scene you’ve been toying with.  You won’t get any sleep until you do.

I wasn’t too surprised.  Edits are never final.

Not even when the thing goes to press.

Ask any author.

With a sigh I shot myself a text I would see in the morning telling me to add the scene – along with the part of the story I felt made the most sense.

Then I finished reading the article.

This morning as I sat drinking my second doppio I decided to finish Mirror,. An interesting thing happened.

As I went about adding the scene, which I figured would take a paragraph at most, I found that I felt connected to my characters in a way that had been eluding me.

Every book is different and I empathize with characters to a different degree.

I’d known something was missing – the way you taste a sauce and ponder which spice might need to be added.  Hint – and this comes from my doctoral side – it’s probably SALT!!!!!!

Salt makes spicy food absorb heat spices – like cayenne pepper – better.  It’s also crucial to human health – an electrolyte critical to muscle function and cellular communication.  Ahhh, but I digress.

The response was so positive I decided to add another scene I’d been toying with.  Another interesting thing happened.  

As I considered how to connect the scenes – which come toward the end of the book – I continued moving forward – tweaking as I went.  

The more I tweaked, the more I connected with my characters.  

I realized there was a familiarity to the whole process.  I’d been in that spot before, though not often.  A quick rifle through the hippocampus gave me the answer.  

The Lover!

I well remember being stuck at the window, a scene where I saw the characters but had no idea what they were doing there.  Oh, the awkwardness between the two I got – I just didn’t know how to express what they were thinking or feeling – yet.  

Because I hadn’t truly connected to my characters beyond surface depth!

A sense of peace came over me because not only did I understand the situation, I knew what I had to do next. 

Edit.

If I released the book today, I would be proud of my work.  However, armed with the knowledge if not the understanding I now have, I believe I can improve the story that much more.

Because I understand my characters in a way I hadn’t.

So, after a short music break, I will have another go at the story – from the beginning.

And as there is no tension, it will be not work so much as joy as I experience the book through characters I now have a better understanding of.

There is a secondary benefit to this.  By going back through the story from beginning to end I can identify any typos like single quotes that should be double quotes before handing it off to the beta reader.  

I can also allow the other stories in the queue to brew on the back burner of the muse’s stove.

Mirror – Final Draft!

Thrilled to announce that I completed the final draft of Mirror, a full-length Ghost Games Case File.

And none too soon. I’ve gotten to the point where I cleaned the ice maker, the coffee maker, the internal dryer lint filter…

This novel is on track for a late summer/early fall 2020 release.

There are other projects including an app in the queue.

I’m happy to be able to move on to new writing projects, including two Bite Size Pieces vying for mental attention.

As is the laundry. Grrrrrrr

Stau tuned!

I will have a landing page for Mirror up in the near future.