Boosting the signal

On oct 15, the daughter of a dear friend got a call no parent ever wants to receive. Her precious daughter had fallen down the stairs at her auntie’s house and was in emergency surgery for a ruptured spleen. Little Naomi passed away, and her mother, grandmother and the rest of their family and friends are in shock. I’ve known the family over ten years and *I* am having a hard time wrapping my head around it.

If you, dear readers, could share the link I’m going to post, to help their family cover the funeral costs and maybe light a candle/say a prayer for Courtney (Naomi’s mother). She was trying to get herself on her feet to take care of her darlings. My heart is breaking for her. And when you have, please, if you have children of your own, hug them close and let them know you love them. You never know what tomorrow may bring.

 

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Elemental Truth Cover

So a dear friend, J.A. Marlow, does some really awesomesauce covers. Since my life has recently exploded in my face, she was kind enough to whip up a cover for Elemental Truth.

Elemental Truth Cover

**squees**

**cough**

SO, fellow writers, if you need a cover, her rates and other examples of her artwork are over here. I highly recommend her.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Need a bit of help.

My daughter got this great opportunity to attend National Youth Leadership Forum: Explore STEM;

About NYLF Explore STEM

The National Youth Leadership Forum (NYLF): Explore STEM is a six-day Envision program that introduces high-achieving middle school students to innovative and rewarding academic experiences and careers in science, engineering, medicine and technology.

Cutting-edge STEM fields – based on science, technology, engineering and mathematics – are the fastest growing areas of study and STEM professionals are in high demand in the United States and throughout the world.

When you attend NYLF Explore STEM, you will discover your passions through hands-on experiences that will put you on the path to success in high school, in college and in life. You will learn how to apply your science and math skills to join the next generation of leading doctors, scientists, software developers and other analytically minded professionals.

We’re immensely proud of her and I’ve enrolled her in it. However, due to unforseen events, we’re still struggling to scrape the funds together and the deadline is fast approaching. We need about $1000 more to get her there.

Please, if you can help her out. this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. If you can’t give, could you please boost the signal? I don’t know what else to do.


 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Things make up things

I don’t usually participate in twitter chats much, usually because I find myself chasing short people into bed around the same time that the chats are taking place. Somehow, tonight, I managed to slip into the #indiechat with the topic on Hugh Howey’s Author Earnings report thingy that has, apparently, whipped up a frenzy of deniers and what not.

Now, while I did read the report itself and heard writer pals talking about the panicky, accusatory anti self pubbers who attacked it, I really don’t pay much attention dramaz going on. I’ve got my own rl dramaz I’m dealing with, and following the naysayers and the yeahsayers and everyone in between isn’t going to pay the rent or water bill. Anyway, I sat in on the convo, figured I’d learn a thing or three. Hugh showed up and the whole chat trended. It wasn’t as in depth as I would have liked. But it was fascinating to see the perceptions and views expressed.

It was fun, stimulating, and thought provoking. I went back and reread the report (over here if you want to look at it) and then, since I missed the dramaz, went over to PG to see what he was sharing. And it’s…

You know what? go see for yourself;

The Passive Voice just start reading and going back. You’ll find some interesting views, some I agreed with, some I don’t. It’s educational, and (imo) very interesting.

It think, when it’s all said and done, JW Manus summed it up fairly well (emphasis mine):

……It’s really not about the money…. Money is very nice and pays the bills. But every real writer I’ve ever met (and by real, I mean the passionate, even hypergraphic wordsmiths and storytellers who love nothing more than bringing mere words to life) will write and tell stories even there is no money in it. Their real goal is not money, but readers. Because without readers a piece of writing is incomplete. It exists, it is tangible, but without readers it is dancing on an empty stage in a closed theater or singing in the shower. Readers complete the connection.

 

Go read the whole post over here, I was nodding and agreeing all the way through.

~*~

SO, I’ve been kinda MIA these days. There are reasons, some have to do with unexpected house guest staying for a time, some are health related, mood related and digi art related. Yes, digi art. My other obsession. I’ll get to that in a moment.

I’ve been caught up in some very not cool things that have had to be dealt with. We’re still trying to get the fires put out, and it might be a few weeks before things start looking back up. In the meantime I’m plugging away at Bastard Prince and trying not to feel guilty for not having as much done as I wanted to. The tentative release date is April 12th, but depending on the current RL issues, I may have to push it back a month.

I started redoing covers, starting with The Magic Maker and have hit a wall. I know what I see in my head, but doing it is another thing. I’m worried (I always worry) that it is too dark. Here are two examples. I have a third I haven’t rendered yet, but I’m not too sure I’m going in the right direction with these.

testcover      testcover1

There was something else I was going to mention but I’ve forgotten. -.-  Remind me, I owe yall a post on digi art, but now, it’s late, I’m behind on words and I need to get to bed. Hope yall are having a great Febuary.

**waves**

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

2013 Winding Down

2013 is almost over, and I have to say, writing-wise, I didn’t do as much as I’d planned. But what’s done is done and I’m not going to beat myself over the head about it. I’m still writing, and that’s a lot more than a lot of ‘writers’ these days. I’m putting together a 2014 business plan atm, will post it as soon as it’s more than a vague idea.

Dean Wesley Smith has a 2013 wrapup over here which I thought was very interesting.

I hope you all have a great Christmas (If you celebrate it), Yule, Winter Solstice, etc.

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Reading

I finished the Elemental Wars outlines last night and picked up Rae Carson‘s The Girl of Fire and Thorns, it was about 7:30 or so when I picked it up. 12:20 when I finished it. As I told my hubby, it’s nice to just sit back and read and not worry about the fine details of writing. I haven’t just read a book in a long time. Partially because of not having glasses partially because I was trying to wrap up certain projects and I hate reading books while I’m writing my own. I sorta want to do a review but I’m not very good at reviews tbh. But here it goes 😛

Now I have a lot of reader quirks. For a long time I would avoid 1st person like the plague. And I’ve never ever cared about present tense. Never seen it done well. TBH the first paragraph of the book made me put it to one side while I wrestled with my inner ocd. It is written in first and present tense.  After a inner battle of me tying up the ocd and chucking it in the dungeon with the inner editor, I picked the book back up. And read it. And after the first page I didn’t even notice that it was present tense. I just noticed that Rae did an awesome job with this story. So awesome I lost about 4 hours and would happily do so again for this series. The characters were very vivid, the worldbuilding is fantastic. I love how she glazed over the journey sections. (I struggle with those personally :P) I had tears in my eyes in three spots and laughed, and snickered throughout it.

I don’t want to give spoilers, but here’s the breakdown; The book is about a princess secretly wed to a king and thrust into a world of intrigue and danger. Not knowing who to turn to, who to trust, she finds herself even further from familiar as the book progresses. I love the buildup through the story, more than once I was wondering how in the heck would she get out of [spoiler]. The end was resolved nicely and unexpectedly. And when I finished it I felt like I do after eating on thanksgiving. Full and content. I think I stared at the ceiling for about 20 min just enjoying the post novel ‘ahhhhh’.

As a parent, I have absolutely no problem handing that book to my kids and saying “Read this one, you’ll love it!”

So I have book 2, The Crown of Embers, sitting here and I have a huge eyestrain headache so I’m not sure I’ll start it today or give it another day or two. I definantly want to read it soooooooon.  Book 3 is going to be out Aug 27th. I’m really looking forward to it.

If you haven’t read it yet, you’re missing out on a great story.

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

New Release – River of Souls

I now have a new short story out. River of Souls appeared in the 2012 Forward Motion Anthology and is now out as a single short for $1.49.

Riverofsoulsv004bn

A chase beyond the Palace walls…

Princess Chandra’s little companion dog loves to get loose at the most inopportune times. To keep him from being chained up permanently, she
chases after him and into a world of danger outside the palace walls.

Book is available at Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kobo

This short story is a part of the Avaria series and has a cameo by a character in the Zander books (though Zander himself doesn’t show up). This is kinda a big deal for me, though. This is an Avarian story. Timewise it takes place years after the events in Bastard Prince, and is sorta an in between story. Hope you enjoy it.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Update on a Friend

Ok so the lady who had brain surgery to remove a tumor has survived the operation, has been sent home, but has some very, very bad news. It is called Gilioblastoma multiforme and is the worst (iirc) form of brain cancer a person can get. And if that’s not bad enough, there’s more bad news. As the wiki article states;

Median survival with standard-of-care radiation and chemotherapy with temozolomide is 15 months. Median survival without treatment is 4½ months.

 

The family has no insurance. They fall in the cracks, making too much for state aide, not enough to be able to afford their own insurance, and she’s not old enough for medicare to kick in. While they have found assistance for the chemotherapy, they have not been able to find assistance for the radiation therapy and without the radiation therapy, the chemo won’t do any good.

Here is the blog post from my dear friend, and mentor J.A. Marlow on The Mother Hen “String Weaver” Project which lays it all out on the table. This is a rough time for them. I know things are rough for all of us, but this…this is just… Please share this, lets give dear Mother Hen a chance to live a bit longer than the grim estimates.

The fundraiser over here: Help for Mother Hen, to try to pull together the money for the radiation therapy. Or go over to Star Catcher Publishing and maybe purchase one of J.A. Marlow’s books (The Salmon Run series is GREAT!). Or just link to it, spread the word.

I’m scrambling to try to come up with other fundraising ideas to help out. To be honest, when I think of Mother Hen…damnit she reminds me so much of my own mom (even to the RV and artist thing) that it just brings me to tears.

Keep them in your thoughts and prayers at the very least. Thanks.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

The value of silly

Simon Batt, a fellow self pubber and dear friend of mine, has a tendency to come up with the most absurd, the silliest and yet brilliant ideas for stories. I find myself looking forward to chatting with him, because we (myself and other chatters) never know exactly what will get him going. His outlook is so refreshing in this age of dark, morbid negativity.

You might want to check out some of his titles, (no he doesn’t know I’m telling you all this :D) and for a taste of his writing style check out his Flash Fiction Friday.

Smiling is good, absurdity is fun. It’s refreshing. And in honor of Absurd Sat, I present

Googly Eye Art!!!

2013-03-16 10.29.06

 

Have a wonderfully absurd Saturday!!!

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Some Links

So I’ve been crusing through the web to see what might be of interest to people haven’t found much sadly as I am also handling RL stuff. And some of the links I’ve found…well I prefer to leave politics off my website*.;

 

Did you hear about the guy who couldn’t afford to get his dog out of the shelter?  There’s an update over here. It makes me very happy.

I have followed Illona Andrews, the team who writes the Kate Daniels books since shortly before the first one came out. Recently they had issues in their kitchen. It has turned into a mess with Home Depot. We are discussing a possible bathroom remodel and were trying to decide Lowes or Home Depot. That post, and her situation, have marked Home Depot off the list. ye gods I feel bad for them.

Just this past November the first Anthology for Forward Motion for writers was published. Well they are accepting works for the second one over here;

Forward Motion for Writers is a free online website for the writer who wishes to move forward in their writing career, whether pursuing traditional or Indie publishing options. The website has offered forums, chat, workshops, and other resources for over 12 years. It is a resource we do not wish to see go away.

Some do not have the finances to donate directly. Some donate in the form of conducting workshops and classes, or helping their fellow writers in other ways. There is something else we can do: We can also use our skills as writers to help by donating a story.

 

The post lists out the details. The 2013 prompt is Cat Eyes and I’ve heard there have already been submissions to it. Deadline is Aug 1, so if you sign up and be active in chat or the forums for the next three months you’d be able to submit.

For those curious about the last one, you can get it at Amazom, Smashwords, and B&N. All proceeds go back to Forward Motion for Writers to help keep the site running.

 

And now off to run errands. Have a good day folks.

 

* If you have something of interest that you feel I ought to include in Next week’s link lineup, email me at neciaphoenix@gmail.com Subject Title; “Tuesday Links” and I’ll check it out. I can’t guarantee that I’ll use your offerings, but you never know.
Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

some things

First of all, this dude wins. Just…he wins.

Slave Leo

 

Read it look at the pictures, He’s not bad looking at all. Go him. And the worksmanship is just awesome.

 

Writing;

Disclaimer: I am still on vacation. **nods** Really, I am.

I was part of a conversation between two friends of mine about goals and characters. The one has been struggling with character issues for a story for a while. The other has ten or eleven books written/pubbed traditionally and has won awards and stuff. I will have to ask her permission before I drop names. but suffice to say she has a LOT of experience, and is someone I HIGHLY respect. Her books are fun too.

She talked about problems with some of her stories and one in particular that had a goal that wasn’t strong enough to carry the whole book. She talked about her methods of finding a better goal and in the process the mc focal point of the story changed. It’s fascinating, and very educational. I was listening, munching on popcorn and thinking about my own books, My own stories and the struggles that I have had with them. And taking notes, checking goals.

We’ll get back to that in a moment, because the night before I was chatting with some of my OTHER pals and we were discussing release dates, serials and stuff like that. And we talked about trilogies.

There is a line of thought, that I encountered years ago, that trilogies are cliche. That they are outdated. No one likes them yadda yadda yadda. At some point a long time ago I got it into my head that writing a trilogy is BAD. I decided I would never write a trilogy.

So we were discussing reader habits. and trilogies. and a little whisper in my head reminded me that years ago, BP and Crossroads was supposed to be a trilogy. I shoved the idea down. No. Not gonna go that route.

Woken up, though, the thought, the urge to make it a trilogy just wouldn’t go away.

Then I sat in on that other conversation. And it hit me. The goal thing. Bastard Prince  covers about 17 years. The goal is hard to define. But if I break it up… I can see two very distinctive goals, possibly three, which would hold their own in their own novels, but smooshed in that time frame, they get lost. Bastard Prince can become a trilogy.

Let me say it again (It’s making the lazy inner writer scream in horror)

Bastard Prince can become a trilogy.

And the mind opens up. Scenes that were blank are filling in in my head because I am giving myself the permission to go more into depth on Zander’s years in the Northern Empire. Because those scenes were just the tip of the iceberg  The conspiracies, the interactions with people. The culture which captured my imagination…

It feels right.

It means a lot more work. BP is roughly finished and I’ll just keep writing on it in one chunk.

So where does this leave my other projects? 

Well that’s a good question there. I have a lot and sometimes it really gets overwhelming trying to pinpoint which one I need to work on next. And there’s the whole vacation thing.

I’m supposed to be backing away, taking a break. Taking a breather. So I am just going to get the Angel thing ready for a late May release. Other work will be decided on after that.

Health

Tony Horton, fitness trainer and creator of the P90X workout system, has a saying ‘Do your best, forget the rest.’

It’s become my mantra in many areas of my life lately. Working out is challenging, especially with toddlers underfoot. Sometimes I mess up, sometimes I have to stop and chase kids. That’s ok. I am working on doing my best. Working out with intensity. Nothing matters. I’m doing my best. It is very liberating.

I feel much better without stressing or feeling guilty for making mistakes.

That said, turbofire beckons and so does the kitchen.

Hope you all have a great Wednesday!

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

The powerful resource of social media

A few years ago I started reading a blog/serial by  M.C.A Hogarth (I knew of her first via  livejournal) though I’ve been pretty sporadic on LJ lately, I liked seeing her progress with her projects.

So in December when she announced that Amazon had yanked Spots the Space Marine because of a supposed trademark issue I was a bit concerned. IF it could happen to her, it could happen to others. And dear gods don’t get me started on the claim that Space Marine ‘belonged’ to Game Workshop. There are others who were far more verbal about it, and more knowledgeable about the situation. I had never heard of Game Workshop before this started.

M.C.A. Hogarth protested it, after all, the term Space Marine is a common one in the Science Fiction genre (dare I whisper the word ‘cliche’ even?) and the term first came into being in the 30s/40s. Hells bells the stupid that Game Workshop displayed with this, and the bullying they pulled made me see red. (that was the day the website was offline, in retrospect I think that was a good thing. I can be very incoherent when furious.)

So when a friend shared this, announcing that Game Workshop backed down after a slew of people getting on twitter, facebook, reditt, and other venues posting about it  and M.C.A. Hogarth contacted the EFF, I bounced, cheered and startled my kids by my hooting.

Yes I just went and bought a copy of Spots the Space Marine

Just because M.C.A. Hogarth is a self pubbed author doesn’t give anyone the right to tromple over her books. This issue is sure to come up again. We need stay vigilant and get mad and do what we can to help fellow authors/artists stand against bullying of this nature.

Congrats M.C.A. Hogarth! Thank you everyone who got mad and spread the news.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

No tuesday links

I wanted to put up a list, but I’ve been dealing with sick kids. Again.

No, wait, there IS one.

Jim Hines has, for some time now, been mocking the sexulized covers with women on the front. He’s featured in an article over here.

Now I’ve only read one of his books, The Stepsister Scheme, which I think is just an AWESOME book. I’ve read his blog off and on for some time.  I like him, I liked the one book I read of his and I plan on reading more in the not so distant future.

Ok, now to disinfect the house. Take care all!

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Tuesday Links

  • I want to try this, a mind jar to help kids learn how to calm down. I need to do this at my house. A Mind Jar
  • Oglaf  is a over 18 adult web comic I read. New posts every Sunday. Explicit, adult content. Funny as hell but very very crude humor (which explains why I love it :P)
  • The Zombie Hunters If you like zombie stuff, I HIGHLY recommend taking the time, start from the beginning and read this comic. New posts every Monday and Thursday and let me tell you I am riveted.
  • For those who follow my blog who are interested in going trad, I saw this link on twitter this morning and thought I would share it here. Tor UK has announced accepting submissions from un-agented authors.
  • Kris Rusch has a post on Editorial Revisions in which she is teaching how to work with an editor in both the Traditional AND Self-publishing industry. This is a MUST read, MUST bookmark because it applies to ALL writers, Self or trad published ones. Kris, thanks again for the info you share.

 

And that’s the tuesday linkage.  Hope yours is going as great as mine is!

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter