Thursday, June 30, 2011

Gone Baby, Gone...

I'll be off line most of this weekend. Wish I could say it was for a really cool reason, but I can't.

Everyone have a safe weekend, here in the States. Everyone else, just have a cool weekend!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Can't Forget...

Every now and then, someone out there needs help and we, as authors and readers and reviewers, can help more than you realize.

My sister-in-law, Cheri Chesley, has been helping out her friend Rebecca. Rebecca is a 35 year old mother who, after being diagnosed with breast cancer, had to have surgery a couple days later. I'm doing what I can to help out, although it isn't much. I'm reposting Cheri's blogs and links to her books because Cheri is turning over her proceeds to Rebecca's medical bills.

Now... people, my sister-in-law is a mom to 5 kids. You read that right. FIVE. She stays at home to take care of the kids, she babysits, she has little time to write but has published a book and has a couple more up that are self published. She has submitted the second book in her series. I have no IDEA where she gets the energy from!!! Their financial situation could be better, but I won't go into too many details. The point is, she's presenting this selfless act of loving and kindness to her friend who didn't ask her to do this. But this is Cheri. She thinks of everyone but herself. More often than not, we all get wrapped up in our own lives and just don't give a rat's arse about anyone. Cheri isn't like that and never has been. She's an awesome sister to me.

So please, help us out. We don't like to beg and refuse to do it. If you can't buy the books, at the very least, link her latest post on your blog and show links on your pages where people can buy these books. Tell them where the money is going.

My current "good deed" ended this year. I had crocheted, with the help of my mom and her friend, breast cancer awareness scarves. I worked on them for a full year and then donated them to the local Relay for Life chapter here in Homer. They were a smash success! So help out in some small way or even a major one. You will be rewarded!

It's Monday...

Not that it means anything significant. I wonder if I missed a Meme? And I know that my friends "across the pond" or "down under" are a day ahead of me. (Hello from the future!)

I got frustrated and fed up with the two programs that I use to write. Okay, in all reality, I only use one. I use Open Office. I had a trial version of Microsoft Office on my laptop and apparently never got rid of it. So when I did a "save as" for my MS and saved it in Microsoft Word to send out to my Beta Readers, I thought... no problem. I always try to send it out in Word because most people use that. I continued happily on my merry way, writing down about another 3,000 words. I saved it in Open Office.

Well, when I opened up the document to continue, the newer stuff was gone. I almost flipped out. I tell you what... I had been sort of tired the night before and really didn't remember all I had written. Pantser, remember? So I opened up the Word file. Sure enough, there it was. And because I only have a trial program on there and no product key, I can't copy and paste.

The computer geek in me wracked my brain to try and figure out how to remedy this situation and I think I have it under control. But man... I had lost an entire MS once when my old desktop caught a worm virus and my entire hard drive was destroyed. Lost art work as well. NOT fun.

So, I'll get back to writing. Just super tired and still feeling irritated about the bump in the road. Doesn't take much to get me all riled up and I still have to smooth my feathers, put my claws back in and talk nice to the laptop I threatened to throw under the next moose I saw.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I'm Such A Pantser...

Yes, I said Pantser. As in, I write by the seat of my pants and don't stop 'til I am done. My husband teases me all the time that I type at the speed of light and he is awed by how few mistakes I make. I learned how to type by hunting and pecking, then staring at the keyboard til things got a bit more familiar and took off from there. My typing teacher hated me. Hehe!

Anyway, back to this Pantser thing. Why am I mentioning it? Because I'm such an unorganized sot that I have blown off several Memes these last couple weeks. I must have ADD....ooh shiny!


Okay, I'll try to refrain from being such a smart arse. VERY difficult thing to do, however. So I am hoping that I will be back to participating in said Memes next week. This week has sort of been shot with appointments, voices speaking in my head and Muses whispering in my ears. However, I will NOT complain because I've been doing a very good job writing the past couple of days. I wrote over 3,300 words yesterday and last night. I have not written a single bloody thing in months. I've reached over 85,000 words and have yet to hit the battle scene. Oooh battle scenes!

I cannot wait. ::Rubs her hands together in glee:: Don't worry, I am not drooling... yet. :D

Friday, June 24, 2011

Lookie, Lookie...

So. Don't know if you've noticed. If not, no biggie, I got ya covered. If you'll notice (in case you didn't notice before) I have a couple of writing/revising progress bars over to the right. Down, just a little. There, you got it!

Notice that the one for Crowning Absolution has grown. That's right! Woot! I wrote quite a bit last night. The voices in my head are speaking to me once more. My Muse has returned and I have given her the gift of using my gift. Well and chocolate. But don't tell the other Muses!! I'll have a freakin' stampede.

So there is my awesome post for the end of a crappy week. Well, maybe not so crappy. But just frustrating and irritating in lots of different ways. But not because my mom is here. My mom is awesome and I love that she's here and helping me out in my time of crappiness and frustrating... ness.

Have a good weekend everyone!

MC Blogfest...

Elizabeth Mueller is having her Getting to Know Your MC Blogfest today. Woot! I love Elizabeth, she is an awesome author and artist!

Okay so we have to plop our MC down in the spotlight (like they're not already in the spotlight? Psshh) and ask them 3 very difficult questions. I would like you all to welcome Kayta Ni'adzul from 'Crowning Absolution'. (The photo below is how I personally picture Kayta.)

1. What is your greatest fear?

That I will spend the rest of my days fighting a war that had absolutely nothing to do with me or even my father. That the people of the kingdom I am sworn to protect will continue dying for a cause no one can remember.

2. What is your biggest accomplishment?

I suppose that would have to be survival. I mean, my parents, my sister and recently my uncle all passed to the Plains of Afterlife. I don't know what Fate has in store for me, but I pray to any god or goddess that'll listen, that I will continue to survive.

3. What is your biggest regret?

That I wasn't closer to my sister. We didn't exactly get along. She was several years older than me, but we never bridged that gap between us.

There you have it. Kayta, thank you kindly for putting yourself under the spotlight once more to answer those questions.

I'm looking forward to reading more in this blogfest!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

What Song Defines You?...

So if you could only pick one song to define you or where you are at in life right now, what would it be? What would be the song to define your MC?

For me, personally, it is Jimmy Eat World's song, 'Middle of the Ride'. That song is pretty much my theme song. Not exactly sure what it wold be for any of my characters. I'll have to think about that and get back to you.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Is It Friday Yet?...

I know, only two more days to go to Friday. I think I can wait til then. But I still wish it would hurry up!

It has been a long week. Already. Now that I have gotten a few things out of the way, I can get back to writing. Maybe. I need to get back on the ball! I've been working out a few things in my head. I need to finish the entire book (what will soon become a trilogy) and then work out where book one ends, edit, send off to BR's and repeat the process, skipping the first step of course.

After that I have to get on the ball with the Black Rose story. Then I have a short story to submit to Realms of Fantasy magazine as well as two other stories waiting in the wings. One is a paranormal and the other is historical fiction. Phew! I'm a busy girl. I want to get this stuff done!

So I hope everyone else's week is going well?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Review: The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

Now don't judge me. I didn't know this was a Teen Harlequin til after I bought the book and had gotten myself hooked.

Yeah, I know I don't like romance. But you know what? This book was about more than romance. I'm a sucker for a good story as well as an even bigger sucker for faeries. Yeah, I love me some faeries.

I have to say that I absolutely LOVED this book. Why? Well, let me tell you! Here is the synopsis:

In less than twenty-four hours I'll be seventeen.

Although, technically, I won't actually be turning seventeen. I've been in the Nevernever too long. When you're in Faery, you don't age. So while a year has passed in the real world, agewise I'm probably only a few days older than when I went in.

In real life, I've changed so much I don't even recognize myself.



I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it.


I got sucked in right away. The back of the book more often than not will disappoint me. I usually feel like I got ripped off or something after reading the back of the book and finding the book nothing like what is written on the back. That is not the case with The Iron Queen. First of all, I haven't read the previous books in the series. I picked up this book simply drawn by the title, cover and synopsis on the back. Like I said, I got so involved with it right away that I didn't notice which one in the series it was, that it was even part of a series or that it was a Teen Harlequin. Once I found out it was a TH, I thought... hmm... do I really want to read this?


So, while reading this book, I didn't feel lost like I normally do in a series of books I pick up in the middle. I was able to continue reading and get a general idea of things that had happened in the past books. Overall I was well informed. The story was so awesome! I don't know how else to describe it. It was a very good read and most importantly (for ME) the romance was kept to a smouldering minimum. Yes, there was romance. Yes there was a bit of a love triangle. But it didn't over power the story to the point where I wanted to throw it through a window and choke girls wearing "Team Whoever" shirts. The fey involved with the half breed were actually mature. The girl, Meghan, also seemed mature, but not overly much. She still seemed to be a teenager, but had matured and grown due to all she had been through. All I can say is read the book or even recommend it to a teen. I'll be suggesting it to my niece. The whole series as a matter of fact!

So... I give it 4 out of 5 skull and crossbones.

Hey All...

Just wanted to drop a note and let you know I found yet another new blogger. He (Note correction!) does reviews and such. KJ Mulder is based in South Africa. Drop on by and become a new follower today!

Her Blog.

You might also be interested in Cully Bryant's blog, The Cheerful Dungeon, which is also in need of followers.

Have a great week!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

On Pins And Needles...

Yeah, I keep coming back to the fact I have sent out my book to 8 people. Some of whom I have never met and some I have only known via the internet about oh, 11 years.

Still, it's sort of daunting. I try to keep my mind occupied. Funny thing is, by keeping my mind occupied, I've already come up with like 3 different stories I need to make notes for before I lose what I was thinking about!

So what do you do to take your mind off of your precious work while it is being scrutinized?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Leaps And Bounds...

Wow. My followers are growing by leaps and bounds! I never woulda thunk it. ;) I bet I just gave dozens of writers out there an aneurysm with that last statement. Hehe! Well then my work here is done.

Just kidding!

I've just been sitting here, reflecting on some major steps I have taken this past week or two. I've put out a call for Beta Readers and have actually sent out my book(s). Why the '(s)'? Because I have written over 80,000 words of a trilogy that is going to be about 100,000+ words. I know, I've sent out a MS that isn't even finished. But here's the thing. I need to know a good place to end the first book! Then I will concentrate on that before moving on to the next one. In the meantime, I'm working on finishing said book(s).

But imagine that. Me. I sent it out to total strangers. I am doing my super best not to panic. And doing a pretty darn good job of it. I'm also a little in a bit of a writing glow as I have also been working on a short to send to Realms of Fantasy Magazine. I can't wait to polish it up! Funny how I think of all sorts of cool things when I am not really thinking about them at all.

Yeah, I'm pretty pleased with myself. And no, I'm not egotistical. I'm just... wow. Moving forward and growing as a writer. How cool is that?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hey Everyone...

I just came across a brand new blogger. She is on Book Blogs and I just became her third follower! So why don't you all hop on over to

Shirley's Surely Reviewing

I'm SURE she'd love it. Ha ha!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Woohoo! I'm Home...

Well, I made it! Woot! I'm home, back on my own computer and able to do lots more than I could on my mom's computer.

First of all, 3 (three) ladies all nominated me for a blog award like right after I went on vacation! Three!!

They were: Larissa over at "A Three Way Tie", Michelle K. Canada over at "Another Look Book Reviews" and Andrea over at "Andrea's For the Reading".

All three of these ladies are very sweet and wonderful to bestow this blog award on me. And, as per the rules, I must share 7 things about myself as well as pass this on to 15 other bloggers! Now, I won't do that for EACH award, but I will combine them. I will have to make tough choices for the other bloggers, but I think I can do it. So here we go with the 7 random things about Mel.

1) I failed English every year in High School. But I write. Heh.
2) I never read J. R. R. Tolkien until the movies for Lord of the Rings came out. Then I devoured everything I found. Same for C. S. Lewis. (And I call myself a fantasy author!)
3) I'm a romantic at heart, but can't do romance books or even movies for that matter. I do watch the occasional chick flick but mostly action/thriller/mystery.
4) I've been married 3 times (!) and my current husband and I have been together for 10 years and still going strong!
5) I have technically been published already.
6) I LOVE pirates. I must have been one in a past life!
7) I'm also half Scotch-Irish and half Dutch. My family on the Dutch side have traced our lineage back to the 1600's of Netherlands and I've sort of traced my Scotch-Irish side back to King William of Scotland.

Okay so now I have to pass this on to 15 bloggers. 15...really? Okay, well here goes! (If I repeat some from the last award I gave away... sorry! I can't keep up with all this, lol!)

1) Jen over at A Book, A Girl, A Journey
2) Maria at A Night's Dream of Books
3) Alex (OMG I love Alex...) at Alex J. Cavanaugh
4) Jamie (I love Jamie too!) at Mithril Wisdom
5) Hart over at Confessions of a Watery Tart (Love it. "Help, help I'm being oppressed!")
6) CQG a.k.a. Creepy Query Girl
7) Howard at Dark Bits
8) Tahereh at Grab a Pen
9) Kimberly Sue at Historical Fiction Obsession (Love me some historical fiction!)
10) Mary at M. P. McDonald Has the Write Stuff
11) Westrina at Ramblings of a Teenage Novelist
12) Elizabeth Mueller at Author Elizabeth Mueller
13) Tabitha at Writer Musings
14) Talli Roland
15) Cheri Chesley at From the Other Side of the Mirror

That's it. I'm sure I may have repeated some, but these are some of the best blogs I follow. I love everyone's blogs, I don't always comment but I love being involved in this community we have here. Everyone have an awesome rest of the week!

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Change Of Settings...

So I tried to change the settings on my blog here to where you did not have to type in a word verification. That didn't last very long because I got some really weird comments for ads and such. So we're back to the verification thing. Sorry. I know it slows people down and most refrain from commenting due to that verification, but I have to have it.

At any rate, I return to Alaska tomorrow. Funny how you can't wait to go on vacation and near the end you can't wait to get home! Lol! But that's all right, I had a fun filled two week stay. Met up with my friends almost every night or with family. Very, very fun. Just wanted to post and say:

WOW!!!! Including my FaceBook followers, I've reached over 200!!!!!!!! Woot!

Love it! Welcome to all my new followers and I hope you enjoy your stay. :D

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Almost Home...

Hi everyone! Hope my blogs were not too few and far between. I will be home June 15th and those who have emailed me about being a Beta Reader or left a comment, I will get back to you within a few days of my returning home.

I am not in any major hurry. I am looking for a place to end Book One in Crowning Absolution. I am currently sitting on 80,000 words and the entire work is not complete, but the first part is ready for a scrutiny. Tell me what works, what doesn't and we'll go from there. It is a rough draft, so we have to start somewhere.

Also, my follow button seems to have disappeared again. Don't know what that is all about. At any rate, I will see you all in a few days! Have a great rest of the weekend and an awesome week!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Pulling From The Archives (Too Descriptive?)...

So recently, I had a nice chat with some of my daughter's friends. (I love her friends, they're like my own kids.) One of them was telling me of a book she read where the descriptions gave her nightmares and it got me to thinking of yet another conversation with my sister-in-law and fellow author.

Horror is a big descriptive genre as is most of romance. However, I guess I am old fashioned when I say that I'd like them to leave SOMETHING to the imagination. It's like why go for the full frontal nudity? Imagination is what triggers lots of the senses, stop taking all the fun out of it!

Yeah, not that I see a lot of full frontal nudity. But see, you get the picture don't you? You used your imagination. What did we learn?

So take this into serious consideration when you write. How much detail do you want to give away, how much work do you want to do for the reader? Or would you rather the reader actually use those brain functions and work for it themselves? Personally, I love the author who goes to the trouble to give me just enough so that I can paint the picture in my own mind. I've said it before and I will say it again: No one will ever see, feel or imagine the same exact thing as anyone else in the world ever. People are complicated creatures with different varying levels of thought processes and emotions. While you might actually get similar ideas, they'll never be exactly the same down to the smallest detail.

For example, have you and a group of friends or co-workers ever got together on a project where you all had "the same idea"? Once the project was finished, almost everyone had different levels of disappointment. Why? Because they all "Imagined it turning out differently". Don't believe me? Take notes next time.

We would be very arrogant in our thinking if we feel that everyone feels the same way as others in their lives. We can not possibly know or deal with situations exactly the same way, even if said situations were exact. People deal with stress and sadness differently. Love, fear and all those other emotions and factors induce reactions in different ways. The possibilities are infinite in the fact that it is practically impossible for two people to ever be on the same emotional/intelligent plateau at the same time. If that makes sense, you're doing all right.

This is also why some authors are so descriptive and others let you use that thing holding your ears apart. When authors do give descriptive images for you to see in your mind's eye, they tend to get monotonous. They have to be sure that everyone gets the same idea they are trying to project. It is difficult for a writer to even comprehend how people will interpret what they're reading; which makes writing all the more difficult. Then you have to follow a certain standard with your writing, make sure you've got the proper grammar and punctuation. You cannot write like you speak, even though it might help. People just don't speak as clearly as when they write.

So again, take a lot of this into consideration as you write. Try to find the happy medium for yourself of what you think is too little or too much description. If you are trying to make your readers have a bucket next to their bed to hold the vomit while they read your slasher, then job well done. But if you want them to sleep with the lights on, lock their doors and study people to find out who the killer is, well then you have your mission. Write on!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Ha Ha... Yeah...

I THOUGHT I had scheduled that Worse Off Wednesday post for well.... Wednesday. Hm. So ignore it til tomorrow. Lol! I'm not used to my mother's lap top, the touch pad is very touchy! No pun intended. I will respost that blog tomorrow when it is supposed to come out. Hehe!

Have a great Tuesday everyone!

Worse Off Wednesday...

I'm beginning to enjoy this meme, but have to think of a few characters in advance from now on. I have a couple of ideas this time around for my WoW subjects, but I will save the others for future posts, of course.

So who did I choose this week? One of my own characters ~ Alabassin Li'endrin. (Al uh bass in Lee ehn drin)

Born into one of the most notorious families in my world of Eir du'Brusai, Alabassin is an only child. His father, never one to focus on others and more on himself, made sure his only and eldest son remained an only child. Alabassin's mother had been forced to marry his father, to create a treaty with a nuetral kingdom. When she became pregnant with other children, he made sure they never drew a breath.

Later in Alabassin's life, the young prince met and fell in love with the princess from their neighboring rivals. He made the decision to keep their engagement a secret, only to discover she had gone overboard during a battle with Pyrates. He was led to believe she was dead. Then his father sort of goes a little nuts and Alabassin leaves his inheritance behind.

If I tell you any more, I'll give too much away. I don't want to do a spoiler. But the things Alabassin has to go through, even having his own father attempt to murder him, losing the love of his life and having his mother killed so she won't produce any more offspring... that tends to leave its marks. So there is my Worse Off Wednesday. Poor Alabassin.

My Website...

I have posted a couple of archived posts while on vacation and then realized... uh, people might not know how to pronounce that. But I have a solution! I do, I do, I do! I have lots of this stuff over on my website. It's still pretty much under construction, but I would love for everyone to check it out. I have a whole little character directory over there that tells you how to pronounce a good majority of the names. I hate when I read a fantasy book, come up with my own pronunciation and then hear someone else pronounce it differently who has also read the book. That's just me though.

At any rate, if you would like to visit my website, I would adore it. I try to maintain the blog over there and do different ones, but more often than not, I end up doing a copy and paste of the ones here. Ready for the link? Okay, here it is. My website.

I will be back soon and then all of these archived posts may stop. I have some, though, that I posted when I only had like 5 followers and thought they were really good posts. I don't go through very many archives, so I figure you don't either. Anyway I will see you all soon!

Monday, June 6, 2011

It's All Fun And Games...

Until someone gets hurt... but that's the best part, right? Right! So Alex J. Cavanaugh is hosting his "It's All Fun & Games" blogfest and it kicks off today!
So the point of this is to name three games you like to play the most. Any kind of game whether it be an RPG (Role Playing Game), video game, board game. Whatever!

Before I tell you mine, I will tell you my nephew's (I am visitng this weekend). His favorite 3 are Little Big Planet, Basketball and Mod Nation. He's a very cool kid. Best dribbler I know!

Okay on to my favorite 3:

Cosrin would have to be at the top of my list. It is a text based role playing game. You've all heard me reference it before. It is the inspiration for my writing, of course.

Second would have to be.... World of Warcraft. I have to say, it is still a cool game even if I do get bored with it once in awhile. Don't like to play it tooooo much, but yeah. Hehe!

Third on my list at the moment would be... pool. I love to shoot pool.

And that is it for this Monday. I will have three more ready next week! Want to participate? Go over to Alex's blog (link at the top) and join!

Have a great week!

Pulling From The Archives (Loving Your Characters Too Much)...

I belong to the writing community of I have an online portfolio there and I get to read, rate and review other writers in the community. I really love the place, as we call it WDC. You can also sign up for newsletters in different areas and genres, depending on what you'd like help with.

So today was newsletter day, you get them every week either in the middle of the week or the end. One of the fantasy newsletters was about characters and loving them too much. Is it good for the story if nothing bad ever happens to the main characters? Is it good for the story if everything happens to the main characters? What is a good balance?

Personally, the main character in the "Twilight" series, Bella, was loved too much by her creator. I felt pretty disappointed by the last book, "Breaking Dawn" simply because everyone lived happily ever after and even the big bad group of Elder Vampires walked away from a fight. Yes, Bella got attacked by rival vampires, she was in the hospital more times than I care to count throughout the series, yet in the end, she got her way. She went from being a normal 18 year old girl fresh out of high school and straight on to being a newlywed, then a mother and finally a vampire. She rocketed from an 18 year old mentality to a 30 year old mentality in the space of a couple years. While there was plenty of teenage angst and drama going on, what with the numerous boys having crushes and the insecurity that Bella was indeed a beautiful girl, it fell flat. Again, this is my opinion, but I am choosing this character as an example of one being loved too much. Nothing horrible ever happened to Bella. (I can hear the fans gasping.) Bear with me. There is a huge difference between drama and tragedy.

When writing about a beloved character, which Bella was there is no doubt in my mind, you can't be afraid to have irreversible damage happen. It seems to me as if not only Bella was loved, but all of her background characters were loved just as much. When an author loves their character so much they're afraid to put them directly in harm's way, it leaves the story lacking. Bella always seemed to get out of a jam, even if she was injured in the process. That isn't always enough for some readers and it isn't always the way a story might flow.

Now, don't get me wrong, I am not a morbid, wicked person. Okay, maybe just a little bit. But when writing about my characters and putting them in a situation I have to stop and ask myself, "Would they really be able to escape this situation without some sort of physical or emotional scarring?" If you know human nature, the answer would be no. It is important to move on with a story, yes. But to have a character just let things go like water off a duck's back just doesn't seem to fly with me. It seemed as if Bella let a lot go and it didn't even sit in her subconscious.

On the other hand, there are characters that have much too much happen to them right off the bat and it affects them the rest of their lives. The example given in the newsletter was Star Wars. Luke Skywalker's family is wiped out and he's off like a shot to follow his destiny. I think just enough happened to Luke to shape him into the man he was meant to be. I don't think I have yet come across a storyline or book where the character just seems to have tragedy after tragedy thrown at them. Give me suggestions and I'll check them out.

I have no qualms about killing off a main character if that is where the path is leading them. I even have plans to kill off a main character eventually. I write like I play "Magic the Gathering"; be willing to sacrifice your own for the sake of destroying the many. (Yes, I'm a serious geek, tell me something I don't know.) If I had a character whose sole purpose of the story was to die in the end, I'd be right there holding the blade to kill them with. However, I would mourn that character in the end. I'd cry, I'd probably even hold a flippin' funeral for it. But in the end, if it stirred up the same grief in my reader, then I have done my job. If my readers mourn that character, if they saw that the only way for things to be right in my world was for that character to die, I've given them a gift. I've given them something they'll enjoy.

Harry Potter books do that to me. J. K. Rowling cannot be accused of loving her characters too much, yet you know she does. There's no way. If you have read all of the books, you know what I mean. If you haven't read them all yet, well be prepared to cry. I won't be a spoiler, though. But the woman knows how to twist our hearts. She knows that the friends of Harry will do absolutely anything to protect him to reach their goal of destroying Voldemort. They would even die for him. What more do you need to tell you how important it is that Harry survive? You certainly don't see any of his friends backing off suddenly and saying, "You know...forget it. I've done enough and I want to live to see the end result. Harry, love ya man, but I'm outta here." Everyone knows that in war, which is exactly what was happening in Rowling's books, lives will be lost. Innocent and otherwise.

So all in all, don't be afraid to have something bad happen to your characters. It shapes them into the people they're meant to be. If it is important to the storyline, then let it happen. Don't fret and be over protective about it, let it happen. You'll be happy with the end result if you are willing to love them enough to let them go.

I'd also like to apologize for writing such long blogs. I can't help it, I have a lot to say. However, if you manage to read every single one to the end, then let me just say THANK YOU!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Pulling From The Archives (Character Creation)...

The following blog post is one I had posted waaaaaay back when I was just starting to blog! Can you believe it? I only had like 12 followers, if that. But I thought it was a good idea to start pulling some of my older blogs, looking through them and re-posting because these are still very relevant posts. So here is the one on Character Creation. Enjoy!

Character Creation seems to be a daunting task for people. More than world creation if they write fantasy. I've browsed through post after post on other writing sites where people have begged for help with character creation. The only response or piece of advice I can give to you is to look around. Who are your friends, your family? If you aren't much of a "People Watcher" you will struggle with creating your characters. There is no real secret to coming up with a character full of personality and depth. You either know what makes people tick or you don't.

Personally, creating the characters is the best part for me. I love the challenge it offers and I love how diverse my characters become. I love to watch people where ever I go. I'll sit in a restaurant or I used to sit in the mall and just watch people walk by, listen to bits of their conversations (honestly, I don't purposely eavesdrop, sometimes people talk too loud!) watch how others react to information or surprises. It is really fun and I suggest trying it, just try not to look too much like a stalker. (I'm not stalking you! By the way, you are out of milk.)

People fascinate me. I don't know why. I have never gone to school to study the human psyche, but I bet I would pass any class with flying colors in profiling.

Most of my characters are based off of people I know. And obviously, some are not. I don't know anyone like my Mandorak Li'endrin, ruling king of Relavia. If you have even read a small portion of my book(s) (crosses fingers) or short stories, you would know what I mean. Mandorak Li'endrin is only one ruling king in a long line of kings from Relavia who are just plain mean and nasty. His son, Alabassin, just breaks the mold. He's as sweet as he is honest and caring. I absolutely adore Alabassin. I've based Alabassin off of a good friend of mine I used to role play with in an online RPG called "Cosrin". If you know of this game, then you'll know the name Ninny. If not, then you'll just have to be in the dark.

Mandorak isn't the only mean, nasty person I write about. But I don't know anyone quite as spiteful and egotistical as these characters. I've just gone on what I know of people and how there are people out there like these figments of my imagination. Don't believe me? Watch Jerry Springer.
Alabassin is only one character I have based off of a friend. Others include Laria, her name is the same in the book as it is in Cosrin. To continue the list of Cosrin-based characters, there is Farrehn (Ariosh), Tyren (Tyrus), Nikkolani (Protean), Vendras (Korhal). There are more, but I won't bore you with details that may or may not mean anything to you. The point is, each one of these characters are pretty much spot on in my book. I know them as well as they know themselves. I can emulate them easily because I've spent weeks studying them, interacting with them and the like. Okay, maybe more than weeks. The point is, Laria is a sweet Elven Ranger, she's got a fiery temper and loves her family and friends with the same fiery passion.

Farrehn is half ogre. He can talk the talk and walk the walk. Cross him and you'll be sorry, befriend him and he will defend you with every ounce of Honor he possesses. His best friend is Vendras and the two of them are constantly competing, but it is all in good fun and neither ever gets his feelings hurt.

Tyren is an Elven Assassin who has more heart than he'll ever let on. Dangerous and dark, the man is just downright sexy and fun. Nikkolani, well, let's just say everything that man does is to make sure more coin is in his pocket and not yours.

When creating these characters, I tried to focus on their traits, good and bad. I've based other characters off of my friends and again I have tried to capture their nature, their quirks and sometimes, even their phobias. When my friends read my work, they all tell me how I've pretty much pegged their characters down to the last detail and that makes me happy, that was my intention. When I am writing about someone I don't know, I try to focus on those same qualities and come up with characters with depth.

So I suppose my advice, if I were to give some on character creation, would be to base your characters off of those you know. My main characters are built around myself. I know what I would do in any situation, obviously. But I don't filter all of my strengths and weaknesses into one character. I take one and then build off of it. I'll give you examples.

Kayta, she's one of my oldest characters. I've had her since I was 19. She's one of my most honorable characters. She's a warrior, she's compassionate, honorable, strong and stubborn. Ok, so I am almost all of those traits, I'm just not a warrior in the sense that she is. But I take that and run with it. What would someone do who is a warrior and has a strong sense of honor? Well, she certainly wouldn't fight a fight unless it was fair. She wouldn't walk away from a fight either, especially if her loved ones were involved somehow.

Nightshadow, she's the best. She's an assassin. I've taken my dark side (the one I keep hidden, ha ha!) and I've used it to my advantage. I simply allow her to do the things I would never, ever do as a morally, honorable human being. I also allow her to say things I wish I could say to people, but don't. She's everything I would want to be, if I wanted to be a crazy serial killer. She's strong, she isn't afraid of what people think of her and yet she loves with her whole being, not just a tiny part of it.

I've had other characters, like Nimareau. Nimareau is my spiritual healer. She's a blessing to those who know her. She's gentle, she's kind and the thought of harming any living thing is just deplorable. She'd rather die than to hurt anyone or anything. She only fights to protect herself and those she loves. She was my Elven Mage in Cosrin, she was an exceptionally good healer.

All three of those characters are as different as night and day, yet I portrayed them all. Each of them contains parts of me that I either want to express more or hide away and never let anyone know about. When I played those characters, created them in the game, people just never could figure out it was the same person. I took it as a high compliment when I shocked people and told them who I was. I was also happy when I could pinpoint a new character and guess who their other characters were. I just know people that well. I hope all of this gives you some insight on character creation. Perhaps it will help you, perhaps not. All I can say is look within yourself. Find those strengths and weaknesses you have and put them into your characters. You can create characters with depth if you just look around you!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Having A Blast...

I'm doing rather well down here in Arizona after having acclimated to Alaska. I'm not melting yet, so that is good, right?

I want to thank Alex and Jamie and Falen for posting up that I am looking for Beta Readers. I am looking!

Let me give you the details of what exactly I am looking for.

"Crowning Absolution" will eventually be split into three books. I am writing the whole thing down at once, because otherwise I mess up my time lines. This just works for me. I would like an overall critique of the MS (all three parts). Now this means we're looking at over 100K words. BUT... I am in NO RUSH. Well, I am, but I'm not, does that make sense? I don't have a deadline.

I want to know what is lacking in the story and what should just be dropped altogether. I already know I have lots of filler fluff and that it needs work, this is a first draft. After I get some feedback, I'll have a better idea of where to go with the revising, because personally, I think this is why I get so freakin' stuck.

I can sit here and edit and revise til I turn purple with orange polka dots, but that isn't going to help me much unless I know what the reader thinks.

Here's the other thing. This is High Fantasy, kids (or at least that is the classification for something like this). Sometimes I feel people are willing to read just about anything to help out, (I will sometimes read romance and do offer up a decent opinion about it, even though I don't like it) but if you really don't like fantasy, I don't want you to read it and go, "Eh. It's fantasy. It's okay." I realize fantasy is not everyone's thing. I do want honest opinions though, so if you are willing to offer that up, then we're good to go!

As I stated before, I am on vacation. I'll get into more details when I get back and get the ball rolling. Mainly because I can't get my laptop to connect to the internet here...otherwise, we'd be going already. Thanks everyone for all of your support and help. You have no idea how much I appreciate it!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Worse Off Wednesday...

Hmm.... I have been thinking about which book character to use for my Worse Off Wednesday meme I got from Kaitlyn over at The Book Buff.

I am not a big fan of "Twilight". That is no secret, really. But I do have to say, "Poor Jacob".

Jacob is my target today simply because the poor guy could not catch a break. He loved Bella. LOVED her with all his heart and wanted to be with her. She went for the sparkly dude. Seriously? She chose thin and pale (not to mention the sparkly again...) over tall, dark, buff and handsome. (Yum.)

Then when sparkle boy steps out of the picture, Jacob thought he had a chance. At last! But noooo. Bella was only using him as a pacifier until Fang came back. Then Jacob sprouts fur and claws and becomes the enemy.

Now, I know (SPOILER ALERT) he ends up with the daughter of Bella and sparkle pants, but that still doesn't seem right to me. It is like getting the booby prize after all the fans and contestants have gone home.

So I say again, Poor Jacob.

Hi And A Thanks...

Hey! Hi there to all my new followers. Very nice to "meet" you, feel free to comment!

I'm on vacay right now, no haven't taken any pics yet, but I will soon!

I want to say thanks to Alex over here (Alex J. Cavanaugh) and Jamie over here (Mithril Wisdom) for posting up that I am looking for critiquers and beta readers. Feel free to drop me a line if you would like to be a BR or know someone. I will be reading my emails, but I probably won't get into much until after June 14th. So I will post when I am back and ready.

Thanks guys, you are the best and I am glad to know you. :D