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Monday, July 30, 2012

Brighter Morning

A six and a half hour nap bracketed by the Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law Sherlock Holmes movies has helped restore some perspective. That, and some ice cream.

Every artist has those moments when she looks at her art and despairs. It isn't Star of Justice so much. That book is done, and I'm trying to move on.

Price of Justice has me climbing walls. Mom suggested I stop writing it, but that's impossible. It's my next book. You'll all just have to bear with me when the compost that is my initial draft overwhelms my sense of perspective.

What you must understand, dear reader, is that ultimately my writing is my responsibility. I can have the best crit group in the world, the best editors, the best publisher, even the best intentions, but it all boils down to "what will I do with this story?"

That isn't arrogance. I can ask "what do you think I should do?" but you'll give me your opinion, not the answer to life, the universe and everything. If I ask that question of every person, I have, at best, a democratic parody where the majority rules and, at worst, a different opinion for every person I ask. What am I supposed to do with that?

I don't want to write by majority rule. I have to work out my own problems in my own way and that's all there is, really.

I'm just not accustomed to feeling so lost so early. Oh well. Inward and upward.

On a brighter note, God gave me one of those little treasures I seek. A moth flew into my car on Saturday, a big, brown moth that went right under my dashboard where I didn't have a hope in heaven of finding it and getting it out to continue its short life. Tears flowed until I looked up and discovered the moth fluttering against the passenger side window, waiting to be released. A silly thing, yes, but it's my silly thing. Thank You, Lord.

Thank you, too, for my friends who took a moment to support me. I love you guys. I'm doing better.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Little Things

"It's the little things in life you treasure." Fred Kwan, Galaxy Quest

Normally, I agree with Fred. Celebrate the small stuff because that's all most of us will ever see.

The last couple of weeks, however, it's been hard to enjoy even the small stuff. I want to blame hormones, but it's more likely the little, unexpected, mostly unpleasant changes happening in my life.

The Olympics have put a complete end to my TV routine for I don't know how long. That shouldn't be a bad thing, but it is disruptive. One of my cats has cavities that must be treated. Several of my friends are changing their life circumstances in ways that directly affect my life circumstances. My car sickens while I put aside money to buy a new one. My dog sprouts these little blisters that may or may not be heat-related. My daily Bible reading just finished Isaiah and has started in Jeremiah. Have you read Jeremiah? Road construction has forced a change of driving routine and added about 5 minutes to my commute, which totals 20 minutes more a day in the hot car avoiding stupid people in the same situation. Grandma Turtle's one year anniversary just passed and I miss her. I have a tingling in my left hand that may be nerve-related instead of jaw-related and I don't want to deal with it. I intended to garden this morning and instead spent two hours trying to deal with my hacked email account. I'm now so wound up with frustration, I don't know what to do with myself.

Yes, they're all small, ultimately meaningless tripe, but they're wearing me down.

Add to them the writing issues, and I'm thinking about packing up my cats and moving somewhere far, far away. Not Idaho. Apparently stupid people live there.

I eavesdrop on several writing groups. I rarely jump in for various reasons depending on the group, but I follow the discussions somewhat. I need to stop.

Aslan tells Lucy in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader that no good comes from eavesdropping, and he's right. Proverbs says gossip is like a tasty morsel going down that sours the stomach. I've got the stomach to prove it.

I now worry that I didn't do justice to Ehsu's dialogue, that good stories don't include God because God as the ultimate superpower removes all tension, that my preferred writing style (and reading style, btw) of "plump with description" instead of "action-focused" (I may post on that later) means I'm a poor writer who lacks the ability to edit herself and that writing as a job will shortly go the way of the dodo, so everything I do at this computer is utterly meaningless.

That could be the depression talking.

It's important to remember, people, behind the arrogance of the writer is a huge well of self-doubt. We're putting ourselves out there in a show of bravery, but that doesn't mean we're brave or that we have everything figured out or that we even think we've done a good job. It just means we're trying.

I'm my own worst critic. I don't need more reasons to doubt myself.

I am searching for those little things to treasure, but at the moment, they are few and far between. I hope your life is full of them.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Swamp in July

Taking advantage of a rare not-100-degrees-at-6-AM morning, I wandered the garden and snapped a few pics.

My Swamp has been through a lot in the last year. Sewer line replacement, tree removal, and drought have all taken their toll, yet some beauty remains, mostly thanks to the annuals.

Bermuda grass is taking over with abandon. I'm letting it because it's keeping the little soil I have from blowing away in the humid Kansas wind. I will regret that decision but I'm not about to go fight Bermuda grass in 106 degrees. In case you're not familiar with Bermuda grass, it loves the heat, it grows by seed and by runners and it's almost impossible to kill. It's pretty much a weed but most Kansans put up with it because it actually grows here. I hate grass, so I hate Bermuda grass. It's that simple.

My "Early Girl" tomato has officially broken through its support and creeps toward the house, I suspect, in pursuit of fresh fertilizer. I'm extremely wary of reaching into its depths to pick tomatoes for fear my arm won't come back out. Mom suggests a short story will come of it. She may be right.

I'm thinking I may take tomorrow morning, you know, before 8 AM and 100 degrees, to go out back and try to restore some semblance of order. Then again, I may wait until December's probable mid-80 temperatures to tackle it. At this rate, another few months will see the entire back yard consumed by Bermuda and all I'll have to do is mow.

I hate mowing, too. I'm not letting this garden go without a fight.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Schedule Interrupted

Like my cats, the Turtle is a creature of habit. 

My schedule this week has been filled with unexpected, although not necessarily unwelcome, interruptions and they are taking a toll. I handled last night's loss of Internet rather well, I think, although it did lead to a somewhat restless sleep as I considered my options should it not be restored. My posting this means I have Internet for the moment.

A normal person probably takes change in stride and compensates. I must assume this since I'm not a normal person. Change staggers me and throws all life into confusion until routine is restored. No wonder I relate so strongly to Dr. Sheldon Cooper. His issues are my issues. 

I will hopefully make it through the rest of the week with my patience intact, although I expect some manner of retribution to occur Saturday. We'll see.

If you don't see me hanging about FB or email on schedule, it's because my Internet quit again and I'm hammering my modem into a charm bracelet to pass the time.

Monday, July 23, 2012

What My Book Says About You

Yes, I'm doing it again. I'm reading my own interpretations into your perfectly normal and reasonable actions.

Most readers are familiar with the idea that a book says a lot about the author. Unless you're a reading machine who devours books the way some devour gummi bears and never bother to think about them as you go, I suspect at some point you've read a passage and wondered what the author had to go through to come up with that idea. At least, I hope you have. It's OK to think about a book as more than a story.

I maintain the first book an author writes is a therapy book: meaning, intentionally or unintentionally, we write it as part of our own therapy. I may think this because I trained as a marriage and family therapist and tend to view the world through that lens (relax. It's a strengths-based lens and I'm looking for what's right with you, not what's wrong).  I will concede - grudgingly - that the first book written may not be the first book published, but I suspect it is more often than not. 

Why? Because writing and completing a book is hard work. Very hard work. Something drives the author to work that hard not only to finish but share his masterpiece, and I posit it is his desire to tell his story in whatever altered form his subconscious dreams up. He may disagree if he wishes, but I will apply Shakespeare's "the lady doth protest too much, methinks" and he'll lose anyway.  No offense, gentlemen.

I've written in this topic elsewhere, and I'm sure I'll write about it again, so I'll move on to my title theme.

What I did not realize before I published is how often a reader approaches my book with an automatic bias. The difference may be that I now hand over a brick with a picture on the cover and a concise little blurb on the back that supposedly sums up the story (it doesn't, really. No blurb ever does justice to the real story) which allows the reader to form an opinion other than "Good Lord! That's a 4 inch, two ream, 6 lb binder you're handing me!" And God bless all of you who took it.

Since I've handed over that brick, I've heard "Dragon-worshippers? So they're the bad guys?", "Ooo, shape-shifters," and my personal favorite so far, "Blood? You wrote a book with blood in it?" Each of these statements says more about the speaker than me. Why assume dragon-worshippers are bad guys? What makes "shape-shifters" stand out? Why is it so surprising I would write about blood? Have you met me?

It's almost as interesting as the questions and comments I get after the book is read. It's fascinating to see which parts capture people's attention, especially when I compare their reactions to what I intended when I wrote it or what I wanted people to take away from it.

TT: It is amazing how we manage to communicate with each other at all. Our separate experiences and focuses are so different, how can my words mean the same thing as your words, and how does that meaning travel through sound or sight and take up residence in your brain in any shape remotely similar to my intention? Wow. Just...wow.

I almost didn't write this because I fear shutting down those comments and questions that fascinate me so much, like Captain Picard who couldn't think what to say when he discovered the empath loved listening to his voice. I do hope you'll keep asking and commenting. It's my story, after all. I want to tell it.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Definitive Guide to Star of Justice

Great idea, huh? A sort of Cliff's Notes version of my 400+ page monster?

As part of this new Splashdown Blog Tour idea, we authors can submit snippets of our works to pique interest in readers and tell why we like those snippets. This led me to consider my favorite snippets. Guess what? Almost all of them contain plot spoilers.

I'm not saying you can't swing a small dragon without hitting a plot point in my book, but...almost. I am saying the bits I love the best are the bits where you the reader get a solid dose of character angst or plot revelation. Those were the parts I lived for, and I spread them around liberally.

One of the few daydreams I do have about Star of Justice is seeing it show up as "recommended reading" for an English class, or, when I get really high on Melted Snowballs, a textbook for "Great American Authors." One of my greatest fears is my book showing up in such a class and everybody getting it "all wrong" when it comes to interpretation. Why I wrote what I wrote. What I meant to convey as opposed to what the reader gets out of it. I've seen what history has done to Tolkien.

Control freak that I am, it is tempting to consider writing a Definitive Guide for future reference. Hard to argue my intentions when I spell them out for you on paper. Not impossible. Just hard. However, since such a book would be one giant spoiler, I suppose I'll write it on the sly and request my great-nieces publish it posthumously.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The goddess Nike

I got about 3 hours of sleep, which forcibly reminds me, once again, to NOT drink a Melted Snowball after 5 PM. Yes, it was maybe 4 oz. Yes, that's all it takes to keep The Turtle wide-eyed into the wee hours. Stupid espresso.

We got some lovely rain last night, too, and I was wide awake to enjoy it. Thank You for that, Lord.

When writing inspiration lacks, my last resort is following the precepts of the goddess Nike and "just doing it." Sometimes, you just need to do something. Last night, after my espresso and before my failed attempt to sleep, I edited pages 50 to 57. I pared down the telling, corrected directional issues and once again got the story back on track.

I refuse to allow two paragraphs to hold me up for two weeks anymore. It's just silly. I have an entire book to tell stuff in, and if I can't find the right spot in 400 pages, I can write a short story later. No big deal. This is writing, not rocket science. Just do it.

Here's hoping tonight's writing time will see similar, if not more substantial, success.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

38 Down, 56 To Go

Page 38 of my WIP has stumped me for weeks. I sit at the computer, open the file, and stare at page 38 while it mocks me with its inaccuracy. Actually, I stared at two paragraphs of page 38 that just didn't fit there. Monday night I finally figured out how to cut them (turns out I just "cut" them and pasted them into my delete file. Why did that take me so long?). Circulation returned, the rest of the chapter now made sense and I moved on with my story.

Then I ran into page 56. Same thing. Timeline out of whack. Directions all messed up. Motivations unclear. It's more than one or two paragraphs this time. I'm looking at what could be "telling" or what could be the ramblings of an increasingly unhinged narrative mind (no, I don't mean me).

Caissa's narrative is generally straight forward with occasional detours as bits of trivia get sucked along for the ride. In SoJ, I worked to keep this extraneous info in her spoken dialogue and generally only when she was under stress.

Well, she's under stress from page 1 (actually, pg 50) in this book, so the extraneous info keeps oozing into her thoughts/general narration.

I can't have her say it, because her companion knows most of it. There'd be no point. I'm considering cutting it, but some of it should be known and this is really the best place I can imagine to bring the reader up to speed. So, last night, I stared at page 56 and it glared back, mocking me with its bloated inaccuracy.

I refuse to be stopped for weeks, though. It is way past time to be done with this foolishness, so, tonight, with my bag of Doritos beside me and the promise of half an hour of Sherlock "A Study in Pink" as my reward, I will untangle this silly mess and move on.

It really is the least I can do.

Monday, July 16, 2012

How to Resussitate a Drowned Spider or Insect Should You Ever Really Want To

I warned you.

Have no fear, arachnophobes. I'll show no pictures.

First, the spider must be newly drowned. If more than a few minutes have elapsed, your only course of action is respectful disposal of the corpse. Unless your conscience calls for an act of contrition. I'll leave that up to you.

Get the spider out of the water. Bit obvious, yes, but must be said.

Depending on how long he's been in the water, he may be a little crumpled. If so, use a sturdy piece of paper or cardboard as a support. I recommend taking him outside for the rest. If you're successful in your efforts, you'll have a live spider on your paper awake and ready to explore the world. If you're not, you can put him on the compost bin and go about your business.

Using a small paintbrush, carefully "paint" the spider out of its crumpled position into something resembling a normal spider resting pose. Legs should be untangled and body as straight as possible. I cannot stress how important it is to be gentle at this point if you don't want bits of detached spider sticking to your paintbrush. The paintbrush serves the purpose of not only being more gentle than your big, clumsy finger but it also removes the water that soaked into the poor little spider's exoskeleton. The paper helps with this, too.

If you see signs of movement at this time, don't freak out. It may be life returning or it may be the spider's legs collapsing inward from lack of blood pressure (meaning it's really dead and you should go through his pockets and look for loose change). 

Once the spider's body has been returned to a semblance of normalcy, leave him alone. Put the paper in a quiet, shaded spot where the wind won't blow it away but the air has a chance to circulate and continue the drying process. Check on him as often as your nerves can handle.

If you're successful, the spider will revive and leave. If you're not, have some ice cream and try to get over it. You did more than 99.9% of people would ever do for a spider.

That's something.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Rift Jump by Greg Mitchell

 Rift Jump by Greg Mitchell

The day Michael Morrison died was the day his life began.
A sinister threat is growing in the void between realities, and Michael has been recruited to stop it. Ripped from his own violent life, he is sent rift jumping to other worlds seeking out the agents of the Dark and putting them to an end by any means necessary. The love of his life, Sara, joins him as he battles Civil War space ships, sea serpents, superpowered humans, and even his own duplicate from a parallel timeline.
But the darkness he fights is growing within him too, calling him to the same destiny as every other Michael from every other world. If he is to change his fate, he must learn to love, to forgive, to trust, and to let the man in the Stetson guide him to become the warrior of the Light he was always meant to be.

Interview with Greg Mitchell

How did you get started writing fiction?
Because I find non-fiction boring. :p As a child, I actually wanted to be a Disney animator (back when they still drew their cartoons), then I wanted to write and draw comic books. My art was never quite up to my standard, though, and I felt really limited in the stories I could tell. Then I set my sights on making movies, but then I was also limited. I had these really huge concepts, but couldn’t find the money to finance the films. I began taking my silver screen stories to prose, where there is no budget. The sky’s the limit. I think in writing fiction, I’ve finally found a way to tell stories where there are no boundaries.

Why did you choose to sign on with Splashdown Books?
I’ve known Grace for awhile and had always wanted to work with her on a project. Have a little jam session. I admire and respect her and what she’s done with Splashdown a great deal. When I started writing Rift Jump, I knew that there was no way a traditional or “typical” Christian publisher would ever take it. It’s very strange, kinda gritty, and a hard genre to nail down (even I have trouble describing it!) and I feared none of the mainstream types would know what to do with it, marketing-wise. Heck, I wasn’t even sure Grace would know what to do with it, but I sent it to her nonetheless and, to my joy, she readily accepted it.

What are your contact links: web sites, blogs, Facebook, Twitter links, your book's page, etc.?
I’m everywhere!

Visit the following blogs on this Splashdown Blog Tour for Rift Jump by Greg Mitchell.
Grace Bridges            
Fred Warren               
Caprice Hokstad       
Paul Baines                
Travis Perry               
R. L. Copple               
Keven Newsome         
Kat Heckenbach        
Ryan Grabow              
Frank Creed                

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Stay Tuned

Splashdown Books, my publisher, is trying something new to us. All of us SB authors will join in a twice a month blog tour of a newly-released SB book and an older title. We're just getting started so we may experience a few glitches as we go.

I don't follow blog tours generally, but I've been checking out the sites of my fellow authors this morning and enjoying the results. My own glimpse of Greg Mitchell's Rift Jump posts tomorrow (and will stay up through the weekend), but if you're curious now, you can start with Kat Heckenbach's site (on my Blogs I Follow list) and then follow the links she's posted at the end of her interview. Every blog will have something different about the book and the author, so take a few minutes to jump around the Internet while you're drinking your coffee. You may accidentally enjoy yourself.

It's certainly more fun than waiting for Farmville to load 4 times.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

TUTAW: You Won't Be There

A long, long time ago, a published author told me odds are, I won't be there when a reader picks up my book. I won't be standing beside them in the store. I won't be sitting next to them when they turn the first page. I won't be able to explain anything they don't understand.

This led to my first rule in accepting critiques: don't argue.

I will not argue with a crit partner when she brings up something that bothers her. I may ask more questions to get to the root of the problem, but I will not try to explain what I meant and leave it at that.

Because I won't have that chance with a reader.

If my meaning isn't clear, it's my fault. I'm the writer. I'm the one with something to say. It's up to me to say it as clearly as I know how.

It's true some people will never understand me. Not because of any lack on their part or my part but because our life experiences are so different we have no point of common ground on which to build. Those people will glance at my stories and move on. I'm OK with that. I suspect they are, too.

However, there is no reason for the vast majority of people, especially those people who would normally read my genre, to misunderstand me. My meaning should be clear, even if the meaning is "I'm not going to give you a definitive answer to that question."

TT: Be very careful how often you do that, btw. It irritates the snot out of people.

You've been warned. You won't be there. Write accordingly.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Staring at God

The Big Guy and I are having a staring contest over at

The Cheesecake Thickens.

Right here, too:

It should surprise none of my readers that I am a verbal person. My college years were spent learning therapeutic communication. My learning style is primarily auditory (which means I rocked at lecture classes). I think in words, not pictures, and certainly not emotions.

I have, at times in my life, been at a loss for words. Generally bad times. The most vivid was the year I spent so angry at God all I could say to Him was The Lord's Prayer. I said it sullenly, but I said it. I was like those disciples who remained after Jesus' hard teaching turned the crowds away. "Where else can we go?" they asked. "Only You have the truth." I don't like you very much, but You're all I've got, so I better stick close, you big meanie. OK, that part wasn't in the Bible story, but I'm sure some of them were feeling it. 

I'm not angry at God (much), but I'm tired. I've said everything I know how to say. I've pleaded, I've begged, I've railed and I've cried. I don't have any more words. 

I'm watching people I love do stupid things. I'm watching people I care about go through intense trials. I'm fighting my own exhaustion and interrupted schedule and losing. My garden dies for lack of rain, and I find dead sparrows in the parking garage stairwell. Every little pain seems amplified into mortal wounding and I'm tired of talking about it. Even to God.

So, He and I stare at each other. I don't understand what He's thinking or doing (I never have), but I'm not going anywhere and neither is He. I've said it all. It's His turn to speak, if He chooses. I'm listening.

Maybe you've been there, too.

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Joys of Cutting

Just reset my WIP word count and I'm pleased to announce I've lost 4K words. Don't worry. I plan to add about 80K more, so you'll have plenty to read when I'm done. "Telling" got cut. Way too much telling.

I discovered it's very easy to cut things if, instead of just "deleting," I move them to a "future events" file. I trick my brain into thinking I'll use them somewhere else, and then I don't mind removing them from where they are. Odds are, I'll never use any of it in its entirety, but don't tell my brain, OK? This is working.

Took two tries to get started writing last night, but the second was moderately successful. I'm back at the part where Rhami is going two directions at once (pg 38 - Oi) and I'm pushing past it. My first draft had them arrive way too soon (over-sight) and consequently, I'll have to rearrange a bit to get the timeline back in sync. It's wibbly-wobbly, so shouldn't present too much of a problem.

I'm going to have to write a TUTAW (The Ugly Truth About Writing) about the hard work involved in planning. I sort of did such a post a month ago, but I have more to say. Or maybe just more organized things to say.

Speaking of organized...

We Splashdown folks are working on a how-to book (seriously hoping that's not a secret) and I'm contributing a chapter. Talk about pressure. Allow me to explain.

Teaching requires mastery. Lots of teachers don't know this, which is why America's education system is in the mess it's in.

I'm no master at writing. At best, I'm an idiot savant. Mostly an idiot with flashes of brilliance. That doesn't mean I have the foggiest notion how to transmit those momentary flashes into something concrete and replicable (Is that a word? Spell check offered it). Yet, I'm asked to comment on a topic with enough authority to justify purchase by a student of writing. Pressure indeed.

It is reminiscent of my college English days, except this time, I understand what the teacher wants from me.

TT: Poor Mrs. Warren. I really had no idea, dear lady, and you tried so hard to explain. It's not your fault. My brain was saturated with the arrogance of youth, frozen yogurt and the dazzling novelty of social interaction. You couldn't have gotten through with hot fudge and pecans. I'm very sorry.

I've written the first draft of that how-to chapter. My deadline was last Saturday, but we all got a slight extension, so I'll be fiddling with it over the weekend. I suspect at some point, we'll play Mad-Hatter's-Tea-Party for editing purposes and I'll be rewriting as well as editing for others. At least I hope so. Even I know I'm not ready for publication after two drafts.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

My Bed, My Enemy

Mom tells a story from my childhood when my cat jumped on a hamster cage in the middle of the night. The cage fell over, the hamster escaped briefly, the cat protested the loss of a snack and I slept through the whole thing, even though it happened in my room.

Those days are long gone.

I may be legally blind, and what I smell is more often in my brain than in the air, but my ears work just fine. Unless I'm absolutely exhausted or drugged on Benedryl, I hear everything both inside and outside my house.

I hear the cats moving around in the basement. I hear the dog sigh in her sleep. I hear the wind in the trees, and I hear the train crossing the tracks in the wee hours of the morning. You'd think I'd be used to the train by now. I'm not.

I know how to "go to bed." For the most part, I turn off everything "stimulating" one hour before I lie down. No TV. No books. No radio. No intense activity, although I do a little tidying so I won't stay awake worrying about what needs to be done in the morning.

My eyes burn. My eyelids are heavy. My mind seems calm (although how can one truly tell with a mind?).

I lie down, I turn off the light, and everything wakes up. It's like those old baby dolls with the weighted eyes only in reverse. I stand up; I'm tired. I lie down; I'm still tired, but sleep is impossible.

I know all the experts say to get up and do something, but I don't. I'm mentally prepared to toss and turn in a darkened room at 2 AM, but I can't handle the thought of sitting in a chair at the same time. I always have the chance I'll fall asleep lying down. That will never happen in one of my chairs.

I suspect part of it is the heat. Can't really sleep when I'm either throwing off covers for being too hot or flailing around for covers when the air kicks on. That's an every 90 minute cycle.

I suspect part of it is July 4th. I never sleep well with either the threat of fire or the intermittent noise. My neighbors don't just set their death-makers off at once. Oh, no. Near as I can tell, they space them out every 15 to 30 minutes just to guarantee I'm awake. Last night, I'm pretty sure they left to buy more around midnight so the fun could continue until I had no chance whatsoever for a decent night.

Hey, at least the house is still here, right?

I'm most excited about going to work on a Thursday, which is generally a hard day anyway, that will now double as a second Monday after a holiday. Good times await, I'm sure.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

OK, I Did It

I did. I won't do it again, I'm sure, but I did it.

I went to Amazon to look at Star of Justice.

I know. I said I wouldn't, and I big fat went and did it anyway.

Fortunately, nothing has changed, except it now says there are four books in stock. That means for those of you waiting for them to be "in stock" to buy, you may now buy.

Still have two reviews. My rank is somewhere in the 1.3 million area (first time I looked at that). I assume that's where I started.

That's fine. I'm good with that. I'm not looking anywhere else. Just sleep-deprivation getting the better of me.

Happy 4th, everybody. Hope you enjoy flirting with death this evening. I know I won't.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Rant Is Brewing

I'm not lost yet. I have a few threads of self-control waiting to snap, but they're fraying rapidly.

I could comment on the stupidity of married people. Don't you understand you're our example? It's up to you to show us singles that the whole "becoming one" thing is worth it.

You're failing miserably.

I could comment on the stupidity of people in general. Don't you understand that three weeks of no rain and 100+ temperatures translates into "don't set off bottle rockets and Roman candles in your backyard," even if it is the Fourth of July? And really don't do it past 11 PM on a work night, or I will call the cops on your drunken buttocks, you selfish morons. And I'll give them a reason to book me into jail because you'll have had a little accident in the wait.

TT: I asked God to just kill them. Or at least maim them severely enough to have to go to hospital and leave me in peace. He didn't. He's nicer than I am, which is why you should all be grateful I'm not God.

I could go on ad nauseum about the loading issues I'm having with my computer and the Internet. It isn't just Farmville now. I can't tell if my DSL is acting screwy again or if some update didn't load properly, and frankly I'm at the end of whatever rope I'm not hanging myself with.

But, since I have those few threads wrapped so tightly around my self-control it's turning blackish-purple, I won't rant. No point. Doesn't change a thing.

Have a great Fourth, people. Try not to blow yourselves up. Or don't. Don't really care at the moment.

I need a nap.

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Lost Princess

In my continuing search for an alternate title for Elementals, I'm considering The Lost Princess.

Yes, it's been done before, but hear me out.

1) It has been done before. An Amazon search yields four titles, meaning I increase my odds of getting seen by people looking for something else. It could also be said I risk losing attention as a potential reader gets distracted or confused by those other titles, but I may be willing to take that chance.

2) It could apply to either princess. Glorya certainly gets physically lost and Dyana is the prodigal sheep. Am I mixing my parables?

Why not go for the plural, then? Because "princesses" sounds stupid and is annoying to hiss at people. Better to keep it simple and singular.

3) I'm not finding any one or two words to express the multiple dualistic elements of the story. I considered "Essentials," but it sounds like a feminine hygiene product or a line from Victoria's Secret. I'm not OK with people finding that in a search. Suggestions from my test readers tend to focus on one or the other of the story lines, depending on their preferences, so I'm not getting anywhere that way. I've been thinking of it as Elementals for so long, I'm nearly useless in calling it anything else.

4) Finally, it pays homage to one of my favorite authors and favorite books: George MacDonald's The Lost Princess, which I found in my Amazon search, btw. Of course, there is only one princess in that story (Agnes is a shepherd's daughter) but nothing is perfect.

I'm not devoted to the idea, but it's the best I've managed so far.

Why change it? You've asked that before. I'm not sure I should, but since I have creatures called "elementals" in Star of Justice, I don't want readers to think that this book has anything to do with that world other than the same author. It doesn't. I don't even have a sequel planned for Elementals, although a few ideas have floated about in the empty space between 3 and 4 AM.

Which reminds me I'm once again cycling through insomnia, so beware. Crankiness always follows lack of sleep for the turtle.