Too Many Things, Too Little Time

The absolutely thrilling part about being a writer is that anything you read, learn, hear, or see can be filed away for future reference in some writing project. I pick up bits of information from conversations I overhear, stray comments by my siblings, random facts from Pinterest and books…the whole of life is basically one big source of inspiration. 
But there have always been more specific things I wanted to learn about too; a random list of topics including herbs, astronomy, anatomy, biology, mythology, forecasting weather… Occasionally I’d even get into one topic or another for a short time, but I always had too many things I wanted to look into and not enough time. Then, a few weeks ago, I got an idea. Why not take one topic each season, switching to a new one every three months? That way I’d have a good amount of time to read up and learn the basics of whatever topic I picked, and yet have a set time to switch to something else so I wouldn’t be stuck on the same thing for too long. 
I put the plan into motion that very afternoon, picking astronomy as the topic for the rest of this autumn/winter. This was partly inspired by clear night skies and alluring stars; I want to learn the basics of astronomy, the phases of the moon, how the stars move in their seasons, and be able to name various constellations and be able (in theory) to steer a course by the stars.
So, those are my goals for the next few months. The first book I picked up at the library was chock full of evolution, so I ended up buying The Stargazer’s Guide to the Night Sky from Answers in Genesis and plan to start reading it soon.

Title Change

Work on The Shield and Spear has been going well. I’m working though another round of polishing and minor characterization details, but I’m finally at the point where I can feel honestly pleased with the book. The big news, however, is that I’m changing the title!
Originally it was Legend of the Shield, but I didn’t care for that and I also discovered it was the title of a comic book series. So it became The Shield and Spear. But I was never completely happy with that title; it wasn’t catchy enough. So I applied myself to the problem again and, with the help of some friends, came up with a much better title…The Final Clash. 
A new collage; from top to bottom, left to right: Silvara, Ethaniel, Jagger, and Seamus

The Very Serious Writing Show

Today I want to tell you about my favorite podcast. Alright…so it’s the only podcast I listen to. Still, I absolutely love it. The Very Serious Writing Show by Daniel Thompson is anything but serious. While the interviews Daniel hosts can be very informative, I also find myself laughing throughout the podcasts. Currently there are two podcasts (part one and part two of the same interview), about twenty minutes each, every week (on Mondays and Tuesdays, I believe). Daniel interviews writers..from authors of bestselling books to younger writers who are self-published, and talks about books and writing. Anyway, if you have the time, listen to the podcasts. You won’t regret it. 🙂

Oliver Pent

Oliver Pent; picture from Pinterest
Time for another character profile from Scarlet Rose. This will probably be the last full one you’ll get for while, unless I’ve forgotten someone (not an unlikely happening). 
Oliver Pent is in his 50s, and he’s the one who takes charge of Anna, posing as her father after her memories have been replaced. He’s an interesting character (though currently underdeveloped in my first draft) and a bit sad as well. 
He was instrumental in bringing Jasper and the Doran brothers (Preston and Jenson) together and has known Jasper ever since he was young. Oliver has his own hopes for Enigma and, even though he’s worked for the Reasoners his whole life, he frankly doesn’t care if they continue in power or are overthrown. What he does care about is his own position in whatever government is in charge. 
But the older he gets, the more Oliver discovers that power does nothing to ease the gnawing loneliness. And the one thing he wants most is the one thing that consistently eludes him…the love of his daughter.  

Behind the Scenes Writer’s Tag

I’ve been tagged by my friend, Lydia, for this ‘behind the scenes writer’s tag’. It sounded like fun, so, here it goes. 
– Is there a certain snack you like to eat while writing?
Hmm, no. I don’t normally eat while writing. Except, of course, the occasional piece of chocolate. 🙂
– When do you normally write? Night, afternoon, or morning?
Morning, normally, and the afternoon. Basically, I start working towards my daily deadlines before breakfast. After breakfast, while the kids clean up, I write a little more. And I continue to writing throughout the morning between teaching school and various chores. By lunch, about half my writing is finished. Afterwards I have a more solid chunk of time to write and normally have my writing done by mid-afternoon. 
– Where do you write?
In our sewing room/office/laundry room (where it’s quieter), and in my bedroom.

How often do you write a new novel?
How often do I write a new novel, or how how often do I get new ideas? 🙂 I probably get a new idea every few months but only start a new book about once a year. Then, after it’s written, I work on correcting the book while I start writing the next one on my list. 
– Do you listen to music while you write?
Oh yes. Partly because it help me focus and partly because it helps block out noisy siblings. 🙂 I like to listen to instrumental soundtracks…I’ve found quite a few mixes on YouTube that I enjoy. I also have mixes of my own and like to listen to audiomachine music…especially Chronicles. 
– What do you write on? Laptop or paper?
My laptop.
– Is there a special ritual you have before or after you write?
I like to check my e-mail and the Kingdom Pen Writing Forum…preferably as a reward to myself after writing. 
– What do you do to get into the mood to write?
Umm, I just sit down and tell myself that the quicker I get writing, the sooner I can be done. 😉
– What is always near the place you write?
Noise and siblings…hence the music. Also, my computer, since that’s what I work on.
– Do you have a reward system for your word count?
After I’m finished, I get to check the Kingdom Pen Forum (if I’ve not broken down and checked it earlier). Sometimes I play a game, or I’ll read. And, last but not least, I can relax for the rest of the evening. 🙂
– Is there anything about your writing process that others might not know about?
I talk to myself to work things out. With each book, I have good points and bad points; I go from loving to story to hating it and thinking I’ll never get it done. But I’ve learned that the ‘down moments’ won’t last and so, even when I’m discouraged, I just keep writing. And eventually it gets better.

I am tagging my friends,  Rebecca Morgan and Ivy Rose.

Princess’s Curse…Again

Well, some more good news. At least, this is news that I am very happy about. Princess’s Curse (my retelling of Sleeping Beauty for the Rooglewood contest) is finished! Alright, let me clarify. The rough draft is finished and is around 3,000 words over the limit. But I have some major corrections to work though and a few things to clip; hopefully by the time I’m finished with that I’ll be under the 20,000 word limit. Hopefully. 🙂
My collage for Princess’s Curse