What the Media is doing Wrong

So, today I had to sit down and decide on a few things. I need a plan of action. I have come to the conclusion that my goal for 2017 will be to write something everyday. ANYTHING! Just skip any posts if you feel they are controversial, but I feel the need to just write now. 
Today’s post is from a writing prompt I received. As part of a writing group, we get these prompts every so often. 

What does the media get wrong?

Well, currently the media is a huge topic all over. We have “fake news” to “How is this real?” news. I used to wonder what Kardashian’s butt size had to do with my daily life. Now I wonder if I will find out any actual information about what is true in the world. You never know anymore.

I found that I have a hard time chosing between news sites. I cannot just pick up a newspaper anymore from the stands at the gas station. Some will have “news” and some will just be drivel. Yet, I cannot figure out which is which right now, either. 

Maybe aliens did land in the deserts of the Sahara last week during a raid on an Al Quida town? Who knows now!? 

Then I have to think about what is probably most important to my family at this moment. Again, I come across the same issues. I would like to know if the government passed that new law that could affect the education of my children. Three news sources say they are still working on it. Another five say it is done for. Two say they passed it last week. So, which news is “true”? 

Facebook is also covered in the same dilemma. If I didn’t use Facebook so often to keep in touch with fans of my books, I could possibly shut it down for good. I did take the actual app off of my phone. I only use the web browser now and the app for my page. 

With the current president-elect, I found myself glued to my Twitter more everyday. (You do know I have one of those, right? @France_Gamble .) The same issue is happening there. I follow people who are very passionate on their political stances. Which is great. Everyone should have a stance on things. I do as well, but I am less vocal about them. (Who really wants to know what a no-name author like myself thinks about politics?)

I am following everyone who complains, who shouts in joy, and stands up for what they believe in. The problem is that I don’t always agree with the right or the left. I also find myself hiding more often and just smiling in politeness at the ranting about situations. 

So, back to the news: I find that currently the problem with the news is that we cannot find a non-biased news source. You can follow Fox and know you’re following the extreme right. You can follow NPR and know you are following an extreme left. Both can be pushing their extreme views onto their clients. Are they both truthful, though? I don’t know. 

I think we have come to the view that everyone is probably lying about something. Somewhere we have found that the truth is being covered everywhere. (I should probably be prepared for tin-foil hat hate now.) I am not big on conspiracy theories, but if the Brexit vote showed the world anything, it is that politicians and media seem to lie to push their own agendas. 

I am still going to go with: The biggest problem with the media today is that we cannot discern the truth from fiction any longer. This is now a case of “Santa exists, but we have to find him on our own.” Sad and true altogether. 

There is my piece for today. My goal now is to write something everyday. I might not share it everyday, but I will be writing. I also plan to update some of my stories. If I don’t post, then suspect that a book or story was wrote today instead of a blog post. 

Thanks for reading. I’ll say what I wrote (if not a blog post) on my facebook page update everyday! Stick with me! I’m still trying to get into the habit! Bye for now!

(Buy links are in the menu on this page if you haven’t bought one of my books. I suggest you check them out. Might be worth a subway ride or a plane flight read!)

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Happy Holidays

I am hoping everyone enjoyed their holidays. I did. The time with family and the great food always is a looked forward to event to me. This year was not different.

The bitter cold of winter is now once again on my home. Holidays are over. Life is now going to get brighter and brighter. We just have to keep looking forward.

In the deep dark days of winter, though, I usually have reflections. This year I have been so busy that I haven’t had my usual quiet time for thought.

The one thing I have been able to do was start three new novels. They will be this new year’s goals.

I hope to have Warlord done by the end of this month and sent to my editor. The cover is already finished. I am so thrilled to see such a lovely reception received on Blackout. I hope the second book to the series is loved as much. It is the continuation to our survival in the new dark ages. Jenn now has a new problem of making allies and enemies as she steps up to be a leader of a growing town.

The next book I will be writing in February is my attempt at a murder mystery or detective novel. A serial killer is out after psychics. Specific ones that have helped solve murder cases in the past. With one witness only a 6 year old little girl, our hero is out of his league. He gathers his friends from other branches on a quest to stop the murders and protect the girl.

My third book will be another fantasy novel. A king has died and a queen has taken the thrown. A girl claims to not be from the land. Magic, creatures, and a prince who claims to be the heir. Can everything come together for truth and justice to reign in this new and strange land?

Everything should be set soon to get out. I hope to find a way to get these all down. I know my editor is excited and hopeful to be reading my work again. I also am working on getting Keeper’s Kinn finished in the new edit. The new version should be published this year, as well.

One of the things I continue to struggle with is this blog, my twitter account, and my Facebook. Besides telling people about my books, I find myself wondering what I should be posting. Anyone who is better at social media than me want to help me?

Happy December!

Things have been chaotic. Ever have the feeling that the stars just are against you? That has been me lately.

Good news is that I got a great start on “Foreseen” and “New Camelot: Warlord”. Bad news is that I did not complete NaNoWriMo again this year. Life hit hard on Wednesday.

I feel I have been neglecting everyone, though. I know I need to put the last of The Storm up, too. I also know that people might want a sneak peak at “Foreseen” or “New Camelot: Warlord”.

So, what is a busy author supposed to do? I will be posting up these things next week, of course!

Next Saturday I will have The Storm completely finished. I will also give a sneak peak into both of the other books. Yay! I am excited!

Hope the year ends on an up note, and we start a great 2017. Happy Holidays everyone!

The Story Chapter 23

Chapter 23

 

He couldn’t breathe. Every time he struggled to bring in the much needed oxygen his chest burned. Outside of his struggle he could hear someone talking. It was his physician, Edmund, who was speaking to someone else. The words filtered passed the wheezing of his struggle, “He has severe pneumonia. I fear there is nothing to be done for him. I cannot cure this.”

A feminine voice asked, “How are we to save him? He is our king!” It sounded like Morgana, but Arthur had never heard her so stressed before. He tried to open his eyes, but his body was not cooperating with him. Just breathing continued to be the only thing he could do. He had never been so weak before.

 

His first knight spoke then, bringing the count of people in the room to four at least, “We sought out a physician within a group that was in the forest and they said that the only one who could possibly save the king’s life is a man named Emrys.” Arthur didn’t remember ever leaving Merlin, let alone coming across anyone in the forest on their way back. A lot of his memory is fog and he wondered whether he was dreaming now. He felt he must be back into the castle again. A sharp hit of thunder outside of his window also alerted to him that the storm was still raging as well.

They had failed and it sounded like he was dying. Their voices filtered in and out as they discussed finding this man who could save him. Leon must have ran out to follow an order of something by Morgana. The physician then gave his own leave.

He struggled some more with opening his eyes when he heard another shift of fabric. Morgana must have still been in the room with him. He couldn’t even groan to let her know he was awake. Then she started to talk as if to herself, “Oh Arthur. What have you gotten yourself into this time? I wonder if you had been lying to me all of this time. Did you know that the peasant had the use of magic to his ability? How could he have stand to hear every one of his kind being burned, beheaded and hanged outside of his window time and time again? I wept, you know? I wept with every death your father cast down from on his balcony. You stood there like a good child and watched each one later. I even begged for their lives at times, too. He would have nothing of it, though. I had hoped you would have been different, but I know you are not. You are just like your father before you.” She sighed and they were in silence so long he had come to think she had left again. “Emrys…” she said suddenly in a way that brought him to think she was contemplating something horrible. “I wonder if he is the one who could stop this storm, as well? I need to go, my dear king, and find this man. He sounds awfully powerful.” Her skirts rustled and her heels clicked against the stone flooring as she left the chamber.

Arthur was once again alone struggling to breath. Inside, though, he wondered why he felt horror at Morgana finding this Emrys. If she found the great sorcerer quick enough then he would survive… right?

~*~*~ Tzuzuku~*~*~

 

 

The Dream of the Muse

Four years ago I kicked my ex out. We had been together for six years and I was pregnant with our fourth child. During those years together I wrote nothing. I didn’t even keep a journal. I went from struggling awake in the morning to going through a drab routine to sleeping at night (sometimes). During the night I got up with the kids on a schedule of night feedings and night terrors. I functioned on about four hours every day. I couldn’t even allow myself time to daydream during those six years.

Then I kicked him out after the final straw (I won’t go further into that). Two months after he was gone, I found myself with a quiet moment and a pad of paper. My thoughts tumbled out through the ink. I was writing again.

Three months after I kicked him out I had my first vivid dream that wasn’t filled with anxiety or a nightmare.

The black of sleep melted away. I looked around at shelves filled with books. I reached out to grab one when something moved to my right. Standing amongst the rows was my sister. Her long brown hair was wavy, and her clothes were the white dress of an angel. I called out to her and she smiled at me.

Why was she here? She had died a few years back, and left me in a mess of depression.

Her hand came up and pointed to the shelf in front of her. I slowly walked and looked to where she pointed. My eyes widened. I was shocked, because there on the shelf was a row filled with my name.

I looked at her and shook my head. I wasn’t good enough. My writing had been the worst the internet had ever seen before my ex even came into my life. No one would read it. I would never get that far.

All of these thoughts were conveyed to her. She smiled again, pointed to the shelf once more and then to me. “Write,” she mouthed. No sound came out, but I didn’t need her voice.

“I don’t think I can,” I began to cry. My eyes teared up and she wavered away. When I blinked them clear again, she was gone. One last look at the shelf, and the blackness crept in on me.

I woke up to one of my babies crying. My eyes were also leaking. I rocked him that night crying with him.

The next morning, though, I sat down and turned on my computer. It took two days to update the programs. I hadn’t had time before to use it.

I wrote during down times at work and typed it onto the computer. I found myself creating my accounts online again. I wrote my fanfiction and placed them up. Blank Slate was the first I had written in years and it tumbled out.

I thought back to that book on the shelf in my dream. The one my sister pointed directly to. NaNoWriMo gave me the goal of writing that book. A story I had told my sister 15 years ago and now she wanted to see it on paper. I knew what I would write.

Keeper’s Kinn flew out of my fingers. The characters tumbled out and retold me their story. After every day I hoped to see my sister in my dream again. I needed to tell her the book was being written.

I didn’t see her until this last Halloween.

In this dream she didn’t smile right away. She stood outside of my farm home in the cold, but not shivering. The dead can’t shiver. I called to her, “I wrote it! Did you see?”

Suddenly her face broke into a smile. Her hand came out from behind her back and there was my book. She nodded to me and mouthed, “Keep going.”

And as it can only happen in a dream, she turned to her right and pointed once again at a book case that suddenly appeared. She wanted to see it with my books; the stories she would beg me to tell her everyday.

I was going to fill that shelf. I am going to fill that shelf. My sister, and the people who have always begged me for a story, will now be reading them from the book shelves.

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The Storm Chapter 22

Disclaimer: I do not own BBC Merlin nor Disney’s Frozen. I am making no money off of this story.

Chapter 22

It was cold. The air was damp and chilly against his skin. He felt his body shiver before his left hand dropped from where it had been draped against his chest. The splash and sudden plunge of his arm into icy cold water jolted him awake. He gasped as he brought the dripping appendage back up and against him.

Slowly he sat up on what he found to be a stone slab bed. It had hay, wet and cold, to make it softer to lay on. Above him was a small window, too small to climb out of. It was dripping down the wall and onto the stone floor below. All around him was a good depth of water gathered. Across from him were bars. He was in dungeons.

‘Camelot’s?’, he wondered. Probably. Arthur must have come back or sent his knights to take him.

He wondered and worried for his dragon. He hoped the beast was alright. He wondered how many of the knights were also injured during the fight. He was sure there would be many casualties.

He needed to get out; he needed to escape again. He gathered courage and put his boots into the water. It sloshed and soaked over the top to his toes inside. He bit his lower lip to stop himself from screaming out. It was like a frozen lake had broke free and surrounded his legs. He started to slowly breathe in and out again. His breath having hitched in his attempt to not yell.

Now that the shock of the cold water was done, he scooted over to the bars. The water was deep even there. It seemed the castle was flooding. He noticed that he was in the upper dungeons. His memory of the layout of the castle served him, still. The lower levels must have been completely under the water. He was hoping someone had had the forethought to pull the prisoners from those depths before the water had drowned them. He pushed away those thoughts as they caused him to tremble more.

He brought his hands up to grasp the freezing cold bars of his cell. His long sleeves moved up on his arms and he saw something odd around his wrists. He hadn’t noticed them before. Two, one for each side, shackles were locked around him. ‘Probably to chain me later,’ he reasoned.

He pushed out slightly with his magic hoping to unlock the dungeon door. Nothing happened. He shook his head and concentrated again. Inside he tried to find that sense to use that always just was his magic. This time, instead of nothing happening, a jolt of pain shot from his wrists to his chest. He let go of the bars to stumble back and grab the front of his shirt.

He decided to shuffle back to the bench and pull his soaked feet from the water. Breathing was difficult at first for him, but soon everything subsided. The pain ceased and his vision once again cleared.

The shackles. They weren’t there to chain him up. They were enchanted to suppress his magic. The chaotic magic had never been controlled like this before. His blue eyes glared at them in anger.

As he fumed at being trapped again, he heard a noise coming down the halls. Someone was entering the dungeons and sloshing through the flood. Two red cloaked guards shown and opened the cell door. It didn’t take them much to pull the struggling warlock from his new cage.

“Let me go!” Merlin yelled. His demands fell on deaf ears.

He was dragged up the stairs to the throne room. Inside the large room where he had been first sentenced to his solitary years with the court physician sat Arthur’s uncle and Morgana. Beside the dark haired woman was a boy in knights clothes who glared back at Merlin with hostility.

“Sorcerer,” Agrevaine ground out, “stop this storm immediately.”

Merlin glared back, but inside he trembled, “I can’t. I don’t know how I started it.”

Morgana pleaded with him, “You must stop it. People are dying. Don’t you care about people?”

Merlin nodded, “I do care, but I don’t know how!”

The king’s uncle stood from his throne, “Then I have no choice. I sentence you to hang in the morning. May your death end this plague on Albion.”

The guards took a now frightened and screaming Merlin away from the acting monarch, “Please! No! I didn’t mean to do it! Please!!” His screams could be heard for ten minutes until they had securely brought him back to the upper dungeons.

~*~Ma~*~

Outside of the outer walls of Camelot stood Gwen, the men, and Arthur in Percival’s arms. They scrambled for the sanctuary of the city inside. Leon took the king from the burly man and rushed for the inner castle. They needed to find Emrys and soon.

~*~Tsuzuku~*~

How do I write books?

A conversation with a fellow author had me thinking about how the different people in the world write their stories. It became an interesting topic for us both as we realized that not everyone has a set way or a “right” way.

How do I go from a thought to the finishing sentences?

First I keep a small notebook with me everywhere I go. It has slips of paper shoved in it from the times that I have an idea but can’t pull out the spiral mass (mostly happens at work). New book ideas go in or even quick thoughts on current projects. I guard it so well that I have been known to lose my phone and not the notebook.

After a quick synopsis is set for a new book, I only write little things down as I think of them. I might have only a title and a paragraph down, but the dream has started.

When I decide to take on the actual project of writing is when the dirty work starts. I write out characters, outline the chapters, and get down on paper the twists and turns of the story. This can take me several days or I can outline only the first few chapters and know the book will continue without any more knowledge on my part. Let the characters tell me where to go after the halfway point, kind of thing. I did this with Blank Slate and only added the one sentence of who the bad guy was and the final twist to set the ending.

Now New Camelot is an entirely outlined five book series. The characters are more intricate and detailed than the first draft I am posting online. Casey is also the same way, but four books are done in outline and less characters (thank everything).

Keeper’s Kinn was entirely outlined, the first outline was scrapped halfway, and it took four different endings before I was satisfied. Keeper’s Kinn was a challenge for me that I gave myself during the NaNoWriMo competition in 2013. I wrote the outline the first night on November 1st and then wrote the 1,667 words needed to start the novel. I also wrote this outline onto my computer and not into my notebook. I found during the challenge that I didn’t like having to tab between the four screens just to write and that I enjoy flipping my pages instead.

I write in order as well. A lot of people write out scenes or even the ending of their stories first, but once I have an outline I follow it chapter by chapter. I flow the outline together with details and information. I weave together the thin strands in my outlines to create their beautiful tapestry. The character spec’s become people during this time.

The first draft can be rough and sometimes I’ll skip parts of my outline just to get the story down (note: there are missing parts in the New Camelot: Blackout that is currently online). Once the book is complete, I walk away for up to two weeks. The first draft will mingle in my brain if I didn’t do this. I’ll start another project or look over notes to a future book.

Second draft is the missing scenes are added in. This takes me going through my version and adding in where I have made the notes that something is missing (you don’t see those notes on my online versions).

Third draft is done after I read through it. I now add in character details, little things I should have done the first time but didn’t see the gaping hole until now, and double checking my own grammar and spelling. This draft is sent to an editor when it is completed.

Fourth draft is things my editors say need fixing. This is the one I always fidget while working on. It means I have completed a book. It gives me a new thrill inside. This is the one ready for people to read.

My fanfiction never go on through the first draft unless there are glaring mistakes that I tweek after comments are made. Ten years ago, on my Beautiful Curse book one, I actually didn’t write an entire chapter. I skipped the chapter thinking no one cared, really, about where that little plot bunny was hopping to. I can redo the entire thing from memory, but I decided it had enough attention at the time. It is also riddled with errors in spelling and grammar. I do a quick glance through each chapter now before I post it for possible grammar and spelling errors. I don’t catch them all, though.

Another difference to this is that I am writing The Storm completely from my mind. This was a challenge given to me when I explained how Blank Slate was outlined. So, the challenge was to write with no outline and no character sheets. The Storm is completely made up almost on the spot. I have to remember where I was to put my twists and who my characters are.

Sending out feedback is great, though. I might change something in my outline due to a comment. The review or comment also helps me to put notes in my outlines for possible fixing on the second draft. We all write differently. I love hearing what people have to say on my books. Never feel intimidated or that I won’t change something, because maybe I didn’t see it when I wrote the outline.

Does your writing differ from mine? Give me feedback and let me know. Maybe I can skip a step or maybe you have a suggestion to make my stories and books.

You can also message me on Facebook. I promise that I will respond as soon as I am able.

Going blind

Last Sunday I was working at the major retailer that pays my bills. We needed to shift all of the Christmas things to the clearance section of our store. No problem; I have done this before. What I have never done before, though, is get glitter into my eye.

Christmas things are covered the fairy’s snot. I already loath the sparkly stuff that takes forever to get off of the clothing and skin, but now it is a health hazard!

Back to my story: I got glitter into my left eye. I tried to wash it out with eye rinses and extreme tearing, but it refused to stop attacking my eyeball.

The damage given is a scratched cornea. It is almost right down the center, probably from my useless blinking. The eye is cloudy on one side and tilted a bit on the other.

It will heal.

On the other hand, it makes my life difficult. I cannot see long enough to write on my laptop. I couldn’t see the new Star Wars movie in 3D (and was doing my best to nurse the headache after the movie since I kept trying to adjust to see it all). Working at the store is a combination of pain pills and breaks to the bathroom to splash water on my face. Driving is only being done when necessary, since my depth perception is very off.

Mostly, though, I just want to finish my books. The stories are swimming in my brain and I need to get them down. My phone has voice to type, but my laptop doesn’t.

I hate being blind. Remember to learn from my mistakes. Do not let your Christmas ornaments cause a disability in your house. Also, fairy snot isn’t fun.

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A picture of one of my cats walking down my driveway after our 9″ of snow last week.

Also, go grab a Kindle copy of Fantasy Life this week. It is at a reduced price. $0.99 today and the price will increase as the week progresses! Get it while you don’t have to pay a lot.

Happy New Year!

Catching up

It seems that I am destine to just fall behind in things. I still haven’t been able to get my internet to work out on the farm, and then all of my kids came down with two different viruses in the last two weeks. Now I have one of the illnesses.

When I have been able to, I have been writing. I have been writing and editing things that I am able to. I have more written for New Camelot and I am trying to outline Casey. My brain is having trouble switching to The Storm, though.

My kids have also been all over the place. With the holidays approaching, they are getting antsy. I am sure most kids are hyper about this time of year. Being stuck inside because of illness isn’t helping them nor my muse.

My goal this week: have New Camelot Blackout finished and on here before New Years. This is only book one to a series I have planned. It will be taken down from here, added to and edited, and published. The other books in the series will then be written and published instead of placed on here.

Casey is also being planned as a series of books. This one isn’t as formed as my New Camelot books are. I decided to write the first book without a clear outline. Now I am finding my brain wants to write the last book more than the first three books. I think this attempt at a drama series might just have to be put on hold while I write the entirety of New Camelot.

The Storm is also in the work. It should be ready, at least one chapter, by this week as well. I know it is fanfiction, and so not many read it on here, but I want to finish what I have started.

I have stepped out of my element as an online writer. This week I published my first Fantasy novel. I have to say I am very apprehensive about this. I am used to feed back every chapter on my stories and books. This is the first time that I am now waiting for people to read something in its entirety and then tell me what they think. It is also the first time I wrote something without a mass of people helping me with questions and cues to where to lead the story. I almost threw this book into my trash pile on my computer.

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Click here for the Kindle version.

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Click here to order the book.

With new projects in mind, and books always swirling in my brain, I suggest that people who like my stuff go and follow my Facebook page.

I feel I am on my way to becoming the author I have always wanted to be. Now to just get my deadlines met on my current projects…

Stay tuned for those updates.