Preparing to Launch

A writer launching a book is to be celebrated! For more information please visit Audrey’s site on WP

Audrey Driscoll's Blog

I will publish the ebook version of my next novel, until now referred to as “the work in progress,” in November. I’m not sure when in November, but definitely in that month.

The book, now titled She Who Comes Forth, will be available for pre-order early in October.

September and October will be busy months for me, but right now, while the garden bakes in midsummer heat, I’m doing the following:

  • Finalizing the cover image. I’ve narrowed it down to seven possibilities. Yes, that’s not very narrow, but I have a couple more months to brood over them.
  • Finalizing the book description (called by some a “blurb,” but I think that word sounds dumb; and besides, it actually refers to a brief endorsement of a book by someone noteworthy. You see blurbs on those annoying pages that precede the title page in mass-market paperbacks). I have both a short…

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Beauty in Death

Audrey is a writer of no small talent and here also shows she has an eye for images in nature.

Audrey Driscoll's Blog

A macabre title for something innocuous. The other day, I cut down flowering stalks of perennials that were past their best, as part of ongoing garden maintenance and cleanup. There were lambs’ ears (Stachys byzantina), delphinium, mullein (Verbascum olympicum), blue fescue grass, achillea.

Bundling them together, I noticed how beautiful the textures and colours still were, in these technically dead flowers. I laid them on the cedar trunk bench, which contributed to the photos with its own colours and textures — the grain of the weathered wood, the dry moss and lichen growing on it.

Cut-down bloom stalks of lambs' ears, mullein, delphinium, achillea, blue fescue on Pond Bench. Dead flowers.

This seems a fitting entry into August, a month when the garden becomes dry and rattling, brown around the edges, but still with its beauties.

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Every Picture Tells A Story???

Sometimes a picture just…well y’know….it begs a comment:

Flirty Singles

(the following dialogue inspired by the great Bob Newhart)

‘Ah Good Morning Miss Singles. Welcome to the job interview. Can I get you a glass of water? Tea? Coffee? Sure coffee! And, black, yea. No sugar, sure….Just a spoonful of salt? (nervous laugh)..well that’s different…Eh keeps you focused does it? I’ll have to…err…look into that.

Now construction site work. What a lot of folk don’t realise that in addition to being quite labour intensive, a lot of skill is needed so I hope you don’t mind if some of my questions seems a measure intrusive…Err would you like a tissue Miss Singles..looks like you got something in your eye..Ah I see, that just a twitch..Yeh! Quite twitch. Guess it’s dust and pollen……. and maybe the gun powder? Make your own bullets do you? Well I make my own flies for fishing, so… …Anyway. Now I have to ask (laughs). Your first name there, it’s…… I see….uhh-huh…Yeh grandparents sometimes make some freaky requests of their children….Oh made their money in the 1960s on the West Coast, yeh…kinda makes sense now….Have you ever discussed this with them. Ah, both died in a house fire…I’ll just get your some paper towelling, you spilled some of your coffee when you were giggling. And your parents?….Those creeps are still alive y’say….Well I guess that ties up that line of enquiry.

I see you went through twenty schools. Did you parents move much? No. Hmm, some places can be picky can’t they? Did the kids call you silly-nick names….Yeh I guess it would have gone better for them if they had….. Sports? Gridiron, I didn’t know some schools had girls’ teams…..Not in a girls’ team… Offensive tackle? No kidding, they are usually kinda taller….You say it an’t needed when you jump at the face….Yeh that would be different…Hmm…Now my opinion is those guys were being a bit whinny, it is a contact sport after all, just as long as you didn’t try and wrench the helmet off….Only the once…He used your first name did he? How did I know?….oh….. just a lucky guess.

Ah I see here you signed up for the Marines…..And were dropped out of basic training because your drill sergeant and the rest of the squad were getting nightmares…. Special forces said they needed stealth not banshee screaming. Geez, I hate to come across as sounding stuffy and cranky but they don’t breed them as tough as they did in my day…Nah…cooks and that’s no walk in the park I can tell you! Now this rejection from the Chicago Police Department to my mind just isn’t helpful, I mean what does ‘Hah! Not until Hell Freezes Over’ offer to the applicant? It’s just not helpful.

OK, before we go out and try out on site there, if you don’t mind me asking, who took the photo? It’s only just first impressions y’understand but…..ahhh…doesn’t seem your style. Oh….right.…..So your mother…Sorry, as you wish…This three-dammed witch…. is good at photoshop and all that..stuff…Oh on FaceBook and Instagram……Gee that’s tough. But I guess that mothers for you trying to get you married….My, that is some twitch!

Well anyway, here we are. Office being on site. As you can see a lot of construction going on here….HEY guys! You might wanna tone down the remarks….YEH? Well Joe it’s my opinion you’re damn lucky you are up there and not down here! Don’t worry I’ll have a word with them at lunch break….Sure…ha-ha….for their own sakes.

OK, so this is Harry our site foreman. No Harry I wouldn’t make too much of that twitch if I were you. I’d be careful there Harry…Yeh I kinda guessed she’d have thought sorta grip in her handshake, put it in cold water after, swelling’ll go down. So this is Miss Singles…No Harry, her first name isn’t important, truly Harry you want to trust me on that one. Remember how I was right about that gas leak?…Well it’s the same kind of situation Harry. Yeh, glad you see it my way.

Sorry Miss Singles, just a little bit of construction site chat there. Now I’d….You like to try out with the sledgehammer? Oh sure, if you feel that way. That piece of old granite foundation there …Yeh….I guess if……OK, then, there you go…..Yeh I know Harry, that’s one hellava swing there…..No I don’t know what she’s putting on the rock, some, I dunno, looks like a photo…..Yeeaaaaah I gotta feeling it might be an old family photo and…WOA!..No I don’t think was a lucky strike there Harry, and you should come out from behind that truck and see her swing again! No I think you’re exaggerating there, I reckon you did see worse shrapnel in Iraq! Geez-Louise willya look at that, split straight down the middle! I don’t see you need worry about the scream when she swings Harry, I mean you watch those tennis players on the tournaments, the racket they kick up…..Hey! The Racket! Didja get that one Harry?…Oh c’mon Harry you are the site foreman, just ducking when Miss Singles swings isn’t good for your image……JOE! Look I warned you about your comments, that’s just not appropriate……..Now y’see Joe you just provoked that! Thinking she couldn’t hit you with a chunk of granite you being two stories up. Well more fool you fellah!…..Wassat Charlie? Well if your daughter’s little league team needs a new pitching coach, I guess you’d better discuss that with Miss Singles after your shift there, not my business buddy.

Ok Miss Singles, that block of granite looks like it’s ready for the bagging and spreading on someone’s pathway now, you might want to stop…Yeh, if there’s still bit of the photo left, when you’re ready then. But I’m convinced we can use you around here….Pardon…..Oh sure you can take the sledgehammer home to prove to your parents you got the job. The way you’re stroking it, you obviously like the…..We call it a tool on site Miss Singles, not a weapon…….Excuse me a minute…..Joe! Now fellah it’s no use you  clinging to that girder and whimpering, you’re getting in the way of Bill’s riveting there….Boy some of these guys are such cry-babies!

So you start tomorrow then Miss Singles. Pardon…Oh no, you don’t have to be so formal and call me Mr. Nightly…..’Jay’ will do, just like the intial…Uh? Nah I never use the full name, that was my parents’ fascination with east European culture..Jerkov, yeh….yeh! No they aren’t around anymore, died in a tragic freak car accident. Apparently an electrical fault, caused  a petrol explosion….Yeh…Tough break.

Well, then see ya tomorrow! Y’know I got a feeling you and I are going to get along just fine!

Re-rewrites, Highlights and Reality-Bites (A journey through writing of The Skirmishes of Lace, Steel and Fire-Part II of a Fantasy )

WARNING: Some images you may find disturbing 245px-1271754717_william-e.-gladstone

(No, not that one!)

Some writers understandably hate doing the rewrite. I can see their point. They’ve put all their effort into forging this narrative together, worked hard and heavy through all manner of issues and had to squeeze out the time to write amongst all the other demands made by Life. Victorian writingThen, what to they get as a reward? Typos, syntax problems, holes in the plot, main characters not coming alive and that’s before we even start to think of listing all the problems.Me

Me? I enjoy a rewrite. Taking the journey with the characters, knowing where they are going, how they are getting there and all the fun which goes with it.WIN_20180727_19_28_15_Pro

Hold on! What did I say?WIN_20180727_19_28_44_Pro

Look again sunshine!

Oh Frib! I’ve done it again. Gone and literally lost the plot.WIN_20180727_19_28_27_Pro

Y’ see this can be a bit of a problem when you are having so much ‘fun’ with describing all the adventures, banter, relationship interactions, personal hopes, fear and so forth, which you decided would be vital to brining the characters alive (Or in my case, help them travel from their world to ours).Handel_GF
The book now reads like a series of unconnected sketches and vignettes, as if it were some sort of comedy skit show with moral message.Illustration from 'Le Theatre' magazine, 1900s (litho)

Dearie me. All these lovely folk wandering from one circumstance to another and surmounting all manner of problems. And there’s no plot to indicate as to why they are doing all these things! Melodrama -idiot manOK a few minor characters turn up and make ominous statements of heavy portent then vanish again and someone leaps up with a seriously dangerous weapon, be it physical or ‘magical’ (crude word, it’ll have to do) only to be cleverly defeated, but sadly this does not make for a plot.

I had a sneak of bad feeling, WIN_20180727_19_28_23_Prowhen at towards the end of this volume the central characters were left stalwartly together basically affirming their friendship, loyalty and love to each other then effectively saying to the whole world ‘Bring It On’ to go riding off into, literally, sunrises.

Yeh that’ll work……If it was a Musical.
300px-Witchcraft_at_Salem_Village

So it is time for some serious crafting. Time for a serious discussion with myself….WIN_20180727_19_28_18_Pro

Here is the work. There, over there are bits of the plot. Now, go through the whole thing and weave those bits into one long thread which should run through the book.

But I might lose some of my favourite little vignettes.

Well that’s too bad.

This is not as much fun as it used to be.

It’s because you are taking things seriously.

Oh My! This means hard work!

Do you want folk to read the fribbin’ book or not?Lavery_Maiss_Auras

If you put it like that….Confrontation

And there we are everyone. Remember never lose sight of your plot. InventionsIt may change a bit, could even do a complete lurch in a way you did not expect.

9780393956238_p0_v1_s260x420cartoon-guy-laughing-pointing-bent-over-31869170

Whatever, but at least keep it on the horizonrunning training

 

All the best with whatever you are currently working on.

 

Launches, Re-launches. No time to sit back on my haunches (OK. You try and find a better rhyme)

Read. Inspire. #BlogBattle

Now here is an opportunity for you. Rachael’s blog is always brimming with brightness

BlogBattle

Share your work. Read that of other writers.

Blog Battle is coming back AUGUST 7th, 2018! Mark your calendar, my friend!

What is Blog Battle, you might ask? It’s a monthly writing prompt to inspire writers and entertain readers.

Untitled design (1)

This is it! Blog Battle’s Glorious Return

We’ve all heard how writing is a lonely business. Well, I think we’ve all heard it. And if not, now we have. But in the world of the internet, writing doesn’t have to be nearly so isolated a pursuit!

Blog Battle isn’t your typical writing prompt. At our core, we want to create relationships, build life-long writer friendships, and encourage each other to become better writers than we were yesterday.

Admittedly, this means a little extra work. BUT! It is worth it. People are worth it. The value we gain from connecting with other writers who are on the same journey we are cannot be measured by analytics…

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The Road to Self Publishing- Amazon

Now here is some very useful information if you wish to take this route.

Modern Authors

amazon

Okay, it’s time to talk about the 500 pound gorilla in the room, Amazon. If you oppose Amazon on ideological grounds and won’t use them, that’s completely valid. This article just isn’t for you. I’ll be posting separate articles on the other marketplaces you can use.

The fact of the matter, though, is, for many people, Amazon is a fact of life. Some people can make it work selling only on other marketplaces, but Amazon has too big of a share for most authors to ignore.

With that out of the way, let’s talk about how you can get a book registered on Amazon. For this, you’ll be using a service called “Kindle Direct Publishing” or KDP. You can find that here. This is Amazon’s service for self-publishing. Go to that link and login and you’ll be presented with a box that looks something like this:

startnew

With KDP, you…

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New Author Tip – Nothing is a Waste of Time

These are such wise words folks. Never lose track of the sentiments.

The PBS Blog

Me and Vivica Fox at her Book Signing yesterday. Be sure to stop by The Medu Bookstore at the Greenbriar Mall in Atlanta and grab your copy of ‘Everyday I’m Hustling’ by Ms. Fox and ‘I am Soul‘ by me!

Dear Indie Author / Self-Publisher, that thing you are doing, that step you’re taking, that move you made….

…is not a waste of time and don’t let anyone tell you that it is. Time is never wasted. Everything is a learning experience IF you choose to see it that way. People like to tell you not to do something because it hadn’t worked out for them or because they can’t see any good in it. If you sow negativity about every mistake then you will reap negativity and nothing will ever work. But, if you sow positivity by turning those mistakes into lessons then you will reap positivity…

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Launches, Re-launches. No time to sit back on my haunches (OK. You try and find a better rhyme)

Two weeks ago we were on holiday in a blissful little place called Trefriw which is  in North (kind of middle) Wales- look for Llandudno or Colwyn Bay on a map and go south inland for a few winding miles, and I should have downloaded, then uploaded the photos by now, buy I haven’t……sorry ’bout thatsolilqy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyways, the things about holidays is you tend to get into another sort of routine, and the one thing I could not get back into was reading up on what other folks were doing of on WP. I had enjoyed being away, going here and there, watching the Soccer World Cup in the evening and here we were back.

Oh my! Trump’s fat backside had descended upon the UK. The UK Govt had continued to make a mess of Brexit, aided by its opponents in its own Party (all wealthy by independent means). The Labour Party continued to fail to convince it is not indulging in Anti-Semitism thus saving the government . Drunken Wastes of Precious Resources  were lurching about the place. Idiots were proclaiming that an onerous piece of excrement who leads the EDL (That’s the English Dolts League) should be free to preach hate, and Johnson, Boris (minor) had a hissy fit and ran away from his job because it wasn’t fair and he couldn’t Walk the Walk. There was some other nasty news and the usual Idiots On Parade on FaceBook but I won’t take up your time.

Now I don’t like the Summer at best (I’m weird. So sue me), this prolonged heat was not doing anything for my temper or judgement. So to spare my poor wife rather than glower, brood and stalk muttering like some central character out of a British 1950s over-rated drama and returned to Vol II of my series.

The first draft (draught?) was completed and now the fun begins with the re-write, I love re-writes, you can put in ‘Hey why didn’t I think of that before‘ s or delete the ‘What was I think of there‘ s and in my case actually work a proper plot into the narrative. I have too much fun with dialogue, scenes and situations, my first drafts normally read like a TV sketch show (though not all funny scenes). I even created a good working and maybe permanent title:

‘OUR SKIRMISHERS of SILK, STEEL and FIRE’

I wonder why that title turned red?

Anyways, I was pleased with that. So at about 350 pages in the first draft and into page 50 of the re-write. Of course only the FIRST re-write but the one which will make the narrative appear as a book. All the old characters are there (part from the lesser ones I gleefully killed off) and a couple of new ones. Maybe not as much action at the beginning, but it’s the plot thing y’see.

So that’s all about the writing.

Now to the simmering bad mood over the excess of idiots that despite Darwin’s best arguments and assumptions still survive.

To get around this I have set up another blog. One solely devoted to ranting at all the mean-spirited, the selfish, the foolish, the oafish, the snake-oil merchants and those who (as the old saying went) should have been drowned at birth. This blog is will be short on humour and long on vitriol, on the basis, of they started it I’m gonna finish it. No reasoned and polite discourse here, I’m done with that.

ragingfromthelectern.wordpress.com

Is the place to go….

Or not as the case may be…

In the meantime I hope all you, my good, sane, caring, creative and nice friends  on WP are OK

 

 

 

  

 

Here to make other writers feel good about their work