Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Idle Time

The best time for planning a book is while you're doing the dishes. ~Agatha Christie
What no wife of a writer can ever understand is that a writer is working when he's staring out the window. ~Burton Rascoe

I get my best ideas during idle times. The prologue for Journey of Shadows came to me while laying in the tub. The titles for my WIP urban fantasy series and a second unwritten urban fantasy series came while driving. The beginning fragments of my children's series started in equal parts dream and surfing random Google images. Idle time is not all that bad!

Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS

Monday, February 25, 2013

Creative Differences

Are you running out of things to read on the internet? Have no fear, Creative Differences is here! The blog is part of the baker's dozen blogs from Booksteve aka my friend and editor extraordinaire Steven. I have a few posts there myself, including that Firefly fanfic that was short story RED DOTS from a few months back and the 1st chapter of my children's story THE CLOUD WALL. Check Creative Differences for my writing prompts (found on Writer's Digest, Tumblr, various other websites, writing prompt books, and my imagination) and Steven's responses. He never fails to amaze me with what he has managed to write. Steven also posts some of his creative writing from childhood (with pictures!). Steven tries to post something nearly every day and I try to send him a writing prompt daily, though I do tend to forget frequently and he has to remind me semi-often. We already have more than a dozen prompts and responses spread over 30+ posts. If you want something new to read, go to the blog!

Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS

Saturday, February 23, 2013


My parents didn't read to me. They didn't read my homework with me. They didn't read the recipe directions to me as they made dinner. They didn't read the newspaper aloud after dinner. They certainly didn't read me bedtime stories.

Because of that, my earliest experience of someone reading to me was in school. I know my early teachers must have read to me, but I don't remember them. I do vividly recall a story read aloud by a substitute teacher though.

This woman told us she was going to read a poem to us and that we could draw a picture based on what we heard afterwards. She read "Hungry Mungry" by Shel Silverstein. I closed my eyes as she read about the poor hungry kid. As the story went on, that kid turned into a big fuzzy monster in my mind. It was, in fact, a monster I had seen before. The sense of de ja vu was so strong, it twisted my stomach.

When the teacher finished reading, she passed out the long manila paper popular back then and crayons. She offered one of those little chunky notebooks with the kaleidoscope covers that were hugely popular in the early 90s as a prize for the best picture. I drew my version of Mungry until the sick feeling in my stomach went away. My Mungry ate the world in one big gulp. Though he wasn't describe in the poem, my little 9 year old self knew what Mungry looked like as he ate the Earth because I had dreamed about drawing him before.

I won the substitute teacher's contest that day. I honestly wasn't trying but it was one of those times that I just knew I was right (about Mungry's looks).

 This is a very poor recreation of my picture of Hungry Mungry as he ate the world. I drew it as close to memory as possible. I know, from some of my surviving artwork from that age, that my "action" always happened on the left side of the paper, my right side always ended up smaller than the other, and I splayed the feet in every single drawing. I tried to remember that as I drew this.

Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Coming Soon

I have had the wonderful privilege of teaching at an elementary school for the past few weeks. It has been difficult to balance work, family, and writing. Add to that, I am now 100% sick. I beat the fever Monday on a day off but I've been alternating between congestion and a runny nose for several days and it doesn't seem to be letting up any time soon. Through the haze of cold medication, I managed to rewrite the first draft of the first chapter of my children's story. I mentioned this to my 4th graders today and they asked some amazing questions about writing. I was inspired.

Over the next few weeks, I am publishing a series of posts about my memories as an early reader, an advanced reader, a writer, and a storyteller. All four posts are already in the works. 2 are written (but not typed) and the other 2 are in note form. Those will arrive every Saturday until the series is finished.

I already tossed this other idea around with a fellow writer and she seemed very favorable, so my 2nd series will concern free resources for writers that I have gleaned through the internet. I found an amazing video series for fantasy writers that will take you days to watch. I found a few forums that have fantastic members that are serious about the craft of writing. I'll add to this as I write those posts. Stay tuned for those.

Those two series will put us into the middle of April I believe. I am taking recommendations for the topic of my 3rd series of related posts. Comment below or email me your idea. If I use your idea, I'll give you a shout-out here in the blog! Thanks.

Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

I'm Always Writing

The past month has been a whirlwind for me! I finished the first rough draft of my 4th novel (or well, mostly finished at least). I made a full revision of my 3rd novel and sent it back out to Beta readers. I started working again full time for a short amount of time (6 to 8 weeks) as a long term substitute in a K-5 school. We've have had multiple major snowstorms. My Granny had a major back surgery and is now in a rehab center for recovery. My brother's baby is due in a couple weeks so we've just finished Christmas with them (for E&L since Christmas didn't really work out for a party time- the S-I-L's mother passed after a long battle with cancer on Christmas Eve) and then immediately jumped into baby shower planning.

Is everyone else always so busy in January?! I can't say that I remember ever having such a busy January myself.

Something else I've been working on: My friend and editor Steven is a fantastic writer and I've looked to him as a mentor for something around a decade now. As it happens, Steven has gotten out of the habit of writing. Yeah, I know- he's an editor and a blogger. He should be writing every day. And he does, sort of. He has a dozen or so blogs that keep him pretty busy between transcriptions, copy writing, fact checking, and editing. But, none of those activities is about him creating work- for a while now, he has only been able to manage handling the work of others, maybe with commentary and background, but he hasn't written his own stuff. Writer's block? Maybe.

Earlier in January, I came across Writer's Digest's weekly writing prompts. I sent him one. He told me that he would absolutely not be writing to those prompts. An hour later, I got his first draft. It was that simple. I have told him 100 times that he needs to write. Nooooo. Send him a prompt and he's freaking Kerouac all of a sudden! We (meaning mostly Steven) came up with the idea to catalog all of his first drafts to my prompts, various snippets of our unfinished works, sneak peaks at works-in-progress, old stuff and new stuff, and more in a blog. I thought I'd share it with you. Check out Creative Differences to see the writing prompts I've sent, his responses, some of his past work, some of my past work, and various writerly things. Yes, "writerly" is a word because I said it is. :) My "Firefly fanfic that was" short story (detailed in this post) was posted a couple days ago under the title RED DOTS if you'd like to check that out!

Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS