Archive for the ‘Mendoth’Category

Brief Update


I’m nearing the end of my 2nd year in the Ph.D. program.  This means I’m finishing up what I hope is the last of my course work.  I still need to get my committee sorted out and obtain a reading list for the summer to prepare for comprehensive exams.

I have 6 chapters of THE BOOK to finish on draft 2.  But, I’ll need another big revision on draft 3.  That’s the problem with learning how to write a novel WHILE you are writing the very first one. You screw up a lot.  But, I’m cool with that. I want this sucker to be as close to awesome as I can get it.  In no rush!

I do have my name on an academic journal article that’s making the rounds right now.  Crossing my fingers that it can find a home.  It would be my first break into that arena.

No pics.  Sorry.

Okay, I lied… here’s a gif.




05 2015



I have been a writing slacker over the last few days.  I think it all comes down to bad time management.  I need to nip that in the bud ASAP.  Coffee helps, though.  I had some today.  Life is good.


WOW.  I was looking for “bling gifs” to add for my coffee happiness, and I found this picture of Russell Crowe as a bird.  Thank you, internet.  My day is complete.

Now, onto important book stuff . . .

The ending has changed in the book.  I’ve mentioned that before.  I’m looking forward to writing my way there.  It will give the novel more resolution in a sense.  Sure, it’s meant to be part 1 of a trilogy, but from what I’ve read, one simply cannot sell trilogies outright these days. They need to love the first book.  You can pitch it as a trilogy.  According to Sarah Megibow from the Nelson Agency (took her stellar publishing workshop two years ago), you can suggest “series potential” in the query letter for your first book, but in the end, your literary fate is in the hands of bigger and more important publication folks.

Speaking of the query letter, mine starts off with a nice bang, but then fizzles out.  Trying to work in the important stuff without sounding like a kid (and then . . . and then . . .) is harder than it looks.

Anyway, happy Russell Crowe bird day to you all.  Get your coffee in!



06 2013

Revisions and the Oklahoma Dragon


This was me today only slightly more cranky.  And my back hurt.  I can’t tell of this monkey’s back hurts, but I’m guessing not because he’s pretty into that keyboard.  And the photographer.

The writing group was full of winning last night.  Got some great input and wanted to put it to use ASAP.  No more going back and forth with this story.  It’s time to push on. The first 75 pages are close.  Super close.  Close enough to send to my pal in New York who promised she’d do some editing (and I’ll love her forever, especially on happy happy cheesecake day which is really some Jewish holiday where she tries new fruit at the supermarket and I don’t remember the name).

Revision today was painful.  I am still in super creative mode, wanting to draft draft draft, so when I asked my inner editor to come out and play, she gave me the middle finger and kept distracting me with FB lols like this:


Okay, maybe that was just me.

Anyway, I finished revising.  The changes are good.  I pushed on to the next 40 pages for the writing crew to peruse (and abuse with their red pens).  More input is good.  Take it when you can get it.

In other news, I replied to a thread on a certain message board about how much I loved Sean Bean and apparently it was too racy for prime time readers so the whole thread was shut down.  Locked.  Zipped.  Sorry, universe.  I suck.  (But Sean Bean does not).




12 2012


One character has been giving me a mental migraine.  No real story arc.  Super peripheral.  He has wings now.  Damn this feels good.

Archived from: 10/15/2012


12 2012

Nearing a Year

So, July 10th is coming up.  It will mark a year since I began the Mendoth project (now titled “Children of Cabal”).  I’ve had ups and downs.  I’m sitting at around 150k words now and I’m about halfway through my 2nd revision pass.  Lots of other things in life have taken time away from writing, but I’m hoping to get more going this summer, to finish my revisions by August and begin querying this bad boy.

It’s a lot of work.

Especially considering that I’m toying with the idea of changing the beginning yet again.  It could be time to revisit Nancy Kress’s Beginnings, Middles, and Ends. My later-middle and end seem solid, but I’m struggling with what comes first.

Issue #1: Distinct POV arcs.  Of my 6 main POVs, two are really giving me a difficult time in terms of individualizing their arcs.

Issue #2: World-building that isn’t as efficient as it could be.

issue #3: Changes in world-building material.  I’ve rehashed my magical system and some of the geopolitics.  That will change some of the beginning chapters.

I’m tempted to start from scratch and write up to the point where the book clicks.  I don’t know.  It’s a hell of a lot of work.

I’m nearly “caught up” with rewriting a middle section that will lead us to the butt-end of the book, so I’m finishing that up for the writing group and will then press on toward the end.

I guess that’s my pre-annual check-in.

Archived from: 5/19/2012


12 2012

Small Changes = Big Surprises

I added a new (very) minor character.  Love her.  Love what she is doing for the story.  Love what she is doing for one of my main POV folks.

Happy surprises.  I love them!

I’m plugging through.  I’m stuck on Ezrael now, trying to maneuver through an important scene.  Once I get past it, I’ll be nearly done with the first 100 pages–making my foundation far more solid.

The next 100 will be a bear.  I need to rewrite a good number of chapters that center around Mendoth–adding more action, speeding things up, sweetening the intrigue.

All good things, but so much to do.

There is no way this will be under 125k on the next run.  (sigh)

But, I’ll leave the cutting for the next pass.

Wish me luck!

Archived from: 10/18/2011


12 2012


There are two ways I can write a massive plot point in my book.

1. Faster, quicker pacing, more urgent.

2. Slower pacing, but builds up two character arcs more thoroughly.

This is what’s tripping me up now.


I’m at the beginning again, just editing and polishing.  I’m hoping that by returning to the first of the book and working my way in, an answer will magically appear.

Archived from: 10/11/2011


12 2012


A friend of mine from one of the ASOIAF boards (who is heavy into geology) is helping me with my map–making it “reasonable” in terms of how things form geologically.  He fixed my rivers and some of the shapes of the land.

It’s just a first pass, but holy cow! Very cool!  Let’s compare.  (Click each one to see bigger versions):

Old Map


New Map (In Progress)


How cool is that?  This guy is doing it all for free and I didn’t realize (until today) just how much time he was spending on it.  So, I need to think up a good gift to send his way.  :)

GRRM fans are really top notch.

Archived from: 9/13/2011


12 2012

Writing Group

Amazing group tonight.  Completely got me on track with Aldeshar.  I feel like a new woman!

Aside from losing my phone at some point that night, it proved a stellar group.  I think it’s so difficult to find a decent writing group and writers who you know will “get” your work, but who will also lay the smackdown when you need it.

It’s nice to have a group of intelligent, brilliant ladies all come together and say, “Dude, this is just not working.  Fix it.”

Me: “Okay, ideas?”

Them: “Hell yeah.  Here we go…”

We rolled up our sleeves and got to work.  When you can bounce your ideas off someone and have them give honest feedback, well, that’s magic, baby.

So, in terms of this story, we need to fix Aldeshar.  I love the guy and I have some good chapters, but he needs more choices, more conflict more to do in regard to his own character arc–especially given what happens to him at the end of the book.

Muhahah (rubs writerly hands together)

I’m pretty excited.  I get to bring in a new character.  She’s hella fun to write so far and her interaction with old Alde is just what the good doctor(s) ordered.

I would have never seen this on my own.

Writing groups rock!

Mine in particular.

Anyway, off to revise some more and write Lady Drusara Kalazyr, aunt to the king.  Helen Mirren where are you lass?  I need some inspiration.

Archived from: 9/11/2011


12 2012

Character Progression and Update

I had quite an eye opener yesterday.  I decided to write out each of my character arcs in the book, each relevant chapter.

Wow, I found a lot of issues.


Aldeshar’s character arc is, by far, the most erratic and weakest.  I cut an entire chapter, split another.  He wasn’t making a whole lot of choices in the end, not doing a lot of “showing through action.”  So, I beefed up his first chapter with more action, gave one of his chapters to another character’s POV (still have to finish that one), and made other tweaks and adjustments.

Overall, I’m so much happier. I’m still not finished, but I know where I’m going with him now and what I’ll be presenting in the first book.


And then there’s Tivik.  Only 5 chapters in this first book.  Whaaaaat?  So, he got one of Aldeshar’s (it made sense given the plot) and will more than likely add another somewhere.


Maura’s arc showed me where I can tinker with a secondary character to round him out.


E’zreal’s was also a mess, but an easier mess to clean up than old Alde’s.  Combine two chapters (a full rewrite on that) and some rearranging.  My timeline is going to shift drastically.


Wen and Sarithel are better than I thought.

Ulryck (of all people) – non POV character

He’s rounding out.  I’m finally “getting” him.  He’s too one-dimensional in the first draft.  I’m having fun changing that up.  It will help give weight to a plot turn further in.

Interesting exercise.  I highly recommend it.  It gave me some new direction for the next editorial pass.

Wish me luck!

Archived from: 9/11/2011


12 2012