Happy NaNoWriMo

witch

I’m thousands of feet in the air as you read this, or I’m on the 4-hour drive from the Utah airport to my folks place in the high desert of Colorado. My parents don’t have internet, and even if they did, my time isn’t likely to be my own.

NaNoWriMo starts on Sunday, and I’ll spend my private nighttime minutes on a cot behind the sofa, cranking out a smattering of paragraphs. I expect a slow start and will make up the time when I return. For me, it’s better to just accept it, take a deep breath, and let the week unfold.

The point of this post is to graciously advise my friends in blog-land that my November presence will be intermittent.  I’ve preplanned posts for once a week. My reward for achieving my word-count goals will be some luxurious browsing of your blogs, but I know I’m going to miss many wonderful posts. For that, I pre-apologize and send everyone gigantic virtual hugs.

Oh, And Happy Halloween! Some pics that still make me laugh.

My daughter at age 2. Mother of the Overlord.

My daughter at age 2. Mother of the Overlord. She dressed herself and walked in to show me.

The Overlord as Yoda. (Wearing a costume for a dog). Ha ha!

The Overlord as Yoda. (In a costume for a dog). Ha ha! The woman behind him had blue clown hair 30 yrs ago.

I have turned off comments for this post.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Mothers and Daughters

My great great great grandmother. Her mother was Indonesian and her father was a Dutch sea captain.

My great great great grandmother. Her mother was Indonesian and her father was a Dutch sea captain.

mothers allMy mother called me and told me I need to drive to Colorado (17 hrs each way) to pick up six boxes of family heirlooms and transport them back to Oregon…Now.

The timing isn’t convenient as I’m committed to weekly babysitting for the Overlord so his mother can work, and I’ve signed up for NaNoWriMo for the first time ever. I shall write on the plane…yes, I’m traveling by plane and engaging the services of USPS for the boxes.

My mom grew up in Indonesia where my grandfather worked for the Dutch government. Our family goes back quite a few generations in that part of the world, and we are proud of the sliver of Indonesian heritage that flows through our veins.

My mother still identifies as Indonesian, an assertion that earns her an odd look from time to time. During WWII, my grandfather was interred in a Japanese POW camp. My grandmother and her children escaped that fate – because of those droplets of Indonesian blood.

When I was a girl, my grandmother told me stories of those years, of supporting her children by painting portraits of Japanese officers, of lobbing chickens over the camp wall.  My grandfather, a large man, weighed 95 lbs at the end of the war.

My mother has a few Indonesian plates and vases, batiked linens, wood carvings, and other unusual pieces that I have mused over since I was a little girl and first allowed to touch them. I like old things that are infused with history. I think about the artists who made them, my ancestors who cared for them. Some pieces go back over two hundred years to my great great grandparents. They’re part of our family heritage and as the family grows, these heirlooms will be dispersed to an ever-widening circle of descendants.

Sometime in the next year or so my parents will be relocating to Oregon to live closer to me. My mom has entered a packing frenzy and has begun giving items away in an effort to lighten the load. I asked her not to part with the family history. She doesn’t understand what I mean. She wants me there to explain and so I will go.

The Socerer’s Garden #Free on #Kindle

Sorcerer's Garden 2

Yep, a little more promotion.

Free 10/25 – 10/27

 Click Here for Amazon

I want to thank each reader who graciously supported me by purchasing the book, despite knowing that at some point it would likely pop up as a freebie for a few days. The gesture is lovingly appreciated for all it signifies.

Each review is a gift and results in a spontaneous happy dance. Somewhere, someone is taking the time to gather thoughts, click over to Amazon, and share an opinion with other readers. Here’s what a few reviewers are saying:

Interesting Fantasy Read!
“The Sorcerer’s Garden” by D. Wallace Peach is a truly unique and interesting read. The story seems ordinary at first but quickly takes an epic fantasy turn. The main character is a 28-year-old named Madlyn who is not having the greatest luck with her relationships or her career. By chance, she gets a new job that involves reading to a man who is in a vegetative state. Madlyn thinks the job will be boring and mundane but it turns into so much more as Madlyn is literally sucked into the book that she’s reading the man. She appears as a princess in the story and faces off against others that she knows in real life. The author then takes readers on an unforgettable back-and-forth journey between “real life” Madlyn and the Madlyn in the storybook.

I find it very hard to describe “The Sorcerer’s Garden” because of the back-and-forth and unique storyline but would recommend it to fantasy and adventure genre fans. The author does a good job creating a world of interesting characters and not only showing them in one setting, such as the real world but also in the book setting that the main character is reading. I look forward to reading more from D. Wallace Peach after reading this book.


Quote Lillian2Fantasy Combined with Real Life

” I think the way this book combined fantasy and reality was really masterful, and the character and story development were especially good. I hope to read more such novels from this author in the future.”

A Tangled Tale of Modern and Medieval Life
“You need your wits about you keep with the plot twists in this unusual fantasy.”

Many thanks!

 

Christmas Grotto 2015 – Books – Sunwielder by D. Wallace Peach.

Time for a bit of holiday shopping? Visit Sally’s Christmas Grotto to check out Sunwielder and an array of other books by talented authors. There’s something for everyone on your list and more to come. Thanks so much, Sally, for spreading the word. Many hugs and smiles coming your way.

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Christmas GrottoToday’s book is an epic fantasy, Sunwielder by D. Wallace Peach and also a look at some of her other books that would make great gifts.

sunwielder cover lower resolution

About the Book

In a land on the brink of war, Gryff Worden finds his family slaughtered in his farmyard. Mortally wounded, he stumbles upon a timekeeper, an old woman of a foreign land who tracks the infinite paths of each life. She offers him a sunwield, a medallion that returns him to the critical choices that altered his life’s journey. Now his story remakes itself through the sunwield, returning him repeatedly to moments of decision and death, his old life gone, the purpose of the medallion burning his chest forgotten. As he uncovers the power of the sunwield, new choices lead him on an epic journey through war, death, friendship, life, and love.

One of the great reviews for Sunwielder

A powerful story…

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Writing that First Draft

troll enwikipediaorgNaNoWriMo looms. My outline has taken shape. The terrain of a new world sprawls before me, rife with civilization. Characters chatter, love and battle in my head. If you’re like me, that first draft is a molten caldron, uncontainable and ready to erupt. I can’t hold myself back anymore.

troll enwikipediaorg3A first draft is a flawed, untamed, tainted, wonderful, intense piece of art. Before I started using the volcano metaphor, I likened it to vomiting, spilling my guts over the keyboard. Disgusting, but so cathartic.

A first draft has nothing to do with perfection. It’s about the story. It isn’t the time to edit, to labor over weak verbs, revisit dialog, or craft flowing descriptions. You’ve spent weeks fleshing out your outline; it’s time to put it to work and start spinning your tale.

troll enwikipediaorg2A few sections of that first draft will feel inspired and flow from your fingertips. Other parts will require patience and will-power as you drag them like whining teenagers across your page. Your outline will help you persist through those hair-pulling hours, because with an outline, there’s no writer’s block. No matter how painful, you know what you have to do.

Get the story out of your skin. Just write it. That’s the point of the first draft–the story. Your outline is your guide, but remember that a creative outline is still fluid; expect it to morph, flex and grow as you write.

trolls pinterest2My first draft is a constant play between an evolving outline and the written page. My characters continue to surprise me, plots deepen, new scenes appear, dialog ripples off in unexpected directions. I have to go back and add or change scenes, hint at backstory, place the sword on the belt. This isn’t editing–this is getting a story down on paper. At the very same time, I am massaging my outline, changing what is coming based on these unforeseen tangles and turns. I’m deleting and adding, noting follow-up details, tying up loose ends, and making certain that the story is still rational and cohesive when I get to the end.

trolls pinterestThis marvelous, messy, raw creation is your own foray into new territory. I never share my first drafts with anyone. They’re too ugly. They’re warty little trolls blinking in the sunlight. They need baths and haircuts, a visit to the dentist, and a decent meal. But I love them, and they are princes when I get them cleaned up.

Artwork compliments of creative commons: en.wikimedia.org, flickr.com and pixaby.com.

 

Writing From the Inside Out

image from pixaby

The internet brims with advice on how to write (this little blog included). I most enjoy reading the ponderings of those of us who are still exploring the mystery of this craft, this art. So few absolutes exist in the realm of creativity. How wondrous that we all possess distinctive voices, styles and stories to tell. To me, writing is organic, personal. I believe we need to discover, encourage, and play with our inner muses.

I’ve read a number of blogs and how-to narratives that outline the steps for developing character and plot. Some offer great wisdom, while others (often those written by the “experts”) strike me as somewhat formulaic. And I don’t mean general guidelines with a few obvious rules. I mean fill in the blanks! To me, these strictures feel deadening, and I worry that new writers in particular will unwittingly lose the opportunity to discover the unique storyteller within.

creativity pixabyI wrote my first book without a clue as to what I was doing. And despite the painful drudgery of endless editing to address my ignorance and learn the craft, I’m glad I did it that way. Because I loved the creative process. I love writing from the inside out. I’m not sure if I would have come to the same conclusion writing a fill-in-the-blank book with fill-in-the-blank characters.

I’m close to finishing the Raven’s Shadow fantasy trilogy by Anthony Ryan. He breaks so many rules it’s exhilarating. Someday I’ll make a list and we can all celebrate. The first book in the trilogy, Blood Song, has 2, 124 reviews. I loved the series. Did I mention he breaks rules?

As I finish final edits on my current project, I’ve begun to stir the cauldron and will soon enter the contemplative process of conjuring up the next story. That’s what it feels like to me…magic. That spark of inspiration bubbles up from inside me, not from a formula, and when it arrives, it’s mine.

creativity pixaby4In his book, Eternal Echoes, John O’Donohue, the Irish poet and author, writes: “The natural and ancient creativity of soul is being replaced by the miserable little arithmetic of know-how.”

I would second this bit of wisdom and the attendant advice. As artists, we may relish our rules-of-writing consciousness, but inspired writing rarely springs from a formula. Writing is alive with subtlety, impression and intent. Listen, learn, revisit, and then find your own way. You are the artist.

image flickr

All images from pixabay.com

3 Day 3 Quote Challenge – day 3

Quote 5

The last day of the 3 Quote 3 Day challenge arrives. I offer up the final three quotes from John O’Donohue, Irish poet, philosopher, and theologian. He published Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom in 1997. Gaelic for “soul friend,” Anam Cara’s teachings, stories and blessings offer profound insights into what it means to be human, exploring universal themes of friendship, solitude, love, and death.

Quote 10

Here are the 3 Day 3 Quote Rules:

  • Post 3 quotations a day for 3 days (they can be from any source, including you).
  • Nominate 3 other bloggers to carry the endeavor forward.
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  • And you’re under no obligation to do this. But have fun if you do.

Quote 8

Thank you to Judy at Edwina’s Episodes and Steven at Ordinary Handsome for the including me in the fun. Take a moment to visit these two marvelous blogs.

I happily pass the challenge to some new followers/followed:

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If I’ve piqued your interest:

Anam Cara on Amazon.

Enjoy!