World-building: From Imagination to Reality – Guest Post by, Diana Peach…

For those fans and writers of speculative fiction – here’s another dive into worldbuilding! I had the great pleasure of guest posting on The Story Reading Ape’s blog earlier this month. If you missed the post and are all broken up about it (ha ha) here’s Part II. 😀

(Some of you are so lovely to leave comments at both sites. Please, no need, unless not doing so gives you hives; your time is way too precious. I do check both and reply at both. Hugs.)

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

World-building is an important part of any writer’s preparation, and the speculative genres offer some wildly fun opportunities. There are no boundaries. The imagination is unleashed. The setting of the story can be as “fantastic” as the writer desires.

But fantastic also has to be relatable and plausible.

Relatability is a must when it comes to the main character(s). If a reader can’t relate on some emotional level to the protagonist, a book is going to struggle. Why do I mention this with world-building? Because in speculative fiction some or all of the characters may not be human.

There are no limits to alien design from physical features to intelligence to social and cultural norms, and writers can stretch those limits to create some unusual encounters and conflicts. Aliens that completely baffle us are fine, but rarely are they protagonist(s). The main character(s) needs to possess some “human” emotional content…

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A BOOK LOVER’S TAG

images from pixabay

I’ve returned after a 10-day, 30k-word break. So much catching up to do, but rested and ready.

Now… who doesn’t Love Books?

Annika Perry tagged all her followers with the Book Lover’s Tag, and well… I couldn’t resist. I tag you all too, but if you aren’t inclined to take me up on it, please leave your favorite best-ever book in the comments and a quick reason why you love, love, love it. I’ll put them all in a long list in a future post.

On to the questions:

1.Do you have a specific place for reading?

Nope. I’ll read anywhere, and I’m never without a book. Long plane rides or layovers, waiting for an oil change, stuck in bumper to bumper traffic, sitting in a canoe and fishing, all are great places to read. Most of my reading, though, happens in bed before zonking out. I prop my eyes open with toothpicks to get to the end of the chapter and pay the price in the morning.

2. Bookmark or random piece of paper?

Um… neither. I’m a dog-earer. I love my books to pieces, literally. They’re like a favorite stuffed animal from childhood that’s dragged everywhere by an arm, dropped in lakes, and taken on camping trips. Now, if I’m borrowing a book, it’s a random piece of paper. I’m not organized enough to use bookmarks, though I think they’re pretty.

3. Do you eat or drink whilst reading?

Yes. There are hot sauce, grease, and coffee stains in my books. I know! Terrible! Disgraceful! I open the pages and crumbs fall out.

4. Music or TV whilst reading.

Usually neither, though I can tune both out if I need to. With a really good book, the house could be on fire and I wouldn’t notice.

5. One book at a time or several?

I’m definitely monogamous. One love at a time or I might get confused, and that always ends poorly. Plus, it’s way too much drama. 🙂

6. Do you prefer to read at home or elsewhere?

Sort of the same as number 1, but I’ll answer “home” since I’m a hermit.

7. Read out loud or silently?

I often read poetry aloud because I like the taste and sound of the words. Recently, I read parts of a book in my Yankee version of an Irish accent. The “voice” of the narrator/character was so wonderful, I couldn’t resist. I’ll review that book soon. That said, 99% of my reading is silent.

8. Do you read ahead or skip pages?

I read every single word. Skip pages? Goodness no. I might miss something important.

9. Break the spine or keep it like new.

If the spine breaks, it breaks. I wouldn’t do it on purpose. My book love isn’t intentionally abusive!

10. Do you write in books?

Of course! The better the book, the more I write in it. I underline and highlight phrases, sentences, and passages that I think are masterful. You know how they say that reading makes one a better writer? It’s true. Some books are like master-classes and I’m enthralled, wanting to capture the genius. It’s the one of the things I don’t like about ebooks, I can’t mark them all up.

11. What books are you reading now? 

I’m reading The Red Queen’s War series by Mark Lawrence, an amazing fantasy author who also penned The Broken Empire Series. His books definitely are pen and highlighter worthy. I like reading amazing authors while I’m writing. They inspire me.

 

 

12. What is your childhood favorite book?

As a little girl, it would have to be E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. It was the first book to make me cry, and that emotional release felt so good, I immediately read it again so I could cry again.  I think it contributed to my decision 35 years later to become a grief counselor.

My favorite book(s) as a young teenager was Tolkien’s The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, which kicked off a fanatical love of reading. I think it contributed to my decision 35 years later to become a fantasy writer. Aren’t books amazing?

13. What is your all-time favorite book?

Anam Cara by John O’Donohue. His writing speaks to my heart and soul. I’d be a stalker if he was still alive.

That’s it! You’re all tagged and remember to leave your answer to Question 13 in the comments with your reason why.

 

A Rat Named Lucy and a Backyard Muse

In the mood for a laugh? The muse stories expand to the animal kingdom with two hysterical posts from a couple of funny bloggers. Meet Mike Allegra’s furry rodent muse, Lucy,  and join Molly Stevens as she hunts for her muse in her backyard. I’ve attached intros and links to both posts and, since it’s Sunday, closed comments here.  Enjoy 🙂

Mike Allegra’s Muse, Lucy

A Muse for Youse

by Mike Allegra at Hey Look a Writer Fellow

“You’re lying on the couch,” my muse observes with an arched eyebrow.

“Yes,” I say.

“You’re eating ice cream,” she continues. “While lying on the couch.”

“Yes,” I repeat.

“And you’re watching Spaceballs.”

“Yes,” I say again. “I am watching Spaceballs while eating ice cream while lying on the couch.”

She chitters with disapproval. “Is this a new way to write that nobody told me about?”

“I’m writing,” I reply. “Writing is about a lot more than typing, you know. You need time to, you know, ponder things.”

“Oh, so this is ‘pondering,’ then?” She flicks an invisible speck of dust from her whisker. “Because what you’re doing looks an awful lot like ‘farting around.’”

“Well, that’s why…

(Continue Reading: A Muse for Youse)

 

Images from Pixabay, edited by Molly

Old MacDonald had a muse, e-i-e-i-o-my

by Molly Stevens at Shallow Reflections

The more stories I read about writers getting intimate with their muses-with-issues, the more fearful I was to encounter mine. What if she is a tyrant with no sense of humor? But what would I miss, if she is more fun than a barrel of animatronic monkeys, hanging out in amusement parks? Like Disney World?

I mustered the courage to look for her. And since I didn’t have money in the budget for a trip to the Happiest Place on Earth, I decided to hunt for her in my backyard.

I searched for a Muse Hunting Call in the app store, downloaded it, and put it to use. It made a throaty, grunting sound.

To my surprise, a full grown, bull moose lumbered out of the woods, looking confused as to why a middle-aged woman without a gun or a moose-hunting permit would call him.

He asked, “What do you want?”

I said, “There must be some mistake. I was calling my muse, not a mangy moose.”

“Hey, watch who you are calling mangy…

(Continue Reading: Old MacDonald had a muse, e-i-e-i-o-my)

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Paul Andruss, D. Wallace Peach and Christina Steiner.

Many thanks to Sally for capturing a review written at the end of the Rose Shield Series – one I hadn’t seen yet and a final wrap-up of the 4-book experience. While you’re visiting, check out wonderful reviews for Christina and Paul as well. Happy Reading!

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

To kick this post off I am featuring our Writer in Residence, Paul Andruss and a new review for his fantasy novel Thomas the Rhymer.

I have read and reviewed Thomas the Rhymer earlier in the year,  here is the link to download the epub version of the books for FREE.

Paul also has a pdf file available and, you can read for FREE by obtaining a copy from Barnes & Noble for Nook readers and also from Kobo.

You can find out how to download from Paul’s site and also links to the other options such as Kindle on Amazon at this link.

http://www.jackhughesbooks.com/amazon-links.php

About Thomas the Rhymer

When Fairy Queen Sylvie snatches his brother, schoolboy Jack is plunged into a sinister fantasy world of illusion and deception – the realm of telepathic fairies ruled by spoilt, arrogant fairy queens.

Haunted by nightmares about his brother and…

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A gathering of muses

What better way to wrap up a series of muse posts than with a pub crawl. They’re dressing up and going out on the town, leaving all their writer’s behind with to-do lists. Thanks to Julie for the fun post and to everyone who took the time to participate. Happy Writing!

Facets of a Muse

A newspaper lays across my desk in my writing office, but it isn’t any newspaper I recognize. It’s not the local Enterprise or Hub. It’s called the Inspiration. The headline reads: “First Annual Muse Gathering”.

Hmmm. Why do I have a funny feeling about this?

Before I can read the article, my Muse sweeps into the office and swipes the paper from my hands. “Hey, I was reading that.”

He folds the newpaper and tucks it under his arm. “Don’t bother. It’s boring.”

Then I notice his attire. No worn jeans here–the ones he’s wearing look like they came fresh from the indigo dye factory. And is that a silk shirt? It’s a rich maroon that adds a little color to his complexion–not that I’m complaining. Oh, no. Sooo not complaining.

“Ah hem. Earth to Julie.”

Ahhh, yeah. “Where are you going? Is that really a silk shirt?”

“I’m going…

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My muse and a new look for Lady Sweet

Another muse post, and I’m relieved to say I no longer have the toughest muse on the block. Robbie’s General is a real taskmaster! One more muse post today as the whole gang goes on a pub crawl without us!

Robbie's inspiration

It seems that after Diana from Myths of the Mirror wrote her delightful post about her muse, the blogosphere is full of muses. You can read about Diana’s muse here: https://mythsofthemirror.com/2017/08/25/muse-for-hire/ – so far the scariest of them all.

I thought that I didn’t have a muse but this weekend I realised that I do. He is a general in the army and, boy, is he used to getting things done. He runs a very tight schedule and time for resting and doing nothing is obsolete. He wants things done, he wants them done right and he wants them done NOW!

My General Write is quite determined that he will be successful in life. He uses my weekends to further his own writing aspirations and he is a very tough task master. This is what he had in store for me on Saturday:

Saturday, 9 September

5.00 am – wakes…

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My Muse Almost Got Strangulated

Another muse makes her feelings known. This one from Balroop Singh of Emotional Shadows. Her muse is sensitive, emotional, words that characterize Balroop’s poetry and prose. Enjoy.

***

She has been wandering around too much, meeting strangers, expecting appreciation, gloating at her beauty and intellect as she reclined leisurely in the glorious sunshine, having abandoned the shadows recently.

Having emerged from her poetic alleys, she got bolder and her escapades with young adventurers almost throttled her as she refused to wear modest garments…some of which seemed incandescent to her new friends. They tried to impose their opinion on her, telling her not to push people away with her ‘excessive alliteration’ and ‘lengthy’ words, guiding her to be humble and simple.

It was too much for the one who has never been snubbed, who likes to boss around, considering herself to be a spontaneous charmer.

She came home disappointed and has been sulking.

Source: My Muse Almost Got Strangulated