the Matilda on Sale!

With the release of Twistin’ Matilda, the price has been dropped on the Matilda for a limited time!

The crew of the space freighter, Matilda, ply their trade on the fringes of known space under the ever-present boot of the Consortium.  Unfortunately, those fringes are controlled by criminal elements.  Trapped between these two forces, the Captain works her way toward another payday, sometimes legally, other times not so much.

After breaking one of their own out of prison, someone is chasing them.  But who are they really after and why?  What could one of the crew know that could be potentially dangerous for the powers that be?

It’s moments like this when it’s good to have an ace up your sleeve.  Even if that ace can bypass the entire wormhole gate system by going where no one should and no one would want to go.

Join Jacquotte Delahaye and her crew of misfits in the first and second seasons of the series, The Matilda.

Twistin’ Matilda Release Day

Today is release day!  Twistin’ Matilda is available at Amazon in both Kindle and Print!

3D Twistin MatildaThe crew of the Matilda continues their struggle for survival in an uncaring universe.  Captain Jacquotte Delahaye remains trapped between Consortium government teams that operate on the edge of legality and criminal elements that have a plan for her crew even if she doesn’t want to be part of it.

The Matilda was almost apprehended but they got away.  But not under their own power or by choice. Now trapped in the ‘other space’, is the ship lost forever or will they find their way out? But the question remains, who is after them and why? And what have they brought on board? As the net grows tighter, old secrets come to the fore and new dangers await them.

Come join Jacquotte Delahaye and her crew of misfits in the second book of the series, Twistin’ Matilda.

Now, I have to get back to writing.  The journey will continue in the follow-up sequel, Black Matilda!

Getting on that New Story for Nanowrimo

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Are we still doing this?  Can I get a hell yeah?

Earlier this week I wrote about some tips and tricks that I use for the whole crazy write a story in thirty days process.  It covered a lot of things for that preexisting storyline and how to pound it out… or make some headway… you know what I mean.

So let’s say, you don’t have an outline because you don’t know what you want to write about.  At that, all I can say is “You are brave!” and “I applaud your determination!”

I have done this once and it was both the hardest and also the easiest experience I had.  The hardest simply because I had no preconceived notions as to where the story was going to go, who the characters were and what their motivations were.  At the same time, these reasons were why it was the easiest.

Once the characters came to life, they just told me what the story was.  All I had to do was jot it down as fast as I could.  It was exhilarating.  It was fun!  And it might have been a little reckless.

Let’s say playing reckless with this is not what you had in mind but you still want that sense of freedom?  Now some of the points I hit on the last post (here) carry over to this kind of a project too.  But here are a handful of others for just this kind of project.

  • Number 1, where can I find a main character?

There are a ton of tools out there now that can prompt a writer for a character with a backstory, a goal, alignment, and even physical queues.  These tools are great to get you a character (or three) and all you have to do is stick them in a world.

  • Number 2, a world? Where do I get that?

What kind of world do you want to write about?  There are plenty of prompts out there but one of the things I use is pictures.  Like this:

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Or you could just pick a genre out of a hat.

  • Number 3, but what about the plot?

So let’s say your character prompts came up with Space Maiden who enjoys Tea and Punching People.  Her turn-offs are making friends and eating bread.  A second character happens to be an Anthropomorphized Elephant who Spreads Chaos and is Searching for a Lost Friend.  Turn-offs are stressful situations and bad taste. You randomly chose mystery as a genre.

Does the Anthropomorphized Elephant hire the Space Maiden to find her Missing Friend?  Does the Elephant want to be friends with the Space Maiden but creates a wave of Chaos in her wake? Does the Missing Friend turn up dead in the Anthropomorphized Elephant’s bakery?  Will there be punching?  Somewhere in there is enough to formulate a plot.

  • Number 4 and 5, what about Conflict and Resolution?

Well, in our hastily assembled example, the Missing Friend appears to have been murdered in a bakery and the Space Maiden feels there’s some Punching to do. Will she Punch the Anthropomorphized Elephant or will some baddies need their comeuppance.  That seems like some handy Conflict to me.  And Resolution?  I’m not writing this, that’s up to you.

To be honest, sometimes all I need is a cool or weird character, a world that strikes my fancy or even the idea that I’ve never done something in that genre.  Let the story flow and carry you along.  If it doesn’t grab you, maybe the next one will.

Come to think of it, I’d title our imaginary example story, “Half-Baked and Harvested, Rolling with the Punches.”

Yeah… maybe not.

Getting My NanoWrimo on!

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Nanowrimo is write… err um… right around the corner and I will be diving with both feet.  My fingers are crossed that I will complete my first draft of book 4 in The Matilda series.  This will be my 6th attempt at it and even if I don’t get it done during Nanowrimo, the story will be written.

I promise you it is so!

Anyway, I thought I’d share some tips on the process that seem to work for me.

  • Number 1, have fun! I have beaten myself up on previous Nanos because I didn’t get as much done as I planned.  That’s just silly as this is supposed to fun.  Stressful, sure but still fun.
  • Number 2, have an outline for the story. Now, maybe don’t follow it but have one on hand.  It really helps with those writer block moments.
  • Number 3, if the characters want to do something besides what’s on your outline, let them have at it! The moments that the characters are telling me their story and not the one I planned are the writing experiences I have enjoyed the most.
  • Number 4, hit some of those write-ins if they’re available in our area. You get a chance to talk with other writers who are going through the same experience as you.  You can root them on when they hit a tough spot and you’re still flying along and vice versa.  My most wordy days were when I went to these.  Bonus, you get out of the house.
  • Number 5, I can’t recommend those 10-minute writing exercises first thing in the day enough. If you leave yourself at a strange stopping point the day before, these exercises can free up your brain by poking at something else. I plan to write a poem every day for my exercise.
  • Number 6, don’t finish that action scene, that conversation or chapter when you finish for the day. Your brain will keep poking at it and you’ll be able to dive right in the next day.
  • Number 7, don’t worry about low word count days. Sometimes you’ll blast through a ton of words and other days you’ll be lucky to get 100 down.
  • Number 8 is the most important one besides Number 1. Completing that first draft is the best thing you can do.  You may get discouraged and think its garbage but you know what? You got it done.  You wrote a book.   That is amazing all by itself.

Now, these are mostly for a preexisting project.  Maybe I’ll write another of these for new projects.

It could happen…

The Joys of Inktober 2019

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Drawing!

To be honest, not something I’ve done much of in the past decade or so.  Might be longer, might be shorter, time and I don’t always see eye to eye.  I used to love it.  I’ve spent hours scratching images onto paper and I missed the laser focus.

Last year, some of my friends hopped on the Inktober train and rode it to its conclusion.  And it piqued my interest.  People were drawing on… paper?  I thought this was old hat.

I stopped drawing once the more digital forms became the norm.  I tried using computers to do my art and it just never clicked.  I had looked into the Wacom style tablets when they came out but couldn’t rationalize the cost for a hobby at best.

On top of that, I had gone through Lasik and my ability to see up close required glasses.  I had it done so I could see far away and didn’t really grasp the idea that I would lose my up-close vision so much.  So drawing was more difficult and therefore, less fun.

And maybe that’s why the idea really appealed to me now.  My friends were having fun and I was enjoying their works.  I promised myself that I would give the next one a shot.  So here we are in 2019 at the end of October.  I loaded up my last drawing on social media platforms and I feel accomplished.

Some of the days were tough because the prompts just didn’t grab me or time was an issue.  Other days were a blast and my joy in drawing was renewed.  In a way, it was a blessing as my writing/editing had become a labor.  A labor of love, mind you, but still labor.  Getting to create a completed project in a different format in a day was like a breath of fresh air.  My editing and writing became more fun as well.

What were the big take-aways for me?  I liked having daily prompts. It gave me something to think about and poke at in different ways.  I enjoyed the freedom of just drawing it out in ink, errors and all.  I am a bit of perfectionist and flaws in my works drive me crazy.  Having the freedom to make mistakes was liberating.  I actually enjoyed having trouble seeing my work up close because I literally couldn’t focus on it.  It gave everything a sort of whimsy.

But the best part for me was the return of that laser focus.  I find it in my writing but not for most of 2019.  It felt so good to tune out everything around me and be in the moment, the void where time doesn’t pass.  Those moments are magic to me.

Will I do it again in 2020?  Maybe…