Monday, May 19, 2014

And now for something completely different…

My First Blog Hop!

What’s this all about?

This is my first-ever blog hop, promoting Sucker Literary Vol. III, a collection of paranormal YA short stories edited by Hannah Goodman, described on Goodreads as:

Eleven stories that delve into the depths of our experience—driven by fierce and untouched love that makes us seek, lose, fear, desire, long, reflect, survive, steal, protect, fall, and confess.

How did I get involved?

I was invited to participate in this blog hop by one of my first writing group partners, Becca Gomez Farrell, who recently migrated West in search of good food, old friends, and inspiration.

Rebecca Gomez Farrell is proof that a woman can be a television glutton, hold strong opinions on food and drink construction, and write fantastical stories all while possessing a fairly analytical brain. She’s also a wanderluster, an owner of furry creatures, and a formidable pinochle player. Her most recent short story, the Biblical steampunk tale “Blow ‘Em Down,” can be read at Beneath Ceaseless Skies. Maya’s Vacation, her romance novella, is available from Astraea Press at Amazon. For details on the rest of her published work, visit her website at

Each blog hopper is asked a few questions about our writing:

1)      What am I working on?

In addition to my daily blog—now over 500 posts—which is usually a prompt-inspired story beginning, I am currently working two novels, set in different genres and worlds, and a handful of short stories.

Mira's Children is my first novel, a YA science fiction adventure. As Earth died, the Terrans sent out Settlers to transform barren planets, to prepare them for the final survivors. But Terran science didn’t recognize Mira’s innate magic, and the terraforming didn’t go altogether as planned. Now that magic is not only running wild throughout the planet, but through each of the Settlers’ newborn children as well. Since the arrival of the Military Corps, and with the impending arrival of the final wave of Colonists, what will the Settlers have to do to keep their secret – and their children – safe from their own kind? And what will Mira do to protect herself – and her children – from the same problems that eventually destroyed Earth?

My second novel, a fantasy called OceanSong, is the result of my NaNoWriMo 2012 challenge. Meliana is approaching the end of her life and tells her fantastic story to her caregiver Laurel. What would you believe if someone told you they were a mermaid?

I am participating in three writers workshops this summer, and I am excited to revise and strengthen three unpublished short stories – which I will then be sending out into the wild to find their published “homes”!

2)      How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Writing a daily short story intro has pushed me to develop as a writer in both fantasy and science fiction genres. I often incorporate my real-life interests and experience in anthropology, nature, religion, and travel to bring rich details into my stories.

I tend to share different points-of-view within a story. I like the balance this gives to the reader. It can be a challenge to do this in a way that doesn’t feel like dizzying “head-hopping”!

Something I learned from my daughter’s elementary school writing lessons, actually, is to “explode the small moments”. People’s memories tend to be more like pictures or short clips rather than movies. Readers connect to the “small moments” of daily life that draw them into my stories.

3)      Why do I write what I do?

My characters clamor for their stories to be told! Often I imagine they are sitting in the back seat of my car, talking to each other or to me directly. They frequently surprise me with twists and turns in their story or back-story that I wasn’t consciously aware of.

I write the kind of stories I like to read: complicated, dramatic, sometimes funny, and usually without a neat ending—because life isn’t like that. I often write stories about the way I wish life *could* be.

4)      How does my writing process work?

I wish I were better about outlining and being strategic with my writing. My experience has proven otherwise. I tend to get an idea that’s fairly well-formed already, and I’ll run with it. Trouble is, when I get to the end of what I know, I often still have more to write. Then the hard work begins.

This has worked well for me with my blog, since I’m “only” trying to write a compelling intro—something that will engage a reader and make them want to keep reading more. Several of these have indeed become more fully realized short stories.

I belong to two local writing groups, which provide excellent feedback on my own work and opportunities for me to share editing expertise with some exceptionally talented writers and editors. Reading weekly forces me to keep working, even when I feel “stuck”.

As for where inspiration comes from, with my blog, I use a combination of visual prompts, often from, or word prompts. I always ask permission from the artist of a visual prompt, and they have been exceptionally generous. I’ve used websites, books, and card tools to generate word prompts. Sometimes I take an event from real life – my own life or the news – and give it a fantasy or sci-fi twist.

So what’s the next blog hop?

Next Monday, this blog hops over to another writing group partner, Rebekkah Niles.

Rebekkah Niles is a contemporary fantasy author living in North Carolina with her two cats, a roommate, and whatever foster animal her roommate currently has stashed away in the other bedroom (right now, kittens!). Herself a geek, Rebekkah gleefully sneaks video game references into the corners of her fiction, and when she's not writing interesting characters, she's playing them in tabletop RPGs. She blogs three times a week on everything from tea to bonus material for her books, and enjoys nothing more than a fantastic story. When not writing her own fiction, she works as an editorial assistant for her day job.
Be sure to check out her blog at anytime, and especially on Memorial Day for the next blog hop!
Tha-tha-tha-that's all, folks!
Thanks for joining me on my first-ever blog hop! Feel free to browse through some of my short story posts. And I hope you’ll check out a few new authors, like those in Sucker Literary Vol. III, or Becca Gomez Farrell, or Rebekkah Niles.

Dogs in House

Jesse Cook, Free Fall

Time writing
~1 hour

May word count


  1. Writing report:
    Novel editing. Placing new POV either after Ch12 or Ch13. Start writing and see where the new chapter fits.

    Time: ~40mins.

  2. Hey, congrats on your blog hop!

    The "small moments" tip sounds very useful! I tend to try to 'fill in' too much, and end up telling long series of relatively uninteresting stuff. Much of my current revising is getting rid of big sections of fill. Although on a first draft, I almost have to do that to actually know what happens...