Saturday Stories 1/9/16

Each week I like to come to you with updates from my week in the world of words. Last week I explained to you my new blogging/video schedule and gave you a quick excerpt from The Way We Were; which you can find here. So this week let’s just dive right in to a quick update.

My Goals for this past week were few, but lofty. (Refresh your memory by reading here or watching here)

I didn’t quite get it ALL done, but I came very close so I’m counting this week as an overall win!

For my Weekly TBR (To Be Read) I listed The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater and Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. I honestly finished listening to The Raven Boys before I posted that TBR so I had an advantage there, but I still didn’t make my goal. I only read about 120 pages of Six of Crows, which I think is still a pretty good advancement! I also read Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon Hale, which is a great graphic novel with 144 pages of fun cowgirl fairy tale.

As for my writing goals…I’m counting them all as a win!

  1. I organized 2/7 of the first half of The Way We Were…though that is not technically a completely met goal, I’m very happy with it!
  2. I wrote 3 1/2 chapters of Paulonious Punk that I am VERY thrilled about.
  3. I made a mad dash this morning and completed The Siren’s Tale
  4. I blogged and posted every day I had scheduled!

Word Counts:

Paulonious Punk – Approx 1400 words (have not typed them yet)

The Siren’s Tale – 3236 words

Blogs – 1135 words

Total Words Written for the Week = Approximately 5700 words

If you have any goals you worked on this week, I’d love to hear about them! If you love this type of post, or hate it, I want to hear that too! Leave me a comment and let me know what’s up.

This week’s excerpt is from the middle of

Paulonious Punk and the Search for an Adventure:

Chapter 7

“We’ve got to think of something truly adventurous,” Pauly announced the next morning as soon as he has called their ‘club’ meeting to order. “We only have a week left to do this in! I won’t be happy, and I won’t rest, until I have something to write in my adventure journal!”

“I don’t think you’ll be happy until there are pirates involved,” John snorted, throwing his rubber ball against the wall repeatedly with such force that his arm went numb from catching it.

“That’s no lie,” Grandpa Punk agreed from where he sat, whittling a piece of wood and swinging on a swiveling armchair, the bubbling liquid moving through clear tubes coming out of the chair making him look like a mad scientist in some sort of retro-steampunk-hybrid movie.

While those two complained to each other, Paulonious was lost deeply in his own thoughts and let the silence stretch as he wandered aimlessly around the room. Nearly five minutes after John’s sarcastic comment, Pauly paused his manic pacing and swiveled around excitedly to face the other two.

“That’s a GREAT idea John!” He yelled the words, making John jump and miss catching his ball while Grandpa jerked and nicked his knuckle.

I hope you enjoyed! Have a wonderful weekend and may you all stay so inspired you that your pens run dry before your imagination does!

 

 

Author Interview – Becky Michael

Hello and welcome to another brand new edition of Author Interview Fridays! This week we are chatting with author and former teacher, Becky Michael. Let’s dive in:

 

  • Tell us about the first time you realized that you were an author or were going to be an author.

 

This has been a gradual process, so there wasn’t a specific moment of realization. Creative writing wasn’t as commonly cultivated for us who grew up during the 50s and 60s, and it was only after becoming a teacher that the idea of working toward publication began to come together for me as a realistic pursuit.

 

Sadly, it seems as though the schools are beginning to shy away from creative writing more and more now. Creativity doesn’t test well apparently, but those who love writing will find their ways eventually.

 

  • What genre(s) do you write in, and why?

 

Writing for children is a way for me to retell some of the fun events from my childhood. This way, I can better fashion the outcomes to my liking! My stories and books for adults tend to focus on complicated relationships and often contain an aspect of mystery.

 

Both sound like fun! I think I might start re-telling some events from my childhood and tweak a few things 😉

 

  • What genres are your favorites to read? Why?

 

I tend to read mysteries, but find myself drawn to the titles that delve deeply into the psyches of the characters and their relationships.

 

I love character studies, though I tend to read more fantasy than anything now.

 

  • Tell us about your two all-time favorite characters: 1 that you wrote and 1 that someone else wrote.

 

A favorite in my own writing would be Solveig Baumann. Sol is one of the main characters in my short story, “Romantivores” (although her name isn’t mentioned), and readers will share more of Sol’s life in my still-to-be-published book by the same title. The story first appeared in the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and introduced this woman and her lover cooking dinner under somewhat unusual circumstances. She’s a little “kinked”, but a good person. Sol is independent and accomplished in her field, yet craves that “other” who will always be there for her. At the time of this interview’s posting, my story is available free of charge through Amazon Kindle until January 12.

cover of story large

It’s difficult to choose a favorite character by another author, since there are so many I enjoy! One of the first that comes to mind is “Ruth Galloway”, from the wonderful series by British mystery novelist Elly Griffiths. Ruth is well educated, successful and independent. She’s also a loving mother who holds a secret love close to her heart.

 

You seem to favor independent, well educated women. I think a lot of people still gravitate toward ‘traditional’ princess types of women instead and it is very refreshing to see two favorites like yours!

 

  • How do you handle writer’s block?

 

Since I also work as a contract writer for a company offering courses and other educational content online, I have another outlet. If I’m not making much progress in my personal writing, I may review and edit more of that freelance work, which also helps pay the bills. Eventually, my own writing pulls me back.

 

It sounds like you have it covered! I find that moving between projects helps me as well. I wonder if this is something all writers have done throughout the ages?

 

  • What inspires you?

 

Nature and beautiful surroundings, such as those found in the Upper Peninsula of my home state, Michigan, inspire me. Books and stories by great authors are also stimulating, so I try to read as much as possible.

 

Your home state sounds beautiful! I don’t think I’ve ever been there.

 

  • Finally, tell us where to go to find you (Twitter, Facebook, Blog, Online Bookstores, Physical Stores, Etc. List them all for us please!)

I blog about pursuing publication, the craft of writing, reading, and other favorite interests at Platform Number 4. Readers may also discover more at my about.me  and Pinterest pages, and my story is available for Kindle through Amazon. Don’t forget…it’s free, from now until January 12. I’d love some additional reviews!

 

Thank you for dropping by and answering some of our questions today Becky! I’m excited to read your story. Good luck!

Remember guys, if you want your very own Author Interview or Artist Spotlight, just let me know! Until next time, have a wonderful week!

Writer’s Quote Wednesday

Welcome to the first Writing Quote Wednesday of the year 2016! Phew…I don’t know how I’m in 2016 already but I do know that if you want to take part in our little weekly party, you can head over to Silver Threading to see the rules for Writer’s Quote Wednesdays and talk to RonovanWrites about #BEWOW.

This week I want to share with you a quote that jumped out at me because of my friends. You see, I shared the beginning of a contest entry with 3 friends (who had requested to see what I was working on) and their reactions were as follows:

  1. Pretty good. It’s almost to perfect…just needs a few tweaks.
  2. Hey, I love the way you write and this is pretty decent. Just work on it a little.
  3. THIS IS SO INTENSE, I LOVE IT! You’ve written this story to perfection.

Friend #1 has been a writer before, though they have mostly stopped at this point, and looked at it from the author’s perspective.

Friend #2 reads voraciously and has taken up my bad habit of grammar policing. They looked at it from the perspective of an editing type.

Friend #3 just enjoys reading for the sake of the story and read from the perspective of a joyous audience member, a reader just wanting to know what happened next.

Through their eyes I saw what needed worked on, what needed lost, and what needed to stay exactly as it was. Then I began to look at quotes for this week’s post and almost immediately saw:

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“THAT’S IT!” I cried, “The perfect quote! I’ve been writing…been pushing through a story I’m almost afraid to tackle. A pre-fairy tale fairy tale. A mythical origin story, if you will, and this…OH THIS! This quote is exactly what I needed. Take chances, get it down, and don’t worry about having to ‘tweak’ it later or how it ‘might be perfect if you…’ just WRITE!”

So that is today’s advice, ladies and gentlemen, Just Write. Just put down the story stomping and swirling through your membranes and, once it is all written down and glorious in it’s unedited range of possibly not quite horrendousness, then you edit it. Only then do you need to be concerned with editing. Get it down, then get it right. This isn’t brain surgery, it’s world writing.

Until next Time…Have a Blessed and Wonderful week!

 

Spotlight On…Maggie Stiefvater

Welcome to another semi-new and hopefully weekly post for Here There Be Dragons…The Spotlight On Art segment is meant to do the same for illustrators, musicians, and artists as my Author Interview Fridays do for us writers. However, I don’t have as many artist connections and, as such, have had the Tuesday Interviews kind of fall by the wayside. Therefore…I am going to start spotlighting a mixture of the famed, infamous, unknown, etc etc etc in the rest of the art world.

This week the spotlight lands on Young Adult author Maggie Stiefvater. Many of you may know her as the author of such books as The Raven Cycle Series and The Shiver Trilogy, among others. However, were you aware that Maggie is also an accomplished musician and artist?

WELL SHE IS! I just finished listening to The Raven Boys on audio book this past week. At the end of the final chapter a haunting Celtic melody flows behind and between the last words, tugging at the sleeping bits of your brain and prodding at your creative heart until the final notes die away and you think…”WAIT WHAT?? THAT’S IT?? NO NO NO…WHERE’S THE REST? WHAT HAPPENS? ACK!” (Or I did anyway). Turns out…that would  a Maggie Stiefvater song. Check out the making of video HERE, or just look at her YouTube Channel and plotz because she’s bloody well amazing. There are videos of drawing, music making, talking, and many other wonderful things I can’t begin to describe well enough for you (Like the video below!).

This woman draws, writes novels and music, plays several instruments, works on her own vehicles, and is just the kind of super cool that makes you a little bit afraid, a lot in awe, and even more a fan. Kudos to you Maggie Stiefvater…I wish to be like you when I grow up.

Here are a couple of other places you can find her snazzy wit and great work:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mstiefvater

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MaggieStiefvaterAuthorPage/?fref=ts

Blog: http://maggiestiefvater.com/blog/the-future-belongs-to-those-who-read/

Website: http://maggiestiefvater.com/

SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/maggie_stiefvater/tracks

If you have a favorite artistic type person you’d love to see featured, or if you or someone you know would make a good time dancing in the spotlight…LET ME KNOW!

Until next time…have a Blessed and Artsy inspiring week!

Weekly Goals

Every Sunday I am going to be posting my writing and reading goals for the coming week. This is in an attempt to more often prod me into action so that I am accountable for my work, or lack there of! The following Saturday will be a weekly wrap up to see whether or not I reached my goals. Please feel free to heckle, taunt, and pester whenever you like!

This week’s goals are:

  1. Finish, or come as close as possible to finishing, the short story I’m working for contest.
  2. Organize the 1st half of my novel, The Way We Were and see if anything needs added before moving on to the second portion.
  3. Write at least 3 chapters for Paulonious Punk.

TBR:

  1. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  2. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Here is my Video on the subject:

 

If you have any suggestions, questions, or goals to share please leave them for me! I can’t wait to hear from you.

Until Next Time…May your week be happy and blessed!

Saturday Stories

As part of my goals for 2016, I sat down and came up with a schedule for my blog and BookTube posts. Now, I may post more than I have set up and I may, just may, not post as much (sigh…I know it will happen. I try so hard…but I digress), but at the moment my set up will look something like this:

Sunday – video (and possibly written blog ) Weekly Goals, TBR, and anything relevant on the schedule. 

Monday – Video “random” life topics. Movies, TV, Music, Writing, etc. Non-reading related items. 

Tuesday – Blog Spotlight on —Artists, Illustrators, etc…similar to Author Interview Fridays but may not include interviews. 

Wednesay – Blog and Video – The Return of What are You Reading Wednesdays…book reviews, TBR updates, etc. 

Blog – Writer’s Quote Wednesday

Thursday – off day

Friday – Blog Author Interview Fridays

Saturday – Blog Saturday’s Stories – Weekly Updates and Writing Excerpts. 

So that is my update for this week…I am also aiming to include weekly word counts and things worked on.

The Siren’s Tale (a short story) – 581 words

The Way We Were… (novel)- 846 words

Paulonious Punk (children’s book) – 92 words

Blog Posts – 311 words

Total Since 1/1/16 – 1830 words

Not a bad way to start out the year, if I do say so myself! Leave me a comment with your own new goals, word counts, etc. I can’t wait to hear from you!

For now, I’m going to end this week’s Saturday Stories with an excerpt from the first draft of The Way We Were… that I wrote this morning. This is from the villain’s perspective:

 

“See, here’s the thing,” Collin’s steel edged voice mirrored his father’s cultured tones to perfection, his hard gaze making even veterans of The Foundation flinch away. “Everyone is flawed and self-conscious. Everyone worries. The more you care, the more easily you get stressed. Everyone,” he pushed on the word again, physically leaning into it as though testing the strength of the thing, “Everyone has a weakness to exploit. We use that and we can get in anywhere, with anyone.”

A scrawny, scruffy young man in the middle of the seated group raised his hand tentatively. Knowing enough to accept the following glower in his direction as instruction to speak, but not quite smart enough yet to keep his mouth shut anyway, the twenty-something softly starter, “What you’re talking about is…” he swallowed visibly, his adam’s apple bobbing with the strain, “Well, isn’t that a type of,” he was almost hyperventilating by this point but pushed on admirably, “emotional abuse? That can break people, sir, irrevocably.”

“Psych major,” Collin growled the half question across the stage in Peter’s direction.

Pete merely tipped his beer while inclining his head and lazily reminded his friend, “You thought one or two of them might be helpful.”

“I’m a flippin’ genius,” Collin sighed sarcastically, obviously dismissive and agitated by the truth of the matter.

“No one here to argue that point,” Pete taunted half-heartedly. “You,” he pointed the bottle in his hand at the still-standing psychologist, “It can break people if done hard enough, long enough. But most of what we do is more like a mental splinter. We needle and we agitate with small gestures and comments. We talk about how so-and-so has found such a great job or mention that 5 star restaurant we just visited, and threw left overs out from, to someone who is obviously struggling. We talk about the resort we visited last week to a friend who puts all of their travels on hold to merely survive and care for their family. No bragging involved, just softly worded side notes really, but those kind work their way in to brains and later on, instead of sleeping, he or she will be crying into the darkness. This works especially well with anxiety suffered and parents. Yes, it is mental and emotional abuse. It breaks them down, it blocks them from seeing the way to their dreams, and it keeps them right where we want them.”

 

Until Next Time….

 

 

Author Interview – M. Lachi

 

Welcome to our first Author Interview of 2016! This week we welcome author M. Lachi to the ranks of the Here There Be Dragons author army! (oooh, I like the sound of that…) Her book, The Ivory Staff, is available for you now and the book trailer…well, see for yourself:

Let’s get this new year show on the road!

Welcome Author Lachi, thank you for spending some time with us today. I hope your 2015 has ended amazingly. Our first question should be pretty simple for you:

  • What name do you write under? Is this a pseudonym? Do you use more than one name when you write?

 

I write under the name M. Lachi. Lachi is my middle name and is short for Ulachi which means ‘ring of God’ in my parents’ native tongue. Currently I do not write under any other names.

I love that name. “Ring of God” sounds very regal and important. That’s a big thumbs up for your parents!

  • Tell us about the first time you realized that you were an author or were going to be an author.

 

I’d always been into writing: short stories, poems, songs. I wrote a novella in Dante’s Destiny and had it published by a small press. From that point on, I knew professional fiction writing was in the works for me in some form or fashion.

 That’s fabulous! I wrote a poem that got published in 8th grade and that really solidified for me as well. I love the chance happenings that point people in their directions. 

  • What genre(s) do you write in, and why?

 

Though relatively new to the stage, I am interested mostly in Sci-Fi and Fantasy encompassing varying aspects of political intrigue, psychological thrill, mystery and romance.  I waft towards fantasy because I love to embrace the whimsied escape from our realm, and I’m into touching upon sci-fi due to a constant need for humanity to continue to speculate. A lot of today’s awesome technology was born on a sci fi page, and I believe that that tradition must endure in order to continue our technological rise.

 Embrace the whimsied escape from our realm…” That needs to be the tag line on every interview, book summary, youtube channel, and website you do! Beautiful. 

  • What genres are your favorites to read? Why?

 

I like to read both Fantasy/Horror and Mysteries. Both genres tend to challenge the mind and force engagement.  I do prefer the adult settings and content of Sandra Brown and Dean Koontz, but I have been known to find myself inhaling Veronica Roth novels as well.

Books that challenge the mind and force the reader to become engaged are so much more fun to read for me! Fluff books make me super annoyed and frustrated because they lay it all out and there’s no reason for me to keep investing my time. 

  • Tell us about your two all-time favorite characters: 1 that you wrote and 1 that someone else wrote.

 

In my novel “The Ivory Staff” I’ve been darting back and forth from who my favorite character is simply because, how can you pick a favorite from all of your creations? Presently, and this will most likely change with the wind, my favorite self-written character is Pan—mainly because he embodies the falters of self-preservation we all possess and cringe to see in our heroes.

One of my all-time favorite non-self-written characters is Achilles from the Enderverse Shadow Series. I love falling in love with perfectly intelligent villains, and Achilles did not disappoint.

I adore villains with intelligence and smooth charm, I will definitely have to check out Enderverse Shadows. 

 

  • There is a lot of controversy about allowing books to be made into movies (especially when they cut or change large portions of the plot). Would you be willing for your books/stories to become a movie? Why or why not?

 

I would.  It would be amazing if I could have some sort of voice when it came to casting and interpretation.

I think that’s the crux of the situation. I would love mine to be filmed as well, but I would want to be incredibly vocal with it too!

  • How do you handle writer’s block?

 

I take a shower and listen to classical music. Or I’ll pick out a hand full of titles currently circulating and scarf them down.

All good ideas! Who is your favorite? Ok ok I know, we have a lot to get through, but we should talk music sometime.

I have this great mix of music on Pandora…a punk rock station, new rock station, classic rock station, jazz station, big band station, classical station, and symphonic rock (Like Trans Siberian Orchestra) all mixed together to make the most random assortment…there’s even Native American flutes and Celtic music that pop up. Music and dishes and reading always make me stop whatever I’m doing to write! 

  • What inspires you?

I close my eyes and journey into the vastly infinite planes of my still vibrant childhood imagination.

YES! Remembering the musings of your childhood mind can be amazing and frightening all at once!

 

  • How do you respond when people ask what you do, then make that face if you say “I’m an author”?

I honestly have not yet gotten the face. Perhaps because I am also a performing artist, so they recognize the ‘face’ to be a lost cause!

People in my small town(s) have started to become invested, and just know I’m an odd one anyway, so I’m seeing the ‘face’ less and less of late…but when I go elsewhere…phew. Silly normals.

  • Finally, tell us where to go to find you (Twitter, Facebook, Blog, Online Bookstores, Physical Stores, Etc. List them all for us please!)

I can be found on my website and all social media!

  1. mlachi.com – Blogs, content and updates!
  2. facebook.com/mlachiauthor
  3. twitter.com/mlachiauthor
  4. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and all online book outlets

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us today! I look forward to more great things coming from you soon!

Remember everyone, if you want an interview of your own just give me a shout here in the comments, on my YouTube comments, or on Twitter!

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