29 December 2013

Working on Characters

As some of you may know, I bought a book Writer's Guide to Character Traits by Linda N. Edelstein, PH.D. which I've been faithfully reading for the past several days.  I skimmed through it in October in preparation for NaNoWriMo.  After the rush of Thanksgiving and Christmas, I was finally able to read it.

"I cannot teach anyone how to write; I am providing lists of reliable information that came from the thousands of studies I read in order to put the book together.  The dictionary has all the words you need-- it does not write your sentences.  The refrigerator has shelves of ingredients--we cook them up differently.  You can find the depth and uniqueness in your character.  I have provided some people elements; as writers you will put them together in ways that create stunning, fresh characters.  Enjoy!"  

And she is right.

One can take all the courses in the world that teaches mechanics of writing-grammar, sentence structure and how to put a story together via outlines.  There are about 400,000 words in a dictionary.  Thus, it's fairly obvious that a writer such as myself, needn't lack for words.  Heck, I write 50,000 words in November.

And that refrigerator full of ingredients does provide plenty of meals, especially when combined with ingredients from a pantry.  Now, there are about 24,000 cookbooks published in the year 2005 according to my source.  People pick and choose the ingredients for their refrigerator and pantry according to a cookbook or recipe, even one that's handed down generation to generation.  Now, a cook such as myself, will always make sure that staples are handy for those recipes.  Ingredients such as flour, baking powder, manomin (wild rice), white rice, macaroni, meats as I'm not a vegan/vegetarian and fruits and vegetables are always put on my shopping list.  Upon occasion, I will experiment and get unusual ingredients to try out.

So, I've been able to look at my stories in another context.  I've been able to see what I needed to do to get those stories told in the manner that I wanted them told.  Luckily, there's not that much revision.  I'm just happy I didn't hit the publish button on them yet.  I've already made revision notes on three of them and will be checking the structure on the rest.  So, yeah, this book has been a great help to me.

*I've not been paid in any way, shape or form by the author of the book.  I thought it might be of some help to others as it has been a help to me.

27 December 2013

Memorial - Mr. Warner B. Wirta

A relative died a few days before Christmas.  His funeral is today.  I will be traveling down for one last visit before he journeys on.  Today's post is a reflection on what I learned from this relative.  He was my teacher in high school.  When he first started teaching, I was told by an uncle that he was a relative.  I had mixed thoughts about this.  Not sure how to react.  It was the first time I had a relative in such an important position.  Yes, there was another Indian teacher at the school.  I wasn't related to him though.

I encountered Mr. Wirta in my Civics class.  I watched him for a while.  This is when I first started learning that American history was not all written down for us to learn.  And I began to get angry.  There was more to the story that I have spent the rest of my life learning about.  And I learned how to use that anger, how to control it, though it took me years to learn.

Soon, his presence was large upon the school grounds.  This was during the time when the LIEC (Local Indian Education Committee of which my other was a member) and the JOM (Johnson O Malley) were first being organized.  And also when the AIM movement first started.

A club was organized specifically for Indian Students called Students of Redman's America-SORA.  This teacher relative was an advisor for it.  And this is when my father first started calling me a "radical."  Not that I went out on all the marches being organized by AIM.  Come to find out, one of the founders was a relative also.  So, there I am, with two examples of relatives speaking out.  I ended up choosing to follow along the lines of Mr. Wirta's thinking.  Not that I began to rally the troops as my father likes to say.  I tried my best though.  Mr. Wirta, along with my parents and others, kept me on the path of moderation, more or less.

Another important memory I have of Mr. Wirta's teaching was when he taught math.  A friend and I were put on an accelerated program though it failed after one semester.  One requirement was that we could work as far ahead as we chose to.  Thing was, we had to take the exams at the regular schedule.  Well, needless to say, we flunked because we couldn't explain the steps.  Our answers were correct.  It was a case of explaining how we arrived at those answers that tripped us up.  I learned that sometimes, when one is trail blazing, one needs to backtrack and check the trail.

What does this have to do with my writing?  Lots.  I use those teachings when putting my ideas together, making sure I am on the right track.  I'm learning to navigate the writer's world.  And Mr. Wirta's face sometimes pops into my imagination when I am struggling with how to say something.  I "keep on trucking."

24 December 2013

Fifty States of Pray - Mark Koopmans

Fifty States of Pray hosted by Mark Koopmans is set for today.  Here is my prayer:

Gitchi Manidoo, hear me.  I ask for help for all directions for the good of my people, all peoples.  I ask for understanding, respect for all for we are all your creation.  MiiGwetch, for the path you've set before me.  I ask for strength for the walking of the path, the wisdom to know when I need a rest, the courage to pick myself up to continue on the path.  MiiGwetch.

06 December 2013

Day 2 & So On - NaNoWriMo

The following days were more staring at the blank screen.  I worked on a few of the other stories.  Finally, I opened up a text document and just started writing.  Now I was in a quandary of self imposed limits-not the editing kind.  Did that document constitute research?  Was it back story?  If I added these to the Novel of the Year, would I be able to count those words?  Funny how the inner critic rears its noisome head.  I continued on.

Character names at that point were limited to Friend One, Friend Two, Friend Three, Warrior, and Sidekick.  I had the main idea down.  Figured out how the characters would be interacting with each other and how they'd work toward the main objective.  Still hadn't put another word in the handy dandy writing program.  I sat and looked at that program, with all the blank documents.  I checked out the word counter.

I looked at my text document sitting on my desktop.  There were more words in there that maybe I could just add in the synopsis and do the character sheets.   Yes, that is what I did.  Now, a problem of a different sort.  Templates.  Templates for Characters, templates for Setting, And template for Daily Target.  Well two out of three wasn't bad.  I still hadn't had anything written in the Daily Target.

In the process of transferring stuff from the text document, I realized, I'd written quite a bit of words.  So, I thought to meself, yes, I have been hitting the daily target.  Whereupon, I stuck to the writing program with it's handy dandy Story Board.

Now, I am a self confessed Pantser and never really got the point of the Story Board.  Just seemed like extra work and not really helpful for my purposes-a 50,000 word Novel which I'd decided was going to be 100,000 words since those other writers were able to do so.  If they could, I could.  I learned differently.  Without that StoryBoard, I'd never have come close to the 75,000 mark, much less 100,000.  By the end of the first week, I made good progress.  Was quite happy with my story.

Then disaster.  I got sick.  Went to the clinic, hoping to head off the worst.  Pretty much slept through the next four days.  Thought I was doing good with the taking of the correct doses at the correct time.  Nah.  Managed to write a few words here and there.  Some even made sense.  What I did do during this time was make the discovery of the Writing Tools which included Character Name Generator.  Promptly, found names for the characters.  Even generated a couple dozen more.  One never knows when another name would come in handy.  Mostly, I just slept.

02 December 2013

Now that NaNoWriMo is in the history pages...

The month of November, most activity in my life came to a standstill.  Yes!  NaNoWriMo had begun at midnight, October 31, 2013.  Or another way of looking at it, 0000 hrs on November 1, 2013.  I, of course being a pantser extraordinaire, had no idea what I was going to write.

The week previous, I was getting ready to greet the little ghosts, goblins and ghoulies, though nowadays, it's more likely to be fairies, Yoda, and vampires.  Course I might have a better idea just who some of the characters are if I was exposed to littles under the age of 8 on a daily basis.   Can't even ask my sons as all the littles they're in contact with are in the age range of the teens and already playing such games as Fable, Halo and such like.  All Hallows Day, Mom and I got the little packages ready.  100 to be exact.  We weren't sure if we'd really need that many;  cold, windy and rainy.  After the event was over, I settled back to wait for the witchin' hour.  More precisely, the start of NaNoWriMo.

I had attended the Kick Off Party in Duluth the week prior.  Bought a new book whilst browsing at Barnes and Nobles: Writer's Guide to Character Traits by Linda N Edelstein, PH.D.  (Keep having to look up book titles-informed by Google I've visited the page twice which doesn't count the times I've just checked the description which has the info right there.)  I perused the book, thinking it had some good references.

Of course, I fell asleep, so didn't get the first word on the page until half past two or thereabouts.  I had been using the WriteWay program.  This year, decided to try Scrivener which I dutifully downloaded, checked out and thought I was proficient enough to write this year's Great American Novel.  Time came.  I couldn't remember how to get the story going.

Finally found the little doodad, the template created expressly for NaNoWriMo.   Of course, blank pages stared back at me until an idea popped into my little birdbrain, as Father so fondly reminds me.  Rainbows, the End of a rainbow.  Now, what.  I sat there staring at the page, for hours upon hours.

Even got up to take a break or two, as advised to do by many of the great writers when faced with the dreaded writer's block.  Checked my supply of tea, honey, chips.  Good.  Made coffee.  Did dishes.  Checked the supply of chocolates (which did last most of the month, even with Sister coming in at odd hours to noisily sneak a few, thus waking me up at odd hours of the day, mostly night.)

Nothing more was forthcoming, so I got the handy, dandy calculator on my desktop, proceded to figure out how many scenes I'd have to write to reach 100,000 words.  Yepper, I was going to do as many of the great writers over to the NaNoWriMo site do and hit 100,000 words.  Well, that took up quite a few more hours.  Once the number of scenes was decided, I next had to find out how to organize them.  Which of course led to me breaking down and checking the Help manual once again.  Happily duplicated so many scenes, I actually learned how to trash some of them.   Luckily, they were empty, extraneous ones so I had no compunction about seeing them in the trash.   Then, I learned how to empty the trash.

Looked at the clock and decided it was time to sleep, as no further ideas were forthcoming.  The last thing I did was open up a text document and put the word rainbow down, so I'd remember.  Put that on my desktop so it could be easily found.  Oh, the word I put in the actual template?  Bagamose.  The title.
(To be continued.)

30 October 2013

Book Review

Just before the NaNoWriMo Kick Off party I attended on 27 October 2013, I checked out Barnes and Noble, the brick and mortar store.  I got "Writer's Guide to Character Traits" 2nd ed.by Linda N. Edelstein, PH.D.  I've been perusing it for the past few days.  I found it to be informative and helpful in thinking over characters.  Definitely remains a staple in my repertoire of useful info.  "All this information is not a substitute for your imagination, but a way to inspire your mind." *Intro p 1.  Definitely can help to guide a character's life over a period of time.  Particularly those who plan serials or are world building.

On Page 3, she gives some hints for using the book in developing characters.  And this is what I found fascinating.  During my research for several of my books, I was looking for this particular kind of information.  While I have led a rich and varied life, I don't have the experience for quite of few of the characters that I was writing about.  This has come in handy for me, already.  Reading over some of the traits has solved a dilemma with the main characters in my books.  I felt there was something missing.  Voila!  There was.  I have been going back over the books I was going to self publish.  Tweaking here and there.

Of course, finding this book almost on the eve of NaNoWriMo presented a bit of a quandary.  How can I be editing and revising in the middle of the most exciting month of the year for me?  Light bulb clicked.  I only have to write 1667 words per day.  Thus I can keep my inner critic happy and distracted by checking out the other books. In particular, the three I had ready for publishing, okay, okay, self publishing.  The ones you've undoubtedly seen in the sidebar of my blogs, posted on my pages at Google and Facebook.  The very ones you've been wondering when you'll ever get to read, the ones you've probably given up on.

What stopped me in the midst of my mad dash to self publish was this:  "What about sex? How are you handling that?" from a concerned grandparent, parent, foster care type person.  Well, I assured her it wasn't in the triple x category.  That I showed that topic along the lines of our traditional outlook.  Whereupon I received "the look."  I realized I had been happily writing characters lives along our traditions and there was a skewed outlook on our traditions.  I put everything on the back burner for a bit whilst I figured out things.

Thus, my happiness at finding a book that had most of what I needed in one place.  And I can proceed with solving those plot points I had been unhappy with and get on with the business of self publishing my books.

13 October 2013

Catherine Holm Book Signing

I went to Catherine Holm book signing event at the Bookstore at Fitger's in Duluth, MN.   I ended up buying my heart is a mountain tales of magic and the land and she graciously signed it for me.  Don't understand why I did that.  I had intended to get Driving with Cats: Ours for a Short Time -- a memoir of love.


I like cats, though one wouldn't describe me as a cat lover.  My family and friends have a cat or two and sometimes a dog or two as well.  I like to watch the cats interact with their owners.  When an animal is well loved, it shows.  

My aunt was a great cat lover.  She'd had several cats over the course of her life.  The cat I remember the best was named Isis.  Had adventures with that cat, my aunt and me.  I thought of her, Isis and Clementine, a Siamese cat my mom gave to her, when I first saw the book on Catherine Holm's Facebook page.  I do intend to get a copy of the book.  If I can get back to Fitger's, I might even be able to get a signed copy that Catherine Holm has left there.

04 September 2013

Beginnings

Inspiration, sometimes, gets hard to find.  I think this is one of those times when one must keep on truckin', put one foot in front of the other, leap instead of look.  All my stories are at an impasse right now.  I usually can find some encouragement when browsing through the net.  Now, I'm reading too many negative stories.

Does that mean all my writing is going to take a nosedive into the darker side of fantasy?  I surely hope not.  While I do enjoy reading about Zombies, Vampires, and other nefarious beings, I'd rather not write about them.  On the other hand, one is supposed to grow, change and develop while writing.  Is that the next step for me, write dark fantasy?

No.  What it means is that I've gotten used to the frenetic pace of dealing with parent's illness.  I relaxed a bit and now need to find something to take the place of all that activity.  Writing a bit here and there, editing, revising and looking at the big picture when tracking the details was scrinched into very short time periods.  Now, I have those hours back and need to get used to using them.

My plans for the next couple weeks is to just sit and write for those four hours.  Anything and everything will be put down on paper.  Later on, maybe, I'll sift through and see if there's something worth keeping.  Along with that, I'll be entering all those handwritten notes, deciphering a few others and try to remember what those arrows meant.

And learn how to use that Dragon Naturally Speaking software program I got during the last NaNoWriMo event in November.  My headset grew legs while I was waiting to install the program.  I got one for my father and now need to be able to show him how to use it. Methinks both of us need to speak slowly and carefully.  We need to train our computers to type correctly.  Then maybe, I will be able to take those negative stories in stride and Keep on Truckin'.

23 July 2013

Further trials and tribulations of a budding writer, author?

I had plans to write a series of short stories set in my world on the StoryKeeper blog.  I posted the first in the series and methinks the gremll'ns struck once again.

Hoowhn.  

I went to post my second and lo and behold.  Had problems with blogger.  Not sure as I had to do a bit of searching as I couldn't get the error code settled.  I sent a support ticket and now everything seems to be fine.  Oh, and spent days hunting on my computer for a misconfigured network or some such thing.

Second, had to go to town and get another external drive with which to back up my VIP's, Very Important Projects.  Teehee.  Man, there were a lot of projects in there.  Backing up an entire computer would have been easier but I only wanted the Projects I am working on or have worked on.  Sure hope the programs I used to write them will convert once I have to update to the dreaded Windows 8 system.

I say dreaded as Father has gotten the latest after struggling with Vista for so long.  And we are in the process of getting his stuff back online.  He is using a non-touch screen.  The only thing I can say about this experience is that I will know what to do when I m u s t switch.  I've heard from a couple gamers who aren't happy with the new system and that gives me pause.  Maybe it'll go the way of the Vista program?

At any rate, I suppose I could convert to rtf or text.  Though I'm not sure about the picture book, [is that photography book?]  Drats, there I go again with the brackets.  It looks fine and works fine until one wants to import it to another program such as the one I used at LeanPub.  Still fixing some coding errors on those which stems from my use of brackets and the squigglies.

Well, that's J u s t a bit about what's been happening.  I want to thank everyone who sent prayers and good thoughts and encouragements during the past few months while my parents were on the road back to good health, or as good a 70+ and 90 year old can get.  Chii-Miigwetch.

13 June 2013

P's & Q's or p's & q's

The other day, I was driving Miss Lucille to town.  I happened to mention that I was going to look up the saying for "mind your p's and q's."  I had always thought it had something to do with etiquette.  And I mentioned this, as I often mention mundane or not so mundane topics for my journeys among the great library of the 'net as I like listening to her take on life.

Upon giving me the ol' eyeball, she proceeded with this:  In the old days of typesetting newspapers,  the p and the q (p q) looked so similar, that you had to be careful and make sure the right letter was used. One was frontwards and one was backwards.

Here, all this time, my mind insisted that p's and q's had something to do with etiquette.  Though, now that I think about it, my father, a former news editor, also told me this.  Why do some children never pay attention to their parents on a lot of topics?  If I had, it would have spared me the eyeball from Miss Lucille.

Hmmm.  Could it be the fact that one of my teachers in high school liked to say that all the time?  She used the expression whenever we were a mite restless.  Though, now that I think about, she did so whenever we weren't paying attention.

The question is how did I get etiquette stuck in my head?

One little saying, two different interpretations, a lasting impression.  Hmmm.  Many things to keep in mind when I write my many words.  I wonder how long it will take for me to get the correct interpretation to stick in my head.  Next time I ask, there might not be anyone who could readily tell me this from the rich and varied experience of their life.  I might have to search for hours, if not days, in the great library of the 'net.

26 May 2013

Good News

No, I haven't forgotten about blogging or writing and such things.  I've been busy the past few weeks getting financing set up.  I self published a book of photographs I took while on the Grand Canyon trip in October 2011.  I do have a book and a planner that's for public sale.

The book "Grand Canyon Desert Beauty" is a private printing and I've ordered 1000 copies.  Financing has worked out and I will be ordering the copies to be here around the end of June.  I'm working on a signing project of some type to coincide with the receipt of the books.

I've got quite a bit of interest already.  350 copies will be sold when the books arrive.  When the next elder trip is here, which has already been mapped out and details such as physicals need to be done, I will take some more pictures.  Some of the proceeds for the books will be donated to the Elders on the rez.

So many of the programs have been cut due to cutbacks that I wanted to help in some way with the programs.  I have another project in mind for youth also.  Back burner for that one for now.

Thus, I have had to fine tune my business plan, marketing plan, learn ins and outs of wheeling and dealing.  teehee.  Let's not forget the government type stuff.  Now, that was sort of a doozy to do.  And I have experience working with federal, state and tribal governments.  Somehow, it is different when dealing from a different perspective.  Ahh well, live and learn.

Just wanted all to know what I have been doing and explain a bit about the link some of you may have noticed on my sidebar.  Oh, I will be unveiling a new website shortly.  Taataa for now.  Sad.

09 April 2013

G is for Gives


“Glad you came over.  This week’s been pretty frantic, what with all the excitement round here.  Had to do a lot of cleaning.  Sometimes, I wonder if it’s worth it to clean.  Look at all this stuff.  So, I decided to have a giveaway.  This is all stuff I bought, intending to use someday.”

“We could help you set it up.  Only problem is when you want to have it.  See, there’s a couple dinners and a house gifting this week.”

“I don’t think I’ll do it formally.  Just tell everyone to come over and get whatever they want.  I put most everything out on the porch already.”

“It does look a bit bare in here.  What’s going on?”

“Oh, nothing.  I just got tired of looking at the same old stuff.  Even with rearranging it.  I don’t know why I bought half this stuff.  The rest is in boxes ready for the sale next month.”

“Best be careful.  Once a space is used to something in it, it’ll fill up.”

“Sheesh.  Where’d you hear that from?”

“I was thinking about it one day.  I had a perfectly bare cupboard and it filled up without me even knowing it.  Found a bunch of stuff I didn’t even know I had.  That’s how I know it’ll fill up again.”

“Criminy, that’s just, I don’t know where you get these ideas.  Space will fill up.”

“Quit laughing.  It’s better than the hare brained ideas you come up with.”

“Ookay.  Hey, wait a minute.  You might be onto something.  Look at this.  I was sure I left that over to Patty’s the other night.”

“What the heck’s in that thing anyways?”

“Well, Patty says this is what she came to get.”

“Was it there when you guys went over?”

“No.  It wasn’t anywhere on the porch or in her house.”

“Someone’s messing with you guys.  A ghost?  Did they ever find out who was in the hall?  I think you should just have a formal giveaway.”

“Well that’s sounds like a good idea.  Still, hauling all this stuff is going to be.”

“We’ll only need a couple cars and the boys can help us.  They just play around in that garage of theirs.”
“I guess.  I’ll leave that part to you.  I’d better call Patty to come over.”

07 April 2013

Patience, I tell myself.

A day of rest and relaxation, that's what today is.  Well, I have been visiting different bloggers and reading their posts.  The challenge is fully underway.  And it is exciting for me to learn a great many new things.  For instance:  definitions of new words such as those I saw at Zulu Delta 45 - Defenestrate.  I'd actually read that word in a book once, and didn't look it up.  Course that was in the days I didn't have the urging of a teacher to check my dictionary.  I was skipping ahead to see how many bloggers there were and Zulu Delta 45 caught my eye.  Checked it out and there it was-defenestrate.  Odd how some words can stick in your memory, while others find their way to that black hole (or aimed that way, teehee.)

Writing in Wonderland's Slyvia Ney, has some brainstorming tools.  Another blogger I want to find time to read is Steven Symes.  Looking over his site, well, at least the front page, there are some posts I want to check out, such as the one about the Salem Witch Trials.  And another, History Sleuth's Writings, has a few posts I thought looked interesting.  And there is a history site link.  Yes.

Since I've been writing on this for 4 hours already, I thought I'd better just post and then finish getting sidetracked on some of the other bloggers.  Not too long though, I'm revising also for Camp NaNoWriMo and the other one, for which I've already posted the cover.  Getting a few days of eye rest, one final read  gather up my courage and hit that publish button over to Smashwords.  (Essential, I think, as I've commented here and there regarding my catching of the typos and such in books I've read and how that irked me.  I want to limit mine to the least amount I can find.  Oh for the day when I can hire such tasks out.)

For those of you new to my blog, I have three other blogs, each of which has to do with one or the other of my interests.  niiganab is the very first blog I wrote, many moons ago, Family Legacy is the second and isn't posted to very frequently as I've put a bit too much on my plate at the moment.  The other is about books I read, books I write, books I'd like to read.  Of the four, this and niiganab get posted to the most.

ChiMiigwetch (Many thanks) for visiting and commenting.  Giigawabimin noongom.  See ya later.

06 April 2013

F is for Fails


“Well, what were you doing?”

“I needed to get that bag back.  I shouldn’t have sent it over.  How was I to know someone else would come over?”

“That bag was over to your house.  I left it on your porch like you asked.  I don’t think you’re telling me everything.”

“The cops were happy with what I told them.  I don’t even have to talk to you.  S’posed to stay away from you and Ilsa.  Just came over to get the rest of my stuff.”

“I’m disappointed with your breaking into my house.  There wasn’t anything in the laundry room.  Told you I took the dress and bag to your house.  It’s no use telling me stuff like that.  I want to know why you came to my house, broke in the back door.  Ciminy, Patty.  Ilsa’s hand was sliced to the bone.”

“Oh, it wasn’t that bad.  She got a couple stitches, that’s all.”

“Were you there?  Did you see it?”

“She told me.”

“C”mere.  Go up the stairs.  Fact, I think you should help me clean this up, don’t you think?  Yeah, I think I’ll call Ilsa and have her come and watch.”

“Wow.  Is that all her blood?”

“Yes.  Now, are you going to tell me what you were doing here and who you were with?”

“I can’t.  I don’t know who was up here.  Told you already.  I wanted that bag back.”

“Well, we’ll just go over to your house and look at that bag, that dress and whatever else you picked up at the dump.”

“It’s not there.  That’s what I keep telling you.  I came to get it.  Thought you brought it back to your house.  I didn’t want to wake you up.  If I’d known you were awake, I’d have knocked and come in.  I don’t know who else was here.”

“If you’re lying to me, I’ll come looking for your sorry self.  Man, I’m wishing I’d have let Irene knock your silly self black and blue.  You sure you got that stuff at the dump?”

“Don’t believe me then.  I don’t care.  I don’t know what else to say.  I’ll show you where I found all of that stuff, if you want.  C’mon, let’s go.”

“I’ll find out what’s going on sooner or later.  Help clean this up.  Then we’ll go.”

05 April 2013

E is for Eludes


“Great.  That’s just great.”

“Watch this part.”

“Shhhh.  Someone’s here.”

“You sure?  I don’t hear, oh.”

“It’s coming from the kitchen.  No, leave it on.”

“There it is again.  Coming this way.”

“Stay here.  I’m going over by the door.”

“I don’t think so.  I’ll be on the other side.”

“Huuuh.  Quick.”

“Where’s the.”

“Ssss.”

“No.  Towards the back.  I can see a shadow.”

“Another one at the front.  Go, look there.”

“Just what do you think you’re doing in my house.”

“Upstairs, they’re going upstairs.”

“Got you, you.  Patty? What you doing, sneaking round my house?”

“Oh, no, you don’t.  Help, a knife.  He’s got a knife!”

“I’ll deal with you later.  Get out.”

“What? Thought you were...Oww.  Get back here.”

“Uhnn.  Dammit.“

“Im’s okay.  Gonna need stitches.  I grabbed for the knife.  Too dark, I think it was a woman, going for your bedroom.”

“Patty was in the kitchen.  I sent her home, told her I’d deal with her later.  Let’s get to the hospital.  I doubt they’ll be back.”

“What’s with Patty?  Aren’t you helping her?”

“Why’d you wanna grab the knife?”

“It was headed for my stomach.  What’d you think I was gonna do, stop, drop and roll? How do you know they’ll stay away?”

“Hello, can you send the cops over to my house?  Someone just tried to hurt Ilsa.  She’s bleeding.  I don’t think the bleeding is going to stop any time soon.  One of them was Patty....  No she didn’t the cutting, someone else.  There were two of them.  Both of them got away after Ilsa was stabbed.  No, I don’t know.  The only lights on were downstairs.  Couldn’t see.”

“Can we go?  It’s hurting like, like, I don’t know.”

“We’re heading to the hospital.  Can’t wait.  Her hand’s pretty bad.”

04 April 2013

C is for Clean


“Getting ready for the big day?”

“Don’t step there.  I just washed the floor.  Go round to the side and come in.  Else stand on the porch and talk.”

“Touchy.  I’ll stand and  watch.  Sides, I don’t have time today.  I’m going over to the Duke’s.  He’s having a potluck.  I got bread in the car.  Just wanted to know if you were coming.  In about half hour.”

“Sheesh.  Why you wanna drag me to all these socials?  I’m busy right now.”

“He’s having a going away party, for himself.  He decided to head out.  Guess you were right bout that.  Where’d you get that dress?”

“I’m cleaning it up for someone.  It’s not too bad.  There’s one spot won’t come out.  Been working on that for a couple days.  Looks like coffee.  Might have to cover it over.”

“Thought I saw someone wearing it at that dance over to the Hall last week.  Behind the building, yeah.  I tried to see who it was, too dark.  Sides, I was parking the car.  Don’t know why I didn’t just leave it at the front.  We left right away, everyone was pretty much wasted by the time we got there.”

“Why you wanna go to those anyways?  Nothing but trouble happens.  People get into quarrels over the least little thing.”

“Not much else to do round here.”

“I keep busy.  Fact, I have a few more things to do today.  I’m not going to that party.  I need to see the old lady on the ridge.  She might be able to help me get that stain out.”

“Why you working on it?  Seems like a lot of trouble.”

“Keeps me busy.  Anyways, that might not be coffee if you saw it over to the dance.  Thinking it has to be something else now, like one of those fancy drinks they keep serving over there.”

“Whose dress is it?”

“Don’t know.  Found it at the dump.  Ohh, not me.  You didn’t hear bout that?  Knock down, drag out fight and you didn’t hear?”

“I didn’t hear nothing.  What happened?”

“Herself didn’t tell you?  Well, I was on my way to the store when I heard them hollering.  When I got to the house, they were rolling around, each trying to hang onto a bag.  When I said I’d toss her out to the road, she left.  Then Patty said she found it down to the dump.  She found some stuff inside.  It was pretty dirty.  She’d tried to clean it.  Something stained it and she wants me to clean it.  I need to get busy on this.  Didn’t you say you were going to the Duke’s?  Bring me a plate, will you?”

D is for Dress


“Bout time you got here.  I need to hurry.  Don’t sit down.  Why I let you talk me into this.  How does this look?”

“Looks fine.  You need to get out more.  You’re always in this house by yourself.”

“Well, I have things to do.  Can’t always be doing this kind of stuff every day.”

“Stand still.  That collar is crooked.  And you’d better let me braid your hair.  Did you get that dress cleaned then?”

“Yeah.  Grape juice.  I didn’t let it soak long enough the first time.  Course it was pretty dried on when I got it.  Pretty dress.  You remember any more about it?”

“Not much more.  She was running away, if that helps.”

“Not much.  Trying to remember, ouch.  This is a mite small.  Can you get me a different one?  Not very good at this.  Think that’s the reason I don’t like going to socials.  Never could see the sense.  Dressing up for people you see every day?”

“Found them.  I thought you’d had some pieces to put in your hair.  Stand, no, sit.  This will take longer if you don’t sit.”

“Don’t know how you can do this every day.  I’m glad I work outside.  Fancy me digging in the dirt with this on?”

“Weell, maybe not the dress.  You could fix your hair with these though.”

“Maybe.  Have to think bout it.  Didn’t Ruby say she was going to buy a dress?”

“Ohh yeah.  She was all gungho over some new man she’d met.

“Did you ever see her wear it?”

“No.  Fact, I think she got her brother’s car and went up to Mall.  That was about two weeks ago.  There, all set.”

“Well, time to get going, I guess.  Haah.”

02 April 2013

B is Belongs


“Ya going to the meeting?”

“Yeah, guess so.  Not that I have anything done for it.  All my squares turned out not so square.  Off by an eighth of an inch on one side.”

“That won’t matter.  We can make something else with them.  Just bring it.”

“I was thinking of quitting.  My stuff never works out, I pick weird colors.  And the last time, I lost a needle.”

“Sheesh!  One would think you had all the woes in the world.  Everyone has off days.”

“No, really.  Everyone else does some beautiful work.  Mine look so dull and lumpy.”

“I’ll”

“And crookedy.  Who wants a crooked blanket?”

“Oh!  Stay home then.  I’m going.  It’s not everyone who belongs in that circle.  Why, I heard that they only pick people who have a good sense of what belongs where, what colors go where.”

“Who else belongs in that circle?  Maybe...nawh.”

“What?”

“Think I’ll go.  Just to see, mind you.”

“You wanna hear the latest?  I heard...”

“No.  You know I don’t like to listen to gossip.  Criminy, I pretend to listen to it down to the meetings.  Don’t have to listen to it here.”

“Here comes the Duke.  Do you suppose he’s really leaving...”

“What did I just say?  Sides, he’s better off leaving.  The way women fall all over his every glance, faint at the merest hint of a smile.  One would think he was sick of it.  Could be that’s the reason he’s leaving.  Maybe the women here aren’t good enough?”

“What’s the matter?  OOhh.  You made a try for him, didn’t you?”

“Naw.  I didn’t.  I know someone who did though.  And she was mad cause he wouldn’t go on that trip to the powwow with her.  She was crying around.  Literally buckets of tears.  When she saw I was watchin, she flounced off.  Now she’s really mad.  Guess she had her heart set on something.”

“Who was that?”

“Never mind.  You’ll find out soon enough, I suppose.  C’mon.  Let’s get this stuff loaded in the car.  I want to find out who belongs in that circle.  Man, people around here have the weirdest...”

“You always do that.  Start something and leave me hanging.”

“Well, you need something to occupy your time with.  Otherwise, you mope around.  Help me lift this.  Whatever did I put in this basket anyway.  It weighs a ton.”

01 April 2013

A is for Argue


“I saw you carrying a bag home.  That’s my bag.  Where did you get it from?”

“Down to the dump.”

“You have to give it back to me.  I want it back.  Right. Now.”

“Can you tell me what’s in it?”

“None of your business, what’s in it.  That’s my bag and I want it back now.”

“Only after I take out what’s in it.  Since you can’t tell me what’s inside, you’ll get the bag.  Only that.  Hey!  Quit grabbing the bag.”

“Weelll, giivvve it toooo me.”

“Get out!  This is my house.  Get out.  I’ll bring your old bag down to your hou.”

“I said to give me that bag.  I’m not going anywhere without it.”

“Hey! Why you.”

“Why’d you steal it?”

“Why did you throw it away?”

“I didn’t.  I want it back!”

“Well, I found it at the dump.  There wasn’t anything in it.  It was empty.”

“You just said”

“Well, I changed my mind.  Get out!”

“I’ll be back, you old witch.  I’m going to get my bag back.”

“Good luck with that.  I was going to bring down to your house.  Now, I’m not.”

“You, you, give me my bag back.”

“Not until you get out of my house.  Stay outside.  I’m keeping what’s inside.”

“That’s my bag, I said.  Watch it, don’t you tear it.  Now see.”

“I’m keeping what’s inside the bag.  I know it’s not yours.  You threw this away and now you want it back.  Just because I found it.  It’s still a good bag.  Ouch.”

“Give it...yeah.  hey!”

“I said you get out of my house.  Get out! Get out.  Give it back.”

“Leave my bag alone.  You can’t have it.”

“I found it, you old witch.  You threw it and now you want it back.”

“What’s going on here?”

“Stay out of this, you hag.  She took my bag and I’m taking it back.”

“I didn’t.  I was down to the dump and I found it there.  It was in a pile of clothes and stuff.  I picked it up and put a couple other things I found down there.  I just got back and she came running over, hollering and screaming at me.  What’s down to the dump is up for grabs, I say.  She can’t come over here and try to take what’s mine.  Besides, I told her I’d bring it to her house aafter I unloaded the stuff.  She just wants to take what I found.  Sides, she already threw.”

“Hey, take your hands off her.  I’ll haul you out to the road if you can’t be civil.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah.  You’ll take her side anyway, you old coot.”

“She’s gone now.  What’s in the bag?”

“A dress, shoes and necklaces.  They were laying in a pile at the edge of the dump near the woods.  I saw the shiny.”

“Hmm.  Better put them away before she comes back.”

31 March 2013

The A to Z Challenge Pre-post?

Well, I was unsure if I'd get the comments working in time for the challenge.  Yes.  I found the problem.  In checking over the options on the sidebar of the edit page, I found...Reader comments and clicked the allow button.  Yes.  Hmm.

On the A to Z Challenge, I did post some other tips and such, mostly because there are a fair number of blogs and I'd really like to follow all of them.  The problem for me is that I have to pick and choose, else some get lost in the shuffle of those who post fairly frequently.

I decided on an action verbs list for each letter within the confines of dialogue only.  The dialog is part of a plot I've developed for a short story, or rather a novella.  Some of the words presented a "challenge" and I was tempted to change the word.  I persevered and have 24 posts ready for final edit before posting.  I don't think I've ever put that much thought into what I post.

If you have any comments, feel free to speak your mind.  As always, I don't require that you comment, or even follow me.  I go by the page view count and that's good enough for me, knowing someone reads what I write.  Looking forward to meeting some new bloggers and will be checking out "my regulars" as well.

24 March 2013

Novel Title Change and Cover


Choices.

Tallulah Zultanah Nokomis, First Born Daughter, grows up knowing she must marry and have a child to keep her line unbroken: the Pact between two Peoples must be upheld. The first First Born Daughter to marry for the Pact used the Knowledge of the Old Ones to her benefit, becoming a Windigo.  Tallulah must destroy her or be destroyed.

*The cover hasn't been uploaded to the Smashwords site where Storm Clouds resides, patiently waiting for the final edit.

"Alright.  Everybody, quiet.  I'm an old lady who can't process 12 conversations at one time anymore.  Sit.  Think about what you want to say.  There are a few people who want to hear your story."

Chaos settles into quiet.  We sit and watch each other for a few days.  I start reading over what has already been written.  I work on the cover.  Clamor starts as the other characters want theirs finished right now.

"Patience.  Everyone must learn patience.  I am an old lady who can't manage more than two things at a time anymore."

I add the finishing touches to the cover when Tallulah (Ulah) speaks quietly:

"My story is more about the choices I had, the decisions I made that came from them.  And consequences...."

We look at her.  Waiting.  We listen as she starts her story.

I am an old lady who still has a lot to learn.  Ulah made the title change.

22 March 2013

Your chance for a gift-Extended thru 07 April 2013

Edit: Yippee!  Found out why the comments were not working.  Thus, the giveaway will be extended through 07 April 2013.  One more week.  As a result, I will be adding a $10 Facebook Gift card to the awards.  Chi miigwetch, my little guinea pigs.  
Comments box is not showing for some reason.  I will be disabling that part of the giveaway, even though it was optional.  Working on a solution.  Thanks for reading.

What is the gift card you have a chance for?  Why, I am offering a $25 Facebook Gift Card for one person who follows me on Facebook.

You don't have like my page to enter.  The purpose of the Giveaway is to promote my page.  Or you can like my page without entering.  I will have a giveaway for a choice of a Google Play card  or Amazon Gift card or Barnes & Noble gift card following this, so if you don't want to log in with Facebook, you don't have to.  Email entries are fine.  This promotion will run for one week only.

This will begin at midnight, 0000 hours Central Standard US 23 March 2013 through midnight (0000 hours) 30 March 2012.  The drawing will be Sunday 31 March 2013 and the winner will be notified by email within 48 hours.  Once I get confirmation of eligibility, I will send the prize. **See note below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

An explanation of how to enter follows:

The Anatomy of a Rafflecopter Giveaway - Infographic


Courtesy of: Rafflecopter

**Note: Mildred R Holmes follows the laws for the State of Minnesota, so you must be 18 years of age as of 30 March 2013 in order to claim the gift or age of majority in your state.

21 March 2013

A to Z Challenge tips

Even though this is the first time I'm participating in the A to Z Challenge, I want to post of few of my thoughts on the process.

During the Platform Building Campaign, I followed a lot of interesting blogs.  Some of them got lost in the mad shuffle and weren't regained until the recent overhaul of my blogs.  Now, it seems the math used to determine my likes, wants and needs isn't all that perfect.  teehee.

Suggestion number 1:  Use the file, label or whatever indicator on your reader program to sort your interests as soon as you hit the follow, like or send button or a quickly as possible thereafter.  I have anywhere from 88 to 104 blogs I'm following depending on which stats I look at.  Some of them are on Live Journal, Word Press or even less common sites.  They're supposed to be managed in Google Reader dashboard.  I think the reorganization of that helped my reader bring back some of the blogs that I thought weren't being posted to as it had been so long.

Suggestion number 2:  Even though I had labeled my blog into one category, I checked out a few of the others.  Like my library at home, it is an eclectic collection.  Once in a great while, I come across a point of inspiration on those.  I comment, thinking that that will bring that blog into my reader.  Ha.  As I said, that algorithm isn't perfect.  So, make sure to hit the follow comment button so you can receive notifications in your email, at least until you determine that it was just a one time inspiration.

Third, once the actual madness has ended, go back and check out a few more of the blogs listed.  I've come across some sites that I followed just because they used their creativity and set up an interesting, easy to look at site.  Some of them are very beautiful just to look at.

Well, until next I post.  Giigawabamin noongom.  See ya later. (actual translation, you see soon or as close as I can come to it.  I may do a post regarding the translation of Anishinabemowin.  It is interesting and may help if you're world building.)

20 March 2013

A to Z Challenge

Writing from A to Z seemed to be a challenge that I could possibly do.  I had seen the badges here and there around the blogosphere.  This year I decided to accept that challenge.  The list is here at Alex J Cavanaugh's blog:  2013 A-to-Z challenge and on that list I am at 415.  It is now 1175.


The list closes in 12 days on 01 April 2013 at midnight.  Visiting 5 blogs a day is 130 blogs that I will be visiting.  This will be a challenge in itself.  The hosts lists has grown since I joined. (edit: transposed 12 fixed)

19 March 2013

Book Release

Most of the revising of my NaNoWriMo novel, "Storm Clouds" is done.  Technical issues had caused a slight delay in my schedule.  The revision process has changed the title to "Choices."

Uploading to Smashwords is scheduled for 05 April 2013.  And this is where the technical difficulties started.  I learned how to use the Paint.net program.  I loaded the picture I wanted to use and got the title and my author name situated just so.  Worked for a couple days to get the background perfect.

I had followed the guidelines for book covers.  Pixel width and height a bit larger and all concerned could crop it with no fear.  I had thought about getting really fancy and decided that simple is better until I can get the hang of manipulating the tools.  And therein was the difficulty.

I was more concerned with the pixel size and making sure the picture was set so it didn't matter if it was cropped.  Played around with different effects and made the final "Choices." Dutifully saved it as png file.

This morning I checked at the Smashwords site for uploading the cover and the updated story.  Whoa.

#4 Cover Image under Apple Ibookstore Publishing Checklist:  "...cannot be a grayscale image, i.e. black and white only."  Well, my book cover was black and white.  Or was it?  Did I save it as something else when I was happily playing with the tools and discovering the different effects and such?

No doubt about it.  I think I had inverted the colors and used one of the other effects to make get the visual effect of a different sort of being's vision.  Black and white?  3D effect?  Some decisions had to be made and now will be working on the cover again.  Just to make sure I didn't use grayscale.

I tried to do as Scott Stringer recommended for naming layers in his ebook "Mastering Paint.NET 3.5.10" and realized on this one cover, I neglected to do so.  Working on fixing that.  The release of the book cover has been changed to 05 April 2013.  Now that I think about it, when I showed my sis what I had done, the expression on her face was probably a good indication that it needed to be changed anyway.

06 March 2013

March Madness

Ahniin.  Greetings.  Wow!  It's been a month since I posted on either of my blogs.  Course, the reason for this is due to the nefarious trojans lurking around, patiently waiting for the unwary.  I took my computer to a professional for cleaning as I didn't have the required anti-static vacuum cleaner.

Beginning January 20 or thereabouts, I was checking out Lean Pub.  The company uses Markdown.  I've been getting my blog posts in book form.  I've wanted to do so since I first learned about it.  Unfortunately, I didn't have the patience to copy all my posts and set up for publishing.  Lean Pub will import your blog...a catch is it will only import whatever is in your reader.  If your blog is set up for short, that's what will post.  For the past month, I've been getting the book ready.  Along the way, I needed a cover.

About half the time during February was devoted to learning how to make a cover.  This turned out to be so much fun.  I played around with the program for a couple weeks.  Have to get another storage device for the images I "improved" and the maps I made.  Wowser, the files can get humongous.

The blog I put in book form was Niiganab as that is the more important one for me.  Having worked with the files for Lean Pub, I have several ideas that are percolating around.  It is real simple to learn.  The books I've been working on will still be published at Smashwords as Lean Pub is geared more towards the tech books that need constant updating, i.e. language, programming and whatnot.  There are some non-tech books, like NaNoWriMo books.  And this is the reason I chose to use Lean Pub for my blog.  When I want to update it, I can with relative ease.  For right now, my plans are to put non-fiction stuff there on Lean Pub and fiction on Smashwords.

28 January 2013

Re-introduce myself Blog fest

Aniin, Greetings.  I am Niiganabiik, aka Mildred R Holmes, daughter of a long line of Anishinabeg men and women.  I write articles for my tribal newspaper.  In 2003, I chose layoff status for the winter and decided to write a novel.  A high school goal accomplished.  That goal was added by the goal to be published.    The novels are in the fantasy genre due to the inclusion of magic.

I post on three different blogs: a personal journal, writer journal and a family history.  The family history is rarely updated.  Personal and writer are updated at least weekly.

{Edit:  This was set to post at 0400 on 28 January 2013.  Once again, the schedule hasn't worked for me.  I've been away from my home computer doing a good deed and didn't have the means to double check.  I just got back this evening and will now blog-hop.  Thanks to all who read my last post and commented.  This post is now a bit longer than the 100 or so words.}  {And if anyone can tell me why the schedule post doesn't work, I'd appreciate it.--Disregard.  I know what happened.}

26 January 2013

Meditation on my Path

Winter time.  Time for meditation.  Time to assess my goals.  I've been checking a lot of websites for research, for fun and games, for learning, seeing what's out there in the "library" that contain millions of "books," maybe billions by now.  The most important thing I figured out is I need to know what it is I want and need as a writer, as a person.  There are so many opinions and "suggestions" that I may easily get caught up in something and lose my focus.  I figured out that it is okay to pick up hints, ideas, and tips here and there, as long as it is useful to my goals and objectives.

One person path
Walking one's own path.  This path is used by one person, day after day, coming and going from point A to B. He started by putting one foot in front of the other when the snow was soft.  It would have been easier to walk a path that was shoveled.  The shoveled path leads out of his way by a few dozen steps.  He concluded that it was easier to make his own path.  This path has no one in front or behind to pick you up if you trip.

Two or more person path

This path is traveled by two or more people, is used more often and is wider than the other.  There is more than one use for this path.  Three specific reasons why they also don't use the shoveled path.  It's not as long as the other path, doesn't take them out of their way and is less treacherous.  In the event one trips, there may be someone to help.

Follow in someone's footsteps
Someone told me that to follow in someone's footsteps involves not putting your foot directly in that person's footprint.  One makes one's own path even while following in someone's footsteps.  The path then ends up a little wider and easier for the next person.  {This is one of our customs.  I was losing my balance.  The toe should have been barely discernible from the other.}


The easiest path used for a variety of reasons.  This path has been built up for support, requiring maintenance to keep open.  More room to find one's balance if one trips.  And because more than one person can fit, one can have help all the way if one needs it.  Easier to pick oneself up than on the other paths.  {Whose job is it to keep the path open?} 


The start of all three paths to get from point A to B.  One makes the decision about the path one wants to take.  This is where I find myself at this point.  I stand considering where I want to go, which way to travel.  Three paths all with combinations I could use to get where I'm going.  They all connect to another path leading in different directions, whether I stay in the known, safe place or go to unknown, possibly less safe place.  I could choose to make a completely new path, one with unknown qualities.  Start with one foot on a path, take the next step forging a new path?  Which one do I choose?  


21 January 2013

Plots and more plots

Over the course of the past couple days, I've been researching, well, okay, surfing, the Net.  I started out by trying to find an easier way to draw a squiggly line tracing a path I needed for my stories.  This led to an examination of sites for fantasy maps looking for one that may have already been drawn.  On one site containing a fantasy map generator, the person recommended a book "20 Master Plots and How to Build Them" by Ronald B Tobias.  This, of course, sent me on a quest.

Whereupon, I found the book at Amazon.  Read the sample which led me to Writer's Digest.  I resurrected my user name/log in info so that I could download "20 Master Plots: The Checklist."  Did a search that didn't turn up what I was looking for.  Didn't use the right keywords.  Howsomeever, I did find a whole lot more info, checked the forums, went to a couple of the other associated sites.  No luck finding the checklist.

I did, however, find out in the course of my meandering I had forgotten what I was searching for in the plethora of information.  By then, after a few breaks which included shutting down my browser, thus erasing my history, I had forgotten where I had found the original recommendation.  Aha.

I returned to Amazon, hoping that I could find the book that way and find the name.  Mistake.  Browsing history there didn't contain the book.  But, I did find it after searching Writer's Digest books.  Returned to Writer's Digest and with the right key words, found the checklist and downloaded it.  Checked it and decided to return to Amazon and purchase said book.

I immediately skimmed through both, which, after sleeping on it, I did another search for "The Whale Husband."  This legend had been featured by Tobias as a story with no plot as compared to "Two English Gentleman" being a story on the verge of a plot.

Tobias did state that "In all fairness, the story probably has many hidden connotations that are available to the original teller and listeners, but as it is here it seems to fail our expectations of what a story should be.  Those expectations are what plot is all about."

I knew there had to be more to the story than the summary given here.  Thus my hunt to track down the original legend of "the Whale Husband."  OOh, yeah.  This hunt led me various places.  Sufficient to say, I needed to find the right key words once again.

A site, Ye Olde Curiosity Shop, has a page, Totem Poles and the Stories They Tell that depicts the whale as a "villain" in the Northwest Coast Indian legends, as the whale is a staple in their diet.  It gives a one sentence summary of the tale of a young woman kidnapped by a whale and after assistance from friendly birds and animals and the use of "black magic," the husband was able to rescue her.

The reason I knew there had to be more to the story is simple.  I grew up listening to such stories.  Weell, not the Whale one, others like it.  Our stories and legends are more complex, more subtle than the simple summary in Tobias' book or Ye Olde Curiosity Shop's further enlightenment.

In fact, in the old, old days, one story was told over the course of many days, a mini-series complete with acting out some of the parts.  The complex nature of the stories is the reason many storytellers were trained from birth to tell them.  The subtle nature the reason stories were only told during the winter months.  There was more time to fill, at least in the cold parts of the country.

They are plots within plots within plots designed to make one think.  There were usually four or five plots involved to get to the point of the story.  Translating the stories as told involves a number of things: knowledge of English as a second language, knowledge of customs-why we do the things we do, and the patience to get them right.  Most of the stories would be unwieldy as read in a book.  Think "War and Peace."  Thus, many are cut down to one or two, or simplified when telling it to someone who is not familiar with the old ways.

And the reason many elders do not like to tell the old stories.  Youngsters these days are impatient.

Miew.  Miigwetch.

19 January 2013

Monday morning kind of day

Getting out of bed on mornings that register below zero is not my favorite thing to do.  It's harder to open that door and walk outside into the cold freezing air.  Then to sit and start a car, brush the snow off, get any ice off the windows, debate with oneself if the engine is warm enough to drive.  Man, the to-do's one must contemplate just go 1/2 mile and come back.  It's a shock to discover that halfway from the house, one has forgotten to put on gloves or mittens and the steering wheel is cold.  Huuhmm.

I've discovered, much to my dismay, revising and editing a story can be like that.  Getting stuck on one detail is akin to opening that door and walking outside into the freezing cold.  I've been opening the door to my world for the past few weeks and discovering that getting into the driver's seat is hard for me to do when I know the destination, but the snow is swirling and making it hard to see where I'm going.

This morning, I finally made a map of one of the villages.  I showed it to mom.  She turned her head to hide the amusement as she knows how important this is to me.  My son heard us discussing it.

"There's a website-deviantart dot com.  There's artists who do work for commission."

Huhhnah.  According to several sources at fantasy map making sites, authors giving writerly tips and general advice columnists, I really don't have to worry about any maps being beautiful on my end.  What a relief!  My publisher will hire an artist regardless of how much work I put into these maps.

Wait!  Right this moment, I have no publisher.  I am my own publisher.

05 January 2013

A break in the day

And no, I don't plan on putting up the whole book.  Just the first few scenes.  The book has already been through the spellcheck, weak sentence and repeats.  Now at the cutting of what is really backstory and have added scenes here and there.  (Sis, I'm still waiting for your comments on the first sentence or whatever it was you had in mind.)

I've got the instructions for how to use that handy dandy Paint.NET program.  I can do my covers.  One less item tic'd and now working on that in my spare time.  hahahohoheehee.  I was spending a lot of time in the forums over there and was getting the hang of it.  Then I happened on the thread containing the link to "Mastering Paint.NET 3.5.10" by Scott Stringer.  It saved me a lot of trial and error which is what I had been doing.

Ahh, I should have kept the first cover I experimented with.  What a...the title and my name disappeared completely.  I was hanging out over there trying to find out how to get them back.  And trying to cut something from one image to overlay reminded me why I am in complete awe of those like Michael Offutt who can draw.  I was checking out his artwork.

Chuckling to myself thinking about my inability to trace even.  I, who can sit for hours putting thousands of teeny, tiny, beads on a cloth background can't draw.  Hmm.  I'm at the age where I could take an art class.  Naaah.  I'll settle for admiring artists like Michael.

In my travels around the net recently, I came across a lot of posts at various sites detailing goals and such for the year.  Mine have been done during August, the month of my birth.  I have already had to change deadlines for self publishing.  Forgot one very important thing. The cover.  Yeah, yeah, yeah.  I knew one had to be created.

I didn't take into account exactly what needed to be done.  Howsomeever, that important detail is quickly coming under control.  One thing the back burner has done:  revising my short stories has turned up a few more grammar errors that I missed.  I've taken a couple photos and will try for a decent cover.  I looked at the photo sites and decided I didn't want the hassle of getting copyright permission at this point.  Mostly, no money to pay as the photos I liked were expensive.  My to-do's are longer, adding items to the growing plans of things that need to be done.  Hmm. Well, onward and upward.