The State of the Writer: 12/27/20

<–The State of the Writer: 12/13/20         The State of the Writer: 1/10/21–>

A post updated every other Sunday discussing my current writing projects and any completed the prior two weeks.

Finished Projects: 2

Project: Story
Working Title:
The High Archon
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Original
Length: Novel
Status: Preparation
Setting up notes in Scrivener

Whew…creating a language is time consuming lol.  My plan was always to expand on what I’d initially started in The Serpent’s Tale, my first (and still unpublished) novel that this one borrows heavily from.  The male MC is a polyglot and fully fluent in the language of his background, and I’m kind of a doer when it comes to writing aka show vs. tell I suppose.  You can’t just say someone speaks a different language and not have them speak said language (it’s the same way how I had to literally show he’s an assassin by, uh, having him kill some people lol).  I made up more words in that language, which is called Rava, than any others, and it’s the only one where I even attempted grammar and syntax.

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The Rising Author Tag

Borrowed from Writer Michelle Payne whom I think combined it with another tag from two other bloggers 🙂

What’s your current WIP about + what are you working on with it?

We’ll do my original story and not The Broken Rose even though I’m not technically working on it right now, but I hope to return to it soon.  The working title is The High Archon changed from The High Lord, though it could always change again.  It’s about a young woman who’s betrothed to the de facto ruler of the world in a sort of Belle Epoque/Golden Age era, though that doesn’t prevent something horrible from happening to her a year before she goes to fulfill the betrothal.  The act changes her entire life view and potential trajectory, and the novel is about the incongruence between how she thinks she’ll be treated and how she is.  It’s a…shakeup (I hope) to typical paradigms, though it has a lot of the things I love to both read and write about in stories.

Right now I have a little bit of the beginning written from last years NaNoWriMo, but that might be scrapped in its entirety so I can begin again.  I need to figure out how I can establish the world but jump right into the plot.  I’m not going to get rid of what I’ve already written (perish the thought!), but I may have to rearrange the order of things a little bit.  I hope to work on it before November this year if possible, but if not I’ll do what I did last year and take a blogging hiatus to work on it.

Show your WIP’s aesthetic in images or words (or both)!

She doesn’t have elven ears, but that’s almost exactly how I picture her face.

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The Writer’s Tag

In my continuing trek to catch up to all the awards and tags on my list, we come to this Writer’s Tag by The Writing Hufflepuff.  I wasn’t specifically tagged in it, but she was gracious enough to open it to all who desired, so I saved the link and managed to get to it before a year had passed.

What genres, styles, and topics do you write about?

I write dark fantasy and paranormal romance for both original stories and fanfiction as most of you already know.  My prose is as purple as the indigo in a rainbow, but I think much of the critique around that has to do with stylistic choice.  I grew up reading and loving eloquent descriptions, which now form the basis of my own writing.

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Question of the Week: 7/31/16

<–Question of the Week: 7/24/16          Question of the Week: 8/7/16–>

The Question of the Week is posted every Sunday and will consist of a question followed by my answer and explanation to the same.  Some questions will only require a simple answer that could potentially be followed by an explanation.  Many questions will be writer oriented, but not all.  Everyone is encouraged to answer in the comments and discussions/follow up questions are more than welcome!

Content Warning: Discussions of rape and assault as it pertains to narratives.

What would be a challenge for you to write?

Today’s question is for my fellow writers.  It’s been a while since I posted a query directed specifically at them 🙂

I attempt to challenge myself with every story.  The Serpent’s Tale and Northern Lights were personally difficult due to the underlying subject matter and foundation of the tales, and my WIP The Broken Rose is a challenge due to heavy themes centering around rape and assault.  My next planned project will be difficult for the same, but this isn’t a “challenge” to write in terms of getting the words out.  I have a great deal to say about deceased/missing mothers and rape (though thankfully I myself have never experienced the latter).

The challenge I speak of is of another type.  It’s more what would you find difficult to germinate and/or conceive.  For me I would find it incredibly hard to write about people who aren’t beautiful.  Yes…I know how shallow this sounds lol, but I’ve always been a lover of beauty, and this is heavily reflected in my characters.  They’re always gloriously stunning though this doesn’t save them from despair nor make their heartbreaking decisions any easier.

“Beauty does not bring back the dead, nor does it heal a broken heart.”
-The Serpent’s Tale

I would also find it very difficult not to write about characters with emotional/mental/psychological damage and/or PTSD.  Since I’m learning more about the latter, it’s becoming clearer to me that everyone I write about has it, and I exhibit many of the symptoms of it as well.  While I don’t have a specific event, the descriptions of the condition hit me very hard.  It would be extremely challenging for me to craft a character who was not damaged in some way.  I really do love the sorrowful incongruence of a lovely face paired with a grieving heart.  Making beautiful characters broken and flawed may be cliched, but it helps ground the otherworldly loveliness into something most of us can understand.  It makes characters who are more than human into people, because pain makes us all kin.

Writing a main character I didn’t personally like would also be difficult.  While I wasn’t overly fond of Maya, my main female character in Serpent at the beginning, I understood why she was acting the way she was, and she eventually grew into a person I absolutely adore.  It would incredibly difficult for me to write a character I couldn’t stand and/or who was universally detestable.  I have to give GRRM enormous credit for doing so in quite a few of his stories such as Portraits of His Children, and several POVs in Song..  I have written chapters from the viewpoint of the deplorable, and I absolutely hate it.

What kind of characters/stories would you find it a challenge to write?  Have you written such anyway?  If so how did you overcome the difficulty?  Have you ever written an MC that you personally hate?

I look forward to your answers in the comments!

<–Question of the Week: 7/24/16          Question of the Week: 8/7/16–>

Question of the Week: 7/3/16

<–Question of the Week: 6/26/16          Question of the Week: 7/10/16–>

The Question of the Week is posted every Sunday and will consist of a question followed by my answer and explanation to the same.  Some questions will only require a simple answer that could potentially be followed by an explanation.  Many questions will be writer oriented, but not all.  Everyone is encouraged to answer in the comments and discussions/follow up questions are more than welcome!

What’s your favorite book genre?

I am a fantasy girl through and through as can easily be evidenced by what’s on all of my Goodreads’ lists.  Within the fantasy genre, I would have to say I lean more toward the dark side (they have cookies I hear)…

…but I’ve always preferred the lush and Gothic so this is no surprise.

Pictured here lush and gothic

Pictured here lush and gothic

Note: The source for this picture appears to be based off of the photograph found here entitled “Wolves for Breakfast” by Deviant Artist KassandraLeigh.  The original has some nudity so don’t click the link if you don’t want to see mature content.

I also never realized I like paranormal romance until someone pointed out that I wrote one with The Serpent’s Tale and also all of my fanfictions.  I considered TST to be dark fantasy with a heavy romantic element when I wrote it, but upon reflection and conversation with other writer friends, I concluded that one, I should attempt to market it as a PR (when I eventually get back to that state), and two, it just makes much more sense to think of it as a paranormal romance set in a dark fantasy background (a love in a time of hardship motif I suppose).  I always equated paranormal romance to Twilight, and I’m pretty sure my feelings on that are pretty clear by now.  However, many books are considered paranormal romance, because that’s often a way to break into writing since that genre tends to be high in demand, and if the story has other, deeper elements, well you’ve introduced more to the zeitgeist.

I am starting to get more into sci-fi and have added some of the greats like Bradbury and Asimov to my to-read list.  I believe this shift was precipitated by my love of George R R Martin who, while writing the greatest fantasy epic of our era, actually started out in science fiction..

For non-fiction I love anything to do with mythology and religious symbolism.  I suppose I’m a closet theologian or rather a student of theology.  Though many could argue that this is still fiction, the study of it is not.  While the beliefs may not be true in the scientific sense, the people who believed them and the metaphors they represent most assuredly are.

What is your favorite book genre?  Do you differentiate by fiction and non-fiction?  Has it changed over the years?

I look forward to your answers in the comments!

<–Question of the Week: 6/26/16          Question of the Week: 7/10/16–>


Question of the Week: 1/3/16

Question of the Week: 1/10/16–>

The Question of the Week is posted every Sunday and will consist of a question followed by my answer and explanation to the same.  Some questions will only require a simple answer that could potentially be followed by an explanation.  Many questions will be writer oriented, but not all.  Everyone is encouraged to answer in the comments and discussions/follow up questions are more than welcome!

Greetings dear readers.  I believe my last foray into blogging was the almost perfunctory 2016 goal post.

First pun of the year and it’s good.

Even at my most down and tiredest I still think in puns.  I’m no better or worse than I normally am.  I feeding my fatigue with coffee and hoping for the best.

A while ago last year I created a list of questions I’d ask my Editing Blog readers at the end of each post, but then I realized that these questions would work perfectly well as standalone queries I could throw out each week.  I would ask the question, give my own answer, and then anyone who wanted to could provide their own answer in the comments.  Oh and fair warning a lot of these questions will be directed at writers and for writing, because it’s what I think about pretty much all the time.  I also follow quite a few writing blogs and am (gratefully) followed by some of the same.

This will be the only week with this longish introduction.  The following ones will just have the question and my answer with a possible introduction in the beginning for new arrivals.  I might created a permanent link on the main page; I haven’t decided yet.

If you had to pick a theme song and/or instrument for your character(s), what would it/they be?

I’m going to go back to my original novel The Serpent’s Tale to answer this one since my latest works (Northern Lights and the WIP The Broken Rose) are fanfictions plus the characters therein already conveniently have leitmotifs.  I haven’t spoken a lot about TST or I haven’t been too comprehensive about it (that I can recall), but it’s a paranormal romance/dark fantasy about an assassin who’s hired to take a priestess to the holy city of her faith for some pretty ominous reasons and holy shit that is the easiest explanation of Serpent I’ve EVER written.  I usually fumble over what the hell I’m going to say, but I guess in my sort of lackadaisical state the words just come easy.  Anyway, the assassin is really a dark angel and the priestess is more than just that her title.  Things are not what they seem (like every story), and they become embroiled in a much more than either signed up for.

Anyway, the assassin’s instrument is the cello, because one of his stand out factors is how beautiful/attractive he is, which causes a lot of headache for the priestess since she’s “supposed” to see him as a killer and therefore evil, and bad people are supposed to be ugly so she can’t reconcile that.  Like the cello, the assassin has much more depth to him than just the beauty.  There’s a sorrowful foundation there, a mourning that I can’t help but think of whenever I hear the strains of a cello’s strings.  That entire family of instruments is my favorite, and one of the premier examples of what emotions a cello can evoke lies in this song here.

His speaking voice is also rich and low, a bit of the subversion of the Evil Sounds Deep trope since he is the hero of the tale.

The priestess on the other hand is represented by the flute.  She is innocence to his darkness (…you should know by now that this is one of my favorite paradigms if this isn’t your first day here), and her voice is high and sweet when she isn’t berating him for what he is hehe.  The flute has its sweetness, but it can also be piercing and harsh.  I attempted to find a good example of flute music, but none of it was satisfactory.

I look forward to your answers in the comments!

Question of the Week: 1/10/16–>

The 777 Writing Challenge – The Serpent’s Tale Part I

I enjoyed the first 777 writing challenge so much that I decided to do it with my other WIP, a dark fantasy/paranormal romance entitled The Serpent’s Tale. Now this original novel has been shelved for a while. It’s actually completed, but I went through a whole lot of issues surrounding rejection, depression, and whatnot with the story over five years ago. Since then I’ve edited down the first part to under 120k words, but then I wrote a short story based off of it, then became buried under the yoke of Northern Lights, and all of my time and energy went towards that, but I think of The Serpent’s Tale quite often and hope that I’ll have some time to work on it this year. I do want to eventually go for publication, but it’s going to take a lot of time and a confidence boost (which is what I’m hoping Northern Lights will bring).

Anyway so here is the challenge for The Serpent’s Tale, which is a story in two parts.  This is from Part I.


In this season born from winter’s grip, the air held the wonder of potential, but Maya felt only emptiness burning to her core. A thin patina of sweat covered her brow, denying the cold its due.

She had said her goodbyes the night before after evening prayers. Throughout devotions, the normal silence fluttered with whispers like wings. Brother Alfreth’s leaky gaze more than often found her face, and the little maid was far more saddened by his unbidden tears.

Afterwards, Maya overheard Ilia and Orual giggling behind soft hands.

Nothing super exciting here really, just some Mean Girls-esque behavior and the worry of far worse things to come.