Just Released: United by Drones, book 1 in the Drones series.

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Now available Book 1 in the Drones series on Amazon.

First 3 books in the Llanelyn series also available on Amazon.

Latest Short Story, King Tide Chaos, now available on Amazon.

A Rescue
appears in
Virginia Writers Club Golden Nib 2023

Available on Amazon

I's a Poet and I Didn't Know It

Yes, my title has bad grammar, but I'm in a strange mood, so . . . it stays.

I just received my copy of the Virginia Writer's Club Golden Nib 2023 book as I was not able to make the annual meeting and found that the poem I had submitted placed for the local chapter, Write by the Rails. Surprise!

I've never thought of myself as a poet - normally, I struggle with writing poetry. The few that I have written that I like have one thing in common: they are all free verse.

But this one is special and not because it placed. It is special because of the subject, my very special adopted beagle. He came from a horrible, huge breeding facility that was forced to shut down due to many animal rights violations spanning multiple years. He has the ear tattoo to prove it, along with PTSD.

I started thinking one day about how life must seem from his point of view - the initial, nosiy, traumatic situation, then being crated up by strangers and taken to a different noisy strange place and handled by more strangers, . . . until finally being taken by even more strangers to a quiet place full of sudden, soft noises. How scared and bewildered he must have been despite the gentle handling after leaving the breeder. The images and phrases came to me in bits as I mulled over his point of view. I wrote it one afternoon as my husband drove down the road (one of my favorite times to write) in self-preservation really - to get the images out of my head.

I wrote the poem about ten months after the adoption. He had progressed so far in learning how to be a dog since I brought him home. In the months after I penned those verses, he has continued to morph from the quaking, scared, underfed beagle I adopted into a fun-loving, onery, and sometimes cuddly beagle. I can't take all the credit as much probably belongs to my other, older, rescued beagle.

I'm not ashamed to say that the poem brings me to tears when I read it. Nor that it has brought everyone to tears that I have read it to. Nor that many of those who have read it have suddenly sprung a leak either.

But I didn't write it for me - I wrote it for him. I wrote it to give his suffering a voice, to tell his story to the world.

And perhaps that is what makes a great poem.

Busy, Busy, Busy

I thought life was supposed to slow down as you aged, but, nope, not for me. This summer has shaped up to be busy and hectic. From attending a book fair, to being published in another journel, to puppy-sitting two 10-month-old pitbulls for two weeks, there have not been many peaceful moments. I managed to snatch a few to write a non-fiction piece for another journel, as well as a poem that kept distracting me from other writing tasks until I captured it. I'm hoping the journel selects both; if not, I'll have to decide what to do with them.

I've shelved Llanelyn book 4 for the moment and sent book 6 out to one of my pre-readers/content-editors. Book 4 was flat boring to write, which means that it will be boring to read. Book 6 is much more fun. Ahnavi grows as a person throughout the story. I'm eagerly waiting for my pre-reader's comments.

In the meantime, when I have a few precious minutes, I'm working on book 7. I took Chapter 3 from book 6 to my local writer's club editing session and they fell in love with Trysten. I had already started a story with him as the main character, so now I am capturing the action as he discovers himself.

And if you are wondering about book 5, well, while not as boring as 4, it was just not exciting as Ahnavi's or Trysten's tale.

WHEW! Drones Book 1 is Finally Released (4 May 2023)

What started as an idea back in June of 2017 and relentlessly interrupted finishing both book 2 and book 3 of the Llanelyn series is finally released. The draft manuscript was completed in March 2020, but then the world changed dramatically due to COVID. As a book looking to the future where a pandemic occurs, well, rewrites began. Unfortunately, the world changed faster than I could rewrite and the final changes were too foggy to predict, so I shelved the manuscript and waited. And waited.

Once COVID and the world's reaction to a pandemic settled, I dusted the story off and began the final rewrites. Then I tried a new editor who challenged me to "lose the fluff". Four more months of editing later, I felt it was as good as it would be. Though now the world is pretty ambivalent on pandemics and probably doesn't want to read about another one.

For awhile I plan to return to Llanelyn and finish up the long awaited books 4 and 5. Have no fear though. Abby will return in at least 2 more stories about her drones and the chaos they cause.

When the Words Fall Silent (29 April 2022)

I guess I was one of the lucky ones in that my paying job was not affected by any of the COVID shutdowns of the past 2+ years. Except that I envy those who did not work as it allowed their inner-artists to blossom. I have enjoyed the work-from-home aspect, but I wonder if that is why all the characters in my head are suddenly silent. There is nothing new, nothing changing to inspire my creativity, no commute to work through plot snarls.

Book 4 of Llanelyn is half written. Book 5 is not much more than notes. And Book 6 is complete, but needs the characters in the two predecessors to be cohesive. The words just won't come.

And to add additional problems on top of this profound silence, I need to rewrite and adjust the drones plot line. Every idea that I have had leads to holes that cannot be filled. If I could go back in time, I would have self-published the drones book immediately upon finishing the first draft 2 years prior to COVID. My normal editing process put it done at the start of the nightmare that was the first few months of the COVID shutdowns. Now, the world is becoming complacent about the whole situation - taking high prices, masks, and supply chain shortages to be the new "normal". Will anyone care to read a book that includes the Black Plague in this post-pandemic "normal"? But rewrites and edits are part of the creative process.

While I wait for the characters to wake up and the words to flow again, I've tackled the mundane household chores and upkeep, helped some friends get a website up, and adopted a new, rescue Beagle.

Laughter, Getting Older, and Tolerance (18 March 2021)

I was editing a document at work and noticed that the (younger) author had used a single space after a period, very consistently. My instinct was to change them to two spaces, every last one of them. Then I recalled an "argument" in the grammar world and Googled the question again. Which led to another blog post on the same question with literally hundreds of comments. So, I read all the comments and many of the linked pages . . . and laughed harder than I've laughed in a very long time. Between the intended funnies, the history lessons, the highly opinionated responses, and the facts, I found the reading enlightening and highly entertaining.

A linked comic describes the "argument" best.

And while I am staunchly in the two spaces camp, for readability and simply because it's what I was taught so one space looks just -wrong, I can read (and edit) either. I prefer to read two spaces though, and yes, I do know how to force HTML to have two spaces, but it is not worth my time.

I'd rather talk tolerance - there are two camps in this argument. Both are right and both are wrong, because it really comes down to opinions for the way forward. Three camps really, but the third probably won't gain much following outside the gamer sites. And then there are those caught in the middle that are willing to switch from one to the other. We tolerate the opinions of others and the constant changing in the various style guides available to writers.

Tolerance is a great word for the current world we live in. Tolerance for this COVID pandemic restricted life. Tolerance for what happened in the past that no one alive took part in - quit trying to make the living pay for the sins of the long dead. Instead, learn from the past and move forward. Tolerate and embrace differences. Learn from history; don't hide it by trying to erase it. Guess what - that's puts this world onto the proverbial fast track for repeating the past. Tolerance leads to that learning and with learning comes understanding of what really happened, why, and what is important.

And if you're wondering where the Getting Older came in, you obviously didn't read the title of the blog post.

As to what happened at work - well, let me just say that we are in the same two camps, but are being tolerant of both ways, provided that consistency is enforced. Enforcement falls to me. Ugh.

Oh, and a new story for Llanelyn popped into my head, compliments of one of my editors, so the drones book was put on hold until COVID settles and Ahnavi and Dustin finish telling me their story, currently titled Llanelyn: Past Affects.

Time (7 March 2020)

Time is relentless. And there is never enough to accomplish everything I want.

The book starring the drones is currently being read by my second avid editor and I should have those comments back next week. We've already talked about a few of the issues, but no significant rewrite is needed this time.

I'm going to try submitting this manuscript to a few literary agents since I think this might be something on interest to a wider audience than Llanelyn is. Who knows - in the right hands, maybe even Hollywood will take notice.

My work/life balance is still unbalanced, but I'm finding time to think on plot lines, with the intricate twists and turns that any good plot should have. I carved tiny snippets of time to write, but that is better than no time. My favorite quote about time comes from the Babylon 5 series:

"Cannot run out of time. There is infinite time. You are finite. Zathros is finite. This is wrong tool. No, no, never use this."
          Zathros, Babylon 5

For all Sci-Fi fans who have never seen it, I highly recommend the Babylon 5 series, seasons 1-4.

Time to write!

Book 3 is Released! (24 October 2019)

All the struggle is done as Llanelyn: Star Fall became available for purchase yesterday on Amazon. I've taken a moment to celebrate, update the websites, attempt to post Facebook announcements, and just generally spread the word.

But that moment has passed and it's back to finishing the stories that interrupted the completion of Star Fall.

The book starring the drones is almost a completed manuscript. It is out for a pre-read by my most avid editor who couldn't wait any longer. I'm hoping for a title!

Kate and Rafe are still demanding, but have agreed that the drones manuscript needs to be finished, as their story entertwines with it.

Scott, Zoe, and Amy are being patiently quiet and waiting their turn.

I know many recommend setting aside time every day to write something. And maybe that is the best way. Unfortunately, my current work/life balance does not allow that. I grab minutes when I can, when the muse strikes, or when I just can't focus on what needs to be done because of the scene running through my head.

So, my advice to any aspiring writer - learn what works for you and stick with it. Maybe it is a set time. Or place. Or just whenever and wherever the words strike you. Whichever way works for you - just write!

Book 3 is Almost Ready (17 June 2019)

My initial readers for Book 3 came back with mixed reviews. Two said the first part moved too slow. The other two thought it was perfect. However, one pointed out multiple minor flaws in the storyline, while another felt there was a gap at the end that needed to be filled in. Back to the writing and editing process.

The easiest way to gain a fresh perspective, at least for me, is to put the project down for a few weeks. Read other books. Start a new writing project. Work on other hobbies or home projects. Then, when the time is right, come back and reread the story with a fresh perspective. After four rounds of stepping away to come back and edit a few weeks later, I finally feel that Sayenne's story is ready. My initial pre-reader agreed this time. The others are still re-reading.

The cover art is ready. The text is ready. The chapter art may be skipped this time - I haven't decided yet.

Oh, what other new writing project did I start? I'm glad you asked. Actually it ended up being three projects in the last two years. Check out the Books page for the plot synopsis. And, with a bit of chagrine, I do have to admit that two are more Romance than Adventure.

As yet all three are untitled.

The first started out as a musing one day - could a tiny drone be used to take over the world. The answer soon became an unequivocable Yes.

The second - well, let me just say that Kate and Rafe relentlessly demanded their story be told as it didn't quite fit in the timeline of the drones plot line.

Then I woke up one Saturday a few weeks ago with the full plot for a story running through my thoughts, complete with characters, names, backstories, twists, and turns.  As I lay there for the next hour or so, allowing the full plot to take shape, I realized this isn't the first time this has happened to me.  Characters demanding that their story be told in their way. First it was Gillian and Mischka, then Kate and Rafe, now Zoe, Amy, and Scott.

Some people may say that makes me crazy. But, hey, aren't we all crazy in our own way?

Musings (24 September 2018)

While driving to the mundane chore of grocery shopping on a rainy night after a 10 hour work day, normally my thoughts would turn to the more carefree times of childhood. But tonight my mind came up with what I have to classify as a writing prompt. "All I could think of was that I was going home . . . and that was a place I did not want to be."

As I shopped, my mind played with that line. Who was this person? Why did she not want to go home? Where is this home and what is it that she dreads so much?

"Home" - a word that elicits strong emotions and memories in most people that I know - from thoughts of their current home and significant other or family, to their childhood home with their parents. Love. Caring. Compassion. A real sense of belonging.

But this character, this "voice", is sad and angry. It's a story that I'll need to tell at some point, so I've jotted down those sad and angry emotions, and the bits of backstory that came to me as I shopped, to explore in the future.

For now, I need to focus on Book 3 of Llanelyn. My editors and a new artist are working through Book 3 while I polish off two other two stories. The drones book morphed into a duology, though one book is Sci-Fi and the other is romance. Yes, I know the experts recommend writing in one genre until you are proficient at it, but sometimes the characters take a different path than what I had planned.

With luck, Llanelyn Book 3 will be out next month.

Llanelyn Cover Art

Book 2 is Released (2 November 2017)

Whew! I met my personal deadline of an early October release. My editors and artist really came through for me.

As promised, the artwork is posted on Facebook. Lindsey did a phenomenal job again!

I'm already working on my next book, but I'm leaving Llanelyn for awhile. If everything goes as planned, my next book will be a modern Earth sci-fi mystery adventure about drones.

Don't worry about Llanelyn though. Book 3 is mostly written, but I have concerns about one section. It seems forced and out of place. I may let one of my editors have a crack at it and see if they can help me find what I'm missing.


Book 2 Status (31 July 2017)

Book 2 is in the final stages of editing. My two editors have reviewed it and passed me their comments. Thank goodness for reviewers! My artist has sent me the rough sketches. The completed rough draft, complete with the sketches, is back out for editor review. Everything is coming together for an early Oct 2017 release.

I can't share the artwork just yet, but I'll post it to Facebook once I get the finals. My young artist is very talented and deserves the recognition.


Idea Generation Time (8 March 2017)

I had to take a break from Book 2. The main plot is basically complete, as are the many sub plots and character development areas, though I do admit to a few holes between scenes that still need to be filled in. What is missing . . . is the descriptions. I've found that scene descriptions are my weakest ability. I can describe a character in detail, but ask me about the room and I stumble for words. It takes time to describe the perfect setting for the characters to interact in.

After much consideration, I started a Pinterest account and now have several Boards going. With my dual monitor setup (ok, I'm still a computer geek), I can put the Board I need up on one monitor while the latest words are up on the other. I hope this helps. If anyne else has any brillant ideas, I'm open to suggestions.


First Blog! (8 January 2017)

I'm still working to get the site exactly as I would like, so please bear with me. I promise more, exciting things to come.


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