Tag Archives: Forward Motion

The writer’s community I’ve been part of for 4 years. It is great, the people are great, and I love it.

New Release: Forged from Flame by Kasey Mackenzie

Kasey Mackenzie is an old friend of mine. We met at Forward Motion, a writer’s forum we were members of. I’ve been following her career for years. I’ve always been amazed at her awesome books.

So I’m just a little bit biased. But still…check this out:

forgedinflamePlenty people have deadbeat parents, but how many have fathers who keep showing up to kill them? Just one more example of what a lucky woman I am. Oh wait, I’m not even human anymore—I’m a Fire-controlling Elemental called a Phoenix. And boy, do I have daddy issues!

I also have long-lost sibling issues when my sister and brother show up on my new Elemental clan’s doorstep. They were rescued from Daddy Dearest’s evil lab by an old enemy in a show of good faith. Turns out that enemy’s now carrying his latest magical science experiments (twins!) and claims she can help us save my bondmate Jake’s own twin, Colin. The one we thought was beyond saving.

Now we’re in a race to find Colin’s watery grave and free my siblings from our father’s psychic powers. If only I master my own abilities as the world’s first Elemental liegelord in centuries, we might stand a chance.

The title’s gender-neutral, thank you very much, and I’m about to show Daddy Dearest he messed with the wrong daughter. Failure’s not an option, because it means that everyone I love will be mind-controlled minions of my father—or dead beyond saving.

Go to her website to purchase.

But wait! there’s more.

Kasey is giving away—for free, no strings attached—copies of book 1, Reborn in Fire, reborninfirefor a limited time. To take advantage of this awesome offer, go here (this is Bookfunnel, where you can download ePubs and MOBIs).

And you have to admit, these covers are stunning.

I haven’t read either one yet—but I have read her other books. I feel confident in recommending these books. She is a great writer. You will love them.

Go forth and buy. 😉

Writing and rewriting…at the same time.

Ok, before you think I’m crazy, hear me out.  I’ve been working on Survivor since finishing Pirouette on May 21st, and my crazy  muse inssted that I needed to add a new scene into the rewrite file.  In the original, a certain character is introduced in chapter 3 or 4.  My muse says that she should be introduced sooner — like, right away.  And the scene was vivid and so there that I decided to break down and do it.  And, the crazy part is, I’m considering continuing the rewrite with some new ideas I have.

While finishing up the endgame.

Yeppers.  Both.  Simultaneously.  I must be insane.

So there’s that.  Next up is the Flamebound rewrite (ha!) which I might try to sneak in on my vacation.  It seems to be becoming a yearly tradition.  Write while vacationing.  Maybe I can break my current record of 17k in one week.

I’ve got roughly 5k written on the endgame.  It’s been going a bit slow, mainly because I am plotting as I go.  No formal outline, yikes.  But it feels right, so I’m going with it.  And I’m not putting pressure on myself.  I’m 25 days from my wedding (!!!!) and work is nuts, and I finished Pirouette two weeks early and I really don’t want to stress myself out.  So I’ll probably continue like this till after the wedding, after which I’ll kick it up into high gear.

I anticipate about 10k or so to the end.  I’ve been in this place before, but the ending ended up being farther than I thought.  So now, I believe I’m actually there.

I started this book as part of a writing class at Forward Motion 5 years ago.  I kept putting it aside (Pirouette ate my life, quite literally) for other things, thinking it was too complex, too much work, yadda yadda yadda.  Well last year, I decided that enough was enough.  It’s brilliant, at least in my opinion, and there’s a small chance I might split it into 3 books: Stranger, Endgame, and Ghost.  The Survivor trilogy.  I’m not sure how easy or hard it would be to sell that way, but the entire thing is about 225k right now.  I have some ideas on cuts, so we’ll see, but the possibility is there. 

So that’s where I’m at.

Voice recognition, the hospital, and plotbunnies.

That’s basically my week in a nutshell.

I had been forced to do the VR thing while my wonderful wrist tendonitis healed.  It’s still not 100%, but it’s a helluvah lot better than it was.  Am still going easy on it, taking breaks, and popping the motrin.

On the voice rec — it’s working, but not as well as I want it to.  Composing is getting easier, but the word miss-recognitions are killing me.  So I’m taking an unofficial break.  I may still need to use it on a regular basis.  The more you use it, the smarter it becomes.  So they say.  It’s Dragon Naturally Speaking, btw.  I’ve had it since 2003, when my first flareup occurred and gave me a horrific carpal tunnel scare.  Luckily, my EMG/torture came back negative, so I’ve been careful.

But not careful enough, evidently.

My mom’s in the hospital.  She was supposed to be released yesterday but she spiked a 101DEG fever, so they have her on three different antibiotics.  No one’s really sure why she got the infection/fever/whatever it is, but it seems to be coming down.  She’s READY to come home and we miss her.  My days have been basically getting up to help with the dog, sleeping in, eating something, go to hospital, eat something else, go to bed.  And nothing appeals to me, and I think I’m having sympathy pains.  French toast, however, sounds divine.

On writing.  Yeah.  Not much going on there.  Wrote a bit yesterday.  Pirouette just broke 20k.  I’m participating in AugNoWriMo with a goal of 10k.  I’m just shy of 4k.  Will I make it?  Not sure, but as long as I write something every day that I can (and am not so exhausted), it’s fine.  I’m going easy on myself, as this has been a rough month for me, with the tendonitis and Mom’s surgery. 

And I got a ton of friggin plot bunnies.  Why is it that when I’m not writing much, they all bombard me at once?  I had three yesterday.  Three.  Oh well.  I signed up for the outline marathon at Forward Motion, so I’ll be outlining something.  But what?  Such a hard choice……

So that’s what’s doing in my little corner of the universe.

I really don’t wanna go to work tomorrow.  Can I like, just call off?  Nah.

 ETA: No writing has occurred–too exhausted.  Mom is coming home today!

Zette Appreciation Day

I wanted to talk about Lazette Gifford, the owner of Forward Motion, the awesome community that I’ve been a member of for 4 years.  She has been very active, even before she took over for Holly Lisle, and has always found the time to help members with things they needed, or to give advice.

I’ve always admired Zette — for both her talent and dedication to her writing.  I am always in awe of her high wordcounts.  She has taught me, time and time again, that you can make time for writing, if it’s important enough to you.  I haven’t had a chance to read any of her fiction (except for the occasional snippet), and I want to change that. 

I was a member of the first session of Zette’s Only A Novel (2YN) class.  It was potentially the most challenging class I ever took on.  But it was a good kind of challenge — the kind that helped me master my craft more, and storytelling, and everything that goes into a finished novel.  It was in that class that my book Survivor was born — and while Survivor is still in progress, I always find myself looking back on the lessons and using the material. 

My best memory of the class, and Zette was when I suffered panic attacks over plotting.  I had plotted a few novels (while writing them) unsuccessfully and was a die-hard organic (note: was).  I couldn’t conceive the notion of actually plotting — it threw me into severe anxiety.  I’m not making this up — I really was freaked out about it.  Part of the class was to plot — in whatever form we deemed best–our novels.  I had to do it.  So I posted a message to Zette mentioning my anxiety. 

Zette, being the very bluntly honest person she is, gave it to me straight:
in order for me to succeed at writing professionally, I needed to be able to plot something.  It is an essential skill to have.  I needed to get over my fear and do it. 

At first I was a bit taken aback — but then, as I thought more about it, I realized that she had a valid point.  My goal is to write professionally, and if I couldn’t put a plot together, and be able to write a good synopsis, I wouldn’t get very far.  And then I realied that plotting wasn’t the problem:  it was me.  My attitude.

So I thought about it some more, and decided to take a crack at it.  I used the Snowflake Method, an awesome way to plot, and came up with a great plot for Survivor.  To my utter disbelief, it flowed well.  The book almost wrote itself, and I found myself going back to my initial plot and tweaking it, and letting it guide me.  One year later, the book was 180k — the longest of any of my novels.  So I was forced to conclude that plotting was actually a very good thing.

To this day I am a die-hard plotter.  While I still feed the organic in me with slight detours, plotting is still the first thing on my list of things to do when I begin a new project.  It has helped me time and time again to stay on track and not meander (not too much).

And I have Zette to thank — because had it not been for her advice, and tough love, I never would have made that critical discovery–and I wouldn’t be the writer I am today.  Some people don’t like to hear the blunt truth — but I am not one of those.  I’m here to learn, to improve, not to play at writing.  I’m serious about it, and being serious means hearing things I might not want to hear.  But it’s all for the greater good, for the writer I will someday be.

I hope someday to be able to do what Zette does — live my life with writing at the forefront.  To be able to reach those high wordcounts, and write novel after novel, and be published, too.  She’s a true inspiration to me as a writer, and I don’t think Survivor, which is one of my most cherished WIPs, would be the book it is today without Zette’s advice and her 2YN course.  I’ve learned so much, and I know I have alot to go, but I know that it will all be worthwhile. 

Zette has embraced the idea of paying forward, the vision of Forward Motion.  She pays forward with her very presence on the boards.  Thank you, Zette, for making a difference in my life.  Know that I appreciate it more than I can ever express. 

And by the way, Survivor now has a sequel.  It’s all plotted and ready to go for when it’s time. 🙂

Thank you. 

For more info on Zette and FM, go to:
Forward Motion: http://www.fmwriters.com
Vision for Writers: http://www.lazette.net/Vision/
Zette’s website: http://www.lazette.net/

…and an update.

Didn’t wanna mix these two, so here’s my second post.   The worldbuilding is coming along swimmingly.  Sometimes it feels like I’m swimming upstream, but it’s happening.  I’m still changing things around.  Finally settled on a mark of the Goddess Morrighan (the celtic goddess of war and fury) which, I shit you not, I actually drew myself.  Being that my drawing skills are practically nil, I’m proud of that.  It’s basically a scythe (Grim Reaper style, except reduced to one continuous line with no detail) intersected by half a moon.  Because Alisia has death magic, and it’s governed by the moon….it seemed logical.

Now I’m working on the villian’s magic.  I’ve changed his magic so many times, it’s ridiculous.  Nothing seemed right, you know?  So I keep trying to hit upon that special thing that gives me chills.  Today it’s souls.  Tomorrow, it might be different.  I like the soul thing though so I will be exploring that further.

This weekend there’s an edit marathon at Forward Motion, so I’ll be doing some editing.  Yay.

And lastly, an old project reared its head today. I was idly going through my Palm doc files, and ran across my first Nano ever, and my first finished novel, The Sacrifice.  My, that draft sucked, but I took part of it and made it Darkweaver.  And the rest is now what is known as Surrender.  It was in the writing queue before Pirouette took over, but it sorta fell by the wayside.  Sacrifice has undergone many changes, including my first attempt at dark fantasy, Eternal Dance.  Brilliant, I think.  😉  Anyhoo, I am now officially itching to work on that project again.  Who knows when though!  I’m “booked” till the end of the year.  But it will go in the plotbunny file, and maybe I can resurrect it in time.  Some cool worldbuilding elements came to me so I will probably poke at it from time to time.  But….it must stay on the side.  Waaaaaay off.  Cuz you know, I got three others that are patiently waiting for their turn in the spotlight……

Figured Survivor out. *wipes forehead*

I was sweating bullets for awhile, worrying about how to integrate two separate –very good — outlines for the end.  I went over them today and made notes and…..they will fit almost seemlessly.  Go me!

And of course, naturally, Survivor will need its own “rewrite of doom.”  I’m going to work backwards from the scene I wrote this week, connecting it to the existing parts, then try to finish each individual plot thread.  I have quite a few.  *rolling eyes*  My muse just wouldn’t shut up.  She kept adding things.  Luckily, the bulk of it will stay.  There are a few tangents I took that will be going, though.

And the body count?  Currently, it’s at 2.  Paternity of the baby of the MC?  No clue.  It can be one of 3 men, and I’m just not sure which one would be best.  I could, theoretically, leave that unanswered until Ghost.  Must give that more thought.

But it’s finally shaping up!  I’m very excited.  This one’s been in progress for almost 2 years.  I had started it for a class at Forward Motion — where you take novel creation from your idea all the way to submitting the finished book to a publisher.  As I wrote it, I got deeper and deeper into this twisted tangle of a plot (and some very creepy psychological stuff) and fell in love.  But NaNo was approaching, and I wanted to participate, and Pirouette took over, save for a new first scene I wrote mid-last year.  And I’ve been poking at it ever since in between projects.  Now, I’d like for it to take some priority.  I want to finish the first draft, at least, this year.  The rewrite might have to wait, as getting Pirouette out to agent rounds is #1.  But I will fit this in someplace.  It’s just really cool, and I think it could be a very good book.  🙂  At least, I hope!

Also wrote 998 words of Requiem today.  A very creepy scene indeed.  Tomorrow, it’s gonna be working on editing Pirouette and Survivor’s Timeline of Doom.


I wanted to share one of my favorite haiku.  Forward Motion has a haiku challenge every April.  This is the first year I’ve participated because, well, I’m not that good at haiku.  But I’ve found it to be a refreshing change to the usual stuff, and it actually keeps me (and the muse) on my toes.  Dare I say I might be getting better? 

You decide.

The following haiku is on the theme of “plants.”  Naturally, my dark mind goes in positively twisted directions, so naturally I went to a tragic subject (well, tragic for me, anyways).  It is based on a photograph that I actually took of myself after a major, devastating loss (love, not a death.  Well, not a physical one, anyways).  The photograph pretty much set me on my current path: self-portraiture.  By the time I graduated from college, I’d been known for my self-portraits and “haunting” work (this is what people told me, that my work was haunting).  I really want to get back into it.  But, anyhoo, here it is in all its glory (or not):

Black rose, loss of love
black, not red.
Stark photograph, black and white
death not life.
I am still.
No color breaches
the walls
of my heart.

On Requiem. The plot thickens.

Requiem in Blue has been stalled for the past few days, for reasons I do not understand.  I had the next few scenes plotted, and some ideas for the next direction, but I felt oddly…..at odds with it.  Something just wasn’t clicking for me.  Bizarre, with all the neat ideas I had.

So I tried something new.  Or, fairly new.

I talked to my muse.  In the shower.  😉  If this sounds weird, well, let me assure you–this is a semi-regular thing.  I don’t get it, but I always seem to get ideas in the shower.  Maybe it’s because I let my mind wander, sometimes even “playing” a soundtrack in my head (this only works for songs I know really well, or have memorized) or maybe it’s because my muse wants to taunt me.  I can’t write in the shower; hell, I can’t even jot down ideas.  I usually end up memorizing everything and then racing to my room to write it all down.  Once, I composed an entire poem in the shower, memorized it, and typed it up immediately after.  My mind is strange sometimes.

So we talked, and I learned a few things about my characters that I didn’t know–like, the antagonist might be ill, and I learned why that is.  Also learned of his plans for the protagonist, Meredith.  He’s obcessed with her, even though she isn’t of the same race as he is.  The rest, well, that would be spoilers.  😉

Been itching to write something.  Just feeling rather blah about it.  I want to write more on Survivor.  Must consult the Timeline to find out where my protagonist is for the next scene. 

This weekend is another edit marathon at the writer’s community I’m in, Forward Motion.  These marathons are great because they get the juices flowing.  It’s always nice to have a goal to work towards.  It makes it all so much sweeter.  I’m signed up for 15,000 edited words, but I will most likely hit more.  Lots of cutting = lots of words. 

I just finished reading Holly Lisle’s Night Echoes.  As a huge fan of her books, I found this book to be distinctly different from her other paranormal suspense books.  But different in a good, refreshing way.  She tackles some interesting circumstances, as well as some interesting coincidences.  I can’t say much without giving spoilers, so suffice to say that I enjoyed it and could not put it down.  She has a way of weaving people, places, and things together, warping them, making them sing.  It is truly magic.  I wish to God I could write like that.  Mamamia.  Read Night Echoes.  You’ll be enthralled.

Alrighty.  It’s almost midnight and I’m getting tired, so it’s either now or never on the writing thing.  So I shall get to it.  *cracking whip smilie here*