Category Archives: WIP

Shimmer of Time: Cover Reveal

I have two new shiny things to distract you today!  Well, make that one shiny and one a bit dingy.  And if you get this in your email, you’ll have to click the title – the pictures only show up on the blog. The best new shiny is the official cover reveal for Through the Shimmer of Time.  I’m thrilled with it, and with my cover designer, Melinda VanLone, of Book Cover Corner. The cover design comes with its own story.  Because I wanted my cover characters to be the right age, and because of the 1830s period (the Civil War era would have been much easier), stock photography sites didn’t have anything we could use.  So guess who turned photographer? I found two awesome young people who were very willing to be part of my book journey, set my trustworthy old Canon on “sport” so the shutter speed was … Continue reading

Posted in Children's/YA, WIP, WRITING | Tagged , , , , , , |

Calling All Time-Travelers

I promised big news in my last blog post, so here goes:  my middle grade novel, Through the Shimmer of Time, will be released in exactly one month! Can you see me jumping up and down?  Are you jumping up and down with me?  Squee!  So here’s the back blurb: A mysterious pottery shard . . .             A haunted cabin . . .                         A shadowy stranger . . .                                    And no way home Present Day: Jim has a talent for getting into trouble. Grounded from his model rockets, he goes exploring where he shouldn’t and gets zapped back in time. Can he find the way back home again or is he marooned in the past? 1838: Hannah’s life in her frontier village is filled with a little play and a lot of hard work. A seemingly harmless trick lures a strange, dazed boy from the old … Continue reading

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Begin at the Beginning – a Plotter Tries Being a Pantser

Which came first – the chicken or the egg? The beginning or the end?  When you write a story, do you start by knowing the characters and the opening, and then write to see where it takes you? (Option 1, writing by the seat of your pants, or Pantser)  Or do you start with the characters, the situation and the ending, and write to get there? (Option 2, plotting the story in varying degrees, or Plotter)  For the first time, I’m experimenting with Option 1, being a Pantser. Well, not exactly the first time. My mind usually percolates a situation, character and end, and I build the plot and the character together until they work.  What-ifs can show up – I definitely don’t outline everything – but I’m still writing to meet the ending I’ve envisioned.  It just works best for me. For NaNoWriMo one year, I did try writing … Continue reading

Posted in Characterization, Plot, WIP, Writer's Life | Tagged , , , , , , , |

Using NaNoWriMo Lessons – Editing by Chunks

I’m not doing NaNoWriMo this year.  There, I’ve admitted it out loud.  I’ve decided to spend my sanity on keeping up with my homework as a “returning mature student,” developing my blog, and finishing (yes, you read that right), finishing my current Work in Progress. But my past years of doing NaNo have taught me a lot.  In a nutshell: To turn off my internal editor (still a constant effort for me, though). To give characters the freedom to take the story in a different direction. To develop the discipline of daily writing.  (Read more at Lessons Learned from NaNoWriMo.) I’ve realized lately that I learned one more thing from NaNo:  how to chop big chunks of writing and rearrange other big chunks.  There’s no way anyone gets through NaNo without a big pile of crappy stuff.  We all know that going in, and we learn to go through our … Continue reading

Posted in Editing, Plot, WIP, Writer's Life | Tagged , , , , , , |

Brainstorming Plot Points

Brainstorming is a blast! My middle grade WIP is a time travel story.  The protagonist is a 12-year-old boy who’s into rockets and robotics and such, but gets zapped back to the 1830s.  There are thefts for which he gets blamed, a ghost who needs to be laid to rest, and the girl helping him gets pulled back to modern times with him. The manuscript is basically done except for one thing:  I would really like to tie his rocket hobby more integrally into the time travel happenings.  There’s an item that could easily still be in his pocket when he goes back again, but I couldn’t come up with a good idea of what to do with it. So I gathered a few writer friends, gave them a run-down on the plot (new for some, refresher for others), and put my dilemma to them.  We questioned what the device … Continue reading

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