Life is once again in the way of anything writing related, so enjoy this inspirational quote until it slows down again.
I was coming home from the grocery store with my son when the song “Jesus Take the Wheel” came on. It’s one of those that I like to hear now and again, as much because of my interest in all mythology and religion than for any other reason. I also like the idea of a higher power that will, occasionally, lend a helping hand. Well, my son, being a teenager, made the comment that maybe Jesus didn’t want to take the wheel because it wasn’t needed. He was being a smartass at the time, but his comment made me think.
There are times when we want nothing more than to turn over whatever is going on to someone else, anyone else, just for a little bit. We want God or the angels or the Universe to just make the bad times go away and let us have some peace. We…
View original post 255 more words
Autumn is my favorite time of year, and when Mother Nature finally looks at the calendar and cools things off, I’m in full creative mode and ready to kick back with some old movies and tap out some words. This is especially true in October when the leaves are changing and pumpkins sit everywhere. (Okay, so, the stores may be a little ahead of the game with Christmas, but we won’t go there.)
I’m a horror movie junkie, but I don’t like most of the newer ones. I’ll sit through It or A Quiet Place or The Conjuring, but those aren’t the ones I thrive on. I prefer the old ones, like Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Wolfman. These are classics, of course, but I also like the ones like the Beast of Yucca Flats, any of the ones made before 1950.
And why would I prefer those to the modern movies with their fancy CGI effects and digital processing (whatever it’s called)? Because the old ones have a creep factor not seen in a lot of modern films. There’s something about the use of light and shadow, the lack of color, the hollow sound of the voices, that is both skin-crawling creepy and peaceful. There’s a calm in them, possibly because of the soundtrack, that’s soothing even in the midst of being chased by a monster. They create an ambiance of dark places when the light of the fire didn’t quite reach the corners and of wrapping in a blanket to chase off the chill.
That’s not saying there aren’t good movies out there today, just that these have a special place in my heart and bring a sense of ‘autumn’ and Halloween that most others don’t.
What are some of your favorite Halloween movies?
Appearance: It has a dragon-like head and a serpentine body with no legs or wings. Most have horns on the head, though this can vary. Void serpents often grow to be several hundred feet long, and they have the strength to destroy a ship. Mating rituals are unknown, for no one has ever seen this activity. It is believed that the females lay eggs, but this has not been definitively determined. Void serpents also possess the ability to spit fire, though they are rarely seen to do so. They attack without provocation, and their population numbers are unknown.
Habitat: Void serpents live in the void. There is no other known habitat.
Diet: It is believed that the void serpent lives primarily on other void creatures, though just what these creatures are is still largely unknown. However, the serpents will eat those on the ships they attack.
Threat: The void serpent is extremely dangerous.
Notes: There is a legend, though I can’t vouch for its veracity, about demon creatures called Serpent Riders. It is said these beings have tamed the void serpents and use them to travel the void. I don’t believe in this legend, however, for there are none who can survive the chaotic energy in the void.
I’ve been playing around with the idea of The Hidden Roads, a series originally intended for adults. However, I’ve got an idea for a YA version, and I’m torn between having two of them, one for adults and one for YA, and making just one series that’s YA. It really wouldn’t be that difficult to make the adult character a bit younger and add her to the YA idea I have. The stories would gel nicely and add another dimension to the YA story. Below is an excerpt from the beginning of the adult one (unedited). Thoughts on which way to go would be appreciated.
The land was what mattered to Gemma. It always had. The way the pines and oaks cast dancing shadows over rolling hills had given her immeasurable pleasure. The scent of rain on fresh-turned earth had wrapped her in peace, and a silver moon nestled in a bed of stars had filled her with joy. She would speak for hours on the growth of a single sprout, and Serenity couldn’t remember ever seeing the woman without dirt stains on some part of her clothing.
But that was then.
Serenity sighed as she switched off her beat up Ford Tempo. She propped her hands on the steering wheel for a moment and simply stared out the windshield.
The house was the same as it always had been. A simple structure of wooden slats with a large wrap-around porch and flowers planted in beds at its base, it had been Gemma’s refuge from a world she didn’t understand.
“I wish I’d come when she asked,” Serenity muttered to herself.
Gemma had asked Serenity to come and live with her several years before, but Serenity had refused, determined to make it on her own. She’d spent enough of the previous twenty years being told she was a failure, not ambitious enough. When her world had ended, she determined she would not become dependent. On anyone.
“Yeah, ‘cause that worked out so well.” Serenity blew her bangs out of her face. “Idiot.”
Serenity climbed from the car and grabbed her backpack from the backseat. She shouldered the bag and stepped up onto the porch. A tear slid from her eye as she realized Gemma wouldn’t greet her with a smile and a song. Not anymore. Gemma had disappeared six months before. No note. Nothing missing. No sign of her since. And her sisters had determined she was never coming back.
This little piece is one of those that just came fully formed. I can’t decide if I want to keep it as it is or make it into something longer.
The past few years have been a bit hectic, and I think I fell into writing as much to preserve my sanity as any other reason. Now that things have settled down, and I have a schedule that doesn’t kill me, I’ve embarked on a plan to rewrite and re-release The Chronicles of Ethan Grimley III. I have to say that I’m much happier with the new versions of the stories.
Book one, now titled Path to Victory, (Thank you to a seven-year-old reader of the original for suggesting it.) will release on June 19, 2018. The first three chapters are available to read on my website, and I’ve almost finished the rewrite of book two, Tainted Victory.
I know a lot of people don’t like rewriting books, but I’ve found this to be quite enjoyable. I’ve been able to explore Ethan’s character and the world of Grevared much more than when I was first writing the stories. While I won’t rewrite the two adult books, Wolf in the Shadow and Aradia’s Secret, (mostly because they’ve already been done a couple of times), I think redoing Ethan will give me a better handle on the other books in the Gwennyth Grimsbane series and (okay, let’s not hold our breaths here) on the trilogy that started the world to start with (it takes place twenty years after Wolf in the Shadow).
Thanks to those who’ve stuck by this crazy ride so far. I hope you’ll continue to do so.
Today we’re shining the spotlight on author Linda Strader. Find out about her new release below.
Originally from Syracuse, New York, Ms. Strader moved to Prescott, Arizona with her family in 1972. In 1976, she became one of the first women on a U.S. Forest Service fire crew in the Santa Rita Mountains south of Tucson.
Summers of Fire: A Memoir of Adventure, Love and Courage is her first book, scheduled for publication on May 1st, 2018 by Bedazzled Ink Publishing. She is currently working on a prequel.
Linda Strader is one of the first women hired on a fire crew with the U.S. Forest Service. A naïve twenty-year-old in the mid 1970s, she discovers fighting wildfires is challenging—but in a man’s world, they become only one of the challenges she faces. Battling fire is exhilarating, yet exhausting; the discrimination real and sometimes in her face.
Summers of Fire is an Arizona to Alaska adventure story that honestly recounts the seven years she ventures into the heart of fires that scorch the land, vibrant friendships that fire the soul, and deep love that ends in devastating heartbreak.
In addition to writing, Ms. Strader is a landscape architect, certified arborist, and watercolor artist. She currently lives in the same area where her Forest Service career began.
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Summers-Fire-Memoir-Linda-Strader/dp/1945805668/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1520767588&sr=1-1&keywords=Linda+Strader
I love Ethan Grimley.
I can’t say what drew me to him in the beginning, but he’s one who likes to speak. In looking back over his stories–The Chronicles of Ethan Grimley III–I’ve noticed that there’s much more to tell with Ethan. I think the three books in the series would work better as one story, so I’m working on rewriting the three books into one. At this point, there are already six additional chapters, and I haven’t gotten to the beginning of A Walker is Born yet. I think the end result will be a story that has much more depth and explores more of Ethan’s life, both in Land’s End and beyond.
Ethan isn’t the only reason to rewrite the story. The other characters, particularly Kayne and Faylen, both have their own stories, and I don’t think they work for a series centered primarily on Ethan. With that in mind, I’ve decided to rename and expand the series. (If anyone has a title suggestion, sing out.)
Life over the past few years has been a bit hectic, but things have settled down now. The kids are beginning their adult lives, and I finally have a set work schedule that allows more time other activities. On top of that, Grevared itself is coming to life and showing me more and more of her grandeur with each passing day. The little details, the things that make a world real, are becoming clearer, so I think now is a good time to revisit the existing books and see if I can improve upon them. Not only will this make those books better, but I believe it will improve future books as well. (And, let’s face it, who doesn’t like to play in their own world?)
So, onward and upward. I’ll keep progress posted, a maybe a few snippets of the new stuff here and there.
For those who’ve supported me to this point, thank you. It means a lot. I hope you’ll continue to come along on this journey.