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Showing posts from November, 2011

How a Baby Carrot Can Offer Wisdom

Today was one of those days where I had to pick and choose what got done, and the list was short. Way too short.

The weirdest thing that struck me in my "get the kids to school, get a few things thrown together at home, get clean so I don't offend my coworkers, and get out the door" frenzy had to do with baby carrots, of all things. There was a time, not very long ago, where I would never have considered putting a baby carrot into stew. Especially if I had old fashioned, peel 'em and cut 'em up carrots in the crisper. But life right now has begun to necessitate the need to cut a few corners, and the corner I cut today was to NOT cut the carrots.

Now this may seem like undue rumination on something completely inconsequential. But the deeper story at work here is that with every task I must do differently now that I am out of the house for ten hours a day, the more it makes me take careful stock of what's important and what's not. Yes, whole, large carrots…

Checking Off All the Boxes

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The last quarter of 2011 has involved a pretty hefty pile of writing-related stuff, including:
Getting the first two Windrider books up and running
Looking ahead to the tasks involved in creating the print compilation
Designing or at least having my fingers on the situation with my cover art

And now...delving into potentially massive edits for Sword of the Patron.

As I've been doing all this, there are a couple of things that industry professionals have said that continue to ring in my ears. One is something Dr. Ted Baehr said. The gist of it was, "It's just as much work to go small as it is to go big." I'm finding that to be resoundingly true. While the places I may be able to focus my efforts and have influence may be different with a small publisher than a large house, there is no easy, sit-back-and-watch-it-happen route to getting books on the market. And once those books are out there, the task of finding new people to buy them is staggeringly hard. What the…

Off Without a Hitch

Well friends, the day is here...the day the Windrider Saga continues, with Book 2: A Greater Strength available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords. I am so humbled by the flurry of interest and support that so many of you have shown as the ebooks have gone live. If you are interested in purchasing but haven't yet had the chance, here are links to the book in its various locations for your convenience.

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Annnnnd Smashwords

I hope you enjoy, and if you do, please tell a friend. Thank you for your continued support of new authors and small publishing!

A Greater Strength Cover Goes Public

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November 22nd is fast approaching, and I'm thrilled to announce the coming release of the second tale in the Windrider Saga. A Greater Strength continues the story begun in Book I: Divine Summons.  Loner though he may be, Captain Vinyanel Ecleriast knows he cannot hope to accomplish his newest mission on his own. He and his comrades have managed to avert the disaster of their king’s abduction, but all is not well in the elven capital of Delsinon. Six precious Talismans of Passage slip farther from the elves’ grasp with each moment they contemplate a solution. Vinyanel’s superiors send him to reclaim what enemies have stolen.
He assembles an unlikely squadron and leads them from the back of his silver dragon mount and friend, Majestrin. Their guide: a rogue who once attempted Vinyanel’s assassination. A stealthy marksman, a bookish warrior who fights with grace, and a prophetess for wise (though sometimes annoying) spiritual guidance fill out the ranks.
The journey to the far reac…

Completely a Non Fantasy, Non Writing Post

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My life involves about a hour and a half of driving per weekday now that I am employed outside my home, which gives me a lot of time to mull things over. This has been great for my writing in some ways, because it forces me to brainstorm before I sit down to type, since my typing time is so limited. But sometimes, the ideas aren't flowing, and my brain wanders to other pursuits.

For those who know me from my youth, it will come as no surprise to hear that I have a lingering obsession with music education--marching band at the high school level in particular. I know that is a weird thing to care about at all in my late thirties, but for some reason, the formative things that happened during my marching band years have stuck with me. These years were the focus of some of my thoughts as I drove this morning.

A big factor in my nostalgia for that time of my life is an individual by the name of Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser. (Dr. Tim to those who know him from his leadership seminars.) I could…
Hey Friends...

I am certainly behind on getting this link out to you, but editing, cover design, a full time job and a family will do that to you, I guess. But I wanted to offer a huge thank you to Heather for her balanced and succinct assessment of the first book in my Windrider series. Go read her thoughts at the link below, and do let Heather know you dropped in. Thanks a million!

H.A. Titus's feedback on Divine Summons

Holidays in Fantasyland

We're closing in on what I call the "legitimate" holiday season. (I summarily reject the notion that "the holidays" start with Halloween.) The impending arrival of Thanksgiving and Christmas has me thinking a little bit about the calendar in the other world I occupy--the one I write in.

I will admit, the calendar of my world is an area I have neglected pretty fully. I have a general sense that there is a Yule Feast in the winter, a day of celebration that is especially enjoyed by the forest gnome population, that Midsummer's Day is significant in celebrating blessings and abundance, and there was once this dwarvish holiday/event invented in my world charmingly dubbed the "Boulderkegger." That one is a long story, and I didn't actually make it up, but the genius of it seemed too good to pass up. Well, good if you can overlook the way it doesn't exactly exemplify the virtue of temperance.

But besides that, I have to admit I haven't put a…

Who I Am vs Who I Am

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My facebook status last night posed the question: do you ever feel like a racehorse who's hitched to a plow? Life is like that in many ways for me right now, and it's easy to look at the analogy with a negative, pop-culture-influenced cast. American culture tells us we need to "be who we are inside" and that anything less than that is a horrifying sin to be burned at the stake. If your an artist, make art, if you're an executive, lead, if you're a nurturer, care for someone.

Now, this all sounds quite good on the surface, and it makes my analogy of hitching a racehorse to a plow repugnant to those who ascribe to the "be who you are" mantra. Racehorses were made to be sleek. To run. To dazzle. As for plow horses--well, the only people who notice them are folks who have been suburbanites so long that when you drive by an old draft horse actually doing what it was bred to be good at, it's very novel. To put the glamorous racehorse in the place of t…

Friends Don't Let Friends Have Bad Cover Art

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In this publishing revolution we're all encountering, I am excited about a lot of things--mainly, the ability of authors who would may never see print due to the fact that they write in too tight a niche to be considered a good risk for a big publisher to now get their work into the marketplace. Whether it's better to go micro-publisher or to self publish in this instance still remains to be seen, but I think over the next few years, we're going to see some interesting statistics emerge about sales connected to both.

What I'm not so excited about in the self and micro publishing realms is hokey/cheesy/hackish cover art. Now, not all self or micro published books suffer this malady, but so many do that it's painful. What's even more painful is when an author posts this cover art in the world of social media, and so many of the author's friends say "How exciting! Hooray! Very cool," when they should be saying, "Your title is too small. Your sto…