The Things That Haunt Us

Ghosts Hand

“Every love story is a ghost story.”

~ David Foster Wallace

A friend of mine posted that quote over the weekend, and it’s been haunting my mind ever since because it is sheer perfection.

Think about it. Every story boils down, in its essence, to the things that are haunting those characters, or that world you’ve built. What scarred them? What keeps them awake at night (good or bad)? What did they have to overcome – or still need to overcome? What question has been left unanswered that drives them on? What face do they see when they close their eyes?

You can’t really know someone until  you know what haunts them.

Food for thought, as build these characters and the lives they’ll lead.

 

The Moments That Define You

I spent last Thanksgiving in Dublin, Ireland, and while there, I paid a visit to the National Museum of Ireland: Archaeology, hoping to do some research on my next book, a fantasy YA story based on the Tuatha Dé Danann – the ancient gods of Ireland. This particular bit of sight-seeing comes with a story.

stone

This stone is actually enormous and dates back to between 3000 and 2500 b.c. It bears a spiral design, which fascinates me because I was doing research for a book a while back and discovered that the spiral symbol is common (and sacred) to just about every primitive culture – check out Chaco Canyon and the sunstone there, or the carvings of the Inuit or the Maori, check out China, Japan, all over Asia and Africa – seriously – it’s everywhere in primitive cultures.

Anyway, I glanced around sneakily, and then I reached out and touched it, low down on the design, skimming and tracing the groove with gentle fingers. I know, I shouldn’t have done that. Continue reading “The Moments That Define You”

Crossing Two Important Items Off Two Important Lists This Week

Old Celtic Cross In Glendalough, Wicklow Mountain, Ireland

This won’t be news to you if you follow my other blog, but I’m boarding a plane today and going on an adventure! I’m hopping across the pond, and when I touch down on Thursday, my Thanksgiving meal will consist of a pint of Guinness in a cozy Dublin pub, where I’ll be listening and soaking in and writing, of course. Continue reading “Crossing Two Important Items Off Two Important Lists This Week”

Three Different Books Warring In My Brain

3

Three different – very different stories. Three ways to go.

I’m never just writing one book. I’ll be grooving away, pounding out the words and suddenly, a whisp of an idea floats in that has nothing whatsoever to do with what I’m currently writing. Or maybe I’ll be daydreaming on my commute home, or listening to an old, familiar song, and something slides in, swirling around, trying to solidify. Sometimes I’m just watch my own teenage daughter navigate her world, and something she says or tells me about digs in, planting roots, insisting I visit and discuss.

The problem with that is, you end up with what I call “Irons in the Fire Syndrome,” which I had for years. There was a time when I had 6-10 partially finished books laying around at any given time. It wasn’t until I learned to focus and have the discipline to finish that I started making stories into books.

And now that book 2 of the Traveler series is in the editor’s hands, I look to the next thing on the horizon. This particular horizon can be viewed from a port that has three ships anchored in the water, waiting for me to throw the wind into their sails. Continue reading “Three Different Books Warring In My Brain”

Hoping Mother Nature Will Suck The Rest Of This Story From My Brain And Through My Fingertips

campbear

I have been battling writer’s block the likes of which I haven’t wrestled with in a very long time. I’ve tried to power through it, but it. is. killing. me.

I’m camping with my kids this weekend. We’ll have electricity, but very spotty internet access, and that should help keep me on track. I’ll be writing, writing, writing while they splash  in the pool and ride their bikes around, writing while they roast marshmallows, writing after they’re tucked into their sleeping bags at night, writing before they open their eyes in the morning.

I just hope I’m writing something coherent. That remains to be seen.

Wish me luck.

Let’s Hear It For Luck – Or Lack Thereof

Hands writing on old typewriter over wooden table background

Facebook decided to send me a “Memory” today, all the way from 2014. Here’s what I posted on this date, two years ago:

I have a pretty loyal group of readers who follow my blog and from my fanfic sites. I picked a handful who always post good, meaty, thoughtful reviews and asked them to beta-read my YA novel. I just sent it out to them on Thursday, and today I found this in my in-box:

“Just a quick note to let you know I just finished the book. It was INCREDIBLE! I really, truly LOVED this story! I can’t wait to find out what else you have in store for these characters. I feel like I know them and I feel like I’m invested in their story. Thanks for not writing a book about monsters/vampires/werewolves/fairies/etc. or another version of survival in a dystopian society. It seems like that’s all there is out there these days for the YA genre. When you get this book published (when, not if), I will tell every single person I know that they have to read it! I’ll promote the crap out of it by word of mouth. You’ve done a beautiful job and you have a great talent. I look forward to seeing your work on bookshelves!”

She also gave me some great, in-depth feedback on the characters and told me how blindsided she was by some of the plot twists – which is just what I wanted to hear. Now if only an editor would agree! Still waiting….and waiting….. Keep your fingers crossed!

Of course, that particular bought of waiting never came to fruition, so I entered my book in the Swoon Reads YA Novel Contest, crossed my fingers, and hoped for the best.

And here I am, guys. Here I am. Two years later, I have not just a book deal, but a two book deal, an agent, and a book that will be in bookstores on February 7, 2017.

A well-meaning friend asked me if I felt like the luckiest girl in the world to have a dream come true. The answer to that question is No. Continue reading “Let’s Hear It For Luck – Or Lack Thereof”

K Is For “Koi No Yokan”

Couple in love on a bench

I know, it’s quite a mouthful. But bear with me, here.

Koi No Yokan is a Japanese phrase which has no direct English translation. It describes the sense upon first meeting a person that the two of you are going to fall in love.

I write YA books, and my YA books have an element of romance. Koi No Yokan is figuring prominently into two different projects I’m working on. One, because one of the main characters is so absolutely sure about it, and another because the protagonist definitely felt Koi No Yokan, but argues herself out of it for a myriad of reasons. Continue reading “K Is For “Koi No Yokan””

A To Z Blogging Challenge: H Is For Hero

h

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to heroes lately. What makes a good one? It’s not enough that they’re a genuinely decent person – after all, some of the best heroes are the ones who aren’t the shiniest, or nicest, or most morally upright.

Think about Severus Snape and his selfish motivation and scathing tones, or Katniss Everdeen with her unfriendly manner and total reluctance to be what everyone wanted to make her – these aren’t heroes on white horses swooping in to save anybody’s day.

I think the one thing you see in all heroes is one thing I touch on in my book: Resilience. Continue reading “A To Z Blogging Challenge: H Is For Hero”