Dear Kitai, It’s been a year since you left me. . .

Oh, my heart.



Sometimes at night I dream about you. It happens quite often. Usually I’m looking for you because you’re lost and I can’t find you. I wake in a panic because I’m desperately worried something bad will happen to you if I don’t find you. Other times we’re doing something or going somewhere, you know, happy together the way we used to be.

And then I wake up and a moment later the realization hits, you’re gone.

I lie in the dark and let the reality sink in. Again. it was only a dream. We’re not together. You’re gone and I’m still here, heartbroken, without you. Then I feel even more sad and upset than the dreams where I couldn’t find you. The realization that you’re not at the foot of the bed or snuggled up beside me in The Glampette and the gut-wrenching feeling of loss hits me all over again. It’s like that movie Goundhog’s…

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9 days left to register for max classes

Max is a fabulous writer and teacher. Can’t find better on the worldwide web.

celluloid blonde

Dynamic Writing

Character Writing

Yes, those classes are taught by yours truly. They are online accelerated master screenwriting classes. For more info, hit :::THE AFW:::

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The Monday Mixed Tape

I was once driving down the street and noticed that a sentimental favorite, Tchaikovsky’s festival overture in E♭ major, Op. 49, aka the 1812 Overture, was on the radio. I knew what was coming. Some slower parts that would have had me changing the station if I hadn’t known the piece. The occasional bright and sparkling trumpets of the approaching “La Marseillaise” but I must point out, “bright and sparkling” is interpreted through my Hollywood-influenced sentiment for the piece (Casablanca, anyone?). I understand that as written in The 1812 Overture, the French anthem was not only an anachronism from decades after Napoleon was history, so to speak, but its inclusion was meant to be boastful and brash, the approaching armies of Napoleon.

Sorry. Child of Hollywood. It will take some doing for me to go bad on “La Marseillaise.

But it matters not. The story told by this epic musical composition is one of the triumph of the Russian people over the tyrant, Napoleon. And it ends with a heart-swelling pounding of howitzer cannons and the ringing of all the bells in Moscow, as the French retreat, their tails between their legs.

It never ceases to make my heart swell, anyway–and it occurred to me, what a glorious thing, to have a book that could be accompanied by such a soundtrack. Yes, periods of pain. And fear. And death. But knowing–knowing–that the end would be filled with such emotional ecstasy and physical triumph…

Ah, yes.

I’d be lying if didn’t admit that this little ditty fuels a lot of my writing dreams.

I often see authors sharing the soundtracks, mixed tapes, playlists, whatever you want to call them, that accompanied the writing of their books. So often those musical selections leave me cold, because I don’t share the musical tastes of the author. I am so sure that my own preferences are so odd and unusual that very few of my readers would be moved by them, much less interested in them.

And yet, here I am, working on The Dead Shall Live (Volume Two of The Fury Triad) with the soundtrack in my ears, and I decided, why not share?

It owes most everything to the Mediaeval Baebes.


Although the first album of theirs I loaded onto my iPod was Mirabilis, and I still love it, any time I find my muse beginning to get jaded I add another of theirs to the playlist. Why do I listen to medieval-influenced music when writing a fantasy series set in the English Regency era? It doesn’t have to make sense to anyone but me, and for me, it’s not about logic or sense but about the music sounding ‘fantastical’ to my muse and summoning the characters, and the magical world they live in.

Perhaps it helps that the roots of my story are in the Dark Ages and grow opulently through the medieval Tudor courts, as well.

But from the opening bars, Star of the Sea brings my world to my fingertips, and I’m not going to argue with that.

There it is, the first installment of the Fury Triad mix tapes. I’ll be offering more on coming Mondays!

But back to the beginning… what would be the soundtrack of your life, if you could choose?

Come on, have some fun with it!

Originally posted here.

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I’m in: Geeky Blogger’s Book Blog Walkers

I’m in! I’m committing to walk in October. Anybody else want to join?

You don’t have to be a book blogger to do it. I’m not one.

“Hey Book Blog Walkers! It is time to make a commitment for Oct 2014. Whether you are just joining us, need to get back on the wagon, or just going to keep up your progress for Jan, now is the time to stand up and say “I’m in! I’m committed to getting up and getting moving!” Remember that at the end of Oct I will be drawing one person from every one participating for a book of your choice up to $10 from either Amazon or Book Depository. Hope to see you in Oct!”


Join here!

I listen to audiobooks while I walk. What do you do to keep from being bored?

Cross-posted at

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Tell yourself the Story

I teach this idea, but couldn’t remember where I’d heard it. Ah, of course. Sir Terry.

Words That Burn Like Fire

This… just this. The concept blew my mind this weekend.

To me there’s a lot of truth here. At least, how I see my writing. Okay, stop, back up and explain.

I’ve now written 15 stories with Matty, Mina, Rick, and Sam.  Most of my editing is explaining actions and reactions to readers. Occasionally, even my betas don’t get why one of them acts the way they do.

Also, plots. I’m terrible. I don’t how other authors do it, but I generally write my plot and then justify actions. Sometimes, I just know that the characters have to be somewhere or do something, without knowing why at the time. It isn’t until I read the story three or four times that I get why I had them do that… whatever that is.

This is why betas are so important. They help writers expand on the mental…

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