Friday, October 29, 2010

Long Leggedy Beasties

From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!
I remember my folks saying this old Scottish prayer to us around Hallowe'en. It always sent delightful shivers up and down my spine. I've always been a bit of a wimp, not too many brave bones in my body!

But Hallowe'en doesn't have to be all scary. We can always add a little Steampunk! That makes everything better!

Seriously, who doesn't love a good steampumpkin?? :) Happy Hallowe'en everyone!

So, do you like the things that go bump in the night?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Hidden Depths

Don't you love this poster?? We always hear that 90% of the iceberg is below the surface, but there's nothing quite like a picture to help us really see it.

While I've been in Revision Hell (thanks for the name for this oh-so-lovely place, Lola!) I've been thinking a bit about icebergs. And characters. And their backstories.

I try to imitate that 'berg - keep most of the info about the characters in my head and out of the novel. I firmly believe I've got to know a whole lot about my characters. I let them walk around in my head for a long time before I write. But the audience doesn't need to know everything.

There's a balance. I'm trying to achieve it. In my case, I have to add MORE, I've kept too much to myself.

I'm hoping to do a better job of finding that balance than these guys... :)

So, what's your story on your characters' histories? Do you have to go back in to add or delete?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

CassStar by Alex J. Cavanaugh

To pilot the fleet’s finest ship…

Few options remain for Byron. A talented but stubborn young man with a troubled past and rebellious attitude, his cockpit skills are his only hope. Slated to train as a Cosbolt fighter pilot, Byron is determined to prove his worth and begin a new life as he sets off for the moon base of Guaard.

Much to Byron’s chagrin, the toughest instructor in the fleet takes notice of the young pilot. Haunted by a past tragedy, Bassa eventually sees through Byron's tough exterior and insolence. When a secret talent is revealed during training, Bassa feels compelled to help Byron achieve his full potential.

As war brews on the edge of space, time is running short. Byron requires a navigator of exceptional quality to survive, and Bassa must make a decision that could well decide the fate of both men. Will their skills be enough as they embark on a mission that may stretch their abilities to the limit?
Are you excited yet??? You should be! This is the blurb for Alex J Cavanaugh's CassaStar. It's being released TODAY!
Need some convincing? How about this review?

“…calls to mind the youthful focus of Robert Heinlein’s early military sf, as well as the excitement of space opera epitomized by the many Star Wars novels. Fast-paced military action and a youthful protagonist make this a good choice for both young adult and adult fans of space wars.” - Library Journal
Being compared to Heinlein and Star Wars? Holy WOW! Not bad for a first novel!
Now check out the trailer...

So, obviously you're now convinced. This is a Must Have book. Where can you get it? I just happen to have some handy-dandy links for you...

Barnes & Noble
Powell's Books

CassaStar is also available as an ebook for the Nook, Kindle, iBookstore and others!

Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design and graphics. He’s experienced in technical editing and worked with an adult literacy program for several years. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Currently he lives in the Carolinas with his wife.

CassaStar by Alex J. Cavanaugh
October 19, 2010 Science fiction/adventure/space opera
ISBN 9780981621067 Dancing Lemur Press LLC

So, what are you waiting for?

Friday, October 15, 2010


I do believe I live in a small corner of Paradise. I thought I'd share a few images for those of you not surrounded by glorious fall leaves. Sadly, I didn't think to take pictures until most of the leaves had lost their lustre and fallen, but the thought was there! So here you go -- past their peak, but still gorgeous!

How's that for inspiration? :) Next year I'll try to remember to take some when the leaves are at their best!

What's the best thing about your corner of Paradise?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Catching Up & Breaking Rules!

I'm going to blame September for it taking me such a ridiculous amount of time to thank the following folks for their awards. September is nuts for teachers. We had our classes settled, then there was a reorganization due to numbers in the lower grade and about half my class moved on to the next teacher and I got a bunch more from the previous teacher. And of course ended up with several more than I started with. :)

So, that's my reason. I'm sticking to it.

First off thanks so much to the wonderful Jen Daiker over at unedited for the Crazy Love Award.
Then the lovely Anne Tyler Lord over at Don't Fence Me In awarded me both the One Lovely Blogger & the Versatile Blogger Award.  Anne is a sweetheart - she's so thoughtful and helpful on her blog!

Rebecca at Sonshine Thoughts awarded me the Supportive Commenter Award. Don't you just love the boots? I need to get me a pair of those for the school yard! Rebecca has such a sunny personality, the award matches her perfectly!
The charming Karen Walker at Following the Whispers awarded me the Circle of Friends award. Karen is such a good friend to so many people. I'm honoured she passed it my way.
The talented Yvonne over at Welcome to My World of Poetry sent the You Rock! award my way. Coming from Yvonne, this is a high honour. Yvonne is one of the kindest people you'll meet in the bloggy-verse!
Arlee Bird over at Tossing it Out sent the Super Commenter Award my way. This one makes me smile every time - gotta love that frog! The smile, not the frog, reminds me of Lee!
The supersweet Erica at Laugh.Write.Play sent the Weird/Strange Award my way. I love it! I've never aspired for normal and I'm so glad it's been noted publicly! :)

The always generous Mason Canyon over at Thoughts in Progress and the wonderful Rayna at Coffee Rings Everywhere both sent the Literacy Builder award my way. If I'm being honest, their kind words had me smiling for hours!
For this award I'm to tell you my 5 favourite words. I adore words (obviously). My favourites change with great regularity. For today they are: discombobulated, wonky, portalizer, hope and wonder. Portalizer is one of my own. Hopefully one day I'll have a book published and you'll be able to find out what it is! :)

Thanks again to all of these wonderful people for thinking of me when they passed on their awards. I'm going to be ornery today and balk (2 more good words!) at the other instructions. I still have a meme to do, but my camera is broken. (I'm full of excuses today!) I'll get it posted when I can. Promise!

So what rules have you broken today? Any good ones?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

And Again

I had some really insightful feedback recently that set me back on my heels for a bit. It took me weeks to absorb it and to let it run around in my conscious and subconscious brains.

I felt ready last weekend to look again at my story and consider the feedback. It was dead on target. Addressing the issues raised by the critiquers requires a lot of work. A LOT of work. Which is probably why I had to let it sift around in my brain for so long. :)

I've got a problem in the core of the plot. It's based on a coincidence. Blech. Coincidences happen all the time in real life, but not in fiction. I'd known it was there, but it worked so well for the story, I thought I could pretend it would be okay. Silly me.

So, now I think I'm ready to dive back in. Again.

Except this time I'll be starting from scratch. Almost. I've got a lot in my head (characters, setting, much of the plot), but I need to move out on a 45 degree angle. So most of what I've written won't make it into the rewrite. Did I mention it would require a lot of work?? :)

Have you ever started from scratch with the same story? Any advice? I think I could use some!