Did you ever have one of those days when you realize that you must be living a cursed life? I know that's how I feel today. Probably not a good time to consider composing this update, but so it is. Well, okay maybe my life is not completely cursed, but a Literary agent helping things along a little would certainly help mitigate the feeling. I guess the feeling comes from the fact that things have been going along quite well until I ran smack into an unexpected ( and metaphorical) brick wall in the advancement of my alternate career path. To be blunt, as much as I love the creation of writing and concocting worlds known only to me until I release them with my pen, writing just does not support anyone who is not a multi-billion best seller.
I generally deal with the situation by pulling off my bookshelf old friends like Miss Read with her gentle view of 1950's village school life, and Alan Dean Foster's rather warped fantasy Spellsinger for a good laugh and a bit of social analysis, I also turn to a rather sweet penguin named Opus from Berke Breathed's Bloom County, recently resurrected much to my happiness, to Johnny Hart's unusually modern cavemen in B.C. and to T.K. Ryan's unusual look at the old west with erudite Poohawks taunting, and sometimes aiding, dopey Cavalry men and cowboys in Tumbleweeds. Part of the cursed feeling comes from the fact that I can't seem to find T.K. Ryan's comic in book form anywhere but second hand stores. All of the above are currently on my table either waiting to be read or in the process of helping me through my crummy mood. Fortunately Llaeron, La Lune, and company have not abandoned my creative mind. They are all clamoring to come out of my pen for people to read. I'd better get back to them. Just as an added little note to yesterday's bout of minor depression that people of an artistic nature are prone to fall into from time to time, I ended the evening by watching my favourite Cliff Richard movie: Take me High (I can't remember the title it had in the United States, only that it was different.) That film always puts me in a good mood. Oh, by the way, if anyone is interested a few of the Ellfic female characters were inspired in varying degrees by the female lead in that film. The Two Ronnies shows were also a very strong source of character inspiration, they are also another depression eliminator for me as are Man About the House and Last Of the Summer Wine. Did you notice they're all British? There must be a link there somewhere. Then again, most of the depression fighting books I use are American or Canadian (Letter From Wingfield Farm) so maybe there isn't.
A fairly short post this month as I have very little time these days to work on the computer. I apologize for the brevity of the latest excerpts from my books, but I've been squeezing in typing time when I get a rare chance, as such the amount of text from my books is now somewhat condensed in comparison to earlier excerpt posts. That being said I hope you enjoy the latest excerpt and possibly find a clue to the situation at the start of Secret Sorcerer. Hopefully this is only a temporary situation and the excerpts will start to enlarge again as time goes on. One of my favourite holidays is now past and once again I donned La Lune's dress for the Trick-or-Treaters in my neighborhood. That is actually how I developed the character, through the creation of a Hallowe'en costume to amuse the local children. La Lune's whole history and story came from the sewing of that costume. As for some of the others, they found their creation, or their world's, through my love of porcelain doll-making. (Yes, the proto-type of Porpoise stands in my doll cabinet.) That's all for this month as the clock is telling me that I'm running out of time again.
Well it's that time again when the leaves change colour and fall in mild gusts of wind, or around here are torn off their parent tree to be whipped around and driven into what ever happens to be in the way of the autumn gales. It is somewhat less than fun driving in such weather, something I have to do on a daily basis. I have been giving some thought to a few of my past scholastic problems and a diagnosis near the end of my pursuit of a Bachelor's degree in Writing and Literature. The realization that a test induced mental blank and a hypoglycemic attack have identical symptoms (at least for me) has made me wonder if the two might possibly be related. Could low blood sugar to the brain be responsible for kids going blank during exams no matter how much they may have studied? It's worth thinking about anyway, especially as the only person I knew in Secondary School who never suffered from the problem at all was a vegetarian with a profound sweet tooth. as for this month's excerpt, I am trying to decide between chapter eight of Secret Sorcerer and chapter eight of Separated Soul. I'm trying to decide which is more suitable for this month. As soon as I make my choice I will post it. Funnily enough I've discovered that when I read the selected chapters from my books that I don't read them as if they are mine, and I've found a certain amount of enjoyment in that as well as, I hope, a degree of unbiased judgement.
Fall begets with new beginnings
I apologize for the lateness of this post, however the transition from August to September has been a fairly hectic one for me this year, not the least of which being my decision to engage in a new career path. This does not mean I will stop writing, or publishing, merely that I have decided to return to a campus I have been away from for seventeen years to study for a new direction to go alongside my writing. As you can guess I am still a little rushed with a return to university this week. I have only posted a small excerpt from chapter eight of Escape to Ellse Where due to the above mentioned time constraints, however I think you will agree with me about the importance of the segment chosen from the book. As for my hunt for an agent to represent not only the books already in print but also the several fantasy/ science-fiction novels I have yet to place with a publisher at this time. I hope everyone had a nice summer in the Northern Hemisphere, and for those below the equator I hope it was a nice winter. The change of seasons brings changes into several aspects of life as well as the elements. If I have learned anything from the past few days, including my feeling of coming home when I entered a classroom again for the first time in over a decade, it is do not fight the flow of fate; it will take you where you are supposed to be even if you don't realize it yourself.
A Very odd Summer
Well, maybe not that odd, we've had summers like this before: wet and cold, but not for a while. If this follows true to form the winter will be both sloppy and snowy. Not something the incomers to this island like, especially the almost constant grey gloom that coats our skies. For some reason they think an island, even one that reaches further north than Toronto (or even Calgary,) must be tropical. We have cold weather trees growing native here, but they insist on importing palms and other tropical plants for the proper "look." Thanks to unnaturally warm winters over the past ten years they honestly believe it a) never rains here [in a north western rainforest] and b) never snows here. Both belief systems were, until 2009, completely erroneous. 2009 was the first winter I remember that did not have any snow, and I was born here! I will not say how many years ago that was as it was decidedly before the 1990's. As for my writing it's coming slowly as my outside job takes up a great deal of my time and energy. Writing only truly pays if your name is either Nora Roberts of Steven King. Anyone else requires a day job.
One of the things I've been doing is going over a lot of the unpublished work I've stockpiled over the years including a children's mystery series I started to write involving ancients myths and legends invading the modern world in a suburb of Victoria (probably Sooke, although I've never stated exactly where it is.) The mysteries are investigated by an unusual cat, a group of three dogs and a garden sculpture that isn't. Maybe I should see about finding a literary agent for those as well as my Science Fiction & Fantasy novels. To be frank, I threw out a lot of Christian folklore when writing the series and concentrated of the actual pagan religions from which the myths originated. My purpose was to teach these cultural myths within the context of a slightly goofy story with the animals. I wonder who would be interested in that? As for my published work, this month's excerpt is from Separated Soul chapter seven. It is now posted on the excerpt page.
Shoe Problems and fun with growing things
Did you ever have someone tell you that you required a specific type of shoe for something? Naturally you have, but what if you have awkwardly sized feet? I'm thinking of this right now because it happened to me in June and being under five feet in height my shoe size is quite small. By small I mean I generally wear either a child's size 1 or 1 & 1/2 as very few places carry a ladies size 3 (size 1 in U.K. and size 33 in Europe.) Occasionally I will buy a size four and stuff the heck out of it with insoles and cotton balls in the toes, but once in a while a place will carry and actual 3 or 3 & 1/2 (again the insoles come into play with the 3 & 1/2.) I finally managed to find something that sort-of works, but is not perfect in the children's department, but I cannot help thinking that between my height problems and shoe-size issues that this world is either trying to ignore or punish smaller people for being short. This is something I really have to think about, especially as I am not shaped like a child, and I haven't been since I was twelve.
Oh well, apart from that I am still attempting to find a literary agent who'll be willing to represent my books, including the Dark Witch of the Moors series I am currently putting through a final writer's edit. All three books are already written, just as all of the Moon Child Memoirs and Ellfaerran Diaries fantasy series books are written, just waiting in line for me to finish my last edit. I have a few other books sitting in binders on my shelves that I've completed preliminary writing on, such as what happened in the Adlamar Spiral when Feline was taken there, and the first book of Sapphire's own series showing who he was and how he became what he is. I'm playing with horticulture again, I seem to have a wide Hobbit streak as I'm always trying to see if I can grow something from the very start, this time I have to build a mini-green house. I wonder if it's possible to grow a pineapple from it's top in a Pacific Northwest (fairly chilly) rain forest? It should be fun finding out.
Spring/ Summer colds
As you could probably guess by the title of this post I am currently fight a nasty spring/summer cold. I caught the wretched thing on the 24th of May, just before I was supposed to go to the other side of Vancouver Island to watch a cousin's daughter dance. Normally that wouldn't be a problem, but I caught it from my father who was also going to the performance and my mother can't drive. Neither my father nor I was in any shape to drive a car so we ended up missing the performance. I am not the happiest person over that. To make matters worse the shop where I buy my favourite brand of Crochet Cotton closed down that same week. I spent more time running to the shop to pick up various colours before the doors closed for good. The Annoying part is, it's the only shop in the Mid-Island region that sold the brand in question. As you can tell, the last couple of weeks of May were not the best for me.
On the upside, I had plenty of time to do some fiddly minor edits to L' Enfant de La Lune: Dark Witch of the Moors over the past couple of weeks. That's the one I'm trying to place with a Literary Agent right now. The fun part will be editing the second book, the horror/thriller/mystery aspects of the first book get tossed out the window as La Lune and her cohorts switch over to the Adlamar Spiral (Feline mentions it in book 2 of the Moon Child Memoirs) and start interfering in a space-based culture there for fun--sort of. They are ultimately trying to help Sapphire and locate the original homeworld of the Ellfaers, but who says they can't have a bit of fun with the Extra-terrestrial locals while they're at it? The third book also involves that galaxy, but the reasons for interfering are a bit more personal and connect back to book one. There is always method to my literary madness.
In case anyone is wondering, the Adlamar Spiral is loosely based on the first galaxy I ever saw with binoculars, and no it is not Andromeda. I have a love of the Northern sky, and galaxy M81 in particular. Look for the Northern Star and somewhere up there is where I set the galaxy I invented for the Parapsychologists who torment Feline and Sapphire. Speaking of which, the two books I'm writing right now are set there, one is the second book in Sapphire's series, and the other follows the lead female character from the second of the Dark Witch of the Moors' books as she gets drawn into something she doesn't understand through a bargain she is tricked into making with La Lune and Rabbit.
Busy Spring days
Well, it's that time of year again. My June bearing strawberry's various runners have sprouted into separate plants that I have been busy re-potting so they don't either strangle their parent plant or become so root-bound they kill themselves. It is also a time of weeding and digging over various gardens for planting so that the yard is a riot of colour in the summer. I've been so busy with gardening that I'm a day behind on updating my website. Sorry about that. I can get very involved with horticulture if I'm not careful. Maybe it has something to do with my height. I'd say it's the Hobbit in me, except Hobbits were invented by Prof. J.R.R. Tolkien of Magdalene College Oxford back in the 1930's. Ancient mythology of the Norse does, however, attribute small stature and horticulture to the Elves so maybe that's what I am. (How can you tell I utilized the smaller stature elves of the Norse to the 4 feet nine to five feet and three inch elves of Germany for my novels?) Come to think of it, the Norse elves were a pretty shy and reclusive bunch, which makes them another good fit for me. If you look closely at the excerpt from Separated Soul you will see a connection between the Moon Child Memoirs series and Escape to Ellse Where within the text. A side note, that connection will provide a clue to Feline's true identity to those who know how to look for it. Still haven't had any luck trying to find an agent to help place another series I'm currently working on, however a primary character from that series is named in the excerpt I've posted for this month. His relatives are still certain he needs some sort of therapy as he's a definite loony! Can you guess who he is?
New PLans for Spring
The flowers are beginning to show through the grass in the lawn and the lilacs are beginning to show leaf buds in the yard. All is bright and new, especially when the morning frost glints from a crocus bud and that has made me re-evaluate a few things a little. So far I've managed to have three books published without the aid of an agent, but I think it's time I started looking for one. With the land in rebirth it makes one realize that new thoughts about how to do things are in order and I think an agent's help may revitalize my work a little and possibly help to have my future books, like Sapphire's Series and possibly the trilogy I'm currently editing that follows the philosophical changes in La Lune that occur separately from her adventures in Moon Child's series as well. I've already started sending out queries (well one actually) as I tend to act upon my decisions fairly quickly, I also prefer to avoid annoying anyone multiple submissions. Some places don't like it when you query someone else at the same time as them. Funnily enough, as I was planning this post earlier today I bumped into an old friend from my school days. I will admit that I was not really sure what to post as I was undecided about posting the agent decision here, but while talking to my former school friend I realized that maybe I should. With luck I will manage to find an agent who can help with placing my writing with a more mainstream publishing house that has the ability to have the novels they publish placed on bookstore shelves as a matter of course. Right now my books are only in the online catalogs of various bookstores but that kind of requires people to look for them deliberately, as opposed to just seeing them on a shelf and having an impulse to buy it from a quick perusal in a store. Oh, well, only time will tell and hopefully it will breathe new life into my writing's appeal as well.
Spring is Here...maybe
March: the month when spring begins in the Northern hemisphere, except I live in Canada and spring looks like it's in no hurry to arrive. Yes, there are spring bulbs showing their frozen little heads as snow fills their flowers, but I can't touch them as their stems are frozen too. Already one iris has snapped off when its stem shattered from too much ice build up. One thing about the snow, it gives me time to work on things such as a bright pink shawl I crocheted for myself as a Valentine's present so I could stay warm, and I started editing the first book of a satellite series to both Moon Child Memoirs and Ellfaerran Diaries. It also sort of connects with Sapphire's series as the last two books take place in his galaxy.
The interesting thing about the series I've just started to edit is that I wrote it about four years ago and just consigned it to a dusty bookshelf while I worked on polishing the Moon Child and Ellfaerran novels. I found I was editing it as if it was written by somebody else, except of course for the inclusion of such characters as L'Enfant de La Lune, Rabbit, Marigold, and Huge from the Moon Child novels and Alberon from the Ellfaerran books. It's kind of funny seeing Alberon as an adult character in the story I started editing, as he's a child in the first two Ellfaerran novels and still very immature in the third. I think the fact that it's set near the beginning of this millennium is another break from the other two series as both are set before the last millenium, or in the case of book three of the Moon Child books in the 1060's. I'm not certain if I'll try publishing this series as the first book is a murder-mystery type and the other two are more Science-Fiction than Fantasy, but it was fun to write and I'm finding it fun to edit. It has also helped in the writing of the two books I'm working on from Sapphire's series. I'll have to come up with a name for the series before I think of publishing it. I find I keep assigning Sapphire's series to Galaxy M81 in my mind. I hope nobody minds, especially as I have--so far--never done more than hint at the direction of the Adlamar Spiral where Sapphire and the Parapsychologist live.
Hello, I am a writer of High Fantasy utilizing ancient myths mixed with modern anthropological discoveries to create the worlds in which my characters live. Please join me in my journey to uncover those mystical worlds of myth and pre-history.