September 15, 2014

Anon, Sir, Anon Cover Reveal

If you folks know Rachel Heffington, the Inkpen Authoress, chances are you know Fly Away Home.  And if you know Fly Away Home, chances are you know Heffington's second novel, ANON, SIR, ANON, has an approaching due date of November 5.  Last month I had the honor of reading and reviewing an advance copy of the book; it was still warm and muggy and whenever I went out on our screened porch the pages wilted deplorably, which was very unsuitable.  It seems much more appropriate, then, that the weather this week has taken a cooler turn in anticipation of Anon, Sir, Anon's cover reveal.

The 12:55 out of Darlington brought more than Orville Farnham's niece; murder was passenger. In coming to Whistlecreig, Genevieve Langley expected to find an ailing uncle in need of gentle care. In reality, her charge is a cantankerous Shakespearean actor with a penchant for fencing and an affinity for placing impossible bets.When a body shows up in a field near Whistlecreig Manor and Vivi is the only one to recognize the victim, she is unceremoniously baptized into the art of crime-solving: a field in which first impressions are seldom lasting and personal interest knocks at the front door.Set against the russet backdrop of a Northamptonshire fog, Anon, Sir, Anon cuts a cozy path to a chilling crime.

Rachel picked a memorable (and explosive) release day.  In anticipation of November 5, remember to add Anon, Sir, Anon to your Goodreads list and thus make everyone curious about the book-with-the-lovely-cover-and-ooh!-tasty-looking-probably-poisonous-berries!  Want to do more?  Rachel has a button for you to post on the social media of choice.  You can also tweet about the upcoming release with the hashtags #AnonSirAnon and #ViviandFarnham (because, yes, it's going to be a series).  You're also welcome to come up with new (but legal) ways of letting people know something exciting is in the literary wind this autumn.  Spread the word!

August 22, 2014

The Crap Cycle

You know the routine.  You go to bed Sunday evening with a mind brim-full of ideas, itching to get up the next morning and write.  On Monday you roll out of bed and sit down at the computer; you've got an hour, maybe several, and you're ready to go - until you open up the document and try to start.  And then everything is awful.  You struggle through a paragraph or two and move on, frustrated, to something else.  Everything is crap!  Your writing is rubbish!  This story is nonsense!  The characters are stupid!  You will never write anything as good as your last book (or chapter)!  You should just give up now!

But on Tuesday you try again and the story flows better; you've got over that trying bit of dialogue or description and feel like you've found your rhythm.  Things are great!  You love this story!  These characters are the bomb!  You're the top!  You're the Colosseum!

And then Wednesday?  Boom!

Crap again.

In case you couldn't tell, this cycle happens to me quite a lot - especially when, as with the past several weeks, I'm given the mixed blessing of plenty of writing time.  The ratio of good writing days to bad writing days seems skewed and you become frustrated with both the story and yourself, insecure about everything from the characters to that sentence you just wrote.  I've dubbed it the crap cycle, where the scene that sounded great yesterday sounds horrible today and you can't seem to heave the story out of the rut it's inexplicably fallen into.  There are plenty of blog posts out there to encourage you through this artistic slough, to pump you up and get you running again, but I would like to point out one thing:

the crap cycle
is a good thing

The days when we feel like our writing is rubbish and we're forced to evaluate our work through somewhat jaded eyes are good and necessary parts of the process.  We need to maintain a healthy cynicism, a recurring recognition that we are always capable of doing better.  If all we're doing is gleefully throwing out words, happy with everything we write, never suffering from the frustration of not achieving all we have in our hearts to achieve - then maybe our goals are too low.  Maybe our desires aren't big enough.  Maybe we need to step back and reevaluate, and then step forward again and try harder.

a little perfectionism
is a good thing

We do need to write fearlessly.  We need to ignore the editor side of us.  But not all the time.  Execution is as important as the idea.  We should take time to make our sentences ring true, our dialogue cohesive, our descriptions interwoven and spot-on.  If we leave everything until the editing process, I do not believe our finished product will be as good - as finished  - as it could be.  Allow yourself time to concentrate on making what you write solid, and the work of polishing, the punch-list at the end of the job, will be that much easier for it.

is not pessimism

All things in moderation.  Both of these principles can be taken to extremes: we can obsess too much over details, spending so much effort rewriting yesterday's work that we never get to today's, and we can become negative. Remember to forge ahead.  When you've finally gotten through a tough bit, give yourself a pat on the back and move forward; don't go back and fret over it again.  Never let your recognition that improvement is always possible become warped into an attitude of depression, envy, or defeatism.  Rather, let it spur you on to better things.  Enjoy the times when you are the top, and remember that the times on the bottom are there to keep us humble and still striving.

meet the authoress
I am a writer of historical fiction and fantasy, scribbling from my home in the United States. More importantly, I am a Christian, which flavors everything I write. My debut novel, "The Soldier's Cross," was published by Ambassador Intl. in 2010.
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published writings

The Soldier's Cross: Set in the early 15th Century, this is the story of an English girl's journey to find her brother's cross pendant, lost at the Battle of Agincourt, and of her search for peace in the chaotic world of the Middle Ages.
finished writings

Tempus Regina:Hurled back in time and caught in the worlds of ages past, a Victorian woman finds herself called out with the title of the time queen. The death of one legend and the birth of another rest on her shoulders - but far weightier than both is her duty to the brother she left alone in her own era. Querying.
currently writing

Wordcrafter: "One man in a thousand, Solomon says / will stick more close than a brother. / And it's worthwhile seeking him half your days / if you find him before the other." Justin King unwittingly plunges into one such friendship the day he lets a stranger come in from the cold. Wordcount: 51,000 words

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