Monthly Archives: July 2012

The Young and the Restless?

I’m watching my daughter start to face those struggles we all encounter at that certain age–puberty.  It’s more challenging that I’d expected to watch her try to figure things out for herself, to fail at some things after working so hard.  It’s also difficult to see all my own faults showing up in her and knowing that she’s going to have some of the same struggles I had if she wants to overcome them.

I think it’s because the pubescent and teenage years are so difficult for all of us, so charged with emotion, that writers of all times have chosen to write about young heroes.  Look at Romeo and Juliet.  C.S. Lewis and his four young protagonists. Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.  Great Expectations.

Time and again, writers try to delve into that turbulent coming of age.  I don’t know if we write because we wish we could bring ourselves back to those pivotal moments, perhaps to make better choices, or simply because writers love emotion, and young adults are so full of that. I do find, however, that in my own writing, some of my favorite characters are my young ones.

Heh, maybe I should actually try reading The Hunger Games, that my daughter has already read.


The busy writing life

First of all I want to announce that after looking at over thirty different artists’ portfolios, I’ve found the artist who will be doing the cover of my upcoming novel, Heart of the Witch.  I’m very excited to be working with him, and I want to send thanks to all the artists over at!  It’s a great site, by the way, if you’re looking for freelance work.

Meanwhile I find it interesting that while my writing pursuits have been taking off lately.  In the last couple months I’ve written a few chapters and finished a novella where in the year before that I wrote almost nothing.  I’ve learned about indie publishing and new communities.  All while my personal life has been going through the ringer and my salary-paying job has been surrounded by layoffs.

So why is it that when life is crazy my muses are going crazy as well?  Or do writers simply thrive on conflict?

I think this is actually a valid question.  To me, emotion seems to drive me to write, and strong emotions can equal strong urges to write.  It becomes almost cathartic in that sense.  The trick then is just to eke out the time to do the actual writing.  That tends to be the greatest challenge.

Who needs sleep anyway?


Heart of the Witch Preview

Now that I have a few of my short stories up on Kindle/Nook/etc., I’ve been preparing to publish my first fantasy novel, entitled “Heart of the Witch.”  This is a fair-sized novel, at 157,000 words, and I’ve been working on it for far too long.  The time has come for it to see daylight (and hopefully readers).

If anyone has any suggestions on finding inexpensive copy editing services or a good cover artist, please let me know!  This is going to be quite a journey, navigating through the process.

Here is a little teaser snippet:

“We’re too late,” Dellin muttered, worry knotting his brows. His thin lips pressed together as he sought to quicken his pace. Zerrick almost ran to keep up with his taller sibling, passing through the gatehouse at the wall and hurrying towards the center of town.

As they neared the square, bordered by the four most imposing buildings in town: the courthouse, church, gubernatorial lord’s hall, and clock tower, Zerrick realized he was witnessing the gathering of a mob. Zerrick paused, shaken. Farmers stood armed with pitchforks and hoes, while small boys were throwing rocks at the pillories. Women he was used to seeing coddling their children were red in the face from screaming. Mr. Edelson the tailor, a normally quiet man, stood brandishing his scissors and shouting out condemnations in a voice gone hoarse. The only quiet ones in the crowd were the slaves, hanging back, muttering amongst themselves in their strange tongue, dark heads huddled together.

Dellin plunged into the maelstrom, but Zerrick hung back, instead climbing the courthouse steps to get a better view. Directly across from the courthouse, on the top steps of the steepled church of Our Lord Iahmel, stood Zerrick’s father, the town pastor, the Reverend Delwar Dhur. He paced before the crowd, dressed in black silk with a crimson-lined cape, his dark brown hair slicked back to fall unbound down his shoulders.

He called out to the crowd, raising high his silver-studded walking stick, “We cannot let such wickedness continue! I sat before dear Vera Smith, clasping her hand, and prayed to the Almighty to show her salvation, let her confess her heinous ways, and confess them she has! Praise Iahmel, praise the Lord, for He has driven out of her the seed of vilest sin, the contract she made with the evil Angist himself!”

Zerrick shivered, entranced by the sheer power of delivery. Such was the gift of his family: theatrics. Too bad he had long ago stopped believing. Once his father’s speech would have spurned him to go down and join the crowd, raise his voice with the others. Now, it only filled him with dread.

I wrote this many years, and wanted to share it.

Purple Irises and a Blue Tuesday

I wish I had some remarkable, inspiring advice to give writers today, but all I can do is stamp my feet in frustration.  My personal life has been messy lately, and it has been eating into my writing time.  I truly wonder at times if writers just shouldn’t have relationships. I sometimes just want to crawl into my office, shut the world away, and just write.

Anyways the one bit of good news is that I finally finished the illustration for the cover of my short story, “Purple Irises” and have it now up for sale:


Illustration by Judy Goodwin