Several More Chapters

The Risen God      I got in several more chapters of The Risen God today (here’s the facebook page). It’s up to 58,000 words and looks like it’ll end up being around 150,000 by the end of it. I’ve really heard when people have said that certain books weren’t developed enough. I had always thought I was “way too wordy” so I was actually relieved by the “negative” comments that allowed me the freedom to be as wordy as I feel I need to, in order to get the story across as fully as I desire to!

This is the beauty of negative book reviews (although I can say that I rarely get any genuinely horrible, mean ones, thank goodness)… you can learn from them if the person giving the review is willing to take the moment to explain why they gave them. It’s a gift, even if right in that moment you don’t feel like it is.

I still remember those negative comments, most of which centered around my Guardian of the Abyss book. They are very freeing, as odd as that might sound. I loved the book, but I, myself, actually felt disappointed because I didn’t feel like I could go into everything and develop the characters as I wanted to!

So, to fellow writers… don’t be afraid of negative comments. Let go of the desire to win with everyone–no one can. Look at the criticism and ask yourself, “What is the gift this person is trying to give me?” or “How is this person trying to help me so that more people will enjoy my books?”

Questions like these are very freeing. Remember, you’re a story teller. So tell yourself whatever story you want to about that negative review. Tell yourself “this person hates me!” if you want to… or tell yourself, “This person wants to help me, so how does this do that?” if you want to. YOU get to choose what story you tell yourself about anything that anyone says to you.

And readers… please, take a moment to write a review. It matters. It matters so much more than you will ever guess at. It encourages the author. If you like his or her books… comment. Because the more motivated we are to keep writing, the more likelihood you’ll get more books to enjoy!

A Gargoyle’s Might

So I finally put the last word of A Gargoyle’s Might into OpenOffice and hit Save.

Lincoln and Ivory’s tale is told in its rough form and is ready for all that must come after it. Strangely, this has been a very wild ride. Ivory changes so much over the course of the book… and yet she doesn’t. It isn’t until the end that you understand her.

This was a challenge to write because I resisted it every step of the way. I wanted Ivory to be a sympathetic character. I wanted to like her. I hated what she did to Lincoln. I thought Lincoln was being a big fainting daisy. I tried to change them and they fought back. They stood up for who they really are and challenged everything I thought about how they should be–and  a lot of what I think I should be.

They taught me lessons that I didn’t want to learn, and they showed me truths about myself that I thought I would hate once I saw them without their masks. Like Ivory, I learned that not everything is as it seems… even the things inside me. Like Lincoln, I learned that devotion can be a strength, and I learned that while sometimes it results in pain, it can lead to renewal, as well.

Romance novels aren’t thought to be great literature by most, but Lincoln and Ivory’s book, long and intense as it is, shows me that at least in my mind, it can be.

It won’t be long now. It’s coming. And it’s coming with lessons and with intense drama that is unlike A Wolf’s Song in almost every way. But then I think that’s how it’s supposed to be. Everyone’s story is different. Ivory and Lincoln both show sides of themselves that leave them vulnerable to dislike. They shed their outer garments of attempted perfection and they get down and dirty and honest about themselves and their confusion and their hurt and their hope.

The book is very raw, and their feelings are very raw. They are put through hell, chased and tormented by everyone who ever claimed to love them. They find new allies in unexpected places and they find old allies in places they hadn’t appreciated as much as was deserved.

They must find themselves, and each other–and despite the high word count, they had little time in which to do it.

Ivory teaches us that being honest and being vulnerable may make you more powerful than you could ever dream.

 

A Gargoyle's Might

A Gargoyle’s Might

Powerful Changes on the Home Front

So, as many know already, my 6 year old has type 1 diabetes. So far, it has been injections by needle 5-6 times each and every day. But on the 9th of Sept. we started what they call a saline trial with an insulin pump. This monday the 16th, she went ‘live’ with it, now having real insulin in it and no injections necessary! Now it’s 1 poke every 2 days (not including finger stick tests, which will never go away unless the technology improves).

This has been huge around our house. Telephone calls, appointments, excitement, arguments… stress. It’s a huge life change that is probably 95% positive, but still stressful and a lot of work. Going on the pump changes so much that they say it’s almost like it was when first diagnosed. I’m now getting up 2 times through the night to obsessively test her. It’s not easy or simple, and it’s an extremely exhausting transition. Well worth it, though!!

 

I feel so lost and behind with everything. The yard is a mess. The house is, while not overtly trashed, far below par. I am personally just so tired. I feel stretched thin and wrung out.

 

I regret in part that this has interfered so dramatically with my writing. I know there are those of you waiting impatiently (yet conversely, patiently) for the next book. I want you to know that I hear you, I feel you. I haven’t forgotten you. I can’t regret doing what I must to care for my daughter, but I do regret the necessity to set other things aside in so doing.

But things are on the move again here. For the next couple of weeks, I can’t lie, it’s still going to be hard here. The first couple of weeks of being on the pump require constant monitoring of her BG levels. So she’ll still be my priority. But something of a reprieve is on its way. Hang in there with me a little longer!

 

Thank you!

The Great Travail: Diabetes vrs. Writing

As some of you may know, my 6 year old daughter was diagnosed in Dec. 2012 with type 1 diabetes. I won’t go into all the differences between type 1 and type 2, as anyone interested enough can look it up. I’ll suffice it with this… my daughter can eat anything that anyone else can eat, she just requires a shot of insulin before she can eat it. In type 2, the person’s body doesn’t like insulin–it resists it, basically. In type 1, the body, simply put, just doesn’t make any.

So, there’s the super-extra-fast skinny on the differences…

On to the point. We are in the process of getting her onto an insulin pump. We are also in the process of changing from one endocrinologist to a different one. Both of these have been extremely stressful, and getting her insulin pump has been delayed until August, if not later. I’m hoping for a reprieve and that we’ll manage to get it earlier and faster. Here’s crossing my fingers.

That being said, everything else in life has gone on hold for quite a while thanks to these issues. Diabetes, at least in these early months, is all-consuming for the caretaker(s). At least, around our house it has been. It’s learning and figuring and researching and trying to learn this pump versus that pump. It’s reading about how to pretend you’re a pancreas.

Pretending to be a pancreas is kind of like pretending to be a state-of-the-art computer from 2206. I just as well try to be a rock star or pretend that I’m an astronaut. In other words, it’s just not possible–yet it still consumes so much time, energy, and effort.

In the meantime, we’ve finally gotten to the point where we’re trying to catch up with some things at home. I’m getting a new desk. Since I”m a mom, my desk is sort of the dumping ground for pictures (I made this just for you, Mommy!), for personal grooming supplies (do you have the toenail clippers? no… er, wait… uh, eww!), for my own stuff (I know it’s around here somewhere!), and for pretty much anything and everything else you can think of (or, hopefully not… some things I’d rather not think of).

Additionally, we’re finally getting that deep freezer that I’ve coveted for years. Then there’s the garden that needs weeding and planting. Not to mention that the cherry bushes out front are being choked out by dandelions (which is a problem, because I actually like dandelions). Oh, also, there’s the small matter of cleaning up the storage room to make room for the bloody stupid freezer that I was entirely certain I really really wanted until I saw that storage room and remembered we have to clean it before… wait, what was I talking about?

Oh yes, something about writing.

I’ll be back at it soon. Except that the school year is ending and naturally, we’re right in the middle of changing doctors (both endo and pediatrician, by the way), trying to get an insulin pump, trying to clean the back room, trying to weed the garden, and trying to get my desk cleaned to make room for the new one.

Tired yet? I know I am!

But, I haven’t forgotten writing and I’ll be back to the poor old abused grindstone soon, I promise!

No, seriously.

Wiki, Wiki, Wiki!

The Wiki has begun!

I have started the Wiki for The Supernaturals. I do hope that people will check it out and enjoy it!

It’s still in process, but it has come a long way. Go, see pictures of a few of the characters! Yay!

http://thesupernaturals.wikia.com/wiki/Wiki_Content

Guardian of the Abyss Makeover!

cover2

 

Guardian of the Abyss has a new cover.

Sometimes it’s a difficult choice to let go of something that you genuinely like. Although it was not a popular cover, the old Guardian of the Abyss cover is actually one of my personal favorites.

That being said, the new cover is just fantastically lovely, and I certainly hope that, with a new cover, more people will be ready and willing to discover the beauty of Sarah and Abaddon’s love.

As a newbie Indie author, I am bound to make mistakes. This one was one of mine. I am grateful to all who mentioned the issue, so that I could correct it.

Now, if you’ll pardon me, I’m going to go cradle the old cover and comfort it. It needs it. Not me. Seriously. Would I kid about a thing like that??

The Risen God by Shannon Phoenix

The book I’m currently working like mad on is currently called The Risen God.

So far as I know, my background is English or Irish. Possibly Scottish. Either way, with what little I know of my family history, at least some of my ancestors are from that area. I’ve always felt a pull towards that area, and thus I have decided to begin my ‘gods’ series with one of the most compelling ones from that area. I suspect that many of them will be from that area.

Something that is not talked about at all is how many of us white people have also lost our own heritages and backgrounds. I am not out to demonize Christians or their religion, I am simply stating a fact when I say what I am about to: Christianity in its early incarnation wiped out multitudes of other cultures–and many of them were white cultures.

The Irish, the Welsh, the English, the Scottish… they all had their own religions, their own culture, even their own writing. The Christians tried at that time to claim that they brought writing to the Isles, but this is not true. The druids (the ‘educated’ of the Isles) had a form of writing called Ogham well before the Roman Christian conquerors came.

So my first book in the Gods and Goddesses series centers around Gwyn ap Nudd. This ancient God was the Welsh God of the Hunt. His job was that of a psychopomp… meaning that he led forgotten or lost… or evil… souls to the Afterlife.

In The Risen God, the first in the series, Gwyn is found buried in a pasture by Terry. Terry is an average woman. There’s nothing special about her. She’s not psychic, she’s not the reincarnation of someone he loved. She’s just a typical American woman going about her day…. when she finds something extraordinary.

Now, Gwyn must find his Horn, fetch his horse and his hounds, and ride again. The fate of mankind rests upon the psychopomps being found and being able to do their jobs again. The gates to Annwyn (paradise) are degrading, and soon souls will be entirely unable to return home between reincarnations. And there will be no more choice in reincarnation thereafter–all souls will be trapped eternally on what will rapidly become a desolate planet upon which only a few will appear to thrive–even as the evil that rots their souls grows.

But that evil has had a lot of time to plot and plan. And even as Gwyn begins to search for his Horn, his Horse, and his Hounds, he continually finds himself stymied by the long-term planning of an encroaching evil.

The resurrection of Gwyn ap Nudd is symbolic, certainly; as he was not dead. Yet it is symbolic on two levels, for the resurrection of Gwyn ap Nudd into common culture is past its time. All of us whose cultures were destroyed have a right to our heritage; to pride in that heritage, and to resurrect that heritage.

So I welcome back Gwyn, God of the Hunt, God of the Dead. May you once more, in the minds of mankind, usher the dead home.

Guardian of the Abyss goes on Tour!

Here’s the schedule:

December 3 Interview
The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom
www.creativelygreen.blogspot.com

December 3 Spotlight
http://victoriadanann.me

December 4 Promo
Book On A Wire
bookonawire.com

December 4 Interview
Marked By Books
http://markedbybooks.blogspot.com

December 5 Guest blog
Roxanne’s Realm
www.roxannesrealm.blogspot.com

December 6 Guest blog
Cloey's Book Reviews and Other Stuff
cloeyk.blogspot.com

December 7 Guest blog and review
Wolf Majick Reviews
wolfmajick.blogspot.com

December 7 Promo
DEB SANDERS
http://DebSanders.com

December 8 Guest blog
Carly Fall - Where Fantasy Meets Romance
www.carlyfall.com

December 9 Interview
http://www.kaydeeroyal.blogspot.com

December 9 - promo and review
Beverly @ The Wormhole
http://wormyhole.blogspot.com/

December 10 Guest blog
Fang-tastic Books
http://www.fang-tasticbooks.blogspot.com

1 month, 50k words… 1 sick puppy…

I am sick. Sick, sick, sick. I can’t remember the last time I’ve felt quite like this. Yesterday morning I woke up not well. I took my temperature, and it was 101.  I had a bloody nose and a sore throat. Well, I won’t bore you with the details (since I already have)…

I went home, instead of going to work. By the time I got home, I was shaking like the last leaf on the last tree of fall in a stiff breeze.

Today I waited for some fellows to bring our brand new mattress to the house. Trust me on this one, you don’t want to hear about THAT comedy… someday it’ll be funny, I’m convinced. Right now, though, we have a half-painted bedroom (during nanowrimo! during halloween-also my daughter’s birthday! during thanksgiving month!)… no bed…

Yeah, I said no bed.

And now we have a brand spanking new tempurpedic mattress leaning against the wall, which we’ll sleep on, on the floor.

In the meantime, I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck doing 70. I imagine, anyway. I’ve never been hit by a truck–and I hope not to start anytime soon. Especially if it feels this bad. Cause I gotta tell you, even my eyes are all googly.  My head’s in a vice, my throat’s so sore I sound like I’ve been smoking for a century.

Not bad, since I haven’t been alive that long.

I’m not quite caught up with nano, so thank god I got a great start at the Retreat I went to at the beginning of the month. YAY!

 

Anyhow. Enjoy your afternoon. Grab a copy of Guardian of the Abyss, have a coffee… and I’ll see you on the flip side.

Does it Ever End? And Nanowrimo!

So I’ve been so busy I don’t know my arse from my elbow. My husband was in hospital (he’s fine now!), my daughter’s birthday party was Saturday… we had a hurricane (but not the worst of it here, sad for those who got that)… we’re repainting parts of our house…
And now I’m going away for a retreat for 3 days. I’m excited, but also having to pack and prepare for that, along with having my daughter out of school thanks to cyclone Sandy (hurricane, trop storm… they couldn’t seem to decide what to call this hybrid storm) has not been easy.

I was a “second runner up” for this, so I got lucky. I hope the person who was not able to go enjoys the time in another way.

I don’t know what it will be like there, but I’m pleased to have Guardian of the Abyss coming out soon.

And now for the REALLY big news! I’m doing Nanowrimo this year! I’ve wanted to do it for about 3 years, so now I finally am going to suck it up and knuckle down and really try to do it this year.  The book I’ll write will be within my other, as yet unintroduced universe, Inner Earth Chronicles.

So, here we go… writer’s retreat and nanowrimo!

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