Grace's Mosaic Moments


Saturday, May 14, 2022

The Fight to Write

Now available on Smashwords as well as Amazon

In this SciFi Fantasy tale of Adventure and Romance, a reluctant sorcerer makes a marriage of convenience and becomes a vital part of the rebellion against an evil empire. (Blue Moon Rising series, Book 2)

For a 20% free read on Smashwords, click here.

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As my long-time readers know, after eleven years of posts on Writing & Editing (with a number of "rants" thrown in for good measure), and after the publication of Making Magic With Words, an indexed compilation of all these posts, I "retired" Grace's Mosaic Moments to a world with far more varied mosaics—from recipes to photos (and masks - oh horrors, may we not go through that again!), plus any other topic that intrigued me at the moment. This week, however, I'm adding to the Writing & Editing posts with some serious thoughts on that ever-challenging problem: Writing can be fun, but it's really hard work!

 

THE FIGHT TO WRITE

Writer's Block, a Fallow Period, Burn-out, Stress, Exhaustion—whatever we call it, almost every author has experienced it at one time or another. Sometimes, we just can't think up a good plot . . . or maybe our characters have gone blah. For others, it's "Sit down at the keyboard and nothing but Total Blank." Or maybe things are so bad, you can't even walk through the office door. (I managed with a "boot" on my foot and a fancy "walker" to help me get around, but a broken bone can't be compared to a broken life, which has happened to all too many during these horrific years of Covid.)

So what's to do?

As much as I love to write, there's no doubt Writing is tough! Never, ever think it's easy. And whether you've simply lost your nimble fingers or lost your nimble brain, as far as I know there's only one way to get through it:  Keep slogging away. Keep writing, no matter how bad it is, or how bad you think it is. And no, this is not an original thought. To the best of my recollection, I believe Nora Roberts said it more than twenty years ago. And very likely umpteen other authors before her.

Using myself as an example . . .

Yesterday morning I hit what for me was a new editing low. FOUR inserts on one page. Yes, I'm a great one for adding details to a first draft, but I don't ever recall adding four one- to two-paragraph inserts on a single page. Sigh.

Then I asked myself, "So what? You got the idea down well enough that the draft could be expanded into something more colorful, more intriguing to the reader. The final result reads pretty well, and you're only on the initial Chapter Edit, with umpteen more edits to come.

My advice to others is the same as to myself:

Get something down on the page. Even if you delete half (or more) of what you wrote, you've accomplished something. And at the end of your edit, you'll have something better. Maybe it will only be ten percent better, but it's a step in the right direction. You now have words on a page. Maybe words on two or three pages.

Let's face it:  Writing follows the classic rule of 0 + 0 = 0. 

If you sit in front of your computer without moving your fingers - or if you don't set foot through your office door, that's what you've got:  ZERO!

But if you write a few words, extend that to a sentence, a short paragraph, you have a concrete something to work with. Yes, you may end up asking yourself:  What did I mean by that? Can I make sense out of it? Should I try a different angle? Maybe even a different Point of View? And if it still doesn't make sense . . .

Perhaps Fiction is beyond you at the moment. There's an old expression that applies here:  Take the bit between your teeth and go for it! Write about anything. Maybe  about something wonderful that happened in your past. What about those anguished faces in Ukraine? (No matter how bad things are with you, they likely have it worse.) What about your cat, your dog, your pet snake? The teenager who's driving you out of your mind? The kind neighbor who brought up your trash barrel, the so-and-so who honked at you when the light had barely turned green? Anything is better than a blank page. You just have to grease the creative wheels and get them turning again. But whatever you do, do not let those creatives brain cells atrophy! (And who knows? - in addition to getting your creative juices flowing again, you just might be able to incorporate your non-fiction scene into your next book!).

In my case, despite having to cope with an unbelievable series of disasters this month, I sit down, I write, and I face up to the edits, even if it's four inserts on one page. Today, for the first time in a couple of weeks, I could feel the old brain creaking back to life. There are a lot of edits to come, but then, there always are. Yet for the first time this month, I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

So never forget—if someone who remembers Pearl Harbor can still put words on a page, SO CAN YOU!

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   For a link to Blair's website, click here.

 For a link to Blair's updated Facebook Author Page  click here.

 

Thanks for stopping by,

Grace (Blair Bancroft)

 



 



 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Questions Out of the Blue

 A remarkable photo by Earthly Mission - found on Facebook

The formation of a rainbow

  

A few weeks ago, as I was doing the final formatting for The Crucible Kingdom, a whole bunch of questions popped into my head about the Blue Moon Rising series. I scribbled them down and promised myself I would use them at a later date. And this week, which has been far from one of my best, seems like a good time to dig through my stacks of "stuff" and find those questions. 

As I have remarked many times, although I HUGELY appreciate the readers of my many Regency books - Historical, Gothic, and Traditional, I'd also like to steer more people toward my SciFi Fantasy books. (I so enjoy incorporating elements of the Regency "feel" into stories set a thousand or so years in the future.) 

Grace note:   The questions below are not in any particular order in the storyline. And, yes, there are some spoilers, but hopefully nothing serious.

 

THE BLUE MOON RISING SERIES

 1.  How did the Princess Royal of the pacifist planet Psyclid end up as a cadet in the Space Academy of the military-minded Regulon Empire?

2.  How did a werewolf end up married to a sorcerer's cast-off mistress?

3.  How did a fey young sorcerer who can't talk end up with two wives?

4.  How did the heir to the Regulon Empire end up as Ambassador Plenipotentiary for the rebel government?

5.  How did the King of Psyclid's four children—and their spouses—bring down the Regulon Empire?

6.  How did mind triumph over matter in the rebels' fight against the Empire?

7.  How did a young man who can't talk go from "hopeless" to hero?

8.  What caused a Regulon huntership captain to launch a rebellion against his own monarch?

9.  How did Psyclid's Sorcerer Prime end up married to his mistress's sister?

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The answers to these questions—and a lot more—can be found in the Blue Moon Rising series.  All are currently available on Amazon Kindle. Rebel Princess is available on Smashwords and its many affiliate vendors, such as B&N's Nook. The remaining three books will follow shortly. Next will be Sorcerer's Bride.

 


The Blue Moon Rising series

Rebel Princess
Sorcerer's Bride
The Bastard Prince
Royal Rebellion

 The Crucible Kingdom (spin-off)

 

For a link to Blair's website, click here.

 For a link to Blair's updated Facebook Author Page  click here.

Thanks for stopping by,

Grace (Blair Bancroft)