Thursday, July 24, 2014

Word of the Week: Shrewd

Northern Short-tailed Shrew.
How would you react if someone says you are shrewd? Today, you might raise your glass in thanks for the compliment. In the fourteenth century, you would have broken your crock of ale over the guy's head, which rather proves his point. Shrewd has changed a bit over the centuries. While today, a shrewd person is astute and smart, especially in practical matters; in the 1300s a shrewd person was wicked or evil and to shrew or beshrew someone was to curse them.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Celebrate The Small Things - 11 July #CTST

It's Friday and time to Celebrate The Small Things (or big things) that happened this week.

I'm thankful for my writing buddies. We beta read each others work, provide honest feedback, and listen to each other lament our lack of production, but there are also times to celebrate. One of my friends came out with a new novel last week. I interviewed him yesterday as part of his blog tour. He did some promotion for me as well. We both saw sales spikes. Win-win.

And I finally got past a block on one of my WIPs. It was driving me nuts. I hope it's a good idea. It's passed the twenty-four hour test, so maybe I'm onto something. We'll see how the words tumble.

Keep writing and keep hoping. What are you celebrating this week?

Want to join in the fun that is Celebrate The Small Things, sign up here.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Lyn Perry Takes Us to Ma Tutt's Donut Hut

Today I welcome my friend Lyndon Perry, author of Ma Tutt's Donut Hut, a gentle cozy featuring a magical cat and, well, doughnuts. Ma Tutt's is Lyn's first novel. You can find the eBook on Amazon. For a limited time, it's on sale for $1.75, so grab yours before it gets cold.

Chapman: How does it feel to complete and publish your first novel?

Perry: Relieved! I’m a starter of projects and have a hard time completing them. So to see a story through and not leave it at a cliff-hanger of an ending (which I’m oft times wont to do!) is satisfying. It tells me I can do it again – and this time with a longer work.

It’s funny, I started out writing micro-fiction a few years ago, then flash fiction. I graduated to short stories and then novellas. But with this short novel (which is actually four short novellas tied together forming a complete story arc) I think I’ve learned how to structure a complete, full-length novel. I’m excited to get started on the next book. Oops, that spoils my answer to your last question, so I’ll talk more about that later.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Celebrate The Small Things - 4 July #CTST

It's Friday and time to Celebrate The Small Things (or big things) that happened this week.

It's a holiday for those in the U.S. No work today. The sun is shining and it's not blazing hot. It's family fun time. Definitely something to celebrate and be thankful for.

Spaceports & Spidersilk July 2014I'm also celebrating the publication of “In the Kappa's Garden” in the July issue of Spaceports & Spidersilk. Some of you may have read an earlier version of this story a couple years ago. The one just published is revised and expanded, about twice as long as the original. There's a fine crop of stories in this month's issue.

Keep writing and keep hoping. What are you celebrating this week?

Want to join in the fun that is Celebrate The Small Things, sign up here.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Insecure Writer’s Support Group: Post #4

It's the first Wednesday of the month again. Time for another IWSG post.

I have no problem coming up with ideas and starting writing projects. My problem is finishing them. It's not I don't work on them. I put in some writing or editing time everyday (well, almost everyday). The stories are always expanding into larger projects. Last week I came up with an idea for a fairy tale retelling. The market wants stories in the 1500 to 2000 range. No problem, I thought. I can finish this off in a few days. At 1400 words, I knew I had a problem. I sent it off to a writing buddy for a second opinion. Yup, the story wasn't working, not enough context to support the action. I likely need 4 to 6k to tell a satisfying tale. Argh. So much for that market. I've lost count of the number of flash stories that tripled or quadrupled in size. Sometimes writing stories is like mowing a lawn that grows faster than you can mow.

Until next month, keep writing.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Word of the Week: Wolf

Little Red Riding Hood (c. 1820)
by Fleury François Richard (1777–1852).
I suspect everybody knows what a wolf (Canis lupus) is: a furry, four-legged creature with big teeth that lives and hunts in packs and sings to the moon and plays a very important role in a healthy ecosystem. (Deer, elk, and moose might have a different opinion.) What interests me is the meaning of the word wolf when it's applied to people.

Wolf derives from the Old English wulf—meaning the animal, a wolfish person, or a devil—and descends from the Proto-Germanic *wulfaz. Cognates appear in Old Saxon wulf, Old Norse ulfr, German wolf, and Gothic wulfs.