Best Review Ever (and some unsolicited advice for the coming year.)

When I first started writing almost ten years ago, I made myself one promise: I wasn’t going to spend my own money to get published. This meant not only no vanity press publication, but also no writer’s workshops, no new laptop computer, no editor telling me what I was doing wrong at six dollars a page. Understand, I’m not criticizing anyone for paying for those things. (I salute any writer who’s willing to put her money where her book is.)

But I wanted to see if I could do it without spending. I didn’t even buy Microsoft Word. I wrote the whole thing in a couple of slightly used spiral-bound notebooks.

Throughout the unpublished years, I kept to my promise. I didn’t spend any money if it could possibly be avoided. No workshops. No editors. No contests that had an entry fee. Continue reading “Best Review Ever (and some unsolicited advice for the coming year.)”

Season’s Greetings from Mistral, Diablo and Squall!

In the spirit of Christmas I present a present.

imagesDon’t get too excited. It’s bonus material. To be specific, the original first chapter of Flight of the Wren.  It’s really more of a prologue, which I finally decided I didn’t need, but those of you who have read the novel may get a kick out of it.

And those of you who haven’t, what’s keeping you, hmm?

Without further ado then:

Chapter One

Gravel crunched beneath booted feet. A small man — shoulders stooped, hands stuffed in jacket pockets — tromped his way up the hillside. He made slow progress, as if grudging every step. His name was Diablo, or at least that was what everyone called him. If he had another name, nobody ever used it.

At the top of the hill on a low slab of granite there sat another man — a gruff barrel of a man packed into a jacket of scuffed brown leather. His name was Squall. For reasons all his own, he kept one side of his face shaven and let the other grow in a coarse black beard. He didn’t look up at Diablo’s approach. When the smaller man sat down beside him he said, “Where’d you get to?”

Diablo rubbed his nose with his wrist. “Hadda take a whiz.” Continue reading “Season’s Greetings from Mistral, Diablo and Squall!”

Nothing Fancy.

Consider the phrase “in the shivering night.”  200_s

That’s a poetic phrase. Not because it’s pretty. It’s poetic because it’s elusive and ambiguous. It’s evocative. It raises questions.

It’s not literal, it’s figurative. Night doesn’t shiver. We shiver from fear or from cold. So is the night cold, making us shiver? Or does the night appear to shiver because we are dizzy or drugged or confused? Are the tears in our eyes making the stars go all blurry and shivery?

Or is the ground actually shaking? Is a freight train rumbling by, too far to hear but close enough to feel? Is a 4-point temblor passing beneath our feet?

Or is the night shivering because we are trembling within, full of our own apprehension about what is going to happen next? Continue reading “Nothing Fancy.”