Monday, February 13, 2017

Izzie - from WIP

I introduced a new character in my WIP. Her name is Izzie, and she looks roughly like this... when you can see her at all.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

StoryStorm Recap

Well, my StoryStorm plans were upended for the best possible reason - I started getting so many ideas that I threw myself into writing. I still wound up with 33 ideas (as I defined them), but didn't spend time posting them.

If your plans have to go astray, that is the best reason.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Storystorm Days 3 & 4 - Thor and Loki in Jotunheim

Storystorm Days 3 & 4 

I outlined two chapters together for Danger Tastes Dreadful, and I am so excited by them I am going to take a break from outlining and try putting these revisions into place. Instead of writing a new poem, I have posted one I wrote several years ago which triggered my thinking. This poem is posted on and some unknown person happened to read it yesterday. When I saw it, it triggered an idea which is very loosely related to the poem, but which made sense to me at the time. In any case, enjoy the poem if you like that sort of thing. The form and all are described at the bottom of the post.

Thor and Loki in Jotunheim

An icy wind blew o’er the land
Its bitter cold killed plant and beast,
The giant’s breath the blizzard fanned,
Each passing day the fear increased.
Until at last, we vengeance swore,
Me, Loki, and the great god Thor,
Until at last
Until at last
We crossed Ifing to distant shore.

Fierce Jotunheim where giants dwelt
In mighty castles tall and grim.
Before the giant lords we knelt,
Beseeched an end to fatal whim.
They challenged us to prove our worth
Then laughed and jeered with cheerless mirth.
They challenged us
They challenged us
But we had faith in speed and girth.

A footrace first was named to test
Our fleetness and our fortitude
But though great heroes may attest
With what great swiftness we’re imbued
Our traveled feet could not keep pace
Could not begin to win this race.
Our traveled feet
Our traveled feet
At last gave up in in sad disgrace.

A feast was next to demonstrate
How little were our appetites
At home our hunger seemed so great
But though we took such mighty bites
We barely seemed to make a dent
Compared to him, not ten percent
We barely seemed
We barely seemed
To start before we were quite spent.

Through wretched feats of strength and skill
We failed to beat a single foe
At last ‘twas clear we’d not fulfill
Our vowed revenge for ice and snow.
We bowed our heads, in sad defeat
Could not their champions defeat
We bowed our heads
We bowed our heads
And shuffled us in sad retreat.

We left in shame with downturned eyes
Until our host explained their ruse
The giants tricked us with disguise
And posed such feats as couldn’t lose.
They cheated us, as we did learn;
In rage, Thor raised his hammer stern.
They cheated us
They cheated us
Left us unable to return.

Extended Trijan Refrain: Multiple 9-line stanzas. The first four syllables of line 5 in each stanza are repeated as the double-refrain for lines 7 and 8. The Trijan Refrain is a rhyming poem with a set meter and rhyme scheme as follows:

Rhyme scheme: a/b/a/b/c/c/d,d/c (d is refrain of first 4 words of line five)

Meter: 8/6/8/6/8/8/4,4/8

Tells part of the story of the Norse gods Loki and Thor traveling to Jotunheim ("gianthome") to lift the curse of endless winter on their lands. For more on this story, see . Won first place in Nov. 2008 for an epic poetry contest.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Storystorm Day 2 - This train

Storystorm Day 2

My outline was for the first chapter of my WIP, and I re-imagined both the setting and purpose of the train station.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Storystorm Day 1 - Moonlit Romance

Storystorm Day 1 - Moonlit Romance

As promised, I cleaned up and clarified the first chapter outline for Danger Tastes Dreadful - The Possible Revision. Here's my poem that hints at the changes (fairly broadly, this time). Most of my hints will have to be a bit more vague.

Storystorm - My plan

Tara Lazar is running a month long activity called Storystorm. It replaces the PiBoIdMo (which was a hard name to remember, but indicated writing picture books for a month), and has been opened to developing 30 story ideas in 30 days. If you are a Picture Book author, it might be 30 picture book ideas. If you are a short story author, it might be 30 story ideas. Novelists may have to be a little more creative. I am writing 30 chapter outlines, both for my LEFTOVER MAGIC WIP and for a possible revision to DANGER TASTES DREADFUL. (I plan to write a complete outline for that possible revision and see how it feels before I decide whether to go forward.)

Read about Storystorm and sign up.

Problem is, sharing the ideas isn't a great idea because both **spoiler alert** and people might borrow the ideas. But I like blogging things like this, so I plan to write a poem or include an image related to my idea. It will keep me honest, and with any luck, keep you entertained. Watch for my first post later today.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Leftover Magic - a new work in progress

My newest WIP is tentatively called Leftover Magic, and I'm very excited about it. It is a middle grade novel with a mystery element and something which might be termed magical realism and might be termed light fantasy. The main character is Chester, a boy with a journal that he thinks might hold clues to a treasure, possibly even a magical treasure. He is befriended by Olive, tormented by his great aunt, and confused by almost everybody else who might also be looking for the treasure.

While the novel is in prose, the journal and some other things have poems that provide Chester clues in his search, or guidance about how to proceed. Some of these are fairly simple and direct, such as this cinquain (2/4/6/8/2 syllables):

Today brings you
A friend, and enemy,
But which is which may not be clear

The more challenging ones are less clear to Chester. The following is one I wrote for a particular purpose, but it is probably too much for middle grade readers, so I'll save it here in case it doesn't make the cut or gets drastically simplified or something. It is a Petrarchan (or Italian) Sonnet, so iambic pentameter with a rhyming pattern of abba abba cdecde. (Yes, I am a poetry geek.)

Goldfinch in winter, having lost most of its yellow
The finch may seem so golden in the spring
as through the dew-dropped underbrush he flits.
A flash of yellow, then perchance he sits
surveys the yard as in his realm, the king.

But when the leaves begin their coloring
and in your evening walks, the cold chill hits
Then watch for him as early dusk permits
a tawny white with barely yellow tinge.

If knew you not the myst'ry of his kind
You'd think a diff'rent heart within him beat.
If you had learned his happy song to trust,
you might no longer, to his faith be blind.
Your doubts might grow, and think it was deceit
to think of him as friend, but sure you must.