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Reawakening

It happened slowly, and then all at once.

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One day I was lamenting relearning to slow my prose, and the next I had a list of fifteen names for background characters that I knew I would maybe use two of during the actual writing.

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It sounds ridiculous, but everybody who writes an epic has those lists. And because these are background characters that I use on the regular, they were all given a few characteristics and a sentence or two of backstory.

And when I finished this list, I  immediately got online and announced it to my epic fantasy writing group.

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And I got cheered.

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The beacons have been lit, The Haven has called for aid, and my fellow writers have answered.

 

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If I had the slightest commitment to this bit, I would have changed Rohirrim to Betas.

Now I just have to finish the damn thing. Book One: The Haven is done. Book Two: The Red Witch… is still in the white room stage, the other four? We’ll get to it. I don’t have a publishing date, just the will to get this written.

And I finally feel like a writer of epics again.

 

 

 

 

 

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The thing about wolves…

While very few people have read my first novel  (I pulled it down for editing… Kate is not an editor, as my long time readers know very, very well), most people who read this blog are at least passingly familiar with my shorts, novellas, and webcomic.

 

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This represents my six faithful, long-term readers. You guys are my heroes!

I have a few themes that all unite and permeate my work: Found family, doing the right thing, and wolves.

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I chose werewolves who turn into wolves and not hybrids for a reason. And then there’s the Pack in my novels, who all have wolf tattoos.

Why wolves?

Why not?

Okay, in all seriousness, wolves have an intriguing and complex metaphysical existence in our culture.

Our ancestors were terrified of them, for good reason. While wolves are not people-eaters on the regular, when winters got long and hard, they would absolutely hunt people. And our livestock was always fair game. More than fair. Penned up animals can’t get away.

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Wolves are also scary because we recognize ourselves in them. Not just a family structure that works together, but how they hunt. Wolves aren’t quite as tough as people, but they can do the same persistence hunting thing that we do. Tough bastard recognizes tough bastard.

But as we built cities and moved away from rural life, our fear turned to mysticism and respect. Suddenly wolves weren’t big and bad, but noble and wise.

 

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Also, cute and fluffy

My personal fascination with wolves started in the third grade. My sister (Likely sick of me bugging her. The best way to shut me up is to give me something to read) gave me a copy of Julie of the Wolves.

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Then in middle school, I played the Big Bad Wolf in ballet class for two years.

In high school, I discovered that neighbor owned a wolf hybrid, Sierra. Since he worked swing shifts, I happily volunteered to help him with his animals (he had a lot more than just Sierra). I learned first hand how shy, caring, and deadly a wolf can be. I’ve owned dogs my whole life, but you don’t know how scary a canine is until you see one run down a rabbit.

Dangerous, yet loyal. Beautiful and deadly, but also hunted and vulnerable. Family animals, that can and will take off on their own if they need to. Wolves are great fodder for the imagination.

 

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Much fodder, such imagination

As an adult, I’ve maintained my fascination with them. My second tattoo was a wolf, and my husband about died when I ran through Paws and Claws, dragging our kids along with me) to find the howling wolves. Turns out they were Australian singing dogs, but yeah… I love wolves.

So, when I started writing about deadly people, who are little rough around the edges, but always come together when it counts, wolves seemed like the perfect vehicle to represent them.

When I created my werewolves, straight up wolves seemed felt more scary and realistic. Most people don’t recognize wolves when they see one these days. I didn’t recognize Sierra as a wolf. My neighbor had to tell me. I just wanted to pet the big, friendly, obviously Shepard-mix dog. So imagine a wolf, an animal that can run down a rabbit, with a human brain…

Yes, I do love me some wolves. Big and bad or noble and wise, or simple apex predators, they are fascinating creatures that shaped our world.

So, now that I’ve waxed philosophical on my favorite animal motif… I have editing to do. *eyes Red Witch with a sigh*
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Hey Monday

Spent the weekend being beachy. As in, I went to the beach.

 

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Only brought your bathing suit to the Washington coast? Don’t worry. Someone will lend you a sweater.

Unfortunately, my super-sensitive baby skin is my undoing. I’m having a nasty reaction to the sand lice bites. My feet are swollen, red, and itchy.

 

And I don’t handle anti-histamines well.

So, I’m going to finish writing the next Chelsea Childling story, and then I’m going to stare at the walls for awhile.

 

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Mondays mean webcomics!

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The first chapter of the web comic is almost finished. We have perhaps a dozen more pages to go. The number isn’t firm because adaptations need some flexibility. But people who know The Hunted can confirm that if Mina is on the trail, things are about to get hairy for somebody. And Mina is most definitely on the trail.

 

And the first of the month means Chelsea Childling!

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As much as I am enjoying not having the monthly story published, or daily writing blogs, I’m still super stoked about these two series.

First off, Miss Ashley Jane is just fabulous. And she’s available for logos and other design work!

Secondly, I love that I’m keeping my short story skills sharp. Plus the additional challenge of writing completely human, non-magical people hunting monsters is a fun challenge. The newsletter goes out the first Monday of every month. So yes, you only have a few hours to sign up before you have to wait a whole month to find out what Chelsea is up to.

As for me? I’m about to start some dinner, pick some blackberries, and get some writing done!

 

 

In an effort to destress…

I’ve been cutting back on  my writing obligations. Just because I can bust out thousands of words a day, doesn’t mean that I should.

So here’s a blog I wrote for some friends.

I’m going to bake some bread.

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Fear and writers

One of the hardest things for any writer to do (at least the ones that I’ve associated with) is to let someone read a rough draft.

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Roughs are always full of repeated words (Forcing herself not to slam the door, she instead carefully eased the door on its hinges.), poor dialogue, and badly constructed sentences.

This presents a challenge for authors like me. I don’t see the point in wasting energy cleaning up a chapter just to delete it a few weeks later when I realize that it doesn’t work.

Therefore,  I have to be brave enough to let people read the not-so-great work. I can only hope that they can read the plot and will not be bothered by the less-than-polished prose that surrounds it.

This is about as tricky as it sounds. You run a real risk of people shooting down a viable idea because you used the word ‘wall’ too often in a paragraph and haven’t fixed it yet.

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Like most writers, I have a few go-to betas, who can see the gold while also pointing out the dross. But they are few and far between. And often busy working on their own stuff.

So I have to open up and trust other people.

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Yes, I’m getting work done on Red Witch.

No, it hasn’t been easy or fun.

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Oh!  There’s also a new comic up!

 

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Chelsea Childling: Newbie Monster Hunter

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I haven’t talked about this project for awhile, but yes, I am still writing my free stories for my newsletter.

Chelsea is frankly one of my favorite characters: a totally normal thoroughly non-magical human monster hunter. And writing her has been just a ton of fun. And her supporting cast, Amber and Jackson Hawk, should familiar to my readers.

Her stories are “serialized, flash fiction”, which yes, is a contradiction in terms. Flash fiction should be contained stories… but  I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t bat my eyes at the rules and wander off into the woods while they were confused.

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But Chelsea, Chelsea, she’s fun to write, and the stories are free!

You can get one today, if you hurry. The newsletter goes out at noon PST. So if you are missing my sparkling wit or just want a free story, I got you covered.