I’m Back…I think…

Well, here’s hoping that I will be able to be in front of the keyboard enough to write some blog entries, make some tweets, do some face time on Facebook, and all that jazz! I’ve been AFK for the past two months for various reasons, the most exciting of which was a trip to Belize!!! For research, of course! I’m overflowing now with incredible ideas for Synergy 2012:Return to Magic, my next project. This urban fantasy is going to draw  upon the 2012 Mayan Calendar renewal, and I literally climbed a mountain inside and out to feed this story!

Thank you so much to everyone who has purchased Regression, Evolussion, and Revolussion. It’s incredible to think that tens of thousands of people have read my words, and many have enjoyed them enough to reach out to me through emails. I so appreciate that support, especially with the challenges we’ve been facing both personally and professionally in our family. The print copy of Revolussion will be coming, as well as an omnibus version, but they will simmer on the back burner for at least a few more weeks.  

I have an exciting new semester at school, teaching senior chemistry as well as an online course, and I hope the energy of the changing session will ride me through composition of Synergy…I’d like to have it ready for spring Equinox. We’ll see if life cooperates…

When is a book finished?

This is such a difficult question to answer, and I’m learning my own response to it!

I re-wrote Regression a number of times, and actually am going to work on an omnibus for the holiday season which includes the first draft (alternate ending) as a bonus. Interestingly enough, neither Evolussion nor Revolussion have alternate endings since the first draft was very close to the completed copy. Why?

Because I learnt that the book will never be finished until I choose it to be finished, because there is always something which could be changed. When I read Regression, I begin to re-write it in my head, while I am more satisfied with the other manuscripts.

So the completion of a manuscript is the point at which you the author think it is finished telling the story. In looking at Revolussion, I know there are the smaller, side story-lines which I could have kept on writing, but I decided that those could be left up to the reader’s imagination. Dawn’s story was over. At least, her story as the mother of humanity. Stew, Nicholas, Hope, Avery…I could continue with their stories, but their roles in the original plot have ended, and I need to take a break from the Infinion Series to test myself against new material. Can I write something else? Fantasy? Science Fiction? Contemporary? I want to try them. And then, I might come back and carry on where Revolussion left off!

Look for news on Synergy 2012: Return to Magic on the blog as I begin a new project!

Sample Sunday

I don’t want to be redundant, so I’ll just post a link from here to my Blogger.com blog, where I’ve put up samples from Regression, Evolussion, and Revolussion in honour of Sample Sundays on Twitter.

Time has been tight lately but lots of blog entries have collected in my head. Once I’ve got a handle on drafting Revolussion, then I’ll begin composing some blog entries once again.

Behind Regression: Nicholas Weaver

Although I knew, when composing Regression, that a man had been responsible for forcing the regressions to save the woman he loved, I had not planned on working him into the first story. But beta readers kept on asking how the heck Adya knew so much, making me realize my hints about her having multiple past lives were not obvious enough. Hence the journal entries from the future, sharing Nicholas Weaver’s thoughts and exeriences.  Not everyone catches the clues in Nick’s Notes (I tagged them as such when working on the draft) which explain not only what the disaster of 11/11/11 is, but also how many times he has replayed this same history.  

Even those who absolutely hated the novel appear to enjoy Nicholas and his thoughts. I enjoyed writing them, as well. I wrote them haphazardly, in no particular order, and then organized them within the sequence of the other chapters to compliment the content of the main story. One very astute reader noticed that the dates of Nick’s notes coincide with the date of the subsequent chapter of Adya’s story, but I am not sure if many others caught that connection. I added the dates after inserting the journal entries where they made the most sense.

Nicholas Weaver is a man chasing a dream. The dream of a woman loved and then lost, but also the dream of being the saviour of humanity. When he arrives to join the alternate timeline already in progress in Evolussion, he finds a world beyond any of his imaginings. And a cataclysm even greater than the one he spent one thousand years trying to avert. But, at least he has Hope. Where the two of them go in Revolussion is yet to be seen, as the story weaves itself at the end of my fingertips, but his character is one I especially relish writing. Perhaps he’ll give me a few surprises as the story materializes.

Fun for Writers

For a little light-hearted writer fun, visit the following sites.

The Gender Genie, http://bookblog.net/gender/genie.php . Bring with you a sample or three of your writing – 500 words or more – and the Gender Genie will oblige you by identifying your sex. Don’t worry, you don’t have to hold true to its verdict! But, if you are telling your narrative from one or the other sex’s perspective – which is likely, unless you are writing about aliens with three sexes – being aware of the words which are more ‘male’ or ‘female’ might help make for a more convincing narrative.

Here is the analysis of Evolussion, my soon-to-be released sci-fi novel and the sequel to Amazon Bestseller Regression.

Feminine Keywords Masculine Keywords
[with] 9 x 52 = 468 [around] 1 x 42 = 42
[if] 1 x 47 = 47 [what] 4 x 35 = 140
[not] 10 x 27 = 270 [more] 3 x 34 = 102
[where] 2 x 18 = 36 [are] 2 x 28 = 56
[be] 6 x 17 = 102 [as] 14 x 23 = 322
[when] 3 x 17 = 51 [who] 3 x 19 = 57
[your] 1 x 17 = 17 [below] 0 x 8 = 0
[her] 29 x 9 = 261 [is] 10 x 8 = 80
[we] 2 x 8 = 16 [these] 0 x 8 = 0
[should] 1 x 7 = 7 [the] 124 x 7 = 868
[she] 18 x 6 = 108 [a] 37 x 6 = 222
[and] 28 x 4 = 112 [at] 10 x 6 = 60
[me] 0 x 4 = 0 [it] 11 x 6 = 66
[myself] 0 x 4 = 0 [many] 0 x 6 = 0
[hers] 0 x 3 = 0 [said] 0 x 5 = 0
[was] 28 x 1 = 28 [above] 0 x 4 = 0
  [to] 39 x 2 = 78

Words: 1611

(NOTE: The genie works best on texts of more than 500 words.)

Female Score: 1523
Male Score: 2093

The Gender Genie thinks the author of this passage is: male!

Since the sections were written from a male point-of-view, I am happy to have that verdict. The subsequent segment told from a female point-of-view scored differently.

Words: 1333

(NOTE: The genie works best on texts of more than 500 words.)

Female Score: 1816
Male Score: 1505

The Gender Genie thinks the author of this passage is: female!

If you look at the words being tagged ‘male’ and ‘female’, you might notice the female ones do tend toward the social and/or personal. Pronouns and interrogatives. The male identifiers are object-related. Articles, adjectives, and prepositions. This makes intuitive sense because the average female is socially conscious, whereas the average male is action oriented. Now, don’t get all defensive about the whole thing, we the sexes should glory in our differences rather than try to be exactly alike!

Another fun site to try out is ‘I Write Like…’ http://iwl.me/

My ‘masculine’ passage rose to lofty heights…

I write like
H. P. Lovecraft

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

While my female POV segment drew a less illustrious comparison.

I write like
Dan Brown

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Again, this is just for fun and the results will often change with every excerpt you submit. As they add more famous authors, the result will be expanded.

A great way to while away time that could be better spent actually writing!

I’ll be starting a blog tour on October 11 to promote the release of Evolussion. The tour will last four weeks, hitting 20 or so blogs. Should be neat! More news to come.

On Writing

Every author has a differing perspective on what writing means to them. I’d have to call myself a pragmatic writer…writing is an enjoyable activity, but can only be slipped into the limited time available around all my other responsibilities. I had plenty of flex time for the writing of Regression, my debut novel, while on maternity leave from work, but no more children are planned (four is enough, LOL!); squeezing in writing time is more of a challenge.

I think I am fortunate that when I take the time to write, the writing happens almost unconsciously.  I feel like I am watching a movie in my head, and transcribing the action. Very rarely during the drafting of the first rendition do I hit a blank. It is more difficult to compose the ‘filler’ in a second round, where aspects need to be added to the manuscript in order to maintain continuity, add clarification, or flesh out lightly written passages.

I am fast on the keyboard, so from that aspect there is little impediment between my thoughts in my head and my words on paper. Today I plan to add another five thousand words to Evolussion, the sequel to Regression, while also fitting in the dogs, kids, horses, and some quiet time with a very understanding husband.

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