Friday, 6 November 2015

Synopsis of Penelope Parker: Chaos and Light

Penelope has been rescued, more dead than alive by her friends, her cat, Hecate, and her Soul Bond, Prudence. Now that she has recovered, she and Prudence are hoping to get back to P.A.W.S. and resume their studies, but Marcus has other ideas. He is furious that Penelope and her mother were rescued, and he is bound and determined to catch them both again and finish what he started. What he doesn't reckon on, is his daughter, Gillian, who is sickened by her father's actions, and determines to put a crimp in them.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Emerging Local Authors Book Fair

Attended a book fair at the Nellie McClung library here in Victoria today. Didn't sell too much, but I met some fabulous people, and made new friends. And really, isn't that what it's all about? Selling books is great, but meeting new folks who are interested in the same thing you are, is even better!

Monday, 5 October 2015

NaNoWriMo 2015

Well, I signed up for NaNoWriMo this year! Missed last year, so have lots to make up! I hope to complete the second book in the Penelope Parker series. If you're interested in participating, go to NaNoWriMo and sign up.

Post a banner on your blog, or facebook to let the world know you accept the challenge!

Friday, 4 September 2015

Book Two:Penelope Parker:Chaos And Light

The second book is well under way, and I hope to be able to publish it by the end of2016. The story picks up at the point that Penelope is rescued from the Black Isle, more dead than alive. As she recovers, she hopes all will return to normal, but that is not to be. Marcus has plans for Penelope which don't include her survival, but his daughter, Gillian, has a few ideas of her own which may well set Marcus on his ear.

Continue the journey with Penelope, Prudence, Hecate and the other friends. Buckle your seatbelts; it's going to be a bumpy ride!

Friday, 1 May 2015

Daily Words of Wisdom

“A story is not like a road to follow … it's more like a house. You go inside and stay there for a while, wandering back and forth and settling where you like and discovering how the room and corridors relate to each other, how the world outside is altered by being viewed from these windows. And you, the visitor, the reader, are altered as well by being in this enclosed space, whether it is ample and easy or full of crooked turns, or sparsely or opulently furnished. You can go back again and again, and the house, the story, always contains more than you saw the last time. It also has a sturdy sense of itself of being built out of its own necessity, not just to shelter or beguile you.” 
― Alice MunroSelected Stories, 1968-1994

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Daily Words of Wisdom

“We who make stories know that we tell lies for a living. But they are good lies that say true things, and we owe it to our readers to build them as best we can. Because somewhere out there is someone who needs that story. Someone who will grow up with a different landscape, who without that story will be a different person. And who with that story may have hope, or wisdom, or kindness, or comfort. And that is why we write.” 
― Neil GaimanThe Graveyard Book

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Daily Words of Wisdom

“Let's get one thing clear right now, shall we? There is no Idea Dump, no Story Central, no Island of the Buried Bestsellers; good story ideas seem to come quite literally from nowhere, sailing at you right out of the empty sky: two previously unrelated ideas come together and make something new under the sun. Your job isn't to find these ideas but to recognize them when they show up.” 
― Stephen KingOn Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Daily Words of Wisdom

“I have advice for people who want to write. I don't care whether they're 5 or 500. There are three things that are important: First, if you want to write, you need to keep an honest, unpublishable journal that nobody reads, nobody but you. Where you just put down what you think about life, what you think about things, what you think is fair and what you think is unfair. And second, you need to read. You can't be a writer if you're not a reader. It's the great writers who teach us how to write. The third thing is to write. Just write a little bit every day. Even if it's for only half an hour — write, write, write.” 
― Madeleine L'Engle

Monday, 27 April 2015

Words of Wisdom

“I notice that you use plain, simple language, short words and brief sentences. That is the way to write English―it is the modern way and the best way. Stick to it; don't let fluff and flowers and verbosity creep in. When you catch an adjective, kill it. No, I don't mean utterly, but kill most of them―then the rest will be valuable. They weaken when they are close together. They give strength when they are wide apart. An adjective habit, or a wordy, diffuse, flowery habit, once fastened upon a person, is as hard to get rid of as any other vice.” 
― Mark Twain

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Daily Words of Wisdom

“In many cases when a reader puts a story aside because it 'got boring,' the boredom arose because the writer grew enchanted with his powers of description and lost sight of his priority, which is to keep the ball rolling.” 
― Stephen KingOn Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Daily Words of Wisdom

“You are lucky to be one of those people who wishes to build sand castles with words, who is willing to create a place where your imagination can wander. We build this place with the sand of memories; these castles are our memories and inventiveness made tangible. So part of us believes that when the tide starts coming in, we won't really have lost anything, because actually only a symbol of it was there in the sand. Another part of us thinks we'll figure out a way to divert the ocean. This is what separates artists from ordinary people: the belief, deep in our hearts, that if we build our castles well enough, somehow the ocean won't wash them away. I think this is a wonderful kind of person to be.” 
― Anne LamottBird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

Friday, 24 April 2015

Daily Words of Wisdom

“Writing simply means no dependent clauses, no dangling things, no flashbacks, and keeping the subject near the predicate. We throw in as many fresh words we can get away with. Simple, short sentences don't always work. You have to do tricks with pacing, alternate long sentences with short, to keep it vital and alive.... Virtually every page is a cliffhanger--you've got to force them to turn it."~” 
― Dr. Seuss

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Daily Words of Wisdom

“Cram your head with characters and stories. Abuse your library privileges. Never stop looking at the world, and never stop reading to find out what sense other people have made of it. If people give you a hard time and tell you to get your nose out of a book, tell them you're working. Tell them it's research. Tell them to pipe down and leave you alone.” 
― Jennifer Weiner

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Daily Words of Wisdom

“E.L. Doctorow said once said that 'Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.' You don't have to see where you're going, you don't have to see your destination or everything you will pass along the way. You just have to see two or three feet ahead of you. This is right up there with the best advice on writing, or life, I have ever heard.” 
― Anne LamottBird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Words of Wisdom

A very wise lady.

“A writer is a person who cares what words mean, what they say, how they say it. Writers know words are their way towards truth and freedom, and so they use them with care, with thought, with fear, with delight. By using words well they strengthen their souls. Story-tellers and poets spend their lives learning that skill and art of using words well. And their words make the souls of their readers stronger, brighter, deeper.” 
― Ursula K. Le Guin

Monday, 20 April 2015

Daily Words of Wisdom

I love this one!

“There is such a place as fairyland - but only children can find the way to it. And they do not know that it is fairyland until they have grown so old that they forget the way. One bitter day, when they seek it and cannot find it, they realize what they have lost; and that is the tragedy of life. On that day the gates of Eden are shut behind them and the age of gold is over. Henceforth they must dwell in the common light of common day. Only a few, who remain children at heart, can ever find that fair, lost path again; and blessed are they above mortals. They, and only they, can bring us tidings from that dear country where we once sojourned and from which we must evermore be exiles. The world calls them its singers and poets and artists and story-tellers; but they are just people who have never forgotten the way to fairyland.” 
― L.M. MontgomeryThe Story Girl

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Daily Words of Wisdom

“When asked, "How do you write?" I invariably answer, "One word at a time," and the answer is invariably dismissed. But that is all it is. It sounds too simple to be true, but consider the Great Wall of China, if you will: one stone at a time, man. That's all. One stone at a time. But I've read you can see that motherfucker from space without a telescope.” 
― Stephen King

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Daily Words of Wisdom

This piece made me hold my breath.

“Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. 

This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple “I must,” then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse. Then come close to Nature. Then, as if no one had ever tried before, try to say what you see and feel and love and lose...

...Describe your sorrows and desires, the thoughts that pass through your mind and your belief in some kind of beauty - describe all these with heartfelt, silent, humble sincerity and, when you express yourself, use the Things around you, the images from your dreams, and the objects that you remember. If your everyday life seems poor, don’t blame it; blame yourself; admit to yourself that you are not enough of a poet to call forth its riches; because for the creator there is not poverty and no poor, indifferent place. And even if you found yourself in some prison, whose walls let in none of the world’s sounds – wouldn’t you still have your childhood, that jewel beyond all price, that treasure house of memories? Turn your attentions to it. Try to raise up the sunken feelings of this enormous past; your personality will grow stronger, your solitude will expand and become a place where you can live in the twilight, where the noise of other people passes by, far in the distance. - And if out of this turning-within, out of this immersion in your own world, poems come, then you will not think of asking anyone whether they are good or not. Nor will you try to interest magazines in these works: for you will see them as your dear natural possession, a piece of your life, a voice from it. A work of art is good if it has arisen out of necessity. That is the only way one can judge it.” 
― Rainer Maria Rilke

Friday, 17 April 2015

Daily Words of Wisdom

I love this man's children's books:

It has often been said
there’s so much to be read,
you never can cram
all those words in your head.

So the writer who breeds
more words than he needs
is making a chore
for the reader who reads.

That's why my belief is
the briefer the brief is,
the greater the sigh
of the reader's relief is.

And that's why your books
have such power and strength.
You publish with shorth!
(Shorth is better than length.)” 
― Dr. Seuss

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Daily Words of Wisdom

“A book is made from a tree. It is an assemblage of flat, flexible parts (still called "leaves") imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles. One glance at it and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time ― proof that humans can work magic.” 
― Carl Sagan

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Daily Words of Wisdom

A touch of author humour!

“By now, it is probably very late at night, and you have stayed up to read this book when you should have gone to sleep. If this is the case, then I commend you for falling into my trap. It is a writer's greatest pleasure to hear that someone was kept up until the unholy hours of the morning reading one of his books. It goes back to authors being terrible people who delight in the suffering of others. Plus, we get a kickback from the caffeine industry...” 
― Brandon SandersonAlcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Daily Words of Wisdom

“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.” 
― Stephen KingOn Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Monday, 13 April 2015

Daily Words of Wisdom

Words of Wisdom from Ray Bradbury to start off your week.

If you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling. You must write every single day of your life. You must read dreadful dumb books and glorious books, and let them wrestle in beautiful fights inside your head, vulgar one moment, brilliant the next. You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads. I wish you a wrestling match with your Creative Muse that will last a lifetime. I wish craziness and foolishness and madness upon you. May you live with hysteria, and out of it make fine stories — science fiction or otherwise. Which finally means, may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.” 
― Ray Bradbury

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Daily Words of Wisdom

“If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don't write, because our culture has no use for it.” 
― Anaïs Nin

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Book Two in the Penelope Parker Series.

I have, at least, gotten started on the second book, and I need to get cracking in order to finish it before October. That's when the applications go in for  the 2016 Emerging Local Authors. I do have a cover, and a few chapters written, so if I could write the first one in 30 days, surely I can do this one in a longer period of time!

Daily Words of Wisdom

I have definitely found this to be true!

“Being a writer is a very peculiar sort of a job: it's always you versus a blank sheet of paper (or a blank screen) and quite often the blank piece of paper wins.” 
― Neil Gaiman

Friday, 10 April 2015

Emerging Local Authors-Victoria, BC

What a great evening! So wonderful to see so many local authors (137), all from South Vancouver Island! Don took some pics, and I'll get him to upload them later. Got silly photos done in the photo booth. Saw two other authors we know, and one, Shaughnessy Brookes who couldn't be there, as she is out at sea. We took photos for her and also got her a button.

Words of Wisdom

“Tomorrow may be hell, but today was a good writing day, and on the good writing days nothing else matters.” 
― Neil Gaiman

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Exciting Opportunity

On Friday, April 10, I am attending a get together hosted by our public library. It is intended to showcase local authors and their works, and it will be great to meet other authors who live in Victoria, and brainstorm with them. And even better, my book will be in the library!

Daily Words of Wisdom

“Read, read, read. Read everything -- trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You'll absorb it.
Then write. If it's good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out of the window.” 
― William Faulkner

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Daily Words of Wisdom

“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them -- words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they're brought out. But it's more than that, isn't it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you've said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.” 
― Stephen KingDifferent Seasons

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Daily Words of Wisdom

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” 
― Louis L'Amour

Monday, 6 April 2015

Daily Words of Wisdom

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” 
― Sylvia PlathThe Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Daily Words of Wisdom

I have found this to be true so many times! If we don't let our 'logical' mind get in the way, the path to creativity is there.

“You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.” 
― Saul Bellow

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Daily Words of Wisdom

“If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.” 
― Toni Morrison

Friday, 3 April 2015

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Daily Words of Wisdom

“Mostly, we authors must repeat ourselves - that's the truth. We have two or three great and moving experiences in our lives - experiences so great and moving that it doesn't seem at the time anyone else has been so caught up and so pounded and dazzled and astonished and beaten and broken and rescued and illuminated and rewarded and humbled in just that way ever before.

Then we learn our trade, well or less well, and we tell our two or three stories - each time in a new disguise - maybe ten times, maybe a hundred, as long as people will listen.” 
― F. Scott Fitzgerald

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Daily Words of Wisdom

“In order to write the book you want to write, in the end you have to become the person you need to become to write that book.” 
― Junot Díaz

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Daily Words of Wisdom

“The impulse to write things down is a peculiarly compulsive one, inexplicable to those who do not share it, useful only accidentally, only secondarily, in the way that any compulsion tries to justify itself. I suppose that it begins or does not begin in the cradle. Although I have felt compelled to write things down since I was five years old, I doubt that my daughter ever will, for she is a singularly blessed and accepting child, delighted with life exactly as life presents itself to her, unafraid to go to sleep and unafraid to wake up. Keepers of private notebooks are a different breed altogether, lonely and resistant rearrangers of things, anxious malcontents, children afflicted apparently at birth with some presentiment of loss.” 
― Joan DidionSlouching Towards Bethlehem

Monday, 30 March 2015

Daily Words of Wisdom

“Discipline allows magic. To be a writer is to be the very best of assassins. You do not sit down and write every day to force the Muse to show up. You get into the habit of writing every day so that when she shows up, you have the maximum chance of catching her, bashing her on the head, and squeezing every last drop out of that bitch.” 
― Lili St. Crow

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Daily Words of Wisdom

“Every reader, as he reads, is actually the reader of himself. The writer's work is only a kind of optical instrument he provides the reader so he can discern what he might never have seen in himself without this book. The reader's recognition in himself of what the book says is the proof of the book's truth.” 
― Marcel ProustTime Regained

Friday, 27 March 2015

Daily Words of Wisdom

“I think there are two types of writers, the architects and the gardeners. The architects plan everything ahead of time, like an architect building a house. They know how many rooms are going to be in the house, what kind of roof they're going to have, where the wires are going to run, what kind of plumbing there's going to be. They have the whole thing designed and blueprinted out before they even nail the first board up. The gardeners dig a hole, drop in a seed and water it. They kind of know what seed it is, they know if planted a fantasy seed or mystery seed or whatever. But as the plant comes up and they water it, they don't know how many branches it's going to have, they find out as it grows. And I'm much more a gardener than an architect.” 
― George R.R. Martin

Daily Words of Wisdom For The Writer

Each day, I will post a snippet of Wisdom from established writers that may help your writing process. Enjoy!

"You have to write whatever book it is that wants to be written. And then, if it's going to be too difficult for grown-ups, you write it for children." ~ Madeleine L'Engle.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

What Do I Do When I'm Not Writing?

I have had people ask if I have a "Real Job," because writing isn't a "Real Job," right? Well, yes it is, but unfortunately, I'm not J.K. Rowling, and at this point in time, it doesn't pay the bills. So, what do I do? I am what is called a Historical Costumer; I make historically accurate, and historically inspired clothing. There's a difference, you ask? There is!

Historically inspired clothing is just that; it takes its inspiration from clothing of yesteryear. I might make a dress (which I did) inspired by Elizabeth's dress in Pirates of the Caribbean, which means it is similar in looks but not exactly true to the time.

Historically accurate clothing, on the other hand, is accurate to the time period. This means that the fabrics used are as close as one can get in this day and age to what was used back then. The sewing techniques used are those used back then; for example, no serged seam bindings, they are all hand whipped or overcast. For medieval clothing, or anything before the 1800s, the sewing must be done by hand only, as there were no sewing machines in Lady Jane Gray's time!

I currently make costumes for theatre, and have been making historical costumes for about five years. Before that, I started at 12 with my own dance costumes, and when my daughter took ballet, I made her recital costumes, and those for music festivals. I then kind of segued into making costumes for the entire dance school for year end recitals and festivals. When my daughter was in her teens, we both started taking flamenco, and I learned to make flamenco dresses.

Why do I do it? For the same reason I write; I love it. Does it make me rich? No, but it's rewarding, and does bring some money into the household, but thank goodness my husband has a "Real Job!"

Below are two examples; one of a historically inspired costume, and one true to the time, in this case, Edwardian.

Dress inspired by
Pirates of the Caribbean
Edwardian Dress, circa late 1800s


Friday, 13 March 2015

A Reprise of Some of My Reasons For Writing the Book

My book Penelope Parker: Witch in Training started rumbling around in my head a little over ten years ago. I played with it, wrote a couple of chapters, and made notes. Then Life intruded, and it sat collecting dust until last year, when I decided I wasn’t getting any younger, and the book was not going to write itself. (It did, but that’s another story.)
Penelope herself is based loosely on me as a child. I was gangly, a square peg in a round hole, and was mercilessly bullied. I also saw things others didn’t, and I’m sure my mother worried about me!
Gillian Barrington-Smythe, the antagonist, is also based on a girl I knew at school. She came from a rich family, and was spoiled and used to getting her own way.
The other characters just emerged fully formed from the recesses of my brain, and I’m not sure where they came from!
The name of the school Penelope was expelled from is also the school I went to in England, as is the name of the headmistress. Unfortunately, the school no longer exists; there is a council estate there now.
I love the Harry Potter series, but I always felt that a few more strong female characters would have been good, so I set out to do just that. There aren’t too many books in the fantasy genre that have a female as the main character, so Penelope was born, partly from me, partly from fantasy.

All the main characters are female, and the only males in the book are the fathers, Gwyddion and Marcus, Hecate’s brother, Paddy, and Jacob. I think that will continue, at least for the next book, and we’ll see what happens after that. I’m already working on the second book and hope to have the first draft finished by April if all goes well.

ADDENDUM: April is looking rather ambitious at this point! There is so much else happening right now, that the first draft probably won't be ready till Summer. The second book is titled "Chaos and Light", and continues Penelope's adventures.

Emerging Local Authors

I am fortunate enough to have been invited to participate in our Victoria Public Library's launch of Emerging Local Authors in April! This means our books will be in the library branches, which is great exposure. I am really looking forward to this! Look for "Penelope Parker: Witch in Training" in any Victoria Library.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Overdue Update

Wow! I just realized one year has gone by since my last post! It has been an incredibly busy year, and I'm not quite sure where it went. I have not made much inroads into Book Two, because of one thing and another, but after the convention I am attending mid February, pen will be put to paper again!

In other news, my book will be part of an effort by our local library to put forth local emerging authors, and I am lucky to be involved in that. I should have more news on that sometime in March, and the event gets rolling sometime in April. Looking forward to my book being in the library!