No problem. I’m giving Anchor and Spotify a whirl.
To listen to this blog post recorded by Anchor, click here. If you want to hear it on Spotify, click here. Let me know what you think about it. No, that is not my voice, but he does read very well.
Prefer to read? Here it is…
Inspiration for stories comes from every direction for me. The inspiration for the current fantasy novel I’m writing came from having discussions with others, who, like me, played the original Dungeons and Dragons roll-playing game in the early 1980s. Instead of roaming the streets of our community and possibly getting into trouble on a Friday night when I was a teenager, I gathered with friends at our Boys and Girls Club. There, the director Peter Mortimer played Dungeon Master and sent us on quests and adventures.
From the age of 13 until about 18 or 19, we played every Friday night. Friendships were formed, skills were mastered and we walked away better for the experience.
While my first fantasy novel Shadows in the Stone was inspired by Dungeons and Dragons, it’s firmly set in a fantasy world of its own. The story I’m currently writing straddles both: this world and the fantasy world. It’s something I’ve always thought about doing but never did.
I want to have a blast writing it, and I’m going to share this journey with you. If you’ve ever played Dungeons and Dragons, I hope these posts and the eventual novel rekindles fond memories.
Currently, I have 33,079 words written for my current fantasy novel that will receive a title shortly.
There have been spans over the past 25 years when I’ve not written a thing. They usually don’t last long. A month or two. For some reason, I lack the inspiration to write. It has nothing to do with the story. It has more to do with the energy surrounding me.
One way I boot that negative energy out of my life is by forcing myself to write 750 words a day regardless of the story. That’s not words for a blog post or an email. That’s of a story. Period. I can’t sink into a blog post like I can a story. There’s always solid ground to find. With a story, however, once I wade far enough into the quicksand, I’m captured, and I can’t escape. That leaves me inspired to write, and I easily reach 750 words, often more.
That’s how I’m feeling right now. While I’ve written a lot of words between January 1st and May, most were not in story form. That changed May 7th when I wrote the first few words to a new novel.
What is this novel about? Adventure. Quests. Magic. Friends. Dragons.
I’ll leave it there. I’ll share more in my next post. Right now, I’ve got to get back to the story. There’s only 31,436 words written, and I’m aiming for 100,000.
To listen to this recorded by Anchor, click here. If you want to hear it on Spotify, click here. This is something new I’m trying. Let me know what you think about it. No, that is not my voice, but he does read very well.
This spring has been extremely busy. There are days when I feel like a dozen energies are pulling me in the same number of directions. I rise in the morning wondering how many things I can get done before the day is exhausted.
Then there was Friday. I was up early, getting the tasks needing to be done completed because my Toggenburg doe, Willow, was due to kid, and my focus had to be on her.
Experience has taught me every birth is different. Some are easy, some are interesting, some are entertaining and some (like Sigma’s a few years ago) have me holding down back legs and being splattered with blood while a vet forces a uterus back into a screaming goat.
Knowing all this, I go into each birth with an open mind. I hope for easy, kid on the ground when I open the barn door in the morning, and the mother cleaning up the afterbirth coating the kid’s hair. Yet, we’re ready with plastic gloves that go to our armpit, clean rags to help clean off kids and the vet’s number on speed dial.
The journey started on November 23, 2021, when I bred Willow to Chippy, a Nigerian Dwarf buck. We’re getting out of Togs (Toggenburgs) and switching to Nigerian Dwarf. We have many reasons, but that’s not what this post is about.
My philosophy from the beginning of this writing journey has been to write books I enjoy reading. If these books found readers who also enjoyed the stories, then it made publishing these books worth the time and energy. Those readers are the ones I am writing for. I can’t write for all readers, so I don’t even try.
So when I come upon a positive review of one of my books, it makes me smile. I found one today, posted yesterday and for me, it reaffirmed the reason I do what I do. And that’s write books that I enjoy, not books on the latest fad, political statement or books similar to those on the best-sellers’ list.
What kind of books do I enjoy? Ones with adventure, a little romance, a little humour, hope even when things look tragic, hard-working people with good values, loving family, loyal friends, a good sense of home and entertainment. I like to create worlds we can escape to, ones that make us forget about the current state of the world around us.
There’s an old saying I heard many years ago: We must say good-bye before we can say hello. It’s a way of easing the pain of parting.
A similar saying applies to this time of the year: We must say good-bye to the old before we can say hello to the new.
Good-bye, 2021. You were a little unexpected, a little different, a little the same, a little exciting and a little disappointing. You were far from the hardest year in my lifetime, and you were far from the most difficult year in the past 100 years. Many people died. Many people were born. Many lost hope, and many became enlightened.
Hello, 2022. Not knowing what you’ll bring is a blessing and a curse. I’d like to be better prepared, but I guess I’m going to have to wing it like every year. Regardless of what you bring, the sun is sure to rise, rains to fall, winds to blow, snow to collect, flowers to bloom and birds to sing.
This post was supposed to be about the end. The end of the year, not the end of someone’s life. The post I had written needed only one more reading before it went live. However, that changed when I heard the news.
I was on my way back from picking up pizza from Frank’s Pizza in Stewiacke. It was for my youngest son’s birthday supper. On the Bokma Plains, the song ended, and the announcer came on. My finger was on the way to the button to put on another station to have non-stop music when I heard her name. My finger hovered over the button.
Betty White had passed away 18 days shy of her 100th birthday.
Her face instantly came to mind. I’ve been watching Betty all my life. She’d been acting longer than I was alive. My mom and I loved Golden Girls and saw every episode. In fact, Betty reminded me a lot of mom.
The other day, I was talking to a friend about food and health. Sugar came into the conversation, and I remembered a shocking fact.
“Did you know Windsor table salt has sugar in it?”
He gave me a confused look. “No.”
“Someone told me about it a few years ago. I didn’t believe them.”
Perhaps one reason I didn’t know this fact was because I had stopped using regular table salt a few years earlier. I had switched to sea salt for all my baking and cooking needs. Sceptical of the claim, the next time I visited the supermarket, I found a box of Windsor salt and looked at the ingredients. Well, I was shocked all over again.
My friend said he used this salt and would check the box when he got home. I think he was sceptical of my claim. I don’t blame him. It’s shocking. When you sprinkle salt on your food, you don’t think you’re also sprinkling sugar.
When we visit your website, we find a wonderful collection of fantasy novels. What inspired Northern Survival and the other romance titles?
While I’m a fantasy-writer at heart, there were several stories begging to be told that didn’t fit that genre. Some stories nagged at me for years before I wrote them down. Others, such as Northern Survival, came to me in mere seconds, and the need to record them was stronger than writing my fantasy series.
I also believe stories that include romance as an added feature appeal to me greatly. I enjoy seeing the interaction between would-be couples and their struggles to become one. While my fantasy novels are all about forces trying to conquer one another, mystical creatures, magic and adventure, there’s a lot of romance going on. The attraction (or lack of) between characters often drives them to do things they wouldn’t otherwise.
This romance weaving through stories is what I loved most about Star Wars and the Indiana Jones movies. It kept me turning the pages of The Wizard’s Ward by Deborah Hale and Under the Same Sky by Genevieve Graham.