Monday, March 23, 2009

I finished writing a novel last night

Now that's something a person can't say every day. I am currently working on a new fantasy series that I anticipate to be four novels, which means I'm halfway done. I've been fussing and frowning over the last 30 pages of the novel I just finished for weeks. Ends are about the hardest part of writing a novel in my opinion. Loose ends need to be tied up while still keeping the drama and the action flowing and interesting. And because this novel is part of the series, I have to tie up loose ends while sowing seeds of the continuing story to make readers want to progress to the next book. That combination of tasks is quite hard. I can't say that I have it right yet on the novel I just finished, but I have a good draft and with subsequent edits and re-writes I'll get it polished.

When I write a fantasy series, I try to make each novel have its own story arc while contributing to the overall story of the series. This way each novel has a beginning, middle, and end, but as a unit it is contributing to a larger whole. Some fantasy series tend to always be building up to a BIG THING without ever having much happen, so I work to avoid that problem. I build up to the big thing while having big things happening.

Before plunging into the third novel, I'll be taking a step back and giving the first and second novels a good editing.

Because I won't have my new series done for a couple years yet, fantasy readers interested in testing out a new series, can read The Rys Chronicles, which is completely published. You can start reading Union of Renegades: The Rys Chronicles Book I for free in ebook form or pick up the paperback for $1 plus shipping. Please go to Brave Luck Books (TM) to discover an epic fantasy from an independent writer.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

SF Signal the current Fortnight Feature at the Fantasy Tavern

A science fiction blog that I have been following for some time, SF Signal, is right now being promoted from the home page of the Fantasy Tavern. SF Signal is a very well done blog, supported by multiple contributors. There are almost daily updates, usually more than one, tracking every scrap of news -- tidbits as they are called -- concerning the science fiction genre. Fantasy and horror slip into the mix as well because science fiction fans generally have a soft spot for these less technical genres.

The Fantasy Tavern is my genre focused website, and every two weeks I update the Fortnight Feature, which is meant to bring attention to genre-related websites. The feature is free and open to submissions from websites about fantasy, science fiction, romance, horror, and their various subgenres. For complete details about how to promote your website for free click here.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Writers can get paid to do what they love

Today I was published as a guest blogger at the blog of Cheryl Wright a freelance writer and author who operates a resource for helping people become freelance writers or improve their careers.

At her blog, I contributed this post:

Get Started Freelance Writing By Finding And Picking The Best Clients

In the article I explain the first steps a new freelance writer should take to start getting work. I also offered my thoughts on how to strategize your career and avoid clients that are headaches or deadends.

At this point in my life, I am not doing any freelance work because I am focusing on my fiction writing and marketing my novels, but I could dip back into the freelance scene whenever I need to. If you want to know more about getting paid to write, please follow the link to the article.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Am I becoming a Hillbilly Housewife?

I just might be well on my way to earning the designation Hillbilly Housewife. I'm not married to a hillbilly or a house, but today I did become a guest writer at the blog of

I will be writing guest posts about home canning. My first one was posted today. Here's the headline with the link:

Home Canning - Good Eatin' from the Old Timers' Pantry

As time allows, I will be contributing regular posts, at least through the growing season, about how to preserve food with home canning.

The opportunity to be a guest blogger came from being listed as a resource at This service is just getting off the ground, but it is a great concept. People running blogs can go there to pick up free content for their blogs and connect with people like me that are listed as willing to contribute to blogs on certain subjects and be available for interviews as well.

Because I am fast becoming on expert on home canning, I listed it as one of the subjects I could write about and therefore was contacted by I'm looking forward to being a contributor to this blog. It is nice to get recognition and it allows me to promote my own website about home canning.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

My complete epic fantasy series is now available at Smashwords

Over the last three days, I have added all four novels of my fantasy series The Rys Chronicles to the catalog at Smashwords.

Union of Renegades
The Goddess Queen
Judgment Rising
The Borderlands of Power

Smashwords is an ebook publishing service that is also developing into an ebook retail site. Now that I've had a chance to use its publishing system, I can report that it was easy. The only difficult part was the long list of formatting requirements I had to go through to prepare the Word document files before uploading them.

After my novels were converted into various ebook formats, including epub, Mobipocket for Kindle, LRF for Sony, PDF, and RTF, each title was set up on a great merchandising page that allowed me to add a link to where the novels are available in print. I could also embed a video from YouTube, which was a handy way to enhance my pages with the book trailers for my series.

Hopefully I will gain extra exposure for my fantasy series at Smashwords. I used the same pricing as is available at Brave Luck Books (TM). The first book Union of Renegades is free and the subsequent three fantasy novels are $4.95 each. I can also hope to eventually gain some good ratings with the Smashwords system that allows readers to rate what they read. If you are looking for a good fantasy novel, check out the free download Union of Renegades. If you like it, be sure to give it some stars at Smashwords.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Recipe River overflowing with good cooking ideas

Since launching my recipe collection website in late January I have been working hard to add more recipes. Today I published five new recipes and I think I was really thinking spring when I selected them.

There's the new recipe for asparagus soup. This green vegetable that I like to refer to as "witches fingers" is already coming into season in the warmer zones of the country. With asparagus shooting up, strawberries are not far behind and I put together a page with 3 ways to use strawberries. The recipes are for spreads and toppings.

Then, I was actually daring to think about summer. Barbeque season is beckoning, and I plan on trying this recipe for grilled pork with apricot mustard glaze. Pork on the barbeque is just divine. Summer also means tomatoes! So, I posted a decent salsa recipe because that is one of the best ways to gobble fresh vegetables. I'll admit eating vegetables is hard for me, but even I like salsa.

The fifth recipe I added was for crunchy tropical chicken. I don't think it has any seasonal association, but it certainly sounded good.

I created Recipe River as a resource to promote home cooking because preparing your own food is far healthier than relying on restaurants and processed food products.