Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Tuesday's Inspiration # Stephen King and Imagery revisited #MFRWauthor #inspiration #imagery

This is the repeat of something from a few eyars ago. The blog posts are now well over 2000 but this is good for another look.

Who better for the 1000th post on my blog than Stephen King. While I seldom read his books since horror chills me, I do admire his ability to build an atmosphere and use imagery to bring the reader into his world.

In an essay he wrote he said a lot of things about imagery and how to build this into a story. He mentioned a lot of rules that the writer learns over time. The following quote is one that sang to me. Particularly since I tend to be concrete in my writing, at least that was how I began. Hopefully I've grown over the years. 

"Imagery does not occur on the writer's page, it occurs in the reader's mind." Imagery isn't concrete descriptions but imagery are those little bits of description that stimulate the reader to build a scene in their heads. Not only descriptions of places but of people. Sort of like this. He was a messy eater. Better would be The meals of a week or even a month stained his shirt. It's that sort of thing that makes the reader sit up and say wow to the picture formed in their head. The great thing about this is no two readers will invision the man or the scene in the same way.

Mr. King has more to say on imagery and I'll be using them to inspire me in the next Tuesday or two.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Meandering On Monday With Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #Poem #writing #life

Meander 1 Poem - Dodge-em Cars

He chooses a car, red, electrified
That gives an illusion of speed.
He waits for the power to surge.
And tapping his hands on the wheel
He waits for the power to surge.
Now he twists and turns
Through the pack that is trying
To bump and spin him around.
That's not for him.
To him it's a skill
To dodge. To esdape from the trap.
To avoid the jam-ups, the clutter of cars.
To come inches close
But to miss the smash/crash
To wing free and escape quite unscathed.

Meander 2 - When life puts a stop what do you do? Today this happened to me and my morning when I would have managed to do all my posts for the week my computer needed a check-up. I hate when that happens and try to avoid this every moment I can but today I couldn't. I did do some writing and reading, most impatiently. So this afternoon and evening I have to make headway on the things I need to do.

Meander 3 - Writing - Just tore up the plans for a new book and began over. Having all the complications come at the end of the story wasn't a good idea. I had a plan for ten chapters. Now I have one for eight. I also learned about checking my books for errors, a lot of them and putting them into a changed format. That will take time but I will have help. Granddaughter will pitch in.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Sunday's Book - Healwoman #MFRWauthor #fantasy #romance #healing


Born under a dark moon, Norna has to battle rumors that she is tainted by evil and unworthy of being anything more than a servant. Discarded by her mother, she runs away from her aunt, a priestess who wants her to enter the temple.
Instead, Norna chooses to be a Healwoman, and a chance encounter with a novice hoping to be a priest helps her discover she has talents of water, air and fire at her disposal. With these gifts she is called on to battle treachery and attempts to prevent the promised prophecy of the god and goddess. As she battles evil powers, she loses her heart to Shandor, the man she met when her journey first began. She must come to grips with Britha who plots against her. Shandor has his own enemy Vorgan. When the pair of foes unite, the battles begin.

By Emily K on August 1, 2014

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very well written and the story was good

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I agree takes a little getting into but once you have got into the characters and got your head round the story its well worth it. I found it an enthralling different type of story that I thoroughly enjoyed - well worth sticking with it, would have loved more.

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
At the beginning I wasn't sure why I had downloaded this book to be honest. I found it hard going but once I got into it....found it hard to put down! in fact I was late for work this morning as I wanted to finish it lol. Will download the others in the series :-)

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Saturday's Blurbs features Books by Helen Henderson #MFRWauthor #fantasy #romance

List 3 of your books and the blurbs and buy marks

Windmaster  (Book One of the Windmaster Novels)

Windmaster is a romance-filled, action-packed fantasy described by readers as a fascinating story that will keep you up all night turning the pages. Revenge set Ellspeth, captain of Sea Falcon, on the path to her destiny, but prophecy controlled the journey.

Despite his insolent attitude, Ellspeth is attracted to the dark-haired dockworker she hires to help unload the vessel's cargo. When the supposed dockhand reveals he is Lord Dal, the last member of the Council of Wizards, and her passenger, Ellspeth breaks a cardinal rule--fraternizing with the paying customers. Bringing him back from near-death releases Ellspeth's latent powers and threatens her captaincy. For to have magic she must give up the sea.

Dal has his own reasons for Ellspeth to embrace her powers. In accordance with an ancient prophecy, he allows Ellspeth to be handfasted to him without her knowledge or consent. However, the prophecy doesn't state whether she will return his love. A likelihood threatened as the deception is unveiled and Dal is captured and stripped of his powers by fanatical clerics bent on ridding the world of magic and those who wield it.

Trapped within the Oracle's Temple and marked for sacrifice, Ellspeth must choose between her own survival, saving the future of magic, or rescuing the man she loves.

Available at: Amazon  

Hatchling’s Mate (Book Three of the Dragshi Chronicles)

For Lexii and Talann, not even being the only children born to dragon shifters can prevent their souls from clashing. A complication Talann can't afford. He needs a dragon form. A cult means to possess Lexii and destroy all shifters including Talann's parents. But no dragons sang a welcome at Talann's birth. The magic to take on dragon form was not to be his.

And caught in the middle Lexii’s bodyguard risks not only her life, but her one chance at love in the name of duty.

Freedom of the skies comes with a price.

Available at this List of Stores

For the crime of healing without payment, the Brethren imprisoned Dylan’s soul in stone. Centuries later, he senses the touch of another’s mind and hope for escape soars. However, his potential savor is unaware of her latent magic.
Cuhlwich, the current head of the Brethren plans to control any and all who have magic. Although displeased with his son, Colwynn, who like the long-imprisoned Dylan, uses his powers to heal those unable to pay the Brethren’s toll, Cuhlwich orders Colwynn to father a child by a woman of the Brethren’s choosing. The Brethren will have their demand met, even if it means using magic to enforce their will. Only Colwynn wants to choose his own mate--an unknown woman who calls him from afar.
Caught in the middle of this tempest is a young woman trapped by fate. She has the power to free Dylan, but her only knowledge of him comes from an eerie message on the wall and nightmarish dreams.
A spell kept secret for generations.
A brotherhood thirsting for power.
Demands that cannot be obeyed.
A woman who stands to lose everything.
Four paths--one destiny
With the power to bind souls and control all magic in the balance

Available at this List of Stores

Friday, August 26, 2016

Friday's Guest features Helen Henderson #MFRWauthor #fantasy #romance #adventure

1. What were you in your life before you became a writer? Did this influence your writing?

That is a very hard question to answer. I’ve been an administrative assistant, computer programmer, systems analyst, technical writer, historian, museum director, feature story writer... Whew. I’m out of breath, so I’ll stop there.

The varied jobs influence my writing in two main ways. The technical fields gave me an appreciation of logic and flow, and writing in different styles. The historical work gave me the knowledge I use to add realism to my fantasy worlds and accuracy to my historical westerns.

2 Are you genre specific or general? Why? I don't mean genres like romance, mystery, fantasy etc. There are many subgenres of the above.

Although I’ve been published in both non-fiction and several genres of fiction, lately, I’ve been hanging out with mages and dragons. My most recent releases are fantasy that straddle the fence. There’s so much romance in the stories that romance fights with adventure to determine their category. It’s a coin toss whether they should be in the fantasy sub-genre of romance or the epic shelf of fantasy. As to why I haven’t settled in one area, I blame it on my Gemini sign.

3. Did your reading choices have anything to do with your choice of a genre or genres?

Definitely. Maybe it is my Gemini sign, but my favorite authors are direct contrasts. Ann McCaffrey and Barbara Hambly call to the fantasy in my soul while Louis L'Amour takes me back to the past. Of more contemporary authors, I reach for Carol McPhee, Judith Griffith Gill, and Kinley McGregor. The tradition of storytelling, action, strong heroes and heroines, all call to me.

4. What's your latest release?

My latest release is Windmaster, published by Books We Love. Ellspeth, captain of the Sea Falcon, is determined to make her own destiny, but fate decrees she has to decide between the sea, magic... or love.

5. What are you working on now?

I’m finalizing Windmaster Legacy, the second book in the Windmaster Novels, and First Change: Legends From the Eyrie, a companion book to the Dragshi Chronicles. First Change is a collection of novellas and short stories of duty and honor, love and loss, happiness and despair from the world of the dragshi. Unlike the Dragshi Chronicles which journal the paths of the trader girl Anastasia, Lord Branin, and his dragon soul twin Llewlyn, the tales in First Change come from their history and legend. And, when the book stops fighting me, the Windmaster Novels are to continue with the telling of a legend from that world’s past.

6. Where can we find you?

Goodreads – http://bit.ly/1eWhhGB

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Thursday's Opening Scene from Confrontations by Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #fantasy #worldbuilding #action #magic #elements


The time has come. Ash bolted upright. Her heart pounded with a beat reminiscent of one created by a mad drummer. Her gaze swept the room. She saw the other young women slept. Had someone spoken on the winds or had the words been part of a dream she couldn’t remember? When her racing heart slowed she cautiously opened her senses to read the winds of the keep. Using her affinity for Air she searched. The only person awake was the doma and the cry hadn’t arisen from the elderly woman.
Fingers of moonlight slid through the shuttered windows. She moved to the edge of the bed and pushed her feet into her house boots. Ash crept to the window to peer outside. She knelt on the stone bench and opened the shutters a crack. A gasp pushed past her lips when she saw the birds, one light and the other dark. The pair circled the keep.
She rubbed her arms to banish the chill of the late winter night. “Mama, Papa,” she whispered. “What does your arrival mean?”
Since the destruction of the Wesren henge the birds had appeared at auspicious moments. Sometimes the pair signaled safety and other times they brought a warning of danger. What was the meaning of this sighting?
“The time has come.” Softly she whispered the words. Like a jolt of lightning a thrill of excitement swept through her. Did that mean her and her halfling companions were ready to leave the safety of the keep and venture forth against their enemies? There were more opponents than she cared to face. She considered the number of doms and domas who followed Dom Senet, the four halflings he’d trained plus Zand’s former step-mother and her two sons. A shudder rolled through her body. There was also the voice of evil she’d heard on the winds.
Two years and a season had passed since the return from the quests for the remaining halflings, the heirs and the talismans. The sixteen companions had worked hard to gain mastery of their affinities of the elements. Four whose element was  Air, four Fire, four Earth and four Water united in four mixed quartets. A sliver of fear stabbed. Were they ready? She fought a desire to return to her bed and pull the covers over her head.
As the edge of the sun appeared above the distant mountains Ash closed the shutters. She thought about the birds and knew hiding was as impossible as a return to sleep. Not while her emotions rose and fell in waves. Should she wake the others and tell them about the birds? She frowned. If she did Ky, her younger sister, would scold and rouse everyone in the keep.
Ash grabbed her clothes and dashed to the necessary to wash and dress. Before she stirred the others into action she had to speak to Doma Jandia. Perhaps their teacher could interpret the meaning of the words and the arrival of the birds.
As she hurried down the stairs she quested for the doma. The elderly woman wasn’t in her room on the fourth level of the keep. The doma’s mind scent rose from the stillroom. When Ash dashed from the third level to the second she heard stirrings from the chamber where her brothers and the other male halflings slept. Since she wanted advice before those with affinities plied her with questions she grasped the railing and sped downstairs.
On the first level she scurried along the hall and opened the door of the stillroom. Shelves on one wall held jars of various herbs, spices and flowers. Ash tasted the air as she’d been taught and isolated attars of roses, lavender and the scent of rosemary.
The elderly woman who had taught Ash and her siblings since the day they’d found refuge with her sat on a bench at a stone table. She rested a pestle in the mortar, turned and smiled. Hair turned to silver by age framed the doma’s lined face. The gaze from her brilliant green eyes met Ash’s. In contrast to the copper-hued skin of the halflings, Doma Jandia’s was as pale as linen bleached by the sun. Until this moment Ash hadn’t realized how much the doma had aged.
“You’re astir early,” Doma Jandia said.
Ash nodded. “I heard a voice and saw the birds.”
The light of knowing flashed in the elderly woman’s eyes. “Tell me the entire story.”
In a few words Ash spoke of her awakening. “Do you think the time has come for us to leave the keep?”
The doma nodded. “I believe so. Though I would rather keep you here and safe you young people have a destiny. You have learned all I can teach you and more since you aren’t afraid to try new approaches. Yes, you’re ready to begin cleansing the princedoms. Once that is accomplished you can confront Senet and his allies.”
Those words caused Ash to straighten her shoulders. Fear and excitement slithered through her thoughts. Her breath caught. “Are you sure?” The time had come but she wavered between action and retreat.
The doma left the table. “Senet is on the move. I don’t know what he plans but the air in the highlands shimmers with strange energies.”
Ash’s hands clenched. “How much danger do he and his cronies pose for us?”
Doma Jandia grasped one of Ash’s hands and uncurled the tightened fingers. “He has full use of all four elements. Alone he can overpower any two or three of you unless you are joined in quartets of both mixed or a single element. When you are he cannot overcome the meld formed even when you are distant from each other. Know that to be the truth.”
Some of the churning in Ash’s gut subsided. “Where should we go first?” The desire to avoid Dom Senet was foremost in her thoughts. She fought dark waves of fear threatening to engulf her. She couldn’t forget the times he had invaded her thoughts in attempts to lure her into his web. A vision of a huge black spider with the face of the dom made her shiver.
He’s not here. You have barriers against him.
What if he can break them?
Doma Jandia stroked Ash’s hand. “You are safe. Though in the days to come you will face danger you are strong enough to defeat him."
“I pray you’re right.” Ash swallowed. “Where must we go first?”
“The four princedoms must be cleansed. Begin in Easren, then Soutren, Nortren and Wesren in that order. By the time the four are cleansed the sixteen of you will be ready to face Senet.”
“Why in that order?”
“’Tis the order of the destruction of the henges and the murders of the doms and domas who lived in them. In Easren the damage has lasted the longest. With the approach of spring the conditions have become dire.” The doma stepped back. “Assemble your companions and tell them the time for action has come. Use the inner room where the layers of protection are the strongest. Set no plans in the open.”
“Lest you be over heard by Senet when he’s reading the winds.”
“How will we know where to go?”
“Let your gems lead you.”
Ash paused in the doorway. “Do you think the barriers over the keep have eroded?”
The doma pressed a hand on the long table. “I pray not but where Senet is involved there’s no reason to take chances. As you have discovered there are places in the highlands where the winds cannot be read.”
Ash nodded. “Do you think he’s present in one of those places?”
“Perhaps. I will seek but I may not learn.” The doma smiled. “Go, break your fast, see to your chores and make your plans.”
Ash hurried to the huge kitchen where the sounds of meal preparation and the aroma of cooking food scented the air. She listened to the chatter of her friends and knew her news would end their banter.
Her twin, Bran and their friend, Zand, stood at the fireplace and swung a huge kettle from the flames. Together they carried this to the serving table. Ky and Jay, her younger siblings, stood at a brazier and turned flatcakes and slices of cured shoat. Other friends gathered near the serving table and selected the food they needed to break their fast.
Ash joined the line. She carried a bowl of porridge to the granite table. She sat on a bench and reached for honey. When all were seated she cleared her throat. “We must meet in the inner room when our chores are finished.”
Zand arched a brow. “Why?”
“Tell you when we’re all there.” She bent her head and ate. When she finished she began her day’s chore of cleaning the kitchen and starting soup for the midday meal. As soon as she completed her share she scurried to the room behind the tower stairs. Here, no windows were present. When sealed the single tightly fitted door prevented spying. Even the stones of the wall were bonded with a sealant.
Several stacks of pillows rested against one wall. Ash chose one and then walked to the shelves holding books and maps. She selected a rolled one of the princedom of Easren.
Before long her companions arrived. Sydli, the last to enter, used her affinity for Air to seal the door. Now, no one other than those in the room could hear what was said. Neither could any sound from outside enter the sanctuary.
The others chose their places. Ash noticed how they clustered in their mixed quartets. She waited until everyone sat. In one hand she clutched the map. “The time has come for us to leave the keep.”
Gasps greeted the announcement. Zand leaned forward. “Are you sure?”
Ash nodded. “This is what I heard and saw.” She related the tale of the voice and the appearance of the birds.
“That’s not fair.” Ky glared. “Why didn’t you wake me? I wanted to see them.”
“I was so entranced by the sight I couldn’t move,” Ash said. “They haven’t appeared since we began our studies. When they vanished I dressed and went to Doma Jandia. She said we’re ready to begin. First we must cleanse Easren where the first henge was destroyed and the keepers died.”
“All of us?” Zand asked.
Ky bounded to her feet. “When do we leave?”
Ash waved her impetuous sister down. She unrolled the map of the princedom of Easren. After removing the clear white gem identifying her affinity as Air she held it over the map. “Where should my quartet go?” Slowly the stone revolved. The chain stiffened and pointed north and east. Ash moved along the side of the map. Once again the chain drooped and the stone spun. Ash marked the spot on the map. “This is my group’s destination.”
One by one the others with an affinity for Air used their gems to find the spot in the princedom where they must go. Sydli’s stone halted above Easrenton where the palace stood. Kirlon’s group would travel to where the Ruran River vanished near Soutren. The final group was Mikel’s. They would travel to the lake surrounding the drowned henge.
“What now?” Mikel asked.
“We need to make plans,” Ash said.
Ky bolted to the door. “Let’s go.” The others with a Fire affinity followed her.
“Not yet,” Ash called. “We can’t run around like emmets stirred from their nest.”
“Who has the furthest to go?” Jay asked.
“Kirlon’s group,” Bran said.
Ash drew a deep breath. “We need plans. We’ll need supplies. People in Easren will have little to share.”
Jay nodded. “Fire affinities should check the coursers and see if they’re fit. If any need shod Earth affinities can help. They should also see to the panniers.”
“What are you going to do?” Zand asked.
“See to food supplies.”
Bran rose. “Water affinities will make medicinal packs for us and for the animals.”
“Then Air will see to clothes, tents and sleep saques,” Ash said.
Ky reached the door. “What are we waiting for? Zand, Rogier, Tamlia, come with me.”
Bran halted beside Ash. “Since rain and flooding are the problems in Easren I believe the Water affinities will take the lead in the cleansing. We should discuss this before we leave.”
Ash nodded. “If we can keep Ky from galloping off with her sword spouting flames.”
He chuckled then pointed to the map. “If lines are drawn from the other foci, they meet at the edge of the drowned henge. Do you think that will be true in all the princedoms?”
“I’m not thinking of any place other than Easren.”
He groaned. “You know how I hate surprises.”
Ash piled the pillows at the side of the room. What were the conditions in Easren? She knew about the rain and floods. But what about the people? She decided to search the winds.
Not in here. If she closed the door the barrier would prevent a search. If the door remained open the protection could be destroyed.
She hurried from the keep into the forecourt. There she turned and stared at the gray stones of the tower. Sadness blossomed. The keep was home and family. She brushed her hand over the rough stones. With a sigh she sank on a bench and leaned against the wall. Warmth and comfort seeped from the surface.
Ash opened herself to the winds of thought. Without warning, a stab from the highlands touched her. Like the sting of a scorpon’s tail someone tried to jab into her mind. Help! She slammed her barriers tight. Who? Not Dom Senet. His touch felt oily and tempting. This had been crude and demanding.
Mikel and Kirlon slid onto the bench on either side of her. Sydli crouched before her. Their arrival brought comfort to ease the chill of fear. “What was that?” Sydli asked.
Ash released a held breath. “Not the dom. Rougher. Greedier.”
“What were you trying to do?” Mikel asked.
“Listening to the winds of Easren.”
“Good idea but we should form a circle,” Kirlon said. “I’ll block against intrusion.”
They clasped hands. Ash felt the merge form. She reached for the winds of Easren. Cries of hunger, fear and despair echoed through the meld. Rain fell two days out of four. Rivers and streams overflowed their banks. Soon melt from ice and snow in the highlands would add to the deluge.
When Ash broke the circle she met the gaze of her friends. “The doma was right. If we don’t go now there will be no spring planting. Famine and death will follow.” She rose. “The time is now.”

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Wednesday's Writer's Tip - Writing ABC - The Middle #MFRWauthor #amwriting

After the beginning the story moves to the middle. This is where the action takes place. To make the middle, the writer needs to remember the hero, heroine and other characters have several things. Oneof these is their goals and the goals don't always march together. Often one or more characters had goals in conflict with the main character or characters.

These goals cause characters to react and to react. Only in exploring these reactions and actions does the story progress. The goals are bound by the characters motives. Why does he, she or they want a certain goal. Using these motivations drives the story forward. Only when the motivations of the lead characters are of the same level of importance to each other does the story grip the reader.

The actions and reactions of the characters make for scenes. Each scene in the middle of the story must lead forward. If the scenes fall flat so will the story. So dig deep as you write your story. Remember each scene has a goal and the goal can be varied and hopefully will be. There's nothing more boring than to have the scenes in a story have the same goal and become repeats of the one before with the reader learning nothing new about the ultimate ending of the story. Next time we'll look at the three reasons a scene can address. Perhaps one and perhaps more.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Tuesday's Inspiration Reaching The End #MFRWauthor #writing #inspiration

I don't know about you as a writer or even most writers but the moment I write The End on a manuscript, I get a jiggly feeling inside. Relief that I've finished another tale, one I hope was better than the last one I wrote. I also feel inspired.

Just what do I mean. It's in hoping the just finished mss is better than that last one written and then thinking "Maybe the one that's just an idea in my head will be better than the one just completed."

The striving for perfection and of bettering what one has done before keeps me going. How about you. When you finish a story do you slump and think you'll never write again or do you think that one was great but I'm sure the next one will be better?

So for me reaching the end is also a beginning. What about you?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Meandering On Monday with Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #poem #movie #writing #MerylStreep

Meander 1 - Poem - Merry-Go-Round

Tigers and lions, giraffe and a swan seat
But he picks a horse going up and down
And around and around on the circular track
With bright lights in patterns.
Blinking and blinking
In rhythmical time while
Caliope music vibrates the horse
That he rides ip and down
On a circular staircase,
Moebius strop that seems to go
Somewhere but comes back to meet
Him uping and downing
Arounding and rounding
The lights that are flashing
And mirrors are showing
The brass ring so far from his grasp.

Meander 2 - Florence Foster Jenkins - I'm not really a movie person but I went to see this picture, partly because I remember listening to some of her records one night with another bunch of singers. Funny, poignant and a story to learn from. The acting was superb and the story riveting. This is a movie I highly recommend. From start to finish a great job and all the actors are Academy award worthy. Meryl Streep showed once again what a marvelous actress she is.

Meander 3 - Writing - Have finished the book that I've been working on for months. Not my book but one I've written for a friend. Have returned to my regular writing and will be working on The Cancer Capricorn Connection and begun the planning an the Aquarius Leo Connection. Then more typing on stories and also to put some of the books into the new format for Books We Love.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sunday's Book Features Confrontations - Book 4 of Affinities #MFRWauthor #YA #fantasy #adventure #magic #worldbuilding

Confrontations (Affinities Book 4)

n Confrontations by J.L. Walters, a Books We Love Young Adult Fantasy, Ash, Bran, Ky and Jay along with their friends have now mastered their affinities. They now control their ability to use Earth, Air, Fire and Water. The time has come for them to face Dom Senet and He Who Walks with Evil. They have learned a disturbing fact. He Who Walks With Evil is able to exchange an old body for a new one. Dom Senet wishes to obtain the secret and he is willing to sacrifice even his own son to gain this power. The four sets of companions set off to rid the doms and domas of Dom Senet’s bonds and to defeat the two evil men. Can they or will they become pawns to evil?

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Awesome world building.