Tri-Valley Writers published its third anthology, Voices of the Valley: Word for Word, at the end of 2015. I have three pieces in this collection of TVW members’ writings. The first is an excerpt titled “A Faerie in the Glen” from my work-in-progress second novel, The Keepers of Caledonia. The second is “Rescue”, a short story about a brother’s love for his twin, and the sacrifice he will endure to not only rescue his brother, but also himself. And the last is is poem, “The Soul of a Writer.”
Voices of the Valley: Word for Word contains 82 written pieces: essay, memoir, poetry, and short stories. The variety showcases the talents of TVW’s diverse writing community.
I am honored to have my pieces included. Voices of the Valley: Word for Word may be purchased at Amazon.
Yes, I have signed up to take the challenge again this year. I’ll do my best to cross the finish line of 50,000 words, but mostly I wanted to get myself back on track writing every day. While I’m into my 3rd month of a year-long left elbow surgery recovery, the word count isn’t as important as the consistency of writing every day. I know that some days may be better than others.
This year I’ll be working on my middle-grade novel that I promised to Jake R. I’m working from a synopsis and a scene list, much better (for me anyway) than writing by the seat of my pants. While I don’t plot out everything, I do like to follow an outline (not detailed, mind you). I still let my characters go where they feel they need to go—I’ll rein them in during the editing process.
Wish me encouragement! And any other writer that is up for the NaNoWriMo challenge.
As I watch the Library of Congress Gershwin Award for Best American Song presented to Billy Joel (one of my all-time favorites) on PBS tonight, I am drawn into the story of each song. Billy Joel definitely is a rebel-he doesn’t sing what is comfortable in public opinion, but he always tells a story.
It’s not surprising that I write while listening to music (Billy Joel, among others tops my playlist). The cadence, the beat, the rhythm of songs filters into my brain and draws me into my story.
I’ve been privileged to attend two concerts with Billy Joel. And while I can’t sing for all the money in California, I don’t sit meekly at Billy’s concerts. You’ll find me dancing in the aisles and singing my heart out.
Congratulations, Billy Joel. This humble fan absolutely loves you, your songs, and your storytelling!
Standing (Left to Right): Diane, Shari, Melissa, and Sharon. Seated (Left to Right): Jordan, Ann, and Sally. Not pictured: Stacey.
Saturday evening I participated in my first ever book club gathering. Seven lovely ladies—all avid readers—and I discussed my first novel in The Keeper series, The Keepers of Éire. Ann hosted the event, with Diane, Melissa, Sally, Shari, Sharon, and Stacey. We covered such topics as how I get my inspiration, what part of the book was hardest to write, who I pictured as my characters, how did I feel writing the sex scenes, why I decided to create my own publishing company to publish my first novel, and many more. I told some stories of my writing process and the challenges I faced—and some I’m facing now—in my career change from a technical writer to a fantasy writer. Then, I read part of chapter 1 for the next novel in the series, The Keepers of Caledonia.
In the medium of writing, authors do not get to see the reactions of our audience members when they hear or read our material. Last night was my chance to do just that. I was thrilled when Melissa shouted her excitement over the first sentence of the next novel, and when Diane rubbed her arms and stated that she had goosebumps after just the first paragraph of my reading.
As a new author, I was inspired by these readers’ grasp and enjoyment of my writing, my vision, my love.
Thank you all for participating, for enjoying my work, and for spending the evening with me.
To new friends. Sláinte!
Check out my tale of pet-sitting gone awry, “The Pen Gremlin”, in the newly released anthology Not Your Mother’s Book…on Cats.
On August 30 and 31 I performed readings in the Irish Pavilion at the Pleasanton, CA 149th Scottish Gathering and Games. My participation was sort of last minute, so I only brought the ten books I had on hand—five on each day—I sold out!
Check out my little display table.
I teamed up with Orla, the Irish Castle Shop owner, who hosted my book launch in March at her shop in San Francisco.
I read in between the Irish dancing performances. The dancers were amazing.
I had a terrific, but tiring, two days. I enjoyed hanging out with some new friends at the clan tents, especially the Fraser tent—the Fraser clan will figure predominately in the next book because of Devan’s heritage on her father’s side.
Now, back to writing…