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Archive for November, 2017

Photo by Al x on Unsplash

Photo by Al x on Unsplash

National Novel Writing Month has come quivering to a close.  We lay down our exhausted pens, pencils, laptops, and other writing tools, take a long sigh, and rub our weary foreheads.

It is done.  As of midnight tonight, wherever you are, this chapter is closed.

We laughed, cried, and groaned at our writing ineptitude.  We spent hours feverishly pushing our writing abilities to the limit, staring in mute despair at the page before us with bleakly blank minds for even more hours.

Our stories soured and then soured.  Words turned cryptic and characters spouted overlong speeches, the words pouring from their mouths as if vomited in a panic to get words on the page.

We revelled in the thrilling flow of action pouring from us, uncertain where in our imagination it is coming from.  We bowed our heads in deference to the darkness oozing from our fingers onto the page, the love, the laughs, and the diabolical diatribes.

Now that it is done we move on.

Validated to confirm your wretched loss or your voracious victory, you pour yourself a stout glass of wine, brandy, vodka, hot cocoa, or whatever it is that soothes your now shredded soul.

Take a hot bath with soothing mineral oils, bubbles, a warmed brandy, chocolate, soothing music, and a good book.

Tomorrow you can resume the normality of daily life glowing in the aftermath that whether or not you reached that 50,000 word score, you did it.  You faced NaNoWriMo and stared it straight in its insidious eye.  You stared down the gullet of a veritably impenetrable goal.  You did what your friends, family, co-workers, and loved ones feel is incomprehensible, dedicating your soul for thirty days to something that will always  make you a little mysterious to them.  Something they likely will never truly understand.

What comes next?

Now that normality settles on your life and you perhaps feel a little empty for leaving that part of you behind, you ask yourself a simple question.

Now what?

Keep writing.  You don’t have to push. The drive of the impossible no longer hangs over you.  Take what you learned about yourself over the past thirty days, the newfound ability to find the writing spark on demand, or keep working to discover that ability if you are still struggling with it, and just enjoy the writing.  Let yourself gently guide your story to completion on your timetable.

Come January and February, the ‘Now What?’ months, it is time to follow the pledge you will now make to yourself and the NaNoNite community.  The pledge to not abandon what you just wrote with wanton abandon.  Come January and February embrace your work and dig in with both feet and your hands as you rip and shred it into a new masterpiece through editing both savage and refined.  It is revision time!

 

NaNo-2017-Winner-Twitter-Header

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I am re-posting this book review on a book that deserved more recognition than it got.

Light Bringer by Pat Bertram, an author who has done so much over the years to help developing authors.

 

When strange things happen people go to Chalcedony.  But what is so special about the little town?

Helen Jenks’ life changed with a drive home on a snowy night.  That change came in the form of an infant girl, who she calls Rena, which she finds abandoned on her doorstep.

It becomes immediately apparent that Rena is not your usual kind of abandoned-on-the-doorstep baby.  There is something special about the child.  Helen soon finds herself living on the run with the child, but on the run from who or what?

And that is where her story ends and the real story begins.

Philip Hansen opens his door to unexpected guests, Agent’s Derrick and Hugh from the National Security Agency.  Philip immediately suspects they are there to discuss the books he’s been checking out at the library.  He sounds borderline crazy-guy conspiracy theorist, but Philip quickly shows himself to be no crazier than anyone else who thinks aliens are visiting Earth.

With a little help from an unlikely source, Philip escapes the two agents, who aren’t who they claim to be, and finds himself drawn involuntarily on a path not of his choosing.

Becka Johnson, baby Rena grown up and with a new name, returns to Chalcedony thirty-seven years after her adoptive mother found her.

Becka has decided it’s time to find the answers to her lifelong questions that center around “who am I?” And she believes those answers can be found in Chalcedony, Colorado where her life started on a snowy night on a stranger’s doorstep.

In a financial bind, Jane Keeler finds herself in Chalcedony searching for her sister George Keeler.  Instead of finding her sister, she discovers an empty house, ransacked office, and abandoned car.

Georgy’s apparent wild ways make things difficult for Jane as she finds herself drawn by the need to investigate this mystery and learn her sister’s whereabouts.  Only no one seems to believe her or to even care.

When the trio converges on Chalcedony with no knowledge of each other, things immediately take a turn for the strange.

Philip Hansen arrives to find himself thrust into the arms of Becka Johnson, literally, when he’s dropped off at her doorstep.

Things soon heat up for Philip and Becka when the strange things happening to each of them grow in intensity with their proximity, leading them forward on an adventure of discovery.

Jane is pulled into the strange events surrounding Philip and Becka, finding herself drawn into the midst of a bigger mystery than she’d anticipated.

In Light Bringer, Pat Bertram weaves a fascinating tale of a group of people connected by events in the past, beginning before they were even born, who are inexorably drawn together for the culmination of what was started so many decades before.

In drawing out the strange events linking these three, I also had the impression that the small town of Chalcedony, Colorado hides other secrets that could very well find themselves revealed in another tale entirely unrelated to this story.

Light Bringer is published by Second Wind Publishing, LLC.

Something apart from the story that you might find interesting is this excerpt from Light Bringer (Page 217).

There are three details in particular that will have a sense of familiarity if you have read Pat Bertram’s More Deaths than One.

Hugh & Keith in are in a conference room in the underground bunker going through files taken from George Keeler’s house

Excerpt:

Hugh lifted one transcript out of the file.  “Here’s an interview she did with Bob Noone.”

                “Who’s he?”

                “You know.  The weird guy.”

                Keith laughed.  “That narrows it down.”

                “He’s the artist, the one you thought seemed like a chameleon.”

                “Oh, him.  His work sure mesmerized you.  I could hardly drag you away.”

                Hugh shuddered, remembering that a monstrous thing had seemed to lurk in the depths of the painting, pulling him in, captivating him in the archaic sense of the word: taking captive.  He realized he’d been captivated in the same way by this place, the source of that dreadful hum.  All at once he felt glad not to have found the source.  Perhaps some secrets should remain unknown.

                “What did he have to say?”

                Hugh started at the sound of Keith’s voice.  “He spouts the same rubbish as everyone else in that ridiculous town.  Listen to this.  ‘I didn’t move to Chalcedony until the late eighties, so I don’t know anything about the UFO flap, but if you want my opinion, it would have been a mind control experiment.  Government is a beast without conscience, and when it teams with conglomerates, it can and will do anything.  Even control us as if we were robots.’”

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It is Saturday morning, and the house is sleeping except for me and my dogs as I sit and ponder #NaNoWriMo2017.

 

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Which coffee?

First, the most important question.

Which coffee cup will I use?

 

 

 

Next, what plots do we brew today?

 

A seemingly sweet innocent little girl, who reveals a hint of evil.

A softly whispered voice in David’s head which only he can hear.

Thickening tensions between the elderly William McAllister and his son Jason, who William on more than one occasion swore he should have “put down” that day in the woods.

The delightfully wicked elderly Mrs. Bheals, who is new to the series and William and Anderson broke out of the care home along with William’s wife Marjory.

 

What plots are thickening and brewing up a storm of coming suspense in your #NANO world?

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Who loves swag? Authors promoting their books love swag. I will have to check these out and more and see what kind of a list I come up with. What would be nice? Finding the swag version of Createspace. Something the author can put a link to on their site where fans can directly purchase your POD swag items shipped directly to them.

Bookcoverscre8tive Book Cover Design

AUTHOR SWAGI often receive questions about where to get author swag (promotional author and book items), so decided to list the resources that I know are popular with authors below.  Please note I do not endorse any of these sites, I just know that authors have used these.  I cannot vouch for their quality. How does it work? Most of these sites avertise products and to get the design on the product there are the options of the author (1) uploading a print-ready design, (2) using an online template they provide to upload an image and then create the design online or (3) contacting the company’s own designers for help.  Many ebook cover designers like myself are ready to help create the first option – a print-ready design for upload. You then have to select the quantity, delivery method and other details and place the order with them. Ordering the product is…

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