Everyone loves FREEBIES!!!

Hello once again Readers!!!

Just a quick and exciting post today. Everyone likes free things right? Free=happiness. What’s even better is when that something that is free, only takes a millisecond of your time and has amazing odds in your favor!

Get to the point already!

Okay, so my publisher is holding a contest on Facebook! Click that link and like their page. It’s as easy as that! You will be entered for a chance to win EVERY book they’ve EVER published. That’s right! A whole plethora of books! (It’s okay to jump with giddiness right now). Every 20th like receives the lucky bundle of books. That’s amazing odds! And they have everything from Sci-Fi to Chick-Lit, just check out their website. A genre for every taste bud.

And if you are so excited that you can barely contain yourself, why not take it a step further and earn some free KARMA!!!! Share their contest on your Facebook page so others can share in the joy of freebies!

Oh, and last but certainly not least, my latest update for Born in Flames is that we are looking at the beginning of August for my release date. Cross your fingers that the stars align in my favor!

That being said-Echelon out ♥

My first nomination!!!

Hello once again Readers!!!!

 So how was your Father’s Day weekend? Our’s was pretty relaxing. I made a breakfasty feast for my husband yesterday, which was delicious, and then we went to lunch with my mother and grandmother. The sun was out and the breeze was slight, normal for Florida weather. My two kiddies enjoyed their time with their dad and I enjoyed his smile. He spent the majority of the day smiling, so I feel my mission to make him feel appreciated was fully accomplished.

For some other happy news…I was tagged for the Lucky 7 MeMe Award by a fellow blogger and writer Michelle Proulx. Check out her blog, she’s really funny.  I never thought I’d be nominated for anything, especially my blog, but I guess it’s my lucky day. So what does this mean? Well, for me it means a heaping ball of excitement because it’s gives me a reason to share a blip of my WIP, Embracing the Flames, the second book to my Trilogy. Yay!

First off, here are the rules:

  1. Go to the 7th or 77th page of your Work in progress.
  2. Go to the 7th line of the page.
  3. Copy the next 7 sentences or paragraphs. Remember, they must be as they are typed.
  4. Tag 7 authors.
  5. Let them know they’re it!

Okay, so since it’s the Lucky 7, I will choose page seven. This is actually from the chapter that I just added for Aurora’s magic and shifting training. The 7th line in, is when Aurora is in the midst of a fight scene with Fenn, both of them practicing their new skills. Aurora is having trouble controlling her dragon side and has found herself not only battling with Fenn, but with her self-control as well. Here goes nothing:

     The dragon spirit in me pushed forward, refusing to take anymore of this beating. No! I said internally, trying everything I could to remain in control. The confines of the artificial whirlwind had finally died down. I felt Astral’s strength pouring into me, waiting for me to tap into, but I refused. I was going to do this on my own or else. Fenn released me from the silencing spell, so I swooped down, grazing his face with the claws of my feet. “Protectio!” I shouted as a bubble of protection surrounded me.

Those are the seven sentence starting at the seventh line. Still a WIP, but everyday I grow closer to being finished. Now for the next rule. To tag or not to tag. I’m still new to following other’s blogs, so I have to actually search a few in order to find seven that I don’t know and who hasn’t been nominated (to my knowledge) yet. Here are the seven I chose:

1. http://olshepp.wordpress.com/ – Check her out.

2.http://zencherry.wordpress.com/ – Pretty awesome.

3.http://susanmacatee.wordpress.com/ – if you like reading romance novels.

4.http://mobyjoecafe.com/- made me laugh.

5.http://journeytoatlantis.wordpress.com/ – a fellow fantasy lover.

6.http://verado.wordpress.com/ – Just because she loves 30 Seconds to Mars too!

And finally,

7.http://drinkteaanddream.wordpress.com/ – interesting.

Okay so I’ve done it. Phew. Now I must take the kiddos for a walk. I’ve dedicated the past two hours to searching for others to nominate. I am tired. Fresh air screams my name! Then onto editing my second novel. What did you think about my excerpt? Boring? Interesting? Indulge me in your thoughts :)

Echelon out ♥

The four steps I use to create spells

Hello Readers!!!

I’ve been hard at work on my second novel! I’ve almost finished the chapter that I needed to add. It’s been a lot of fun writing it. It involves magic and fight training! So of course, now I have to blog about my favorite subject: Magic.

Everyone, I belief, is born with a little bit of magic. It is buried deep inside our brains and there it sits, waiting for you to tap into. As a child, we all discover our own magic one way or another. Some children learn to fly, their little legs racing across the playground with their arms stretched forward, ripping through the air, imagining to be Superman. Others become race car drivers as their sibling pushes them across the floor in a laundry basket. For me, magic began with the belief in people such as Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy. A parents first answer to the question, “How do they do that?” is always, “Magic.”

Hearing that word explained for the first time opened my eyes to a whole new world, one where I could do or be anything I wanted. Magic implanted itself into my imagination, and from there I began building worlds of my own. Early on it was childish worlds such as a platform of wood becoming a ship that was being attacked by pirates. I would inform all the kids around me of this and then give them their parts to play in my imaginary story. We would spend hours like this, fake battling and repairing the ship. Things were so simple then. As I grew older I found music and was inspired to create plays out of whole CD’s. I think the first CD I created a play to was Disney’s Fantasia. I even held auditions for the special parts. Eventually though, I grew up and didn’t have a bunch of kids that would volunteer to follow my silly stories. So I turned to the one thing I can always rely on…paper. Words always flow like water for me when there’s a little bit of pressure and a blank piece of paper.

I digress. Magic. Just the very word brings a smile to my face. Influences like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, World of Warcraft, Everquest, even Barney, come to mind. I don’t think I could live in a world that had no knowledge of magic. I wish even more that I could visit some of the worlds that have been dreamed up. My obsession with all things magic has finally paid off though. My Trilogy is full of magic. In my written world, I am able to conjure things, use the elements, see into the future, and even dabble in dark magic. And the best part of my world, is creating spells. Which brings me back to the point of my blog. Magic. Oooooohhh…say it again. Magic.

I wanted to share with you the four steps I use to create spells. One thing you must remember as an author is:  YOU ARE THE CREATOR. YOU HAVE THE CONTROL TO CREATE SOMETHING NEW! If you can keep that in mind, then you can create something never read before! Don’t hold yourself back to thinking you have to be like authors before you. There is no box!

Step One:  The first thing I decide when creating spells is, what language will I use? A made up language? Latin? Greek? It’s up to you. It’s your story. You can even take a language and twist it a bit to suit your style. There is a great tool called Google Translate that will take an english word and turn it into many different languages for you. You can use what they give, or spin-off of the words they give, changing letters here and there to create your own. And if you are really good at imagining, then you may be able to create words on your own with just your imagination! Once you have decided that, you are ready to move on to the next step.

Step Two: Now you must come up with your basic rules. Will they be able to conjure and eat food? Can a spell move them from place to place? Do they need ingredients in order to create spells like witches use? You have to create your boundaries for your characters. Don’t make it too easy for them. Part of the fun of reading, are watching the characters overcome or even succumb to the obstacles you’ve created. Just because they use magic doesn’t mean they should be able to do anything.

Step Three: So you have your language and your base rules. Now you must think of what type of magic they will use. Will it be elemental? Light and Dark? Witchcraft? Druid? Will you have multiple races, each with different forms of magic? Will you take a few different types and mix them, making them your own style? There has to be some cohesion to the magic you are using. You don’t want to look at it like the kitchen sink. Make sure it makes sense to your story. You don’t want it to become unrealistic. It will pull the reader from your world. If you aren’t sure, research. Read up on different magic-using races. Get a feel for what you like. Priests, Monks, Orcs, Goblins, Elven people, Shadow walkers, something not yet thought of? So much to dabble in. Once you choose your magic style, it will make it easier on you to write your story.

Step Four: Now you’re at the point where you’re ready to begin creating the actual spells. This is the fun part! I create a new word document to keep my spells on so I can keep track of everything. You may want to categorize it. Defensive spells. Offensive spells. If you choose elemental, separate the elements.  Dark magic. Death spells, ect. This will be your go-to guide when you are writing your story. It will be there when you need some spells to get through a scene and can’t remember what to use. Start with thinking of common spells needed such as throwing someone backwards or disarming someone. You have your language chosen, so think of the words you want to be chanted or said when the spell is thrown. Try to make the word sound similar to the action so the reader can have an automatic response to it. Then, write it in your spell book along with a definition so you can remember it later on. I would try to think of as many different scenarios as possible and what type of spells my characters could use to get out of a sticky situation, or even use when stuck in a sticky situation. Then I just create. Once they are written down, it allows me to focus on the actual story and not have to stop and think of new things which holds up the writing process.

So there it is. As I’ve said in blogs before, everyone is different and creates differently. This is how I’ve done it. This is what’s easy for me. Will it help you? I hope so. Even if you are only able to use a few of my steps. There are so many ways to use magic to vamp up your story. It’s intoxicating to read and even more addicting to write about. It’s what we all wish we could do. So now I set you free to begin the process of creating new spells! As for leaving you with a question, how about, if you are a writer, share your steps on how you create magic within your story. If you are a reader, share how magic affects you when reading.

That being said, Echelon out ♥

What a restless mind can do.

Hello Readers!!!

Last night I tossed and turned for hours because I couldn’t stop thinking about writing. I started out thinking about the many stories swarming through my mind and which project I should dive into next. Should I enter writing contests with them or remain focused on my second novel? Should I go back to school? Could I handle it right now with my two kids, writing, and my business I’m trying to jump-start with my bestie? The thoughts plagued my mind as tossed from left to right, opening my eyes every so often to find that another 15 minutes had passed. What was my deal?! 

Then my thoughts formed into an image.

What was it that I saw behind my closed lids? A blank page. How would this appease my restless mind? Well…so much can be done with a blank page! A new story, a sketch, a painted picture, a grocery list, a list of chores that I so need to do. The possibilities are endless! What’s my point? My point is, I love the thrill of starting fresh. I love blank pages, blank walls, a blank canvas. I love pushing myself to branch out creatively in ways that I thought I couldn’t. The unknown doesn’t scare me, it compels me. I tackle my novels with the same thinking. I have a smidgen of an idea of where I want to go with it and then I sit down behind my laptop, fingers itching to glide across the keys. It always starts out the same. One word, two words, pause, a few more words, pause, and then BOOM! An avalanche of words pour out of me as my fingers race to keep up with the sentences forming inside my head. It’s almost guaranteed that I will have spelling errors and grammatical errors due to the fact that I don’t stop until it’s all out. I don’t want to lose a good thought due to trying to be perfect. That’s what drafting is all about. Edits come after the words are spilled onto the paper.

How will this affect your daily life? It won’t, at least I don’t think it will. I try to make sure that every blog I write has some sort of meaning to writing, or at least some sort of advice or encouragement to be a better you. This one, I feel, is more of a journal entry. Something I would write in my personal journal. But last night as I laid in bed, trying so very hard to fall asleep, this was all I could think about. I almost got up, just to write this out, but stopped myself because I knew once I was up I would never fall asleep. So if I am to scrounge up any sort of advice to make this an inspiring blog, it would be to not be afraid of the unknown. If you are an artist…JUMP! Always jump for what you hesitate on because sitting back and wondering what if will drive you mad. Practice makes perfect with a side of patience (something I’m still working on.) And if you aren’t an artist, I would say to you: Why aren’t you one? Doodling is art. Painting a wall in your livingroom is art. Clipping coupons is art. Raising children is art. Art is all around us and inside of us. Once you realize that, you will be unstoppable! So rather than leaving you with a question, how about you list the things you are good at below. Share your art with me!

Okay, I’ve babbled on enough lol. Thanks for reading my ramblings.

Until next time, Echelon out ♥

The Nightmare before the Final Draft

Hello once again Readers!!!!

I finally have a free moment to do another blog since I have completed another novel to my Trilogy.  It’s only the first draft, so I still have a long way to go before I’m ready to submit for publishing, but it’s another step forward. It feels good to be one step closer in finishing Aurora’s tale. She’s gone places in this second novel that I hadn’t even dreamed of while I was writing the first novel. It’s crazy where a character will take you.

Any who, what I wanted to blog about is the process I go through with rough drafts.  My question is: how many drafts should a writer go through before the novel is complete? Well, I guess it’s like asking what image you see when looking at an ink blot. Our minds are all unique and views things differently. There are many different ideas out there on how to turn a rough draft into a novel, and they all have special points that are helpful, but I believe it all depends on the writer. I also feel that the more you write and mature as a writer, the less you will find yourself drafting and re-drafting. I think Born in Flames went through four drafts before I finally felt the plot was where it needed to be. It also doesn’t help if you are an over-analyzer either…*points to self*. But on a hopeful note, I do feel a difference after completing my second novel. I knew my characters better and had a clearer idea of where my story was headed, making it easier to write. I won’t really be changing as much as I go back through it.

So as I have neared the end of this first draft, my technique will be to start all the way back at the beginning. I call it my “read-thru”. I will be adding more description, making sure my characters are growing and all their problems have been resolved, and also making sure my plot is tied into a nice little bow of happiness. I also have a few scenes that I have thought of that need to be added, so I will be writing those in as well.

Sounds easy, right? Well it is and it isn’t. It takes time. This second novel took me about a year to finish and that’s with plenty of interruptions. Now I must go back and comb through it meticulously, ensuring that it will be just as good (if not better) than Born in Flames. But as painful as it sounds, it’s something that I love doing. It never gets boring and that’s saying a lot for me because I get bored very easily. And there’s always something new to explore. A new technique, a new character, a new place inside the world you’ve created-the possibilities are endless. The only thing in my way is me.

So that’s where I’m at-hoping that all goes well and Born in Flames will soon be thrown into the world sometime soon. Cross your fingers please! And on that note, I leave you with a question: How do you overcome self-doubt and push ahead?

Echelon out ♥