New Post Featuring a Mammal-Insect Hybrid Monster!

In which I attempt to define my “busy-ness” as opposed to my “business” …and ultimately fail in epic fashion to actually say anything at all of importance?

Just noticed I haven’t shared anything here for a while. I have been a busy beaver-bee, I suppose. In case you’re wondering, I just made that up. Both bees and beavers are stereotyped as busy creatures. So why not combine them to form the ultimate busy monster? Dun dun DUN!

Behold! The industrious Beaver-bee of monstrous legend.

Or perhaps I’m simply negligent when it comes to posting. Or I second-guess everything and end up in analysis paralysis so I don’t post anything. Ha! Only the good Lord knows.

What have I been up to, one asks? Among other things, I’ve been revising the bane of my existence and labor of love, Wyldling Snare. I have actually allowed other people to look at it and help me figure out how to make it marketable. Which is a nice segue into a large part of what I’ve been doing in tandem with revisions–critiquing.

Critiquing has also been a part of my busy business. Three very nice ladies in an online critique group I met through SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers
and Illustrators) have been helping me shape Wyldling Snare into a real YA tale with their comments and suggestions. It’s pretty laid-back because we all have jobs and families. They’re great writers with interesting ideas. One of them is even getting traditionally published soon!

I’m also in a critique group made up of friends from Facebook. We all provide constructive comments and suggestions to improve one another’s work. We’re a pretty eclectic group of fantasy writers, each with our own set of strengths and weaknesses. Strangely enough, our combined strengths and weaknesses seem to balance out and complement one another. And when all else fails, we encourage one another to keep writing. By God’s grace, it all seems to work.

I’ve also come up with an idea for an adult romance fantasy that is not at all connected to Cycle of Tehara (at least, thus far). Not a paranormal romance with werewolves and/or vampires, either. There are already too many of those and I don’t feel I’m capable of expanding on the theme. So, I decided to go in an entirely different direction with interspecies relationships.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

Here’s my nickel of advice for the day: don’t let anyone tell you that your work sucks and you shouldn’t be writing. Because it isn’t true. If you really want to write and excel at writing, then arm yourself with the weapons you need–er, oops. Sorry. Wrong metaphor.

All writers need to improve their craft. I know I do. Ultimately, this means asking other writers for help. Get other eyes on your work. Find those plot-holes and fill them. Reduce those rambly, overly-descriptive sections to the bare minimum necessary to convey your point. I needed help with both of those, by the way. If I can do it, then so can you!

Happy writing!

Elevator Pitch

Photo by Charlotte May on
A summary of my first novel that can be told during an elevator ride.

What if, at the tender age of sixteen, you suddenly found yourself responsible for the government of an entire realm? And what if your innate magical abilities surfaced at the same time? Welcome to the world of Enoch Northward, an orphan boy whose secure and predictable life has just been turned upside-down.

Enoch returns home from the Resurrection Festival to discover that his beloved guardian, the Baron-Knight of the Northern Marches, has passed away. Enoch must now act as Baron-Knight in his stead. Lacking confidence in his ability to lead others, Enoch neither expected nor desired this heavy responsibility to be placed upon his shoulders.

Enoch trespasses into the forbidden Darkenwood Forest and uses his emerging wyldling powers to unlock a mysterious portal that connects Tehara to Earth, thus forging a fraternal bond between him and a girl named Annabelle. Grieving and desperate for a family, Enoch wants Annabelle in his life and is tempted to take risks and break the rules to bring her to Tehara. However, time is running out, because the dreaded Commander Storm –- the superior officer of all baron-knights and Enoch’s mentor — is on his way to supervise Enoch in his new position. To make matters worse, one of the men under Enoch’s command is a murderer who is scheming with a sorcerer to ensnare the youth.

Enoch is presented with two choices: heed his elders’ warning or follow his heart.

The first installment of a fantasy series with a strong Christian theme, Wyldling Snare is a novel that teens and young adults will enjoy. Set in a world where magic is possible, dangerous beasts roam the wilderness, and filled with fully developed, quirky characters, Wyldling Snare is the adventure of a youth’s struggle to follow in the footsteps of his late guardian while enemies plot to destroy everything he holds dear.

It still needs work, but you can’t fix an empty page, right?

Fun with Character Art

My day has…simply slipped away.

Now that I have figured out how to use the Artbreeder website (more or less, LOL), I have spent way too much time trying to design the characters in Wyldling Snare. It can be frustrating and fun, in equal measure. Sometimes you create a masterpiece. Other times, you are rewarded with a hysterical horror-show.

It tends to be more frustrating when you want to breed a character with animalistic features. All I can say is, thank God for the existence of MS Paint. This archaic app is very helpful when you want your white-furred wolf-like male character to have red hair but not look effeminate. Surprise, surprise: the more humanoid “furry” characters on Artbreeder tend to be female. Fortunately, my point-of-view characters are either human or human-looking.

Without further ado, I present here the fruits of my labor.

Meet Enoch Northward, the sixteen-year-old protagonist of Wyldling Snare. He enjoys long hikes through the woods and dining al fresco with friends in forest glades beneath the shadow of the Wall. His hobbies include traveling through magical portals to other planets, hunting down murderous renegades, and mastering his Wyldling abilities so that he can learn to fly. Enoch is not a fan of his new position as the Baron-Knight of the Northern Marches, but he is determined to give it his very best effort.

Here is the apprentice sorcerer, William Dulciber, in all of his sullen glory. Also sixteen years of age, he is happiest when studying physics and advanced mathematics — disciplines of which his master does not approve. Squeamish in the face of suffering and bloodshed, William dreams of the day when he advances to full Arkhabast like his master and is free to practice sorcery in a manner that works best for him. However, his master has given him a very important task: capture the young Baron-Knight for their mysterious employer, the Dreadlord.

Resident of Earth, Annabelle Leigh Wells wants more than anything to escape the dreariness of a Wisconsin winter and experience the types of adventures she’s read about in fantasy novels. When a boy from the planet Tehara contacts her through a wormhole, she believes that her dreams have finally come true. Little does she realize that she is about to get more adventure than she bargained for!

I will save the rest of the images I created for the next time. Stay tuned for my next enthralling blog entry. Feel free to comment.

Have a great day, everyone!