A Never Give Up-Never Surrender Attitude

It’s the end of June and time to evaluate progress for the first half of 2021. These have been among the top five most difficult months of my life. I’ve always had a never give up-never surrender attitude. That has kept me moving forward, though at a much slower pace than normal. Intentions Instead of goals or resolutions, I use intentions. You can miss a goal. You probably break most resolutions. But an intention is a focus. When life gets in the way of your plan, take care of that event or disturbance intending to return to your primary plan. Every morning begins with a renewed intention. Making I started working on the second draft of the last half of the book at the end of January. As of today, day 188 of the year 2021, I’ve averaged 2.6 house per day for 125 days working on If I Should Die. The number of words produced are slightly less than half the number I produced the first half of last year. The last half of my first draft is always full of plot holes and snags and snarls. In five months, I’ve rearranged chapters and plugged holes, untangled snarls, and […]

A Writer’s Serendipity or How Research Saved My Book

As a blogger and science nerd, I try to keep up with science news from a variety of sources. Oddly, that curiosity rarely benefits my writing. My writing style follows a diagonal on the chart below: Lawful Plantser, True Plantser, and Chaotic Plotter. And that’s pretty much how my research goes, too. I start with a plan and end going off script. This is the story of a writer’s serendipity or how research saved my book. My Research Method Targeted research is when one narrows their topic and is very selective in choosing books and articles for said research. Targeted research is always my intent, it rarely is what gives me the most inspiration. I love Google Maps. They allow me to “travel to” areas I’ve never visited. But the maps don’t give me the smells, the texture, or the mood of the place. For those, I search out travel blogs, expat blogs, and personal blogs. Sometimes, I reach out to a blogger for more details. Usually, bloggers respond with more information than I need. And that’s a lovely thing. Sometimes, I need more hands-on research. That may mean a visit to a museum or a road trip to a […]

Character Reveal: Beryl Clarke

The character reveal is a feature on my website. Characters from my books (in print or works-in-progress) answer questions from a standard personality assessment test. Today’s character reveal: Beryl Lucille Clarke Mitchell. Beryl is Miranda’s aunt and mentor, and a protagonist of the Fellowship Dystopia series. Who Beryl had just turned fifty-two when she appeared in the first book of the series, My Soul to Keep. Younger sister to the Fellowship’s premier preacher-politician, Counselor Donald Clarke, Beryl learned to hate him when he betrayed her. She and Miranda escape Redemption in My Soul to Keep. Now, fifty-four at the beginning of If I Should Die, she is the First Mate aboard the Lady Angelfish. She’s sworn to protect her niece, Miranda. And she will, even if she never learns to love the water like Miranda. 1. Who is your role model?  As a kid, I read everything I could find about Annie Oakley. I was thirteen years old when my father took my older brother, Donald, and I to a shooting contest in Pinehurst, North Carolina. I saw Annie Oakley shoot 100 clay targets in a row at sixteen yards. Man, I wanted to shoot like her, to be like her. She was one sharp-eyed sixty-two-year-old. But Pop started […]