One woman's amazing journey from hobby writer to published author

What I’ve accomplished this week:

  • Survived a rather nasty fibromyalgia flare.  Pain is starting to go down, energy and ability to concentrate are going back up.  Sort of.  It’s a process, not an instant “feeling better”.
  • Got more plotting done on the Soldaris Saga.
  • Got more writing done on the Soldaris Saga.
  • Managed to go out and enjoy myself with the family.

What I’d like to accomplish this week:

  • Keep recovering from the flare-up.
  • Finish the sorting of the GLIIH.  It’s been a more intensive project than I expected.
  • Finish my reworking of the story to submit to the Writers of the Future contest.
  • Write and submit a very short story for a contest on a blog I follow.
  • Get all my blog posts this week.

Playlist: Dagon

A little bit of a different mix on this character from the Soldaris Saga today.  In no particular order.  Enjoy!

  1. Black Blade- Two Steps From Hell
  2. The Riders of Rohan- The Elbereth Orchestra (David Arkenstone)
  3. Stand Strong, Stand Together- Christopher Lennertz (Mass Effect 3)
  4. Army of the Dead part 2- Manowar
  5. To Glory- Two Steps From Hell
  6. If I Die in Battle (Orchestral Version)- Van Canto
  7. Light from Darkness- City of the Fallen
  8. Field of Cormallen- The Elbereth Orchestra (David Arkenstone)
  9. United We Stand, Divided We Fall- Two Steps From Hell
  10. Overture to the Hymn of the Immortal Warriors- Manowar

Today is an idea fodder article.

I’ve been getting some fun ideas from the mysterious hole that appeared in Yamal, Siberia.  Incidentally, “Yamal” means “end of the earth” in the local native language.   A second hole was discovered as well, helping to clear up the origins, but it’s still fun to play with in my head.  Ideas like what could be down there, how it was formed if I ignore the scientists, what sort of science-fiction I can craft from the explanations of the scientists… Lots of fun idea fodder there.

This crazy hole in the earth at least has an explanation.

I think I could have some fun with world-building, with a quarry of that size…

I totally laughed when rolling the d20 on my list of characters gave me Karin’s husband the week after I highlighted her.  Also a character whom I would like to develop further in the future.

Name: Dagon Averill
Project: Soldaris Saga
Occupation:  Paladin, instructor at the Academy and later Commandant
Physical Features: graying dark blonde hair, neatly trimmed beard/mustache, soldier’s build, shorter side of average for a man, lingering limp from an old injury
Personality:  Demanding, disciplined,  almost cold while at work, and passionate, relaxed, easy-going when he’s not working
Strengths: able to identify and bring out the strengths in others, good leader
Weaknesses: Sometimes doesn’t know when enough is enough, cares too much about those under his command, speaks his mind when maybe he shouldn’t
Favorite color(s): black, gold, gray
Accomplishments: One of the most respected instructors at the Academy, later becomes Commandant of the Academy
Biggest Fear(s): That the people he loves will suffer, that his choices will lead people to disaster
Dreams: To make the Academy better than it ever has been before, to have a happy life with his family

  • Karin Menette-Averill, wife
  • Karin’s as-of-yet-unnamed children
  • Ella Averill, younger sister
  • Darios Averill, older brother
  • Lana Averill, Darios’ wife


  • Thorven Soldaris
  • Taerwyn Davies-Soldaris
  • Nikolai Darbon, the Paladin Bard
  • Levanda, Mistress of the Academy Kitchens
  • Commandant Perrus, previous Commandant
  • Lady Skye, most famous Lady Paladin at the start of the saga
  • Commander Hartley, Taerwyn’s unit commander at the Academy
  • Niveon Davies, Taerwyn’s brother
  • Mikael Helron (deceased)


  • Anyone who threatens the safety and stability of the Academy
  • The big bad and minions, of course

This week hasn’t been as physically productive as I’d like with the fibro kicking in again, but it has been full of creative energy.  I will so take it.  I’m excited about some of the developments that I’ve made.

What I’ve accomplished the past week:

  • Everything on the blog except an excerpt.
  • Started getting the GLIIH sorted out and projects named.  (And in the process discovered that I want to do more webcomics/graphic novels than I have artistic skill for.)
  • A LOT of work on the planning/pre-writing side of the Soldaris Saga, including some very important epiphanies that break down most of the blocks that have had me stalled out.
  • Started a new draft of the Soldaris Saga that accounts for the expanded/divided books that were previously just the first book.
  • Figured out some of  what I need to do with the YA project formerly known as Shadowfighter.
  • Made a new playlist for a project that’s been floating around in the back of my head since 2009, but realized that the collaboration I want to do on this idea with people who are much more famous than I am means it’s a very long-term project.  Need to build up my own credentials first.
  • Went to a book signing/reading by Tracy and Laura Hickman, and had a nice chat about writing with some real pros.

What I’d like to accomplish this week:

  • Finish sorting the GLIIH.  A lot of the ideas are fairly generic and can be used as short stories or elements of bigger stories, so I’ve been having a hard time classifying them into distinct categories.
  • Finish the last draft of the Soldaris Saga that I was working on (because it was maybe 5k words from the end when I got disgusted and stopped) and send it out to my beta readers.
  • Come up with a new name for the YA project formerly known as Shadowfighter.
  • Somehow maybe convince my very artistically talented brother that he wants to help me with my more visual projects?
  • Catching up on beta-reading projects for friends that got put aside during the depression.
  • Write and post some fanfiction.  I’ve missed it.
  • Do some visual updating of the blog.  Not sure I like the theme I have right now.

Playlist: Karin

Lots of sorrow and triumph mixed up in Karin’s playlist.  It’s another mostly instrumental one, as all my characters for the Soldaris Saga tend to be.

In no particular order:

  1. End Titles- Christopher Drake (Wonder Woman 2009 Movie)
  2. Hurt- Thomas Bergersen
  3. Protectors of the Earth- Two Steps From Hell
  4. Moonlight Sonata- E.S. Posthumus
  5. Eternal Sorrow- Two Steps From Hell
  6. Kingdom Celebration- Alan Menken (Tangled)
  7. Song of Freedom- Murray Gold (Doctor Who) 
  8. Deliverance- City of the Fallen
  9. A Small Measure of Peace- Hans Zimmer (The Last Samurai)
  10. Dreamer- Epic Soul Factory

LTUE 32: Saturday

Saturday, 15 Feb. 2014- Sessions Attended

  • Who Influenced Me As a Writer- Holli Anderson, Tom Carr, Jessica Day George, L.E. Modesitt Jr., Peter Orullian, with Eric Swedin moderating
  • Wrapping Things Up-  Bree Despain, Megan Hutchins, Janci Patterson, Brandon Sanderson, Michael Young, with Chad Morris moderating
  • Reading: Janci Patterson
  • Verisimilitude: How Illusions, Confidence Games, and Skillful Lying Can Improve Your Fiction-  Presentation by Deren Hansen
  • Banquet- with Toastmaster Brandon Sanderson


Best points picked up from Who Influenced Me:

  • Read outside your genre, and read people who are doing things well
  • Learn to be your own best critic
  • Know the difference between valid criticism and internet traffic-seekers
  • If you don’t like the book in the first five pages, don’t waste your time

Best points from Wrapping Things Up:

  • If you can’t end your story well, what’s the point?
  • Fulfill your promises
  • Make your ending make sense
  • It is okay to have something besides a happy ending- as long as there is sense to it
  • Ending doesn’t have to be good in the first draft
  • Don’t get obsessed with the “perfect” ending
  • Always listen to what your beta readers still want to know at the end
  • Don’t force it
  • Always answer the narrative question

Best Points from Verisimilitude:

  • How well does the story create the illusion of reality?
  • The art of illusion is directing the reader’s attention
  • In late, out early
  • Sustain the illusion- don’t jar people out of it with incompetent wordsmithing or botched details

Overall, had a blast, got a lot of good things out of it.  Looking forward to LTUE 33 in February of next year.  And if I’m lucky, I might even get to present a paper of my own.  We’ll see….


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