About Me

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My friends call me Elldee. And breaking the half century mark has been highly motivating: happy wife, mother, writer, teacher, day dreamer.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

A Stab at a Self-interview: Question 9 ~ Social media and me

Do you spend a lot of time on social media?

Hmm. Not like I used to. In the past I gave a lot of time to Twitter and Google+ (made a lovely friend and joined a wonderful group). I have an account with Pinterest and Goodreads as well, but I visit rarely. I've since narrowed my activity to Facebook and keeping up this blog. I just can't be split all over the place keeping an internet presence, writing and publishing, and working the day job.

Even my efforts at keeping those two sites up are cranked down quite a bit. I visit Facebook once a day and read the two groups I like, post a comment or two and maybe visit my books page and make a post there. As for this blog, I am trying to post once a week on Saturdays. Even so, I've missed a few days here and there.

But my writing is a daily effort. I am working on the third book in the Standing Stone fantasy series and am meeting the goals I set for myself to ensure a publication in September. When I'm not writing and putting in my brief social media visits, then I'm spending time with my husband and learning to play a musical instrument.

I posted awhile back about keeping the mind sharp. One of the points I made is how much learning to play an instrument it related to maintaining memory. So I've taken the plunge and I'm learning to play the twelve hole ocarina. I won't be posting any songs online anytime in the near, and probably distant, future. I am about as novice a musician as they come. I am learning about notes and rests and treble clef, etc. It's another language to say the least.

So no time for a big social media presence. But I do have author pages at Smashwords and on Amazon for those interested in knowing me better than just what I post here.

I am working up the courage to start a newsletter. It was one of my summer goals. Summer is not over yet, but I won't promise anything. I'll have to learn how to create an email base, a newsletter, setup signup pages and add them to my books as well as this site. But it will have to wait for the completed draft of book 3 and the weeks it will be with my beta readers when I can take a short writing break.


Saturday, July 1, 2017

A Stab at a Self-interview: Question 8 ~ losing a draft to electronic failure

Have you ever lost a manuscript or partial draft to electronic failure?

Happily, I can say no. But there is more to my answer than that. I can say no because I have several different automated backups that I use because I have had computers throw up their hands and go black screen on me. And I do panic for a couple minutes. But then I remember I have two external drives (manual system), one Dropbox (automated), one network drive (automated) and emailed copies.

When my daughter was in her senior year in high school, we went downtown and I took pictures of her. They came out amazing and I worked on them all evening. The next day my computer went black. My automated backup system was for all my writing, not for pictures or other work. I had a manual backup system with a external hard drive I used for those since they changed less frequently. I put off backing those lovely pictures up for the next day. Heartbreak.

My daughter and I went out to recreate those pictures. We ended up with other nice ones, but not the ones my memory was certain were the best I'd ever taken.

The Geek Squad came to my rescue and retrieved all the pictures and other documents. Since then I've bought a hard drive reader and when the same computer went black again, I retrieved my recent documents myself.

However, even though I had not lost any work in progress, I had feared that I lost my folder on future novel ideas. It was in a section of my drive I did not bother to back up more than once a year. Thankfully, the Geek Squad retrieved it along with my daughters pictures (which were a great as I remembered them), which in retrospect makes me quite happy as I am currently writing book three of the fantasy series that was inspired by two-pages of notes I kept in that infrequently saved folder and it would have been gone had my luck not held out.

One doesn't have to lose everything to learn a lesson: save everything!


Saturday, June 3, 2017

A Stab at a Self-interview: Question 7 ~ prequel to a series?

 Would you consider writing a prequel for either of your series?

Actually, I do have a prequel in mind for the Standing Stone series. It would focus on the backstory of the Wielder Wain which is an important event that occurred 16 years prior to the first book in the series. The focus characters would be Mahre Pratter (Donnel) and Tran Pratter. My daughter has suggested that I should also write about the sinister sisters and the An Faire migration mythology which is 300 years earlier than the first book. They both intrigue me. I'll let the ideas putter about awhile and see what comes to mind.

I don't think I'll be writing either anytime soon as I am currently drafting book 3 of the Standing Stone series, have murky beginnings for a book 4 in the series, have book 5 of the Students of Jump series waiting behind the door, along with a contemporary novel, an anthology of poems and another series sitting on the back burner.

So a quick answer to the question: Maybe, but breath holding is not advised.

Since this turned out to be a short post, I'll mention my current activities. I have, as I said, started writing book 3. As added incentive to new readers, I reduced the price to 99 cents for The Sharded Boy, book 1 in the series (available at all major eBook retailers).

I am also considering setting up a mailing list which would probably be a monthly newsletter combining updates for both my series and anything newsy I want to include. I'm a newby in the process, so I need to do my homework before I make it available for signup. When and if I do, I'll post the signup link here, on my Facebook page, at the end of each of my books, and perhaps on my Google and GoodReads accounts.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

A Stab at a Self-interview: Question 6 ~ Standing Stone favorite character

Who is one of your favorite characters from the Standing Stone series?

The Mabra - cryptic old woman
When I starting thinking about my answer to this question, I knew immediately who I would name and had a pretty good idea why I was choosing him. But the more I thought about it, I realized there was a secondary character that was a strong favorite of mine, so I have chosen The Mabra.

Mabra Camlis - The Mabra is a character in book 2, The Shifter Shard. She is an enigma, oddly all knowing and thought to be functionally mad. Or as Master Clepp describes her, "The woman’s a bit odd, but it doesn’t interfere with the running of the orphanage.” 

She is so slow moving and old that she covers only inches with each step causing her guests to have to wait quite some time for her to join them even though she is very much in sight. She compensates for this slowness by yelling at the top of her lungs so that she and anyone there to visit her can carry on a conversation without having to wait for her to be seated. 

“You will come to know that much of me is old, but my lungs continue to feign youth, so I use them for all they are worth! It reduces the boredom of both my guests and myself in the interim of our coming together.” 

She has excellent hearing and a mysterious history. Jahl, one of the three main characters, hopes she can supply necessary information he needs to put things right, but though she's willing to give advice, Jahl perceives it as cryptic and possibly proof of her madness. 

 She sighed, ignoring his rising annoyance. “Even I, the eternal container of all hope, can no longer deny that some things never return.”

I enjoyed working with her character because her limitations were a natural outcome of her age while not interfering with her doing her job. And her desire and faith that she would be reunited with her lost love was as believable as it was impossible.