Tag Archive | language

Henry V

I’ve been thinking about the writers and books that have inspired me. One of the ones that hits me every single time I read it is Henry V, by none other than Shakespeare. And yes, I know it’s a play and not a novel, but once you’re reading it… The words and drama take over and transport you.

Hamlet was a pretty play, so are the comedies. I love seeing the different version of them. But nothing resonates as deeply as Hal’s giant leap into majesty, and the war speeches that come after.

Yes, I said war speeches.

The first time I saw Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, I gasped. That one speech, at the end of the movie, when he’s sure that everyone is going to die but they need to fight anyways and Aaragon (I think that was his name) gets them to do it willingly? To buy a couple of hobbits a few moments to hopefully complete the mission?

Yah. I thought “Shakespeare.”

Henry V did battle with France and was grossly out numbered. The numbers go something like: English Men: 6,000. French Men: 30,000-60,000 (depending on which source you use for historical –i.e. real– numbers).Think about it. 

What kind of genius was he to turn around what should have been a stomping? The French had armor, but not the English. Did you know that if you knock someone over in armor and they land on their back they can’t get up? And if they fall forward into mud (and it was a muddy, dirty battlefield), they’d drown to death? Yup. Armor looks pretty, but has some pretty atrocious drawbacks to it.

But tactics alone couldn’t make scared men and boys follow you into certain death. No, in Shakespeare’s Henry V, it is the Eve of St Crispian’s Day Speech that’s gets them all going. . Google it, or look it up on You Tube. You can find it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-yZNMWFqvM  (not sure how to do links, but I’m trying!)

As an epic fantasy reader I see shades of this character all over. Not all live up to it, but oh when they do…

It truly is magical.

 

Guest Post- Rie Sheridan Rose

I asked a good friend (a sister from another mother) and writing mentor to do a guest post on writing in multiple genres. It’s something that a whole lot of people don’t talk about. We all read in different genres and forms (poetry, high fantasy, magazines, news papers, chick-lit, romance, contemporary, literary fiction, classics, gossip columns…. and those are just from my reading list LOL), but do we write in different genres? Why did Nora Roberts have to write under a different name in order to be taken seriously as a mystery writer (ok, that had something to do with gender at the time, too…)… but the question remains. Will you follow an author across genres? Have you ever thought about it?

Without further ado, here’s one of the bendiest writers I ever did know. She crosses genre and form with a single bound… and does it extremely well.

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So, when I was asked to do a guest blog post, I said sure. About what?

Maybe I should have asked that FIRST.

I have been asked to talk about writing in different genres. I suppose this might be because I have written/published:

1)      Science Fiction

2)      Fantasy

3)      Horror

4)      Steampunk

5)      Romance

6)      Erotica

7)      Poetry

8)      Young Adult

9)      Picture books

10)   Lyrics

11)   Non-fiction

12)   Blogs

In other words, pretty much a little bit of everything.

Some people think that one needs to specialize in a specific genre to be good at it. I personally think that limits your potential. For one thing, what if you become blocked in your genre of choice? If you are having trouble writing on a fantasy, say, why would starting a new fantasy be any easier? If, however, you write in a range of genres, and you become blocked on the fantasy, you can work on your horror novel for a bit.

Also, no genre is perfectly contained within itself. A good fantasy may include romance or horror. A good romance may be science fiction in setting. The more genres—and their conventions—that you are familiar with and comfortable working in, the more layered and rich your work becomes.

Personally, when I am blocked, or wishing to write, but don’t have a lot of time, my go-to genre is poetry. For one thing, poetry is dictated by form, not subject, so you have the best of both worlds. You can write poetry in any genre. I have an entire collection of fairy tale poetry, for example.

In short, my best advice is never limit yourself. Keep trying new things. It will help you grow as a writer. Every genre that you try is another that may become your new favorite. You will never know if you can write in a genre until you try. But if you find you don’t like one, let go of it. Don’t feel trapped into a rut.

I know I have tried time and time again to write a mystery novel. For some reason, it still eludes me. But I haven’t given up wanting to write in one of my favorite genres to read. I keep trying.

Writing is supposed to be fun. Always remember that. And keep experimenting—it will keep your writing fresh for the readers.

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To find Rie’s work on Barnes & Noble, go here: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/rie-sheridan?store=allproducts&keyword=rie+sheridan

To find Rie’s work on Amazon, go here: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=rie+sheridan  (but be careful, cuz I think there were a couple of red herrings on this one.

To view her blog and keep up on what she’s up to: http://herestheclean.com

 

Thank you for Visiting, Rie!

 

New Years Goals: 2013

So it’s a new year again, this time with my luck number~ 13. I haven’t done any “resolutions” for a very long time, I’ve mostly skipped on that portion of celebrating the new year.

This year is different.

What’s different about it? Well, I’m getting my voice back (writing wise) and feeling more capabale in general. More able to take on risks. Sooo… without further ado, I give you:

RESOLUTIONS 2013

1. Write a novel. This one’s a no brainer, and it’s one that has been chasing around in the back of my mind for a while. I think it needs to perk a little bit more, but that’s ok. I’m a quick writer.

2. Write my Bon Jovi Rock Opera. Actually, it’s either more of a one woman play or something with a narrator that does all the talking, except for the songs. This one has already started to tingle my fingers, which writers will understand. I drove to work on Friday screaming ‘ MY FINGERS ARE ITCHING, MY FINGERS ARE ITCHING!!!” I hate to think what the person next to me thought, but you know… Itchy fingers for a writer are a good thing.

3. Get passports for my sonand I. I don’t know how easy or hard this will be. I don’t talk about it much, but I have full physical and legal custody of my son, so you would think it would be easy. However, the ex is still alive, if not in the picture right now. So we shall see. But this leads into wanting to be able to travel to Europe with Ray in 2014.

A girl’s gotta have some goals, right?

4. Accept how I look. Not to say that i don’t want to loose weight, or what ever. But I hate getting my picture taken. HATE IT. If you’ve friended me on facebook, you know I RARELY post pictures of me. But what does that do to my son? When he’s older, is he going to care whether or not i was overweight? Or will he care more that he has no pics of his mom, and none of us together? Yah. I got over myself real quick with that one. I posted 2 or 3 pics with me in them to Facebook last night, as a matter of fact. So progress!

5. Be Joyous!! Let the boogie out!!!

6. Pray every day for the women of the world. It’s easy to forget here in the US, where we have an expectation of safety to a certain degree (and yes, mostly, but there are always exceptions)… But in other parts of the world young girls are being beaten, shot, killed for daring to want an education. In other parts of the world, young women can be out with an escort and get beaten and raped,… and ultimately killed. This last case polarized the country, and hopefully will bring about change in India. I’m still gonna pray for them. just my thing.

7. Figure out how to write a montage scene in fiction with 2 characters who are geographically far apart. I think i’ve figured it out, but will see.

8. And this one hurts. Even more than number four. Write more, read less. I can’t write if my head is always in someone elses world. I just can’t. I know some of you are here because I started reviewing books.,.. and i’ll still do that to a certain degree. But writing book reviews brought me back to *my* writing…. And I need to do this. For me, for my son.  (BTW– i do have a very interesting book review for next week. HA!)

Anyways, that’s the list as of right now. 8 tiny little goals. Right? Not too ambitious, right?

 

Yah, that’s what I thought!

Celebrate the Good Times

So I woke up this morning, checked my Facebook on my anroid (my, i’m getting fancy in my old age), and saw a post from one of my very best friends about… Dragon’s Champion. She said she had bought it and read it (it is a short story after all) and loved it. She was proud of me.

It made my whole day, Trishka Rose. I saw that, and the smile never quite left my heart.

Of course when you are our age, and someone has known you since you both were five years old? They are kind of required to say nice things 🙂 But knowing that she cared enough, from half way around the world, to support me— well. That is something to celebrate.

There are other celebrations, too. People who have supported me on my quest. Friends who lifted me up and dragged me out of the bad place. Because they know, with out a shadow of a doubt, that the actual bad place? Easy to leave. Not so easy to leave behind the dark, bad place of your soul. But they dragged me, kicking and screaming, and tripping and falling, back into the land of the living and happiness.

Above all else, I need to remember that when I’m writing, I’m happy. Ray asked me, while I was writing the story, why I was so happy all the time.

Wow. Out of the mouth’s of babes.

But right now, I want to celebrate a few people: Trisha Williams, Regina Clements, Linda Deaver, Rie Sheridan Rose, Leyla Shelton, Judy Hunt. You all have believed in me and helped me through it. Thank you. This Sweet Tea Salute is for you!

 

Now, for another type of celebration. Yesterday, I talked a tiny bit about my in laws celebrating their 50th anniversary. I wanted to share with you what 50 years of marriage looks like. Take a good look, it’s a rare sight— and completely lovely.

What 50 Years of Marriage Looks Like

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cover Art

So… my short story comes out on Sunday, December 9th. I thought I’d share the cover with you ~

 

Cover Art for Dragon's Champion

Cover Art for Dragon’s Champion

 

If you peer closely, you can see how well the artist did with depicting this as one ticked off… FEMALE dragon. At least, I got it right away. And I have to tell you, I kind of got tears in my eyes, seeing it for the first time. It’s been a long time coming.

Aint life grand?

As for the blurb:

Bright, funny Constance sets off to rescue herself when she first sets foot on the Dragon’s Path. Along the way, she’ll encounter a merry band of brigands, a shop full of dresses (and temptation) and a Golden Dragon. Constance will find out that by taking that first step… she just might find her destiny.

 

Constance has a very special place in my heart. She isn’t the first story I wrote to completion, but I believe I have mentioned that she was the one that brought me back from the drought. Once I started her story, I had to keep finding out what happened because that girl is a handfull. (Remember it’s Chick Lit Fantasy LOL.) I threw all sorts of stuff at her and she handled it all. Not always well… but she did handle it in her own way.

So. Busy, busy weekend this weekend both with the family and with this. I’m finally feeling like myself again– a month and a half of an upper resp infection can get a girl down. But now? Well…

I got the fire, baby!

 

Trick of Treat!

Trick or Treat

 

I lied. I actually read two Halloween themed books. Yay!

 

Death Of A Neighborhood Witch (Kensington Books)

Death of a Neighborhood Witch, by Laura Levine is a nice cozy mystery. I loved this book, except for one thing. Her best friend in the book, Lance, kind of annoyed me to no end. Which, you know, when you’re writing a character— is actually a good thing. Because I cared enough to be annoyed by him and indignant on Janie’s behalf. The voice was great—somewhere right around what I could imagine my own internal monologue going LOL (stay away from the Halloween candy in the grocery store!).

 

I Ate The Sheriff: Mallory Caine, Zombie at Law (Pinnacle Books), K. Bennett

This one kind of got me. I thought it was one type of story, and it turned into something completely different. Not bad different, just… Different. I enjoyed it probably almost as much as Mallory Caine enjoyed fresh meat. It’s actually one of the only zombie books that I’ve ever read… And the other one, I skipped about 200 pages. The ending of this one is apocalyptic, so hang on to your hats hehehe. I didn’t really feel that the whole werewolf romance billed on the back copy went anywhere or should have even been mentioned… The book does well enough with females (of which I am LOL), that it doesn’t need a forced genre. The book has a lot going for it, and the way it morphs and yet stays true to itself is one of the bestest.

 

So… Two Halloween treats for you.

 

Next time, look out for some tricks!

Kiss of….

I’ve heard people say that traditional publishing is dead. That no one wants to read books any more. And then I come across something that reeks of the normal big guy publishing houses, but is in actuality from a small press that I’ve never heard of.

Kiss of Steel, by Bec McMaster. Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca.

Kiss is a genre mash-up: paranormal romance/steam punk / alt history fun. Yup, it’s a fun book. It was also nice to read a new author in the romance vein that wasn’t, well… A little more than romance.

I admit it. I’m a bit of a prude when it comes to my reading tastes. While I don’t mind sex scenes, they need to be in there for a reason other than to flip the reader’s switches. I think I was 2/3 through the book before the main character’s did anything more than kiss. That’s not to say the romance wasn’t there—but rather that the romance had more going for it than just the act.

I forget the book it was in now, but the very best sex scene I ever read almost didn’t happen. Because the heroine kept hitting the hero in the most… painful places. Not on purpose, but more because she didn’t know how to move her body. Very funny, moved the plot along nicely and in the end was very steamy (as soon as he caught her hands above her head).

What I want to know is this, though. In 2012, 11 of their titles have ended up either on the NYT or the USA Best Seller List (which is not necessarily saying that any of them hit the top ten, stil…). With so many titles of a much smaller list on the bestseller lists, it makes me think this.

They must love books.

There are some publishing houses out there that still love both books and readers. Some will chase the elusive dream of what they think will be the next best seller. Some will chase the books they love and hope the praise will follow. I like the second kind much better.

 

Hopefully, next weekend, I’ll have either a Q&A with Rie Sheridan Rose or a guest post from her. She is one of my favorite fantasy authors, and she has a new story out for Halloween. I also have the one and only title that I’ve read for the spooky season, Death of a Neighborhood Witch, to catch up on this week.

Until then, my lovelies!

The Big Five Oh, and other news

I did it! I hit the big Five Oh! No! I’m not fifty years old (SHEESH)~ I now have fifty blog followers. So, a big THANK YOU to all fifty of you guys who follow me.

WOHOO! You guys ROCK!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch….

Talked with my publisher, and it looks like Dragon’s Path will go into edits next month and is currently scheduled to be unwrapped in December. Yay! I’m also up on their blog right now (see, i did write a blog post on Sunday, it was just for a different one! LOL!). It’s all about the first and only time I tried my hand at a scary story.  I’m having a hard time on WordPress with links and pictures and things, so I’ll just copy and paste right here: http://mochamemoirspress.blogspot.com/2012/10/telling-stories-by-wynelda-deaver.html

Hah!

I think I also added their link to my page, or at least the link to their blog. I think. I’m not as techno savvy as I thought I was hehehe.

In actual writing news, I am almost done with the retelling of Cinderella. I’m within shouting distance of the ending, and I found out what Fairy Tales mean to me. They aren’t about the magic, or about the prince… They are about hope, about dreaming of a different future for yourself.

I like that.

And it just sort of popped out, slapped me upside the head as a character popped off with that line in the story. It feels right, it fits the character and it fits me. Hope is always a good thing.

Till later, my lovelies!

 

Idea Factory

As a writer, sometimes I get asked where my ideas come from. As I write fantasy, especially about dragons, I can understand the question comes from. How on earth can you relate what happens in today’s world to a high fantasy setting?

We went to Moaning Caverns in Northern California last weekend. A princeling (3 years old), the Duke of Dyspraxia (at 6 years old), Linda and myself. She’d commented before that she always had wanted to go—and I had as well.

In the parking lot, the Duke of Dyspraxia fell down and skinned his knees. We hadn’t even gone ten steps yet. Whew! That’s out of the way!

So we wait around, waiting to go down into the cave. Down should be easy. Down is ALWAYS easier than up.

234

Two hundred
and
Thirty four
steps

In areas I didn’t think I’d fit (I’m a big girl, both tall and extra fluffy). The first stair case is close, rock walls closing in on you both from the sides and from above. The wooden steps have a little give in them and were, well… only the first part.

Then the unthinkable happened. We were at the head of the line of people trooping down the stairs. Princeling first, then Linda, then Duke of Dyspraxia, then myself. And the princeling, the one we were not concerned about falling— fell. Linda saw her baby falling, and lets be honest here. There’s no room for error when the cavern floor is 165 feet below the surface of the earth.

I hope I never witness that sort of stark terror again.

He slid ten feet before she snatched him up.

He was carried most of the rest of the way.

Finally we got off the wooden stairs and onto a platform. And you learn it’s only the first portion of the trip. Legs are noodling, breathings getting a little different, and it’s warm. And humid.

The next portion of our journey was to be taken on a spiral staircase. Just in case you’re wondering, there are no nuts and bolts in it. It is all welded together and fitted into place and has been there since the 1920’s or something. It was built using scrap metal from one of the World War I battleships. You can see air through the slices of steps going down.

The boys were sandwiched between us this time.

If you look out into the cave as you’re descending, it’s extremely easy to get disoriented. The points of reference make no sense if you’ve never been down there before. If you’re afraid of heights, just look at the center pole.

Just saying.

Then you get to the bottom (finally!), huffing and puffing, legs noodling, knees giving out….

To recap: To get down into the cavern, we have been claustrophobically close to rock walls creeping in, watched as someone damn near slid off the face of the earth (a child. A child you love and who calls you auntie and you love to pieces). Then you’ve decended the spiral staircase into the underbelly of the world.

And then you arrive.

And think “Hey, it’s really nice down here. Maybe we don’t need to climb back up. Because, you know, my legs don’t work anymore.”

The cave itself is gorgeous. A small pool with baby blue water was on one side. The ceiling was higher and grander than any cathedral (although now I know where the impulse comes from—God’s artistry will top them all). The features in the walls themselves—I’m not sure if they are from the dynamite blasting, nature, or someone wanting to make a little extra cash. The rocks had faces== dragons, a hippo butt, a shark, Winnie the Pooh… As if they were trying to escape the primordeal ooze of the earth’s core. Or perhaps an evil magician had trapped them? Or were they the guardians of the cave? And the angel’s wings, high above.

The tour does what they call “total darkness”. Turn off all the lights. It was interesting. You never think about it— but how often are we left in complete and total darkness?

The ascent was uneventful. Unless you count having to pull myself up. We took a break at the midway point. Big girl huffing and a puffing over here and burning. Oh my gawd my muscles were burning. (Note: it took five days for my legs to return to normal.)

But I did it! And I have first-hand knowledge of what it feels like to succeed at something and still feel like a total failure.

Originally, I had a much longer post planned. It is morphing into an essay about mothers and daughters. I have several short story ideas as well, just from the information above. But it’s not the going places and doing things that gives writers their ideas. It’s a way of looking at the world and seeing the possibilities. In our minds, Chocolate Factories are scrumdeliumptious and romance always wins. We see, we feel, we process and we save. It’s another form of scrapbooking, in a way. It’s taking that memory, and spreading it through several snap shots.

Speaking of which, I’m going to try and figure out posting photos on this blog. We’ll see if it works (Why oh why can i not figure this out???)

Until next time, my lovelies. I’ll be happily writing until then.

The Queen’s Pleasure by Brandy Purdy

The Queen’s Pleasure by Brandy Purdy, published by Kensington Books.

 

I just got this book, and I fell in love with it. (Disclaimer: It was an Advanced Readers Copy.). This book is a book meant for people who loves words, told by someone who has a mastery of the language. I fell into this book, loving every minute.

A few words about it, though. Although the title is “The Queen’s Pleasure,” and is billed on the cover as a novel of Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley… It is mostly Amy Robsart Dudley’s story. The inconvenient wife of a man convinced he was the only one Elizabeth would marry.

Since it is historical fiction, technically we already know how everything ends. The novel takes this even further, starting with a prologue that pretty much lays everything bare.

But oh! The language! How can you not fall in love with a passage such as:

 

Outside my windows the sky is as dark as black velvet, with not a star in sight to
provide a prinprick of diamond white light, and the silver coin of the moon has been
spent.

The Queens Pleasure, Page 21

The theme of feminine power, femininity and such keeps circling around this book, too. The recurring images (I can’t really call it foreshadowing when the book opens the way it does) haunt this book, enriching it and wrapping themselves around your soul.

In college, I loved Shakespeare. I adored the poem with “trailing clouds of glory” by  Wordsworth. And of course, there was Faulkner. There are people in this world who can take the language and twist it into an art form that I really wish I could emulate.

Instead, I’ll just devour their works. Oh, and highlight all the passages I love.

Do yourself a favor. Go buy “The Queen’s Pleasure.”