Monday, January 30, 2012

January's Writing Update

My apologies for a late post! It's been an interesting couple of weeks, and I'd completely forgotten that I had nothing scheduled for today.

January has been a long, but busy, month. I sent out a short story to Othersheep Magazine, and in reply was asked to rewrite the story and collaborate with my Falls the Shadow co-writers for a couple of steampunk stories in the magazine and a joint interview! :) The moral of this story is, always put blog links in your signature--you never know what editors will click on and find interesting. Another short story, Malfunction, is now finished and part of a braided novel put together by Andrea Graham.

Forged Steel is only a few thousand words from completion. I wanted to finish it by last Friday, but as I said, it's been a crazy couple of weeks, so I was a bit behind schedule. I hope to finish it, at latest, by tomorrow night, so I can start work on the revisions of Dreamwalkers and Half Blood and the first draft of Bargain with an Elf in February.

I was also asked by my friend Pauline Creeden to contribute some stories to an anthology she's putting together. Space Wings fits her word requirements, so I'm definitely sending that one, and I also plan to rewrite (yet again) Bound to Dance to see if I can make any improvements and shorten it some.

There's one more big thing I'm extremely excited about, but I don't know if I can reveal it just yet or not. It's big, though--not publishing-a-book big, but very big nonetheless. Check back--I should be able to tell soon. ;)

In February for longer works, I hope to get back into rewriting Half Blood, get at least a third of Bargain with an Elf written, and finish revision 1 of Dreamwalkers. For shorter works, I want to revise Space Wings and Bound to Dance and get those to Pauline, and send in Gears, Grease, and a Little Bit of Magic to the magazine Residential Aliens.

How has your January gone?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Character Hijack: Maricossa

Hello, everyone! I’m honored and delighted to be a guest here at Magical Ink.

My dear friend Heather has asked me if I would share an interview of one of my characters with you, just to give you a behind-the-scenes peek into how I develop my fictional characters. I decided that, to give a really good example, I would interview the one character out of all I’ve written who I understand the best. So, I’ve asked my character Galvin Maricossa (whom you may know as Agent Maricossa from Falls the Shadow) to join me.

MRP: Thanks so much for joining me for this interview, Maricossa.

GM: You have got to be kidding me. Out of all the characters you’ve written about, you understand me the best?

MRP: Um—well, yes, I think so.

GM: So do you know any of the others’ names?

MRP: What exactly is that supposed to mean?

GM: Very simply, it’s a sarcastic way of saying that you don’t know me nearly as well as you think you do.

MRP: Oh really?

GM: Really. Listen, I have an idea. Since this interview really isn’t about me anyway, why don’t I interview you instead and save everybody a lot of trouble?

MRP: What do you mean, this interview isn’t about you? What do you think I’m interviewing you for, if it’s not about you?

GM: This whole guest-post interview thing is so people can get to you know you, the author, not me. They get to read about me every time a new chapter of Falls the Shadow comes out. So why don’t we just dispense with the nonsense of pretending to interview me—since you don’t know me as well as you think you do, no matter what you say?

MRP: But—

GM: Good. So, Mary, let’s start at the beginning. How did you manage to find me and effectively take over my life?

MRP: I gave you life, for starters.

GM: And why do you feel compelled to continuously hold that over my head?

MRP: I have to do something to keep you in line. Anyway, I ‘found’ you while Heather and LoriAnn and I were brainstorming about a collaborative steampunk story we wanted to write. Heather mentioned the fact that secret societies were very much in vogue in the Victorian era, so we decided the governmental system would be run by a secret-society-type organization. They needed trained operatives, and—voila!—there you were.

GM: Surely there must have been other potential characters to choose from. Why me?

MRP: Sure, there were others. Your girlfriend Connie was one. But your personality and backstory worked best with the plot we wanted. And we couldn’t figure out whether you were a good guy or a bad guy, which was also what we wanted.

GM: So have you figured it out?

MRP: Whether you’re a good guy or bad guy? Oh yes.

GM: So which am I?

MRP: Wise guy. You know I can’t say that in public and give it away.

GM: Excellent job covering up the fact that you don’t really know.

MRP: But I do.

GM: So you think. For now.

MRP: Uh… right. We’ll continue this discussion when the public isn’t listening. Just stick with what you’re supposed to be doing.

GM: As you wish.

MRP: I wish you would wipe that devious smirk off your face and get on with it.

GM: Very well. *Ahem* So, Mary, tell us what it’s like having all of us characters running around and living out our little dramas inside your head.

MRP: Hectic, emotional, and over-crowded. Some days I’m convinced my hair will turn gray before I’m twenty-five. But… I’ve gotta be honest, I love you guys. I really don’t know what I’d do without you all to keep me busy. I mean, what does your average, non-writer person think about while they’re cooking dinner or washing dishes or waiting for their doctor’s appointment?

GM: Most people actually think about the dishes they’re doing or the dinner they’re cooking or the doctor they’re about to see, rather than leaving the dinner to cook to charcoal or the sink to overflow—

MRP: Oh, very funny. Seriously, though, I love getting to know my characters and explore your worlds. Most of you are very gracious, letting me barge in and poke around and ask a zillion questions.

GM: So of all the fictional worlds you have access to, which one makes you feel the most at-home?

MRP: I’d have to say Reyem. I’ve practically lived there for the last five years, after all. The characters from Reyem have all been so patient, giving me all the time I need to fully understand them and their world and their stories, and to tell their stories the way they need to be told. I think I could move there for real and not notice the difference for a few days, at least! Which is good, since it looks like I’ll be writing there for some time.

GM: Which of your characters is easiest to work with?

MRP: Probably Lhia, or maybe Ryker. They both tend to do as they’re told without arguing, and although they have some emotional baggage it’s not terribly complex.

GM: How about the most difficult character you have to work with?

MRP: Oh boy, that’s tough. You all have your moments. But I’d probably have to say Sorek. I love him to death, he’s a great character, and he even does what he’s told a fair amount of the time, but he’s been so hard to get to know and understand. He refuses to let me see inside his motivations and desires and thought processes without a fight.

GM: Alright, last question: which character is the most fun to work with?

MRP: Honestly, probably you and Connie. Especially when you’re sparring together. Those scenes are always fun to write.

GM: Oh yes, watching me get pulverized by a little ninja must be delightful.

MRP: It is.

GM: Thanks.

MRP: So, is that it?

GM: Yeah, I guess that wraps it up.

MRP: Great! I’ll get this sent to Heather right away then.

GM: Oh, that reminds me—will you tell Heather to tell Libby that I left The Rise and Fall of Rome on the footstool in the Hub by accident, so she can stop freaking out and turning the place upside down looking for it?

MRP: You know the rules—no author intervention between characters! Besides, you’re the one who left Rome lying around, so you can tell Libby next time you see her.

GM: Just thought I’d ask and try to spare myself the verbal machine gunning.

MRP: No such luck. We’ve got to sign off now and get this interview sent to Heather. And then we’ve got to sit down and have that discussion about you being a bad guy or good guy.

GM: Just dying to know, aren’t you?

MRP: I do know, and I’m going to convince you of that, even if we have to duke it out to the death!

GM: How about ‘to the pain’?

*****

Mary Ruth was raised on her family's cattle ranch in southern Missouri, where she still lives with her family and a host of animals. Living on a farm, she probably should have grown up to write horse stories and prairie romance, but instead she took a turn for the weirder and fell in love with the speculative genres of fiction: fantasy, sci-fi, and steampunk.
Her goal with her writing is to bring glory to her savior, Jesus Christ, whether this comes in the form of sharing the gospel with unbelievers or encouraging believers with godly stories and entertainment.
You can keep track of Mary's life and writing on her blog, The Writer's Lair. You can also read her work at The Lost Scribes and Avenir Eclectia.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Winterland Review


If you're interested in dark fantasy, check out my book review today at the Magical Ink Bookshelf: Winterland by Mike Duran.


Summoned into her dying mother’s coma, recovering addict Eunice Ames must traverse a surreal, apocalyptic dreamscape in search of three generational spirits who have imprisoned her mother’s soul.

Together with Joseph, a crippled drifter who serves as her guide, Eunice treks an abandoned highway strewn with debris from her mother’s “emotional” wars. Along the way, she encounters Mister Mordant, a perpetually whiny grub, Reverend Ash a fragile, supremely self-righteous minister, and Sybil, a beautiful sylph with a knack for deception. Eunice and Joseph endeavor to lead this peculiar brigade into the hell of her mother’s making, through the swamp of Mlaise and the volcanic plains of Cinder, to the Dark Throne where they were forged. Along the way, Eunice experiences, in awful living color, the forces that have shaped her mother’s descent into madness and disease.

Yet a more malevolent power conspires against Eunice. For not only is she forced to relive the psychological terrain of her own upbringing, she must now confront the darkness it has spawned... the one inside her. It seems Eunice has harbored horrors of her own; years of abuse, rejection, and generational sin have taken root. And no amount of psycho-babble and positive thinking can withstand the literal monster that is waiting at the end of this highway. Can Eunice destroy the spirits that have cursed her family and rescue her mother, or will the sun set on their hell forever?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Synonyms for collaboration...

Fun, mental exercise, compromise, teachability...did I mention fun?

I've had the pleasure of collaborating with several different people over the past year. The longest collaboration, and one I've talked about before, is of course Falls the Shadow with Mary and LoriAnn (Elynn W. Marshe). The other, not-so-talked-about one is a short story, Malfunction, written in fellow author Andrea Graham's Web Surfer universe.

One of the things I love the most about collaborating with someone is the brainstorming stage. Everyone chiming in, sometimes talking all at once, as the ideas begin snowballing, each person adding to the idea with, "Ooh--what if?..." "How about..." "Wouldn't it make more sense for that character to do this?..." With Andrea, it was on Facebook (love the wonders of technology!) so I was typing as fast as I could to get out my ideas. With May and LoriAnn, it's always a conference call...so you can imagine the crazy sounds our phone speakers put out when we all start talking at once.

My other favorite thing about collaborating with someone is what I get to learn from that person. Mary, LoriAnn, and I are all close to the same level of writing, but I'm constantly learning from them, either by one of them critiquing what I've written, passing on a piece of advice, or seeing how they use a certain word or phrase. With Andrea, I've benefited from some excellent editing that has pinpointed what I need to work on in my writing.

For some reason, I seem to be more challenged when I'm working with someone. Maybe it's because I want to look good in their eyes--maybe because I treat it a little like a competition--maybe because I really want to work hard and write something admirable. Maybe all three. Whatever the case, I love how collaboration inspires me. I love working with people. I love cohesive acts of creativity.

Friday, January 20, 2012

According to the Mayans...

...the world is supposed to end in 2012. I don't believe...but on the off chance that it's true, I have this to say:

If the world ends before I get to see The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, I'm going to be ticked! ;)

Didn't think you could get away without me sharing this, did you? I'm sure you've all seen it by now...but watch it again anyway! :D All I have to say is, based on this trailer, the movie is going to be AWESOME! I love Kili. And Thorin. And Bilbo. And Nori.

I don't think I can wait until next December. :(



(PS--I was kidding about being ticked. Sort of. ;)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

And the Winner Is...

Elyn!

Thanks to everyone for participating and making the first giveaway on Magical Ink a success! Hopefully I'll be able to do this again soon!

Elyn, I'll email you for your address.

Thanks again everyone!! :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Invasion Review


Today, I'm reviewing the young adult science fiction novel, Invasion by Jon S. Lewis, at the Magical Ink Bookshelf. Enjoy!

He didn't ask to be a hero, but now all that stands between us and chaos . . . is Colt.

Colt McAlister was having the summer of his life. He spent his days surfing and his nights playing guitar on the beach with friends. He even met a girl and got his first car. But everything changes when his parents are killed in a freak accident.

He's forced to leave his old life behind and move to Arizona with his grandfather. The only person he knows at the new high school is a childhood friend named Dani. And Oz, a guy he's sure he's never met but who is strangely familiar.

But what if his parents' death wasn't an accident? His mother, an investigative reporter, was going to expose a secret mind-control program run by one of the world's largest companies. Before she could release the story, what if agents from Trident Biotech made sure she couldn't go public?

Vowing to uncover truth, Colt is drawn into a secret world of aliens, shapeshifters, flying motorcycles, and invisible getaways.


***The giveaway for Finding Angel is CLOSED. Check back tomorrow to see who won!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Writing Exercise #5: Taste Test

At some point, your characters have to eat. Especially in fantasy, food and drink and feasting seems to be a big part of the story. (I'm thinking of Redwall here...did anyone else's mouth water whenever he described their food?) But even if they haven't had a meal in a long time, there are bound to be tastes in their mouths--coppery blood after getting socked by a bad guy; the dry, nasty taste when you wake up after not having enough water; even heavy smells in the air can leave tastes in your mouth, like smoke.

If it's something new, something that a reader may not have necessary experienced for themselves, you have to think of ways to describe so they understand. For example--how many people have had not-quite-ripe persimmons? I have. Can you describe that taste? I'd say it's dry--all you can taste is a tart dryness that sucks the moisture from your mouth and stays there for hours no matter how much liquid you guzzle. I have no recollection of the fruit's taste, just the dryness. And once I say that, your mouth might start puckering up in sympathy.

So describing new tastes might be merely about the first impression it makes, too.

So, what were the last three things you tasted? That your character tasted? Se if you can find a new taste that's particular to your world that you can describe. I'll just do my tastes here, but you guys are welcome to do both yours and your characters in the comments.

My tastes:

1) Dark, creamy center of a chocolate truffle

2) Morning mouth. Blech.

3) Salt-and-peppered egg on toast with cheese.

And, as another fun question, what is everyone's favorite fantasy food? As I mentioned earlier, I love Redwall feasts. I would love to try Redwall's strawberry fizz and the otters' hotroot soup. :)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Shadows Author Michael Duncan Interview


Last week, I reviewed the fantasy novel Shadows: Book of Aleth Part 1. This week, I'm pleased to have the author, Michael Duncan, join us! Welcome, Michael!

*How do you get ideas for stories? Specifically, what gave you the idea for Shadows?

Ideas, for me, come rather naturally. Because I love fantasy stories I tend to imagine “what if” quite a lot. For instance, “what if dwarves lived in the mountains near my house?” From that I build a scene and then a scenario and then a story. For Shadows, I simply asked the question, “what if the truth was lost in our world today?” >From that, I began to tell the story of a man’s realization that the truth was lost, and then how he would go about finding it. I embarked on this story because I see this very thing happening in our world today. Truth is slowly being lost or hidden from view and people are beginning to live and function according to the only information they have – half-truths and lies.

*When did you start writing? Do you feel that God specifically called you to write, or is it something you took up on your own?

I started writing when I was 17, but stepped away from it for many years. I picked it back up when I was 37. Now, seven years later, I am blessed to be with Harbourlight Books. Along with other ministry objectives (preaching and teaching His word), I am certain that God called me to write.

*Do any of your characters take over the story, or do they generally stay well-behaved?

This is a fascinating question. J My characters are rather independent in that they seem to grow and develop along with the story. I feel like a spectator sometimes, even as I am writing the story, because some of them do take over a scene. Because I tend to write organically, letting the story develop as it goes, the characters are not static and they will try to take over once in a while.

*Why did you decide to write fantasy?

Fantasy is the genre I am most familiar with. I grew up reading the likes of Piers Anthony, Elizabeth Boyer, David Eddings and so on, so I naturally fell into the world of fantasy writing. Besides, if I write fantasy, I can make it all up as I go! If I tried to write, let’s say, historical fiction, then I would need to know the places and times and situations that the world was in. With fantasy, I am limited only by my imagination.

*Which fantasy creature is your favorite?

I think that my favorite would have to be the Ents of Tolkien’s work.

*Did you base any characters off of someone you know personally?

Yes, in part. There are a couple characters that are built on people I’m close to, but for the most part what I have done to build a personality is to take qualities from various people and morph them into one character.

*Who is your favorite character that you've created? That you've read about?

I think that my favorite character that I have created is the dwarf, Braden. He is a person who has known persecution and suffering, as well as failure, but is willing to rise above his past to become more than others would ever imagine. I love redemptive stories, so his is a redemptive theme. A favorite character that I’ve read about might be Garion in the Belgariad series by David Eddings.

*How do you go about writing a book or story?

As I previously stated, I’m a bit of an “organic” writer. I start with a general theme or plot idea that acts as the thread which runs through the entire work. Other than that, I will let the story develop on its own, and just follow along with the characters as they grow and become entrenched in the plot. I will let the entire story run its course and then go back in editing to make changes so that the story will stay connected to the main plot – the “golden thread” that holds the entire story together.

*What do you do if you have a severe case of writer's block?

I’ve had many! Often I will use that time to edit. I will go back and re-read the work (up to that point) and begin to make small changes. Through that I have found my way back to the story and can pick it up where I left off. If that doesn’t work, I will simply walk away from it for a time and work on one of the many other projects I have going. If THAT doesn’t work, I will pick up a book I’m reading and disappear into another person’s imagination for a time.

*Can you tell me a little about future projects you have planned?

Well, in the summer of 2012, the sequel to Shadows will be out. It is titled, Revelation: Book of Aleth, Part Two. I am currently writing the rough draft of the third book in the series as well as finishing up a Christian political suspense novel and am in the beginning stages of a sci-fi novel. I am working on several non-fiction manuscripts, one is titled: The Seven Signs of a Healthy Church. I am also working with Tony Marino of Alive in Christ Radio (www.aliveinchristradio.com) and am in the process of developing my own show.

*What is your favorite funny writing quote?

“No matter where you go—there you are!” I don’t know if it is an actual writing quote, but it is one of my favorites.

Thanks, Michael, for joining me on Magical Ink! Readers, Michael can be visited online at his website, LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter. Shadows can be purchased at his publisher, Amazon or Barnes and Noble.


***Psssst! Don't forget! I'm running a giveaway of Kat Heckenbach's MG/YA novel Finding Angel. If you haven't entered already, it's super easy (and well worth a few minutes)! Find the full details here! The contest ends on the 18th.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Novel Spotlight: Shadows: The Book of Aleth Part 1 by Michael Duncan


Storyline:

A stolen text...When the Book of Aleth is stolen, Aaron, captain of the Royal Guard, is ordered by Emperor Therion to reclaim the ancient tome. The mission thrusts Aaron into a world he's never known--a world of elves and dwarves, races long thought extinct; a world where everything he has known and believed is a lie.


A secret past... Forced to challenge his long-held beliefs, Aaron and his companions, two soldiers of the Royal Guard and two men of the Dwarvish kingdom of Brekken-Dahl, set out on a quest to recover the Book. Aaron resolves to discover the truth, and rescue the empire he is sworn to protect.

My Thoughts:

Cons: I had a hard time getting into the book. The prologue, with an almost omniscient point of view, didn't grab me immediately.

The dialog felt stiff--not necessarily stilted, but stiff.

Likewise, I wanted more about the characters. I can't exactly pinpoint it, but there was just a little something missing. As usual, I'm guessing this is because it's the first book in a series.

Pros: I enjoyed the setting of the book: a medieval country, much of it forest, in snow. Hmm...sounds like the view outside my window. :) I haven't read a lot of fantasy novels set in the winter, and it was interesting to see how the author used that to challenge his characters. I also thought that the abundant descriptions were pretty well done.

Though as a rule, I'm not too fond of allegories, I enjoyed this one. Especially, I liked the perspective of a soldier from the bad side as he tries to untangle the truth from the lies he's grown up with. I also liked that not all of his companions condone his changing loyalties. It made for good tension throughout the book.

It was very family friendly. I could see this book being used for a family's read-aloud time, even though the characters are adults. There are some scenes that might scare younger kids: a man dying in a fire; a fight with a demon-like creature; soldiers attacked by trolls. Other than that, there's no objectionable content.

If you're looking for a decent fantasy read, Shadows is a pretty good one. There are flaws, but I think that Michael Duncan is a promising writer and I'm looking forward to the next installment in The Book of Aleth.

Rating: Three stars


***Psssst! Don't forget! I'm running a giveaway of Kat Heckenbach's MG/YA novel Finding Angel. If you haven't entered already, it's super easy (and well worth a few minutes)! Find the full details here! The contest ends on the 18th-only a week left!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Adventures to Come, Memories to Follow

I think that ever since my 16th birthday, I've been saying, "Wow! That was the best year ever!" I said it often during 2011.

2010 was a transition year--getting married, moving to Michigan. It was wonderful. I wouldn't trade it for anything. But 2011? It was amazing.

We got to know some more people in the area, especially those from our church. We got to share our courtship story and became honorary members of the teen group. :) We made some close friends who challenged and continue to challenge us, both spiritually and physically (they're the ones who introduced us to jetskiing--the best summer sport ever!). Our marriage continued to grow and deepen in ways that are beyond me.

My writing seemed to click in last March. My learning curve this year has been steep and crazy, but I've never been so pleased with what I'm turning out, how much I'm learning, and the ideas that I've been getting. 9 short stories published this year! :D

There are certain things I'm never going to forget this year:

*Inadvertently jumping a big wave in Lake Superior the second time I went jetskiing

*Swimming around Presque Isle to explore the sea caves

*Biking down to the icecream shop at least once a week with my husband

*My sister visiting me for an entire week

*Writing a 23,000 word novella in 3 months

*Justin doing an accidental wheelie on a dirt bike :)

*Camping with a church group/watching the moonrise over the lake with a young friend/fourwheeling to the tip of the Keeweenaw in my new Jeep with Justin/playing Capture the Flag at night in an old Civil War Fort/hearing a teen friend telling another teen, "I know Mr. and Mrs. Titus aren't teens--but they're cool!" :)

*Having a friend text me and demand to know something about Falls the Shadow.

*Falling flat on my face into the river because the kayak moved while I was trying to get in.

And I'm looking forward to all the adventures next year. More writing, more jet-skiing, learning how to rock-climb, kayaking, more bonfires on the beach...

BRING IT ON, 2012! ;)


***Psssst! Don't forget! I'm running a giveaway of Kat Heckenbach's MG/YA novel Finding Angel. If you haven't entered already, it's super easy (and well worth a few minutes)! Find the full details here! The contest ends on the 18th.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Carol of the Bells

A little late, perhaps, but I found this video a few days ago and couldn't wait until next Christmas to share. Beautiful!



***Psssst! Don't forget! I'm running a giveaway of Kat Heckenbach's MG/YA novel Finding Angel. If you haven't entered already, it's super easy (and well worth a few minutes)! Find the full details here! The contest ends on the 18th.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Book of the Year 2011

Revealed over at my reviews blog, The Magical Ink Bookshelf--go see! :)

(Here's a hint...I haven't been able to stop talking about this book since October.)

(Here's another...one of my all-time favorite elf characters is in this book.)

And FYI, I'm running a giveaway for it. That's right, Magical Ink's first giveaway--whohoo!

So, Here be da rules:

1) Join this site. Comment on this post and let me know your username and email. (If you're already a member, just put your email. And so your email won't get picked up by spambots, use this format: email at whatever dot com.)

2) Post on Twitter/Facebook/Google+/whatever social media sites you're on that I'm running this contest and encourage your friends to join for a free, great read! In a comment on this post, give me the links to your posts.

There's no point system, each name gets put into the hat once. The giveaway will run from this Wednesday (1/4) to two Wednesdays from now (1/18). On 1/19 (Thursday), I'll post the name of the winner--after which I will email the winner for their address and ship the book accordingly.

Now, get over to the Bookshelf so you know what book you're entering for! :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Things For Magical Ink

Welcome, 2012--to all those new books I get to read, new friends I get to make, and new adventures I get to have!

There are some new things in store for Magical Ink as well. Some of you may know that I started a reviews-only blog several months ago, The Magical Ink Bookshelf, because I just had so many reviews stacking up it was fairly impossible to keep on doing my once-a-month review. Now I'm finding that I'm over my head with lots of blog stuff, so, I'm implementing a new blog schedule. You guys get to have Magical Ink three times a week!

(Cue the groans and, "Oh no"s.) ;)

So, here's the new schedule:

*Mondays: I'll continue to do my regular blog post--by which I mean my ramblings about writing, reading, and life, my writing updates, et cetera.

*Wednesdays: I'll be posting a weekly book review on the Bookshelf and posting the link on Magical Ink, just in case you forget. ;) And don't worry--the second Wednesday of the month will now be the time for the Novel Spotlight.

*Fridays: Weekend fun! Meaning fun/geeky videos, author interviews, guests posts, and be warned...I think one or two of my characters are conspiring to hijack my computer on these days too.

And a request:

*I want my blog to be reader-centric. I love all of my writer pals, but I prefer interacting with you on Facebook and Twitter. And I'm just not good enough to really teach anyone anything. So, hopefully you'll stick around as my future readers too. :) Don't worry, for those of you who liked my "writing exercise" posts, I'll still finish them up--one left! :)

So, guys, I need your help! Ask me "reader questions"--it doesn't just have to be about writing! You can ask me about my courtship (if you really want to hear MORE about it), about how it feels hurtling down a hill at 30 mph with only two sticks in my hands and two boards on my feet, or whatever. And if a question is addressed to my characters, then I'll see that they answer it (with threats of force if necessary).

Also, for my writer pals--if you guys would like to guest post, I'm up for about one a month.

So, go to the About page for my email, or post on my FB wall or Google+, or even shoot me a Tweet at @HATitusWriting!

I look forward to what exciting things 2012 brings for us, and I hope you do too!

-------------------

UP NEXT THIS WEEK

*Wednesday: Book of the Year Award!!!

*Friday: Carol of the Bells--for 12 cellos!

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All blog content copyrighted 2012 by H. A. Titus