Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’

I’ve been trying to figure out how to share a sample from the audiobook of The Shaman’s Curse.

TSC Audio

Of course, you can listen to the sample right there on Amazon, but I wanted to share it more broadly.

Unfortunately, WordPress won’t let me share the audio, here. (Well, they would, if I was willing to pay for the privilege.) And Facebook doesn’t let you share audio, even though you can share video–which makes little sense to me. But anyway. Then today I was watching a podcast from ACX University where it was suggested to make a video by just using the audiobook cover and the sample.

Well, that diverted me into getting the software (free) to do that and create said video. Of course, I still can’t upload that here. But I can upload the video to Facebook–it just takes a really long time, for some reason.

I’ve been waiting for Facebook to finish, which is in part why this post is so late. But it’s still thinking. Eventually, you may be able to listen to the video on my Facebook author page. I hope.

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Ha! I’ve had one thing niggling at me for some time–whether a particular very young character would be along during parts of the story, particularly on this sort of round-trip journey, or not.

In the first draft of BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING, I have him there some of the time and not others.


That’s something that I knew would have to be fixed, one way or the other, but this is still just a first draft and I could just leave myself notes to makes sure to make that consistent.

Inspiration just struck a moment ago on how–and why–he can be there for part of the journey and not the rest. And it makes perfect sense from everyone’s point of view.

Well, maybe not the very young character’s, but he’s young enough not to get a vote on it. 🙂 I might need to insert a scene in which he makes a minor fuss about it. But that can wait for the revisions.

As someone or other once said. I love it when a plan comes together. (Yes, I do know where that comes from.)

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Nemean Lion

I said in my last post that I was about to write a scene in BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING that echoed the Herculean story of the Nemean Lion.


Well, here it is (in first draft, anyway). A little background, first. Gaian is that name of my Hercules-like character. Mariel is his wife of a little over a week at this point. They’re on their way to visit some of his relatives along with four others. And, for reasons you’ll need to read the story (when it’s done) to understand, certain people in this fantasy world have small grey cats that act as their guardians. Gaian and Mariel each have one–named Greykin and Kitty, respectively.

Gaian had just dried off and pulled on his clean trousers when he heard Mariel scream. He dropped his tunic and ran, leaping down the small drop of the waterfall without slowing. He hadn’t stopped to grab his sword, laying on the bank of the pool, so he grabbed a tree branch as big around as his upper arm and wrenched it from the tree as he ran.

As he neared their camp, he took in the scene even as he continued to run. He owed that to battle-trained reflexes, but he didn’t think his heart had ever pounded this hard in any battle he’d ever been in, especially as he realized the danger.

Dornan and the others were still fighting their way through the panicked horses. Their spears leaned against the tent and two of their swords lay nearby. Except for Dornan. Goddess bless the man, he still wore his sword no matter how inconvenient it was when trying to hobble horses. But Dornan was also flat on his back, gasping for breath, felled by a vicious kick from Benar’s Tolaro. Couldn’t blame the horse for going into battle mode under the circumstances. Shouldn’t anyway.

Across the campsite, Mariel had her back to the tent wall, staring death in the face. Death in the form of the most gigantic cat Gaian had ever seen. Brave Kitty stood before her, back arched and every hair on end, growling at the monster. Greykin sped past Gaian to stand beside Kitty and add her yowl to the warning. Neither seemed to worry the big cat in the least.

Mariel grabbed one of the spears and pointed it at the big cat, though it was clear to Gaian that she had no clear idea how to use it. Brave, but he had no room for the flash of pride. Not yet. The spear clearly didn’t impress the beast crouching in front of her any more than the smaller cats did. With a terrific leap, Gaian landed in front of her. With the full force of his momentum as well as his strength, he swung the branch at the head of the big cat. It connected with a satisfying crunch.

As the monster collapsed, Gaian dropped his makeshift club and dove in, grabbing the cat around the throat and squeezing until he was certain there was no life left in the beast. Only then did he stand and gather in a sobbing Mariel. Their cats wove madly about their feet.

This is, actually, very much the way Hercules was supposed to have killed the Nemean lion–but not for the same reason.

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I’ve mentioned before the my current work in process, BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING, is inspired by the legend of Hercules–the real one, not what Disney did with it.


It’s not a retelling, just inspired by the a couple of particular aspects of the legend.

Nevertheless, I’m putting in a nod to a couple of the labors–not all twelve, that would take up way too much story space. Just the first two. In reverse order.

My main character has already slain a dragon, which is a nod to the second labor, in which Hercules slew the Lernian Hydra. The one in my story isn’t a water dragon and it doesn’t have nine heads, but it is a dragon.

And now I’m just about to write a scene in which he gets to kill a lion in a manner very much reminiscent of the first labor, to kill the Nemian lion. Although, again, this lion won’t be quite so formidable as the mythological one. (Making the lion’s hide impenetrable by any weapon is probably just a little much for this story.)

This one should be fun to write.

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It’s hot and humid here, which is not normal. So, a good day to let everything else go and just stay in front of the computer. And, unlike the last few days, the words are flowing pretty well.

So, I’m spending my writing time working on BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING and I’ve very nearly finished that chapter that I was briefly stuck on a few days ago.


Because, sometimes you have to just grab a handle and stay on the roller coaster as long as it keeps moving.

I’m approaching the midpoint, which should be interesting, though there are a few chapters to get through before then. And, in one of them, my weasel of an antagonist is going to get taken down a peg or two–which will set him up to want a bit of revenge. That hasn’t been what he’s been playing for up until now. But . . . things change.

Don’t forget to enter the audiobook giveaway. Someone will win an audiobook of THE SHAMAN’S CURSE. Or one of the other eight audiobooks. Some lucky someone will win all nine.


Do it now, before you forget. 🙂

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I’ve been making good progress on the first draft of BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING.


And new ideas have been flowing. Some that needed to happen earlier, but were mainly just additions. And some that needed to come a bit later.

Now this first draft isn’t, quite, in parts. In the first place, I’d written this story–from the point of view of the wrong main character–a couple of years ago. I’ve completely re-imagined it since then. In the second place, I’ve struggled with the first third or so of the re-imagined story for months until I finally broke off the early relationship of the brothers into a prequel novella–BECOME: BROTHERS.


In the third place, I took a short break from this story after I published the novella and while I was working on taking many of my books and stories to wide distribution. So, now I’m going through what I already had to re-familiarize myself with it so I don’t end up with a bunch of consistency problems to weed out–and, of course, doing a few revisions as I go. And I’ve been getting new ideas that will make the story stronger.

Of course, the way my creative process works, at least some of this would have happened even if I were an outliner. I might have avoided trying to shoehorn the early story of the brothers into this book, but I would still be getting newer and better ideas as I write. That’s just how my muse works. Which is one of the main reasons I’m not an outliner.

So, now I’ve come to a place where I need to add a short scene. It needn’t be very long–in fact, it probably shouldn’t be very long. It’s just something that needs to point out a problem my main character isn’t aware of, yet. Not that he’s going to realize until much later exactly what that problem has to do with him, but it’s a seed I need to sow now so that the readers will, hopefully, see it coming when he does figure it out.

And so now, I have to figure out exactly where to fit this little scene in. Hmm.


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After a few weeks tending to other things, I’ve finally gotten back into the first draft of BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING.


And, like magic, the ideas are starting to flow. I wrote that new chapter.

And I broke down and made changes to those two chapters I was trying not to revise quite yet–because I don’t want to get into revision mode when what I’m supposed to be doing is writing the first draft. Those are two totally different and inconsistent parts of the writing process. But there were some things that were just going to niggle at me until I fixed them. Or, at least, fixed them for now.

I’ve also blocked in another chapter that I’ve decided I need, as well as two new scenes. One is in a chapter coming up soon. The one I just blocked in needs to take place in the chapter I’ve already gone through. I’m going to try to hold off on that because I still try to hold to keeping a first draft moving only forward. (Making notes about something I want to add or change is permissible, though.)

On the whole, what these new chapters and scenes will do is get the main and secondary conflicts front and center earlier. And, hopefully, hint at some of the difficulties and consequences to come. I can only say hopefully because, obviously, I haven’t written them yet.

But the important thing is that I can feel the creative juices moving, like sap in the spring, and preparing to make this story stronger and more exciting. And that, of course, helps to excite me about writing it.

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