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Showing posts from 2012

Historical Fiction

This photo was taken last year sometime, but it seems to be appropriate for today as well - quite honestly, it looks almost the same, just not quite as dark. It reminds me of writing historical fiction. Things look the same, but aren't the same. Things that you know existed didn't. So, here I am to tell you of some of my favorite problems for my most current novel.

Background: the novel for January 2013, has no title yet other than Mob Rules. Its setting is Buffalo, NY December 1919. A mob boss has died, and the two main characters are in on the investigation.

Simple. Not only do I have the ability to research my own backyard, but it is a time period that I actually enjoy studying.

Problems abound from the beginning. Some of these problems are more because I am not from Buffalo, though. For example, I had the hardest time finding the old county/city hall. Now, everyone in Buffalo probably would just tell me where it is, surprised I didn't know. Other items:

Advent - Angels and Christ

Merry Christmas to everyone. I hope that you all are enjoying your time with family and friends. Our Christmas is quiet and enjoyable.

The last two candles in the advent wreath are angels - those who announced the birth of Christ, and Christ, He for whom we have waited. Now, we rejoice that our salvation has arrived ... God in human flesh to become one with us. Not just to come and rescue us from our sins, but to live among us for thirty-three years. He walked with us, talked with us, communed with us. He knows what it means to be tired, hungry, sore, and injured. He knows how it is to be rejected, to be loved, and to be dismissed. He understands our sorrows and our joys.

Christ's birth does not simply end on Christmas; He grows up and on Easter we celebrate His death, burial and resurrection for it is death and resurrection that brings the gift of reconciliation.

As you contemplate the season, remember that this is only the beginning - that just around the corner, we will cele…

Book Signing

Just announcing that I will be at my very first book signing on Decemeber 22. If any of you are in the Batavia NY area, come by to visit. I will be at the Holland Land Office Museum from 11 am -2 pm signing my book, Azure Maris.

Hope to see you there.

Advent - Joy

They were the lowest of the lowest - night shift shepherds, but to them came the news that Christ was born - angels singing "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, goodwill toward mankind."

After they saw Christ, the shepherds ran through the streets of Bethlehem telling everyone about this child born in a stable. This is the joy that comes when your faith has become reality - an overwhelming sense of awe and wonder, that God has fulfilled His promises.

The Jews had waited for hundreds of years for their Messiah to come, and after a hundred plus years of silence from God, the Messiah arrived.

Joy is not happiness for one can have joy and be crying in the deepest sorrows. Joy is that uncompromising peace and knowledge that God fulfills His promises not because we think He will, but because we know He will. We have seen Him fulfill His promises. Joy is the awe and wonder that comes from seeing a miracle.

As we celebrate the season of Advent, we remember that joy …

End of the Beginning

And there it is - in my own hand, my book. Giddiness doesn't even begin to describe the emotions, but thus, the beginning of my journey now ends, and the remainder of my journey now begins.

I admit that I am still overwhelmed by having a book published - not self-published, but that someone else out there honestly believes that the book is worthy to be published.

Am I scared? Nervous? Excited beyond belief? Yes ... and then some. I have embarked onto the path of being a bona fide writer, and now I have a book that will be in store shelves come February.

We have worked through arts, writing, and growing deeper with God these past six months. The aim is to continue this path, and to encourage you to continue writing, creating and pursuing God, but I will admit, that the process is as scary as it is exciting.

Press on.

Wishing and Dreaming

Gifts. It's Christmas, right? Do you look at Christmas and ask yourself, "What happened?" We celebrate the birth of our Creator, born to in a stable to parents in poverty, yet the entire season celebrating His advent is about stuff. What did you get? What are you getting your family? Where is the best deal for toys? What do you get the boss who has everything?

What do you want for Christmas? I don't mean the whole world peace thing, though while nice, it is rather impractical since conflict is a part of human nature. What do you want to be? Over the past few weeks, I have considered this question: what do I want for Christmas, and it has become who do I want to be this new year? For the past twenty-five years or so, I have had my Christmas list ready for my family by my birthday which is near Columbus Day. This year, I did not.

I have a few requests that I'd like to see, but those are requests that only my Heavenly Father can give me, and in His perfect timing.…

Advent - Faith

The second Sunday of Advent is the Faith or the Bethlehem Candle. This candle continues with the hope from last week, focusing that hope into faith. Hebrews tells us that: "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." This faith is not blind; it is firmly placed upon Someone who is all-powerful and all-knowing. This faith is established upon the person of Jesus Christ, whom we celebrate on December 25th.

As we focus our attentions onto Christ's birth, it is with the knowledge that thousands of years beforehand, God promised to send the Messiah, the anointed one, to reconcile us with the God-head. It is a wonderful message that we, living after Christ's birth, can hold on to: God fulfills His promises. The question becomes in what have you placed your faith? Is it in a god who promises that your life will be easy if you follow him? Or is it in the God of the Bible who promises that His yoke is light, but does not deny that there is wo…

Happy Hanukkah

Just wanted to wish those celebrating Hanukkah, a Happy Hanukkah.

I hope that you are able to enjoy time with friends and family.

For Christians, who do not celebrate Hanukkah, I would encourage you to look into the history of the holiday, for it is one that Jesus would have celebrated. In John 10:22, Jesus is said to go to Jerusalem for the Feast of Dedication.

One thing that strikes me concerning the Festival of Lights is the eight days. They had enough oil for one night of purification, and it took eight days to create the oil so the Lord allowed the oil to last eight days.

Seven is considered the number of perfection; the number of God.
Eight is the number of infinity - for laid on its side, it is the symbol of infinity.

As you think through the holidays during this season, consider the infinite ways that God provides for us and consider how His perfect plans are fulfilled always.

Happy Hanukkah.

Acting on Inspiration

How do you follow through on your inspiration? For example - you hear about a horrid action whether it is persecution or gendercide (both of which are on my mind at the moment). How do you follow through with that righteous anger?

Usually, I start writing, partly because that is my gift. Other times, I create such as the photo above. Called Songs in the Night, I created this quilt top after hearing about women who continued to praise Christ through persecution. Even in the darkest of times, songs and hope exist.

This quilt is unfinished at the moment since I haven't found material for the backing yet, but I did want to put this out for you to see. Even as writers, it isn't always our written words that make an impact on people's lives. Sometimes we are able to use other avenues to spread a message.

So, what other ways have you considered putting a message out? Blogs, articles and novels are prime examples for writers, but messages can be spoken through other means: sculp…

Advent - Hope

When I was little, my church did not celebrate the Advent of Christ - those four weeks before Christmas. It was not until I was twelve, and we moved to New York that my church did observe Advent. Due to the fact that Advent was not a part of my childhood memories, I observe Advent with an adult perspective.

The first week for my church is the Candle of Hope or Prophecy.

The inter-testament time period (those years between the ending of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament) covers maybe two pages in a Bible - one blank sheet dividing the Old Testament from the New Testament. The Old Testament ends with the phrase: "Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse." The New Testament begins: "The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ."

Those inter-testament years are a time that Christians, in general, know very little about, but this is also the time period that Hanukkah begins - for even Christ celebrated this Festival of Lights. It is good for u…

First Day Review

Today, I start a new series called First Day Review. This series will focus on resources (primarily books) that I use or have discovered. The first one is this rather unassuming book called People's Names by Holly Ingraham.

This book, however, is an excellent resource for all writers out there. The first half of the book is dedicated to region and ethnicity. It breaks down by country such as England, Romania, India then further breaks down into appropriate categories such as the plethora of Native American or African names by ethnic group.

The second portion of the book is dedicated to historical names beginning with the Breton of Bretagne (NW France) and Yiddish. It proceeds backward through time beginning with the Victorians and ends with the Sumerians. The last chapter is dedicated to Shadow Languages which helps writers of fantasy, science-fiction and lost languages to create a plausible language reality for their stories.

I use this book in conjunction with the website www…

End of NaNoWiMo

Warning: this is not an acutal cover for any book. This is a cover that I made up for the one I wrote in November. I finished it on the 27th of November, but it still has a great deal of work to be done.

When we started out with NaNoWiMo, I mentioned that you cannot wait until inspiration hits when you write. I still hold to that statement, however, I suppose that I should clarify it: when inspiration does hit (for it will) use that inspiration for as long as you can until you need to start working.Thomas Edison said that "Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration." Often that inspiration is what triggers the idea, but it is the discipline of doing what you do day in and day out that completes the project when inspiration dies off.

So, how did you do with writing your novel this month? Did you make it to your 50,000 words? Currently, Constrained is in the 100,000 word range, but since I still have to edit and add considerably to the last chapt…

Thanksgiving Week 4

Now that it nears the Christmas season, technically we are in Advent which is that time before Christmas Day dedicated to remembering why Christ came to Earth, I'm adding my last Thanksgiving post.

There are a great many thing that I am thankful for: family, friends, home, my church family, and the gifts that the Lord has given me over the years, but it does all boil down to one overwhelming thing for which I give thanks, and that is the gift of eternal life.

I admit, Christmas is not my favorite holiday, partly because it seems so very ... sweet, I suppose. But, the reason we celebrate Christmas, the fact that the Triune God-head knew of our depravity; knew that we could never merit any good works on our own; knew that we would never be able to reconcile ourselves to a perfect God, sent Christ, fully God to become fully human as well so that we might be reconciled to God - that is why I am thankful that the Advent season follows the Thanksgiving season.

As much as it is the st…

Thanksgiving Day

Hope you are all having a Happy Thanksgiving. Some will watch the game; some will prepare for tomorrow; some will simply enjoy the food. Whatever it is that you do, enjoy this day.

I came across this quote in a writing e-mail that I receive. It seemed appropriate to post it in the middle of National Novel Writing Month. Keep at it for you almost near the end of the month. December or January should become National Novel Editing Month.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Thankfulness Week 3

This week's thankfulness is for our military and their families. I come from a long line of Americans, and my ancestors have fought in most all of the wars: American War of Independence, American Civil War (Confederacy) World War 2 and both Iraq wars.

Connected to this thankfulness is our almost 200-year peace with Canada to our north, which is part of the reason I chose a photo taken at Fort Niagara. Two hundred years ago, we were in the middle of a war: the War of 1812. The Niagara Frontier was part of the front lines. My father's side of the family comes both from Ontario, Canada as well as Western New York.

As we look towards Thanksgiving this week, do not forget those who will have empty seats at the table of plenty. There are those who have died and there are those who are gone. My own sister will be away from my family this year as she will be going to Afghanistan with her Guard unit.

Thank our Lord and Savior that He has allowed us to have people willing to defend …

Azure Maris - Chapter One

So, folks, in honor of my soon-to-be-released novel, Azure Maris, here is the first chapter for you all to read. I will add more about the book as I go. Enjoy. My whole body was throbbing, and I wondered if I had broken anything. Terrible does not even begin to describe the pain I felt—or the fear that gripped my gut. I probably looked like something that had washed up in the tide, but I was alive … for the moment. I looked at my body. My fins had been lacerated, but the saltwater had cleansed the wounds. Scrapes and bruises covered my arms and torso, but I could feel no cuts or scraps on my face or scalp. My gills ached, but they would soon recover, though breathing was a bit painful. I knew that I would have to find some location where I could change … and heal, but the wave that pushed me across the Indian Ocean had left me disoriented. I was out of my own kingdom of Deep Waters, but where I was … well, that remained to be seen.
The wave had pushed me into some sort of underwater mou…

Week 2 Thankfulness

This week, I want to focus on another item for which I am grateful: technology. Not only the ability to use computers, digital cameras and automobiles, but simpler technology like floor looms and sewing machines.

Technology is simply using tools for our purpose. Humanity has used oral culture to convey stories and information; now most of us use written culture to transmit the same idea. Where would a writer be without technology? Not only are we able to use computers to write our thoughts down, but we can use it to tell others about our books, and keep in touch with one another. The arts can sometimes be a lonely vocation, and the ability to connect with people is a benefit.

What about you? Do you appreciate technology - the advanced or the simple? Have you ever considered where you would be if we didn't have the technology that we had?

By the way, the photo above is one of my grandma's floor looms. This loom is probably seventy years old now, and still works. Old technol…

Writing outside the Box

So it sounds odd to say "writing outside the box", I realize, but sometimes that is precisely what we need to do when writing. It's been ten days since the month began; how many words have you written? I have been writing around 2500 words a day between two novels, so my count isn't as high as I would like it. Part of the reason is because the two novels while not related, bring difficulties in writing.

Most of the time when we consider writing a novel, we think of it as a straight line, kind of like the warp in the above photo. You write one chapter then the next and repeat until the end. Unfortunately, that sometimes breeds frustration, especially if a chapter isn't quite working. If a line tangles in my warp, then winding it up onto the loom becomes more of a hassle than it should be. Trust me when I say that I have considered throwing out an entire warp because of that very knotted reason.

With a warp, I need to untangle the mess, but in novel writing, I d…

Write, write, write

You all know the old saying: practice makes perfect, right? Think about it in writing as well. The more you write, the better you become. The more you write, the easier it is to write.

One of the great things about forcing yourself to write a novel a month is that you develop the ability to write better. Common mistakes are discovered and perfected; words that you struggle with become easier to write (I still have problems with ie/ei words like receive - that rhyme just doesn't help always ); and you find that ideas are generated.

When I was younger, I opted to write when inspiration hit, but I learned quickly that finishing a novel took longer when waiting for inspiration. I also had more projects left unfinished because of waiting for inspiration. When I finished my first novel in ninth grade, I felt as though I had accomplished something. It was a thrilling experience - a writer's high, if you will.

Last year, when I finished a novel a month for five months, it was the …


November is one of those months that has the month dedicated to an emotion, an abstract. Much like February and love, November is dedicated to thankfulness. So on the Tuesdays of this month, I'm going to focus on something for which I am thankful.

The first one is words. Any sort of words: nouns, verbs, prepositions, adverbs, adjectives and the like. Without words we wouldn't be able to communicate as well. Written words, from printed to digital, are another thing for which I am thankful. As the above quote from C.S. Lewis reminds us, literature adds to our lives. A good book can challenge people to change their direction. Literature, as in our classes in high school, is not limited to fiction, but includes all the realms of written word: poetry, plays, histories, and novels.

As much as I sometimes struggle with my second languages, I am thankful for the languages of the world. English, with its rich variety taken from the Celtic, Germanic and Latin roots, cannot describe e…

National Novel Writing Month

Have you decided to sign up for National Novel Writing Month, or, like me, just going to write it anyway without signing up? The 2011 NaNoWiMo is what restarted my writing. I finished my first novel that month, then Azure Maris the following month. The discipline to write is hard to keep, and it is an important part of writing, especially professionally, as I am discovering.

NaNoWiMo shoots for 50,000 words in a month; I prefer longer books, so I shoot for 90,000 words in a month. Is it always easy? No, but the point is to simply write. I will admit that I have gotten stuck on two books that I'm writing - stuck enough to have to step back and not work on them everyday. Sometimes that allowance is needed.

If you're going to write a novel in a month what are some things that you should have before you begin?
Main Characters. It sounds rather obvious, but you do need to know who the story revolves around, and who is telling the story. The main characters also include the antago…

Praise and Prayer

Considering that Hurricane Sandy came ashore yesterday, I decided to keep today's post short. First, as a time of thanksgiving that in my part of Western New York, the damage wasn't as severe as was first forecasted. We were without power from sometime after midnight until nine this morning. As far as we can see there is no wind damage on our property either.

Of course, prayers are needed for those who were not as fortunate. I pray that the Lord will comfort and guide those who have lost everything. I pray that the Lord will give them wisdom and patience as they rebuild. I pray that the Lord will be at the center of their lives for it is He who sustains us in good and in bad.

Study in Yellow and Green

A study is delving into a particular subject to explore a variety of elements within that subject. Studies come in everyday life from devotionals to school work. In art, studies can focus on a landscape or a still life. These studies can develop into themes that permeate books, art, and thoughts.

Sometimes a study comes from the least likely of sources - leftovers. My most current knotted pile is a study in yellow and green with a variety of yellows and greens. Part of the reason why I have so many yellows and greens is because I don't use these colors all that often. They are colors that I don't readily reach for, but as it turns out, the colors are interesting. The first portion was monochromatic - one green; one yellow. The second half plays with the two colors together.

Literature also develops studies,  or themes, on a particular subject. Currently, the most important theme in my books is following God's will for your life. Not so much finding God's will, for Mi…

Write What You Know

I will be the first to admit that some of my least favorite advice for beginning writers is "write what you know". Part of the reason that I dislike that advice is because I limited it to what I did know, and as a teenager, it wasn't much. I hadn't traveled around the world; I didn't camp in the middle of Alaska; I came from a good family in small town America. What I knew was the same everyone else knew ... and it was a little boring.

Then, I changed my opinion, and expanded my definition of what I knew. Write what I knew became write what I love and that expanded a great deal of what I could research. Writing what I knew also became write what is around me, and that led to more historical research.

This photo is taken at Fort Niagara on the mouth of the Niagara River (American side). Along the shoreline is the French Castle, so called because the French originally built the location as a trading post. To the right is Lake Ontario. The spit of land on the hori…

Knotted Pile

Earlier I explained about my tapestry troubles. The easiest solution was to make a knotted pile out of the warp. Today, I'll show  you my first project with knotted pile.

An overview of the uncut knotted pile. I realize that it is quite messy and hard to distinguish the pattern. The reverse of the project reveals the design better.

I tried to do an argyle style for it, but it appears to be more of a shield. The lighter center is not a fluke, but the lighter warp. The next photo is a close up of the backside of the project so that you can see the weave structure.

To create a knotted pile you need to have a ground weft and a supplementary, knot weft. If I took out all of the knots, I would be left with stripped piece of fabric. One of the beauties about knotted pile is the fact that it can be easily repaired since each knot can be individually re-woven.

Next is a photo of the entire project.

In total it is about 8.5" across and about 18" length including fringe. My warp …

Researching the Civil Wars

A lovely view of the Connemara in Ireland. Some days, I feel that researching historical times is just as beautiful, and just as remote. I gaze upon the mountains of work that I need to do, and realize that I enjoy researching, but I also realize that the work to surmount it is daunting.

While my book, Azure Maris, due out around Christmas, is a YA speculative novel, I enjoy historical fiction just as much as science fiction and fantasy. Throw in a good mystery, and I'm hooked. Yet, researching for fantasy is fairly easy, and involves more imagination and less research. Science fiction requires more research, but not as much as historical fiction since history took place, and there are certain facts that need to be included.

Currently, I have started researching for two other series. Both of these series, which focus on the English Civil War and the Irish Civil War, have their difficulties. One of the primary problems that I am currently facing concerns information. I have a ge…

Tapestry Troubles

Okay, so I realize that this isn't a photo of the tapestry, but that is part of the problem - the tapestry. Art is one of those things in which a problem can become a blessing - go figure.

The photo is actually my smaller floor loom, a hand-me-down from my grandma; possibly from her mother-in-law, but we're uncertain who purchased the looms or when. Since all three floor looms are in need of repair (one in fact needs to be completely rebuilt), I use rigid heddle looms for my weaving. My tapestry is on one of the rigid heddle looms.

At a ten dpi (dents per inch), I figured that I would have plenty of wiggle room for my warp. A tapestry is weft-faced, so it has to have enough space between the warp strands for the weft to pack into the space. Normally, I use 7.5 dpi for my tapestry, but decided to use 10 dpi for this one.

Yeah, big mistake. I should have used the 7.5 dpi, so now I have a warp that is ready to weave with nothing that will weave properly in it ... at least not …

What is a Tapestry?

Tapestries can be found over the entire world, and have their origin in ancient history. A tapestry can be a misnomer, however, since not all tapestries are actual tapestries. In modern language, a tapestry is any item that portrays an image through fiber, therefore, a tapestry is anything that isn't a painting, photograph, or drawing.

This loose definition is not a true tapestry, but the mistake is quite old. A true tapestry is a woven item that creates an image through a discontinous weft. Discontinous simply means that the weft does not cross from edge to edge in one row. For example in the image below, the blues and chocolates meet in the middle of the tapestry, but do not go entirely to the other edge.

In older times, a tapestry usually had some sort of an image involved, and often told a story. It might be a part of a larger series such as the Unicorn Tapestries, but not necessarily. Now, tapestries can have a modern, abstract look to them, or they can have realistic image…

Tapestry Weaving

Now that summer is over with, I can return to tapestry lessons. Over the past year or so, I have been teaching myself about tapestry weaving. I have two primary reasons for focusing on tapestry weaving:
I actually enjoy tapestry weaving. It takes time and energy, but it combines weaving with drawing - two things I enjoy doing. I use tapestry weaving in several books, and the concept of weaving a story intrigues me. These two were a study that I did on color and basic weaving structures. The top left one is January and goes down to December on the bottom right. Colors on the computer do not give the best of views, but it was interesting to see how the colors played with each other.

Tapestry weaving is a few steps beyond this study, but the study plays into tapestry weaving since colors react to each other even in woven structure. While you might not mix red and blue to create purple as with paints, the illusion can be created in woven structures.

As I progress with the weaving, I'…


One of the things that I enjoy the most about fiber arts is the cultural history. My family is predominately Celtic and German so as far as fiber arts are concerned, there isn't much in the way of fiber arts - not as there would be for Scandinavian or Islamic heritage at any rate. Living in this modern world, however, allows us the opportunity to look at other cultures and apply those arts to our own culture. Furoshiki are one such item.

Furoshiki are squared pieces of cloth popular in Japan. Used as gift-wrapping and everyday bags, these handy little squares are becoming popular again as people try to go green in daily life.

Here's an example of what you can do with a larger furoshiki.

What you need are two (2) bottles, I used wine bottles for the demonstration and one large furoshiki. The one used is 44" by 44" and is brocade.

The first thing to do is to open the fabric up and fold two of the corners in so that they meet each other near the center. Next, place the…

Support Your Local Library

Just returned from the library book sale where I found a book about poetry, another on the Middle East and a design book. A little eclectic, I understand, but one never knows when a design book might inspire a location for a new book.

I want to encourage you to go to library book sales since the money generated usually helps libraries with programs and purchasing new books. It's also a good way to find research books for fairly cheap. A few years ago, I found a book about the history of watercolor. Since watercolor was popular in the Regency time period, and I had a book based in the time period, I was able to gather ideas and facts about watercolor paintings in the time period.

My library system allows me to borrow books from libraries in three different counties. It opens up the options for finding books about a particular topic. I show my support through the library book sales. What do you do to support your local library?

What Artisans Do for Us

I just finished a craft fair this past weekend and while wandering around, I noticed few artisans. There were plenty of crafters, but few artisans. This post isn't about the difference, but what artisans do for their communities. Below is a photo of a furoshiki wrapping two bottles of wine - a very eco-friendly way to give a gift. I'll explain more about furoshikis later, but take a time to consider this: what do artisans do for their communities?

Have you ever considered just why we need the arts in our lives? Most people can understand the need for music, drama and painting in schools and life - after all they provide entertainment and beautify our lives. But what about the other artists? The Artisans - just what do the potters and weavers and glassmakers and others do for us?

I can think of seven big things that they do for us:
Go Green. Artisans help us go green. Think about how much we throw away each day - whether through recycling or not: plastic bottles, paper plates, …

Introducing the Bridgette ni Brian Store

Do you like to be able to purchase items that characters in your favorite book might have? I do, though I enjoy making items as well. Many of my books have an art connected to them, and my upcoming book, Azure Maris is no exception. In this book, Azure regularly writes in her journal so I have added journals to my store. I will be adding furoshiki and shawls to the store as well.

You can find the store here:

In addition, I will be showing at Appleumpkin in Wyoming NY the last weekend of September. You can find me up by the Town Hall on Route 19 on both days. There, you'll be able to find some of my other items including furoshiki, journals, and shawls.


Just wanted to show a little bit of beauty this day. This photo was taken in 2007 in the Connemara region of Ireland. Sometimes, the location is enough to start one's mind thinking of a story.

Have you been someplace when the location begged to be incorporated into a story?

Becoming a Writer

Yesterday, I received the editor's notes on my book, Azure Maris. Was I nervous? Sure. It's one thing to have someone like family read a novel and say that it's good, but it's entirely different to have an editor read a novel and say that it's good.

If I could have had a place like this to go walk for a bit while I contemplated my book, I would have been quite thankful. Alas, I do not. This photo was taken in County Galway, Ireland. Some days it feels as though writing is as lonely as this beach appears until we hand a manuscript off to someone to read it. It can be nerve wrecking, but in the long run, having someone else to read a novel can help clarify sections that I thought made sense, but in reality, did not.

To all the editors out there, thanks. You have an often thankless job of correcting and clarifying a writer's novels. I will admit that this isn't the first time that I've had a novel edited . . . beyond myself and family, of course. My very…

Where to Find a Story

So, where do the story ideas come from? How do you find the story starter or the story ender? It's all fine and good if the idea is there with a sign saying, "I'd make a great story," but it rarely happens. I have five places where I can usualy find ideas for a story.

News. Newspapers, evening news, morning news, internet and magazines are all places that I can find story ideas. Some are local; some are national or global. Some are simply stories such as a wounded warrior home from war; some can be turned into a mystery: finding a lost ship in the Great Lakes. The news is always a source for stories.Research. When I'm researching, I can usually find the beginnings of another novel . . . somewhat. Researching for an historical fiction novel about the Crusades time period led to an interesting story about pirates in the Baltic Sea which, in turn, led to a story about pirates in the Chesapeake Bay.Conversations. One never knows when a random conversation might trig…

Building Stories

It seems that writing a story, whether or not the beginning or ending is there, has a problem: writing the story. The journalist and screenwright, Gene Fowler said, "Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your  forehead."

That is an accurate description, and definitely one that many young writers feel. How do you go from point A to point B? From the beginning to the ending? A story starter is a good initial starting point and helps to make it past that initial wall of a blank page, but where do you go from there? One of the reasons why I try to solidify my ending quickly is that it gives me a target . . . and a starting place.
How does a story ender help other genres besides mystery? I'm currently working on the sequel to my first book, due out at Christmas, but I reached a point where I'm stuck, but I do have the last chapter written. Knowing what happens with my characters can help me plot backwards. What events…

Story Endings or Story Starters?

Have you seen the car commercials that appear to be the ending of an epic movie?  It started me thinking about which was easier - story starters or story enders? When I was in school, we would have either an opening paragraph or a photo such as this:

I don't know where the photo came from so I cannot put down who took it or where, but it is interesting. As a story starter, it could be interesting, but as a story ending would it still be as interesting?

For me, I usually have an image of my main character and antagonist in some sort of fight or at least a conflict. The snapshot gives me a good idea as to where the story is going; however, when I'm writing murder mysteries, I need to determine the ending of my book early in the process. Knowing who actually commits the murder helps me place clues as well as red herrings.

 Do you think it is easier to have the first paragraph written or is it easier to have the ending finished?


This is a new beginning for me - not only am I on the way to becoming a published author, but I look forward to expanding both the writing and fiber arts in a variety of ways. While it seems a little overwhelming the path to becoming published, it is well worth the adventure.

My book, Azure Maris, is planned to be released around Christmas time. As the time approaches, I will add more about the book as I go. Here is a synopsis of what the book is about:

What does it mean to be a mermaid out of water? Azure Maris, princess of Deep Waters is grounded in the Chesapeake Bay region. She must learn how to live life above the waves while she strives to return home. She cannot return home since the sea kingdom off the coast opposes Azure's kingdom. In addition, Azure finds that she is the object of affection to Mano Leo-mana, a sumu ba-ashma - fallen angel - who desires to destroy Deep Waters. Azure knows of the sumu ba-ashma, but has never met one or fend off the romantic attentions of …