Archive for December, 2012


Resolutions?

Hold on just a second. I need to get my soapbox set up just right. *grunt* Just a little shove to the right… *groan* Got it! Okay. Can everyone hear me alright? Yes? Okay, here we go. Oh! And if you’re in a boat, you might want to hold on tight for a little while. Ready? Here we go.

Ahem…

I don’t know about the rest of you, but in the home I grew up in, “I promise” was practically an expletive. Why? Because promises are so very easy to break. In fact, I remember getting a few serious scoldings over careless use of, “I promise.” Likewise, resolutions were not encouraged.

As a teenager, I realized, after a very public and humiliating experience, that many people put more emphasis on the good intentions of making the promises or pledging to the resolutions  than in keeping them. I think they believe that somehow repeating the same promise to themselves or others over and over again will eventually make it come true. After all, most motivational speakers and authors tell you to write your goals and tell them to people, right? So many experts can’t be wrong, can they?

It’s true that, statistically speaking, those who write their goals down and share them with others are more likely to achieve them, but who, I wonder, is in the control group?  Is it the folks who are yet again trying to lose wight after years of obesity, or the ones who never gained too much weight because they decided to be healthy in the first place, without resolutions, promises, or public announcements? I don’t know.

Indian Widow by Joseph Wright, 1785. Courtesy of http://www.wga.hu/ .

This is Indian Widow, by Joseph Wright, 1785. Photo Courtesy of the Web Gallery of Art http://www.wga.hu/ I have no idea what tribe she is supposed to be from. It must be some obscure European tribe. I think she conveys a broken heart well, though, don’t you?

I do know that broken promises hurt, whether you make them to someone else or to yourself.

In my experience, resolutions are just broken promises waiting to happen. After years of trying to do things the experts’ way, I now consider writing down my goals to be more of a fun, introspective exercise than a step toward getting them done. They let me know what my priorities have become and help me adjust my thinking if necessary, but not much else. It’s not in writing or resolving that they come to be. It’s in doing. So now, I make up my mind, and do.

It’s sort of like Nanowrimo, only comprehensive.

Planning is allowed. Moderate hyper-focusing is allowed. (Yes, I know that’s an oxymoron, but the mental picture works for me.)  I give it my best shot and then follow through. If the story just isn’t working, I change my focus. If it still doesn’t work, I admit it’s time to move on to something new and do so.

How about you? Do resolutions help you?

 

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Author Interview: Rayne Hall

Back when I did the Next Big Thing Blog Hop, I nominated several people whose blogly status I wasn’t quite sure about. One of those people was Rayne Hall. Ms. Hall doesn’t keep a blog at this point, so we decided to change up the questions a bit and turn it into an author interview. Without further ado, Ladies and Gentlemen, I present the lovely Rayne Hall!

Rayne Hall holds aloft a hefty book and wields her wizards staff. Her chief ediotr, who apparently is a raven, perches on the book to look over her new writing.

Rayne Hall working her literary magic. Portrait by Leah Skerry.

What is the working title of your book?

The Colour of Dishonour. Stories from the Storm Dancer World

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Over the years, I’ve written hundreds of stories, many of which were published in magazines and ezines. I still own the rights to most of these stories and am republishing them as themed collections in ebook format.

This collection will be a companion book to the dark epic fantasy Storm Dancer. The stories are set in the same world, and feature some of the characters, but they’re stand-alones. Readers can enjoy the collection even if they haven’t read Storm Dancer. STORMDANCERcover11August2012

Some Storm Dancer  fans have requested a sequel. Although a sequel is in progress, it’s a long-term project and won’t happen anytime soon. The short story collection may fill the gap.

What is the Storm Dancer world?

It’s a fantasy world of my creation, inspired by Bronze Age cultures. Think of the siege of Troy, Rameses the Great of Egypt, Kings David and Solomon ruling in Jerusalem. The climate is Middle Eastern, and the customs and attitudes are based on those of the Hittites, Persians and other ancient civilisations.

What genre does your book fall under?

Fantasy and horror.

Are these previously published stories?

Some are, others are new. I’ve also dug some old unpublished stories from my files and revised them. Reading that old stuff is eye-opening: it shows me how much better a writer I have become since then. At the time, I thought those stories brilliant; now I see at a glance what’s wrong with them and know how to fix those flaws.

I haven’t yet decided which stories to include in the collection. There are so many unfinished yarns in my files, so many ideas floating in my head… it may become a series of books.

How dark are the stories?

Some are seriously dark, others not at all. The tone ranges from humour to horror, from entertaining to macabre.

What story are you working on right now?

Greywalker is a zombie story I’ve written especially for this collection, and I’m currently polishing it. It’s not your usual zombie yarn, though – no virus-infected mindless hordes. My undead characters are created by magic, and they have their wits about them.

Do you have a book cover yet?

TheColourofDishonour27Nov12 The artist, Sam Denmark, is putting the finishing touches to the cover right now. It shows a bronze age warrior in front of a citadel.

What comes next?

I always have dozens of works in progress… maybe hundreds. Near the top of my list are the Storm Dancer  sequel (working title: Flame Bearer), more short story collections (Six Scary Tales Vol 4, Six Historical Tales Vol 2) and more instruction books for authors: Writing Horror Stories, Writing About Magic and more. Of course, I’m also working on more Ten Tales multi-author anthologies. The next in the series is Undead: Ten Tales of Zombies.

Would you like to nominate any other authors for interviews?

I nominate these writers for the next interviews:

Fantasy author Douglas Kolacki, contributor to Haunted: Ten Tales of Ghosts, Bites: Ten Tales of Vampires, Cutlass: Ten Tales of Pirates and Spells: Ten Tales of Magic and author of the novels Elijah’s Chariot and On the Eighth Day, God Created Trilby Richardson

German thriller writer Chris van Harb, author of Augenschmaus – Das Zombiedorf  and Grabesrache http://gedankenflitzer.blogspot.co.uk/

Fantasy author Carole Ann Moleti, contributor to Bites: Ten Tales of Vampires, Haunted: Ten Tales of Ghosts and Beltane: Ten Tales of Witchcraft http://caroleannmoleti.blogspot.co.uk/

YA fantasy author Tara Maya, author of The Unfinished Song series, and contributor to Spells: Ten Tales of Magic http://taramayastales.blogspot.co.uk/

Science fiction writer Kris Austin Radcliffe, contributor to Cutlass: Ten Tales of Pirates

Fantasy and thriller writer Jonathan Broughton, author of the Victorian thriller The Russian White and contributor to Haunted: Ten Tales of Ghosts, Bites: Ten Tales of Vampires, Cutlass: Ten Tales of Pirates, Beltane: Ten Tales of Witchcraft and Scared: Ten Tales of Horror

Fantasy author Debbie Christiana, author of Twin Flames and contributor to Beltane: Ten Tales of Witchcraft and Bites: Ten Tales of Vampires http://www.debbiechristiana.com/index.html

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog, Rayne!

You can find all of Rayne’s books at her Amazon page or follow her on Twitter for links, quotes, and writing tips.

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