“This is Reginald Swinebottom presents. Welcome to Day 15 of Blogmas 2018. Grab your mittens and let’s get crackin’!”
Mr. Swinebottom walks on stage, holding a couple of cue cards. He is dressed in a bright yellow, plush pencil costume which he clearly finds quite cozy and comfortable. He smiles once briefly and wipes some sweat from his forehead with a handkerchief in the shape of a pink eraser. After a few stretches, he clears his throat vigorously and hums a tune through his nose to find his pitch, closing one nostril and then the other.
“And now for a word from our supporters. Feel free to bounce along in your seats, ladies and gentleman. Clapping is permitted, during this performance…”
This is my first, real book publication. I hope you enjoy a good horror read filled with layers of provoking thoughts, what if’s and dark corners. Oh, and of course, a dog. If you follow along with my writing, you’ll see dogs are a reoccurring theme.
If you like the cover art, please check out the below links to look into getting your own cover art done. The artist I worked with was Donna Dean. Her and her fellow artists created the following websites to display their work. Please be sure to check them out.
My primary editor was Ms. Starr Waddell of Quiethouse Editing. She was fantastic to work with, I highly recommend her. Please check her out as well.
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/329885747745145/
- Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/Book_Cover_Artists
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/book_cover_artists_marketplace/
- Donna’s Book Covers: https://www.donnadean.ca/BOOKCOVERS
More updates and blogs soon to come! Thank you everyone.
“Be still and know that I am God” is one of my favorite scripture verses.* As an introvert who needs approximately four hours of alone time for every one hour of interaction with others, these words are balm on my soul. It reassures me that peace, quiet and solitude are necessary. I don’t need to seek after worldly things until I burn myself out or to prove to anyone that I’m “worthy.” Jesus died for me–I am his treasured one. This is my compass.
Is it weird that I’m a horror author who is also Christian? I don’t think so. Christianity, once you get past the baby milk and sugar, is actually filled with terrifying ideas and creatures–demons, angels, martyrdom and Hell being just a few. “Be still and know that I am God” are ringing bells of power in the cemetery of death, the world of lies and illusions we navigate before rejoining God in Heaven. Evil lurks behind the tombstones waiting to distract us or to push us off course. Few things about this are fair and the journey is sometimes filled with horrible things. But we get there. With God, we get there.
But let’s step back onto the main path for now. It’s foggy and cold in the cemetery, but the full moon is out and there’s a dry patch under the elm. Let’s talk about my main subject: setting up my writing space.
I’ve been listening to Audioslave’s “Like a Stone” song on repeat over the past few weeks. My guess is the melody helps my brain reset and settle into a meditation of sorts. I am enamored by the lyrics of this song and I find myself thinking of the rabbi with dusty sandals I follow.* I also can’t get over the fact how the vocalist is sitting in a chair during the first minute of the music video, belting out those beautiful, passionate lyrics. That is incredible talent and I remain steadfastly in awe.
There’s a saying in North America for poison ivy: “Leaves of three, leave it be.” Poison ivy, as the picture shows, has the infamous three leaves on a stem. Many people (but not everyone) are allergic to the oils the leaves produce. Unlucky wayfarers come across the ivy usually in forests, overlooked fence corners or in neglected flower beds. Rub against the plant’s leaves and the oils will give you a rash, blisters and itchy skin.
Gardeners must cut the ivy carefully, bag it and throw it away. You never burn the ivy–the smoke carries the oils and if you breathe it in, a reaction can happen internally. Clothing and skin must be washed immediately. Then bring on the pink Calamine lotion and prepare for a couple of weeks of healing while dodging inquiring stares. Avoid questions of people asking why exactly you look like a pimply young piglet and smile at the ignorant treating you like a contagious leper.
I hate the phrase “make time”; there really is no such thing. I will take “finding time” and “carving out time”, but never “make time.” Spare me these so called inspirational, guilt-inducing quotes of cotton candy nonsense. I can’t help but sigh and roll my eyes at these stupid, pushy sayings. I really hate what they imply: “You’re failing.”
These phrases often appear aimed at women. I see them on home decor, workout shirts and hear them pronounced in churches. Women are underpaid, overworked and already wearied by the many demands of a fickle, patriarchal society. We are poked at daily for never being “good enough”, aka a man. The world needs to back off and leave us be.
Women will never be men and maybe–just maybe–we were never intended to be. Our needs and bodies are different; our dreams, goals and ideas, too. Lipstick is our warpaint and pantyhose our nearest weapon of strangulation. Just try putting us into a box again. We can make that into a coffin for you, complete with curtains and a pearl necklace.
My, this blog entry took a turn. Let’s return to the main trail, shall we? Just step over the corpse twitching there…
Are you sweating to the tunes of the typewriter, wondering exactly how your novel’s going to wrap up? Are you thinking you never properly learned your native language and have no business even being near a phone book? Is your dog staring at you, waiting for his walk, fifth potty break of the evening and is demanding his share of the num num installments?
Well, fellow writer, print and post these ten gems at your writing desk and party on with your semicolons and syntax editing. We’ll get there, yet!
This morning I’m combing through my novel, M.B., for what is probably the three hundredth time–without exaggeration. If you want to write, and write well, get used to this process. As you scan back and forth over your novel’s pages, like a scanner hovering silently over the moon’s craters, you will find mistakes, blip and puddles that will need to be fixed, altered or mopped. This is good, normal and part of the writing process. I enjoy the process and bring tea, snacks and Enya music along for the ride. Make yourself comfortable and go.
Here’s some ways how I go about the revision and editing processes…
Writing, at least in the first stages, is often a solitary work. Frustration, anger and slow progress all join the party for writers at one point or another. Sometimes you stare at the pages and wonder if you ever properly learned your language. Other days, you forget how to spell your name, pronounce your novel’s title, or even how to properly pee.