Novel Updates, Writing: I've Got Gadgets and Gizmos a Plenty...

Author: How I Write (and novel update) ✏️

When I write, I’m in the room my characters are in, listening very hard to both their words and the silence. I look around and see what they’re doing, or not doing, and begin to see the items and environment around them. It comes in layers, similar to an oil painting being painted.  Patiently you wait for each layer to dry (your rewriting and edits) and details, smells and sounds begin to come to you. You can hear the rain pattering against the windows, you can hear the quick breathing of your character. The wooden stairs creak, you feel the dusty carpet beneath your feet. Your character speaks and you write it down. It’s like being a witness to something that’s already happening; you just need to have the presence of mind to write it down and respect the story. That is, write the story down truthfully and freely.

Once this happens, you’ve made it back to Oz–the individual world of your story, I mean. You can write. You need to simply listen to what’s already going on around you. If you stumble, the story stops, your characters freeze, and you realize you listened wrong. It’s alright: this is normal. Go back. Once you’re on the right track, your characters will come alive again and won’t miss a beat in their actions.

I hit just over the 2,000 word marker today with my next novel, GOTD. It’s a small milestone but a big one for me since I was stuck for awhile. My characters were like the Tinman before he got all of his oil: clangy, loud and mostly immobile. I rewrote until I found my way back and the story came to life.

How’s your next novel coming along? Leave some words in the comments below and we can encourage each other on. Kia kaha!

Hit that subscribe button for future updates and to become part of the  Arcian family.

Happy writing. Ker-kaw! 🦉

Blogmas 2018, Brief Humor & Check-Ins

Blogmas Day 17: “Ask An Indie Author” (Humor | Indie Author)

Welcome to Day 17 of Blogmas 2018. Today’s blog is created by you! Leave a question in the comments below and we’ll answer! It can be about our book, Memory Bound, the writing process, literature, a previous blog, or anything Christmas related. Please keep the questions appropriate and not too personal. After all, boundaries are our friends.

And while you’re here, click that subscribe button! We’re trying to get to 100 Arcians and we can only do it with you! Ker-kaw!

Mr. Reginald Swinebottom Presents..., Writing: I've Got Gadgets and Gizmos a Plenty...

Mr. Swinebottom Presents: A Word From Our Supporters, In Song (Editor Opening)

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…”

Continue reading “Mr. Swinebottom Presents: A Word From Our Supporters, In Song (Editor Opening)”

Brief Humor & Check-Ins

Novel Snippet: A Paragraph Reveal & Other Exciting Updates

Thank you for fifty subscribers! As a warm thank you to everyone, I’ve included a small paragraph snippet of my upcoming novel–M.B. I will be doing both a title reveal and a cover art reveal in the near future. My goal is to finish the edits this week, before Labor Day vacation ensues here in America. Please light a candle for me.

Some other quick updates. I will soon be launching my YouTube Channel–Peregrine Arc. I am putting together my writing office which will also serve as my recording studio area. I’m gathering up artwork that will be shown on the back wall of my filming area that’ll help create my writing nest and also add visual appeal. The Saint is helping me design this and put this together.

This week I’m also meeting with a business adviser to put together my own LLC and help with the business side of administering Peregrine Arc–my official writing platform and also the name of this website. I took a business class last weekend to get primed for this counseling session. Ready, set–let’s go.

Thank you to everyone who’s joined Peregrine Arc along the way and has been patient as I finished M.B. It’s been quite a learning process getting the foundation of indie writing down but I’m getting there. The blog is growing at a steady pace and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading another person’s thoughts.

And without further ado, here is a selected paragraph from the prologue for your reading pleasure. Please remember to like and subscribe if you’d like to continue on this merry ride with me. Happy writing!

-A.R. Clayton

Continue reading “Novel Snippet: A Paragraph Reveal & Other Exciting Updates”

Brief Humor & Check-Ins

Author Talks with her Protagonist: Persistence & Humor

I’m having a hard time wrapping up my final edits on my horror novel, M.B. Finishing a book, I’m finding, is like letting go of a friend. Anne is the name of my protagonist and she’s modeled a bit after me (but not entirely). We’re both intelligent women, both love old houses and each of us have our quirks. And our stubbornness.

I’ve been visiting Anne at her house, dragging my feet around her hallways while she pecks away at her laptop busily. Anne works as a freelance programmer inbetween renovating her house in her semi-retirement. I tend to mope and throw myself across her couch, counters, floors and rugs. I hide behind her long curtains and look out onto her front yard and the tree I placed at the edge, just outside the front row of bushes. Anne ignores my antics politely and reminds me to wipe up my smudge marks I leave on her windows.

Anne’s blunt and direct, like me, but slightly more patient. One of our latest conversations went a bit like this…

Continue reading “Author Talks with her Protagonist: Persistence & Humor”

Brief Humor & Check-Ins, Writing: I've Got Gadgets and Gizmos a Plenty...

Poison Ivy & Procrastination: Writing Snares

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.

Crack on.

Continue reading “Poison Ivy & Procrastination: Writing Snares”

Brief Humor & Check-Ins

Book Update & Thoughts on Bugs Bunny

On this side of the screen, I received my manuscript for M.B. back from my editor. I’m going through it slowly, combing through the suggestions. I’m plastering over plot holes, sanding down sentences, squirting oil into squeaky words and listening to see when the engine hums. M.B. is a horror novel with a sprinkle of mystery. It’s partially a reflection on the world and how vulnerable people tend to be treated (not too great).  M.B. has lots of layers of meaning, some tucked behind dark places. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it.

I’m aiming for an early to mid Fall publication date. It will start as an ebook and then will become available in print later. More on M.B. to come as publication approaches. Continue reading “Book Update & Thoughts on Bugs Bunny”

Our lab, looking majestic. Thanks for reading.
Labrador Lessons

Labrador Lessons III: Pace Thyself, Human! (Our First 10k)

There are gulpers and there are chippers in this world. I am a gulper. There are no stages, no stepping stones of graduated achievements with how I proceed. There is simply the goal and myself, whatever it may be. Everything between me and the goal must be overcome. And now, today, this very instant in fact! Definitely not tomorrow or a wishy-washy “sometime later, honey.” I will stay the course, finish strong, even if doctors and nurses hurry behind me with a crash cart and tranquilizer darts. Reality be darned!

All this I thought today during my first 10k, walking at a steady pace with my saintly husband* and tolerant Labrador. And then my Lab, during mile six, laid down in the middle of the road during a water break. She peered up at me and my so-called goals.

“Go ahead–try to move me, human,” my Labrador taunted me from the ground. “But you’re going to carry my 55lb butt back to the air conditioned car. And then I’m gonna pee all over your azaleas you just planted so lovingly…”

Continue reading “Labrador Lessons III: Pace Thyself, Human! (Our First 10k)”

Ponderings

Broken Glass & Writing

I broke a drinking glass this morning, right next to my Labrador walking alongside of me in our dining room. My groggy brain fired information; I saw the spray pattern and I grabbed my dog’s collar. We performed a very quick, prayer filled maneuvering around the glass shards. All I thought of was her paw pads, calloused but delicate and sensitive, being cut open and bleeding. We both escaped harm and the glass was cleaned up, with multiple passes of the broom, vacuum and a damp cloth.

I’m awake now, life. And thank you, gravity. You made life interesting once more.

Continue reading “Broken Glass & Writing”

Writing: I've Got Gadgets and Gizmos a Plenty...

Writing Tips & Self-Care: Finding Time & Avenues to Write (Hold On)

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…

Continue reading “Writing Tips & Self-Care: Finding Time & Avenues to Write (Hold On)”