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Monday, August 29, 2011

Nice to Meet You


First, I’d like to offer greetings and salutations to everyone new on the blog. That pretty much includes all of you because I’ve only been blogging since March. Welcome. Thank you for taking a moment to visit. Second, I think this is a good moment to introduce myself properly. I’ll narrate a little while including links to my previous posts that I think say the most about me.

I’m a writer. I think that’s obvious, but here’s a link that tells a tiny bit of my story: The Beginning.

I’m married to the most wonderful woman in the world. Here’s my homage to the support she gives me: The Word Behind the Pages.

I write fantasy. Specifically, I write about Faeries. I didn’t intend my stories to be about Faeries, but stories have a way of leading to fantastic places. Here’s a post that explains how that happened: The Nature of My Stories.

I’m sharing my writing adventure via social media. I enjoy using Twitter the most, but have also set up an author’s page on Facebook. Here’s a secret: I post secrets about my writing exclusively on Facebook.

I’ve written three novels. The first novel I’ll publish is called On Fallen Wings. I’m editing its sequel right now. If you want to read the first page of On Fallen Wings, I’ve posted it here: The First Page of On Fallen Wings. I’ve made a few changes to that page since, but it’s mostly intact as you see it on the post.

Lastly, I love the nature. It plays a major part in my books, and has a huge influence on the characters. Here's a post to give a little more insight: Moon Season.

Thanks for taking the time to get to know me. I hope to learn more about you as we journey together.
- Jamie

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I've Joined a Writer's Platform Building Campaign

Hey Everyone. I decided to try something bold and daring. I joined the Writer's Platform Building Campaign hosted by Rachael Harrie.

It should be really fun and I'm super excited to meet more people. There are groups for all sorts of writers, so this could be fun for you, too!

There will be campaign challenges, networking, and plenty of author love. There's more information about the campaign HERE. I'm serious, check it out!

The first campaign challenge starts Monday, September 5th. So hurry!

Monday, August 22, 2011

All Things Change

There are moments in life that stand out in memory more than others. One of those moments is upon me. It isn't not a bad thing, but it's been a combination of physical exhaustion and a full range of emotions. I think that's what makes these moments special, rewarding. I can imagine that, in a few years, I'll look back at August 2011 and note that it was something special. It feels that way, at least.

As I've developed my writing patterns over the last few years, I've relied on a few constants to keep the prose flowing. One of those constants was the place where my dreams came to me. In one house, in one room, I wrote three books. I was comfortable there. The walls, the floor, the furniture, even the smell was familiar and continuous. I never imagined that I would create in anyplace other that this room. I found inspiration in the odd design and even the little fairy ring I discovered on the front lawn. We moved from that house this week. I'm not sad, in fact, just the opposite; however, the change has affected my muse.

Another place where I found joy in writer is also changing. Work. Yeah, I was fortunate to work at a place where I could spend most of the year plotting away at my desk. In fact, If I hadn't taken this job three years ago, I wouldn't be writing today. It was the perfect environment to discover the hidden words inside of me, buried deep by the poundings of a former life's enterprise. While the economy suffered, my creativity had a chance to blossom. I'm grateful for that. In two weeks, I will change positions. Again, this is a good thing, but it still feels different. I won't be writing at work anymore.

Today, my oldest son starts middle school. Am I really that old? I look it, I know, but I certainly don't feel old. I remember my first day of middle school as if it happened last year. I remember my classes and my friends. I remember going to gym class for the first time, only to discover they registered me for girl's gym-apparently, Jamie was always a girls name, so the administrators took the initiative and scarred me for life. As if the first day of middle school isn't tragic enough. Maybe they were giving me thick skin early, preparing me for a writer's life. :)

So, here I am. In a new house. Starting a new job. Watching my kids grow. And writing. Change is good, it's healthy. It also allows a moment of reflection now and then. I never intended to do the same thing over and over, and this is a moment that changes the path. All things change. I welcome that. I hope you do to.

Is there a favorite place where you write? Do you have peculiar little habits that help enlighten your muse? I almost aways write at night and need a background light to offset the laptop brightness. When I haven't written in a while, I'll spend an hour or two getting into my main character's head before putting words down. Usually, that involves placing her in a precarious situation and analyzing how she'll react.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Secrets

I owe a couple people a belated thank you. Earlier this year, I received two blogger awards from the fabulous James Duckett and L.A. Sherman. To accept these awards, I was required to answer a few questions about myself. There are a couple of reasons I didn't rush to my computer and post my responses right away.
  • The first: I'm shy. Despite being full of stories, I don't like to talk much, especially about myself.
  • The second: I'm not that interesting. To me, the joy of writing is the art of creating fantastic stories that draw people in. Stories about me won't do that.

 Still, I want to show my appreciation to the kind folks mentioned above. Please go visit their blogs and pay them some love right now. When you come back, here are five secrets about me:
  1. I'm a meticulous planner. For example, I'm working out the details of next year's summer vacation now. Though I enjoy the spontaneity of the moment, I like having my bases covered beforehand. Whatever I do, I have a plan, a backup plan, and a just in case plan. I'm weird that way. In regards to my writing, the series is planned and roughly outlined, despite the fact that only two books are written. 
  2. I'm horrible with names. No, really. Most people will tell you that, but I'm the worst. I have to keep a log of character names in my books because I forget them too easily. If you ever meet me and I forget your name, please don't take it personal. I forget my kids names all the time.
  3. I have white hair. It's weird. I'm not very old (37), but my hair makes me look like I'm 50 or something. It started going white in my 20's, but really changed color in the last few years. My white hair is hereditary, but I think the stress of my former life accelerated the effect. No dye for me, though, I'm living with the look.
  4. I have Celiac Disease. If you don't know what that is, here's a link for more information. Imagine that every time you eat something with wheat in it, you wake up the next morning and throw up. That's my life. And I love pizza. Over the years, I've learned to deal with the symptoms, and can sometimes get away with cheating on my diet. Sometimes.
  5. I may self publish my books. While I've been pursuing traditional publishing methods, I've also been working behind the scenes, preparing to self publish. If I go that route, the soonest you'll see On Fallen Wings is January. Like I said, I'm a planner, so I'll make sure I do this right.
So, there's a few secrets. I hope you enjoyed them. If you want to know more, I've dedicated my Facebook Author Page to my writing secrets. For example, the title of book two is there. If you get a chance, I'd love to have a few more followers. Of course, comments are always welcome!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Perspective

I took a break this weekend. From everything. No, I wasn't burnt out from life, or anything like that. My son was invited to go backpacking with the local scout troop, and I cleared my schedule to go with them. Actually, I begged to go with them. You see, they were going to a place I remembered as a teenager. This place was so magical to me that I used it to create scenes in the first book I wrote.

I was returning to one of the origins of my writing.


Deep in the mountains at 10,000 ft. (you can see my tent in the background), I found this fantastic stone. The top was flat, and it allowed me a perfect place to sit and dangle my legs over the edge, or lay flat and relax. I spent an hour on this stone, staring at the view and enjoying the peace it offered. I started thinking about perspective.


Here's another view of my rock (it's at the top right corner), taken from the campsite where everyone else decided to pitch their tents. They thought I was crazy for choosing a spot so much higher (we had already hiked quite a distance to get to this place). When they saw me sitting on the rock, they questioned me: "What are you doing? Why did you go all the way up there? If bears come close to camp, you'll be the first victim!"

They were right. So was I. Our perspectives were different. I didn't argue with them or try to defend my reasoning. Climbing up to our tent over and over again was a pain. I'm still feeling that pain. I don't regret it. Here's why:


This was my view of the sunrise this morning. You can see the top of my flat rock in the lower left.

I don't claim anything except that I love this adventure called life. True to my expectations, the trip this weekend reminded me that there are places in the world that are magical. To each of us, those places are defined by our own perspectives. All of our experiences and memories collect inside and make us who we are. This was another great experience for me.

Find those places that inspire you. Then capture that and share your vision with the world.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Ängsälvor

I'll let this amazing painting by Nils Blommér speak for itself. Have a great week!

Monday, August 1, 2011

When Inspiration Finds You

There you are, happily occupied and focused on life. Suddenly, an idea hits you. Words or images bombard your senses, prying you from what’s important. You try to resist. You fight back the urge to be creative. After all, life takes precedent, doesn’t it? Life pays the bills.

But that pesky little thing called inspiration won’t go away. It’s calling, it’s screaming. Ugh. You stop what you’re doing and pay attention, only to discover that this is good. No, it’s fabulous. Your intentions change. Instead of blocking the words and pictures, now you want to keep them coming. You clear your mind, change the music, and do anything you can to keep the ideas flowing.

Where’s a pen? No luck. You rush to find a pencil. Now there’s no paper. As you scramble to capture your thoughts, the inspiration leaves you; slowly, at first, then faster. The images fade into life, leaving you with broken bits of memory.

Inspiration has no timeline and no limits. What action do you take when it finds you?