I start my day in the same way as, I would assume, any other person. Personal hygiene, shower-shave, the usual stuff. Ordinarily it wouldn’t be worth mentioning except that without it I manage to think about a lot of things. It’s just that none of them equate to writing. Being freshly showered seems to energize my mind and allow it to do other things besides wallowing around in a fog. Coffee is on the menu between 7 and 11 in the morning. I rarely stop for a lunch break, but occasionally snack here and there while I keep working. From 11 on, I usually drink tonic water and ginger ale – my ginger tonic.
I have two dogs, so periodically during the day they need an outdoor break. Then there are the two cats who definitely don’t want to feel ignored. Pets have their own ways of letting you know when they need your immediate attention. Not always in a good way!
If I’m writing dialogue, I often have conversations back and forth with my characters to determine what sounds awkward or unrealistic. If I need to clear my head, once in a while I’ll watch an episode of a Sci-Fi show just to keep a fresh mind and then its back to writing again.
For me to get into the spirit of writing, the mood of the room is actually quite important in the scheme of things. A good desk lamp tends to set the stage, casting an ambience that is conducive to seeing the story before I write it, or at least doesn’t take away from the ability to begin writing.
Music is the single most important ingredient to my writing, and it has to match the feel of the story. I write more fantasy than anything, and I’ve found that epic instrumentals work every time. I can almost see the characters being inspired right along with me.
I try to write 8 hours a day, Monday-Friday, and rewrite the bits and pieces I don’t like in the evenings between 10:00 p.m. and midnight. I don’t sleep as much as most people, and it just seems logical to do something constructive during a time when very little happens otherwise.
I’ve been asked many times about taking breaks and I advocate them, of course, but I rarely remember to take them. Once I get caught up in the story, it tends to take on a life of its own.
Oh, and then there’s that full-time job that I work from home for thirty-two – sometimes more – hours per week. I’m a pretty busy author these days.
Thanks for reading!
Father’s day is just a few days away. It’s a time of honoring your father and his contributions to your life. This day is dedicated to all the fathers in the world who have given many sacrifices in bringing up their children and molding them into better people.
Here are some of the famous quotes for special fathers.
- “A man never stands as tall as when he kneels to help a child.”
- “A father is a fellow who has replaced the currency in his wallet with the snapshots of his kids and family.”
- “It is not flesh and blood, but the heart which makes us fathers and sons.”
- “Father!—to God himself we cannot give a holier name!” – William Wordsworth
- “The imprint of a father remains forever on the life of the child.” – Roy Lessin
- “We never know the love of a parent till we become parents ourselves.” – Henry Ward Beecher
- “My father gave me my dreams. Thanks to him, I could see a future.” – Liza Minnelli
- “The greatest mark of a father is how he treats his children when no one is looking.” – Dan Pearce
- “A father is the one friend upon whom we can always rely. In the hour of need, when all else fails, we remember him upon whose knees we sat when children, and who soothed our sorrows; and even though he may be unable to assist us, his mere presence serves to comfort and strengthen us.” – Émile Gaboriau
- “Good fathers do three things: they provide, they nurture and they guide.” – Roland Warren
- “A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.” – Billy Graham
- “Sometimes the poorest man leaves his children the richest inheritance.” – Ruth E. Renkel
- “One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters.” – George Herbert
- “Real fatherhood means love and commitment and sacrifice and a willingness to share responsibility, and not walking away from one’s children.” – William Bennett
- Fatherhood is a very natural thing; it’s not something that shakes up my life but rather it enriches it.” – Andrea Bocelli
To all of you who have been lucky enough to have a wonderful father, or those of you who are working hard at being a great father – HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!!!
Hello fellow readers! Can you believe it’s nearly September already? Labor Day is nearly upon us. We’re watching Summer pass us by and we’re heading into Fall again. Well, at least some of the country gets to enjoy the autumn time of year. Those of us who live in Arizona are still stuck in the “hot” time-warp zone.
Time does fly when you have a million ideas in your head and are trying to get your thoughts together for additional books, not to mention, “life” tends to hand us a myriad of interruptions every day. I Just wanted to let you know that I’ve been really busy lately putting together an entirely new Website. The new site will be easier to navigate and give you all kinds of engaging information about my books and a host of other topics and practical tips. You’ll be able to read the latest updates, purchase books, read the current blog entries, go to my shop – The Omnicon, contact me, or just peruse the extras page for surprising or just plain fun information. So stay tuned and join me for a few diversions, along with the latest information about the Dragomeir Series and some forthcoming new books! It’ll be up soon, so keep in touch and have a great day!
I hope you’ll join me at www.solitaireparke.com.
- “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
― Dr. Seuss, The Lorax
- To the world you may be one person; but to one person you may be the world.”
- “When you think things are bad,
when you feel sour and blue,
when you start to get mad…
you should do what I do!
Just tell yourself, Duckie,
you’re really quite lucky!
Some people are much more…
oh, ever so much more…
oh, muchly much-much more
unlucky than you!”
- Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
― Oscar Wilde
- I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
― Maya Angelou
- “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!”
― Audrey Hepburn
- “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
― Albert Einstein
- “You’re going to come across people in your life who will say all the right words at all the right times. But in the end, it’s always their actions you should judge them by. It’s actions, not words that matter.
― Nicholas Sparks, The Rescue
If you have a favorite quote, please share or comment.
The world of Dragomeir has a remarkable number of varying species which seem to get a lot of press when it comes to origins and abilities. As a result, other key characters seem to get lost in the shuffle. I think it’s only fair to give credence to a couple of characters who were instrumental to the plot, and came to the rescue of Tanis, the headliner of the story.
- The first of these two people is Betty, the Den Mother at the Emerald Grotto. She is matronly and ageless. She is older, but at the same time, seems youthful. I know how that sounds, but she’s somewhat of an enigma. Her graying hair is always tied back in a bun and her clothing makes her look strangely homebound and domestic. It’s her energy that impresses everyone the most, and a very imposing demeanor. Betty is fearless and plays a huge role in the conclusion of the Dragomeir Trilogy.
- The second is Jean. Originally the secretary to the Thaumaturgists, she manages to fool everyone into thinking she is ditzy and slow. Jean shows up in the second book, “Flight of the Aguiva” proving just how wrong that assessment really is. She turns out to be a member of the Watcher Clan, and an aggressive, sometimes rash leader, dedicated to the furtherance of Mt. Drago. Highly trained in combat, Jean uses her skills in the service of Queen Mother, both in the field and at the mountain in ways that disturb Tanis and his dragons. Jean is the embodiment of how far a person can go when properly motivated. She is an over achiever and proof that you don’t need super powers to be a super soldier. So check out these two remarkable women and find out how they helped save Queen Mother’s beloved mountain and the world.
Books 1-3 of the Dragomeir Trilogy are available from multiple sources at –
Do you have a favorite character from a book who isn’t the main character? What books have you read where those people really stood out and why?
See you soon,
O God, when I have food,
help me to remember the hungry;
When I have work,
help me to remember the jobless;
When I have a home,
help me to remember those who have no home at all;
When I am without pain,
help me to remember those who suffer,
help me to destroy my complacency;
bestir my compassion,
and be concerned enough to help;
By word and deed,
those who cry out for what we take for granted.
-Samuel F. Pugh
Let’s always remember to be Thankful for God, Family, Friends and every Blessing. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
I came across a very interesting site, The Next Best Book Blog, that not only gives you an idea of where writers come up with their creations, but shows pictures of these locations. (If you’re like me, you will love being able to visualize where the creativity originates.) It is a weekly series that features a different author every week. I have always loved books, and as an author I find it interesting to see where other writers are generating their masterpieces. So here’s the link – Enjoy!
P.S. Where do you write? I’d love to hear from you!
Hi, Solitaire here. It’s that occasion again – Memorial Day Weekend. Time to take a break, even if it’s a short one, to spend some quality moments with family, or just relax and do something other than work. You deserve it! As an author, that’s hard for me to do. Not the spending time with family part, but the not using the time to write part. I almost feel guilty not using every spare moment to sit down at my computer and continue to write my latest novel. I think that’s probably a universal feeling with most authors. But like any profession, authors need to get away from their chosen profession once in a while. So take this weekend to unwind a little, and maybe it will spur those creative minds on to bigger and better ideas for your up and coming writing endeavors!
Have a great mini-vacation and enjoy some much needed relaxation! Happy Writing!
You can check out my just released Dragomeir Series Book Two, “Flight of the Aguiva” here –
Today I came across some great tips concerning dialogue from a regular contributor to CreateSpace.com, Maria Murnane. (www.mariamurnane.com) She writes romantic comedies and provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. So I thought I’d share what I thought were some helpful pointers.
- Look who’s talking.
A common problem is that the characters all sound the same, so the readers have a hard time telling them apart. As a result, the readers get confused, annoyed, distracted, or all of the above – none of which you want to happen. If you want your readers to become invested in your characters, you need to bring those characters to life – and dialogue presents a wonderful opportunity to do just that! So when your characters speak, have them make an impression. Are they sarcastic? Jaded? Bitter? Happy? Sad? Pessimistic? Optimistic? Loyal? Funny? Do they use their hands a lot when they speak? Do they lower their voice when they gossip? Do they chew gum? Do they have a particular gesture or body tic that gives away what they’re feeling? You may have heard the expression “show, don’t tell,” and this is a great example of that. Don’t tell us what the characters are like, let them show us.
- Does your dialogue sound realistic?
When I read a book with dialogue that doesn’t ring true, instead of getting sucked into the story I find myself thinking, “Who talks like that? No one would say that.” You want your readers focused on the story, not on the problems with your writing. A good way to avoid having unrealistic dialogue in your own writing is to read it out loud. This may sound a little crazy, but it works! After awhile you will be writing the way people actually talk and your dialogue will be realistic. You want to create strong, believable characters that your readers will care about, so take the time to give them lines that will allow that to happen. With every conversation you write, ask yourself “Does this sound believable?” That might seem daunting at first, but over time it will get easier. It will be well worth the effort. Your readers – and your characters – will be grateful.
- Turn the beat around.
A “beat” is a description of the physical action a character makes while speaking, and good beats can bring your characters to life and make your dialogue pop right off the page. Beats can also help you show your readers instead of telling them. (Misuse of show, not tell is a common mistake many first-time authors make. Remember that readers don’t like to be told what to think
A) “I told you, I’m not going!” John shouted, furious.
B) John slammed his fist on the table, his nostrils flaring. “I told you, I’m not going!”
John is clearly angry. But in example A, we know this because we are told so.
In example B, we know this because we are shown it.
A) “You’re really not going?” Karen said, incredulous.
B) Karen’s jaw dropped. “You’re really not going?”
We know Karen is incredulous, but why do we know this?
In A, we’re told what to think, and in B, we’re left to decide on our own what to think.
Well-placed beats make your writing richer, fuller, and better. And good writing, like good teaching, engages your readers and lets them draw their own conclusions.
- Use contractions in dialogue.
Well written dialogue draws you into the story and makes you feel like the people speaking are real. So to write good dialogue, use language that sounds the way people actually talk. And in English, that includes contractions. A lot of them. Without contractions, people sound more like robots than real people. (Did not becomes didn’t; Is not becomes isn’t; Do not becomes don’t; I am becomes I’m; He is becomes he’s, etc.) Contractions aren’t often used in formal writing, but they are for informal conversation, especially in the United States. So perhaps you should review your own dialogue to see if it passes the robot test.
- Dialogue doesn’t necessarily impact the plot, but it impacts character development, which is just as important.
Once you have completed your novel, read it over again. You may need to tweak the dialogue a bit, especially in the early chapters. Your characters have probably evolved, and some of the early lines may no longer fit their personalities. Good stories do a wonderful job of creating characters who are like real people to the audience, and that’s what you want to do with your manuscript. So when you’re finished, go back and read that dialogue with fresh eyes. Do you think it rings true throughout for each of your characters? If it doesn’t, change it! That’s the fun thing about being the author – it’s all up to you.
Have any tips that you’d like to share? I’d love to hear them.
In my Internet travels I am always on the lookout for sites that are not only helpful to me as an author/writer, but that may also be interesting to other readers. Today’s little gem is called “KATHARINE WRITES, Be Online Better.” Katharine is a writer, blogger, and online presence strategist, and her website is packed with great insights on a multitude of topics – one of them being Blogging. Here is a great link to check out if you’re a newbie to blogging or if you just want to improve on what you are already doing. So take a look – Katharine has quite a bit of information that you might find helpful. Don’t forget to scroll down the page to her “TOPICS” section to find other useful information on
- Social Media
- And much more. So check this out –
Do you know of any other terrific websites that would be interesting or helpful that you would like to share? Please leave me a comment!