HotWells20161-5

Hot Wells: in Real Life & in Fiction

Hot Wells is a San Antonio hotel that was built in the last 19th century and counted as its guests people such as Charlie Chaplin and Teddy Roosevelt.

Since that time the hotel experienced at least five different fires and now all that is left is the bath house, the hotel itself long gone. And even the bath house is now mostly a ruin, with walls that defy gravity and bricks piled everywhere. But despite its rundown appearance, it’s a magical place.

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Walking Man sculpture

Razors and incisors – a short bit of fiction

Tonight I attended a writing meetup at the Austin Zen Center.

After a brief meditation we all wrote for 25 minutes on a prompt. One of the participants unwrapped a small metal sculpture. It was an emaciated figure of man (in the style of the sculptor Giacometti as illustrated here), standing with a rat’s nest of wires jutting out from his head at acute angles, like a bunch of triangles. The sculpture made me think of disturbed thoughts or nightmares, and from that, I wrote the following:

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Public Reading – and a Discount!

A public reading! Oh my!

On January 23, from 3-5pm at Malvern Books in Austin, TX, I’ll be one of three authors giving a public reading of my novel By Moonrise.

Auriga Project novel cover Lost Library box set covers

Joining me are Matt Herron, author of the sci-fi thriller The Auriga Project and Kate Baray, author of several urban fantasy novels including the Lost Library collection. We’ll each read selections from our books and talk a little about our journey to becoming indie authors, followed by a book signing and refreshments.

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handwritten drafts

The Agony of Writing a Book Blurb

My book (By Moonrise) is done. The cover is done. All that’s left is a final review of the galleys (the pages as laid out for printing), writing up the acknowledgments, and the back of the cover book blurb.

The blurb.

The ever-so-important summary that is meant to tease and inspire, describing just enough that it piques a buyer’s interest. It’s the text on the back of the book, and the text that glows in neon on Amazon.

You’d think that 150 or so words wouldn’t be that hard to write, especially for someone who writes novels and also is a professional copywriter.

You’d be wrong.

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photo of the edge of a cliff

Standing on the Edge of Publishing

Once upon a time, I stood at the edge of Jumping Rock at Waimea Bay in Hawaii.

My friend and I had watched dozens of kids climbing up and jumping into water below. I laughed, thinking they were crazy. Then my friend said he was going to do it too, and for some reason, I didn’t want to miss out.

There was no way I could ever do such a terrifying thing myself. The rock was 35 feet high. But as I watched everyone do it, temptation sunk its evil hooks into me. I scaled the rock in my bare feet, knowing that I could never get back down without hurting myself.

Then I was there, like so many people before me, looking down at the water way below me.

It was easy, right? Just jump. It didn’t seem that risky. The water was clear, and sufficiently deep. The bottom was sand as far as the eye could see.

But jumping from that height was madness, especially for someone with a moderate fear of heights. How could I ever do it? What had I gotten myself into?

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nanowrimo2015-design-by-eric-nyffeler

Tips from a NaNoWriMo Evangelist

Al card from the tarot deck of Jean Dodal of Lyon, c.1701-1715. Source: Wikipedia
A card from the tarot deck of Jean Dodal of Lyon, c.1701-1715. Source: Wikipedia

Once again, I have embarked on the journey of invention and self-discovery that is NaNoWriMo.

This will be my third National Novel Writing Month attempt. It also marks my first year as a Municipal Liaison (for the Austin/Central Texas region), a position I volunteered for because I love NaNoWriMo so very much.

Here are a few of the lessons I learned from my first two “wins” (successful NaNoWriMo challenges):

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Edinburgh Castle. Source: Wikipedia

Belatedly late update

I’ve been up to a lot lately, and sadly, blogging hasn’t been as high on my list as I’d like.

The important thing is that I’ve been writing a lot. Between my professional copywriting gigs and my novels, I generate a lot of extra vowels each day. I’ve also submitted two different short stories to contests, and I hope to do a few more of those in the next few months.

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