Archive for June, 2014

Writing what form today?

As you readers know I do a lot of different stuff. From short stories to novellas to novels to poems to drabbles and flash ficiton. Trouble with this is at times i am not sure where I want to do on a given day. Should i do this or that or what?

I started just last week making up teasers for my novels. Those are basically images with a bit of your book either to the side or embedded in the image and a link to your book.

Last week I posted up the one for Traveler and this week I have one for Endings…but I think i need to do something different for the next ones…instead of the cover i need a sexy image right?

endings-teaser

So today I will be working on something different, once I get all my blogs up-to-date. With blog monday, teaser tuesday, first pages wednesday and marketing friday…I realized i skipped thursday…oh wait that is supposed to be throw back thursday…hmmm…what can I do? How about older poems with images from that time?

Here is the first one. This poem is from my Generations of Love collection.

mom

Teasers…or opps it isn’t tuesday

Yeah I know I am a day behind on this but I had some trouble with this new feature. See one of the things a lot of authors are doing is something called a teaser. This is different from your blurb or cover reveal. Usually you will have an image with a bit from inside the book. A short excerpt. This is my first attempt so it isn’t perfect but I will be making up a bunch of them over the next month for each of my novels and novellas.

traveler

Hopefully these will work.

Trying out new poetry forms

Recently while talking with some writer friends I commented that I wanted to do a book of my photography. Now I have done these before but the focus was on the poetry with the photos as an added bonus. But I wanted to do something a bit different this time.

If you have followed my photography blog you have seen that I have a lot of really fun and I hope good photos of nature. I tend to wander around looking for weeds, yes i said weeds. I find that when you focus on them you can get some amazing images, simply by zooming in close.

Over the four years since I moved to Canada I have taken thousands of photos, some amazing and a number of them trash. But of the ones that I think are amazing I wanted to make a book of them.

Though one thing I thought of is that just those images aren’t enough. I am not an Ansel Adams or anything but I am a poet and a photographer together. What I decided to do was to try my hand at haiku and other shorter forms of poetry. I am sure most of you know what I haiku is. You simply have a short poem that goes like this.

5 syllables
7 syllables
5 syllables

It is a classic Japanese form of poetry and can be amazing when done well. Now my problem is did i do it well? Here are three examples of what I cam up with. If they work I plan in place them inside the images in my photo book.

Come see me my love
Lie down in the field of flowers
Gently at my side

next one

Early morning soft
Light rising slowly once more
Heart lifted once again

and finally

Once more the sun sets
Slowly twilight gathers close
Rest lightly my child

Yup a bit of a theme here right? They were much more difficult to write than I thought they would be. See I mostly do free verse. Generally I will write 2 to 4 sets of four lines each to render my emotions in words. So this was like working on a drabble. Tight and more focused. But to have fun I decided to research as few other forms. They are:

Acrostic
Cinquain
Tanka

Acrostic is a poem where the first letter of each line spells out a word. Not as easy as you might think. Here is an example of what I wrote

Sweet warm light
Undulating softly through leaves
Mesmerizing me
Making my body relax
Exquisite warmth
Remember those days?

You can see that summer was the word but trying to not repeat yourself is not easy but i managed to do a few.

Cinquain is an odd five line poetry form. You basically follow this pattern

line one – one word (subject)
line two – two words (description)
line three – three words (action)
line four – four words (emotion)
line five – one word (synonym of the first word)

It is that last line that gets me. Here is what I came up with

Sad
Tears flow
Dripping down cheeks
Filled with aching loss
despondent

Not quite right is it? They are harder than you would think. To do this form you really need a synonym dictionary, which of course I don’t have!

Now I haven’t actually written any Tanka yet. According to the website i found during my research, Tanka is the grandmother of the Haiku. Instead of the 5-7-5 meter you have 5-7-5-7-7

So two more lines are needed. This will be something I will try and work on over the next few weeks between working on Escape, my new science fiction novel and finishing up the cover for Death Walks Through, collection one. Why not try these forms yourselves? When stuck on writing in one way it is always good to clear your mind another. Good luck.

Eleven chapters in and counting

Working on my newest novel, Escape, has been a bit of a trip. By switching to science fiction I have to work a different set of muscles than my usual fantasy ones. Can’t have magic and elves, swords and armor but I can take some things and put them across.

Fun discussions about how long it would take for something to go from fact to legend to myth and how many generations make up a century can be very enlightening. As I have a universe that left Earth over a thousand years ago, the mother planet has taken on a mythical feel to the average man and woman of the space stations and I wanted to keep that.

Now another thing I wanted to cover was would it have been possible that during the dark ages of Earth that we might have lost advanced cultures that had space flight? After all there are tons of myths of aliens and lost cultures like Atlantis. I haven’t worked that out yet but if I do it just might tie in other in progress science fiction tales I have.

Escape is fun so far, with Adam, a singer and Caro, a dancer who are fleeing from the Masters Cyrus and Marshall, who run the sector they are in. As I work on this tale though I find myself digging deeper than I expected. I have finally brought in Quirin, A hunter from the League and the true hero of this tale..I think! He will be more in the second League book but who knows?

Here is a little excerpt from Escape, a little bit explaining what a Hunter is thought to be:

Legend tells of the Hunters of the League. A sub group of the Marshals of the League, these men and women are said to have fast ships that fly between worlds and stations at speeds that that boggle the mind. A single hunter, it is said, are trained in unarmed combat techniques that would allow that hunter to take down even an enraged Rushkla. They are rarely seen and no one really knows them. Secretive, there are only a small handful of them roaming the deep dark under orders by the League. If you are under siege by pirates or have lost someone to slavers, then you pray that they are in your sector, because they will save those who can be saved, bring the criminal to justice and leave the place safer for the innocent when they disappear into the void between stations.

“The myth of the Hunters by Mary Margaret Jones”
***

As you can see I am having fun. All I can say is this wont be done quickly. I need to do more research!

Working on a cover for a collection

Now anyone who reads my stuff knows I have a lot of Death Walks Through tales. Well with fifteen completed tales gathered together I think I have a nice little book for the readers. At 42.5K it is short of a novel in length but 23 are talking over 100 pages of short stories with Death as a character. My take on the ghost story is of course different than the usual and I think I can reach more readers with a collection. Not all of the tales in the collection have been seen before and like with my Guardians of the Gate City collection I have added little bits from me, the author, explaining a bit about the tale itself and what led me to write them.

So if you are interested here is the first proof for the cover. I need to tweak it some but I think it will be a good one.

death-collection