Trust yourself. You’ve survived a lot, and you’ll survive whatever is coming.

The above quote is from American writer, Robert Tew.

Self-trust is probably one of the hardest things that some of us have to do, but in these uncertain and changing times, it is probably something at which we all need to become better. It is all part of the ‘self-care’ package that is so, so important these days when we are isolated and need to safeguard our mental health, among other things.

So what, as a writer, could I suggest to help with self-care?

April is Camp NaNoWriMo, and for those that don’t follow the organization, the activity or the site, that event is the little sister to the big National Novel Writing Month which takes place in November.  They have camp in March and in July, and for that, you set your own goals rather than the imposed 50,000 words expected to ‘win’ in November.

Well, just recently, with all of us social-isolating, they launched StayHomeWriMo.  They’re currently on day 6, and as usual, I’m way behind because I was working on getting a particular piece of fiction finished for a monthly prompt. Anyway, here’s the day six details, and if you want to participate click on the link above.

day 6

Speaking of prompts, the first line prompt website I admin for has moved. This is the new web address for The Writers Block.

 

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Combining Thirsty Thursday and Fiction Friday.

As I promised last Friday, this week I’ll give a brief rundown of the current Fanfiction works in progress, and there are a few of them.

Stargate: Universe:
Given No Choice.
Rush is dreaming – or is he? Destiny received an unexpected distress call, and seeks to answer, but to do that needs, not only Rush’s help, but to travel backwards in time.

Star Trek: Discovery:
Butterfly and Phoenix.
In the aftermath of the destruction of the Charon in the Mirror Universe, and Discovery’s return to the Prime Universe, some things are not at all as expected. Conflict rages in the Mirror Universe as various factions try to seize control, and one in particular tries to recruit a familiar face to spearhead their campaign. In the meantime, it seems, fate – or the universe – is playing games with the lives of Discovery’s crew and a ‘revenant’ wants someone to make good on their word, and will go to any length to get their own way. Weaving together, canon, non canon, and a lot of wishful thinking – and trying to make sense of the ideas in my head.

Once Upon A Time:
Thoughts On A Happy Ending Series
Belle reflects on everything – to whom the reflection is addressed remains unspoken. Each individual story focuses on a single episode of Once Upon A Time.

Darker Hearts Series
With Snow and Charming closing in on her before she can complete the casting of the Dark Curse, The Evil Queen begins to tie up loose ends, including the issue of the girl she has locked in her tower, but even that doesn’t go according to her desires, and to punish her former mentor, she places a geas on Belle. Meanwhile Rumple, stripped of his powers by the cell he inhabits shares a dream with Belle – a warning of sorts. Tiger Lily – with Blue’s “help” tries to fulfill her duties as fairy godmother. From the premise of, ‘What if the Bone’s WishRumple finds are not all Belle’s.’ (And therefore is Alternate-Alternate Universe).

Tolkien/Middle Earth:
Laer O Faen
A near fatal encounter with the Serpents of the North leaves Greenwood the Great’s queen with but one choice, one that cost her own life, but she makes a promise to her beloved King, born of a love that has already lasted through more than an age of Middle Earth, and remains the only hope to warm a heart fallen behind a wall of despair. (Mingled Movie/book canon, the span of the entire story takes in events from the 1st – 4th Ages of Middle Earth.)

There are also a couple of Halt and Catch Fire fics that I haven’t yet finished, but I can’t find my notes for them just yet, so have to remember where I was going.  It’s a while ago since I last wrote for them.  All of my fanfiction can be found here, my preferred “platform.”  I’ll tell you a story some time about that ‘other’ place.

 

So, as I said, I was kind of combining yesterday’s scheduled post with today’s, in part because yesterday was nuts (there was a sub in the class, and as the ‘resident’ TA, there was a lot of ‘hand-holding’ to be done). And partly because I’d like to share some of the Stories or writers that I’ve found interesting or inspiring, or that I have just plain enjoyed.  I might do that periodically.  I used to have a personal rule or ‘inability’ to read while I was writing, or at least to read the same fandom, but as I’ve gotten older, that’s not the case any more.  So I’m going to understand what – or rather who I’ve been reading in the Once Upon A Time fandom.

That person is Emospritelet. (Works can be found here). I have particularly enjoyed her story entitled, Neverland – please note, it is for adult readers only.  Emospritelet writes stories mostly set in an alternate universe, where Belle and Rumple are not necessarily the characters as portrayed on the TV show.  It’s odd, because I usually dislike those kinds of stories, but she (I am assuming) has somewhat converted me.  She writes well, with emotion, and a degree of realism, and manages to include some ‘canon’ moments in an AU.

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Work On Wednesdays: Driftwood Press

Today’s Work On Wednesday post comes courtesy of a tweet by Submittable.

Driftwood Press are currently accepting a number of submissions.  They are looking for Novellas, Shorter fiction, poetry, craft essays and interviews, and graphic novels and comic collections. All submissions are paid and full details are available on their website.

Happy Writing!

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Talk About, Tuesday: What Shall We Discuss?

I have a strange feeling of Deja Vu.

One of the things I suggested we could do on Tuesdays was an ‘Ask Me Anything’ kind of thing, but that’s hard to do unless there are folks willing to ask question.  So, here again is my invitation – my challenge perhaps.  Go on… ask me anything.

It’s a strange thing, as a matter of fact, the level of engagement that we, as readers, give to those we read.  Even me, I’ll confess. We read people’s blogs, tweets, Facebook posts, etc. and rarely engage beyond pushing the ‘like’  button. In fact more often than not, the posts that draw the most comments, (besides those answering famous celebrity’s SM posts), are ones that are controversial in some way; once which provoke in us the ‘flight or fight,’ response – and our actions are most often ones of fight.

So when we come across innocuous, or even pleasant posts, beyond ‘liking,’ the post, what are we to do?  How do we best engage?

For me it boils down to, do I have a feeling one way or another? If not, I’ll generally leave the post alone – I gave up the ‘like’ button a long time ago.  However, is that respectful to the people that have gone to the trouble of sharing something that obviously meant something to them? It is a conundrum, the answer to which eludes me.

Mind you, whenever I read a person fiction on the internet now, I am sure to leave a comment now, because I realize how disheartening it can be that you go to all the trouble of writing something and then no one ever comments, and I’m not the only writer that posts fiction online to bemoan the lack of comments from our readers.  And as a writer, also, I’ll always trying to answer a comment if one is left.

So my friends, how do you go about solving this issue – though perhaps it is a non-issue for you?

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MBS Monday: How Can You Take Care of Others…

…if you cannot or do not take care of yourself?

Since Mondays are all about MBS – that is Mind, Body and Spirit – I thought a good place to start would be something that encompasses all three: self care.

This is something that I am notoriously bad at, and likely responsible for exacerbating my own mental health issues. Therapists that I’ve worked with often ask me what I’ve done to take care of myself today?  I find it a question that is hard to answer, because usually my answer is just a shrug. It’s hard for me to answer because I’m never really sure what counts as self care.

The website Psychcentral’s blog post about self care defines it as a deliberate, planned activity that we do in order to take care of our mental, emotional and physical health. I actually found the blog post quite helpful, in a way that suggestions given previously have not done so, and I might well find myself following some of the points suggested, though it might be because I am now in a more ‘ready’ state of mind and spirit in order to actually want to take better care of myself.

So let me ask you all that obvious, but often difficult to answer question: What have you done to take care of yourself today?

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Fiction Friday: Recap Part 1

For those of you that may started following my blog most recently.  I thought it would be a good idea to begin with a “Previously on…” kind of post that you’ll often see at the beginning of your favorite TV show.

I write original fiction as well as fanfiction. I believe there a great deal to be learned from writing fanfiction, that it’s an excellent way to hone writing skills that can be used when writing your own works. It’s also a lot of fun.

So, here’s a brief rundown of my original works in progress, and next Friday I promise a rundown of my fan fiction works in progress:

There are two major works in process, one is science-fiction/fantasy, the other a paranormal mystery/adventure horror.

Use’Ara: Harm, is the first in an intended series of stories that follow the fate of colonists sent from Earth to settle in the Andromeda system, but who, for reasons that will slowly unfold, end up wildly off course, and in a whole world of trouble.

Butterfly Raven is a ‘good vs evil’ quest with a difference and several blurred lines, exploring such subjects as angels, demons, love, hate, past lives and spirit guides, and a whole raft of other ‘alternative’ path beliefs. The story follows the trials of a group of friends who go head to head with a quasi-religious cult seeking to awaken a powerful group of ancient beings and use them to gain dominion over the world.

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First Thirsty Thursday

It seems sensible to go back to the very beginning when considering what kindled the ‘thirst’ in me, for spirit, for life; what started me on my current creative journey, especially in respect of Butterfly Raven.

At the age of majority, having ‘found’ (or been found by) my spiritual path, I set out to learn as much as I could about Earth spirituality, Earth energies, lay lines and ancient monuments – places of spiritual ‘power’ with which we can connect, so long as we are open and sensitive enough.

arbor lowTogether with a group of other like minded people, one day we visited Arbor Low stone circle in Derbyshire. It was probably the first place I can honestly say I felt the energies of the place. Over the course of several visits, spaced apart by various intervals of time, I felt the ‘mood’ of the Land in many different ways – sometimes calm and quiet, others dark and stormy, and on more than a few occasions, lost and longing.

Lost, longing, stormy – those were feelings I continued to perceive as I began to visit many more of England’s sacred sites; to interact with the energies there and the sense of place and history, right up until the politics of the alternative spiritual movement in the UK at that time forced a halt to my exploration, and I left the more open circles I had been present in, and began to keep myself to myself, and some time later, I left the country to join my beloved in the USA, and here I am still figuring out a way to connect with the natural energies.

But the feelings and the stories and living consciousness I felt at Britain’s ancient monuments has stayed with me, and has also come to me in several different ways, through books and movies and TV shows, and in memories and in dreams… and in some of the events that occur in Butterfly Raven – though that is a story and post for another day.

Among the authors I have enjoyed whose work touches on these areas are Charles de Lint, William Horwood, Marion Zimmer Bradley (now deceased), Storm Constantine, and Jules Watson. Check out their work, if you’d like to dive in.

Also be sure to check out Facebook page for the answer to a question, and feel free to add questions in the comments sections for an welcome AMA.  I’ll answer those questions on the ‘Through the Looking Glass, every Thursday on Cedarfiction Facebook page.

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Beneath Strange Stars

TL;DR press is calling for submissions for the upcoming publication Beneath Strange Stars. It will be an anthology of science fiction, fantasy and speculative fiction published for charity.  They will be announcing their charity at a later date. Submissions are open until September 30th.

Further details and submission guidelines can be found on the publication’s web page.  Check it out!

Take a look at my Facebook page to find another publication calling for submissions.

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New “Season” New Schedule.

Labor Day has come and gone, and with it, the ending of my ‘summer hiatus.’ I hadn’t ever really planned to take one, but the way things were, one event after another, more balls in the air than I could really juggle, instead of fighting it and ending up doing a piss poor job on the blog, I embraced it as a chance to recharge, reconnect with my muse, and to rearrange the schedule just a little bit.

I’ll be relaunching the Facebook Page, using my twitter a whole lot more than I have previously, and trying to encourage participation and communication with readers.  This could be a good place for a dialogue after all.

So here’s the plan:

MBS Monday.
Mondays post will be concerning Mind, Body and Spirit.and will share thoughts and ideas concerning such things as Mindfulness, Healthful living, and Spirituality. It may include reviews of books and websites on the subject.

Talk About Tuesday.
Tuesday will be where the dialogue will come in. It will include AMAs, and discussion pieces possibly about current events, things that move me as a writer, thoughts that answer questions about what kind of things inspire me, influences, music… basically anything we can ‘talk about.’

Work On Wednesday.
Wednesday is the day where I’ll share notification and links to publications calling for submissions and information about contests – anything I might have heard about that will provide leads for work.

Thirsty Thursday.
On Thursdays, I will share thing that have left me ‘thirsty,’ either for knowledge, or for more content: book reviews, movies and TV show reviews, locations and destinations that have been inspirational for whatever reason.  A mixed bag on hopefully interesting content.

Fiction Friday.
As the name suggest, Fridays will be the day to keep up with works in progress.  Where I used to devote Fridays to Use’Ara: Harm, now I will include Harm, Butterfly Raven, and any other projects I may be working on.

And that’s just the blog…  I have a slightly different schedule for content on Facebook and Twitter. So be sure to give me a follow there!  Hopefully this will all work out, but I can adjust as necessary.

I’m looking forward to a good season of writing!

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The Order of Law

In a previous post, Meet Amasiah Denzyl, a short vignette introduces us to the antagonist of Butterfly Raven. He’s an uncompromising man, relentless in his pursuits, and unyielding in his control of the ‘Order of Law,’ his organization – his… community.

Yes, I am deliberately avoiding the use of the word, ‘cult’ although the dictionary definition would fit perfectly.

…a relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister.

The Order of Law, and their beliefs and practices can certainly be regarded as both strange and sinister, as they are based upon esoteric – somewhat darkly – magical rites that have been handed down to Amasiah by his father, who was the head of the Order before his son.

Law in this instance of course refers not to the law of the land or legal principals, but to occult practices, in a similar way to those allegedly dictated to Aleister Crowley by a spirit being named Aiwass. In the Denzyl’s instance, we do not immediately learn from whence the practices came, rites that have been more greatly influenced by the ephemera and apocrypha of the ‘religions of the book.’ rather than the gods and powers of the Egyptian pantheon.

As such, I’m presented with a delicate balancing act, to write that content in order not to appear to be denigrating those religions while at the same time not being so outrageous  as to be unbelievable.  Of course bearing in mind that this ‘supernatural’ guidance as given to Mr Denzyl Snr. and passed on to his son was interpreted with the human ego and appetites of said men, there is a degree of leeway to be had, as it would be safe to say that Amasiah, and his father both, are in possession of extremely dark souls.

It is that darkness, and its influence, that Ethne Cross and her group of friends must counter in order to save themselves and ultimately to spare society from suffering under its ever expanding influence.

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