What I Write

Click on Covers for Excerpts and More


Maybe a Cameo #MFRWAuthor

This week's topic, "Putting Yourself In The Story," asks a question every writer will have to field sooner or later. It is also very close to the 2018 topic "How much of you are in your writing?"

When I first saw "Putting Yourself In The Story" I immediately thought of author, actor, television writer, and producer, Stephen J. Canell. And the reasons were not just the closing scene of his programs where he's typing and rips the paper out of the typewriter, but from his on-screen acting including his recurring role as the crooked police officer Donald 'Dutch' Dixon in the television series, Renegade.

Then I thought of Louis L'Amour who was known for having walked the ground or worked the jobs presented in his books.

But do I put myself into the story? I think in some ways, every author leaves a little of themselves on the page. It might be an unconscious leakage of a childhood memory appearing in the hero's past or places we've been that became settings in our books.

Image by Brigitte Werner from Pixabay
Despite the fact that Lady Ellspeth, captain of Sea Falcon loves the crustaceans found in her native seas of Nerelan, and I love Gulf shrimp, and we both have silver hair, I firmly state -- I'm not my characters. The closest I've come is the retired gunslinger, Hell Lost. Hell was the first character who really appeared to me as a fully-defined person. Other reasons I relate to her, our ages about the same as is our sense of duty and honor. And, oh yeah, Hell's real name is Helen Lawson, which is another reason why I relate to her

But the answer to the question of putting myself into the story is a definite no. Except maybe for a quick cameo where no one knows it's me.

This is a hop so be sure to visit the other authors in the challenge at https://mfrw52week.blogspot.com. ~till next time, Helen


Hooked on Windmaster, destiny foretold #mfrwhook

Today's excerpt is from the first story set in the world of Windmaster. From the book that gave the universe its name, a tale of friend's lost and raw memories, Introducing the kapuna tree.


The faint blue rune of an illusion spell flickered, its light almost hidden within the thick bushes’ sapphire leaves. A wave of Dal’s hand cleared the protective spell. Three steps took him into the veiled clearing. The stillness, the feeling of peace, was even more overwhelming here than on the mountain. Even the need for vengeance, bred into his bones by the traditions of generations of his ancestors, gave way before it.

An ancient tree, old before time began, almost filled the small space. Long tendrils hung finger-like from the branches that formed a high canopy.

Heart-shaped leaves covered each narrow strand. In each leaf, veins, the brown-red color of dried blood, made the tree look like the grisly aftermath of battle. Dal slowly walked around the tree. Close up he could see a faint symbol—a mage identification—on each leaf. With each step he traced the names of dead friends and the fellow members of the Wizard’s Council.

Something shimmered at the end of a branch. The leaf’s vein was a vibrant pure red. Instead of the stillness of the other leaves, this one pulsed. Even before he spotted the rune that symbolized his own name, Dal realized the leaf’s rhythm was that of his own heartbeat. The leaf marked his lifeline.

At the end of the branch, a leaf without a symbol also vibrated. He ran a finger along of its main vein. Despite the feather-light touch, a shock numbed his arm. Ellspeth’s face appeared then faded, leaving behind only an undefined yearning.

The flicker of the adjacent leaf was noticeably slower, and with each passing second, the color turned darker and darker. Its small veins had already shifted into deep red. Dal knew without even looking that the name marked on the leaf was Semelen’s.

Semelen’s hand felt warm on Dal’s shoulder, despite the coolness of the glade. “It was not your fault, my friend, that you were away when it happened. The poison spread so quickly not even the most skilled healers among us could have saved those on the island. We’re just fortunate you survived to carry on the work... and to rebuild the council.”

Dal wrenched away from the intended comfort. “There is no council anymore. Everyone is dead. I built the pyres myself.” His voice grew quieter with each word, until it was almost a whisper.

~ ~ ~

For a limited time, get Windmaster on sale for 75% off at Smashwords. https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/697506

The rest of the hop is at http://mfrwbookhooks.blogspot.com


Dressing Up #MFRWAuthor

Childhood tea parties with pretend friends or with stuffed animals is not something I remember from my childhood. You could say when I was growing up that I was a tomboy. Of course, living on a working farm, jeans, tee-shirts, and a long-sleeve flannel shirt to protect against the bugs and sun were more comfortable than a skirt and blouse. 

Cultural expectations were also different back them. Ladies didn't wear slacks out in public, let alone shorts, so whenever we were going to the store it was tie to get out of work clothes and dress up.

Dressing up for a special occasion can be a pleasure if the outfit fits well, looks good, and will be worn for more than just a few minutes. Nothing is more frustrating that digging an outfit from the closet to find it is too tight (or too loose) or the shoes hurt your feet. Or if it still reasonably fits, that dinner out is over quicker than you thought and you're home less than an hour later. It took longer to put the outfit together than you had it on. The ultimate aggravation of dressing up is after finding a matching blouse and skirt, or a nice dress, despite dumping out and riffling through the sock drawer, there isn't a single pair of nylon stockings without a run in them.

That's the end of the rant. Hope you love the pictures of fun (or not) of dressing up. Off to change back into my comfy pants and sneakers. ~till next time, Helen