Novel Update: Folded Dreams

...and then...and then???

…and then…and then???

Things are dragging a bit with Folded Dreams – not because the ideas aren’t there, but because I can’t seem to find the places the notions belong! Writing a novel can be, at best, tricky and at worst, discouraging. My experience at this stage of the game includes both – and every emotional thing in between.

I’ve received an awful lot of encouragement from so many people, both readers and writers alike, and wonderful ideas on how to get back on track. There’s timelines, rough notes, “just write” (which actually works, by the way!) and the advice of saving editing until last. That’s the one that I have trouble with – that’s the one that takes up the time and puts me into a deep, blue funk.

But I plod along, hoping to catch a bit of inspiration here and there – something that will replace that 15W bulb in my brain with a bright, strobing 150W, 1 million candle power lantern which will flare into life over my grey matter and kick start me into a flurry of productivity.

Folded Dreams will still not likely be finished before Christmas, but a novel takes time, doesn’t it? especially if  you want it to be good. Which I do. Maybe I’ll have something else ready by then, though. Who knows? Stranger things have happened!

(By the way, I’ve finished with my review on M Press of Ire, by Roger Moore. This book is the original to “The Empress of Ireland“, which is now available on Amazon both in print and on Kindle. Read the review. Get the book!!

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From Magnolia Trees to Things That Go ‘Bump’ in the Night

Magnolia Grandiflora - Clearwater FL

Magnolia Grandiflora – Clearwater FL (Amazon has them, too – click!)

Research for Folded Dreams – it’s not all about things that go bump in the night!

As I was reading over my manuscript for the novel, I noticed that there might be a discrepancy between the season portrayed – autumn – and the presence of ‘massive flower buds’ on the character’s magnolia tree. Being a Florida resident where everything grows all year ’round, it had never occurred to me until now that it might be an issue.

‘Ava paused, pen still poised over the paper, to stare out of the livingroom window. There were angry black clouds on the horizon, roiling across the sky in her direction, and a cruel wind was whipping her beautiful magnolia tree all around, as if it was being beaten by a giant hand. She watched as massive flower buds went flying from the branches in every direction and jumped when one hit her plate glass window with a sharp “thwap!” ‘

For the most part, the Southern Magnolia – m. grandiflora – (typically a more tropical flowering tree) will bud in late winter in preparation for a showy array of huge, beautifully fragranced, creamy white flowers in early spring. But I had forgotten that even Florida experiences fairly cold weather and that the magnolia does go dormant at those times…gasp!

magnolia-southern

…of course, some dwarf magnolia trees can be grown in pots (Amazon has those, too – click! 🙂 )

In Folded Dreams, this particular autumn is relatively mild, with balmy breezes and only the scent of fall in the air, but plant life – like humans – can follow Nature’s clock, regardless of how she’s acting. It stands to reason that there is a possibility that my magnolia shouldn’t oughtta have buds or even “fruits”, those leftover pods after the tree has flowered.

For all that I try to make sure the majority of science, history, technologies and terminologies are believable in Folded Dreams, it would be a heck of a note that I screwed up something as simple as whether or not this tree has ever been known to set, bloom or fruit in November, even if the temperatures cooperated!

” ‘M. grandiflora’ is a large, rounded evergreen shrub or tree with glossy dark green, leathery, oblong-elliptic leaves, often rusty-brown beneath, and highly fragrant, cup-shaped, cream flowers to 25cm across in late summer and autumn. In warm summers, these can be followed by striking, knobbly seed pods, from which bright red seeds emerge in early to late autumn. “

Whew! I don’t have to change those two chapters. Folded Dreams is safe – and the magnolia tree can go on thrashing about in the angry winds and throw all the buds at Ava that it cares to!

Ta Dahhh!! The Old Fossil is Celebrating 1 Year with WordPress!

Yeah. I'm cool like that, too :)

             Yeah. I’m cool like that, too 🙂

It’s The Old Fossil’s 1-Year Anniversary on WordPress!!

Another great Goodreads Giveaway is at an end!

All done, folks! Another great Goodreads Giveaway has come to an end!

1193 entries! No complaints😁

1193 Entries! No complaints😁

Many, many thanks to everyone who entered and/or helped spread the word through their own social media. I have great hopes that I will see at least 10 more reviews for Folded Dreams – the Beginning!

I always have such fun doing promotions, whether they’re free books or countdown deals on Goodreads or Amazon. At this point, I’m not looking to make any significant money on this first book (especially since it’s so small😏). Exposure – building readership – gaining reviews…that’s what’s important to me right now. Movie deals can wait😝

So again, now that it has come to an end, I want to extend a huge “Thank you!” to everyone who made this giveaway such a great experience!

Avoiding Plagiarism – or – “Reading off-genré while writing”

When you’re a writer, there’s always the chance that you’re going to be accused of plagiarism, no matter how hard you try to avoid it. The problem is that plagiarism isn’t only taking someone’s work and passing if off as your own, but is also defined as taking someone else’s ideas and doing the same. Considering that original ideas are as scarce as hens’ teeth, how in the world can a writer hope to avoid such an accusation? Well, my personal practice is that, if I’m going to be reading in between bouts of writing, I read off-genré.

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At present, the genré in which I’m writing is Visionary Fiction. This is a relatively new designation which includes a combination of fantasy, scifi, metaphysical and so on. I knew that it was going to be a bit difficult to find something to read, but I didn’t realize just how difficult until I ran into a bit of a writer’s block and decided to take a break. It seemed as though every book I picked up involved a portion (no matter how small) of something I address in Folded Dreams, even if what I’m reading is historical fiction, elves, magic or romance. As a matter of fact, I have a half dozen books open in Kindle right now because I only got so far before running into a similar story-line as my book.

The same situation arises when I watch a movie. I can’t tell you how many times in the past week that I’ve had to change channels five minutes into some film or another because I didn’t want it to influence my writing. That’s not to say I avoid all of them; I do look for inspiration for surroundings and descriptions (adjectives, phrases, etc.) from whatever I read or watch, but I’m so paranoid on the subject of plagiarism, that if a subject comes even close to what I’m writing, I step away from it and go watch PBS, read poetry (and I have to be careful there as well!) or either take a walk or a nap. About the only thing I’m safe reading – and that only relatively – is non-fiction.

I subscribed to Bright House cable television service for the first time in about 2 years this week. Movies, y’all. Lots and lots of movies that I haven’t seen…and all in my favourite genrés: fantasy, time travel, ghost stories and so on. I’ve been lucky that we now have a 24-hour news channel, Food Network and The Travel Channel, and that one of the channels has been showing nothing but all eight Harry Potter films for days now, and that The Conjuring and The Conjuring II (stories from the files of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren) were On-Demand, otherwise I would have slept my week away!

Maybe I am paranoid, but the idea of anyone finding cause to say I plagiarized any part of Folded Dreams is horrifying to me. So I stay off-genré as much as I can when I’m reading or watching television. “Writer’s Life”. I swear, sometimes it can be hell. Just sayin’.

 

“Where do you go for research?”

While I may be only beginning my book publishing journey, I’ve been publishing posts and articles on other blogs and websites since 1996. I retired as a content writer for my last employer’s company and his main concern was summed up thus: “Where do you go for research?”

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My final employment was with a telemedical services company. The owner eventually approached me to work with his social media manager to learn to write content for our company web and blog sites. He also requested that I post original content about the subject of telemedicine on two of my own blogs.

I learned a lot working under ‘Shell (the social media coordinator). She was a brilliant teacher and mentor and not only understood exactly what content was needed, but suggested professional websites that would help insure the accuracy of my posts. Ultimately, my preferred research sites were under thimagesca94x3kne auspices of John’s Hopkins Hospital and University, the Mayo Clinic, JAMA (the Journal of the American Medical Association, NIHL (National Institute of Health Library) and the research libraries that Duke University, Princeton, Harvard, Yale and Oxford make available to the general public.

When I began to evolve my book, Folded Dreams – the Beginning, into novel form, I made full use of the experiences I’ve had with these online resources. Beyond having used these resources for research on previous site content, however, I have learned a good bit more about using my favourite search engine, Google, to research such subjects as physics, theology and religion, neurology, psychology and history (both social and geographical). And of course, I still research the old school way.

Go old school: read a book!

        Go old school: read a book!

From the results of my searches, I have come in contact with writers and authors, individuals who are experienced in the publishing world, whether as lay or professional persons, physics professors and students, clerics – including priests, rabbi’s and teachers of eastern mystical religions – and a number of other writer’s resource materials.

When I have completed Folded Dreams, the novel, rest assured that, while what is written may not be factual, it is done so purposefully. It is, as I have many times stated, a work of fiction after all.

I hope this post as to where I go for research helps those who are not yet familiar with my work, whether as an author or a site administrator/content writer, to understand that I take authorship very, very seriously. Let it not be said that amateurs can be spotted a mile away!

Speaking of which, there are only 15 days left to enter my Goodreads Giveaway, where you can win 1 of 10 print copies of my precursor book, “Folded Dreams – the Beginning”!