Signed Cover Art

If you'd like to receive a signed cover art postcard, email me at isobael at gmail dot com. Include your name and mailing address and I'll get them in the mail to you.

July 31, 2009

So, I finished my first novel length fiction. I'm still feeling rather ecstatic and oh so very proud of myself for doing so. It's a great feeling to know that I actually started and finished something of that magnitude.

Yes, I know it's not a magnum opus, it'll definitely not win me a Nobel Prize, or even get me on the best sellers list, but none of that matters. What matters is that I FINISHED something I started, and I damn near got my goal of 80,000 words!

My editing partner told me she'd by the book if it was ever published, and I've had some feedback stating that I should be published, why am I not published, that this story is the best I've written to date, that they could see my growth as a writer, and when am I being published.

At 77k words, and first draft, I can honestly say this books needs a LOT of work before I can even consider the idea of submitting it, or if I ever will.

Edits, revisions, more edits...I need to find critique partners who will read it and help me clean it up by pointing out my weaker spots. I need to sit down and clean up the rough draft.

To me, THAT is where I suck. I have a story. I know where story is headed. I know what I want in the story and who is going into the story. I have plot points, I have a setting, I have an ending. I write. Anything more than that is beyond me. LOL. I don't know how to step back and look at it as a reader. I alternate between "It's fine!" and "I wrote this trash?"...

I have other stories I've started and put aside to write the one I just finished. I have stories in my head demanding to get out. None of which are actually cooperating though, by actually letting me plot them down. I feel scattered and frustrated.

I sit at my laptop, staring at the screen, thinking I really should work on my rough draft, then remember I'm done writing it. Two months...

I feel a bit lost.

I'm going to pimp this blog post. It's written by C. J. Redwine and every new writer should make a copy of it to keep on hand. Post it on the wall next to your writing space so you can see it every time you sit down to write. 10 Things New Writers Need Know. Hey, if you comment on her post, tell her Isobael sent you.

Anyway, off to clean out my Fiction folder and see what project I can work on next. Because, as it's been whopped into me a few times, KEEP WRITING!


July 23, 2009

My writing process...

So, C.L.Dreamer and I were chatting it up on IM about our writing process, notes, and carrying a notebook around with us.

I decided to take pictures of my writing process to share how I do it.

I'm not lucky enough to have a whiteboard or foam core board (yet) in order to plot out my story. What I do is write out the general idea of the story first in a notebook. In this case, I use a spiral bound graph paper notebook. (don't mind my cable bill!)

So, I scribble out a general outline of the story. I make a few changes as I go, but for the most part, I have a very basic outline for the story I'm going to write. This also serves as a great way for me to keep in mind of the story idea, in case I decide not to write it soon, maybe putting it off for another story idea. I can always come back to it later.

Then, I put it on my laptop, in a Word file. Again, very basic outline. I might make a few changes here and there while I'm inputting it.
I use this document when I write too, because I can cut and paste the chapter plot points into my chapter and have a running note of what I need to accomplish in that chapter. Any changes are notated.

From there, I print it out and put it in my 3-ring binder. My binder is sectioned off according to the title of the story. I'll keep notes, names, charts in that story's section as well.

Nice and neat isn't it? LOL

Not for long. From there, I start writing the story. As I write, I make a LOT of adjustments and changes to the outline, keeping note of it in my binder.

There are times I take a break from writing on the ms. like, to eat, or spend some family time. I take my notebook with me. As I'm watching tv or carrying on conversation, sometimes I get a brainstorm or idea, and I jot it down in the notebook.My notes might not be in order when I write them down, but I number them and track them with lines and arrows.

So, when I finish a chapter, the chapter plot points are pasted into another Word document, Outline2. This is the final outline for the story, having every plot point that's in the chapter. I also keep a chapter word count as well. Any changes such as during editing will have a new document for each draft.
So, when I am writing on my story, I have a minimum of four Word documents open. The ms, the first outline, the second outline, and a document for any trivia or info I need that I've collected, or if I come across any trivia or info, I can copy and paste it into my notes document.

And that is my writing process. =)

July 21, 2009

Updating my life...

Let's do a little updating that does not include writing. Well, ok, it probably will.

First, house hunting. No, we're not buying, as much as I'd love to be able to. It's just not in our cards. We have crappy credit and until we find a place with lower rent so we can start paying off those back debts collected when the bitch in law screwed us over, we won't be able to improve our credit.

So, looks like we found a place. In Lacey, which isn't Olympia, but outside of it. It's a 3 bedroom, two car garage. The previous tenant has lived in it for almost five years and it needs some repairs. They had one or two large dogs in there from the smell. The carpet in the living room looks to be original, like late 70's carpet, and the windows are the aluminum framed,double paned windows common in the late 70's/early 80's built homes. BUT the windows have glass on them and they OPEN!

LARGE living room. Propane fire place, electric forced air heat. Kitchen is decent and backyard is small, but decent. Needs work, but it's fenced.

LARGE master bedroom with a 3/4 bath. Two smaller bedrooms, one of which is smaller than the other, but enough to be an office. Full bath in the hall, small, but expected for the time frame of when the house was built.

Two car garage, washer and dryer hookups. We'll have to buy our own washer and dryer.

We want it. Even Pixie-Brat was good with it. She liked it. She's excited to move, even with me playing devil's advocate and telling her all the negative things like, moving again, new school, have to make new friends, etc. Technically, she really didn't like it here anyway, and she never really made any close friends.

It's in a decent neighborhood, and it's closer to our friends in Lacey and Olympia. I'll be able to go back to belly dancing!!!

We're willing to put up with the 70's linoleum kitchen floor and the crappy carpet in the living room. Hell, if the landlords paid for it, we could install laminate floors ourselves. It's not like Spike can't do house repairs and upgrades. =)

We're moving away from family again. You know, it seems like we do that, but every time we do move closer, it's closer to Bonney Lake...and then away again. Olympia, Renton, Puyallup, Lacey...who knows. Maybe the next time, it will be in Bonney Lake.

The house in Lacey isn't as far out as our last place in Olympia, and it's minutes from Home Depot, Costco, Safeway, Wal*Mart...

Not the country setting we hoped, but the price is good and if we can pay off our debts with the money we'd save on rent, then we'll do it. It's almost $500 less than the current place now.

If it wasn't for the fact that the current house has so much problems, and it's so expensive for rent for this place, we wouldn't be moving. We HATE to move. I'm so sick of moving, I want to break down and cry...or kill people...when we have to move.

But, it would be nice to have money to pay off our debts and have Spike not stress that it takes a paycheck and almost a half of another to just pay rent for this place.

So, while my family is going to bitch and grump about us moving father away again after we moved close enough to visit often, and I know they deserve the right t bitch and moan about it...I don't want to move farther away...BUT...we were happy in Olympia...and we're not happy in our current place. We have to think of what's best for us in this case.

Which means I won't be flying a redtail like I'd hoped, but I can do a kestrel again. I might be flying a kestrel for a while, until we get our own place, it seems, but I can handle that. As long as I don't lose my permit and my sponsor until I reach General.

As for writing, I'm 47,000 some words into the story. Halfway done. When this is done, I'll start another one. =)

So, to recap. Moving imminent, we just don't know when or where though we have one we want. Falconry going. Writing going. We're alive.

July 16, 2009

Feedback and my response....

My name is REMOVED, I would like to say hello
and offically welcome you to SOL. Sorry, I didn't
say hi earlier in March, but I had college and
physics reasearch can sometime be a drag even
though it what I love to do.

Hello! Thanks for the welcome. =)

Anyways, I hope you don't mind, but I will be
sending you my comments on "Moonlight and Magick"
after every chapter.

Don't mind at all. I like receiving constructive criticism and feedback.

Starting of course with
Chapter 1. First the negative stuff, which
actually only like two things. 1) The whole bad
boy were-wolf thing who also like riding bikes is
a bit cliche. I don't mean cliche like "Native
American" werewolves, I mean cliche in that it has
been done and done for Werestories ... only about
2 times on SOL. (Actually when I check you less
cliche than I though >

I don't read most of the stories on SoL. In fact, I only have a couple of authors I do read, so I don't know what's been written. The motorcycles are actually a little homage to my husband who owned a motorcycle when we met. In fact, it was because if the bike that we met and eventually married. We love to ride, although it's been years.

<;;) Although, I thought
your somewhat muted romance and realism of the
scene was actually refreshing. So really in the
end I was not bothered that you used the were-wolf
biker cliche, I just wanted to point it out.

As a story that was intended to become a novel, rather than the usual short story/novella I usually write, I needed to space out the action and the romance. It didn't need to be hot and heavy from the get go, it had time to grow as they got to know one another better. =)

2) Ok the whole white stag thing reminded me
alot of J.K. Rowling. If it was a intentional
Harry Potter reference it can understand; however,
it was not but something deeper like mythology and
. Not only give the white deer name but actually
explain the mythology of it so we step beyond .

The white stag had nothing to do with Rowling. I don't read her books, never have and never will. On occasion, I'll watch the movies (my daughter loves the movies) but we do not own the books.

The white stag is a reference to the Fae and the Sidhe, symbolizing royalty and regality. The Sidhe (in my stories) are shapeshifters, they can assume any form they want with the use of their magicks, but the white stag was preferred by Amras. Actually, you'll learn more about that in the resulting chapters.

For example what about the fact that the male
wiccan God has the head of a stag, so the stag not
only represents "justice" in the Christian sense
but "order" like the Woten's spear sense. (Plus
the Christian over time got and convenced people
that it was a bull or goat as shown by the five
pointed star)

I'm not sure the Wiccan God had the head of a stag or just the horns. While I am Pagan, I am not Wiccan and do not prescribe to the Wiccan ideals. I do agree that the early Xtian church twisted the beliefs of the "heathens" in order to scare them into adopting the Xtian brainwashing.

Second, the good things: 1) The whole bloody
shirt/knuckles thing being a casual thing between
gang members was a hilarious, and a great parody
of what really happens with gangs.

As werewolves and descendants of Roman warriors, they relish the battle, the fight. Not necessarily killing, but to prove their skills in battles. Blood is merely a badge of honor. Blood is a part of their world.

At first I
though the seen should have been more gory,
however you uses of the "Faulkner" approach to
gothic/gory/rape is pretty good when you combined
it with the heroines there obvious Hematophobia.

I'm not sure about the Faulkner approach. LOL. I'm not even sure what that is. =) Lilian's experiences with blood always included pain, from her abuse with Stephan, the Custodes Secretum, and watching her foster mother be beaten to death in front of her.

Whatever muse or person inspired you with that
scene keep around for a long time!

No muse there. =) Simple emotional logic (if there's such a thing). Seeing and experiencing those horrors would form a sort of post traumatic stress tied to that catalyst. Hubby hears loud explosions and helicopters, it brings to mind his experiences in the Gulf and in Panama. Seeing blood recalls seeing Janie beaten to death and Stephan's abuse of her.

2) I think the
concept of more than one romance story or maybe
romantic trajedy was and is a great thing. I
throw readers like me slightly off when we see a
side-character like Maria to the main female lead
looking for love especially when it two or three
side characters.

I always try to round out the story with more than just the main characters. The real world has supporting characters, so should stories. It might not mean anything in the grand scheme of things and Maria might not be anything more than just a comedic secondary, but she exists. =)

P.S. I figure you already know this but the
"witches evil" five pointed star should always be
upside down so it looks like the a goat (when i
really should be a stag... I remember from
philosophy the Church got it wrong when they made
the male wiccan God the devil as a goat or bull
and not the stag).

The upside down pentagram is the banishing pentagram, used to banish negativity. The Xtians made it out to be evil.



P.P.S. and while I am on the topic the yin-yang
symbol is actually a cleverly hidden scientific
data of the Chinese mapping of the shadows of a
stick over a year, which proves the earth orbits
the sun. Thus technically magic based on this
symbol does actually interfere with science. Of
course we don't call that stuff magic in the
Western sense but truelly the word "Chi" in the
Chinese sense.

*Grin* Good to know. I'm 1/2 Chinese and never knew that. =)

By the way, the symbol on her palm is neither the pentagram or the Yin Yang symbol. =)

July 14, 2009

Some feedback and my replies...

Answering some readers' feedback...

Names will be withheld for privacy. If they wish to comment with their names, then by all means, they have the freedom to do that. All feedback is straight cut and paste, in its original message, unedited except to remove their identities.

Very good, as are all of your stories. I am wating for the rest of this enticing tale. Yes, you have cught us readers in your suspense once again as we await the determination of just what Lillian might be. It is disappointing the white stag dispenses with the lupine in such a perfunctory manner. My romantic leanings were preparing for a unon of Mattthias and Lillian. And the death of her coworker is really a shame as she was truly innocent of anything to do withe Lillian. That killing seemed inappropriate as now the killer can learn nothing from her.
Thank you again for sharing this with us

Thank you for the feedback.

There are reasons for the White Stag's behavior toward the Lupine, which will be revealed later in the story.

The death of Peggy was a plot point, used to show Stephan's madness. She was an innocent, yes, but bad things happen to innocent people, even in stories, and her death was a catalyst. I'm not sure how you mean by inappropriate, as Stephan believed he killed Peggy because Peggy told the "bad guys" about Lilian. He saw it as a betrayal on Peggy's part and thus, eliminated her.

hi, i actually tried to post to your blog, but
couldn't. well anyway. wow, great job and great
story. i love this version even better than the
previous. also, i think that the innocent dying in
this story furthers the feeling of how evil the
individual is.

I'll check to see what's up with Blogger about comments. Did it direct you to another page or was the comment form on the same page as the blog?

Thank you for the feedback.

Exactly. Evil and insane. =) He had his reasons, as twisted as they may be, he thought it to be logical.

I am patiently waiting for Moonlight and Magic to mature but I have to say that I really like the first version; I'm waiting to see where your going to take this one. Either way, your an excellent writer and at the end of the day; I'm really going to love it even more! Thanks for allowing us into your world

Thank you for taking the time to read my stories.

Yes, it's a bit slow. Unfortunately, it's made to feel even more slow because of the website's slow posting. This version is meant to be a novel, or at least novel length and so the actions isn't as up front and direct.

love your stories they kick ass

Thanks! LOL.

Woo-hoo! Love the new posting, now I need to drag up my old druid and celtic lore. Oh my, I love the possibilities of two strong cultures that had a historical face off.

I totally missed her silver eyes. I wonder what Matthias think of her scent? I wonder how Lillian feels inside his head? Argh, and poor Peggy! I'm pins and needles about what could happen to Peggy's body. You are wonderfully evil with the cliff hangers.

However I still feel the sexual tension is barely percolating, especially in the library, where L&M behaved more like students researching a school project than two adults learning about each other.
Thank you for your post! I do love your work, please keep writing.

Thanks for the feedback.

What you're reading is the first draft of the story as I set it down. Second and third drafts will get the much needed edited details added (or removed!) when I get the whole story down.

Thanks for pointing out a few things I need to make note of. =)

i just wanted to say that I absolutely LOVE the
Blackwater Series. I hope that one day you will
publish them as books. It's an AWESOME story. I
think you'd do quite well :D

If a publisher wants to publish a series of novellas, than I'd LOVE to have them published. Not sure if they'd go for it, or if all the stories would be published in one book. They still need to be gone through to do some editing though, but thank you for your kind, supportive words!

July 13, 2009


Moonlight and Madness

Chapter Six is going to be longer than the other chapters. It's almost a pivotal point in the heroine's life, getting answers, some understanding of her past. I was going to end it at 5500 words, as I had an excellent stopping point, but Chapter Seven is already blocked out and planned and to move some things over to Chapter Seven would mean I would have to shift some things over to the next, and so on. So, I'm going to lengthen the current chapter and see where it takes me.

I was getting a bit depressed with writing this story because I was fighting myself. I see a clear picture in my head of how I want the story to go, but for some reason, this chapter was not going well and some of the feedback I was getting was that they were unhappy with the story so far. They felt no chemistry with the main characters, someone (an innocent) died as part of the story and I was poo-pooed for that. Obviously, naming characters who die is a "bad thing" because readers don't want named characters to die? I don't understand it.

Anyway, I now have a writing desk upstairs in the bedroom and it's away from the tv, the family, and I can concentrate more. Last night I whipped out 1500 words. My enthusiasm and self confidence got a boost just by getting my own writing desk and a corner of my bedroom to write in. The writing desk is actually a $69.99 dining table from Ikea, unfinished pine. I love it.


Today, my sister came over and trimmed my hair. I no longer have to shellac my spikes to get them to stand up for my liberty haircut. =) We put on makeup and she snapped a few pictures of me to play with. I don't have any of the pictures so I wait for her to send me some.

Cottage Pie for dinner tonight. I'm starving. Spike is on his way home from work. His car broke down on the way to work this morning. There's a crack in the radiator. So I had to go down and bring him water, then follow him home as he drove his car back to the house and took my car to work. Fun, huh?

That's it for now. Back to writing some before dinner.

July 11, 2009

My first sailing experience...

Every year, during crabbing season, we get out our crab pots and drop them out in the Sound for crab goodness. Last year, I never went out with Spike and Pixie-Brat because I didn't have a fishing license with all the nifty additions, like crabbing. Normally, I just get a freshwater license and call it good. This year, Spike bought me the whole kit and caboodle, so I've been going out with them to check the pots. In a wooden dingy, no less. So we row out, check the pots, and row back with any crab we catch and are legal, of course.

Well, yesterday, after Spike got off work, he had me drive Pixie-Brat and myself down to the marina where the dingy is tied. I may have mentioned that Spike races on a sailing yacht with a coworker who owns the yacht? Anyway, The Susan Skadi (skah-dee) is moored there at the marina. We arrived there and Ziggy was there. He was going to drop his pots out and said he'd take us out on the Susan, and do a little sailing.

Ok, Spike has told me "horror" stories of sailing with Ziggy, and the boat "washing the rails", or in sailing terms, "Heeling". This is when the boat goes sideways as it's catching wind and just ripping through the water.

I can swim just fine and I love to go to the lake to swim (when we lived at Summit Lake) but for some reason, when Spike takes me out in the dingy, I am a nervous wreck. I've never swum in open water and I'm terrified of sharks and getting stung by jelly fish...and basically anything in the ocean.

So Spike told Ziggy I'd never gone sailing before and suddenly, we're going sailing! LOL.

Things were cool. We motored out of the marina to drop the pots and check our pot, then we raised the mainsail and the jib, and were off.

The first time we heeled, it scared the bejeezus out of me! LOL. And after that, I was fine! I learned how to brace myself and everything was kosher. I even knew automatically to watch for the boom when it comes about.

Ziggy let me take the helm. Of course, he then goes up to the bow and LEAVES ME steering the boat. LOL. Luckily, he'd point in the direction where he wanted me to go and signal when it was just perfect. When the boat started to heel though, I got a bit panicky and Ziggy came to take over.

The only other time I kind of freaked out was when I was convinced to actually go out to the bow where Pixie-Brat was sitting. It was fine until the boat started to heel. I braced my foot on the rail, held on, and rode out the heel. After that, everything was just fine.

It was so FUN! I loved it. I probably would be scared to death to go out with them when they were racing, but I'd go out again if Ziggy invited us to go out again.

It's also strange that I wasn't nervous at all for the most part, but scared to death when in the dingy. I didn't even think about "what if I fell in" or whatever, but when in the dingy, if we ride out a wake, or Spike leans to one side and the boat leans over, I'm near panic.


Anyway, here's a couple pictures of the Susan. She was built in 1935 and is a wood hulled sailing yacht, 35 feet in length.

Spike and Pixie-Brat after we docked.

We saw this one while we were under way. I LOVE this, but then I'm Chinese and it's part of my heritage!
From what I understand, they're slow, but I LOVE the look of the sails!

July 6, 2009

Interesting wake up...

When you live in a haunted house, like we do, there's nothing like waking up at 5 am to husband saying loudly, "What the hell is THAT?"

Those are not the words one wants to hear spouse say when you know there's a spirit or spirits in your house, and ESPECIALLY something you don't want heard said in your bedroom.

Luckily, it wasn't the resident spirit(s) this time. It was a little brown bat that had gotten out of the attic and in its fluttering panic, gotten into our bedroom and fluttered around. We managed to herd it back into the upstairs bathroom and into a little walk in closet, intent on capturing it to release outside, but it disappeared. We found the small gap open to the attic that we suspect it flew out of to become trapped in the upstairs.

Ahhh, the joys of living in old houses. Bats we can live with, no problem. It's the rats in the basement that need to be dealt with.

July 2, 2009

I want to thank everyone for your patience. I know it’s been a while and I’ve gotten some lovely emails inquiring whether or not I’m going to submit any more. Actually, I’m in the process of revamping a story idea I had been working on and am rewriting it, adding to it, taking things out, in order to make it my first “novel”. My other stories posted are about 50,000 words but I want this one to be at least 80,000 to 100,000.

Some of you may find it all so familiar. I've borrowed bits and pieces from other stories I've written for this one as it fit. Some of you may find it all so familiar. I know I received more than a few emails asking if I was going to continue this. I only hope the changes I’ve made make it better than the original.

As always, constructive criticism is ALWAYS welcomed. Don't comment if you're just going to be a jerk. OH! And if you're going to send me private feedback, don't ask me questions if you don't leave me an email address I can send the reply to.

I’ve also decided that this “novel” will not be published. It’s too…well, let’s just say that while I’m happy with how well I’m doing in the writing of it, I’m not entirely sure it’s good enough for publishing.

We’ll call this a practice run novel. =)

Chapter One has been submitted on Literotica and on StoriesOnline. They haven't been approved yet, but I figure it should be on SoL first and in a couple of days, on Lit. I think I might even post it on my Livejournal account, but I have published author friends and I don't want them to feel uncomfortable with it there. I know many will not read unpublished work.


July 1, 2009


Chapter Six - so far...

Total Word Count - so far...

Not so good today. Too much was going on. Now, trying to update my daughter's laptop (she has my old one so it's a bit of a clunker) and it's taking up my writing time.

Anyway, can't even keep my eyes open and I still have to make Spike's lunch for work tomorrow.

I'll trudge off to bed when I'm done making his lunch.

Today was our start of Crabbing season. Spike dropped the pot this morning but when we all went out to get the pot, I learned a few things.

1. I HATE being in a small bow (we rowed out, the three of us. He rowed while Pixie-Brat had the bow, and I had the stern.
2. When pulling up the crab pot, and it's snagged on something below the water and the hubby is pulling hard, it rocks the boat. Hard. I hate that because of #1. Actually, hate wasn't the right term for #2. It TERRIFIED me...

I am not an open water type of person. I can be in a speed boat, I can swim in a lake, but I cannot swim in the Sound nor can I be in a row boat on the Sound.

Anyway...ok, make Spike's lunch, then bed time before I dislocate my jaw from yawning so much and so hard.

OH! Forgot to tell ya'll. I had to report an aggressive driver to the state patrol. Some lady in a silver SUV pulled into the Sportco parking lot behind us. We were trying to see if it was still open (they were closing) and she sped up to pass us, going an unsafe speed in the parking lot. She nearly clipped us. She got to the exit of the parking lot and we got to another one. Because of oncoming traffic, she had to wait, but we got out onto the road and she just guns her SUV out onto the road and was speeding up the road. If Spike hadn't of sped up a little, she would have rear ended us. So she's all honking her horn and gesticulating wildly so I grabbed my trusty digital camera and snapped pictures of her and her SUV, including license plate.

-She was cutting through the parking lot to avoid the interection.
-She was speeding through the parking lot.
-She passed us illegally in the parking lot.
-She was going a high rate of speed on the main road.
-She had to slam on her brakes to keep from slamming into our rear end.
-She was on the phone.

I hope the WSP give her a ticket.