Sunday, December 18, 2005

Holiday Musing

Holidays

They hold a personal meaning that is individual to each of us. To me they are a general feeling. Have you ever walked into a crowd of last minute shoppers? The wave of colorful clothing. The occasional festive soul who dares to wear red and green, seasonal shirts, or best of all, a santa hat. Sure you have the not so inspirational attitudes of those who lack in spirit, the parent who doesn't enjoy the shopping frenzy to find the right gift for their child. Yet, overall, there is an air to the season that simply feels different.

I don't decorate very much at home. Most years I don't finish sending out greeting cards. I don't have too many people to shop for. Yet, I have gone out into the masses and shared the spirit of Christmas. I have held a door open for the mother carrying six stuffed bags of toys. I have emptied my pockets in the Salvation Army tins. I have wished Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to complete strangers. And in the next week, leading up to the 25th, I will do that much again and again, and more.

Take a deep breath, step into the crowded mall, share the season.

For its not near so much fun alone.

Happy Holidays!! Merry Christmas!!

And to all a good night...

Saturday, November 05, 2005

procrastination queen


Introducing ... one of my first Japanese Butterfly Koi. I haven't given him/her a name yet. This koi is now about 12 inches long.

LOL Now back to writing for Nano. I have done about 12 pages in the last week.

Shannon
writing to some older music tonight.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

NaNoWriMo!!

I did it. As much as I have going on, I signed up for NaNo. I must be slipping ever closer to insanity. I am still debating over what story I will use for the challenge. I would like to use Forgiven as 50,000 would put it darn close to done. The guidlines say you shouldn't use a story that is already started. If I want to stick to that exact wording then I could work on Forgotten which is the story of what happens to Dain, Saxxon's brother. I've got a pretty good idea of plot but haven't written a single word of text. Which for me is amazing. Usually I jump right in and doodle out a couple scenes before bouncing off in another direction.

The good news is that I won't likely be able to stay on task with only one story going, so I could call Forgotten my NaNo novel and work on Forgiven whenever the mood hits me. Maybe it could even be a reward, for reaching dayly goals... maybe.

Well here goes. November here I come...

Shannon

Monday, October 17, 2005

More Great News!!

Well here it is, more great news!! I queried my novella 'Of Blood and Blessings' to Changling Press on Oct 9th and *Boom* I got a response the next day! After reading the partial, they requested the full manuscript.

"Hi Shannon,Thank you for your submission to Changeling Press.We enjoyed it and would like to read the whole manuscript.Once we receive it, please give a us a few weeks to get back to you."

WOW and double WOW... I was in total shock at the quick response. After dealing with print queries the internet equivilant left my head spinning. Of course it wasn't spinning so fast as to keep me from sending the full to them within an hour or so, LOL. Then I settled in for the wait... A very short wait of less than 2 days!! I'm not sure my heart even had time to relax before I got a response and a request...

"Dear Shannon: After reviewing your submission, Of Blood and Blessings, Changeling Press would like to extend to you a contract for publication. "

The welcome was wonderful with a ton of info including the process to follow and who to ask what questions. They assigned an editor and explained a little about cover requests, blurbs, bios, billing, editing, promoting... Wow!! They must have realized what a novice I am and thet I would pester them endlessly enless given the info, buffet style!

The contract was attached. It was adapted from the EPIC Standard Market Contract, very specific and signed and in the mail by the next day.

*sigh*

What a wonderful week.

Shannon :)
soon to be e-published author

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Forgiven (was Forgotten)

Well, I've had a new guy bugging me for a while and I decided to give in to his demands. Saxxon wants a strong woman and he wants her to save him from the demons who own his soul. So here you go Saxxon, a woman strong enough to take you on and take them out.

Chapter One

Kelly Roberts shook her head to clear it of the confusing images that seemed to make no sense. Focus, a child’s life depended on it.

She put the car back in gear and pulled back into traffic. She’d circle the block again. There were always limits and she always pushed them. The police dropped her from the case officially when she wasn’t able to give any more specifics. That wasn’t good enough. She had tracked this child for the past twenty-four hours and she wasn’t giving up now.

While she kept her eyes on the road and the light traffic she let her other senses relax and accept the path that was formed with the child.

She was tired and hungry and very scared. Everything was blurry and confusing through the toddler’s mind. There was no way to fix on any information the child could give.

There was only one other way to find them. Through the mind of the kidnaper.

She pulled the car out of traffic once again. Why, oh why could it never be easy? There was no other choice. This case had a bad feeling to it from the beginning. Some perception of natural and unnatural. Whatever was happening was not natural.

Ridiculous. What was natural about anything she did? Not one thing. Her own abilities had been called unnatural more than once. It changed nothing. She still had a chance, admittedly a slim chance, to save this child and she was damn sure going to try. If it was her son, she wouldn’t give up. It was Sally’s daughter and she wasn’t going to give up.

And that left getting into a sick mind. Each one was different but ever kidnaper was sick, some part of them perverse beyond saving.

She rolled her head trying to loosen her knotted neck muscles and ease the pounding headache that using her abilities always caused. Nothing would help but a long sleep that she liked to call her reboot time. That wouldn’t happen until she had little Sarah back in her mother’s arms.

She reached out for Sarah’s immature mind and strengthened the link between them. Sorting through her mind revealed a single new detail, he call her baby, nice baby. That was all the connection she needed to grasp at the presence nearby little Sarah.

There. A man. Scared, no he was terrified. He hated and he hurt. A burning, ripping agony of hurt. Images of needles. Chains. Bars. Pills. Weapons. Fighting.

None of it made sense. The images were fragmented and had little connection to thoughts or memories. A kaleidoscope with no way to focus the direction. She pulled back to her own mind.

His pain. She could follow his pain. She pulled back into traffic cutting off an sedan and taking the first right to swing into an empty lot behind an industrial building. Abandoned of course. She dug through the clutter on her passenger seat the grab her cell phone. Capt. Rook was on speed dial. He would back her up even when he doubted her.

He answered on the first ring. "Hello?"

"Rook, it’s Kelly. Listen, I’m at 32nd and Long, the empty red brick building. Get here as fast as you can."

"You found her?"

"Yes. Just get here." She snapped the phone shut, dropping it in favor of the 38 cal. pistol which she put under her denim jacket in its should holster. Good thing she wasn’t a size two. Her natural curves hid any bulge that might be seen otherwise.

She grabbed up a picture of Sarah cradled lovingly by Sally’s ample arms. She would use anything she could to get the child to safety. Playing on a kidnaper’s conscious worked sometimes. The 38 worked in others. Either way, that child was leaving here with her.

She closed the door quietly and moved toward the source of wild emotions. Though a broken door and into the empty lobby...

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Fast Draft

Fast Draft, I LOVE IT!!

And I hate it, but mostly I love it. I started trying the Fast Draft way of turning out a maunscript after seeing info about it on Romance Divas (which btw is a great resource). I am now finishing day six and thought I would dump my totals here for future inspiration.

The goal of Fast Draft is to complete 20 pages of rough manuscript on every day for 2 weeks for a whopping total of 280 pages! So her eis how I've done so far...

Day #1 (9/22) R
Finished 20 pages! Total: 20 I'm off to a bangin' good start. Yippy... 280 pages, here I come!! I did copy/paste a little from my original notes to slip into the right spots. No reason to rewrite what already works well.

Day #2 (9/23) F
Finished 20 pages! Total: 40 Still ontrack but it's getting harder to stay at it as the night creeps in and I have less material to copy/paste from.

Day #3(9/24) Sat
Finished 11 pages... Total:51 (3 pages of a rough draft of The Promise) I got off track today. I helped watch newborn puppies at my parent's house. Unfortunately, my muse stayed home. So when I got home I tried to write it all then and didn't do so well. And speaking of do or rather Dew as in Diet Mountain Dew... My muse won't work unless I have that in great supply. He's such a lush...

Day #4(9/25 Sun
Finished 30 pages! Total: 80!!! I bough dew and made headway by leaps and bounds!
Day #5(9/26)M
Finished 15 pages... Total: 95 Back at work and having a hard time balancing it all. It probably didn't help that I went to work exhausted and came home even worse off. I wanted to go straight to bed but instead banged away at the computer.

Day #6 (9/27)T
Finished 5 pages... Total: 100 This puts me a full 20 pages behind and I don't know if I will be able to reach my goals during a work week. I will keep trying but I will also have to be realisic. I am going to finish out the wee trying for 20 but if I keep falling short, I may adopt a 10 page goal for weekdays. If I do, I will add a week making it 3 weeks to get the rough draft down. The positive of this is that in 6 days I have written 100 pages! That really is a good speed for me. It's not that I write slow, but that I usually bounce and FD forces me to stay on the same ms for 2 weeks.

Day #7 (9/28) W
Finished 20 pages! Total: 120 pages!! Yah! I'm back on track, sort of. Technically I'm a whole day behind, but I did finish my 20 pages for today and maybe, if I get lucky, I can catch back up over the weekend. I reformated to standard new courier 12 and 1 inch margins. That gained me 9 pages. But I am claiming the other eleven. With work, shopping, taking care of the dogs, my parent's anniversary, and my sister-in-law's birthday... I feel very lucky to get that much done.

Day #8 (9/29) R
I finished 2 pages. Total: 122 pages. I have stalled out a bit probably because of time limits. The muse is still there but he's not always "ready to go" at the 5 minutes I have to type. Oh well, I'll keep at it and maybe I'll be able to play catch up over the weekend.

Day #9 (9/30) F
0 pages. Total: 122 Very rough day for FD. I didn't get a single page written in Destiny of the Wolf. I did get a little done in Season of Blood, taking it from 7200 to 8100 words. (almsot 4 pages of edits and additions) It is almost ready to submit to the Halloween Challenge at Midnight Passions. That said, *sigh*, that doesn't count toward FD. So back at it, still behind but still happy that I got this far.

Day #10 (10/1) Sat
Finished 4 pages. Total: 126

Day #11 (10/2) Sun
Finished 8 pages. Total: 134! I'm still way off track but doing a little better.

Day #12 (10/3) M
Day #13 (10/4) T
Day #14 (10/5) W

Monday, September 26, 2005

Surprise! She's a he!

Catalyna, my darling little kitten now needs a new name.

What you thought this would be about what? Well, you're wrong and so was I. I adopted a tiny kitten about a month ago and after many health problems due to being motherless, she finally started doing well. So now I have a 3 month old black manx kitten who answers to Catalyna.

A little about the name... Catalyna is also a blood demon (demoness) from my stories, though she hasn't demanded her own yet. Also have two almaost adult cats named Mychael and Nicholys, also blood demons. Nic is black and Mych is a soft orange tabby. So when the new kittens came along I picked another blood demon name. As a tiny kitten Catalyna appeared to be a girl kitty. It can be hard to tell with a wiggling, scared tiny ball of fur that spits and claws. But I was pretty sure so I gave her the name.

So today while giving her some medicine she rolled over and low and behold... extra bits. So now she needs a he name. I kind of like the idea of a blood demon name and I do have 3 boy demons left to choose from.

Including...
Kybaxian, (Bax), Forbidden Blood, Blood Spawn
Boryn, Season of Blood
Gaybriel

I don't really think any of these fit little bit. After some thought I will have to think of some new options. Actually he brings to mind a different character, Slash (Blood Quest, cameo in Season of Blood, and he wants his own book too... which will probably be titled Slash and Burn). Slash is deffinitely not a blood demon. He is... well maybe I don't want to tell yet. *snicker*

S
writing and working to "Never Again" by Nickelback

Friday, September 23, 2005

Music and the Muse

So here I am sitting an my Mom's computer and thinking... why can't I use this time to write? The answer is something that will seem strange to any who don't write but is quite understandable the rest who are often a slave to their muse's whims. My muse is at times, though fortunately rarely, a temperamental shit.

Being the good daughter I try to be, I offered to watch a newborn litter of pups for mom Mom, so she could get some sleep. I got here around 10:30 or so with plans to watch the babies and type away the time on ma's computer. After all it should make much difference whose computer I'm using, right?

Wrong. It must make all the difference or at least something does. It is now about 1:45 and I haven't written a single word, despite much staring at the screen.

So what is keeping my muse from his typical overbearing ways? I thought a few things that might be the cause.

1) being out of my place: Could this be the problem? Am I limited to where I can write? No, I don't think so. I have at times picked up a scrap of paper and written out a scene or two in some of the oddest place. This seems to be randomly inspired moments but not all that uncommon. But on the other hand I don't seem to be able to write much here at my parent's home... hmm, wonder if there is some deep phychological reason... maybe but I really doubt that I am that deep.

2) distraction: Am I too distracted to work here? Oh yeah, I am very sure this could apply. The tv blares. People actually come in *gasp* without knocking. The phone rings here. How strange is that? On a side note I actually chatted for about 10 minutes with the last telemarketer that called me at home. Oh, and to top it all off her dogs bark different from mine.

3) metaphysical: Okay I'm not even completely sure what all this excuse includes... The only thing that springs to mind is that I seem to have an affinity to water. LOL I am an aquarius! Seriously, when I am having a hard time with an idea in writing or sometimes even dealing with problems in the real world, sometimes it helps me to listen to moving water, or hang out my my koi pond or even just take a long soak in the tub.

4) Music. My muse is very musically inclined. I know this becuase when he came into my life he chose a new kind of music for me and only works when I allow those tunes to play. His particular preference is alternative or hard rock played very loud. Certain characters have developed just from listening to specific songs.

I believe that my muse, temperamental as he may be is affected by all these things. All together making it hopeless to persist in my writing efforts here and now. So to make sure that I am doing something useful, I am adding this entry to the blog... well, it may not be much but at leaast is it writing.

Shannon

Monday, September 19, 2005

Great News!

Today at 5:59 I received my first request for publication!!! I called mom and told my IMing friends... so here I spread the news too. Break out the chocolate! Pour the champaign!

I submitted Lost Soul of the Wolf to Chippewa Publishing on September 9, 2005 at 3:29 by e-mail and got my answer back today!

My submission included this blurb...
"He traveled to ease his time among the living. He searched for the meaning of life behind religion. He found a trusting young girl, who became what he needed most, a friend. Tryggvarin is of the Eagle Clan of ValĂ frn werewolves. He left his son with the clan and set out alone after his mate died. For two hundred years he wandered before finding Alice who helped him to understand that there was still a purpose for him. Alice faced the everyday world of nineteenth century England and overcomes the odds to share a friendship with a strange man that is not accepted by her family. Then she learns what he is... "

The Chippewa request said...
"Chippewa Publishing would like to publish "Lost Soul of the Wolf". Is the story still available?"

Short and very sweet. I am so thrilled I can't even express it! Lost Soul is a fun little story that I enjoyed writing. It ties a little, long ago, family history into my paranormal werewolf/valafrn tale. The whole story was mostly written in about a week... Then edited for about two months. I never really worried about wether this one made it into a publishing spot or not. But after sending off Of Blood and Blessings to Chippewa, I thought, well why not, and sent Lost Soul in too. I also sent them Curse of the Wolf so maybe I'll have more good news soon.

www.lshannon.net

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Writing Honesty

Honesty...

Here is where I want to keep myself honest about my writing and goals I set for myself. I have a lot of projects going at once and some may get set aside for quite a while, when some others may seem to get all the attention. So here will be a place I mentally check up on myself while bouncing from project to project.

As a starting point I will list all that I have done and where they are now in the grand plan .

Of Blood and Blessings
finished draft at ~12,000 in February 2005
finished rewrite at ~17,000 words in July 2005. Submitted at Chippewa Press. Waiting for response.

Father of the Wolf
finished at ~75,000 words in May 2005. As of today, I am going through it with another edit. I hope I can add more depth to one of the conflicts and add more detailed descriptions to some of the later scenes. In the meantime, I am submitting Father to agents and editors who I hear may be looking for paranormal romance.

Lost Soul of the Wolf
finished at ~10,000 words in June 2005. Submitted to Chippewa Press. Waiting...

Curse of the Wolf
finished at ~10,000 words in September 2005. Submitted it Chippewa Press. Waiting...

Season of Blood
finished draft at ~6,000 words in August.
edit due for contest on October first.

Destiny of the Wolf
wip at ~13,500 words. Goal is 80,000+. Detiny is fully outlined by scene and coming along nicely.

Journey of the Wolf
wip at ~3000 words. Fully outlined. Some scenes completed.

Guardian of the Wolf
wip at ~ 3000 words. Fully outlined. Most of chapter one is done.

Song of the Wolf
wip at ~3000 words. Fully outlined. Some scenes completed.

Hunter of the Wolf
wip at ~8500 words. Fully outlined. Some scenes completed. Submitted one scene to Stella Cameron's Scarlett Boa contest.

Sacrifice of the Wolf
wip at ~3000 words. Fully outlined. Some scenes completed.

Island of the Wolf
wip at ~3000 words. Fully outlined. Some scenes completed.

Inferno of the Wolf
wip at ~12,000 words. Fully outlined. Some scenes completed. Plan to submit an adapted scene from here to the AKC writing contest.

Dark Heart of the Wolf
wip at ~14,000 words. Fully outlined. Some scenes completed.

Deception of the Wolf
wip at ~17,000 words. Fully outlined. Some scenes completed.

Fate of the Wolf (working title)
wip at ~7000 words. Fully outlined. Some scenes completed.

Blood Quest
This is a new 9 book series that I am plotting now.
wip at ~5000 words. If this works out the way I hope, Blood Quest will include severl short stories, some of which are fairly far along.

Friday, September 16, 2005

The road to publication...

As yet un paved, but improving as I learn to dodge the potholes.

Here I am one of millions of unpublished writers. What will give me the chance to see my words in print when so many others never do? The answer quite simply is maybe nothing. Or maybe I meant as complicated as everything...

The only certainty is that I will do all I can to reach the highest I can get. It I never make it to the top, I will still know that I did my best to get there. To this end I have given myself a list of goals. I will post a couple of them now...

1. WRITE: Without the words there is no story. Without the story there is nothing to sell.
2. RESEARCH THE MARKET: Really look at what is done during the process and make progress toward the next step.
3. JUST DO IT: Be fearless and submit to those I want even if I think I have little chance.

Guess thats enough for now. At this point I have the following to submitt...
Father of the Wolf: novel
Of Blood and Blessings: novella
Lost Soul of the Wolf: Novella
Curse of the Wolf: Novella
Season of the Wolf: Short story

More soon...
Shannon

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Check out the links!

In my quest to be rich, famous etc... I have started a bunch of yahoo groups. Some are about my writing and some are general about writing. I will give a basic idea of what I hope each will become. Take a minute to stop in each to see if you might like to join.

L. Shannon is a group newsletter for my writing. Ideally it will offer a monthly review of what I'm up to.

Valafrn is a spoiler group for my Valafrn series about werewolves.

Wolf Tale is a group that talks about writing, my writing and anything that crosses my path that I may find interesting. I welcome new people to jump in with their thoughts, contributions and comments as well.

Write Prompt is a group that offers a free to enter, monthly writing contest. So far there is not much glory but as it is completely reader judged it may be the perfect place to get a couple writing credits for the new writer not to mention some great experience in writing under pressure.

Write Prompt Forum is a sister list for Write Promt. The forum is for the discussion and learning side of the contest.


Take some time and stop by each for a visit. If you have suggestions or comments you can e-mail me about your thoughts at lshannon@hotmail.com

A new place for my many sides...

So here I am looking over the post I just posted when I realize that... It wasn't me! OK so some part of my brain must have noticed the difference and forgotten to sign it with the tell-tale name 'Shannon'. After about a second's reflection I knew who had possessed my fingers and typed that in.

Dan!

It was that sweet and sensitive young (400 year old) member of the Eagle Clan of Valafrn who decided to take the reins and share his philosophy of life. So then it occurs to me that letting my character loose in my blog might be fun... dangerous, but fun... So from here on out... they get what they want and all readers get a chance to see them relax and hang out.

Shannon

Moving on...

Moving on can be the hardest thing. A drastic change, disaster the loss of someone special is like a faultering on the path. We may stubble over the obsticle but as long as we can get back to our feet and take another step, there is hope.

I didn't realize it but for some time I have been sitting at the side of the path unable to get back to my feet. I wasn't lacking in strength. Or in grace. Or in direction. I only lacked in courage. Fear of a future without the one at my side who was gone kept me from rising.

Today I will regain my feet. Perhaps tomorrow I will take a step. Perhaps the day after, I may jog down the path. Perhaps the one after that will find me flying...

Monday, April 11, 2005

Hello World!

Hi! I'm L. Shannon and I am jumping head first into the Blogging Pool... OK actually I am just Shannon. Welcome!
At first I was hesitant to try blogging. It seems a bit like a waste of time to spend time writing here when I could be doing so many other things... But so many have told me of what they get out of it and I see so many wonderful blogs that provide useful info that here I go with my contribution.


A little about me, Shannon K., Shannon M., L. Shannon, Just Shannon, Shannon, so you know what to expect here at my blog spot. I am 29, again. I live on a piece of family property that at times is called a farm, in rural Western PA. My house is the same one that my great-grandfather build by hand. I have spent the last 7 years attempting to restore it. The first 5 of those years I spend with the help of my husband making sometimes drastic changes to the house in the homes of making it livable. So far I and the house are still struggling with that goal. The husband cried surrender, and fled.

Others that share my life... I have a close knit family that mostly lives close by. This of course is a blessing and a curse. For me at least I find it heavy on the end of blessing and blessedly light on the curse. On our ~40 acre property are 4 homes and a 5th being built. My parents have a wonderful old house that was build out of the materials that once were a church on the same site. My brother, his wife and two sons live in a house next to our parents. My uncle and his wife live on my side of the road but across a stream from me. And my cousin is building his home across the road from me. Now that I think about it... it sounds a bit like either a hippy commune or a hollow in W. VA. Hmmmm.... Actually, it is wonderful to have family close enough to call for help but far enough to have some space. In other words, perfect.

Animals... I have always been surrounded by animals... And I don't count my brother. I grew up amidst horses, dogs, sheep, and cat among a variety of other animals. The horses we raised and competed locally with were P.O.A.s Pony of America. which are like small Appaloosas. They were an altogether wonderful breed. Now we only have one horse, a 3/4 arab who has reached the age of 32 and is still doing fine. Just the other day we had a pretty day and let the boys ride him a bit to get pictures. In addition to the horses, I have been involved with the showing and breeding of (American) Cocker Spaniels for over 20 years. I will only admit to over 20 years because I started showing at the age of 9. You do the math, I am 29 (again). LOL.

Now on to that new part of my life that this blog may, or may not end up focusing on... Writing. I Picked up the pen in June of 2004. Not so long ago. I started jotting down notes and shortly had the idea for a story... then the story grew and became a series... then the series expanded to become a whole world. I write paranormals... Mostly paranormal romance but the latest tickle leans toward dark fantasy with romantic elements. hmmm.... My characters all exist in the same universe and at any one moment one from one series may interact with one from a different series. Its part of the fun.

I hope that my track record will continue and one day I will be referred to as a 'prolific author'. I finished my first novel, Father of the Wolf in April of 2005. That doesn't sound prolific, You say? Well, by they point I had also finished a novella, Of Blood and Blessing, written more than 150, 000 words and plotted out the story lines for a 12 book series and ~20 novellas. In short, I had designed my world. I have tried to continue at that hectic pace.

Well I have to wonder off and take care of the dogs... More to come soon.
Shannon