Bonded soul to soul by ancient magic and a dragon. Will the magic that brought them together destroy them?
“What happened?” she asked again, her voice trembling with fear.
The woman sighed and answered, “’Tis a long story that’s not my place to tell. You’ll have to hear it from Connor, for you’re his now.”
“His? How can I be his?”
“Lass, it’s a new life you have now. I’ll leave it for Connor to explain.”
“Who is Connor?”
“Och, that I’ll answer. He’s my brother.” The woman vigorously rubbed a towel over Maggie’s stubbled scalp.
Maggie frowned. The near giant who carried her into the bathroom had not been old. She would not have put his age past thirty. She decided that the older woman obviously meant that Connor was like a brother to her.
“By the way, I’m Brenda,” the woman said by way of introduction. “We’ll have to come up with a name for you.”
“My name is Maggie, Maggie Hammersmith.”
“Not any more it isn’t,” Brenda said cryptically.
I set a goal with the mastermind group to finish the manuscript for Daughter of the Deepwood by February 1. Over the past week and a half, I've gotten a bit over 10,000 words in and... last night the characters missed that proverbial left turn at Albuquerque. So, it looks like the manuscript won't be completed on that new deadline. Argh.
There's truth in the saying that no plot survives contact with the characters.
The procrastination part comes in with that same manuscript. I have come into contact with writers who dedicate themselves to a certain minimum word count or time for writing every day. They schedule this into their lives. I can't do that. I've found that if the spark isn't there, then the content is crap. So, I find myself waiting until the characters start speaking to me and then I jump back into the story. That's one reason why I find myself distracted into writing other stories when I should be focusing on something else. That's the reason why I wrote The Falcon of Imenotash.
I must say, though, when something grabs me like Falcon did, the story generally turns out to be incredible.
Lost opportunities also mark the past few weeks:
I respond to a lot of RFPs, actually; but what I haven't been able to do is make the leap from reactive marketing to proactive marketing. I know people and businesses out there need my help, but the whole "identify and investigate" portion still eludes me. So, I'll keep plugging away at it, trying to build the freelance business and hoping to hit that bestseller list.
In the meantime, head over to the Upcoming Books page and participate in the two quick polls there. One is for the cover of Daughter of the Deepwood. The other is for reader opinion as to which book I should tackle next. Two of the books are sequels and one will make a third in a series. Let me know what you think!
Back when dirt was new and I was young, I wanted to be a veterinarian. Considering my affection for animals, except those that come under my definition of vermin, that ambition surprised no one. What did surprise me--and possibly those around me--was that I was squeamish.
Detect lameness? Got it. Treat an infected wound? Piece of cake. Give a shot? No way. Stitch a laceration? Nope, not gonna happen. Make a incision? You have got to be kidding.
A veterinarian who can't stand the sight of blood can't do the job.
Therefore, hopes dashed, I considered other career options that might involve animals. While working at a shop that sold bridal gowns and formal wear, I met a dog handler looking for a dress to wear at the Westminster Dog Show at Madison Square Gardens. For a brief while, I imagined myself pursuing a career as a dog handler. I liked dogs. I'd shown dogs in dog obedience in 4-H.
Like many such ephemeral ambitions, that one faded quickly.
Early in married life, my husband and I attempted to purchase a boarding stable. I had ambitions of turning my passion for all things equine into a business. Perhaps I'd even set myself up as a horse trainer. Years later after having utterly failed at training my own two young geldings, I gave up on that dream.
Training takes more patience and courage than I have. Besides, cleaning stalls in sub-zero weather ain't fun. Ever.
I even flirted with the idea of serving as a park ranger, imagining myself patrolling the park on horseback rather than in a vehicle. While the idea seemed awfully romantic in concept, the reality was I had no background in law enforcement or forestry and I don't enjoy riding in inclement weather.
Much later when the younger son was of an age to join 4-H, we jumped on the alpaca bandwagon. Surely, this would be the exciting, animal-based opportunity that would launch me from the doldrums of office drudgery! Not so much. Within a year after we acquired our first four alpaca geldings, the market for these animals crashed. Ordinary breeding stock females that once sold for $10,000 each now went for under $1,000. Fiber geldings like we had could be had for free. Fiber cooperatives charged more to process the fiber than fiber producers ever earned from sales. Private processing of alpaca fiber was expensive--and still is.
We enjoyed the alpacas and llamas for the years we had them; but, frankly, I don't miss them now that they're gone.
Another ambition gone up in smoke.
A career based on animals didn't appear feasible, although in I envy those who manage to make such a thing work. My four-legged companions remain avocational rather than vocational.
Come to think of it, it's a good thing I stuck with writing.
This is my first article in the MFRW 52-week blog challenge. I hope you find it interesting and, perhaps, entertaining. Each week participating authors will write on the same topic.
November and December of 2017 brought a dearth of freelance projects and a hefty dose of burnout. But I'm back in the proverbial saddle and focusing forward.
First, I joined a mastermind group. The group has an entrepreneurial focus, which should come in handy as we brainstorm and work through the challenges that face all "solopreneurs." We meet every other week for 90 minutes and set goals for ourselves for each gathering. Our next meeting is February 1, and my goal is to finish the draft for Daughter of the Deepwood. The advantage of this goal is that it's not only self-imposed, the mastermind group also holds me accountable. Thus far, I've made good progress and I will get this thing done.
Second, I finished the marketing course and have put into place the workflow processes and intentional activity aimed at producing results. I am now beginning to see the effects of implementation. That encourages me. If you haven't already connected with me on LinkedIn, please do so. Expanding the professional network has nothing to do with how many "friends" fit into a boast, but with making those connections that bring me into contact with people whom I can help and who can help me. It's an effort in building community. And it makes me feel a little less solitary sitting in my office ignored by the cats and with the dog hiding beneath the desk.
Third, I will be posting a third weekly blog beginning this week. My Monday blogs are posted on LinkedIn. Tuesdays, I post a blog on this website. On Thursdays, I now will post another blog on this website, part of the MFRW blog challenge. This week's MFRW blog challenge topic is "What would I do if I couldn't be a writer?" Expect the unexpected in the Thursday blogs, because these could go wildly sideways. You never know what mood I'll be in when I buckle down to write these, so prepare for some slap-happy prose.
Fourth, I'm filling the pipeline with projects. Communication with a first-time author should yield an editing project that will turn her mystery into something really intriguing. Combined contact through Craigslist and LinkedIn--who would have guessed at that coincidence?--should yield a ghostwriting contract for a cozy mystery. Hey, give me the plot summary and outline, and I can write the story. Another proposal and a follow-up phone call should yield another ghostwriting project for a gardening book. Yet another potential client has an editing-and-ghostwriting project on healthful ethnic foods that I hope will begin soon.
Positive vibes, folks, positive vibes.
For those who worry that the potential workload will prevent me from producing my own books, don't fret. I become more productive with a busy workload.
So, in anticipation of the upcoming completion of Daughter of the Deepwood, I thought it would be fun to solicit reader opinions. First, I have three potential covers for Daughter of the Deepwood. Participate in the survey and let me know your preference for a book cover. Second, as you know, I have several in the works, but two are sequels and the third will make the last book of an unintended trilogy. Go to my new Upcoming Books page and choose which of the three books you want to read first. The title with the highest response gets my attention and will be finished first.
Participate in the polls. Send me your comments and questions. Visit the Hen House Publishing page on Facebook and visit my profile on LinkedIn. I really do enjoy engaging with readers and colleagues and potential clients. Let's chat.
Hard boiled, scrambled, over easy, and sunny side up: eggs are the musings of Holly Bargo, the pseudonym for the author.
Looking for a place to swap blogs? Holly Bargo at Hen House Publishing is happy to reciprocate Blog Swaps in 2019.
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