Monthly Archives: June 2014

Holly’s Tiny House Dragonflys has siding

Email from Holly with pic:

Got most of one side done. Working on the other. Ordered roof today.
How are you doing? I’m back in school this week and already feeling over whelmed. But this is per usual.

Outside. Beautiful afternoon. A bit warm but having a beer.

Hope all is well.

DragonFlys6_26_14

I stopped by on my bike today, and there it was – the siding is going on, bottom to top, on the far side, too. Nothing looks like a real American house until it has siding.

The inside bamboo walls are going nicely, too – and the loft is done.

I want one – you?

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Spring story: a writing challenge

This was the challenge:

In 250 words or less, describe a Spring setting

But here’s the catch–you can’t use traditional Spring words or images. No flowers, no bright green, no new growth. Look for the unusual and personal way your character would describe the setting they’re in.

The result was… interesting.

Rather than lose these forever, I will throw them out to make a reader go hmmm and wonder about the way my brain works:

The rains came early that year – and stayed long. The river rose almost to the level of the 1936 flood, and hung there for days, taking with it the beginnings of the crops, seeds that hadn’t but set out the tenderest of rootlets: they were no match for the onslaught, were washed away in wide swaths. Blossoms that had started to open were knocked off their branches by a careless hand. We had no beauty that year. I don’t know how the birds made it, sitting waterlogged on bare trees. Their food must have been impossible to find, insects pounded by the driving rain as much as we were. Continue reading

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 14, Scene 4

This week’s post is Chapter 14, Scene 4 (1.14.4).

Tomorrow is a big day: checking out an external stimulation device, normally used for people with foot drop (stroke-related, some childhood problems, trauma), but which can be used to make the gastrocnemius muscles at the back of the calf fire – we’ll see. If it doesn’t work right away, that will be a problem – but the evaluators are specialists who do this all the time, and it is in their company’s interests to be good at determining possible success quickly. Pray to your favorite deities for me.

Went to dinner and the theater Saturday – nice – good friends. I was kind of wiped Sunday and today, but c’est la vie – and maybe, after tomorrow, I’ll get back to actual writing. I’m still sitting there, every morning for the time I’ve promised myself, at the computer, writing. That’s good enough for now.

I’m giving you all a break – these are shorter scenes. I make up for it by having more of them – trying a different effect. Let me know what you think.

Additional beta readers welcome – contact me if you’d like to participate (and get to read things earlier).

Typo reports extremely welcome! Thanks!

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

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PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 14, Scene 4  [Bianca]


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013-2014.

Bridging time gaps: 4 ways to switch pov character

WHO ARE YOU?  The writer chooses the point of view.  The writer becomes the character. - Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

How to write – from a writer unpublished in novel form

Another one of my ‘how to write’ posts which resulted when I had a problem, and solved it by writing it out – for myself, and for anyone else who might write like I do. Admitedly there are – and should be – few people in the category of ‘control freaks with CFS trying to write long complicated novels.’

It doesn’t matter.

I have come along to someone’s blog when I became aware of them, read a post from 2008, and been delighted because it was just what I needed. I’m not promising you delight, mind you – just the things which tickle my fancy (good) or keep me from writing fiction today (bad).

How to switch characters in multiple pov – identify the gap

‘BEING THIS CHARACTER’ – so I can write a scene in a new point of view (pov) – includes accounting for any time since the last time I was this character. Continue reading

First Guest Blog – I love milestones!

I’m famous! I have my first Guest Post today, at Marlene Cullen’s blog, The Write Spot:

Hi! Marlene asked me to write about the weird way I write – and I will, with one caveat: don’t try this at home.

In fact, don’t try any of this at all unless you already know you’re an extreme plotter

Thanks, Marlene – I love firsts.

I love the world of blogging, too – you never know when you’re going to connect with someone interesting.

 

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 14, Scene 3

This week’s post is Chapter 14, Scene 3 (1.14.3).

No feedback on the shorter scenes! Glad y’all trust me.

Getting decent bike rides in – up to around a half hour some days (especially is the better half comes along). Fell getting back on the bike after I stopped to see Holly and her Tiny House – one of those gentle, annoying falls that leave you sitting in the middle of the street.

Rolled like a veteran parachuter – just got my center of mass somewhere to the left of my base, and there was nothing I could do since I was astride the bike, holding the brakes. No damage to anything except my pride. Adults don’t like falling. Rode home just fine with no mishaps, and don’t have a mark on me.

Maybe it’s good. With my unresolved back problems, I’ve been terrified of falling lest I destroy myself somehow – and it was no big deal.

Additional beta readers welcome – contact me if you’d like to participate (and get to read things earlier).

Typo reports extremely welcome! Thanks!

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

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PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 14, Scene 3  [Andrew]


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013-2014.

Holly’s Tiny House Dragonflys is growing

Holly has had a bit of time, and I got pictures of the work that’s been done since Dragonflys was moved from Yardley, PA, to Hamilton, NJ, and is being worked on when a very busy Holly and co. have a little time.

Last Import - 100Here is a view of the front area which will be the bedroom – windows on three sides, and, to the left (where the blue tarp is) is the front entrance. Continue reading

Fear of disappointing readers: write it your way anyway

On VentureGalleries.com I commented on June 12:

“Did I say somewhere, ‘Trust yourself’? Because that’s where I am. I know exactly where I want to go – and I’m scared to get out of the very bottom of the pit. And I’m going to do it anyway.”

If I can’t write 16.1, I might as well shoot myself and get it over with.

That bad? Yes. Continue reading

Is my prose too purple, are my metaphors too wild?

Is my prose me?

Too purple? Are my metaphors wild? Or barely leashed? Or me, writing in passion?

Could anyone else write them? Then no, it is NOT too purple.
It isn’t purple at all.

Point is, it doesn’t matter if metaphors carry all the truth, only that they carry some truth. No analogy is perfect – they all fall apart when poked too hard – but that’s not why we use them. We use them for the gut feeling of rightness that comes from explaining the unknown in terms of something we DO understand, even if we grasp it only for that moment.

Writers are unique, one of a weird kind

Continue reading

X things to do when a character you write makes a choice you don’t like

I think readers of blogs – and search engines – are attracted to the ‘X tips to do Y’ kinds of posts.

I think it’s because they find the idea of a quick and dirty list they can check their own opinions against quickly – by the titles alone if necessary – appealing.

And, if they’re like me, they wonder if they’ll pick up at least one usable tip – which would make skimming the post (ie, reading the subtitles in the list) worth their time.

Unlikable actions by likable characters?

So here we go: characters in fiction often have to do things the reader won’t like – or the story comes to an abrupt halt, fizzles out, or becomes ridiculous. Continue reading

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 14, Scene 2

This week’s post is Chapter 14, Scene 2 (1.14.2).

Poured today – but I had to go somewhere, so it didn’t matter as much that I didn’t get out on the bike. NJ is the Garden State because of all the rain – and the garden is showing it!

The brain is fried from the long outing, but I acquired information I didn’t have before which will help make some decisions, maybe, about improving the walking. Pray for me if you’re the praying kind.

I’m giving you all a break – some of these are shorter scenes. I make up for it by having more of them – trying a different effect. Let me know what you think.

Additional beta readers welcome – contact me if you’d like to participate (and get to read things earlier).

Typo reports extremely welcome! Thanks!

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

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PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 14, Scene 2  [Kary]


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013-2014.

12 ways to prepare to write the next scene in the pov of a different character

Using multiple point of view

Many novels, including my novel-in-progress, Pride’s Children, are written with a multiple point of view (pov). I have three characters who get turns, two women (Kary and Bianca), and a man (Andrew).

Sometimes this is done by giving each character a chapter at a time. I prefer, in the WIP, to tell each scene in a chapter from the pov of the character who has the most at stake – but with no particular rotation. The story dictates who tells it.

More than half of the time, the next scene, after I finish writing or polishing the current one, will be in the pov of a different character. In writing the 26 scenes in the five beginning chapters, I switch to a different pov 16 times.

Why I switch when writing

Continue reading

My own writing advice to me

Accumulated from my notes – little things I wish I remembered all the time. Some help with brain fog – others just help.

Off the top of my head, when asked:

Real life is very limited – go into the world inside your mind and don’t come out. No limitations there.

Net surfing rarely gives you anything, but when it does, oh boy! Prepare to be blown away.

Wait until your brain kicks on. If it does, race to container the deluge.

Catch your typing mistakes as you make them, and put the fear of God into them. They are less likely to do it again.

If you can’t write something as simple as a blog post, go take a nap. Your brain isn’t capable of fiction. Continue reading

You need your brain ON to write

The title of this post is a truism: you can’t write without your brain working in creative mode.

What do you do when your brain won’t turn on?

For me, ‘creative mode’ requires an alignment of planets. There is a mental component to it – fear, or not wanting to write today, or any one of a million distractions or responsibilities – but the main component is physical: I have CFS, my brain doesn’t work very well a large part of the time (we call it ‘brain fog’), I can’t think analytically, and I can’t make decisions.

History repeats itself

I have blogged about these little problems in the past. I’ve had them – and their cousins (the ‘dog collar’ of swollen lymph nodes, mild fevers, a fair amount of a weird pain, and a long list you don’t even want to hear about) for 24 years.

In some sense you get used to it – you don’t have a choice, and spending time with a bad attitude helps nothing, improves nothing, and wastes your remaining good time. Continue reading

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 14, Scene 1

This week’s post begins Chapter 14, with Scene 1 (1.14.1).

I have been getting my bike rides in – it makes difficulties in walking less obvious when you can zoom by on a bike. They are not long rides, but the feeling of freedom is exquisite. The temperature has been perfect for it, the mosquito population small (so far), and little in the way of complete days lost to rain.

Additional beta readers welcome – contact me if you’d like to participate (and get to read things earlier).

Typo reports extremely welcome! Thanks!

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

~ ~ ~

PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 14, Scene 1  [Bianca]


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013-2014.