Tag Archives: serialized novel

To write good titles channel a newspaperman

PRIDE’S CHILDREN IS RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES

Part of the background of the novel I’m working so hard to get ready for publication is my fascination with celebrities, a tiny but life-long sideline of mine: in Mexico growing up, we read HOLA – which told you everything going on with anyone who was anyone, including the royal houses of Europe.

In the States, as an adult, I indulge this by reading People and similar magazines – at the dentist/doctor’s office. There is so much repetition, that once you have a good base, keeping up isn’t as hard as you think – you just tuck each new bit (which will probably recapitulate everything that ever happen in the celeb’s life) into your matrix of ‘data,’ and come back to it in a couple of months.

Life is a Soap Opera

I may have mentioned at some point that I have serialized Pride’s Children, Book 1, on several sites – to make connections in the online indie world, meet people, get new readers and their feedback.

One of these sites is VentureGalleries, and one of the two guys who runs it, Caleb Pritle, III, has been putting up chunks several times a week.

He chooses a 1000-1200 piece at a time, adds an episode title, and puts it up on the site.

He has the most outrageous episode titles, but the interesting thing to me has been that every one of them is lifted from somewhere in the episode.

When in the world did I write THAT?

The episodes aren’t quite scenes – his choice of divisions is to give serial readers a predictable size and approximate time-length piece, to be read on things like mobile phones.

So, for the fun of it, I’m going to go through the episodes he’s put up, and list them with their titles, and you’ll see what I mean.

One important bit: Caleb is an old newspaperman (I mean ‘experienced,’ not ‘agèd,’ when I say ‘old’) – and headlines have to grab. And he has a sensationalist turn of mind anyway – check out some of his books.

I honestly can’t remember writing some of these gems (the titles), but they are always IN the episode.

I’ve learned a lot about titles and grabbing attention from reading what he has been doing with my own words.

Thanks, Caleb!

Some ‘interesting’ episode titles:

3 – To hell with safe choices. She was going for…

6 – Did he have an affair with his co-star?

13 – Whatever the cost, her beauty was worth it.

14 – Love them, leave them, you never get to keep them.

24 – He liked living in the lap of luxury.

27 – It might be better posting an armed guard.

35 – For a writer, she was woefully inarticulate.

47 – She was jail bait, a child playing dress-up.

68 – Seeking sanctuary in the middle of the night.

74 – He sulked away like the coward he was.

86 – A woman who doesn’t gossip is a rare…

93 – Sincere flattery almost always worked.

99 – Sex changed everything and could never be undone.

109 – She had planned to expend her sexual tension.

116 – Why had she revealed her sordid secret?

128 – Would they fight a duel over a movie role?

136 – Hell’s deadline for tips was midnight.

144 – Was her mother sleeping around with movie stars?

152 – The most erotic thing a woman could do for a man.

158 – Why did she pray for the unborn baby to die.

163 – Was he on his way to hell?

He’s not done yet, so there will be more for me to shake my head at

They have ebooks and regular books and blog posts – always something going on.

This isn’t the full list – it’s not all posted there yet – but I can remember shaking my head at his ability to turn my simple words into lurid headlines when a particularly good one came across my desk.

How do you title your work, and what grabs your attention?

Thanks to Quozio.com for the ability to make quotes.

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The fun of watching live readers

chinchilla sitting on a hand

Gizzy – silent reader?

A LIVE READER IS A SPECIAL PLEASURE TO A WRITER

I am very, very honored lately by a phenomenon I had noticed, but not paid particular attention to, until I finished writing Book 1 of Pride’s Children: watching someone get hooked on my writing.

It starts on here or on Wattpad. I notice my stats go up – I’m getting more views than normal, and the list of posts visited on my blog takes on a pattern.

Here on the blog, I notice the sequence of chapters and scenes, one right after another.

On Wattpad (where I had been posting a scene twice a week), because of time constraints (it takes time to format and post a scene), I have a notice after Chapter 14, Scene 7:

If you like Pride’s Children, the whole story is up on my blog – link. Please tell me if it is inconvenient for you as a reader to switch to my blog, and I’ll reconsider posting the remainder here on Wattpad.

The special position of serials and live writing

So a reader knows I haven’t abandoned the story.

Every reader of a live serial knows that there is always a possibility the author won’t finish.

That gut feeling is balanced by knowing the work is available as soon as possible. It’s a trade-off. Many people, burned once too many times, refuse to read until the serial is finished. I don’t blame them – I’ve started reading several, only to find the author has other things to do, for whatever reason, and stopped, for now or for good, before I could finish reading.

Live writing (okay, I thought I had enough of a buffer. Hehe) was MY choice.

Readers owe writers nothing; writers owe readers…?

Until a book is published and available for sale, writers owe readers nothing. George RR Martin doesn’t ‘owe’ his readers the rest of his saga, even though they (Geek and Sundry on Youtube, Write, George, write like the wind) seem to think so, and are especially persuasive.

Writers have no more control over the real world than anyone else.

Even popular writers may find a publisher 1) having the rights to the rest of the books in a series, and 2) refusing to execute those rights. Ouch!

If you know only half the readers you need to survive will buy the next book, you may end up abandoning those readers.

What does the reader owe the writer?

Absolutely nothing.

There is, especially right now and for this book, no ‘contract with the reader’ made by anyone who chooses to read a few words of the story.

None.

I, the writer, hoped to heck I’d get to this point, promised MYSELF I’d get to this point, have promised MYSELF I’ll get to Book 3 and write The End.

But readers have not made ANY promises to ME, implied or explicit. Nor should they.

Context: finishing Book 1 of Pride’s Children

But, until I had actually finished (even if there are two more books planned, plotted, outlined to the last detail, and in rough draft form), I might have been on that same list of author interruptus. For all I knew, as I slogged along for all those years, I might be incapable of finishing.

Or force majeur might have kept me from finishing. Things HAPPEN.

The pleasure of the through reader staring on the blog

But now that I AM done, I get to enjoy my readers more.

It warms the cockles of my heart.

The pattern starts showing: I may not catch the beginning, or a reader may have been here all along, reading weekly, but now the Scene pages get viewed in succession over a day or two, until I get another hit on Chapter 20, Scene 6 (End of Book 1).

Whew. Another one made it safely to To Be Continued.

The pleasure of the Wattpad reader

I notice a different pattern: if it is a Wattpadder, Chapter 14, Scene 8 shows up on my list of views, and I know ONE more reader there has made the leap, clicked on my link, and done the hard part: moving to a new venue.

Since Wattpadders read on mobiles, this requires effort. It also usually means they read the first almost-14 chapters on Wattpad – which is a kick all by itself: I am not a undemanding writer.

The through reader is better than chocolate

These readers tend not to skip or skim. If they read at all, they get immersed (several have been wonderful enough to let me know).

It is an honor to be taken seriously like that.

I DON’T NEED ANY REACTION TO BE HAPPY: seeing the pattern complete makes me squee.

The reader who makes it through silently, like my chinchilla Gizzy (if she read), is welcome.

One in ten or so takes the additional step of letting me know what their reaction is, and those comments and emails are balm to the twitchy writer’s soul while doing all these OTHER tasks necessary to make a book salable.

My request of the through reader is different

EVERY response that comes, even simply reading to the end, is welcome. Readers owe me nothing. I repeat: nothing. I grew up in the time when you didn’t even realize the writer might still be alive!

Additional possible reactions: Like. (Or vote on Wattpad.) Eventually, consider buying (though they’ve already read the story, so at this point I don’t anticipate that). If Book 1 is for sale, a review on Amazon will be welcome (I promise I’ll put a link out when that’s true, and I’m trying my darndest to make it happen asap).

But MY preferred form of response, whatever else you do, Gentle Through Reader, is that you take a moment, think very hard, and see if there is ONE person you would recommend Pride’s Children, Book 1, to (dangling preposition and all) – and get them started on Chapter 1.

If you’ve done that – and that explains why I’m getting more through readers – my humble thanks to you.

And if you read the whole thing, your vote on the prologue – keep, rewrite, delete – is welcome any time, too.

Plus, of course, we’re always open for comments.

Blogging about how far you’ve come

WHAT DO I DO ON TUESDAYS NOW?

Brent Riggs (Brent@brentriggs.com) said to write a post about how far you’ve come, and how blogging has changed since you started: I’ll look at the period since I started posting Pride’s Children, February 12, 2013.

To ‘Write about where your blog was “X” numbers of years ago.’

He said, in an email: ‘People often become discouraged about blogging because they think those who are successful did it with ease and very quickly. What they do not realize is that it most likely took many years of hard work, perseverance, and setbacks.

Tell them about the hard work, setbacks, and commitment it took to get you from “A” to “B” (today).

This is the first Tuesday post in a very long time in which I don’t have a scene to announce, and it feels odd.

WHY DID I START THIS BLOG?

I started this blog to see what blogging was about, and found I like to blog. I’m an opinionated sort, and stubborn, and chatty under the right circumstances. By the time I started my own blog, I had been reading and commenting on other writing blogs for over a year, and could see how it worked.

At that point, September 9, 2012, I took the plunge.

WHEN DID I START POSTING Pride’s Children?

Five months later I decided I was ready: on 2/12/13, I had 40 scenes in hand as a buffer, and I figured that would be enough to provide me space to write the remaining ones before I’d use up my buffer – never checking out my own data (what did you keep all those notebooks for then, Alicia?), which when examined showed that some scenes had either taken months to write, or were surrounded by periods of time where I had external or internal reasons for not writing.

So I started. And I’ve missed only one Tuesday (by about an hour – had the scene ready, just forgot to post) since I started.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Writing is temporarily over, at least on Pride’s Children scenes in Book 1.

Now I’m having weird withdrawal symptoms which I’ve realized are entirely normal: if you intend to self-publish, and have used all your energy for writing, when you get to the ‘publish’ part, you haven’t finished all those things you could have been doing as you went along.

You haven’t finished with one task, not really (there will be whole-book editing, and cleanup of a few known problems), but you now need to learn and do all those things you’ve been putting off.

People in general have been lovely and supportive, and other writers in particular have been helpful (I’m just one of a long line of newbies coming after them.

How long does withdrawal last?

Only until you get thoroughly into the next phase: it took me about this past week to really get going.

There will be a hiatus of sorts between ‘last scene posted’ and ‘available for sale’ because I barely made it to the last scene, and it’s going to take time (a month may be too optimistic) to do those tasks I have some control over: cover, description, formatting, final editing.

The ‘Soft Launch’

Getting Pride’s Children, Book 1, up on Amazon without making a big fuss is called a soft launch, and the idea suits me: put it up there, buy a copy and make sure the formatting works for at least one device (I have a Kindle and the Kindle app on my computer). Edit/fix/reload.

Decide the cover is awful in some particular way. Do something about that. Change the cover in the online store.

Learn more about descriptions – decide you MUST change it. Do so. Throw book up on Amazon again.

Repeat until the obvious mistakes are taken care of; pray there aren’t TOO many. Just for personal sanity, not bragging rights.

Hope you haven’t accumulated negative reviews.

Then think about a proper launch. The kind that gets reviewers to look at your book, and arranges for ads in various places. Realize what I just said. Hide.

Ebook is up and running, then what?

Get template for paper version. Learn all that stuff. Create paper version.

Think about audiobook. You’ve got to be kidding! Nope. More stuff to learn.

The bad part about a soft launch is that you give up some of the ‘New’ time Amazon provides for exposure of new titles. Why do I remember ‘new this month’ or something like that? Must go look up.

After an adjustment, I’m back to work

I promise to get back to blogging about the pieces of this ‘publishing puzzle’ if I discover new and uncommon ways to do it; if not, I’ll just link to the places I found my information if they seem to need some visibility: I am extremely grateful already to the DIY-ers who write free blog posts and inexpensive ebooks about ALL this stuff.

I am reading all this information, filling in the little forgotten corners. Amazingly, I remember most of it, if not in detail, at least that I read it somewhere, which reassures me that I’m not starting from scratch. Phew!

Task 1: DESCRIPTION

The current task, following JM Ney-Grimm’s wonderful advice (http://jmney-grimm.com/2015/04/what-happens-after-the-manuscript-is-complete/), is to get a description that will:

1) tell people exactly what they’re getting if they buy Book of the Pride’s Children Trilogy.

No, this doesn’t mean reveal the plot – that they have to read for. But there has to be enough information in the part of the description that shows up on the page when you click on the cover image, BEFORE you decide to click on SHOW MORE (if you do).

That little piece of real estate is the most crucial of the whole description.

You want an action on the part of the potential reader: preferably ‘Buy now,’ but almost as good will be ‘Show More’ and ‘Look inside the book.’

2) let a potential reader see a bit of the writing style, somehow, because that is the main thing they are buying and will be spending a lot of time with: characters, plot, and everything else, will come at them from THAT writer, and there are a lot of things a reader knows for sure he doesn’t like (typos, sentences that begin with ‘ing’ constructs, incorrect dialogue punctuation, pet peeves of all kinds).

That style will be much more obvious in the sample, but a reader won’t get to the sample if the first bit of the description turns her off already. I’ve seen it done – I’ve left my share of descriptions, knowing I didn’t want to read further.

Let’s see if I can do better, and I hope people will tell me – rather than just get out of there – but I can’t count on it.

3) Give readers a good feeling if they do the next click – I know when I’m being taken care of, as a reader, and I assume everyone else knows what they like to read.

Orient the reader and get the reader started, and lead her to wanting to find out what happens next.

I’m pretty sure that after cover, keywords, description, and sample, readers will know if they want to continue: I want to give them enough information to make that decision in an easy and complete little packet.

Doing something I’ve never done before, seeing if I can take all that advice and information I’ve gotten, and put up a professional package (you up there in the peanut gallery: stop laughing).

That is just the very start, as I’m following JM’s path – description only until I feel it’s perfect, then cover, then description again (you didn’t believe it is really perfect, did you?), then cover again…

What lies ahead?

I don’t know how much I’ll blog about this – I am such a rank beginner at this that even as entertainment it will pale.

I just don’t know what to do with myself on Tuesdays yet. Expect me to be erratic, and ecstatic, and static, and confused.

But trust me: I’m having great fun.

This is a time to make all and any suggestions. While the concrete hasn’t set.

What say you?

Writers: some readers hate your characters

You know those extra-scenery notes I keep talking about writing every time I write a scene?

The ones where I write about writing, and end up with 10-20 words written per word of finished fiction?

Well, I thought I’d mine some of them for blog posts about the writing process itself.

The snippet from Journal 18:

And, since I’m posting Chapter 18, here’s a piece from the Journal 18 file I kept while writing that chapter:

“Just a minute, though: I had an interesting conversation with MM on Wattpad: she doesn’t like Andrew.

Phew.

Rachel LOVES Andrew.

That is an important difference.

To capture more of the market, I need to at least THINK of all the people who DON’T like Andrew – and what he stands for.

They need to be able to like Andrew because Kary does, even if they don’t see it themselves.

Which is a biggie: a lot of people don’t like Mr. Rochester, either, or the husband in Rebecca, because they are flawed human males. Very flawed. TOO flawed for some people.”

You don’t control readers’ reaction to your characters

When you create characters, you HAVE to let the readers form their own conclusions about those characters. Once you write things as well as you can, make your case as compelling as you can, it is OUT OF YOUR HANDS.

The author doesn’t get to sit on the reader’s shoulder, pointing out what the reader should feel, and how the reader is missing the author’s point, or how this character will be revealed later as better (or worse) than he/she appears at this point in the story – or any other little thing the author DIDN’T put in the story. Or merely any little thing that the reader and the writer will DISAGREE on.

Hating Mr. Rochester

Lots of people wonder what the heck Jane Eyre saw in Mr. Rochester – they don’t get it. He is rich, mean to poor Jane, willing to be a bigamist, entitled, rude, whatever.

And some of us – lots of us, apparently, or it wouldn’t still be read – get that the attraction is Jane, and how she loves, and that SHE is what makes HIM attractive, because she is attracted to HIM and we love HER. Her gentle way with words, her ruthless self-examination, her faith: he can’t be that bad if SHE loves HIM.

And ultimately redeems him by holding HIM to HER standards.

What do you do when readers don’t see it your way?

But back to how this applies to whether all your readers will like all your characters, or react to them the way you want your readers to react.

It doesn’t matter.

If there are two groups of people in the world, those who like your character and those who don’t, it means you have to solve only HALF of the world’s problems. (Ignore, for the purpose of this exercise, those who never read your story, those who read and don’t like any of it, and those who don’t like this kind of story and wouldn’t read it even if they knew it exists.)

Just because some readers don’t like Andrew doesn’t mean there won’t be plenty of readers who do.

The conversation with MM reminds me that some people don’t like Andrew – they find him arrogant and entitled and self-centered.

I find him way too healthy.

But I love him – and half my readers may not.

Which just means that KARY will have to carry the weight of PC for them. IF they read, it will be because they identify with HER, and SHE loves Andrew with a passion she can almost not explain.

It is similar to Scarlett O’Hara’s misguided love for Ashley Wilkes – and didn’t keep millions of people who thought he was a wimp from finishing the story. (Including me.)

Phew – stop worrying!

ONE strong character can carry a story.

Some people will even identify with Bianca, and think I’m being horribly mean to her.

That’s fine.

I can’t be all things to all people, but with 7 BILLION people on the planet, I still ought to be able to find a few readers.

Maybe the people who don’t like Andrew WILL like my writing enough to read.

No writer can understand all readers

Whereas maybe people who read badly-written genre work somehow like the protagonists enough to forgive the bad writing. Must be the case in some readers – how else do you explain it?

Real world, Alicia. Real world.

MY TASTES ARE PARAMOUNT. For MY writing only, of course.

Which is exactly the same thing the literary writers/readers say – and I think they’re plotless hacks. Well, there’s little chance I will try to join them – I can’t write either literary or genre. Duh. You write what you are, what you have made yourself out of all the writing you’ve read, plus the teaching you’ve had (heavily biased by whether you like the TEACHER enough to listen), plus everything that has happened to you and how you interpret it.

Goes right back to: you write what you are, even when you think you’re being clever and hiding yourself as an author.

Back to work!

Which wildly popular characters do YOU find completely unlikeable?

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 15, Scene 8

This week sees the end of Chapter 15, with Scene 8 (1.15.8).

NJ had a good week, weatherwise: sun, some rain, weather in the range I consider normal: 68 – 75 (okay, some days were more humid). That’s what happens when you;re born in Southern California and grow up in Mexico City: you take nice weather for granted. Well, I’ve had enough of mid-Atlantic weather (is that what they call it?) to last the rest of my life – you can stop it now, and go back to normal. No? What’s the problem?

Oh, well.

The garden looks glorious, and for once I didn’t have a huge amount to do with it: I could get used to that. OTOH, Life doesn’t seem to be getting any easier – it’s always something!

Here is this week’s quote (thanks, ProWritingAid.com):

She inspected the man who stood on her doorstep looking oddly determined, and who had taken the trouble to wear a suit and tie under a navy cashmere peacoat. No plaid? “You drove all the way out here, at night, to dissuade me?” - Kary Ashe, Pride's Children, Chapter 15

I seem to be doing relatively well lately getting up, taking my B1, and getting to the writing within a couple of hours – and actually finishing some of those scenes up ahead (as we get closer than I’d like here to the end of my reserve). It helps not to eat carbs, for my brain. Too bad – I’d eat nothing but if I had my druthers.

BTW, doing everything yourself around the house is vastly overrated. And interferes not so much with writing time – as I can garden, etc., after I’ve finished writing on some days – as with the mental condition required to write the NEXT day. It feels good – and the next day I stare at the wall all morning, with nothing to show for it, not a word. Delayed reaction – quite common to us CFS folk. I just can’t afford it.

Additional beta readers welcome – contact me if you’d like to participate (and get to read things earlier). Pride’s Children is a mainstream contemporary novel, suitable for mature adolescents and adults, set in the world of those who entertain the rest of us. It asks questions such as who is allowed to want? And what matters in the long run? And how will fame and fortune break you? And who is foe and who is friend?

Typo reports, etc., extremely welcome! Thanks!

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

~ ~ ~

PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 15, Scene 7  [Bianca]


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013-2014.

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 15, Scene 7

Posted this week is Chapter 15, Scene 7 (1.15.7).

What a week! Very little walking, but today I did part of the fertilizing of our third of an acre – sprinkling Hollytone on myrtle, perennials, pachysandra, coneflowers, black-eyed Susans, and miscellaneous bushes and trees. With walking being a little easier.

And here is this week’s quote (thanks, Quozio.com):

I left the rest of the fertilizing to a nice young man who is helping with the yard – we are getting too old for some of these things. Not that we can’t get to them, but that they lead to sore days after, and it takes us forever – instead of most of the job being completed in a day or two of someone else’s time.

And, ahem, if I’m having some good time, I have a book to finish – and I can’t farm that out (nor do I want to – I’m having too much fun). The beta reader is happy with the latest (Phew! – thanks, Rachel).

Additional beta readers welcome – contact me if you’d like to participate (and get to read things earlier). Pride’s Children is a mainstream contemporary novel, suitable for mature adolescents and adults, set in the world of those who entertain the rest of us. It asks questions such as who is allowed to want? And what matters in the long run? And how will fame and fortune break you? And who is foe and who is friend?

Typo reports, etc., extremely welcome! Thanks!

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

~ ~ ~

PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 15, Scene 7  [Bianca]


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013-2014.

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 15, Scene 6

This week’s post is Chapter 15, Scene 5 (1.15.6).

Exhaustion is hard to write through. Enough naps, care, kindness to self – it passes. Temporarily, but it passes. Liebjabberings must be considered still under construction. Le sigh. The good news is, the more I fail, the more I learn, and the number of possible failures is finite, right?

I keep telling myself I would be writing so well by now, if only I were healthy and mobile – but then I wouldn’t be writing THIS story, and I kind of like it. Forewarning: this scene had parts that were very hard to write.

Some of the exhaustion is due to diving into Wattpad – a very different place to serialize, and a new set of formatting oddities (sorry, WordPress) to navigate and wrestle into submission (though I’m not sure either Wattpad or I would call it a win).

I’m there as @ABEhrhardt, if anyone here Wattpads. Different readers and commenters – and they’ve made me feel welcome.

And here is this week’s quote (thanks, Quozio.com):

I tried a couple of other quote generators, failed, went back to Quozio. There’s only so much learning space in my head.

Additional beta readers welcome – contact me if you’d like to participate (and get to read things earlier). Pride’s Children is a mainstream contemporary novel, suitable for mature adolescents and adults, set in the world of those who entertain the rest of us. It asks questions such as who is allowed to want? And what matters in the long run? And how will fame and fortune break you? And who is foe and who is friend?

Typo reports, etc., extremely welcome! Thanks!

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

~ ~ ~

PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 15, Scene 6  [Kary]


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013-2014.

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 15, Scene 5

This week’s post is Chapter 15, Scene 5 (1.15.5).

I am walking, and riding my bike. Not a whole lot – but more than before, and more than for a long time, and the freedom is amazing: just going tonight to a Chinese buffet, and not having to struggle to walk back and forth with plates, was amazing. You guys who walk all the time: you’ve been keeping the good stuff for yourselves.

And here is this week’s quote (thanks, Quozio.com):

Additional beta readers welcome – contact me if you’d like to participate (and get to read things earlier). Pride’s Children is a mainstream contemporary novel, suitable for mature adolescents and adults, set in the world of those who entertain the rest of us. It asks questions such as who is allowed to want? And what matters in the long run? And how will fame and fortune break you? And who is foe and who is friend?

Typo reports, etc., extremely welcome! Thanks!

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

~ ~ ~

PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 15, Scene 5  [Kary]


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013-2014.

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 14, Scene 11

This week’s post is the end of Chapter 14 (Scene 11, 1.14.11). Phew. Finally. What is she thinking you ask?

I went on a little hike! In the mountains of PA. Ok – not a real hike, but at least 15 minutes of walking up and down in the hills around a cabin community. The freedom of walking is unbelievable – in previous years I’ve sat and chatted with the other stationary people in the lawn chairs, but this year I stood up and walked. The gratitude quotient is way up there.

I paid for it that night: needed extra calcium, magnesium, and a muscle relaxant to tackle the unbelievable cramps in my legs – but who cares – I walked. The next day wasn’t bad, and I’ve done a bit more walking since with no major consequences. I’ve ramped up the isometric exercises I located on the internet for all kinds of foot and leg muscles – I think I just caught my body by surprise. Be cautious. Build up. Don’t exhaust self. But I’m going to do this – and the freedom is exhilarating.

The website design, cover, formatting, and, of course, writing, is all on course – I’m just very slow, guys. No huhu, as Heinlein has a character say in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

And here is this week’s quote (thanks, Quozio.com):

17.3 coming along fine. Stressful. But the harder they are to write, the better they come out.

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

~ ~ ~

PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 14, Scene 11  [Bianca]


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013-2014.

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 14, Scene 10

This week’s post is Chapter 14, Scene 10 (1.14.10).

I can walk.

So much better than with the walker. And I can stand – which was unexpected – longer than I can lean comfortably on the walker. I am so grateful. It made my trip last week to Mexico to see my family much easier. Still a tough trip, but I could get around better. I will increase time, work on the padding, and get used to having my shin connected to the bottom of my foot, but these things actually work. Hallelujah!

I am still finding a typo here and there, so don’t be afraid to report them. I either finish the story before I post it here (Book 1 is 20 chapter), or you guys have to wait. Sometimes finishing puts demands on the writing mode. The more things happen in Real Life, the harder it is to get everything in, but I really need to get to the end of Book 1 asap, so please forgive – and report – the occasional slip. Thanks!

And here is this week’s quote (thanks, Quozio.com):

Additional beta readers welcome – contact me if you’d like to participate (and get to read things before they’re posted here). Finished 17.2 yesterday after my trip – not a word today as energy backlash hit. Oh, well.

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

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PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 14, Scene 10  [Kary]


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013-2014.

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 14, Scene 9

This week’s post is Chapter 14, Scene 9 (1.14.9).

Otto Bock WalkOn Reaction AFOs (ankle-foot-orthoses) are here and I’m picking them up tomorrow! I might walk again! ‘Tis biblical!

It is a little crazy – so I’m posting early because the next few days will be very packed. Sorry if I confuse anyone.

And here is this week’s quote (thanks, Quozio.com):

Additional beta readers welcome – contact me if you’d like to participate (and get to read things earlier). In the middle of Chapter 17 in the revision; Book 1 has 20 chapters: we’re in the final stretch, and the pace is accelerating.

Typo reports, etc., extremely welcome! You people aren’t working hard enough. Caught another one today, posting this – courtesy WordPress – one fewer to catch later.

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

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PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 14, Scene 9  [Andrew]


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013-2014.

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 14, Scene 8

This week’s post is Chapter 14, Scene 8 (1.14.8).

ETA: links corrected for Chapter 14, scene 8. Note to self: don’t post when you’re tired!

Otto Bock WalkOn Reaction AFOs (ankle-foot-orthoses) have either been ordered or are very close to being ordered – paperwork in progress!

Worked on Holly’s tiny house – need to put some pictures up. They’re working on the roof! I helped with a tiny bit of the siding – it took longer to work a piece of siding around a window frame than to nail on 10 pieces of siding. It is looking very house-like. It would have helped to have my AFOs already – I hate being unsteady and getting tired when standing.

And here is this week’s quote (thanks, Quozio.com):

Additional beta readers welcome – contact me if you’d like to participate (and get to read things earlier). In the middle of Chapter 17 in the revision; Book 1 has 20 chapters: we’re in the final stretch, and the pace is accelerating.

Typo reports, etc., extremely welcome! You people aren’t working hard enough. Caught one today, posting this – courtesy WordPress – one fewer to catch later.

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

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PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 14, Scene 8  [Bianca]


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013-2014.

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 14, Scene 7

This week’s post is Chapter 14, Scene 7 (1.14.7).

The rehab guy was right – the orthoses make it very much easier for me to walk; seeing my doctor Thursday to get them prescribed. Otto Bock WalkOn Reaction AFOs (ankle-foot-orthoses) – very high tech carbon fiber. Take some of the energy of walking, use it to push off. I strapped them on and felt like the guy in the Bible Jesus said, ‘Get up and walk,’ to. The rehab guy said ‘hiking’ – I’d be happy to walk comfortably around the block. Keep fingers crossed.

It is hot in NJ – but I have been weeding a bit – everything looks lovely. We got heavy rain tonight – so it’s all nicely watered. I love when it does that.

And here is this week’s quote (thanks, Quozio.com):

Additional beta readers welcome – contact me if you’d like to participate (and get to read things earlier). In the middle of Chapter 17 in the revision; Book 1 has 20 chapters: we’re in the final stretch, and the pace is accelerating.

Typo reports, etc., extremely welcome! You people aren’t working hard enough.

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

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PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 14, Scene 7  [Andrew]


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013-2014.

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 14, Scene 6

This week’s post is Chapter 14, Scene 6 (1.14.6).

Rehab guy had great stuff – I’ll blog about it when I get further along the path, so – hope!

Working, conceptually, with site changes – finding it a bit trickier than I expected, but that’s the perfectionist in me. I will stay here for now – I have no intention of doing anything to start other than straight Amazon – one thing at a time.

NJ is HOT – the chinchilla’s AC is working overtime – she hates the noise, and you can’t explain to a chinchilla.

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

Typo reports, etc., extremely welcome! Thanks!

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

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PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 14, Scene 6  [Kary]


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013-2014.

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 14, Scene 5

This week’s post is Chapter 14, Scene 5 (1.14.5).

Sad to say, the  external stimulation device for the calf muscles – and walking – didn’t work. At all. Am pouting. Praying to your favorite deities didn’t work. Sigh – I went in with a positive attitude, so it wasn’t me. We have an appointment with a rehab guy next week – he seemed very positive. Crossing fingers and praying again.

Writing is back on track – I have to stay ahead of you people! There were some knots to work out – they are worked out.

It is getting hot in NJ – the last bike ride was not a long one due to the oppressive nature of Mother Nature, but I still love my mobility.

And here is this week’s quote (thanks, Quozio.com):

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

Typo reports, etc., extremely welcome! Thanks!

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

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PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 14, Scene 5  [Andrew]


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013-2014.