script vs. books

I am a theatre artist: I do scenic design, props design, play writing and general production.

I am also TERRIBLE at reading new scripts.

The very nature of scripts mean that everything must be vague enough for a director/actor/designer to add in their own interpretation while being specific enough to tell the story. This is actually why I LOVE writing scripts as opposed to fiction. I love that challenge. However, this is also what makes it harder for me to sit down and read a script. I have to be ready to create the entire visuals of the story in my head.

Charles de Lint Quote

So needless to say that my writing process for fiction tends to start with dialogue, then I move to physical action like an actor/director, finally I move to the scenic elements like a designer. I end up with my own little play production in my head that I then translate to words on the paper!

I had more of a point to this post–ah well, allergies have me by the throat so I’m going to go sneeze some more and chug some coffee to counteract the Benadryl! Hahaha! -.-


Startling amount of truth in this statement!

Thoughtful Thoughts · Writing

Domestic Life

As writers and artists what we create is always influenced by our lives even if it’s on a completely subconscious level. My creative work has changed a lot since becoming a mother and not just how I get to create (5-10 minute bursts while the kids are occupied or on my lunch break at work!) but the ideas and themes I put forward.

I’ve always liked writing about characters who want to belong. I think that stems from feeling a little left out as a child. I was odd. I was tall and gawky and so I wrote characters that felt that way as well but found their sense of belonging. Now that I’m older I am very happy with who I am and how I belong in the world so I’ve noticed I’m creating more characters and stories about families: not necessarily biological families but all kinds and characters who are comfortable with themselves and their flaws and strengths. I like seeing that shift.

How has your writing evolved over the span of your life?


Achelon City · Goals! · Prattling

Upping My Game!

Ok, guys! I’m going to try and update my blog every other day with creative goodies–will I keep it up? HAHA, we will see!

It’s been hard so far this year to feel really focused on any one creative project; I’ve sort of pinged around like a ping pong ball between visual arts projects and writing projects never stopping long enough to actually commit. It’s that standing on the edge of a precipice feeling, I think. I was SO heavily invested in The Grand Adventure of Henry Rayne and the Airship Pirates that I think I am hesitant to jump into something new that deeply. Boy, do I need to get over that! Haha!

One of my goals for this year is being more positive in my life: personal, creative, relationships and wherever else I can stick a little glimmer of happiness in the sea of gray reality. So in that vein, one of the positive things from the past two months is that I have really increased the writer friends I have on Twitter! It’s been lots of fun chatting and playing hashtag games and to see the wide variety of writer types and genres and stories being told! I love it!

March is going to be about really buckling down and outlining Achelon City and putting some concrete ideas on paper. My goal is to start actual writing by June!

Onwards and upwards!


Shadow of the Colossus by Daren Bader
Shadow of the Colossus by Daren Bader  This is a GREAT representation of how I feel about starting a new project. Time to conquer the beast! 
Achelon City · Prattling

#WritingWednesday: new old project

This year my big writing project is both new and old! Achelon City and it’s characters have been around in many MANY different iterations since my 8th grade year. This most recent iteration has Luna and Spencer as detectives (that much hasn’t really changed!) who through solving a murder uncover a fierce battle between the gods of their world and that they will have a hand in it’s outcome. Epic, I know–but I’m excited about smooshing together two of my favorite genres to read: buddy cop/detective stories and epic science fiction (space opera, maybe?)

I’ve been slowly revamping the characters as I have been building the universe of this story.  Achelon City is a microcosm of darkness and light–pouring drenching rain mixed with searing bright neon lights, a realm of fog and mystery and high tech industry. A mixture of Gotham City and Blade Runner’s dystopian Los Angeles. I want the city itself to be a character in the story.


As for the characters: they have definitely become more complex as I have matured as both a person and a writer and I am really liking where these versions are headed. I’ve been playing the Twitter hashtag game #StoryWarriors as a fun little exercise to flesh out the relationship between Luna and Spencer. But more than that I have tried to find real complexities to these characters as they navigate this story.

"Rapture" Solo habita el hombre

I’m not sure when I’ll get to “actual” writing–hopefully by the summer. I am still in the very nebulous plotting stage where I just roll ideas around in my head till something I like sticks! I will start hard outlining in the next few weeks. I don’t want to overwork the outline as this story is very emotion based but I have to at least have a framework for the case Luna and Spencer are solving so I know where the clues lead them. It’s going to be a fun project! I’ll share my progress as it happens!

Remarkable Journey of Sebastian Starling · Writing

#WIPJoy and hashtag writing games

So in January I didn’t get much “actual” writing done but instead I worked on getting back into thinking about writing–which sounds convoluted, I know, but given that I do visual arts, playwriting, theatre artistry AND raising two little girls sometimes it takes a lot of energy and effort just to think about a project. That being said I found a wonderfully simple way to stay engaged with my project even though I cannot actively work on it.

Hashtag games are a series of questions put out by the host that are answered each day throughout a given month. #WIPJoy was hosted by Bethany Jennings and included questions about the specific WIP as well as general writing questions.


It was a lot of fun and kept me motivated to work on plotting The Remarkable Journey of Sebastian Starling.

February I am playing #StoryWarriors with Mollie Reeder and I am already having a lot of fun and it’s only day 7! I’ve chosen Luna and Spencer from Achelon City: City of Hope  for this and I look forward to finding out more about them in this new story! While doing this I am also sloooooowly plotting out their story. I really enjoy police procedural stories but building them and making the case and the clues followed credible is an interesting challenge! This is allowing me to deconstruct one of my favorite genres and really examine what makes it work and what I like about it for my own story.

The last thing I really like about these hashtag games is that I am finally fulfilling the “social” aspect of social media–I am meeting new writers and artists and having actual conversations with them about the craft and their projects. I don’t know if I will ever publish but even if I don’t there seems to be a great network of support among writers on Twitter.

Stay warm my friends, six more weeks of winter….. 😦

Remarkable Journey of Sebastian Starling · Writing Prompts

#wildwoodprompt #amwriting Avoidance

My friend Serena is the most awesomely creative person I know! She has weekly writing prompts and this one just struck a chord. What is life like after the grand adventure is over?

This scene will be part of the epilogue of The Remarkable Journey of Sebastian Starling. She’s done in Avalon fighting elves and saving magic but what does this mean for herself and her relationships?

(Rough unedited draft)

Sebastian stood at her mirror staring at the new person looking back. It had been three weeks since the return from her adventures in Avalon and the rigors of those battles hung off her more ragged than she might have liked. In the stories Gran used to read her the hero returned in a blast of glory and pomp–not sliding into her old life quietly as if nothing were different. Everything was different. Her father was returned to them–married even, to her mother in a truly beautiful ceremony. They were a family now. Perhaps that was what felt so strange. All her life she had been accustomed to making her own family of her friends, colleagues… Nicholas…

“Oh, Nicholas.” The extra heavy pang caused the words to whisper out of a rueful smile. This was perhaps the biggest difference–something that she could not pinpoint and it made her heart heavier for that. Their dance at the Raven Queen’s Victory Ball created more questions than it answered.

“Tap tap?”

Sebastian whirled around to see an all too familiar face grinning at the window. While still impish as always, Nicholas too bore a weight on his features of everything he had seen and endured.

“You startled me!” She slid open the casement. “And one of these days you will have to use the door like a proper gentleman”

“But should I do that what will we banter about every time I visit.” The words so often repeated with every visit, for the first time ever, made her feel less comfortable than it should have. She turned back to her dressing table and began gathering her books in her bag.

“I must get going. I am to show Father all the new sights of the City. ”

“Aye.” Nicholas sat on the edge of the window and swung his legs in a charmingly childish way.

Sebastian’s hand reached for the door knob. “Bas, I’ll wait for ye as long as ye need. And I don’t take offense to ye avoiding me!” Those words swept across her and she felt the ragged weight of everything lift ever so slightly. She turned and gave a smile still heavy but a little lighter around the edges.

Nicholas grinned, and saluted as she slipped out the door.

Reminiscing · Writing

#amwriting Why I Don’t Nano Anymore

So I missed Writing Wednesday–oops! But I wanted to write this article because it’s very important to me as a writer, an artist, and general human being. I’ve been asked a lot why I am not doing NaNoWriMo anymore and while children is a part of the reason it is not wholly the reason. So here goes!

NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month takes place during November and encourages anyone and everyone to throw inhibitions to the wind and put words on paper. It has been embraced by writers of all kinds, ages, and backgrounds and in many ways is a brilliant program. Schools have adopted it as a way to get students excited about creative writing which is probably my favorite thing about this idea. It builds communities of writers where they didn’t exist before and gives people courage to try something new. These are all spectacular things about NanoWrimo!

However, like everything, there are downsides to this idea and viewpoint about writing which it has taken me some time to realize. For many, myself included when I participated, November became a month of pure anxiety to meet that 1667 words a day to meet the 50,000 word quota. I know there is a lot of wisdom out there about how any words are better than no words at all but for a selectively competitive perfectionist it was a nightmare on my mental health that I masked with a veneer of “this is fun”. Granted, there were parts that were fun–the year I met empresscats three times a week to Nano and we ultimately won!

But looking back these months were filled with anxiety that hurt work, personal relationships and ultimately didn’t result in work I was overly proud of as a whole piece. For a lot of people deadlines like these work beautifully for getting the work done. For me it’s mostly word salad with a few good plots and characters that I then never touch again. I just don’t work that way.

It is also the WORST timing for me personally. November is our month for finessing craft goods for Christmas sales. That leaves little room for–you know, laundry and eating food let alone writing. And really The Fall as a whole is just bad for me. All that to say, if it works for you–that is wonderful! If it doesn’t I’m happy to talk through your process to find what might work better! I know for me I am a long distance runner as opposed to sprinter when it comes to writing.

To all, happy writing and creating however that takes shape!