Other Side of the Pen: September 26th, 2016

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As a writer, as a freelance editor, as a reviewer… Well, sometimes Mia gets mouthy, and the fourth week of the month is when she’s gonna let you know just what she thinks!

I Wear Many Hats

Books and words are, almost literally, my life.

I’m an author who writes and publishes my own books. I edit, format, and create cover art for the books of others. I do “hobby” writing. I have a book review blog where I read books for others, and then I read books for pleasure.

The author and editor are the two most prominent, since the latter is my “day job” and the author still my “night job.” Since I do these things in addition to being a mother, and a wife, and maintaining a household, and dealing with chronic illness, the day job that helps pay the bills comes first. This often means that my own writing suffers.

Further, after spending a day working on other people’s books, it can be too much to want to work on my own.

It’s been difficult trying to find a balance between the two. Like most people, finding a way to pay the rent and live our dreams is a hard one. It’s one that I continue to struggle with, pretty much every day.

This is one of the reasons I created my Patreon account, to try to help afford a little weight to the scales and allow myself to write more. Otherwise, I soldier on.

Do other author-editors find this as much of a struggle as I do, I wonder.

Nutmegs & the Charter Oak: September 19th, 2016

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Mia is from CT, and Adelheid is in CT…so, let’s talk about Connecticut!

Autumn!

I’m so excited that it’s rolling into autumn–officially starting in just three days!–that I’m running around squealing! Okay, not really, but pretty darn close. New England is BEAUTIFUL in the autumn! Drive down some of our lovely rural roads, and the trees look like they’re on fire…without the actual nastiness of being on fire. <3

From Mia’s Desk: September 12th, 2016

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From Mia’s Desk will post the second week of each month and discuss something of interest to Mia, which she hopes others will find interesting too! It may focus on opinion pieces, literature (historical and current), or even movies–because a good story is a good story.

Book Signings

I’m happy to announce that I’m going to be attending three book signings in 2017! I’ll be spreading the word more as we get closer, but if you are or will be in any of the areas, feel free to stop by and see me. 🙂

All About the Indies – Sharing a table with Diantha Jones
18 February 2017 in DC

A Royal Affair – Sharing a table with Diantha Jones
19-20 May 2017 in Winchester, VA

Books in Vacationland
14 October 2017 in Portland, ME

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The Adelheid Chronicle: September 5th, 2016

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The Adelheid Chronicle will post the first week of the month to discuss interesting facts about the series, the setting, its creation, about current and future releases, teasers, etc.,

Apex

As the next Adelheid book draws nearer, here is a quick taste of it…

Being liked is highly overrated.

There are people–certain people, a very few people–who I love, and I would put myself in front of a train for them. That does not, however, mean that I always like them, nor do I always want them to like me. Yet the world is obsessed with liking and being liked, and it’s just fucking overrated. You know what comes with being liked? Work. That’s what. And stress. And cooties, yes, I said it.

In my case my cheerful demeanor hasn’t given it away, my name is Dakota. I’m a bounty hunter that chases down the things that go bump in the night, or in the woods, or in the parking lot of the local supermarket. If there’s a supernatural beast making a nuisance of itself, I’m the one that gets hired to go hunt it down. Sometimes that “beast” is humanoid, like a vampire. Two legs, four legs, twelve legs, I don’t give a damn. Give me something to hunt, and I’m gone. That’s how it is and how I like it.

But it seems for a while now, people have been trying to make me be…nice, and social, and likeable. God, I hate it.

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Other Side of the Pen: August 22nd, 2016

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As a writer, as a freelance editor, as a reviewer… Well, sometimes Mia gets mouthy, and the fourth week of the month is when she’s gonna let you know just what she thinks!

Be Bold

While editing, and even in my own writing, I have seen a trend of “over-qualifying” one’s words. It is often unnecessary and, in fact, makes things needlessly wordy. Unless you’re writing in First Person about a character with that kind of personality, don’t do it. Be brave! Be bold!

Instead of saying: “He looked over at her,” say “He looked at her.”

Instead of saying: “She started to walk,” say “She walked.” (The exception to this is if the walking was interrupted immediately after beginning. If that’s not the case, then just let her do it!)

Instead of saying: “He headed toward the wall,” say “He headed to the wall.” (Unless you really mean he was heading in a vague direction.)

Try to avoid “sort of” or “kind of” in sentences, or at least use sparingly and replace with adverbs (though use those sparingly as well) instead.

Use active verbs instead of modifying words when you can. Instead of “ran quickly,” maybe he sprinted. Instead of “looked fixedly,” she stared.

Don’t “give a smile” just “smile.” So instead of, “He gave her a smile” be “He smiled at her.”

These are not hard and fast rules, but things to keep in mind. If you’re confident and bold in your writing, it was make for much cleaner, smoother, and more engaging reading. Don’t be timid!

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Nutmegs & the Charter Oak: August 15th, 2016

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Mia is from CT, and Adelheid is in CT…so, let’s talk about Connecticut!

Notable Nutmuggers

Did you know that Mark Twain moved to Hartford in 1871 and that he wrote many of his most famous works while living in the state? Topically noteworthy being A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. You can see the website and visit his house now! (As many elementary students on field trips still do!)

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From Mia’s Desk: August 8th, 2016

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From Mia’s Desk will post the second week of each month and discuss something of interest to Mia, which she hopes others will find interesting too! It may focus on opinion pieces, literature (historical and current), or even movies–because a good story is a good story.

Good Things in Ten Days!

Check out this teaser from the anthology, which comes out out August 18th–but you don’t have to wait to pre-order it, and have it delivered right to your reader as soon as it’s available!

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When the key witness in a high profile trial needs protection, “human taser” Special Agent Serafina Torres is put on protective detail. But when said witness is a vampire and those in the spotlight are anti-preternatural activists, how could it possibly go smoothly?

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The Adelheid Chronicle: August 1st, 2016

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The Adelheid Chronicle will post the first week of the month to discuss interesting facts about the series, the setting, its creation, about current and future releases, teasers, etc.,

A Hint at the Next Book

Any guesses what this might mean for the next Adelheid volume? (Aside from there being seven stories.)

teaser

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Other Side of the Pen: July 25th, 2016

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As a writer, as a freelance editor, as a reviewer… Well, sometimes Mia gets mouthy, and the fourth week of the month is when she’s gonna let you know just what she thinks!

As Opposed to What?

Here is a snark-tastic way to reduce a few excess/redundant words, and make life easier for your editors. Consider a few key phrases and then ask yourself, “As opposed to what?” While there are always exceptions where keeping all the words works better, it’s true in most cases that the excess can be removed.

You might think, “What’s the harm?” But excess words can be unwieldy to a reader and make them less inclined to want to keep reading. Trim the fat so you can really make the meat of your piece shine.

He nodded his head.
As opposed to what? He nodded his foot? “Nodded” implies head and you usually don’t need to tell the reader that.

She shrugged her shoulders.
As opposed to what? People might shrug out of a coat, but usually don’t shrug other body parts.

He pointed his finger.
Unless you specifically say they pointed with something else, people will assume the finger was what had been pointed with.

She dismounted her horse.
If you’ve already explained that your character is riding a horse, they don’t need to hear it again.

He thought to himself.
Unless there is telepathy in your book, you can presume that thoughts were to themselves and not to anyone else.

She peered her head around.
As opposed to what? What else do you usually peer with? Your toes?

He reached out his hand.
This one can be closer to fifty-fifty, but typically, like with pointing, unless you say otherwise, your reader will assume the hand was reached out with.

She blinked her eyes.

I’m not really sure you blink anything else?

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Nutmegs & the Charter Oak: July 18th, 2016

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Mia is from CT, and Adelheid is in CT…so, let’s talk about Connecticut!

Connecticut on the Huffington Post

The Huffington Post did an article about “25 Reasons Why Connecticut is Basically Heaven On Earth.” While I think Heaven on Earth might be a bit of a hyperbole, they make a lot of good reasons about why CT is pretty cool. 🙂 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, and 20 are pretty much my reasons for loving the place.

CT on the Huffington Post

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