Archive for » February, 2016 «

Other Side of the Pen: February 29th, 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!

Slow the H*** Down!

Far too often, I get editorial inquiries. “I’ve written a book that’s all these thousands of words long, and I’m not actually done yet, but I need it edited by tomorrow because I’ve already set my pre-order for the weekend!”

This might be slightly exaggerated, but perhaps not by much.

The world of self-publishing is wonderful and it’s opened a great many doors that were not open before. I’ve availed myself of it, and it’s great. Yet it’s brought with it many plagues as well, and one of them that I hit against the most often is that of Author Impatience. Humans are by nature impatient, and when we work on a project and we have a goal, we want to see it through. We want to see the fruits of our labor!

But writing is not a fast thing. If it is, you’re missing a step or two.

Why are you setting a pre-order date before the book is even done and before you know how long it will take an editor to edit it? Do you know the stress is causes an editor when you ask them to bend over backwards because you’ve already set deadlines and they’re about to happen now? I don’t know about the other editors out there, but I have a hard time saying no.

I hate to say no because I worry if I do, authors might decide to go without editing, and that’s not good if you can avoid it. And secondly, I do have bills to pay and a kid to feed. I like to eat on occasion myself, so I need the work, and I’ll try to meet an author’s deadline. But I can’t tell you how aggravating it can be to know that a book is having to be turned around that fast.

When I get a book that has to be edited that fast and was only just finished, I know that it hasn’t had any type of development edit or even beta readers. Seems like there’s not even time for the author to read it over again themselves, and it’s very rare for a book to come straight from the author’s hands to perfection. Most need a few readers to make sure everything works right before it is ready to be edited and published.

But too many authors are too impatient to get their books published, and it leaves out some crucial steps in the process to making a good story.

So, come on, guys. Slow down. It’s really not a race. Try finishing the book and getting some read-overs first, and find out how long an edit may take before your start setting pre-orders, release dates, and tours. Aim for the best story, not the fastest.

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Nutmegs & the Charter Oak: February 22nd, 2016

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

5 Totally Random Facts About CT

One: The state is named after the Connecticut River, a major U.S. river that approximately bisects the state. The word “Connecticut” is derived from various anglicized spellings of an Algonquian word for “long tidal river.”

Two: The USS Nautilus, the world’s first nuclear submarine, was launched from New London, Connecticut.

Three: Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut is among the largest in the United States.

Four: Established in 1764, ‘The Hartford Courant’ is the oldest continuously published newspaper in the United States.

Five: Connecticut’s first settlers were Dutch.

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From Mia’s Desk: February 15th, 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.

Literature to Cinema: Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre is one of my favorite classics. I first read it when I was eleven or twelve, and then again later as an adult. The character of Jane is a wonderful one to me, for in a day and age when girls–especially poor girls–were basically taught to sit down, shut up, and do as they were told (and be grateful for any crumb they got), Jane never lost her sense of self and her sense of self respect.

Even when it would break her heart, she always knew that she must keep both. She was smart and passionate, but it was that sense of self she maintained that was what made me relate to her most. That she always knew herself, and never let anyone tell her otherwise.

And Rochester is your classic Gothic hero. I think he gets a bad wrap for wanting to marry Jane while still being married. He was wrong, yes, but tortured. The younger sons were always a little cast off and his youthful impulsive nature was used against him to bind him to a woman his family knew was crazy, just to get her money. Instead of abandoning her, he tried to take care of her. Then when a former lover cast a child off on him that wasn’t even his, he tried to take care of her.

At the very end, when he had the chance to be rid of the “burden” of his wife, he didn’t; he made sure that everyone in the house was safe and then tried to save her, earning himself grievous injury in the process.

Ultimately, Jane Eyre is a love story, and it’s a love story I love. Jane is a wonderful heroine, one who chooses a relationship, to be in it and stay in it, because she chooses to; she will not accept a marriage that is anything less than what she wants, and what she feels she deserves. And that’s a lot in a female character for that day and age.

Jane Eyre with Samantha Morton and Ciaran Hinds: This was the first one I watched and I did love it for Morton’s suiting-ly plain appearance and she’s a good actress. Hinds is an actor I adore, and he definitely found that rawness to the Rochester character. But it goes too far into the passion, and forgets other important points to the story. It particularly cuts short on Jane’s time at Lowood and friendship with Helen Burns, which is so pivotal to her formation as a character. It works to make the movie so short, as well, that it chops the story line up too much.

Jane Eyre with Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender: This one was disappointing to me. I later would realize that Fassbender is a very good actor, but whether a disconnect in him or from the director, he plays Rochester so flat and that is a disservice to the character. Wasikowska does alright in the self-assuredness and stoicness, but she also falls flat. If the version with Morton goes too far into passion, the version with Wasikowska goes too little. It does, however, do better than many of its counterparts in the time at Lowood.

Jane Eyre with Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens: This is, without a doubt, my favorite and is a fantastic tribute to the book. Wilson can change from plain and stoic to impassioned and radiant. She has every ounce of Jane’s self-assurance and sense of self. It is hard to believe that this was her first role! And Stephens, oh, I could not ask for a better Rochester. He is not classically handsome, like Rochester, but charismatic as hell. He embodied all of the characters faults and virtues, and the chemistry between Wilson and Stephens was very strong and amazingly well-faked. It sadly does cut short on Lowood, though not completely, and there is a strange way they do the timeline towards the end of the movie, but this one does not cut short on her time with St John and his family, which is also hugely important to the story. As with some details about her family shown later. With only a couple minor complaints, I really can’t say enough good things about this version.

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The Adelheid Chronicle: February 8th, 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.,

About the Theriomorph

The character of Dakota was inspired entirely by a single entry, only a paragraph long, in The Werewolf Book: The Encyclopedia of Shape-Shifting Beings, of which I own the first edition version.

The Theriomorph: “A theriomorph is one who has perfected the ability to shift from animal form to human form and back again whenever he or she wishes. A theriomorph who has mastered such physical transformations at will would be a true shapeshifter in the classic sense. Many contemporary students of metaphysics and Native American medicine power term themselves “spiritual theriomorphs,” recognizing an inner identification with a particular animal as a guide or mentor, much as traditional shamans perceive the transformative powers of their personal animal totem.

Upon reading that, I thought that it would be fun to have a shape-shifting character that was not bound by the “messy” limits, and limited forms, of other shifters, like the werewolf. One who could change quickly and smoothly, and into any animal form they wanted. Initially, in the first incarnation of Adelheid, Dakota could only change into animals. (This is the implication of the description above.) But later, I thought that this was silly. If she could become any animal then why could she not take on other human forms?

However, I knew that this would make any character who was very powerful. Since Adelheid is already overpopulated with so many powerful characters, I wanted to limit myself on the number of this one. That’s why Dakota and her family (past and present) are the only ones that any of them even know about, and even their origins are unknown to themselves. Are there more in the world? Maybe, but for now, Dakota doesn’t know them.

This is something that might be explored in future stories, but for now, it makes Dakota all the more cantankerous to not know. And she’s more fun that way. 😉

 

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