Archive for November 2015

On Improving the Magic of Inspiration   1 comment

Front Cover RedI’m drawing to the close of my second draft of Murklin Wood and I am nowhere near done with the revision process.

My first drafts are almost always about inspiration. I am largely an adventure writer … I like to give my characters their heads and let them show me where they want to go.

When my first draft is completed, it’s time to move away from inspiration to perspiration. Aren’t I afraid of killing my darlings? No. I don’t consider myself so brilliant that my darlings don’t need some discipline before they are let out into the world.

Revision is crucial to successful writing.

I enjoy the rewriting process. The first revision is about adding the stuff that got left out of the first draft. How could I have completely bypassed that character who was so great in the first book? What motivated my character to travel THAT road? Where is this conversation taking place?

More than that, because Daermad Cycle is a complicated fat epic fantasy, I have to write in different lines at different times. The Celtic sections have a lilt to the narrative that the Kin sections do not and the characters use different vocabulary. It’s how I show they’re speaking in different languages. It is very hard to switch from one to the other, so I write them separately.  It is also easier to write the historical story line separate from the contemporary story line so that I can keep the characters and events straight. There’s also story lines that are minor at this point, but crucial to the future development of the series and it is easy to forget them in the first draft.

I ended the first draft with 90,000 words, which is a pretty slim epic fantasy. But I am now just shy of 120,000 words and I expect to be finished with Revision 1 close to 130,000 words, not including front and end matter. That should happen by Thanksgiving.

And then?

I will work on the next book in the Transformation Project for a week or so. That’s a much easier book to write and I’m already a third of the way through the rough draft. Then I will set TP aside and begin Revision 2 of Mirklin Wood, which is when I will become extremely critical of my own writing and killing darlings to the best of my ability.

It is then that you will likely begin to see scenes from the book on my blog. My self-imposed goal is to be ready to publish by March 2016.

But I may not be done with revision at the end of Revision 2 because that’s when I turn it over to beta readers.

Anyone here interested in reading a diamond in semi-rough? There’s no payment for it, but you will get an electronic copy of the finished book and if I start making lots of money, previous beta readers are likely to be the ones to get paid when I can afford it.

Drop me a line at if interested.

Posted November 18, 2015 by aurorawatcherak in writing wednesdays

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Watch for Thankful Thursday   Leave a comment

www.oyegraphics.comYes, we still have things to be thankful for. I do anyway. So come check out the blog hop tomorrow because we’re exploring what might happen if Gratitude went viral.

Posted November 18, 2015 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

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Interview with Claire Stibbe   1 comment

Claire Stibbe Author PhotoLELA: The 9th Hour is the first in a seven-part mystery series set in Albuquerque. Published by Crooked Cat Publishers, UK. It released yesterday, November 17, 2015

Claire has published short stories and once ran a newspaper for two local businesses in Albuquerque. She is currently working on the second and third books in the Detective Temeke series in which she explores how even in the darkness of criminal depravity, the light of faith is never entirely extinguished.

So, Claire, I loved your historical fiction. What prompted the change in genre?


Claire Stibbe 9th HourCLAIRE:

After completing two historical fiction books I felt it was time for a change. I read an article about a child who was snatched from a tent on a camping trip. Needless to say, it left an indelible mark and I decided to write a story dedicating the book to her in my own way. Most of us will never understand the pain a parent goes through at the loss of a child — a child snatched by a stranger, whose last moments must have been terrifying, a life cruelly and violently cut short.


The best stories are based on reality, especially detective novels, I think. Tell us about it.

Detective David Temeke, half Ethiopian, half British, lives in New Mexico, a vast state with cornflower blue skies, rolling hills of gray-green sage and rose colored mesas. All these are only part of the charm; not forgetting the great aroma of roasted green Chile.

Temeke ‒ brash and pigheaded ‒ is ousted from Homicide on account of a falling-out with the Chief of Police. He is sent to Northwest Area Command to lead a case nobody else wants. There he meets his new partner, Malin Santiago, an East Coast transfer with a nose for the truth. Not only must he steer a course around the higher ranking officers, he must fight his way through the dense forests of Cimarron State Park to find the killer before it’s too late,

That sounds existing! I can’t wait to read it.

Book Blurb: When the ninth young girl falls into the clutches of a serial killer, maverick detective, David Temeke faces a race against time to save her life.

The Duke City Police Department in Albuquerque, New Mexico is no stranger to gruesome murders but the new serial killer on their block keeps the body parts of his eight young victims as trophies and has a worrying obsession with the number nine. The suspect is incarcerated in the state’s high security penitentiary but Police Chief Hackett is faced with a dilemma when another teenage girl vanishes.

Detective Temeke and his new partner, Malin Santiago, are sent to solve a baffling crime in the dense forests of New Mexico’s Cimarron State Park. Time is running out. Can they unravel the mysteries of Norse legends and thwart the 9th Hour killer before he dismembers his ninth victim?

Stay tuned to Claire’s Facebook page for more updates and book links.

To find out more about Claire Stibbe’s books, take a look on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

To learn more about Claire, visit

About the author: Originally from England, Claire is a world traveler and makes her home in New Mexico, USA.  She began writing as a child and received school awards for English literature. A former medical and executive assistant, she has helped lead workshops and has spoken at various literary events across the Southwest. Her interest in archaeology has inspired and informed all her writing from historical fiction to thrillers, and she is the author of two ancient Egyptian novels, Chasing Pharaohs and The Fowler’s Snare.


Why not sign up for her occasional newsletter here


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Stay Tuned for Writing Wednesday   1 comment

My friend Claire Stibbe is popping in to talk about her just released detective novel The 9th Hour.

And, yes, I am feverishly working on the second book in the Daermad Cycle — Mirklin Wood.

Am I a Gourmet or a Gourmand?   12 comments

This week’s blog hop asks the question “Which do I prefer – quantity or quality … and why?”

It’s the “why” that made this topic resonate for me.

First, do you like to read? You should check out the books of PJ MacLayne and also see what she has to say on this topic on her blog Mountain Musings.

If you would like the join this blog hop, please follow the links —

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get the InLinkz code

It’s sort of par-for-the-course for most people to say they prefer quality over quantity because the first choice makes you sound like you’re a person of refined tastes and the second one makes you sound like a pig. So it should come as no surprise that I prefer quality over quantity….

Except … that’s not entirely true.

There’s a great bistro here in Fairbanks – Lavelles — that sells excellent food for a gourmet price, which is why we don’t eat there very often. We only eat out for special occasions and there are other fine restaurants in town, so it’s probably been three years since we’ve been. The last time we went, the menu was very nouvelle cuisine. It looked lovely, but there wasn’t much on the plate. The food tasted wonderful, but at two bites a portion it was pretty hard to savor the flavors. They were gone before you could decide what you liked about them. We ordered dessert for the calories and ended up making a late night snack at home.

So sometimes quality must be of a certain quantity to satisfy. On the other hand, I live not far from an all-you-can-eat buffet and I’ve eaten there once about five years ago because of a group decision.

Growing up in Alaska, I adapted to the 2000-mile supply chain that meant six-weeks of waiting for whatever you ordered from a catalog. My parents were not wealthy and the house we lived in wasn’t huge. There were no walk-in closets or extra stall in the garage (we didn’t have a garage). My parents spent their money wisely and quality was always the target. Thus, I still have my winter boots from high school and they are still in good enough shape to wear. For many years, they were hopeless out of fashion, but they’re back “in” now. I still have one of my winter coats from high school (the other one had an unfortunate encounter with a Labrador puppy/ think feathers everywhere). I still cherish my mother’s mouton parka, which is older than I am and somewhat like carrying a dead body around on your back, but it’s really warm and so well made that it will passed on to my daughter.

When you grew up with limited space and waiting a month and a half for a shipment to arrive, you carry that into adulthood. Fairbanks is no longer retail isolated. Thanks to FedEx, we can have anything we want delivered in three days. But mostly, I don’t want. We have a large enough home for more than what we have, but I’d rather have a couch that will last 30 years than three couches that will last five.

The one area where I really break this rule (and drive my husband slightly loopy) is books. I love books and I want to own them, so I can take my time reading them and maybe reread them in the future. But I see no reason to drop $25 for one hardback when I can spend $5 each for five paperbacks (this also drives Brad loopy because he’s much more interested in the decorative quality of a book than its quantity).

Available Today   1 comment

Claire Stibbe 9th Hour

The 9th Hour on Amazon

Anniversary Applause   Leave a comment

Becky Akers was my biggest draw this year. My Conversation with an Anarchist brought more people to my blog than any other.

And, I hope to renew that conversation in the near future.

But the second biggest draw to Aurorawatcherak was author interviews. There are too many to say “thank you” to individually, but I hope my blog has helped give each of you some lift and I want to thank you all for participating.

Posted November 16, 2015 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

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Claire Stibbe Launches “9th Hour”   Leave a comment

My friend Claire Stibbe is launching a new book this week.

The 9th Hour is the first in a seven-part mystery series set in Albuquerque. Published by Crooked Cat Publishers, UK, it releases on November 17, 2015.

I have interviewed Claire before on the blog, but I wanted to catch up with her for the new book, so she’ll be here Wednesday for that.

Her book comes out tomorrow and it is a murder mystery, so definitely go check it out on Amazon – The 9th Hour

Claire Stibbe 9th hour woods

Happy Anniversary   Leave a comment

FireworksI am told by a bot that is is my third anniversary of the blog.


Posted November 16, 2015 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

High-income Americans pay most income taxes, but enough to be ‘fair’?   Leave a comment

By design, wealthier Americans pay most of the nation’s total individual income taxes.

Source: High-income Americans pay most income taxes, but enough to be ‘fair’?

Posted November 16, 2015 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized


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