Archive for May 2019

Let me tell you a Secret, Blog Hopping.   Leave a comment

I’m really getting into this blog-hoping lark now, I like the idea of getting a prompt on Wednesday and having to produce something for the next Monday.

Source: Let me tell you a Secret, Blog Hopping.

Posted May 27, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Treasure Hunt for Truths   3 comments

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

Rules:
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

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“The truth is rarely pure and never simple.” 
― Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest

I gave some deep thought to this subject and decided not to reveal my secrets. I do have a few. Some literary star once noted that writers are often working on issues in their own minds, which is why so many of us follow similar themes in book after book. I certainly have a few of those and you can probably discover those by reading my books across genres and seeing some similar themes. But I’m not revealing my personal secrets because … well, they are personal.

“But you can’t make people listen. They have to come round in their own time, wondering what happened and why the world blew up around them. It can’t last.” 
― Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

I do hide truths within my books that I hope readers won’t feel preached at when they discover them. Some I’m fairly overt about. Transformation Project is about a libertarian perspective on a major terrorism attack – that there is another way of dealing with terrorism besides overarching government intervention. Less overt are the ways readers see my characters dealing with challenges, trying to be consistent with their principles and showing that the more-traditional methods don’t always fail, but they certainly overwhelm the individual and the liberty we’re each meant to enjoy. Liberty is sloppy. That doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

“The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.” 
― Joe Klaas, Twelve Steps to Happiness

Some of my characters are unapologetically Christians, but also human and real, which is a truth I like to show – that Christians are not weird or disconnected from reality — that’s just how they’ve been portrayed in the media for so long that we think that’s reality. Their faith doesn’t necessarily prevent them from negative emotions – as when the devout Jill wanted to see the USDA leader hanged in Day’s End. The man was a menace who almost cost the life of someone she loved and she was angry. A very human reaction for which she later repents.

Image result for image of seeking truth

Daermad Cycle is a high fantasy series and fantasies don’t ordinarily have libertarian themes, but since falling in love with Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive, I’ve been expanding my definition of high fantasy and individual liberty and personal autonomy are working their way into the series as I work on the third book. It’s not changing the ending, but it is influencing the journey. I hope these truths work their way into readers’ consciousness in subtle, gentle and profound ways, as Sanderson’s themes of honor have affected me similarly.

“Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures.” 
― Jessamyn West

Another truth – a theme that comes up over and over in my books — is that broken people remain useful. I don’t write characters who are larger than life. Shane starts Transformation Project series with the barrel of his gun in his mouth. As a MC, he’s flawed and not guaranteed to make it to the end of the series. He is a hero, but he’s a hero that doesn’t want to be. Now writing the fifth book in the series, I see him coming to a crisis and I don’t know what’s going to happen after. I know that this broken individual is going to shatter and what happens next … you’ll have to buy the books to find out.

As I’m working on another series in an utterly different genre, I’ve found that broken people can be fun if you believe in redemption. You can use characters most people would write off in real life and show that they can climb out of the pit they’ve fallen into and drag their damaged selves into the light and show the “functional” people better ways of living. It’s all in writing believable characters.

“If the road is easy, you’re likely going the wrong way.” 
― Terry Goodkind

I think the special sauce in all of this is keeping it real and show the characters living their truths rather than narrating about them a lot. And often, I am learning as I write, that the books I have read have wriggled into my consciousness and are now embraced by my characters. Peter in “What If Wasn’t” begs his father to tell him he hates him. “Don’t lie to me, Dad. What I did was unforgivable. Don’t pretend that it isn’t. I would rather know the truth of that where I can deal with it than live a pleasant lie so that the truth can bite me on the ass when I least expect it. And, Dad, I want to believe you can love me and forgive me. I just know that’s a lie and I’m safest with the truth.”

I knew that wasn’t an original thought and so I went looking for it. I’m not a huge fan, but Abbey is a favorite author of my daughter, so I have read several of his books and apparently this line. I knew it was the source immediately when I saw it. And, no, Peter is not going to not say it because it’s “derivative”. All truth is God’s truth, even when it’s written by Edward Abbey. Peter is just going to have to have read some of his books.

“Better a cruel truth than a comfortable delusion.” 
― Edward Abbey

In many ways, fiction is a comfortable delusion and I tend to avoid preaching to my readers because I don’t like it when authors do it to me — and, preachiness is all too common these days. But fiction can be used to wrap cruel truths into comfortable delusions so that readers can learn truth in a non-threatening way – if they want to. As Bradbury pointed out, not everyone will see and accept the truths we authors hide in our works.

I wonder what my fellow authors have to say on this subject.

Posted May 27, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

My favourite Character, Blog Hopping   Leave a comment

Welcome to another blog hop, this week, I’m discussing my favourite character. My choice might surprise you!

Source: My favourite Character, Blog Hopping

Posted May 20, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

My favourite Character, Blog Hopping   Leave a comment

Welcome to another blog hop, this week, I’m discussing my favourite character. My choice might surprise you!

Source: My favourite Character, Blog Hopping

Posted May 20, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

First Among Favorites   8 comments

From all the characters you’ve created, which is your favorite and why?

Rules:
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

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Wow, this could be a hard one simply because I’ve been writing since I was 12 and a lot of characters have been my “favorite” at one time or another. How to choose a favorite among favorites? That’s like asking the parent of a large brood of children to choose their favorite. You love them all and a good parent would love them equally. But some of them, you might like a little bit more than everyone else. You might want to spend time with them slightly more than you want to spend time with others. Or, if you’re like me, and you have had different best friends over the course of a lifetime, it’s a similar situation. I had a best friend when I was a child and we still know one another, though we aren’t really close friends now. I had a best friend in high school and into college and we are still Facebook friends and I will go out of my way to see her if we’re in the same geographic area, but we don’t talk every day. I had a best friend when I was in my 20s (she’s was the matron of honor at my wedding), but she moved away just prior to the Internet getting underway and I haven’t been able to track her down, so that friendship has withered. I have a best friend now and I’m married to him. I like spending time with him, but if I were to be honest I can think of some other people I’d rather spend more time with. His “best friend” status has to do with how long and how well we’ve known each other, not necessarily about shared interests. We share some, but not all. Trust me – when I start talking quilting or writing, his eye lids droop and I only pretend to want here about his technical endeavors.

So, clearly this “favorite” thing is complicated.

Who is my favorite character among the hundreds that have traipsed through my mind in my writing career and why?

It’s a tossup between Shane Delaney of Transformation Project and Peter of (the yet-unpublished) What If Wasn’t? Since readers can’t go out and get to know Peter (yet), I’m going to focus on Shane Delaney. These are two very different characters and I like them for different reasons. Shane gets the “favorite” label because he’s published, but it was a hard decision to make.

Why do I like Shane? He’s someone I could sit down with over coffee and interview and enjoy spending an evening getting to know. Not that he would talk to me or tell me his secrets, because Shane doesn’t do that. He’s dark and complex, which is also sometimes why I don’t want to write him. He’s a mercenary who was forced to work for the government, which in turn forced him to work as a mercenary, and he doesn’t like either of his two masters. He’s loyal, but he’ll cut his losses in a heartbeat if he needs to — and mourn later, if he has time. He’s got PTSD from the things he’s had to do that haunt him. He’s the ultimate realist who will make the pragmatic decisions no one around him wants to make. He’s the non-believer in a devout family, but he’s not angry at his family. He still loves them and (mostly) respects their beliefs, even though he has rejected them. He’s the serial monogamous in a family of faithful men. He’s totally male and yet he enjoys the female mind (and body, but this is largely a PG series). He’s 26 going on 96, but he wasn’t born mature. He is still a work in progress. He’s stubborn, but he can learn from his mistakes and the mistakes of others. He is tough and can take physical and emotional pain, but he has a breaking point and he came home to avoid shattering, only to have circumstances force him to keep going and resist shattering. Shane is brutally honest about his failings and does not indulge often in denial, though he does often tell those who want to help him that his inner life is none of their business.

A third factor in why I like Shane so much is that I don’t absolutely know where he is headed. I do know he’s coming to a crisis and that several of the big questions of his life will need to be answered … if he survives. I can’t see beyond that crisis, so I don’t know his outcome. The character has surprised me a few times, so I’m not at all certain what choices he’ll make.

As a discovery writer, I love when my character’s hijack their plot and take it in an interesting direction. Not all characters will do that and that’s okay, but when I have a character like Shane who is very much his own man — that’s golden, and that’s what makes him my favorite — for now.

Posted May 20, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

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#OpenBook: Sleep-No Substitutes or Exchanges   Leave a comment

Lyndell Williams

OPEN BOOK (3)#OpenBook – If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?

Sleep is a beautiful thing with a ton of benefits, including:

  • May Help Prevent Cancer. …
  • Reduces Stress. …
  • Reduces Inflammation. …
  • Makes You More Alert. …
  • Improves Your Memory. …
  • May Help You Lose Weight. …
  • Napping Makes You “Smarter” …
  • May Reduce Your Risk of Depression…
  • Helps Body Repair Itself… [source: VeryWellHealth]

Yeah, yeah. I know. The question’s premise is that sleep is not necessary. That’s the thing, though. I need to sleep. It’s one of the best things in life that I get to do.

I haven’t been able to sleep for more than four hours since my oldest child was born. My babies snatched my sleep from me, and it looks like a solid six hours will never return. So, I have had to adjust my sleep to be…

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Posted May 13, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Open Book Blog Hop – 13th May   2 comments

Stevie Turner

This week’s topic is:

‘If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?’

I usually sleep for 8 hours, so we’re talking about an extra 8 hours at night-time when most of the country’s population sleeps, except for teenagers checking their phones and anybody who works a night shift.

There are a few things I would do:

At holiday times I would travel to my ‘van’ on the Isle of Wight at night, thereby avoiding heavy traffic on the M11, M25 and A3.  I would arrive there in record time and in a good mood!

I would go to work and type my clinic letters at night, in absolute peace and quiet.  There would be no phones ringing and nobody rushing in and out of my office to bother me.  I could earn more money that way, as I could work for longer and never…

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Posted May 13, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

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