• Pom has important news!

         “The portals are open,” cried Pom. “The portals are open!” He ran down the flippy-floppy steps nearly tripping over his long fluffy ears.

         Along Rony Trail, the flowers were singing their melodious song and the butterflies hummed in harmony while fluttering in a delicate dance. Pom’s heart leaped with joy and ached to join in with the regular forest festivities. Now wasn’t the time! ‘The portals are open,’ he told himself. He had to tell the others in the village.

         Past the break in the trees, nestled in the middle of the forest, the quiet village rested.

         Pom dashed into the middle of the market square where a tall bell tower stretched, although a bit slanted, toward the blue sky above.

         Skidding to a halt at the feet of Humphrey, the town-crier, Pom huffed and puffed and wheezed.

         Other than a large peering eye looking quizzically down at Pom, Humphrey didn’t budge. Gripped in his enormous hand rested the long rope that led all the way up to the large bell at the very top.

        Pom gulped, his heart racing, pat-a-pat, beneath his fluffy paw.

        “What seems to be your hurry, Pom, dear friend?” Humphrey leaned forward, the chair moaning in protest.

         “You have to tell the others.” Pom’s throat ached from huffing and puffing. Finally, his breath had slowed.

         “Tell the others?” One fuzzy eyebrow raised up.

         Pom and Humphrey looked across the open market. Dust swirled through the vacant square. A dog barked somewhere in the distance.

         Pom turned his attention back to the town crier. He stood as straight as he could. “Tell them the portals are open.” He grabbed a handful of Humphrey’s pant leg.

        Humphrey’s brow arched high. A twinkle in his eyes shimmered. And a smile grew so big his cheeks mounded like hills in the green meadow.

        Humphrey stood tall as he yanked on the long rope.

     

     

    BONG – BONG!

     

    “Hear ye, hear ye, gentle citizens of Rony Village. As of this morning, a notice from Pom the Messenger has arrived. The portals are open! I repeat, the portals are open!”

     

    BONG – BONG!

       Pom’s whiskers twitched and his tummy fluttered. He took a hop closer to Humphrey.

        “Snuggle closer.” He pulled Pom snugly up against his legs.

     

    Creek.

    Thwap.

     

       “Here they come,” said Humphrey.

        Doors flew open and out poured the villagers. With songs on their lips and work in their hands, the village was alive with the hustle and bustle of people, cleaning, washing, and scrubbing. Hammers at work and brooms finding the dust and sweeping where dust must go. Three children rushed past them, giggling as they chased each other.

        “It’s been a long while since the portals were opened.” Humphrey patted Pom on the head. “I guess the problem has been fixed, then?”

     

       Joy swelled in his chest as he grinned. “I don’t know about that, but with them being open again then it means we get to serve our customers again.” Pom’s ears dropped by his face.

       “Oh no,” he said.

        “What is it?” Humphrey tilted his head, his lips pressed together.

        “I gotta go help Flora. She will need my help.” Pom hopped away, turning quickly to wave to Humphrey.

        “Thank you for bringing the wonderful news.” He waved in return.

       Pom dashed away across the market, disappearing around the corner.

    TO BE CONTINUED…

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  • Writing Process for Indie Writers

    Seasons greetings,

    May your winter holidays be merry and bright – even if it’s just chilling at home or at work.

    I have discovered that I like to research any topic that tickles my fancy and I like to organize it. I’m probably a word geek. Yes, a word geek ( or wordsmith, if you will). I can live with that. In my latest research binge and the love of organizing it I have conjured a decent list about the writing process from brainstorming ideas to publication. This list is not the only way to write or the One Great List to rule them all. This a launching point. Tweak as you will for whatever works for you. Everyone is different.

    The writing process (checklist)

    1. The idea
    2. Brainstorming (write all your ideas down – do not edit)
    3. Character creation, map your world, worldbuilding (keep collecting those ideas)
    4. Outlining (this is important, but not everyone likes to do this – to each their own – you do you!)
    5. Drafting (do not edit at this point – just write – this might take a while)
    6. Revise (this is the time to rearrange, add, or take out what doesn’t belong – stories have a flow, voice, and rhythm, find it)
    7. Find someone or a few people to critique your story
    8. Revise again
    9. Hire a developmental editor or a talented book-lover  friend to read your story (find those plot holes, things that don’t fit into your story, things that need more explanation, etc…)
    10. Start chatting about your book on social media (Soft Promotion)
    11. Revise again (some of you may start the editing process here depending on how your project is going – every process is different.)
    12. Find beta readers (more awesome critiquing!)
    13. Revise again (with feeling!) and/or self-edit
    14. Hire a professional copy editor (or another talented friend – I will recommend that you pick a different person to copyedit your work from the developmental editor. Everyone will catch different mistakes)
    15. Apply for an ISBN (if you don’t already have one)
    16. Write book blurb, acknowledgments page, and about the author page
    17. Hire a cover artist/ designer and someone who does interior formatting (Some of you are amazing at this already so you’ve got yourself covered)
    18. Promote your book! (Share book teasers, cover reveal, hit that social media pavement, etc)
    19. Send out ARCs! (Advanced Readers Copies) – (Ask for honest reviews in exchange for a free book – optional)
    20. Release your book!!!
    21. Celebrate! (you did it!!!)
    Thank you for reading!

    There you have it. My long writing process list. This list may go through a few tweaks in the future, but for now, this is what I have. I have learned a lot this past year about writing and publishing and I don’t intend to quit anytime soon.

    I hope you all keep creating into the new year. Much love.

    Cheers.

    JT Harris.

     

    Photo on <a href=”https://visualhunt.com/re/9b1f56″>Visualhunt</a>

    Photo on http://<a href=”https://visualhunt.com/re/9b1f56″>Visualhunt</a>

     

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  • Taking Time For Myself

    Hello, Everyone.

    I hope everyone’s summer is, so far, full of adventure, even if it’s just the adventure of reading. My stress levels were high this August with trying to stay on target with my writing goal, among other things.

    My son was recently designated as being on the autism spectrum, diagnosed with ADHD, and a learning disability due to his ADHD. My husband and I were already anticipating this outcome and were emotionally prepared when we were given his designation. I have chosen to homeschool my children (and am feeling blessed that I am in a position in my life I can choose how he gets schooling) and I feel it was the best decision for me and my son. This will be the first year for my daughter to be in school so I have yet to decide if she would benefit from homeschooling or public school. For my son, though, it was too busy and overwhelming for him to be in a chaotic environment. There have been lots for me to learn this year and lots and lots of paperwork for me to do. In spite of all that, I still pushed myself to maintain my writing goal but was a tad past my deadline I set for myself. I am not disappointed that I didn’t finish right on time. The point is, I finished. I have completed another draft of my manuscript. Yeah, baby! (I may have had tears in my eyes when I was finished.) Breathe.

    Draft done! Time for celebration (and sewing). I truly believe in celebrating not only the big milestones but also the little ones too. Life needs those little victories. For those who don’t know me, I am all about throwing themed get-togethers (usually intimate rather than large parties). (From an Alice in Wonderland tea party to video game nights.) Such fun!

    Now that my draft is finished I will be taking a break from writing for about two weeks. That story needs some air before I tackle it again. (I’m not really breaking from writing as a whole but definitely a break from that story.) Do you find you need to take a break from writing – to those of you who write? A fresh, rested brain is needed before I tackle the next round of edits. I’m not sure how many I will be doing but more edits are in this story’s future.

    I wish you all the best for what’s left of the summer. May the autumn, whether you’re in school or not, be kind and gracious to you.

    Much love.

     

    End of Summer Reading!

    For those of you who like to read YA fantasy, sci fi, paranormal, and dystopian here is a box set with 25 novels on for $0.99 for a limited time. Now that I have some time to read I will be jumping on board and giving this a try. (More books for my ebook collection!)

    What are some of your favorite fantasy novels to read during the summer?

    Keep reading!

    JT Harris.

    https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/marked-by-fate-kristin-d-van-risseghem/1126655058

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1229491448

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  • Editing everything

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Well, it’s a long-time-no-post situation. Thank you for your patience.

    I am currently working on re-writing my story ending but may still choose an earlier version. Stories sometimes have a way of writing themselves (in a matter of speaking). Also, the website is going through a bit of a transformation so please keep checking back to see all the new changes. If you’d like to keep up to date and be notified of all the new content before everyone else I will suggest signing up to my newsletter! Sneak peeks and free content should be arriving fairly soon.

    Thank you and keep creating.

    JT Harris

     

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  • Changes Are Coming

    Over this next month many things are changing. I am starting up a newsletter about my writing, publishing ups and downs, and free writing samples from my debut novel. I am getting excited and feeling a bit frustrated due to things not running as smoothly as I would have liked. Don’t worry. I am not discouraged. 

    I think I may have signed up for a bit too many sites that are supposed to help me achieve all my marketing dreams. I am unsure if some of these are leading me down the right path for me or not, but it’s worth a try. If I go the wrong way at least I have learned which road not to travel. 

    Getting started to become an author is a bumpy one and I am learning lots, but I got to say that I am really looking forward to when my first book is published so it can pave the way to more. Please tell me it gets easier. 🙂

    Good luck to you all and keep creating.

    Inkblade Writer.
  • Goals for the Near Future



    Just a quick post this week!


    I am not a New Year’s resolution kind of person, but I do believe in goals. Goals can spark us to move forward to accomplish many great things. Telling a few people our goals can give us the fine kick in the bottom that we need because we don’t want to fail. (Having to tell our friends that we didn’t meet our goals is something most of us don’t want to do – besides, our friends can be great cheerleaders, right?)

    There are some goals that I would like to work on these next few months and am not sure if I am doing these goals in the right order or if I should be concentrating on others instead, but I will tweak accordingly if and when it suits my publishing needs.

    One of the goals I am hoping to do this month is to find a few more “alpha” readers to read and give me constructive criticism for the early draft of my manuscript. Even though I have many things I’d like to change in my story I’d like to have other peoples’ opinions and take on the story – to see if my opinions are the same as other’s opinions. I hope that makes sense. 🙂 

    The next goal of mine is to start a newsletter for you all and any new “followers”. Fans? You lovely people who are interested in my progress! Yes. That sounds good.

    Right now, I am writing out character profiles for each of my support and background characters. I have compiled  a list of questions and stats for each of my named characters. Let’s just say, it has been a very interesting learning time for me and for my story. Everyone is coming alive and layered and I want to hug them all. I knew my characters before, but now I am digging deeper and learning quite a bit more about everyone and everything. Every crack. Every corner. Fun times. Truly. I highly recommend trying this for your background characters. (I know it can be tedious, but in the end, it will be so worth it.) I suppose my goal for writing out each profile would be to finish all the profiles by the end of next week. (Kids are full of adventure and keep me quite busy, which is why it will take me another week.)

    Making goals for myself is one of the ways I keep myself on track. Procrastination is a deep, deep, well of doing nothing that I frequent. A lot. Everyone has their own process, and goals work for me. 

    The summer will be here soon and I am determined to be published by then. Yay!
    What are some of your goals?

    Have a great winter, happy goal keeping, and keep creating.

    Inkblade Writer.

    PS. Okay, my post was much longer than intended. Apparently I had more to say than I thought. Thank you for spending some of your time with me. 

  • Setting Goals.

    Photo via <a href=”https://pixabay.com/en/users/MannyvonKannen-699079/”>MannyvonKannen</a> via <a href=”https://visualhunt.com/photos/christmas/”>VisualHunt.com</a>
    As many of my friends and family know, I have won this year’s NaNoWriMo! And, I couldn’t be happier about it. 

    I have been so busy with my writing and Christmastime that I have put a slight halt to my blogging. I love you all for your patience. Thank you!

    Christmas is almost upon us, again, and there’s so much to prepare, lists to check off, people to see, and, of course, writing to be finished. I have given myself a bit of time to chew over what I wrote in the month of November and am doing a bit more world building for my fantasy before I jump into editing and begin to mold and whip my story into shape. My editing cap is almost ready to be worn. 😉

    I have decided to give myself a deadline/ end goal for my manuscript to be finished. My reason for my goal is because I am a procrastinator and if I have a goal I will procrastinate less. The more I focus on my goal the more I will do. I may even wait until the bitter end before I throw myself into action, but I am determined to get the manuscript finished. So, my end goal is to have the book ready by the summer of 2017! 

    Wish me luck. This is so new to me. And scary. And fun. And challenging. I will be updating my progress at most every step that I take. If you’d like to check my progress you can keep checking here on my blog or check out my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/inkbladewriter/

    Thank you so much for joining me today! 
    Until next time.
    Keep creating and Merry December,  Happy Winter Solstice, and have a joyous Christmas.

    Inkblade Writer.




  • I joined NaNoWriMo!



    Well, I have just signed up for my first NaNoWriMo! Dear Lord, what have I done? 


    I am not writing a novel from scratch in the month of November, but rather pushing through the final chunk of my story. I have, so far, written my fantasy in a single point of view and I feel it needs a secondary point of view. Joining NaNoWriMo, I hope, will keep me grounded at my computer to get through to the end, and perhaps, I’ll meet fellow NaNo friends to encourage each other to persevere and to finish what we have started. 

    Here’s to early mornings and late nights of writing! And tea. Lots of tea. But before NaNoWriMo it’s still October and so I will take this time to keep on planning, researching, stockpiling my ideas, and working on outlining my chapters and scenes, with the hope that when November rolls around it will be easier to sit down and write. If I don’t take the time to prepare now I won’t be able to just sit and write. I have a very short attention span when it comes to story writing (or just being on my computer with all the distractions of the internet). My mind won’t turn off. Many ideas come to me all at once and I find it very hard to just sit still and just work on one scene without it flitting off to another scene or idea, or even different ways I could write the same scene over and over again. 

    In the past, I have tried writing by the seat of my pants (pantser) and even though at times it has worked well for me there has been many times it has held me back. My personality needs a bit of guidance with the freedom to change paths. That is what has worked for me and until it stops working for me I will continue to plot. 

    Keep creating.
    Inkblade Writer