Hop on over to Soul Mate Publishing’s Blog – my post: It’s Not You, It’s Your Writing – How to Not Take Critiques Personally is up. I’ve used a few famous quotes to help demonstrate my views on how to develop thicker skin by looking at critiques in a different light.
Check it out if you have a chance.
Love and Laughter,
Now that the first book in my Trouble with Men series has launched I can focus more on my other projects. I’ve been working on the edits I received from my editor for book 2, The Trouble with Scarecrows, and I’m also working on the 2nd draft of my YA fairy tale inspired novel – So I don’t have word count updates. I was going to try to keep up with hours spent, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. On the backburner for now is the rough draft of the 3rd book in the series. I want to get these edits back for book 2 first, and then I’ll work on book 3 while I wait on the next round of edits.
I’ve said it before, and just in case no one was listening, I’ll say it again: I would much rather work on edits/rewrites than a rough draft. (The rough draft is … hard lol.) I think the only bad part about rewriting is having to reread the story a thousand times. (You’d better like your story.) I was talking to my sister about this, and she asked me if I dreamed about my characters. I’d never thought about this before, but no, I don’t. Which is weird because I’m a big time dreamer. Maybe I just use a different part of my brain. IDK
Now all this talk about dreams reminds me of one of my short stories in my collection: Supernatural Fairy Tales. “If You Feed a Wolf” was inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. What I used from Wonderland was the way it reminded me of how I feel in dreams. So what I did was use some of my dreams from my dream journal as inspiration. So this story is a little fun, a little sad, and little out there. And I’m adding it to the end of this post.
Love, Laughter, and Fairy Tales,
If You Feed a Wolf
by Dorlana Vann
“But I don’t want to go among the mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the cat, “Or you wouldn’t have come here.”
From “Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll
Nora ran, dodging trees and paying no mind to the twigs that scraped her bare arms and legs from shoulder to thigh. Once in awhile, the high afternoon sun shone through the density of the woods, and she knew she had better hurry.
When she reached the beach, she admired all her sisters who had gathered for the festivities. The continuous breeze carried the ocean’s scent as it waved through her long, bright hair. She felt powerful and had no doubt that she would be the victor.
“Gather around,” said Mother Mabel. Even without her ceremonial robes she stood with confidence, stripped down to her breast and bottom coverings. She was the oldest and wisest in their community, beautiful and flawless. “It’s time for the first race.”
Considering her competition’s bronzed, muscular legs and stomach, Nora found her to be an equal opponent. She couldn’t recall her name, only that they had known each other for a very long time. Nora smiled, and the woman smiled back, but with more self-assuredness—like it was clear she’d leave Nora in the dust.
“Go!” shouted Mother Mabel.
Nora took off. Her legs were strong and her mind clear. She wanted to win, although she didn’t want the race to end. Her sisters raised their red-ribbon-tied spears and cheered. The further Nora ran, the thicker the sand gathered on her feet, but it didn’t stop her from crossing the finish line first. She took small, effortless breaths as she looked behind her, but her opponent wasn’t there.
Where did she go? What did she look like? She wondered this as her sisters picked her up on their shoulders and paraded her around.
The moon, blazing orange, seemed to take the sun’s place in an instant. Everyone had gathered for the feast, eager and hungry for it to begin. The fire felt hot against Nora’s face and hands. She wasn’t hungry, but she couldn’t wait for the food. A bird with antlers flew down beside her and pecked the ground and then flew away again.
She watched as a wolf walked out of the forest. He stopped and then began to spin, around and around in circles. No one else seemed to notice him until he sat down beside the fire. He was hungry. Mother Mabel threw him a crumb and told him to leave. He growled out of the side of his mouth but ran back into the woods.
“Nora,” Mother Mabel said, the fire’s light dancing on her face. “If you feed a wolf, it will leave.” She took a puff from her brass pipe and passed it to the sister sitting next to her.
A storm started brewing, and the wind blew sand over the fire. All was black, except for the light of the pipe, and it seemed to float to Nora. She took it in her hands but hesitated until she heard Mother Mabel say, “I will come with you on your journey. I will always be with you.”
Nora put her lips to the cold pipe and inhaled, feeling the sweet smoke invade her mouth and then her lungs, heavily gratifying…
When awoken by a sudden light and an uneasy rustling, she couldn’t recall ever going to sleep. She was afraid to look, but curiosity forced her eyes to fly open. Where am I? Like lyrics to a forgotten song, but without the sweet melody, she vaguely recognized the room. She couldn’t breathe; the four white walls were stifling. Other people were there, but she didn’t know them.
What did Mother Mabel say to me? “Something about a journey,” Nora whispered.
“Nora? Nora?” asked a lady with silver, stringy hair, wrinkles, and sunken cheeks. “Can you see me? Can you hear me?”
The old lady sucked in her breath and put her hand over her mouth. “It’s me … Mabel. Mabel.”
Nora shook her head because the woman didn’t look anything like Mother Mabel. But there was a resemblance. A similarity. The green eyes, the way she opened her mouth when she smiled. I will come with you on your journey. “But why do you look so old?”
The lady laughed. “Why indeed.”
“What kind of journey is this?” Nora whispered. She tried to stand, but her legs held no strength, and she fell to the hard, cold floor.
“Oh,” Mabel said. “Are you hurt?” Mabel tried to help her, but Nora refused, thinking she didn’t need help.
Nora sat on the floor, legs in front of her, staring at unkempt yellowing toenails that stuck out of dirty, pink slippers. She pulled up the gown she wore, revealing pale, thin legs. “What happened to me? Why am I here?”
“I’m so glad you can talk.” It took her a couple a seconds, but Mabel got down on the floor and sat cross-legged like a little girl. “You are talking, aren’t you?”
“Is there a reason? Is this a lesson? Does this have to do with the wolf?”
Mabel eyes widened and in a raspy whisper she said, “How’d you know about the wolf?”
“It was by the fire, and you told me to feed it.”
Mabel inhaled and her hands jittered about wildly. “Right. I told you about the wolf. You did hear me. You could hear me the whole time. Why didn’t you say anything?”
“About what?” Nora asked.
“Right.” Mabel bit her nails.
“Oh, Miss Nora.” A man wearing white from head to toe stood over them. “Am I in trouble!” Without asking, he helped her up and back into her seat. “Here.” He handed her a small container. “I got distracted on my rounds and plum missed you. Woo wee, we wouldn’t want this to get out.”
“No,” Mabel said struggling to untangle her legs. “No, she can’t have those.”
“Miss Mabel, causing trouble again, I see. You know what happened last time Miss Nora was off her meds for too long. She bit you. Remember?”
The man held his hand out, now helping Mabel stand up.
“See,” Mabel said as she stood. “I’m fine. Don’t you see? Nora told me about the stories. She heard my stories …”
He looked back at Nora and nodded. “Take them, Miss Nora, and you’ll feel a lot better. You’ll go right back to la la land.”
Mabel wiped her eyes. “But the fairy tales, she remembers. And I don’t have anyone to talk to.”
Nora looked at the two little pills in the bottom of the small clear cup.
“No, Nora,” Mabel pleaded. “Stay with me. Stay with me.”
Nora couldn’t see the value of her journey. She didn’t know why she had come to the colorless place where she had to be so weak and helpless and where her thoughts were foggy. “If you feed a wolf, it will leave.” As she looked down at the little white pills, the message the real Mother Mabel had given her became clear. In this strange place, she was the wolf. If she wanted to go back to be with her sisters and never leave the beach, she would have to feed the wolf the little white pills.
Story From Dorlana’s Paranormal short story collection: Supernatural Fairy Tales eBook .99 cents Amazon
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Tags: 99 cent ebook, amazon, Amazon Kindle ebook, amwriting, author, book series, books, characters, contemporary fairy tale, contemporary fantasy, contemporary romance, dorlana vann, ebook, editing, fairy tale, fairy tale inspired, fairy tale inspired YA book, fairy tale retelling, fairy tales, fiction, flashfiction, rewriting, rough draft, second draft, short story, supernatural fairy tales, The Trouble with Scarecrows, The Trouble with Snowmen, Trouble with Men series, writing diary
For some reason links to my site did not work on my last post – so I decided to post a summary. I have a giveaway underway for my new romantic comedy, ” The Trouble with Snowmen.” There is no purchase necessary, and it is open to U.S residents 18 and over.
I’m super excited about the prizes.
The first one is a signature scent especially designed by Jfay (my sister) of Studio 3B for my story. “Melt my Heart” perfume has warm spices, musky incense, and exotic woods. The perfect scent to cozy up and melt that snowman’s heart.
The other signature gift, The Trouble with Snowmen Pen, was designed and hand-turned by Don Vann, of Vann Ink.
There are two more goodies, a 10.00 gift card from Amazon and, of course, the book I’m celebrating, The Trouble with Snowmen (Kindle eBook or PDF copy).
Thanks for stopping by and checking out my giveaway!
Love and Laughter,
The Trouble with Snowmen (Book 1 Trouble with Men Series)
June 15 – June 21
Not a lot of words written last week – but I feel I needed this time to get my thoughts together. So you can guess what my goal is for this week – type, type, type …
Trouble with Men Series book #3 – words written: 779
When I opened the file up on Tuesday I didn’t start writing, instead I went back to the very beginning and went over it – it helped to better describe my characters and to get in their heads from the very beginning again. So by the time I was finished for the day, I actually had three more scenes in my head. I also sent the first 2 chapter to my friend and critique partner (she’s read the first 2 books) – This was one of her comments: “There were several places that surprised a laugh out of me.” Which is awesome because I was worried about it being too heavy. Of course it wasn’t all sunshine, she also gave me some things to think about. So now I think I’m back on track (I really think taking a few days off of this book helped) – even though my word count is yuck.
YA Fairy Tale Inspired – words written: 1593
I finished the rough draft at 36713 words. It still has a long, long, long way to go but it is plotted and down on paper after a very long journey of it being my backburner story. To me, the rough draft is the most difficult part of writing, so I’m actually looking forward to the second phase of the book. Since my word count isn’t going to be the most important aspect of the second draft, “words written” above will be changed to “time spent” on my next entry.
Love and Laughter,
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Tags: amwriting, author, book, books, chapter 1, characters, contemporary fairy tale, contemporary romance, dark fantasy, dorlana vann, fairy tale, fairy tale inspired, fairy tale mix up, fairy tale retelling, fiction, Free Amazon, novel writing, Trouble with Men series, work in progress, writer, writing a book, writing life