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BOOK COVER REVEAL

The Shadow Rising, Book 1 of Spirit of The Ancients

It is so exciting to see my story come to life through an illustrators magic fingers.

After five years of writing, I have a fantastic world to share with everyone.

During this time I have world built, formed my craft and most of all, delved into the minds of my characters and gotten to know them as close friends and enemies.

Illustration done by Jeff Brown Graphics. He is a pleasure to work with and he does an amazing job. Always strives for perfection. He understands us authors in that one quirk.

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READY FOR THE EDITOR!

Five years ago, December 2014. That was when I began writing my series, officially. You see I began back when I was twelve years old and still knew to the world. I was young and full of youth and vitality. I was a vivid dreamer and wrote my dreams down. One dream in particular was like a mosquito on a hot summer evening–it continued to seek me out every night, despite my wishes.

Now, nearly 18 years later, I am now done with the first book to that dream. The story is called Spirit of the Ancients and I have been working on these books for the last five years. Believe it or not, I have 5 books handwritten and ready to be typed up. I have successfully typed up and prepared two of those five books (5 books of a planned 12 to 15 book series!).

Since beginning my writing journey, I have come to realize despite loving to handwrite my story, typing is so much faster and easier for me now. I suppose I have gotten a lot of practice typing up the first two books and doing major bouts of editing.

Speaking of editing…

Back in August of this year (2019), I decided to split book 1 into two different books. It was a massive tome, sitting at 254K words. Now its at a much more respectable, enjoyable read.

I had planned on finishing the separation of 254K and the major edits that requires by October 2019, but unfortunately, my son who was 4mo at the time, had severe cholic. Now at 5mo, he still has it but it is slowly easing up, which allowed me to finally complete book 1. After 6 rounds of self edits, it is ready to see a *REAL* editor. I am so happy.

World Building

(This is not my photo. All credit goes to the original maker of this photo and to the person who made this quote. Thank you)

I liked the image of this iceberg and the quote with it. It helps portray how authors should be writing and including their world building into their work.

The tip is just above the waves while the mountainous ice is well below the water.

This shows an accurate portrayal of how much world building the author should show the audience. Readers dont need to know all the world building that goes into creating fictional worlds.

Keep things relevant to what is going on in the book. Show little bit at a time, dont info dump. Your readers will thank you for it.

Spread out that delicious world building info when needed.


What is COBRA Files and what is Spirit of The Ancients?

A quick answer.

Spirit of The Ancients is my running series title.

Then I have books within the series. Currently working on Cobra Files. 3 are out and another 3 will be out during 2021.

It’s about the COBRA Agents in the story, a fallen Great House, once in line to be rulers. Now they’re servants to the empire, and every Great House donates a child to the cause of COBRA. It’s a high risk career. Its darl and can be gritty.

You follow Tsuske and his team.

They have to do the emperors bidding, while protecting the empire, uncovering the mysteries of the spirits and the fading technology, all while discovering hidden conspiracies that could change how these people see the world and their roles in it.

After these 3 books. I’ll put a pause on the snakes and work on a few books to show case some popular, loved and hated characters. Lazarus and Uriel, how they rose to warriors and forgotten heros.

A standalone about Pearl.

Maybe even some short stories about Professor Yoshi Nakamatsu.

Definitely more short stories in general. I need some reader magnets and short stories to help show this giant world off.

And let’s not forget the dark fairytales of the western kingdoms. I’d love to show them off a little before we get into the main events of the series.

So that’s what Spirit of The Ancients is (title of series) and what Cobra Files is. Soon there will be more working titles under the SOTA brand.

To find out what it means, Spirit of The Ancients, well you’ll have to follow the series.

The Innocence of Youth

(picture credit goes to: HRISHIRAJ GAWALI Illistrations)

This picture captures something very realistic.

My husband is a handyman type of man. He owns his own business. When he comes home, I can tell when he’s had a bad day. The way his shoulders slump forward, the way he walks, the crook of his neck. He tries to stand straight but it looks like he has weights to his arms and gravity is dragging him down.

Kids never realize this. They see their parents as healthy and whole, strong and fit. Even when they’re in debilitating pain. Kids think a kiss and a hug will make it feel better. Parents are the pillars that keep their world up.

I often have to reign our kids in when Daddy comes home. He wont tell them to stop jumping on him when he is in pain. So I do it for him.

“Give daddy a moment to come inside and take off his shoes.” Then I offer to get him water and ibuprofen.

Such is the innocence and naivety of being so young.

Dont be a thief

I’m seeing something that really disturbs me.

Plagiarism. Not by pirates but by authors stealing another authors works.

How could an author completely plagiarize another very popular authors books? Line for line? Word for word?

Its just… why would someone throw away their career and brand and be known as a thief, liar and a plagiarist? They’ll never have readers again. Their writing career is over. Forever.

I’m deeply disturbed by this.

If you’re looking to write. I implore you to not plagiarize because readers will know. And your entire writing career will be over.

Its OK to have INSPIRATION. I’m inspired daily by books I really enjoy and love. Inspiration is fine. Stealing words, line for line, word for word, that’s just wrong.

Dont do it.

~It’s been a while, time to catch up~

Three books out, more to hopefully come

I want to make this a short summary and reintroductory.

What can I say? Its been a while. Over a year in fact since I’ve updated my website.

What happened? Life. Depression. 2020. You know, the things you’ve already heard from countless other people and voices.

Before the pandemic became a pandemic, I was hit hard with post pardem depression and seasonal depression. It’s hard becoming a Stay At Home Mom after 10 years of building up one’s career. I worked hard to get where I was at. Being autistic and deaf, it’s hard to make it to the top at all. Ten years of hard work and then I became a SAHM. It was a dream and a worse nightmare.

Being disabled, something I never think about as I’m a go getter and hard working person who barely acknowledges my deficits, to abruptly become a SAHM after years of working at my career to finally have to leave it, was hard.

I love my daughter. I love my son. They’re lifes true treasures. My heart and my soul.

But working and being successful was my sanity.

I had a hard life growing up being who and what I am. I’ve had to work to get a meal. To get shoes. To have a place to live and a roof over my head. My disabilities were not something that gave me anything in life. Education? Nope, paid out of my own pocket. Meals? My own pocket. Bill’s? Yep, me. I paid for it all.

And it felt good to see myself work hard to survive in this world. And then I became a SAHM and those things that showed me I’m more than a disability, were gone.

My defecits became obvious to me. And I fell into depression. Then 2020 said “IM NOT DONE YET” and threw in Covid. Double the depression.

Staying at home, not even going to the store, and only seeing 2 young children and a husband, is something that can break people like me. I honestly had to stop all publishing efforts I had planned and all my plans for 2020 were deleted. Nuked out of existence, and I road the wave of ineptitude and self loathing.

Spring 2020 came and I felt sunshine on my skin for the first time in months. Being a new mom, zero help from anyone, I’m surprised we survived those 5 dark months.

My post pardem lasted until fall of 2020 but in that spring I was able to try and rework my writing and get that first book published.

Like many writers, you eventually just say F it and publish. You had it edited. It’s been read. Just get it onto the market and out of my word document. And that’s what I did.

I was still deep in PPD and didnt have energy to market it or learn about ads and promotion.

And like many authors who do this,my book flopped.

I published book 2 in August(just 3 months after #1 was released) and for the first time, I recieved KDP pages read. Then reviews trickled slowly in. That felt nice. A bit of ego stroking validation.

Admittedly, something I needed.

I worked hard at overcoming depression, which many know, isnt something one can actually really do. We just ride the waves and wait for calm waters.

I struggled in the current but didnt drown. Oddly enough, I finished writing and editing book 3 and released it in December 2020.

Looking back over the year, I had originally made so many plans for my writing career. Wanted to write and publish atleast a dozen books. I know what I can do, my word count output can be large. It was something that could have happened. But it didnt.

I wrote 3 books during NANOWRIMO 2019. 160K all together. I know I can write. And yet I still havent edited the last two of those books. For now, they hang in limbo. Dont know when I’ll get to editing them. They’re 1st person POV and using dictation software sort of made a lot of it jibberish.

And that, my friends, is what happened in 2020.

Perhaps in late spring of 2021, I’ll have book #4, some short stories and a few other fun things I’ll be releasing. There is always hope!

Turning 30 Ain’t That Bad

Start with a memory of your early childhood. You remember that time your mother brought over one of her friends and you couldn’t help but think just how old she looked compared to your brothers? She looked ancient around your never-aging-mother.

When you tentatively asked, “How old are you?”

Mother scoffs. She laughs. “I am 30,” she says.

The world stand stills as you hear those words, “I am 30.” That is the face of what someone 20 years older than you looks like? So wise and full of wisdom and knowing. That is the face of the old. A brief recollection of your grand parents comes to mind and you think, “and they are as old as God.”

All throughout our childhood and then onto our teen youth, we see the face of 30 as someone so much older than ourselves. We naively tell ourself that, “we’ll never be that old!” and “I’m never aging!”

And yet the years tick tock away. We hit 20. Then 22. Then 25. That evil age of 30 is drawing nearer and nearer.

26 comes around and the year of being old approaches in 4.

Then 3.

2….

and now 1…

And time has flown by as its a month away now. In one month you are going to be 30. The days count down like seconds to a stop watch. Your heart beats wildly. Your breathing comes in short and you feel light headed. Where had all the time gone?

30 is just a short time away. And here is my approach on it.

30 is the new 20. I know you have all heard this many times throughout the years of staying 21, but please hear me out. It’ll be kept shortish and I hope you leave feeling a little better about the upcoming doom of your age.

In our 20s we are barely recovering from; being thrown out of the house, to graduating or getting our GED or perhaps working. We hit 21 and we struggle. Not everyone struggles and for those, I’ll leave out that part, but many of us in our early to mid 20s have to struggle. It is life. We barely know what we are doing. We think back to high school and glare at the memory: They barely taught us anything. They didn’t teach us to survive this cruel world. Neither did our parents. And then you raise your hand and shake it at God. Why didn’t anyone warn me that life was so difficult?

Yeah, yeah, yeah. They did. Our parents did. Our best friend’s parents did. Our teachers. Everyone did. We were just so caught up in our youth that we don’t remember. Or we do remember and we think back at how stupid we were. All the stupid things we were caught up in doing.

Now to those who think the last part, please don’t. We were all young. We all had the power of youth in us (thanks Guy Sensei(Naruto)). We were busy being young. And in your 20s, it’s just another learning phase of our lives. Most people struggle. They live behind memes and only display their happy, memorable moments on social media. It’s never a pretty feeling to display struggle. And yet, for the most part, we all struggle in our 20s.

30 is approaching fast like a hot potato, what do you do?

Don’t panic.

It’s not the end of your world.

It’s the beginning of a great decade and many more to come.

Looking back over the past decade of your life you know that you have matured. You cringe at the ideas/thoughts/actions of the 19 year old you. You have a changed a lot. You have become an adult in truth.

No longer are you that naive little boy/girl who needs to have someone hold their hand to fill out job applications. No longer do you need someone to get you up on time for work or school. You don’t need a supervisor to hover over you as you work. You are a responsible adult now.

In your early 20s you struggled with partying, drinking, time managing school and work and play. Or if you were(are!) a book nerd like myself, you struggled with living in dreams while work and school zoomed all around you. You struggled with putting down books and video games to get on with life.(Ofcourse there are those except from this and this article isn’t about those gifted individuals.)

30 is not the age where you stop all fun and just “adult”. 30 is you heading onto the next phase of your life, knowing so much about yourself than you did 10 years ago. You know (hopefully) how to manage your drink, your work life, your home life (doing laundry on your own and washing dishes without your mom telling you to, etc). And if you don’t know many things, you know that you won’t make stupid mistakes that you did in your youth. You know the world isn’t about to end (crossing my fingers there) and that life goes on and you can better yourself.

So step into your 30 year old body. What amazing goals do you have planned for the start of the best days of your life? It’s only going to be better now that you are 30.

The One That Captured Our Hearts

“We all remember a time from so long ago, when we struggled with reading a book.

  “Sam has a brown dog. Sam wears a blue hat. Sam walks the dog.”

As our reading level improved, so did our interest in what we read. We learned what we like to read and over time we learned that the library held books with amazing stories waiting for us to open them.

We grew older and we read more. For those avid readers that consumed many books, they learned what they like to see in a book, enjoyed certain genres that took their interest.

I remember when I took a liking to reading, I was in fifth grade. For many years I disliked reading the Red book, the blue book and progressing to those hardcovers books with multiple stories in them. And I loathed it when our teachers would want us to do book reports (though the book report itself is fun). Reading was a nightmare. I could never find something that I enjoyed.

That was until I walked into the library that one morning. I rolled my eyes as I remember my teacher telling us that we had to return last weeks books and get a new one. As I checked in my books and turned down an isle, I remember when my eyes fell on the beautiful blue book with a mysterious white horse on the cover. I remember its title very well in my mind that can I see it now as I am writing this; The Ghost Horse.

I felt like the lights above me dimmed as I reached over to the book shelf with its tightly placed books to the book that was not in its place. It was no thicker than a dime is wide. I held it before my eyes, marveling at such a beautiful cover. My finger trailed the titles name and I remember reading the first couple of pages in the half hour of library time we had. Time itself sped away and it was the first time I had sunk into a book, pulled away by a whirl pool of emotions and sensations rather than cool water. My first time reading a book that truly captured my heart and got me on the path of reading books for the pleasure of it.

Do you remember your first time enjoying a book?

NANOWRIMO 2019

This is my first year doing NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month). I began on Saturday, November 2nd.

Originall I had planned to write 20-30K novella times 3. Yes, I was planning on writing a novella trilogy staring Ara Macao of Last of Her People.

On November 2nd and 3rd, and 9th, 10th, and 11th, I wrote this story. And it is finished. Sitting at 44K. It still needs editing on the last 50% of the book as I used Dragon dictation and still learning that device. Perhaps this story and its two sequels will be closer to 50K than I imagine?

It looks like this story is not going to be a novella trilogy. But we’ll see. This Friday-Sunday I will begin book 2. Maybe I’ll finish it in 5 days, too?