coming soon



This is why penpanther has been quiet lately. I had a January 31st deadline to complete the first draft, what I call the down and dirty draft. I started the prep work in December and actual writing began January 4, finished it January 29!

This week I’ll do the read-through, make notes, do additional research, and do this neat new thing I just heard about called a reverse outline:”>Revers.

A nifty revision tool for after your first draft is done. It gives you a panoramic view of the  book’s structure so you can see all of that elephant dominating your vision. Since this is my first time writing a non-fiction book, I want all the help I can find in making it as precise, useful and professional as possible.

I’ll begin rewriting and revising February 15 and hope to complete the first revision by February 29, then send it to my beta reader.

I read a variety of fiction–fantasy, science fiction, mysteries, romances, historicals, and literary novels. Some of them stay with me for years, some of them I’ll read more than once, (More than twice!), some of them disappear from my mind when I close the back cover. I find myself thinking about the good ones, still seeing the settings the writer portrayed, still remembering what the characters looked like, sounded like–why is that? What makes the books we vividly remember so alive in our minds? And what makes us go out and buy more of the same?

Writing Emotion is how I decided to answer that question.

I had a March 31 publication deadline but that won’t work since I’m going to put the book through two rewrites–one to get it into final shape and one to polish–so I’m looking at April or May, depending.

So, coming soon! Relatively!

Oh–the cover was done by Angie at Fiverr.



omg it’s october!

Trick or Treat, Tim Burton

October 1st! Summer’s long fingers grip the season still–not that I’m complaining; I like hot weather. But I know many people are longing for Fall’s cooler weather.

The cosmic clock has ticked-tocked its way to NANO prep time. I wasn’t sure I’d do NANO this year, felt like I needed a break from the annual pressure of November, but an idea jumped up and waved at me and now I’ve decided I will write another 50,000-word draft in one of my favorite subgenres: Sword & Sorcery. Not much of it around anymore, but I’ve always loved sword & sorcery, so yeah y’know I’ll be writing one for the love of it!

I’ll have to carve out some time this month to prep for NANO and continue making progress with Shadow Walk. My worry was taking two months away from SW, especially since I want to finish it by December 31st, but I think I can do it, despite my long commute and full-time job.

I’m not sure yet what I’m going to write in November. I’m kicking over a couple of ideas–a sword and sorcery anthology? a sword and sorcery novel? a sword and sorcery novella or two plus short stories? Tonight, to kick off the start of prep, I’m going to take an hour and brainstorm.

Saturday I attended an excellent seminar on ebook publishing given by James Scott Bell at The Writer’s Store in Burbank. First time visiting the place–small town feel, tucked against foliage-covered foothills, hot as the Mojave that day. It was a long drive for me, but well worth it. Looks like he’s giving it again at Writer’s Digest Conference, West in Hollywood in October. If you’re interested in Creating A Career Out of Ebooks and you plan to attend the conference, his ebook seminar is a go-to in my opinion.

Sunday was devoted to Shadow Walk, in the trenches working out Act 3 and the Five Point Finale. Got 6 new scenes to write, mostly in Act 2. I’m kind of afraid about the Act 3 scenes. All I want to do is finish, let it set still for a couple weeks, and then dance it around somemore.

Happy writing, d:)

no time like the present


Destiny, John William Waterhouse 

Started reading Michelle Rowen’s Stakes and Stilettos last night, found myself laughing out loud and enjoying it as much as I did her first book.

Lisa Gates is offering two free introductory calls in December to give people a taste of the group telecoaching process:

Tuesday, December 4 at 5 p.m. PST

Friday, December 7 at 12 Noon PST


and complete information on the two groups is available here:

Group Telecoaching Info

As I mentioned a little while ago, I did the 20 big questions for writers at her site and it was good for me. If you want to write but can’t figure out how to create the space and time or if you are writing and wrestling with the doubt demons and the frustration devils, or if there’s something creative you want to do, or if you’re trying to find a new direction, I recommend giving Lisa a chance to help you achieve your dream.

Happy writing, d:)


Moonlight After Rain, John Atkinson Grimshaw

The weekend vanished, vaporized by a storm of mundanities that swallowed every hour. I had writing plans; yes I did, but Saturday disappeared without my ever opening the manuscript doc and Sunday–I promised myself that Sunday I’d get something done–but no; it too got zapped by the tedious time-suck activities that HAD TO BE DONE.

However I managed to send off a query for a freelance opportunity, got a response, and responded myself with the requested information. I’ve got two others lined up to query, but it’s already after nine so I won’t be getting those done tonight. I guess today was not a total loss, writing-wise.



Lute-Player, Orazio Gentileschi 

So…that brilliant idea of mine…breaking into freelance writing…yeah…still brilliant…still hanging fire…didn’t even add it to my June goals…

Number 6 on the June goals list:

Get moving on design and development of freelance writing website.

Let’s see now, what does that mean? Action is key to getting things done! So this weekend I’ll take a look at Apple’s iWeb and see if that’ll work for me.

I recommended the book I read The Well-Fed Writer to my friend Janet and she’s already got her freelance writing website up while I lollygag along. But I’ve been checking the boards at The Golden Pencil and other freelance writing  job sites, looking for the right sort of job–one I can actually do. I’m being careful ’cause whatever I decide to take on has got to fit into the few hours I have left after the day job.

Sun’s out today; it popped up first thing this morning, burned off the gray–it’s been late to work for several weeks. I’m glad to see it; maybe I can leave my coat at home now?

Hello WordPress!

Proserpine, Gabriel Dante Rossetti

So, first off, I’ve made a change from Blogger to WordPress. Pendrifter, my online writer’s journal, has a new place to hang. Don’t like the “New Blogger.” The sign-in process for posting on friends’ blogs is annoying. I don’t like having to be signed in to my blog before I can post on somebody else’s blog. I don’t like having to try to log in repeatedly because for some reason Blogger doesn’t respond the first time or the second time or the third time. And the whole Google thing irritates me.

So, I’ve got to add my links and figure out WordPress’s bells and whistles, but here’s my first post—a duplicate of this morning’s pendrifter post at Blogger:

It’s 8:33 a.m. The dishwasher’s busy making its water-sloshing fuss cleaning last night’s, last year’s dishes.

New Year’s Eve Menu
Chinese Scallops in Garlic Cream Sauce over Papardelle Pasta
Spinach Salad with Pecans and Dried Cherries
Gingered Carrots
Cherries and Blackberries in Rum Sauce with Cream
Viognier 2005
Piper Heidseick Champagne
And now it’s time to face the music of a new year. A Lamentation of Swans waits in its boxes. One of my 2007 resolutions is to set monthly and quarterly writing goals. For January…

Create “Swanology”, in the fashion of Candlewick Press’s ‘ology series of picture books. Definitely a geeky thing to do, but I love those books, have 3 of them (Dragonology, Wizardology, and Fairyopolis). It’ll be fun creating one for ALS. My way of getting back into the story.

Revise the Candalas scene in A Lamentation of Swans
Non-fiction book: finish Parasite Rex
Write next scene on Face From Kanadrios

Quarterly objectives:
Organize ALS materials. Toss duplicate mss. Get it down to one file box.
Read Boxiana (Georgian novel research)
Read The Rise of Napoleon Bonaparte, by Robert Asprey

Happy New Year!