Draca Wards Saga

Draca Wards Saga

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

They are here. Finally.

I wish I had time to go into more detail, but I am working on my HOA's Treasurer's report for tonight. So more to come. In the meantime, here's a peek of what my book looks like in print:

The cover art never fails to impress me. Thank you, Eimi.  (maybe if I thank her enough, she will accept payment in free books :))

The spine is a bit off. But I've seen that in many books.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

World poetry day - The Lotus Eaters


To honor World Poetry Day, I have to write about Lord Tennyson's poem The Lotus Eaters. This poem has shaped much of my life in a wonderful way!

I first learned about the poem in one of the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The book listed part of the poem. I don't remember how old I was; maybe nine. The poem intrigued me, and after two visits to the bookstore (I would roam the bookstore for hours while I waited for my parents at the mall), I was able to find a book with the entire poem in it. I was still rather young, so I did not quite grasp the story at the time, but the book mentioned it was based on The Odyssey. So I found a copy of that. And I didn't understand a word.

But, I found books about The Odyssey that were easier to read, and some short adaptations to parts of Odysseus' adventures. And those books got me into Greek and Roman mythology. Which got me into fantasy. Which got me into Sci-fi. Which got me into some really good, thought-provoking reading.

But also, The Lotus Eaters provided me with a once in a lifetime opportunity! In my junior year in high school, I was taking SAT prep courses before school. The teacher was going over vocabulary and literature, and she mentioned Tennyson. She asked if any of us knew any Tennyson poems, so I mentioned The Lotus Eaters and quoted a verse. She was so impressed that I was familiar with that poem (you need to understand that many of the kids in my prep class were considered disadvantaged) that a few weeks later she suggested I write an essay for a chance to be part of an exchange group to Israel, and she would write me a letter of recommendation. I did, and I was selected to go to Israel for a month.

I love reading poetry. I'm not a very talented poet, and I would much rather read poems than write them. There is just something about reading the right prose at the right time from the right poet. Maybe if I were a decent poet I would be able to explain. But for now you will just have to take my word for it.

Anyway, enough about me. Here's the poem:

The Lotus-Eaters
by Lord Alfred Tennyson

"Courage!" he said, and pointed toward the land,
"This mounting wave will roll us shoreward soon."
In the afternoon they came unto a land
In which it seemed always afternoon.
All round the coast the languid air did swoon,
Breathing like one that hath a weary dream.
Full-faced above the valley stood the moon;
And like a downward smoke, the slender stream
Along the cliff to fall and pause and fall did seem.
A land of streams! some, like a downward smoke,
Slow-dropping veils of thinnest lawn, did go;
And some thro' wavering lights and shadows broke,
Rolling a slumbrous sheet of foam below.
They saw the gleaming river seaward flow
From the inner land: far off, three mountain-tops,
Three silent pinnacles of aged snow,
Stood sunset-flush'd: and, dew'd with showery drops,
Up-clomb the shadowy pine above the woven copse.
The charmed sunset linger'd low adown
In the red West: thro' mountain clefts the dale
Was seen far inland, and the yellow down
Border'd with palm, and many a winding vale
And meadow, set with slender galingale;
A land where all things always seem'd the same!
And round about the keel with faces pale,
Dark faces pale against that rosy flame,
The mild-eyed melancholy Lotos-eaters came.
Branches they bore of that enchanted stem,
Laden with flower and fruit, whereof they gave
To each, but whoso did receive of them,
And taste, to him the gushing of the wave
Far far away did seem to mourn and rave
On alien shores; and if his fellow spake,
His voice was thin, as voices from the grave;
And deep-asleep he seem'd, yet all awake,
And music in his ears his beating heart did make.
They sat them down upon the yellow sand,
Between the sun and moon upon the shore;
And sweet it was to dream of Fatherland,
Of child, and wife, and slave; but evermore
Most weary seem'd the sea, weary the oar,
Weary the wandering fields of barren foam.
Then some one said, "We will return no more";
And all at once they sang, "Our island home
Is far beyond the wave; we will no longer roam."

- Blogpress post from my iPad

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Spring? Is that you?

If you live just about anywhere in the United States, you are probably sick of this crazy winter by now. There have been a few nice warm days here, but they have only been teasers. Luckily, I have not seen snow this month. But I know many people who have.

Yesterday I went to get my mail and I discovered a few of my irises have bloomed! There they were, peeking out of the dead leaves from last fall. They are tiny little things, but seeing them changed my entire frame of mind, and now I am thinking about seedlings and planting and tulips and writing outdoors. Those flowers really cheered me up! So I wanted to share them with everyone, as a message that the snows and freezing rains won't last much longer. Springtime is coming, one tiny blue flower at a time :)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Something new to play with!

I am far away from my computer, writing this from Blogpress on my iPad, trying to get a blog entry done. For now, my Mac is the enemy, keeping me away from social media and e-mail. It is my fault, really. I was browsing around the Internet, looking to see what kind of writing or organizational software is out there that can help me with my latest draft, and out of curiosity I downloaded a trial version of this sinister little program that I can't seem to stop playing with. It is all I want to work on when I log on. It keeps me stuck at my desk for hours on end. It is like a virus that keeps you from accessing other applications and ruins your to-do priorities. The name of this sinister little program? Scrivener 2.0 for Mac.

The makers of this program are from the UK, and I have no idea who they are. Nor are they giving me anything for blogging about their product; I am nowhere near popular enough for them to give me the time of day. So with that being said, I have to tell my fellow writers to at least take a look at this program (please note that it is a Mac program, but there is a Windows beta version as well). Scrivener is not a word processor-although you can use it as such if you wish to- or a publishing application. It is basically a database where you can sort, label, format, compile and store all your documents in one 'binder' so you can organize and assemble a draft of a manuscript, screenplay, or chapbook any way you want to.

It would take too long to list all the features I liked. This is probably old news to my fellow Mac users, but I have never been a fan of writing software. Word and Pages have always worked fine for me. However, now that I am drafting my latest book, I realize that my fantasy series has a pile of characters with full background stories I need to manage. Also, working on a saga with eight major protagonists and with one book alone having four major storylines spanning over three years, I realize I need something to keep everything organized and easy to access. It is difficult and time consuming to browse through folders to find a certain scene I need to review or edit. But the thing that has me wowed is the way the program allows you to store and access graphic and media files to use with your work as well.

The website has video tutorials to help you find your way around, and there is a Windows beta. I am still doing the free trial, and honestly I still am not sure if I will buy it, since it has crashed a few times on me, and it is a bit pricey for me at nearly 50 dollars. Fortunately, I haven't lost anything.

I am currently using Scrivener to organize a new project binder to manage my blog posts. If this works out I am definitely buying it. So to all fellow writers: if you are looking for something to help you with your writing projects, and you have a Mac, you might benefit from this. www.literatureandlatte.com

I don't know how similar the Windows beta is, or how the finished product will be, but if you don't mind beta testing, here is the link: www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivenerforwindows (Make sure you back up your work in the formats you are currently using if you do decide to try it out!)

If you already use Scrivener, or if you have tried it or decide to try it, I would love to know what you think of it.

- Blogpress post from my iPad